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Layered Solar Cell Technology: The Past, The Present, and The Future

Do you want to enjoy the tremendous benefits of solar energy for your home at an affordable price?

According to the International Energy Agency, solar energy could be the biggest source of electricity in the world by 2050. As of 2019, the solar PV market increased at around 115GW, which is about 12%.

Environmental pollution and energy consumption are on the increase throughout the world, making it challenging for traditional fossil energy sources to meet the demands for sustainable development of human society.

What can be done about this?

With one of the prerequisites for the development of human society being the utilization of renewable, clean energy sources, there is a need to create new energy technologies to serve the needs of consumers.

Of all the new energy technologies that are introduced daily, solar power has stood out as one of the best.

A rapid growth is apparent in the solar technology industry, caused by the increasing number of people opting to install photovoltaic systems. This is an excellent time to join the trend by investing in the high-quality solar technologies offered by Enlightened Solar.

Here is an overview of this article:

  • A brief history of solar cells and how they are made
  • What are solar cell technologies?
  • What are Perovskite/Silicon Tandem solar cells?
  • How are perovskite solar cells layered on silicon solar cells?
  • The impact of layered solar cell technology on solar panel efficiency
  • The secret formula for a more affordable layered solar cell technology
  • The future of solar power

Let’s take a quick look at how solar cells came about…

A Brief History of Solar Cells and How They Are Made

Solar cells are among the biggest sustainable energy methods that can convert radiated light from the sun into electricity.

But how did solar cells come about in the first place?

The first silicon solar cell was produced by a Bell Laboratories physicist called Gerald Pearson in 1953. His research was refined by Daryl Chapin and Calvin Fuller, who were also Bell researchers. They created the solar cell to convert enough energy from the sun and apply it to electrical equipment.

The sun provides about 107W of energy to the Earth, but this figure reduces by 30% after passing through the Earth’s atmosphere. Solar cells and the sun work hand-in-hand to provide a sustainable alternative to the energy and resource problems facing the power industry today.

Solar cells have a positive impact on the Earth, including:

  • The preservation of natural resources
  • A reduction in the amount of energy required for consumption
  • The provision of clean air by not emitting greenhouse gases
  • The provision of a reliable source of electricity for home and industrial use
  • The generation of economic activity
  • A reduction in rural depopulation

The solar cells in each panel consist of 4 key materials, namely:

  • Monocrystalline cells
  • Polycrystalline solar cells
  • Thin-film solar cells

What does the manufacturing process of solar cells involve?

Before solar cells are made, they have to pass through the following 7 stages:

  • Purification of the silicon
  • Production of the single-crystal silicon
  • Making the silicon wafers

  • Doping
  • Placing the electrical contacts
  • Adding the anti-reflective coating
  • Encapsulating the cell

What Are Solar Cell Technologies?

Solar cells or photovoltaic cells (PV) generate electricity from sunlight through a process known as the photovoltaic effect. The photovoltaic cells are electrically connected and neatly arranged into a large frame called the solar panel.

Currently, the solar cells in use are made from silicon semiconductors that absorb sunlight, converting it into electricity. Solar panels convert only about 20% of the sunlight they receive into electricity.

Is silicon the only form of solar cells available today?

Other forms of solar cells are available for both commercial and industrial purposes, but despite an efficiency rating of up to 40%, they are far more expensive than domestic models.

Advances in solar technology are made constantly to raise the overall efficiency and quality while ensuring a reduction in the price of solar panels. This is becoming possible with further research and development in the field.

Hence the development of Perovskite/Silicon tandem solar cells!

What Are Perovskite/Silicon Tandem Solar Cells?

Perovskite/Si tandem solar cells offer significant benefits, including the potential to surpass conventional solar cells.

Perovskite materials are obtained from calcium titanate compounds and have attracted considerable attention due to their cubic lattice-nested octahedral layered structures, as well as their unique thermal, optical, and electromagnetic properties.

The perovskite materials that are used in solar cells comprise a type of organic-inorganic metal halide compound with a perovskite structure.

Advances in perovskite solar cells consist of the following layers:

  • The perovskite light-absorbing layer
  • The electron transport layer
  • The hole transport layer
  • Solar cells without a hole transport layer

How Are Perovskite Solar Cells Layered on Silicon Solar Cells?

As far as the solar power industry is concerned, silicon solar cells have been used as the go-to standard product. For many years, these silicon-based solar cells could only convert between 18% and 21% of solar energy into useful electricity. They top-out this average at around 26.6%.

This means that the cost of installing the cells exceeded the cost of buying them.

What are researchers doing to help?

In a bid to increase the efficiency of solar cells, researchers layered the perovskite solar cell, which is a crystal structure that collects higher energy photons, on the silicon solar cell, capturing photons in infrared light.

When combined, these two solar cells can exhibit an efficiency of up to 27%. This is a one-third increase from silicon solar cells’ efficiency of 21%.

The Impact of Layered Solar Cell Technology on Solar Panel Efficiency

Despite how far solar cells have come, thin-film solar cells, though inexpensive, are still lagging far behind the more expensive crystalline solar cells in terms of efficiency.

The efficiency of solar panels, when using layered solar cell technology, shows a dramatic improvement.

How is this possible?

Solar cells tend to lose some of their conversion potential when they are distributed over a large surface area, like a solar panel. This makes the average efficiency of the solar panel lower than the actual maximum.

What this means is that, before you can achieve higher efficiency levels, you must install more solar panels and link them together to form an array. Consequently, this will lead to an increase in the overall cost.

However, when a perovskite solar cell is layered on top of a silicon solar cell, there will be a dramatic improvement in the overall efficiency of the solar panels. Additionally, there will be no need to install as many solar panels to get more power.

A team of researchers led by Akhlesh Lakhtakia, suggest that if two thin films made from different materials are used, it is possible to create thin-film cells that are affordable and have an efficiency of about 34%.

This research revealed that most researchers approach solar cells from the optical and electrical perspectives. The optical side shows how the light from the sun is collected, while the electrical side shows how the sunlight that is collected is converted into electricity.

Lakhtakia, being a theoretician, created a mathematical model that treated both the electrical and optical aspects equally. In his opinion, “we needed to increase actual efficiency because if the efficiency of a cell is less than 30% it isn’t going to make a difference.”

He explained that solar cells are not very complex devices. The clear top layer makes it possible for the sunlight to reach the layer that converts the energy. The material used to convert this energy absorbs the light, producing streams of positively charged holes and negatively charged electrons moving in opposite directions.

These differently charged particles are then transferred to a contact layer on the top and bottom contact layers, helping to channel the electricity to the outside of the cell so it can be used. Meanwhile, the amount of energy produced by a cell depends solely on the amount of sunlight collected, as well as how well the conversion layer works.

According to Lakhtakia, “I realized that to increase efficiency we had to absorb more light. To do that we had to make the absorbent layer nonhomogeneous in a special way.”

The special way he was referring to was to use 2 different absorbent materials in 2 different thin films. This was done because different materials react in various ways to different wavelengths of light and also convert them differently.

So, for the layers, researchers chose Copper Indium Gallium Diselenide (CIGS), which is commercially available, and Copper Zinc Tin Sulfur Selenide (CZTSSe). Individually, CIGS has an efficiency of about 20%, while CZTSSe’s efficiency is about 11%.

These two materials have the same structure so they can work in a solar cell. Because their lattice structure is roughly the same, they can be grown on top of each other. Also, because they absorb different frequencies of the spectrum, they should be able to increase efficiency.

Together, both materials produced a solar cell that was 34% efficient. This, according to Lakhtakia, creates a new layer-upon-layer solar cell architecture. He believes other formulations of layers can also work, probably even more efficiently.

The Secret Formula For A More Affordable Layered Solar Cell Technology

Researchers have been trying to improve the efficiency of solar energy for a long time, by layering solar cells.

As far back as the 1970s, tandem solar cells, also known as multi-junction solar cells, were developed that could achieve almost 50% efficiency. Unfortunately, these solar cells are very expensive to manufacture and can cost as much as $80,000 per square meter because the cells have to be grown one layer at a time to create a big, single crystal.

Can the average homeowner or business owner afford this?

No!

The CU Boulder research team, pioneered by McGehee and his fellow researchers, took a different approach in creating solar cells at a very affordable price, while exhibiting one of the highest power-conversion efficiencies.

The process, which is referred to as the “secret formula” by Michael McGehee, uses a unique triple-halide alloy consisting of chlorine, bromine, and iodine.

Less than 10 years ago, they started by using materials that were less expensive on top of the silicon. At first, they could only achieve an efficiency level of about 13%. Technological improvements have made it possible for them to double that number.

According to McGehee, there is an ideal bandgap in solar cells. This bandgap is the space that lies between energy levels inside a semiconductor. Electrons jump between this space to create electrical energy.

When they used bromine, the bandgap increased. Then they used bromine with iodine and exposed them to light, but the elements were not always stable.

In previous studies, chlorine and iodine were used together, but the difference in their particle sizes did not allow enough chlorine to fit into the structure of the perovskite crystal.

The researchers then used different amounts of bromine, chlorine, and iodine to shrink the crystal structure and allow more chlorine to enter. This helped to stabilize and improve the efficiency of the cell.

Also, perovskites are not expensive and do not require too much energy to make. So, it is easy to produce them in the laboratory. These new solar cells only showed minimal changes in their first level of efficiency even after testing them with intensive light and heat for almost 42 days or 1,000 hours.

Since solar power marketing is growing at an annual rate of about 30%, new technologies will have to satisfy three major considerations before they can become mainstream.

What are these considerations?

They are:

  • Efficiency
  • Cost
  • Longevity

McGehee is very optimistic about what the future holds for this layered perovskite solar cell with its wide-bandgap. In addition to surpassing the maximum efficiency of a silicon solar cell, he said “we believe it can take us over 30% efficiency and that it can be stable.”

The Future of Solar Power

Are you finding it difficult to afford solar power?

The commercial products that are currently used to generate solar power, mainly silicon and thin-film based technologies, are processed using vacuum-based techniques, thereby making them expensive.

Thanks to the newly discovered nanotube structure that can transport electrical charges up to 100 million times higher than was previously measured, the next-generation solar cells may have infinite uses.

Currently, most solar cells use silicon to absorb light. But because the material is inefficient, scientists have developed layered solar cell technologies that can enhance the light absorption capability of the current cells.

Since nanotubes are difficult to arrange within the solar cells, a new generation of perovskite solar panels has been introduced with the potential to cost-efficiently convert solar energy into electricity for household use. They will be more than 50% more efficient and 40% cheaper than the commercially produced ones we are using today.

Solar panels made from perovskite can absorb most of the solar spectrum while being operable in various atmospheric conditions instead of working in direct sunlight alone.

These perovskite materials have been tested in the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Since perovskite panels go through a very straightforward production process, researchers still need to better understand its properties by testing the material under various conditions.

When this is done, companies will begin an industrial-scale production that the average homeowner can afford without breaking the bank.

So, what is the way forward for an average homeowner?

Is a solar cell technology with an efficiency of more than 30% possible?

Definitely! Efficient solar cells are, no doubt, the key to affordable, renewable electricity.

At Enlightened Solar, we provide a market, a more reliable, and natural way to power everything in our lives. Give us a call and we will help you to become energy-independent.

8 Unbeatable Reasons Why Homeowners Should Use Rooftop Solar Systems Instead of Solar Farms

Do you struggle with uncertainty over grid failures, natural disasters, rolling blackouts, and the consistency of your energy providers?

The United States Energy Information Administration (EIA) reports that, as of September 2019, California has been leading the country in terms of electricity-generating capacity, with 43% of all its electricity-generating capacity derived from small-scale solar power.

With the increase in the acceptance and use of solar power, many individuals are looking for more ways in which they can use this renewable energy source. Two of the best ways to take advantage of solar power are:

  • by installing solar panels on the roofs of homes; or
  • by installing solar panels on towers at solar farms;

Both methods offer benefits that could make your life a lot easier. When it comes down to choosing the right one for you, you need to understand what differentiates them.

The EIA reports that 87% of homeowners are considering solar panels in their homes because they want to save the environment, while about 96% want to save money on utility bills.

We will broadly cover the following 3 topics to guide you in making an informed decision:

  • What is a rooftop solar system?
  • What is a solar farm?
  • 8 Unbeatable reasons why you should choose the rooftop solar system

What Is a Rooftop Solar System?

Rooftop solar power uses photovoltaic panels that are installed on rooftops to harness and generate solar power for individual homes. The rooftop technology consists of grid connected technology, off-grid technology, and hybrid technology.

What value do rooftop solar systems add to your home?

Research conducted by Zillow, revealed that installing solar panels in your home can increase its value by up to 4.1% compared to homes without solar panels, or an extra $9,274 for median-valued homes in the United States.

Most homes end up not using all of the energy that the rooftop solar panels generate. The excess power generated is usually routed into the utility grid so that other utility customers nearby can use it.

Homes that use rooftop solar panels have two energy meters:

  • One meter measures the power that is used by the home;
  • The other meter measures the power that the rooftop solar panels generate;

Homeowners are charged for the energy they consume, and they get paid for generating energy. The result is a decrease in net energy expense.

What Is a Solar Farm?

Solar farms, also known as solar power stations or solar parks, use solar towers to enhance the way in which the panels maximize the power they generate. These towers are motorized and move with the sun to increase their electrical output.

Unlike residential systems, they are decentralized and usually provide power to an electric grid as part of the energy mix of the utility. They do not provide power to local end-users like homeowners or businesses.

Furthermore, since they are not limited in size and scale, multiple solar panels can be used with one solar tower to increase the amount of power produced. This power is channeled to the utility grid and produces electricity for utility customers.

Solar farms or community solar projects are offered in two ways:

  • Ownership: Participants can own a share of the project or some of the panels that are used. Any customer who purchases panels on a solar farm will be paid for the power produced by their panels. This helps to offset energy bills and reduce reliance on fossil fuels.
  • Subscription: Participants in this model have to become subscribers so they can pay a lower price for the electricity sourced from the solar farm. They do not own the solar panels.

8 Unbeatable Reasons Why You Should Choose the Rooftop Solar System

Photovoltaic panels produce renewable energy, whether they are installed on-site or at a solar farm. This sustainable energy will reduce your carbon footprint and also save you a lot of money.

Which type of installation is the best for homeowners?

To answer this question, we have to consider various factors.

1. Cost

Solar ownership allows you to generate your own power so that you do not have to buy power from an electric utility. You will save more money on electrical bills when you install your on-site solar system, especially if you have the solar panels built to the right scale to cover all your electrical appliances.

In summer when the demand for air conditioning is higher, your solar panels will have to produce more power. Even companies running utility rate schedules can reduce their entire utility bill if they produce solar power on-site.

Furthermore, it is more cost-effective to produce solar power where you intend to use it. There are a lot of inefficiencies and costs associated with transmitting power and distributing it over long distances. A utility that is running the community solar array is likely to add charges to customers’ power bills.

When you own your own home solar system, you can take full responsibility for installation, maintenance, and repairs.

How can homeowners benefit from their home solar panels?

Actually, there are cost reductions, Federal ITC, and other financial solar incentives you will enjoy by installing solar panels in your home.

2. Aesthetics

Despite the popularity that solar panels are gaining every day, some people still prefer a home without panels on the roof. Some want the solar panels on their roofs to be inconspicuous so that they do not affect the overall aesthetics of their homes.

These two sets of people want to enjoy the benefits of using solar energy to generate electricity in their homes but do not want the panels on their rooftops. If you fall into this category, you can invest in a solar farm.

However, if this is your only reason for not wanting a rooftop solar panel, there are other options open to you.

You can choose to have your solar panels mounted on the ground around your house. It will not use up a lot of space and it will still be as efficient as it would be on your rooftop.

Also, Enlightened Solar can meet your needs with solar panels that are designed to merge into your roof design. You can have in-roof panels or all-black panels with hidden wires.

3. Eco-credibility

Do you want to be identified as a homeowner who is committed to sustainability?

With solar panels installed on your rooftop or on your premises, you will clearly show how committed you are to ensuring a sustainable environment.

An on-site solar system is an unbeatable way to show your neighbors, customers, and even employees that you have gone solar. No one can miss solar panels that are installed on your rooftop or on the ground in front of your building, especially if you are after visibility.

Off-solar, as the name implies, is out of sight, and can easily become out of mind too.

Having an electric utility company generate solar energy for your household use from another state or county only allows you to claim that you are making use of clean energy. But, if people cannot clearly see your solar panels, it is not very convincing.

If you run a business from your home, you could get more people to patronize you when they see that you are saving the environment. Your visible efforts at being sustainable could help you to stand out from your competitors who are not very eco-friendly.

4. Benefits to the facility

Are you worried that solar panels might damage your roof?

Your roof will only stand the risk of being damaged if the solar panel installation is done by amateurs. If you hire a professional company like Enlightened Solar, you can be sure that there will be no leaks from drilling holes and no stress on the roof supports.

As a matter of fact, you can rest assured that the complete opposite is true. First, our experts will check to make sure your roofs are not already damaged. And if they are, they will ensure that it is fixed in the shortest possible time. Only then will your solar panels be installed.

Instead of damaging your roof, these panels will protect it by blocking the UV rays and excessive heat, thereby increasing the lifespan of your roof. The shade from the solar panels will keep your roof and the building underneath cool, eliminating the need for air conditioning.

However, solar farms can cause considerable damage to a site, especially if the farm is located in a rural area with a forest or field. A lot of trees and vegetation will have to be cleared before installing the ground-mounted solar array.

The main problem with this is that these ground-mounted solar panels can generate a lot of heat.

An increase in temperature can affect the functioning of the ecosystem, land values, human health, wildlife habitat, as well as local agricultural production. The potential heat impact of large solar farms on local wildlife habitat is quite alarming and should be avoided.

5. Grid resilience

Many things can go wrong with the national energy grid. From blackouts to aging electricity infrastructure, to falling victim to computer hackers.

Distributed solar can make the national energy grid more resilient. It can stand the test of time when other distributed energy resources and backup power are used, ensuring that it is not so fragile. Also, it can recover faster in case something goes wrong.

It was noted in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence that solar installations in North Carolina were working exceptionally well the day after the hurricane, while most of the Duke Energy customers experienced blackouts for days or even weeks. This goes to show how valuable distributed solar can be in a crisis.

With the changing global climate, we are expecting more storms, and to ensure grid resilience, we will need on-site solar systems for residential, commercial, and industrial sectors.

6. Land use

On-site solar panels can be installed on rooftops, an unused section of the ground beside a building, or parking lots. It does not have to take up a lot of space and you do not have to destroy your vegetation to do it.

By contrast, a big off-site solar farm will consume substantial valuable land that could have been used for farming or other agricultural purposes, especially in rural communities.

These solar farms could even obstruct your view of the lake!

Although solar farms have lots of benefits, they take up too much land and should not be built on valuable land. Reclaimed brownfield sites should be used instead.

So, it is far better for you to get your own stand-alone rooftop PV system if you are concerned about land management and allocation.

7. Energy independence

Are you tired of depending on a utility company for power supply?

If your energy independence is important to you, you should opt for a rooftop solar system. This option is even more appealing if you live far from a solar farm. Most solar farms are located in very remote areas, making it challenging to transmit energy to homes in the city.

Since solar farms can help promote your green efforts but can’t give you the energy independence you crave, rooftop solar panels will be ideal for you.

8. Maintenance

Generally, solar panels do not require regular maintenance. However, since it is exposed to the elements, there may be equipment damage or malfunction from time to time.

If you are using a solar farm, you will not have to be inconvenienced in any way when there is a need for repairs. The utility company will handle all repairs at no extra charge.

In the case of rooftop solar systems, you may have to perform and oversee occasional maintenance of your solar panels.

However, this will not be the case if you choose Enlightened Solar.

The company offers extra security against failures of any kind with its 10-20 years installation warranties and 25-year energy production warranties. This commitment, which is encompassed in a plan called The Enlightened Assurance Plan, covers homeowners who intend to stay in their homes for more than 3 years.

Rooftop Solar System or Solar Tower Farm – Which One Are You Better Off With?

At the end of the day, the rooftop solar system will be your best option if you love the idea of being energy independent, you want to save and make some money, and you do not want a system that takes up additional land.

Enlightened Solar can also provide you with any aesthetics you prefer. So, you will enjoy all the benefits of having sustainable energy without depending on a remote solar tower farm to generate energy for you. Also, the price will be broken down into components to aid your understanding.

So, if you are keen on living off the grid and attaining self-sufficiency but you are not sure which option best suits your needs, give us a call. Our team of experts is ever-ready to help you.

The Future of Solar Battery Technology for Homeowners

The California Independent System Operator’s (ISO) duck graph shows that there is an increase in the penetration of solar electricity in the state’s grid, which is increasing the risk of overgeneration, as well as large ramped-up needs when solar radiation is unavailable or during peak hours.

A lot of effort has gone into lifting our power generation because energy costs are not getting any lower. Air conditioners, computers, refrigerators, lights, and other home appliances cannot function without power. Avoiding using them is, unfortunately, not an option.

What can be done to salvage this situation?

Now is the time to look for alternative ways to take control of the power sector.

But how can you achieve this?

When homeowners install solar panels on their roofs, they can start producing their own energy. This is an effective way to reduce your energy bill. You get the added advantage of longevity by using Enlightened Solar to increase your overall solar energy production.

Is this enough to reduce your utility bills?

No. To see a remarkable saving in your electricity costs, your home needs a solar system with battery storage.

With this battery technology, which is emerging as a key solution to power issues worldwide, you can produce your own energy, and also store excess energy to use later, while maximizing your savings.

In a couple of minutes, you will learn:

  • What solar batteries are
  • The major types of solar batteries
  • Why you should invest in solar battery technology
  • The future of solar battery technology for homeowners

What Are Solar Batteries?

Solar batteries, which are commonly used in residential and commercial buildings, reserve energy to be consumed later and are charged by a well-connected solar system. The stored electricity can be consumed after the sun goes down, during a power outage, or when there is a peak in energy demand.

This home battery system stores surplus solar power and extends the use of the energy generated by the PV-system to provide free and sustainable power when the sun isn’t shining and the panels are not producing energy.

With these batteries, little or no electricity will be fed into the grid. This means that you won’t have to buy costly electricity from the grid. Also, self-consumption increases, leading to a significant decrease in electricity costs. The result is that you pay less per kWh used.

You enjoy more benefits when you get a solar battery in conjunction with solar panels.

Major Types of Solar Batteries

Solar batteries are vital to the energy independence of your home, especially when paired with a reliable solar system like Enlightened Solar. With the lead-acid battery generally becoming the primary source of power in EVs, the demand for EVs is increasing and boosting its market growth.

Although there are different types of solar batteries to choose from, it is important that you are also aware of their specifications, so that you can better evaluate your options.

Here are the different types of batteries that can be used in solar power systems:

Flooded lead-acid

This type of battery is best described as a “wet cell” battery, and is filled with electrolyte. It is the best type of battery for off-grid use, and ranges from medium capacity to high capacity.

    • Size: They are similar in size to auto batteries but can have a full battery bank, which tends to consume a lot of space.

 

    • Charging time: This varies depending on many factors. However, it could take between several hours to a day, or more, to charge fully.

 

    • Lifespan: Flooded lead-acid batteries have a lifespan of about 8 years, and up to 15 years if it is well maintained. Cycling and various other factors will determine the durability of the batteries.

 

    • Cycling: You can expect from 200 to 300 discharge or charge cycles. It mostly depends on the depth of discharge (DoD) that runs over the course of the flooded lead-acid battery’s life.

 

    • Maintenance: It needs regular maintenance like venting, adding water, and cleaning the terminals.

 

    • Temperature sensitivity: It is temperature-sensitive. Lower temperatures will reduce the battery capacity, while higher temperatures will increase the capacity. However, higher temperatures tend to degrade the battery life of lead-acid batteries.

 

    • Safety: It contains corrosive and toxic lead and sulfuric acid. Be careful when you are either refilling or recharging the battery as gaseous hydrogen could cause an explosion.

 

    • Price: Of all the different types of batteries for solar PV applications, this one is the cheapest.

 

  • Green factor: The green factor is low because of the toxic nature of lead-acid batteries. The flooded lead cell types tend to leak as well.

Gelled electrolyte sealed lead-acid

The sealed lead-acid battery uses silica gel with suspended electrolyte. It works best for almost all deep cycle applications.

    • Size: Quite similar to auto or marine batteries and varies in capacity. The home bank consists of several batteries.

 

    • Charging time: Charging time, which can vary between a couple to several hours, depends on different factors.

 

    • Lifespan: It has a battery life of up to 8 years and less than 20% DoD if properly maintained.

 

    • Cycling: The cycling of this battery varies in the capacity withdrawn. It can have up to 1100 cycles with a withdrawn capacity of 50%.

 

<li>Maintenance: It is maintenance-free.

 

 

  • Temperature sensitivity: It is temperature-sensitive. Lower temperatures will reduce the battery capacity. Higher temperatures, on the other hand, will increase the capacity but degrade the battery life.

 

 

 

  • Safety: It contains corrosive and toxic lead and sulphuric acid. There could be an explosion if exposed to gaseous hydrogen, so be careful when recharging.

 

 

 

  • Price: When compared to an AGM battery with a similar capacity, this is a slightly more expensive option.

 

 

 

  • Green factor: The green factor for this type of battery is low as lead-acid batteries are known to be toxic. However, the components can be recycled.

 

 

Sealed absorbed glass mat lead-acid (AGM)

It is a sealed lead-acid battery that stores its electrolyte in thin glass mats rather than allowing them to flood the plates freely. AGM is great for standby applications that use infrequent deep discharge. Advanced technology makes it suitable for DoD uses as well.

  • Size: AGM shares a similar size with the gel cell and flooded lead-acid batteries.
  • Charging time: It charges rapidly, with a charging time that is up to five times faster than the flooded battery technology.
  • Lifespan: A good estimation of the lifespan of this battery is 4 to 7 years. It can last up to 8 years with proper maintenance. DoD is less than 20%.
  • Cycling: The cycling depends on the capacity withdrawn so, with normal use, you can expect about 700 to 800 cycles.
  • Maintenance: It comes with no maintenance cost.
  • Temperature sensitivity: It is temperature sensitive. Lower temperatures reduce the battery capacity, while higher temperatures can cause performance degradation.
  • Safety: This battery contains corrosive and toxic lead and sulphuric acid. It should be recharged with caution as gaseous hydrogen can cause an explosion.
  • Price: It has an upfront cost that is significantly lower than that of lithium-ion, is cheaper than gel cell, and pricier than flooded lead-acid batteries.
  • Green factor: AGM has a low green factor with toxic lead-acid batteries that have recyclable components.

Lithium-ion

This is the most commonly used and most versatile energy storage technology today. It uses lithium-iron-phosphate (LFP) batteries to store solar energy.

  • Size: It has a higher storage capacity, making it lighter and smaller than lead-acid batteries. The home battery system typically resembles small refrigerators or one or two washing machines in size.
  • Charging time: The charging time for lithium-ion batteries varies significantly due to several factors. A full charge should take about three hours or more.
  • Lifespan: The high-quality lithium-ion battery’s lifespan is 10 years.
  • Cycling: Expect 5,000 to 7,000 cycles if you get a high-quality battery. This figure varies by capacity withdrawn and other factors.
  • Maintenance: The maintenance is free and solid, with no need for water filling or refilling.
  • Temperature sensitivity: It is temperature sensitive. At higher temperatures, there could be performance degradation.
  • Safety: It is relatively safe if you use it properly.
  • Price: This battery is quite expensive, usually double the price of lead-acid batteries. The high upfront costs are offset by the long-term cost-efficiency.
  • Green factor: The price of this battery depends on the material used during the manufacturing process. Some manufacturers use toxin-free organic materials. However, inorganic lithium-ion is toxic, so you have to dispose of it carefully.

Flow

It is made up of reaction stacks that are separated by electrolyte and held in storage tanks. Best suited for storing power in large quantities.

  • Size: The size of this type of battery varies, and is available in very large sizes.
  • Charging time: This type of battery recharges in a way that is almost like filling an automatic gas tank. It is recharged by replacing the electrolyte.
  • Lifespan: The lifespan of vanadium redox batteries is as long as 25 years or more. You can charge and discharge it without any lifespan impact.
  • Cycling: It has no cycling limitations whatsoever.
  • Maintenance: Low maintenance.
  • Temperature sensitivity: It is temperature sensitive.
  • Safety: It is inherently safe as electrolyte can neither get hot nor catch fire.
  • Price: This battery is currently quite expensive, but can become less expensive with advances in organic aqueous technology.
  • Green factor: Flow has a good green factor, a long life cycle, readily available required resources, and is easily recyclable.

Why Should You Invest in Solar Battery Technology?

Clearly, purchasing solar battery storage is a worthwhile investment when you are considering switching to solar power.

It allows you to easily use most of your solar power by yourself, which reduces the amount of electricity you purchase from energy suppliers.

Also, retrofitting a storage system will benefit you because we live in a society where we pay more for electricity than we spend on feed-in revenue. Basically, the power fed into the national grid does not make economic sense anymore.

Here are some of the reasons you should invest in solar batteries:

1.Reduces electricity bills:

Having a solar battery will help you to significantly reduce your energy costs. If you spend most of your day at work, you can enjoy electricity when you get home in the evenings when the solar power isn’t generating any electricity.

Battery storage will eliminate your reliance on the grid for energy, as well as spending too much on electricity. You will charge your battery in off-peak hours then discharge it in peak hours.

2. Use more electricity:

You get to use 100% of the electricity your solar panels generate. The battery stores the energy you do not use during the day for use during non-production hours. If your electricity demand does not exceed your battery’s supply, you can run on 24-hour renewable energy.

4. It is lucrative:

Some energy companies permit net metering and this is a good avenue to make some extra money.

How can you do this?

Simply sell your stored energy in your solar battery to your energy company when the prices of electricity are high. Especially if you won’t be needing electricity.

Another lucrative way that you can make some extra money is to allow some firms to use your solar battery to store their excess grid electricity.

5. It is an asset

An engineering professor, Yi Cui, said, “if you think about green scale storage, you want 20, 30 years lifetime.”

By patronizing a team of professionals like those at Enlightened Solar, you will get value for your money. Once you install our solar power system with batteries, you make a 30-year asset purchase.

The Future of Solar Battery Technology for Homeowners

Although it is hard to say where the power industry will go from here, the future looks bright for solar battery technology. Technological innovation increases renewable penetration, while decreasing costs have helped to proliferate battery energy storage on a global scale.

However, these technological advancements alone won’t suffice for quick adoption and the deployment of battery energy storage.

Some of the obstacles facing energy storage are:

    • The difficulty in monetizing each value stream that energy storage can provide, and

 

  • The inability to appropriately quantify and price energy storage despite the general agreement that it can work wonders for the power grid.

To support the deployment of battery energy storage technology, regulators, policymakers, and market operators need to focus on the following three areas that can significantly impact the energy sector:

  • Pursue diverse hybrid storage projects;
  • Tailor markets and regulations to produce the desired results;
  • Make the regulations, policies, and rules of the market technology agnostic;

What does this mean for the energy industry?

It means that storage solutions will become viable and incredibly lucrative while offering innovative and efficient ways for homeowners to retain power.

So, which Solar Battery Technology is the Best for Homeowners?

With so many companies involved in the production of solar batteries, you must make an informed decision before making a purchase.

At Enlightened Solar, we will help you to assess your energy consumption, electrical panels, building structure, and other vital information that will help to determine how much you will save by installing a solar system with battery storage in your home.

When is the best time to install solar power with battery technology in your home?

There’s no better time to take action than NOW!