Solar Market Outlook in Barbados
Barbados is emerging as a leader in the renewable energy industry in the Caribbean region. Due to the country’s vulnerability to natural disasters, this has driven the government and economic leaders to strive for a more diverse economy. Shifting to renewable energy sources is a viable solution to this, which is why the government is investing more in renewable energy and in promoting sustainability.
Despite Barbados being a small island, it has taken significant steps toward transitioning into renewable energy. It targets to achieve 100% renewable energy consumption by 2030. This is an ambitious target but the government has obtained loans to build solar PVs for both industrial and residential installations.
The country is also geographically advantaged to allow it to exploit natural sources for renewable energy, particularly solar and wind. With more than 8 hours of sunshine per day, it’s no reason why Barbados cannot generate adequate solar power.
Another motivation for the government to switch to renewable energy sources is the high costs of producing electricity with crude oil. By reducing spending on fossil fuel, the government aims for an improved overall economy.
Solar Energy Equipment Supply Capacity in Barbados
Barbados is a small country so there are a limited number of suppliers and distributors within the island. Thankfully, there are global suppliers that export solar power equipment for those unable to build their own.
Top 8 Major Seaports & Logistics in Barbados
Barbados is an island nation. This means that it is easily accessible by water and most of its logistics activity is done through its major seaports such as the Port of Bridgetown.
Flooded Lead Acid Battery
When you switch to solar energy, particularly to solar photovoltaic systems, you will be dealing with different types of solar batteries. The battery is one of the main components of a solar PV system that you should take a deeper understanding of. However, understanding and differentiating these solar batteries might be confusing to some, especially for those who are only new to the solar energy community.
For today’s article, we will explain how important it is to understand the basics of solar batteries and highlighting one of the common solar battery types, which is the flooded lead-acid battery.
What is Flooded Lead-Acid Battery?
A flooded lead-acid battery is the most common type of deep cycle solar battery in the market compared to a sealed lead-acid battery and other lead-acid batteries. These lead-acid batteries are sometimes called “wet cell” lead-acid batteries and have been on the market for many decades. They are also the least expensive solar storage battery upfront next to Lithium-ion solar batteries, which are the most cost-effective ones.
Flooded lead-acid batteries and sealed lead-acid batteries are always being compared with one another due to their almost same performance, depth of discharge abilities, warranty, and cycle life. The largest difference between the two lead-acid battery types is their battery maintenance.
How Do Flooded Lead-Acid Batteries Differ From Other Lead-acid Batteries?
For a flooded lead-acid battery, you need to add water so often for their maintenance, you also have to perform periodic equalization needs. The specific gravity of the electrolyte also needs to be measured frequently with a hydrometer.
Another factor that makes a flooded battery differ from other batteries is that it can off-gas hydrogen in particular battery charging conditions. Since it can off-gas hydrogen, you need to vent the battery needing to release all the accumulated fumes. On the other hand, a sealed lead-acid battery does not require any high maintenance nor not require battery venting, making its spot next to a flooded lead-acid battery and popular to solar users who don’t want to deal with battery high maintenance. However, a sealed lead-acid battery due to the inability to maintain the battery, may not perform at its maximum levels, making the flooded lead-acid battery remain the most ideal solar battery.
Flooded Lead-Acid Battery Maintenance
While the flooded lead-acid battery is the most common and economic solar battery on the market, it will only reach its expected lifespan if you know how to maintain them properly. These lead-acid batteries usually contain an electrolyte that can freely move inside the battery encasement. When it is being charged, its battery acid and lead plates usually react to store electricity. Thus, they are meant to be placed upright so that the electrolyte will not leak out of the caps on top. Also, you must check the levels monthly and topped them off with distilled water to reach their longest possible lifespan.
Is it Worth it to Buy for a Solar PV System?
Aside from its durability, performance, and depth of discharge abilities, using flooded lead-acid deep cycle batteries for your solar energy storage will save you from hefty costs. Among the other lead-acid battery, they are the most cost-effective battery with the lowest cost per amp-hour and cost per kWh cycle. With all of the mentioned advantages of a flooded lead-acid battery, it is surely worth buying for your solar PV system.