Many people who are interested in installing residential solar power system are quite confused by the terms like Photovoltaic (PV) batteries, solar cells, pop ups etc. Basically they do not understand the differences and are unable to decide about the type of battery to be used in the residential solar power system.
There is nothing complex when you plan to install the solar power system; even in some cases you may not even need batteries.
Solar vs. Photovoltaic cells
Let us understand the meaning of these terms and what is exactly is a Photovoltaic cell and solar cell. There is no difference between the two, the terms have same meaning. Photovoltaic term means converting sunlight into electricity, this can be better understood by the definition photo = light, voltaic = electricity.
The term PV cell is the short form of the photo voltaic cell. All these are technical terms which are often used by the professionals. The solar cell has both negative and positive wafer of silicon placed under a special type of glass which does not get damaged due to variation of temperature etc.
When solar cell is kept in open directly under the sunlight, this stimulates electron activity, normally in a solar panel there are 36 photovoltaic cells also called array, which are connected by wires that captures the electrons when connected to a circuit, it generates a current.
This current is routed through the wires from the panel of the solar cells into solar regulator or is directly sent to the inverter. The inverters further convert DC current to AC which is normally used in the residential areas. This is the reason why the residential solar power system is quite simple as it has no moving parts, this makes it quite durable and it also needs very little maintenance.
It has been seen that even solar power system installed in 1970’s are still working fine and generate power even today.
Batteries or Not
In some of the system, the use of the batteries is totally eliminated, it is normally in the system which is called grid connects, in other words the solar energy produced is not stored but you are still connected to main supply.
If you have surplus production of solar energy or you do not require any appliances to be run on solar energy, it is routed back into the main supply grid. If you are not producing enough solar energy, you can meet the shortfall by drawing it from the grid.
In case of surplus generation, it is metered and you will get credit for it. In some countries, the surplus electricity is more than the market rate, and people in fact earn money by selling the surplus power generated. The only drawback is black out, you will not have any light in such cases and you will be at par with your neighbors.
To have an interrupted power supply using solar power system than the battery backup is absolutely must. Batteries is an excellent option for the remote areas where connecting to main grid system is difficult.
What type of batteries should you use?
Some people have been seen using car batteries for solar power storage, this may work but in fact it is a short term solution, these batteries have a different specification and constant drawing of power will have deep discharge over a period of time. The only solution is to use deep cycle batteries which will give optimal results.