Solar batteries are essential to your solar system. You need a solar battery to store excess energy, which you can use when the panels aren’t active (at night or during cloudy days). In the past, AGM batteries were the favourite in South Africa and several other countries across the world. Many people today see lithium-ion solar batteries as the go-to option.
AGM lead-acid batteries are effective and maintenance-free. However, while they may seem more affordable, you will spend more money on your battery bank in the long run. Additionally, they are susceptible to overcharging. In most cases, these batteries also require full charging between use. This means they may not be ideal for certain applications in which returning the battery to a full charge is very difficult.
Lithium Solar Batteries tend to cost more upfront, their only downfall. However, their pros far outweigh that one minor “con”. You’ll discover a lithium-ion solar battery vs. AGM battery face-off as you read further. At the end of this face-off, you’ll find which battery type is better for your home use in South Africa.
Here’s what you need to know about AGM solar batteries
Solar batteries are available in four different types today: nickel-iron batteries, lithium-ion solar batteries, flow batteries, and lead-acid batteries.
AGM is an abbreviation for Absorbed Glass Mat. AGM batteries are one of the many types of lead-acid batteries available out there today.
Originally, AGM batteries became popular in the 1980s for military use. These batteries are used in military aircraft and some vehicles because of their lightweight.
AGM batteries have electrolytes that do not freely flood the plates in the fibreglass mats. Instead, the batteries are constructed so the electrolyte is only held next to the plates.
Pros of AGM batteries
- These batteries are non-spillable. This is possible due to their electrolytes being held next to the plates.
- The sandwich construction of AGM batteries makes them vibration-resistant.
- These batteries are more efficient in cold temperatures.
- AGM batteries are safe and maintenance-free.
- Affordable, upfront cost
Cons of AGM batteries
- These batteries have limited depth of discharge (DoD).
- AGM batteries may not be suitable for all applications, as they require full charging between uses.
- Limited DoD of these batteries shortens their lifespan.
- Their high sensitivity to overcharging means you need to perform periodic checks on them.
Why should you choose lithium-ion solar batteries over AGM batteries
Lithium solar batteries are available in several different types, including Lithium Iron Phosphate (LiFePO4), Lithium Nickel Cobalt Aluminum Oxide (NCA), and Lithium Titanate (Li4Ti5O12). These batteries have a lot of advantages in the solar system industry when compared to AGM batteries because:
- Lithium-ion solar batteries have greater cycles (between 6,000 – 10,000 cycles).
- Lithium-ion solar batteries have a depth of discharge of 80-100%. Lithium batteries are ideal for efficiently powering larger systems and achieving higher efficiency.
- Lithium-ion solar batteries have a lifespan of up to 15 years, while AGM batteries only have a 3 – 5 years lifespan.
- Llithium-ion batteries have a higher upfront cost than AGM batteries. However, their longer life span means you must replace your batteries far less frequently. Therefore, Lithium-ion batteries will save you money in the long run.
- Lithium batteries have a higher efficiency and faster charging time.
In conclusion, lithium-ion solar batteries are ideal for solar energy storage, whereas AGM batteries will require extra work and a larger storage space. As one of the top trusted solar companies in South Africa, Solar.co.za is there to help you find the best lithium solar batteries. Our qualified staff can assist you with an efficient and long-lasting solar battery, regardless of your budget and requirements.