Solar Market Outlook in Canada
The forecast is bright for the future of the solar energy sector in Canada. In particular, the year 2020 was a promising one for the Canadian solar energy market and it has built a solid foundation for more solar growth in 2021.
The Canadian Renewable Energy Association released a statement citing that the renewable energy market in Canada – not just solar – saw significant expansion in 2020 and it is looking to build on that momentum for 2021 moving forward. This was impressive considering the challenges that faced them in 2020 given the pandemic. For 2020, the total solar capacity reached 2,000 MW, giving Canada sufficient energy storage.
The consistent growth in the solar market is fueled by the increased corporate demand and the policies put in place by the government. Even with the disruptions of 2020, Canada was able to generate 70 MW of solar PV capacity. The three levels of government in Canada will work together to reduce carbon emissions and to facilitate growth in solar PV capacity.
Wind and solar combine to form the largest share in Canada’s renewable energy sector in terms of power generation.
Solar Energy Equipment Supply Capacity in Canada
Canada is one of the leaders in the manufacture of solar equipment. However, there are more available global and online suppliers to cope with the demand for solar components and accessories.
Top Major Seaports & Logistics in Canada
There are more than 500 seaport facilities in Canada. However, the major seaports serving trade and logistics activity include
- Port of Vancouver,
- Port of Halifax,
- Port of Montreal,
- Port of Prince Rupert,
- Port of St. John.
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.
- 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.
- 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.