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Choosing the Best Battery Type for Solar Street Lights

Solar lighting technology has seen tremendous surge and development in recent years. Most customers looking for eco-friendly lighting solutions are attracted to their modern designs and functionality. Solar street lights are getting into customers’ consideration for their perfect outdoor illumination feature and their cost-effectiveness and easy installation techniques required. They definitely come with multiple advantages over traditional outdoor lighting technology. As a customer, it is crucial to get familiarized with all the information related to solar street lighting before making the final purchase. Below are a few important points related to it:

  • The most crucial highlight of solar street lights is the fact that it can be charged with free energy.
  • Solar street lighting comprises of the latest advancement in technology, as a result of which, these lights can hold their charge for longer duration.
  • One can use this lighting system even during non-sunny days or when there is less time and less sunlight for the lights to get charged up.
  • Comes with hassle-free and quick installation process unlike traditional lighting system which requires trenching or underground cabling.
  • Cost effective, as it requires a minimum operation, maintenance cost and manual intervention once installed.
  • Safer and emission-free for the environment.

When choosing the best battery for solar street lights, one should consider multiple factors, including the battery’s capacity, power, efficiency, cost, and requirements. To help you select and make the right choice, let’s understand the different types of batteries available in the market, how solar batteries work, and the best solar battery recommendations for solar street lights.

Choosing the Best Battery Type for Solar Street Lights

The connection between solar street lights and solar batteries

Nowadays, there is much more awareness in the world regarding the need and importance of renewable energy as compared to earlier times. Two of the most common and crucial reasons behind this changed ideology are the need to safeguard the environment and the cut down on the elevating expense of other available sources of energy in the market. Since the last decade, the solar market has been flourishing rapidly and solar power is considered to be one of the most accessible and in-demand types of natural energy available free of cost! In recent years, solar power has come up with a plethora of applications, both in commercial as well as residential premises.

Solar batteries have become one of the wisest investments anyone can make for solar power storage. Without solar batteries, one cannot store the energy generated by their solar system for later use. If we talk about solar street lights; if the street lights are connected to the grid system, unavailability of solar batteries means nil backup power and if the street lights are off-grid, it simply won’t work. So, keeping this in mind, one needs to understand that solar batteries are a crucial addition to the successful running of any solar street lighting system.

Best battery types preferred in the solar industry?

There are four common types of solar batteries available in the market, they are—nickel-cadmium, lead-acid, lithium-ion, and flow batteries. Let’s understand each one of them in brief:

  1. Lithium-Ion Batteries - Lithium ion batteries have been around in use for a while now, but have become popular in recent years due to the improvement in their battery technology. Their superior performance and longevity properties make them an ideal choice for multiple applications.
  2. Lead-Acid Batteries - Lead acid batteries are one of the oldest types of battery with over 100 years old. As a result of this property, lead acid batteries are a tried and tested storage system.
  3. Lithium Iron Phosphate Batteries - LiFePO4 (popularly known as Lithium Iron Phosphate) batteries came as a huge improvement over lead acid as well as traditional lithium ion batteries in features such as weight, capacity and lifespan. The LiFePO4 batteries are the safest type of lithium batteries because of their properties like—no overheating, and almost zero chances of catching fire (even if punctured).
  4. Nickel Batteries - Often termed as nickel cadmium or Ni-Cd, this battery technology has been in market for over 100 years now. This battery type comes with features of maximum durability, usage even during extremes of temperature, and tested storage technology. One major drawback of nickel cadmium is the fact that cadmium is highly toxic in nature and because of this factor its usage is banned in several countries.
  5. Flow Batteries - These batteries are the new kids in the town in terms of solar storage solution. One of the best features of flow battery is its DoD (depth of discharge) which is nearly 100%, meaning that one can make use of all of its stored energy without the fear of any damage. But one drawback that this battery is facing currently is the fact that it is still in its development stages.

Important points to keep in mind when choosing a battery for solar street lights

How should you decide which battery will fit perfectly as per your solar street light need? Choosing the right battery depends on multiple factors such as application, budget, and upkeep (regular maintenance and replacement needed). As you think about multiple solar battery options available in the market nowadays, you will for sure want to go through and compare each type of battery based on features like capacity and size, depth of discharge (DoD), round trip efficiency, battery life, power rating and voltage, safety and environmental impacts, chemical elements, and price. Let us dig deeper into these criteria in brief when choosing the battery for your solar street light:

  • Capacity and Size: Capacity is the total strength of the solar battery to store maximum amount of power or energy generated on a day-to-day basis. Capacity is measured in Kilowatts or Watts. When it comes to the size of solar battery system for street lights, always go for the best-fitted size system as per the usage.
  • Depth of Discharge (DoD): The depth of discharge (DoD) marks the level of battery capacity that is used. The higher the DoD, the more usage you will get from the battery’s capacity. The depth of discharge should generally be at least 40% or higher for efficient power storage.
  • Round-Trip Efficiency: Round-trip efficiency includes the ratio between the amount of energy used to charge the battery and the available amount of energy discharged for the load. Higher round-trip efficiency is more economical. You should always opt for around 80% round-trip efficiency.
  • Power Rating and Voltage: The power rating of a battery is associated with the watts (W) of power that the solar battery can provide in a go. In simpler words, a battery’s power rating determines both the number and types of appliances it can power at once. The solar battery system’s voltage should also be taken into consideration to ensure that it matches the solar street light needs.
  • Safety and Environmental Impacts: The solar battery you finalize should be environment-friendly with minimal toxicity and hazardous environmental impacts. Go with the safest battery type to ensure environmental friendly.
  • Battery Lifespan and Warranty: Generally, battery performance declines with passing time, a warranty guarantees better performance for years, and also ensures that the battery maintains a certain capacity. So, opt for the solar battery type that has a longer lifespan and battery cycle.
  • Thermal Runaway: Thermal runaway occurs because of the rise in temperature, which in turn releases energy that further spikes temperature, often leading to damage and fire. So, keep this aspect in mind while finalizing the solar battery to prevent any future hazard or damage.
  • Price: Do not opt for a solar battery that is out of your budget or costs you a hole in your pocket in terms of future maintenance and repair. Also, don’t fall for lower prices and compromise on quality and capacity. Always, choose the one which fits easily into your criteria and budget both.

What’s the best solar battery for solar street lights?

Though we all know that there are several types of solar batteries that can be considered for solar outdoor street lighting, the three types of batteries mentioned below are most frequently used for solar street lights. The reason is, their tempting features and usage options:

  1. Lead acid batteries: If you are looking for affordability, tolerant to overcharging issues, and a tested solution.
  2. Lithium-ion batteries: If you want higher energy density and capacity, low maintenance, and a compact size.
  3. Lithium-ion phosphate batteries: If you are looking for high capacity, longer lifespan, safety, and a compact size.

Final Verdict

Every solar battery has a set of pros and cons. So, the final selection of the battery for your solar street light depends on the budget, weather in your area, daily solar energy requirements, maintenance, etc. If you know the requirements of your solar street lights, you can choose the best type of battery wisely.

We have been helping customers across the globe to choose the best solar battery for solar street lighting systems. Our end-to-end solutions commit results that you can rely on! With years of experience in solar power systems, we have gained the familiarity to determine which battery option will work best for your application and usage. Getting in touch with us will be the easiest way to finalize your solar battery options for street lights. We are looking forward to helping you get started on your exciting journey!

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