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    Solar

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Lebanon

Solar Market Outlook in Lebanon

There is great turmoil in the government and economy of Lebanon with some citing it is on the brink of collapse. While there is a huge unrest in the country’s economy and governance, its solar power efforts are making huge strides. 

By the end of 2020, the Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation reported that the solar capacity of the country has reached 89.84 MW. This figure was short of their initial target for 2020 (100 MW) but this is incredible news for renewable and solar energy proponents given that the figure marks an increase of over 13 MW from the previous year’s solar capacity.

The backbone of Lebanon’s solar power market is the rooftop solar panel systems along with the net-metering regime. As of 2021, there are 865 net-metered systems that have been installed in Lebanon. The government has been working to promote utility-scale solar installations but this hasn’t been successful to date. 

Despite the promising developments in Lebanon’s solar power market, there will be limited investment opportunities available unless the government is able to reform the economy. The energy market is an integral part of that.

Solar Energy Equipment Supply Capacity in Lebanon

There are a few options for solar power equipment manufacturers in Lebanon. There are also many online distributors and suppliers available for those who might find the current options rather too high for their budget. 

Top 8 Major Seaports & Logistics in Lebanon

There are plenty of seaports in Lebanon with which you can transport solar power equipment, especially if you choose to import them. Some of the busiest ports in Lebanon are in

  • Beirut,
  • Jounieh,
  • Tyr,
  • Tripoli,
  • Sidon,
  • Chekka,
  • Selaata, 
  • Zahrani Terminal.

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.