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A battery is a thing to store electrical energy. We speake here of rechargable batteries, of which there are different types:

  • Lithium polymer batteries are used in most mobile devices, as laptop computers, smartphones, headlamps... They are comparable cheap and may store a lot of energy on little space and weight. One disadvantage is, that they can explode when they face machanical damage. Ther are some videos on this on Youtube.
  • Lithium iron phosphate batteries (LiFePo4, or LFP) are the best solution in the long run for the moment to store energy in off grid systems. They have a very long life (up to 80 % capacity after 8000 charging cycles, is what I read on the web...). They need a battery management system (BMS), that stops the charging, if one of the cells is exceeding a certain voltage. This BMS is also balancing the voltage of the single cells. They may be discharged quite low in comparison to lead batteries, but they don't like to be fully charged.
  • Lithium titan batteries might be the solution for the future... but they are too expensive right now. Insome cases they make sense...
  • Lead batteries are the cheapes solution for the short run. They are used in cars als starter batteries or in mobile homes to power the lights etc. There are solar batteries, that are made to give smaller currents for longer times. If you build a offgrid system just to have some LED lights and to charge your phone in the night, the cheapest and easiest solution ist to get a used car or truck lead battery. They are still good for that purpose if they doesn't properly work in a vehicle any more. Lead batteries have the disadvantage, that they get damaged if they are deeply discharged. For that reason, the practical capacity is nearly half of the nominal capacity. And they are heavy, and don't sustain as much charging cycles as other battery types. The lead and the acide in a lead battery is poisonus. In theory they may be recycled quite well: the lead has to be cleaned form oxidations and the acid has to be renewed. But in deed, there is no such practice in a significant scale.
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Page last modified on January 10, 2021, at 02:02 AM