Solar batteries, or deep cycle batteries provide electrical storage in solar energy systems. They’re essential when you want to use the electricity anytime when the system is not producing it. In other words, all of the power your panels harness during the day, require batteries in order to be used when the sun goes down. But how do you get the best batteries for your system? Deep cycle batteries don’t work the same as the generic batteries that power remote controls.
The main reason why you need deep cycle batteries is because solar systems are cyclical by nature. This means that the energy is gathered and stored then later consumed in a regular charge and discharge pattern. Most batteries aren’t intended to be used this way, as they aren’t meant to recover their charge in a slow manner. On the other hand, lead acid deep cycle batteries are made for this task specifically and with proper maintenance can last for many years, unlike conventional batteries.
There are two types of lead acid deep cycle batteries – flooded and sealed. Flooded deep cycle batteries utilise fluid electrolyte which needs to be refilled every once in a while through the ports that lead to their cells’ fluid reservoirs. Sealed deep cycle batteries, on the other hand, use non-fluid electrolyte which is placed in inaccessible cells.
Flooded Lead Acid Deep Cycle Batteries
These are also called FLA or wet cells, and they’re the more commonly used option, because of their low price tag, the fact that they come in various sizes and they’re long-lasting. The only downside is that they need frequent monitoring and maintenance, which usually involves adding distilled water to each cell. However, there are vent camps that jelp prevent some of the water escaping, which reduces the necessary watering frequency.
Sealed Deep Cycle Batteries
One of the biggest advantages these batteries have is that they can be placed upright, on their sides, or even upside-down. The electrolyte is suspended either in a gel or an absorbed glass mat. These batteries are the more expensive option, however, they’re the better investment in situations where battery maintenance cannot be performed routinely. Sealed deep cycle batteries have vents which allow hydrogen to leave whenever necessary, but that shouldn’t happen too often. Lastly, these batteries have the advantage of performing much better in extreme weather conditions and in deep-discharge applications though their recharging process can be quite more delicate.