Different Types Of Solar Batteries Explained

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Types Of Solar Batteries

Knowledge of solar battery technology is becoming more prevalent due to the increased demand for solar energy. Solar batteries were specifically designed for solar energy systems, as they are highly versatile. 

What are Different Types of Solar Batteries?

Several types of solar batteries have been in production since the 1800s. There are seven different solar batteries available in the Market. They are Lead-Acid Batteries, Lithium-Ion Batteries, Flow Batteries, Sodium-Based Batteries, Sodium-Based Batteries, Saltwater Batteries & Hybrid Batteries.

Nickel-cadmium batteries have virtually become obsolete, especially considering the harm they inflict on the environment. Lithium-ion batteries have high charge and discharge values but can be dangerous.

Solar energy promises to be a better alternative to conventional forms of energy production. If you want to understand further about the different types of solar batteries, this article may be of interest to you. 

What Are the Distinct Varieties of Solar Batteries?

Many people think that because solar energy works due to the sun, they cannot use solar energy at night, which is not the case. Solar batteries are so cool because they make it possible to store extra electricity you generate from solar energy during the day when demand is low and use it at night when demand is high. There are all different types of solar batteries you can choose from: 

Lead Acid Batteries

This type of battery has been around since 1859, as French physicist Gaston Plante invented them’. It was the first type of rechargeable battery ever to exist. It could be charged by passing a reverse current through it. Despite their relatively low cost, these batteries provide a high performance. They are effortlessly recycled and simple to charge. 

However, their usable capacity is reduced when high power is discharged, which means they have a limited depth of discharge. Lead acid batteries also have a low volumetric energy density, which renders them unsuitable for energy management applications. However, they are great to use for power applications. 

Lead acid batteries use two forms of lead compounds at the two distinct electrodes, one at a positive electrode and one at a negative electrode, and an acidic electrolyte. These types of batteries take up a lot of space. Lead acid batteries are primarily used to give power to your car and start up the engine. There are several types of lead acid batteries:

  • Absorbed glass mat 
  • Deep cycle lead acid 
  • Engine starting lead acid 
  • Flooded lead acid 
  • Gelled lead acid 
  • Sealed lead acid 

While lead acid batteries are cost-effective, flooded lead acid batteries need ventilation and routine maintenance to function correctly. They must also be charged frequently and have a shorter lifespan of between 5 and 10 years. They are best for off-grid solar energy systems and as an emergency reserve in the case of a power outage. 

Lithium-Ion Batteries

The humble beginnings of the lithium-ion battery started in the later 1970s when a group of global scientists began inventing a new type of battery that could recharge on its own quickly. The battery was based on an idea from Stanley Whittingham, a chemist from England at work at Exxonmobil. His tinkering around resulted in several safety worries. 

The batteries short-circuited and started a fire, and the experiment was stopped. In the 1980s, the battery was developed utilizing lithium cobalt oxide, which made the newer type of battery. Years later, the batteries were made with carbonaceous substance, petroleum coke, which made them safer and more effective. The first lithium-ion battery was produced. 

Lithium-ion batteries offer a lighter, more efficient option. They produce a high amount of energy before recharging, as they are ideal for laptops and phones. The one disadvantage is that they are somewhat costly. Lithium-ion batteries are used in electric vehicles like Tesla. They are being improved to become infallible as solar energy batteries. 

There are two types of lithium-ion batteries:

  • NMC chemistry type- suitable for electric vehicles
  • LiFePO 4- ideal for regions with extreme temperatures 

These batteries have a much longer lifespan and may last up to 15 years. However, they cost near double the amount of lead acid batteries, yet they have comparable storage capacity. Another caveat is that if they are not installed correctly, they can catch fire, which is an obvious safety risk. 

Lithium-ion batteries are great for residential use because they can hold more power in a smaller space and use more energy from the battery to power your home. They can supply more cycles than lead-acid batteries. Its high charge and discharge competencies make it ideal for a solar energy system.

Nickel Cadmium Batteries

Waldemar Junger invented nickel cadmium batteries in 1899. The first commercially available nickel cadmium battery came to the market in the early 1900s. These types of batteries are versatile and can work in almost any situation. Understandably, they are no longer available in stores due to environmental concerns. 

Nickel-cadmium batteries are both cheap and powerful. They are also surprisingly durable and can work well in extreme temperatures. On average, nickel-cadmium batteries charge faster than any other type of battery. Before they became archaic, these bad boys were used in:

  • Model planes and cars
  • Cordless phones 
  • Portable radios
  • Digital cameras
  • Walkie talkies
  • Power tools

These batteries are popular in airline and industrial applications. The major problem with nickel-cadmium batteries is that if they are not recycled, they can have disastrous consequences, as they are highly toxic and can cause significant pollution. 

Sodium Nickel Chloride Batteries

This type of battery was developed in 1985 by a man named Johan Coetzer, who worked on behalf of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research. These batteries are small and light and have a high vitality density. Sodium nickel chloride batteries can operate in even the most extreme temperatures. The maximum lifetime for this battery is about 15 years. 

Sodium nickel chloride batteries rival lithium-ion batteries because they are safe and fully recyclable. These types of batteries do not necessitate complicated cooling systems to work correctly. These batteries are suitable for large installations in solar off-grid power connections. Some of the applications for sodium nickel chloride batteries:

  • Energy storage systems for renewable energy grids
  • Emergency power backup for off-grid power applications
  • Stationary energy storage for solar PV systems 
  • Residential and commercial buildings with solar energy storage 
  • Electric vehicles, hybrid cars, and submarines
  • Peak demand management applications  

When it comes to grid-connected energy storage, sodium nickel chloride batteries are under development but not as prevalent as lithium-ion batteries, which are high cost and high durability, or lead acid batteries, which are low cost and low durability. 

Sodium nickel chloride batteries have excellent overcharge capabilities since they can endure high temperatures. They do not have the standard self-discharge that happens in most rechargeable batteries. Dead and old batteries are currently used to produce stainless steel and road paving materials. 

Flow Batteries

The initial vanadium stream battery patent was created in 1986. The first comprehensive use of this technology was by Mitsubishi Electric Productions and Kashima-Kita-Electric Power Company in 1995. In 2006, the original patent expired, and researchers were free to explore better technology and ideas and could obtain government funding to work on it. 

Flow batteries solved the issue of duration in the renewable energy game, and these batteries depend on chemical reactions. Flow batteries offer outstanding performance and adequate depth discharge but low energy density. The tanks that hold the electrolyte liquid need to be super large if they store a considerable amount of energy, which renders them expensive and impractical.

The three types of flow batteries:

  • Hybrid flow batteries 
  • Membraneless flow batteries
  • Redox flow batteries

Despite their inconvenience, flow batteries are great for large-scale, off-grid structures like wind and solar farms. They are not a good option for households. Since they utilize electrolyte fluids, they can outlast the typical rechargeable battery. The lifespan of a flow battery is about 20 years.      

Hydrogen Batteries

Hydrogen batteries have a rich and colorful history. Better known as fuel cells, in 1838, a man named Sir William Robert Grove developed a new and improved version of a wet cell battery. The battery was called the “grove cell,” and the “fuel cell effect” combined hydrogen and oxygen gases to generate water and an electric current. In 1845, he created a “gas battery.” 

In the 1920s, the concept of renewable hydrogen was introduced. In the 1950s, the organization NASA was created. Space uses liquid hydrogen for rocket propulsion and as fuel for fuel cells. In 1970, the idea of solar energy hit the ground running. It was proposed that cities in the United States could be supplied with the energy given by the sun. 

In 1990, the world’s first solar-powered hydrogen production began its research and development work. Ten years later, the world’s first-ever PEM fuel cell was presented at the Detroit Auto Show. Today, the use of hydrogen as an alternative energy source is promising, as fuel cells produce electricity effectively and without any pollution. Types of fuel cells include:

  • Polymer exchange membrane cell for possible transportation application
  • Solid oxide fuel cell is great for large-scale stationary power generators for factories or towns
  • The alkaline fuel cell is the oldest type of fuel cell, expensive, and not for commercial use
  • Molten carbonate fuel cell is used for large stationary power generators 
  • The phosphoric acid fuel cell will possibly be used for small static power generation systems
  • Direct methanol fuel cells are possible for operating temperature, but not as effectively as PEMFC

It has been predicted that the polymer exchange membrane fuel cell will play an integral role in the future energy supply. It may power cars, buses, and possibly houses. The primary purpose for considering PEMFC as a viable alternative is to help the environment by regulating pollution. Fuel cell technologies are also intended to decrease our country’s dependency on oil. 

What Constitutes a Good Solar Battery?

Solar batteries serve the purpose of helping you store the excess solar energy for later use. However, solar batteries were not all created equal. The above solar batteries are all different when it comes to how well they perform. The following include some of the criteria that are mandatory for a solar battery to function optimally:

  • Ability to achieve a high number of cycles
  • Tolerant to intermittent solar charging
  • Quick to charge
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Lightweight
  • Compact 
  • Robust

Scientists and engineers aim to provide top-quality batteries with a long life, which is ideal for solar batteries. Since solar batteries are the best way to store energy, you want to do your research and select one that is best suited for your energy needs.

How Do I Choose the Right Solar Battery?

Depending on which type of solar battery you choose, it can last for a long time. However, if you have certain types of batteries, they may not last too long, which means they will need to be replaced. Some batteries require you to check them often to ensure they are not drained or to see if they need to be charged. You want the battery you choose to be able to keep up with your particular energy needs. 

Battery Capacity

Batteries are rated in amp hours, and the power rating will tell you their storage capacity. Storage capacity means how many cycles the battery can last before it ultimately bites the dust. If you are utilizing solar energy, you should know how to estimate your power consumption. 

Use amp hours to find out your power needs. Batteries with long warm-up cycles before reaching their total capacity tend to have more power and outlast batteries with high initial capacity. 

Highest Power Output   

Solar batteries can be placed into categories based on their kilowatt peak. It is the highest power output of the system in ideal conditions. It is a measure of comparison. It is the most power it can muster up when performing its best. If the kilowatt peak is high, the battery is top quality.  

Lifespan and cycles  

The battery’s lifespan is possibly essential in choosing the correct battery. The idea is to focus on making the battery resist heat and cold cycles to give a high power output and the best performance. There are several factors when it comes to the value of the battery. 

The number of charge and discharge cycles influences the value of the battery. Battery size is also a factor. The cyclic life of a battery helps to keep it powered. The higher the chemical activity in the battery, the more life they have. 

Working Temperature

Ambient temperature is the regular air temperature surrounding the battery. It may also be the temperature in the room where the battery was installed. The rating signifies the ideal temperature under which the battery will perform normally. It is a significant rating that many people are not aware of. Knowing if you live in an area with extreme temperatures is vital.   

Brand of Battery

When you are selecting solar batteries, the brand should be a crucial factor in your decision. A brand with high quality and an extended warranty is always a plus. The process by which the battery was made also plays a key role in determining which battery is correct to power your home or business.  


There are several different types of solar batteries you can choose from. When it comes to selecting a battery, be sure to pick one that is most convenient and meets your energy needs. 


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