MONDAY 13 FEBRUARY, 2012 |
LiFePO4 Batteries Show Promise For Solar Power Systems
Off-grid solar power system owners contemplating the use of lithium batteries
for energy storage will be encouraged by results of recent testing.
A joint research project between the University of Southampton
battery management systems producer REAPsystems
has found LiFePO4 (lithium iron phosphate) batteries
have the potential to improve the efficiency and reduce the cost of solar power.
A lithium iron phosphate battery was used in conjunction with a solar power
system installed on one of the University’s buildings.
The study found the lithium battery had an energy efficiency of 95 per cent.
Lead acid deep
typically have an energy efficiency of around 80 per cent.
The weight of lithium batteries is also much lower. For example, a 12 volt
20 amp-hour LiFePO4 weighs around 3.5kg, whereas the same in a Sealed Lead Acid
deep cycle battery could weigh as much as twice that.
LiFePO4 batteries have a longer life span than the lead-acid batteries; reaching
up to 1,600 charge/full discharge cycles according to the researchers, although some
manufacturers claim up to 2,000 charge/discharge cycles.
owners tempted to race out and buy LiFePO4 batteries need to be aware
that a special charging system is required and perhaps such a purchase is a
The University says the battery will need further testing before being put
into commercial photovoltaic systems, but so far research has shown "that the
LiFePO4 battery has the potential to improve the efficiency of solar power
systems and help to reduce the costs of both their installation and
Lithium based batteries of a different kind for backup energy storage for grid-connected home
solar power systems are about to become a reality. As we
reported in January, Kyocera Corporation recently announced it will be rolling
out an energy management system (EMS) in Japan this year; combining Kyocera solar panels,
inverter and related components with Nichicon Corporation's high-capacity lithium-ion
battery storage units
Other news for Monday 13 February, 2012
Return to main renewable energy news section
Other Energy Matters News Services