A Brief Analysis of Malta’s nascent solar market
The Maltese consume an estimated 2.12 billion Kilowatts-hours of electricity per year. This energy consumption rate is the second-lowest across all European Union member states. Malta does not have any domestic fuel resources thus, forcing it to rely on imported fossil fuels. However, the country is working towards a renewable energy future under the European Union’s energy efficiency directive stipulations. What is the current state of Malta’s solar market?
As of 2017, renewable energy accounted for only 4.9 % of the Central Mediterranean state’s total installed capacity. This was one of the lowest renewable energy capacities in Europe. Fortunately, the Maltese Ministry of energy stepped up its renewable energy adoption efforts. At the end of 2019, Malta’s installed solar capacity stood at 154 Megawatts.
There are no recent statistics on the Maltese installed capacity. Still, the country’s rooftop PV sector is growing fast due to the government’s support. Essentially, this nascent solar market is most likely to continue growing and offer more lucrative opportunities for solar installers.
Solar equipment supply capacity in Malta
Malta has a small number of solar equipment suppliers that mainly deal with common equipment categories such as solar panels. This may limit your range of options in case you have a project lined up. Nevertheless, there is no need for concern because Solarfeeds has got you covered.
As a leading e-commerce marketplace for solar equipment, we host several leading equipment suppliers. If you don’t find the equipment needed locally, you can choose to import affordable and quality equipment from any of our partners. Just go to our inquiry page and request quotes.
Ports and logistics in Malta
Any solar installer or professional will agree that ports and quality services are essential amenities in any market. Well, most of Malta’s logistics service providers are highly experienced and dependable. You also have access to two major ports, namely;
- The Valletta Grand Harbor
- The Port of Marsaxlokk
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.