Lithium Ion solar batteries are gaining importance and have become dominant choice for off grid solar systems. Two years back, this battery was beginning to be used for large scale solar systems.
The brighter side of this battery is that they have enhanced energy density and are easier to move from one place to another. They can be quickly charged up to 100% of their capacity. Lithium Ion batteries requires less material, reducing the impact on the nature.
- Life: They have longer life, significantly higher cycle life than lead acid batteries do in deep discharge applications. In other words these batteries can support higher number of full charge and discharge cycles just before their capacity falls under 80%.
- Strength: As per survey lead acid battery would have to be 2.5 larger in strength than lithium ion battery to get comparable life cycle. So they are widely used in solar batteries in home because of their size. Also these batteries do not require replacement as early as lead acid home batteries. Even after charging and discharging lithium ion batteries for umpteen numbers of times, they remain functional.
- Low maintenance: When it comes to maintenance aspect this battery are maintenance free, allowing the owners to enjoy using their solar home battery without worrying about permanent damage due deep discharge.
- Recycling: Another advantage is this battery even though its recycling rate is lower than lead acid battery, it have very high ability for recovery and recyclability. However with innovation and growth, this battery is expected to surpass the lead acid batteries because of its low costs of using recycled lithium instead of mining more.
- Easy installation: Lithium Ion solar battery is light in weight and can be transported easily, thus reducing shipping costs by 80%. And also installation costs are reduced thus making this battery more appealing for home use.
- Higher energy density: It is one of vital advantage of this battery means having power capacity without being heavy. So it is useful in power hungry devices like laptops and smart phones.
- Quick charging: Can be charged quickly as compared to other batteries in fact it takes fraction of time to charge when compared to others in the acumen.
- High open circuit voltage: The battery has chemistry that results in higher open circuit voltage as compared to other batteries viz. lead acid, nickel cadmium etc.
- Zero to low memory effect: Other batteries like lead acid, nickel metal tend to lose their maximum energy when discharged repeatedly but lithium ion battery is free from this effect.
With advantages come certain disadvantages:
- Expensive: It is expensive as it needs on board computer circuitry to manage and ensure that voltage and current are well within the safe limits.
- Aging effect: They degrade the moment they leave factory and not completely durable.
- Sensitive to high temperature: This battery is susceptible to downside of high heat that is resulted due to overheating of the device making the cells to degrade faster than normal.
- Deep discharge: They have low self discharge ad when voltage of lithium ion cell drops below certain level, it becomes unusable.
- Safety: Internal short circuit or over heating can ignite electrolyte and cause fire leading to explosion of battery. This risk will prevail while transporting this battery in larger quantities.