Solar Market Outlook in Macao
The energy consumption of Macao is tremendously high and this is expected to continue its upward trend given the increasing number of large buildings. The lack of proper policies in building energy efficiency is contributing to the ineffective implementation of measures to improve building energy efficiency.
While Macao is not among the leaders in Asia when it comes to solar power generation, the private sector has stepped up to provide an alternative source. In Macao, a company known as Melco, has collaborated with local SMEs in the development of the largest solar power plant in Macao. The project installed more than 18,000 solar PV panels spanning a total of nearly 30,000 square meters of rooftop space. This project is capable of producing up to 7.7 million kWh of energy on an annual basis (or equivalent to the energy consumption of 1,500 residents in a year).
Other private institutions have followed suit and constructed their own renewable energy systems, especially focusing on solar and wind sources. The government of Macao is also looking to amend its existing policies to provide incentives to those who are willing to invest in solar energy.
Solar Energy Equipment Supply Capacity in Macao
You can find plenty of Macanese suppliers and manufacturers of solar power equipment. It is also possible to find global and online suppliers of solar power equipment to meet your desired capacity.
Top 8 Major Seaports & Logistics in Macao
Macao relies heavily on its ports for its logistics and trade activities. When investing in solar power equipment, you can expect supplies to be transported via the main port in the island – the Port of Macao.
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.