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.
Solar Products Distributors
Distributors are those companies working as big warehouses that served as the middlemen between the consumer/customer and the manufacturer. Typically, in distribution, a company is handling the sourcing, stocking and logistics but nowadays they are also helping manufacturers in product designing and solving other business conflicts.
Aside from other industries, distributors also play a vital role in the solar industry. Solar distributors become long-term partners of solar manufacturing companies and even solar contractors. They are not only serving as warehouse facilities but partners that also provide strategic solutions to help solar companies achieve their desired outcomes. Solar distributors assist solar manufacturing companies by storing. handling and shipping their solar products to their buyers. On the other hand, they help solar contractor companies in outsourcing high-quality solar products.
These solar distributors are the ones who deal with homeowners who want to go solar, businesses that work with the solar industry and solar installers who offer solar system services to both residential and commercial customers. But on top of that, the solar distributor’s main role is to maintain its commitment to outsourcing and handling high-quality products and delivering them to customers at a good value.
Up to these days, many solar distributors have been operating and helping many solar companies in distributing their products. So, if you are looking for the most trusted and reliable solar distributor, you can easily find one by checking out solar outsourcing companies that provide easy access to reliable information, news, data and a list of solar suppliers and distributors near you.
A summary of Sint Maarten’s solar markets
In 2014, Sint Maarten’s council of ministers sanctioned the National energy policy document. This document was supposed to usher in a new era of renewable energy in the Caribbean Island country. More specifically, the policy document envisioned an 80% renewable energy capacity by 2020. Unfortunately, none of the targets outlined in the document have been achieved.
According to an Energy Transitions Initiative (ETI) report released in 2021, Sint Maarten is 100% dependent on fossil fuels. This is pretty heartbreaking, considering that solar energy exploitation has taken the world by storm. However, the report notes that several private initiatives to exploit the Island’s solar energy potential have been observed recently.
Most leading hotels and resorts in Sint Maarten are increasingly adopting solar for their daily energy needs. Such private initiatives present enormous opportunities for solar installers and other photovoltaic professionals in Sint Maarten. You can land one or more of the personal solar projects sprouting up on the Island with a bit of determination.
Solar equipment supply capacity in Sint Maarten
There are several local and overseas suppliers of solar equipment serving Sint Maarten. Most local manufacturers cannot supply equipment for large-scale projects. Nevertheless, there is no need for concern because Solarfeeds has got you covered. If you go through our website, you will see an extensive list of solar equipment suppliers.
Solarfeeds connects you to leading solar equipment brands worldwide. Essentially, you don’t have to spend your time contacting multiple suppliers to request quotes. Just go to our inquiry page and fill in a request for quotations.
Ports and logistics in Sint Maarten
As I mentioned earlier, you may have to import specific equipment if you get a chance to work in Sint Maarten. The Island boasts of an advanced port infrastructure that facilitates the shipping of equipment from various markets. Its logistics sector is also one of the most reliable in the Caribbean Islands. Some of the ports you might want to consider using include;
- ü The port of Philipsburg
- ü The port of St. Maarte