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Solar Power Storage Systems

May 22, 2008
When it comes to solar power systems, you need to have two basic components which are a PV panel and a storage system. The function of the PV is to generate electricity and the storage systems are used when you aren't using all the solar energy generated. In other words, the system stores the electricity for later use.

The storage system will consist of batteries which are placed in a vented room such as a basement. You don't need to have batteries but they're recommended for those who want to be completely independent in terms of energy production. Batteries will allow you to do this and they're the most common way of storing solar energy.

Although batteries are typically used for solar energy storage, there are also two main types to choose from. These are lead acid and nickel cadmium.

Due to their low cost, you will find that lead acid batteries are the most common when storing solar energy. They're very similar to the type of battery you have in a car. The terminals are positive and negative and they have leads attached to them which contain metal plates that in turn connect to terminals. These plates sit in a solution of sulphuric acid. When there is a reaction between the lead plates and the sulphuric acid you will find that this is how electricity is produced.

This is pretty much how a nickel cadmium battery work too however these batteries are a lot more expensive. The benefit of paying more for these batteries is that they function much better. Not only to the discharge more electric current before they require recharging but they also last a lot longer than lead acid batteries.

Because of the way solar panels work the battery will charge up when the solar panels are not getting any light. This is why they're so important so that you can still run electrical devices in your home no matter what amount of light is currently hitting the solar panels.

The problem with batteries is that they can become drained or can be overcharged too many times. This why charge controllers are used as they stop this from happening. If the batteries become fully charged the controller prevents any more charging from happening. You will find that lead acid batteries are meant to be discharged at about 50% of their capacity allowing you to extend its life.

Solar panels normally last for about 20 years but batteries only last for about half that time. This is why it's so important that you understand you need to factor this into the cost of your solar system. Replacing your batteries can be fairly costly and shouldn't be ignored when making your solar purchase.
About the Author
April Kerr often writes for Finer Living which is a website about home remodeling and has details of where to buy a solar powered attic ventilator and solar powered landscape lighting.
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