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    Solar

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Bahamas

Solar Market Outlook in the Bahamas

Bahamas is one of those countries that belong in what is so-called the “Hurricane Alley”. After many years of being hit by a hurricane, most of its power and electrical grid had been destroyed. This is why the Bahamas government is looking at renewable energy sources as a viable alternative and solar energy makes a valid case. 

The Prime Minister of the Bahamas is leading the talks to focus more on empowering its solar energy market. Prior to this, the main energy source is with diesel-fueled generating stations that rely on overhead lines to feed power to the islands. 

Due to the risk of storms and hurricanes, they are planning to build a solar grid that will be storm-proof. This push was started way back in 2017 and while the progress is slow, it is moving at a steady pace. 

The long-term goal for the solar market in the Bahamas is to transform it into a green island. According to the government, while the country is small, they hope to set an example to the rest of the world that solar energy can be achieved. 

Solar Energy Equipment Supply Capacity in the Bahamas

With the continued commitment by the government to empower the solar energy market in the Bahamas, there are wide arrays of solar equipment suppliers that are available in the island. For those looking for more options, there are nearby countries that provide easy access to solar panels, solar components, and more. 

Major Seaports & Logistics in the Bahamas

The shipping and logistics activity in the Bahamas is very much thriving. This makes it easy to access solar power equipment from suppliers in and out of the island.

The following seaports make it efficient to handle goods for solar power installations:

  • Nassau,
  • Freeport,
  • Inagua Islands,
  • South Riding Point
  • Ocean Cay.

Gel Battery

Gel Battery

All solar power systems are composed of solar batteries. However, not all solar panel system manufacturers and installers provide one solar battery type. Most of the time they offer different models of batteries. Generally, there are four main types of solar batteries that are paired with residential solar panel systems. The commonly used batteries are Lead-acid batteries, Lithium-ion batteries, Nickel-based batteries, and Flow batteries. Each of these solar batteries has its own characteristics. But among the four types, the most commonly used is the lead-acid batteries, and this type of battery also comes with different variations. 

For today’s article, we will discuss one of the lead-acid battery types, which is the Gel battery.

What is Gel Battery?

A gel battery is a common type of sealed lead-acid battery. The major difference between gel batteries among the other lead-acid options is the material inside. Generally, a gel battery is made up of silica in its inner electrolyte mixture, which is responsible for producing a gel-like substance. Among other lead-acid batteries, gel batteries produce more power. Besides, this battery is valve-regulated, low maintenance, extremely robust, and versatile.

Since the battery is also “sealed”, it does not require water level monitoring unlike standard lead-acid options, plus it does not expel gas. It only produces few fumes so it’s ideal to use in any place without much ventilation. These factors make it a safer option for solar panel systems than other traditional lead-acid options.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Gel batteries

Gel Batteries are becoming increasingly popular when it comes to solar battery choice due to their several advantages and minimal disadvantages.

Advantages 

  • It is ideal for deep cycle applications and the battery life span is ranging between 500 to 5000 cycles.
  • It does not require any high maintenance, unlike other batteries. 
  • Since it produces a gel-like structure, there will be no spill.
  • It has minimal corrosion making it compatible with sensitive electronic devices
  • Rugged and vibration-resistant
  • Safe option to choose. You’re less likely to suffer from sulphuric acid burns.

Disadvantages 

  • Among the other lead-acid batteries, it has the most expensive initial cost.
  • Water cannot be refilled if overcharging happens.
  • You are required to use special chargers and regulators.
  • Hot temperatures can adversely affect the acid, making the gel hard and may shrink away from plates.

Conclusion: Is it Good to Partner Gel Batteries with Solar Panels?

When it comes to solar panels, the most debated type of battery to partnered with solar panels are the Gel battery and AGM batteries. However, not all solar installations are identical, and there are several factors such as climate and discharge demands to consider when choosing what’s the best battery. 

If you’re going to observe, gel batteries remain on top as they provide many benefits to solar users for long-term energy storage. Although gel battery is the most expensive among the lead-acid batteries, it is free from high maintenance, making it still an ideal battery for solar users, particularly for smaller solar projects. 

On the other side, for most residential solar panel installation that requires high energy demand to power its entire household, you may consider exploring lithium-ion batteries like the Tesla Powerwall to cover all the high energy input from a solar panel system.