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Estonia

Solar Market Outlook in Estonia

Estonia is one of the largest emitters of carbon dioxide per capita in the Baltic region and in the European Union. For centuries, its reliance on burning oil shale for electric production also means that it has one of the worst carbon footprints in the world. This is why the Estonian government has made a bold step towards reversing all of the environmental impact it has caused by focusing on renewable energy sources. 

Despite its carbon footprint in the past, Estonia has managed to generate 107 MW of solar PV capacity (as of 2019). This is only the beginning as there are more solar deployments being planned as part of the new policy that was enforced by the Estonian government to boost development of solar and other renewable energy sources.

To help this boom, the government has lowered the import price of solar PVs and equipment to make solar panels more accessible. Right now, most of the installations in Estonia are small-scale but the officials believe that this is a small step towards the right direction. 

Currently, there is no information available yet if the Estonian government plans on holding any auctions to increase solar investments in the country. 

Solar Energy Equipment Supply Capacity in Estonia

The clean energy campaign is only getting started in Estonia. As such, there are limited options when it comes to the solar manufacturers and suppliers. But this is expected to change soon as more policies are implemented to encourage solar investments. 

Top 8 Major Seaports & Logistics in Estonia

The logistics and trade involving solar equipment and components in Estonia is not as busy as other European Union nations. Nonetheless, there are plenty of seaports that can facilitate should there be a growth in demand. A few examples would be via the major seaports in Estonia such as

  • Helternaa,
  • Port of Tallinn,
  • Kunda,
  • Pyarnu,
  • Kuivastu,
  • Rohukula.

Gel Battery used for below projects in Estonia

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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.