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Lithium Battery for Solar Panel: Is It Good in 2023?

Lithium Battery for Solar Panel: Should You Get One in 2023?

The sun and wind are great sources of green energy, but they have one weakness.

One huge weakness of wind and solar installations is their lack of a reliable energy storage system. That's quickly changing with the introduction of more reliable batteries.

This short guide will cover how lithium-ion (Li-ion) quickly overtakes lead-acid batteries as the superior choice for energy storage systems and alternative batteries homeowners can use.

Benefits Of Using Lithium Batteries For a Solar Panel

Here are reasons why you should switch lithium-ion batteries immediately!

  • Extended Battery Life: If you get lithium-ion batteries, then you just improved your quality of life because you will experience a longer lifespan than your typical and common lead-acid batteries, meaning they run for an extended time, oftentimes long periods, before their juice runs out, and you need to replace it. Regardless of the type of solar battery, their lifespans can be measured in either charging cycles or years. Lithium-ion storage can last between 5-15 years, depending on your choice of model and rate of use. This helps offset their higher cost.
  • Weight Reduction: This is one of the few more practical, non-energy-related benefits of lithium-ion batteries; it's a convenience benefit! They're lighter and take up less space than lead-acid batteries so smaller homes can keep more lithium-ion storage on hand. Let's assume that two battery banks can store the same amount of power; if you still want lead-acid batteries as your option, expect that they will weigh at least twice as much as lithium-ion storage.
  • Low Maintenance: Keeping a lithium-ion battery running is easier than a lead-acid battery. This benefit becomes more pronounced when comparing lithium-ion to FLA (flooded lead-acid) batteries. As its name suggests, an FLA battery has water within and needs regular upkeep to run efficiently. For charging safety, they also need a special enclosure; this takes up even more space. On the other hand, homeowners don't need to drain and refill lithium-ion-based storage regularly.
  • Greater Efficiency: Lithium-ion batteries have greater efficiency rates than lead-acid batteries because they can store and be more efficient with their usable power. Their high-efficiency formulation and higher Depth of Discharge or DoD mean homeowners can use more of their stored energy without impacting the battery's service life.
  • Faster Recharge: Faster charging is almost a necessity in this day and age of technological evolution. You're lucky because it is one of the most convenient features of lithium-ion storage and one of their best advantages over lead-acid batteries. Lithium-ion power storage can be charged with a higher voltage than lead-acid batteries. Lithium-ion batteries recharge much faster than their counterparts, depending on the voltage, battery, and even material. However, this assumes you're using a compatible solar panel battery charger; otherwise, charging any solar system battery is risky.
  • Other Advantages Of Lithium Ion Batteries: Higher Energy Density! Their lithium-ion formulation gives these batteries a higher DoD. This means a battery bank can provide extra power for your home, leading to additional charging cycles.

How to Choose the Right Lithium Battery for Your Solar Panel

Here's how to choose a new Li-ion battery to power your home. Get multiple quotes for solar panel battery prices to find the best-priced batteries.

Understanding Your Solar Panel Requirements

Solar panel systems have different power outputs and requirements depending on their manufacturer and your household's electricity needs.

To avoid shortening the lifespan of your lithium-ion storage, ensure your solar panel outputs enough energy.

Going completely off-the-grid will require a larger solar panel system and larger batteries, but not all lithium-ion storage can handle that much energy.

Your solar panel system should match your battery's capacity.

Size and Capacity

Similar to lead-acid batteries, greater physical size means greater electricity storage so a larger lithium-ion storage can store more energy.

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    This can better complement your solar panel system. The amount of energy lithium-ion batteries can store ranges from 1-10 kWh (kilowatt-hours.)

    Analysing the Battery's Technical Specifications

    Every battery available has a recommended depth of discharge. Get a battery with a higher DoD to drain it more before recharging it.

    Remember to check a battery's power and capacity ratings before buying it.

    A battery with a high power rating and capacity can help more appliances run for an extended time.

    Checking the Battery's Safety Rating

    Lithium-ion is one of the safest battery chemistries. Still, homeowners should familiarise themselves with the safety rating of their batteries, especially if they accidentally store more electricity than they can safely handle.

    Renewable energy storage has come a long way, but similar to other energy sources, they can still fail.

    Store your lithium-ion batteries properly and ensure they don't exceed their safe temperature ranges.

    Types of Lithium Batteries For Solar Panels

    Lithium-ion is efficient, but it's not your only option. Here are the other types of batteries you can use for energy storage.

    Lead Acid Batteries

    The humble lead-acid battery is a dependable but high-maintenance form of energy storage.

    A lead-acid battery is cheaper than others but provides less usable energy and a shorter lifespan.

    The greater requirement of replacement batteries and upkeep costs may offset their lower price.

    Lead-acid batteries have a low DoD and must be constantly charged as they run. This is by design but also leads to significant inefficiency.

    Lead-acid batteries are much easier to obtain compared to other battery types! This makes them more affordable for homeowners, despite their shorter lifespan.

    Nickel-Metal Hydride Batteries

    Nickel-Metal Hydride (NiMH) batteries have higher energy density than lead-acid batteries; however, lithium-ion still holds the candle against it!

    These batteries are made and produced from nickel-hydroxide. Unfortunately, NiMH batteries lose electricity quickly and have low overcharging tolerance, thus allowing lithium-ion to take the crown!

    Lithium-Ion Batteries

    Everyone should get a lithium-ion battery, compared to a lead-acid battery, because of its higher efficiency and improved lifespan; an insane upgrade!

    These batteries also have an improved DoD, so they can run for several years without requiring a replacement. However, expect to pay a higher price than usual when deciding this your choice!

    Depending on the battery manufacturer, expect a higher price for lithium-ion storage. However, not all people can fully utilise the extra features they offer.

    Lithium-ion is the most expensive type of battery because of its amazing and unique features that give it longevity and high storage capacity.

    Lithium-Iron Phosphate Batteries

    Also known as LFP batteries, this form of lithium-ion energy storage has the steepest initial cost.

    However, these batteries also have the longest service life and are the stablest type of lithium-ion storage. They have a round-trip efficiency of 92% and can function even when partially discharged.

    Lithium Battery Maintenance for Solar Panels

    If you're a homeowner recently purchased lithium-ion batteries, here are some tips to keep your batteries in top condition.

    Understanding the Battery Charge Cycles

    The lifespan of a lithium-ion based-battery is lengthier than other battery varieties because of their higher DoD.

    As your batteries age, their storage capacity will be reduced. Extend your energy storage's useful life by understanding charging cycles.

    Monitoring the Battery Charge Levels

    Whether you use lithium-ion or LFP, your solar panel system should have an inverter that can measure the energy levels of your batteries.

    Otherwise, get a voltmeter or multimeter to ensure your batteries aren't overcharged.

    Storing and Handling the Battery

    Lithium-ion batteries should be kept in environments between 0°C-45°C to avoid thermal issues. They can be kept indoors but not near heat sources like direct sunlight.

    Cleaning the Battery Terminals

    Maintaining lithium-ion battery-based energy storage is fairly straightforward. Disconnect them first, then clean the terminals with a damp cloth and remove dirt.

    How Solar Panels and Lithium Battery Work Together

    This section will cover how lithium solar batteries work with solar panels.

    • Charging the Battery: Lithium-ion-based storage needs a charger controller to fully utilise a solar panel system. The controller will regulate the current, ensuring the battery isn't overcharged.
    • Discharging the Battery: A lithium-ion-based battery will typically lose electricity even when disconnected from a solar panel system. Before installing lithium-ion-based batteries, check their discharging rates.

    Safety Tips for Using Lithium Batteries for Solar Panel

    These tips teach you how to take care of your lithium-ion energy storage system.

    • Proper Installation and Maintenance: Energy storage installation isn't a "do-it-yourself" job, so contact a professional to install your energy storage. If you're unsure whether your solar panels can accommodate lithium-ion batteries, call a solar battery storage installer for a quote. The issue is the installation cost; lithium-ion storage can cost £3,000 to £6,000 or even more for a single unit, depending on the included features. Their high efficiency makes them more expensive to install, especially when compared to lead-acid batteries. Before switching to lithium-ion batteries, ensure you can handle the increased price.
    • Temperature Considerations: Properly maintaining a solar energy system ensures it stays within an acceptable temperature range; otherwise, you risk thermal runaway (the batteries catching fire.) Keep your batteries in an environment between 0°C-45°C for safety. Thermal runaway can also be caused by overcharging and poor maintenance. Clean your batteries regularly to avoid any issues.
    • Discharge and Overcharge Prevention: Homeowners should pay attention to their inverters or charger controllers to avoid overcharging and thermal runaway. Lithium-ion batteries can store more energy and don't require frequent discharging. However, this only applies if you use li-ion batteries as your primary storage. Their high DoD makes lithium-ion-based batteries useful, but backup storage won't be discharged as frequently, making for a poor price-to-performance tradeoff.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    Learn more about lithium-ion battery technology here!

    Can You Add Lithium Batteries to an Existing Solar System?

    If you've already installed solar panels for your house and wish to add extra energy storage, you can! It should be a quick installation job.

    However, ensure your system's inverter is first compatible with the new lithium-ion batteries. It's also best practise to match the brand of your solar panels and batteries.

    Once your lithium-ion batteries are installed, you'll experience longer energy; blackouts should be the least of your concerns!

    How Many Lithium Batteries Do I Need for a 5KW Solar System?

    Expect your solar battery system to keep up with how powerful photovoltaics can be! Your energy storage should match if your system outputs 5 kWh of electricity.

    A solar battery means an additional expense and will require space in your energy storage. Consult a solar panel calculator to ensure you aren't storing more power than you need.


    Reliable renewable energy storage is the next step to making fully off-the-grid homes a reality. In order to make full use of this technology, there is no better place to switch to lithium-ion batteries than now!

    Lithium batteries compensate for their higher price with a longer maximum lifespan and greater efficiencies, depending on the manufacturer and your needs.

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    Mark McShane
    Content Writer
    Mark McShane is a seasoned professional in the solar industry and the owner of Skills Training Group, a leading provider of solar training and education. With years of experience in the field, Mark has developed a deep understanding of the latest trends, technologies and best practices in the industry. His expertise and passion for solar energy have helped countless professionals develop the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the fast-growing field of solar energy. Whether you’re an aspiring solar professional or an experienced industry veteran, Mark is an excellent resource for anyone looking to enhance their skills and knowledge of the solar industry.
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