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    Solar

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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.

Manufacturers

In the simplest terms, manufacturing is the process of producing actual goods or items/products through the use of raw materials, human labour, use of machinery, tools and other processes such as chemical formulation. This process usually starts with product designing and raw material selection, turning them into an actual product output. 

Solar Products Manufacturers and Factories

In terms of solar, manufacturing encompasses the fabrication or production of materials across the solar market chain. The most common product being manufactured by solar companies are the solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, which are made with several subcomponents such as solar wafers, cells, glass, back sheets, and frames. Before a solar panel comes into life, it will undergo a lot of processes, from designing, modelling, choosing what raw materials to use and then assembling them all to make the final product.

More Than Just Solar Panels

Aside from the solar panels, solar companies have many other manufactured products that are required to make solar energy systems work smoothly, like solar inverters, batteries, combiner boxes, and racking and tracking structures.

Having a solar manufacturing sector makes a big difference in supplying affordable solar energy in different areas. Aside from maintaining the rising domestic and global demand for cleaner and renewable energy, they also help the economy grow, particularly the solar industry. If you are in search of a reliable solar manufacturing company, checking out our solar outsourcing company, SolarFeeds, would help you get easy access to reliable information, news, data and a list of solar manufacturers that can help you with solar products.

Germany

What is Solar Energy in Germany?

Germany, despite being a sun-drenched country has been considered as one of the highest solar power outputs around the world and still possesses the most advanced and latest research about solar energy and has many new industry actors. Moreover, they’re expecting for the second wave of solar power expansion, which will soon bring success and progress for the solar technology’s full systemic integration.

For several years, Germany has been considered as the world’s top PV installer among other countries. At the end of the year 2016, Germany managed to build a total installed solar power capacity of 41.3 gigawatts (GW) which was behind China’s solar capacity.

Most solar power in Germany exclusively consists of photovoltaics (PV) systems only. Germany has only a little interest in concentrated solar power (CSP) for it does not use photovoltaics and this solar technology requires much higher solar insolation as compared to the PV system. However, there is still an experimental CSP-plant with 1.5 MW capacity which is being used solely for on-site engineering purposes only rather than for commercial electricity/power generation. This concentrated solar power is called the “Jülich Solar Tower” that is owned by the German Aerospace Center.

Moreover, in 2014, Germany managed to install about 1.5 million photovoltaic systems across the country which are ranging from small rooftop solar power systems to medium commercial and large utility-scale solar plants and farms. The largest solar farms of Germany are located in Neuhardenberg, Templin and Meuro with solar capacities of over 100 MW. Moreover, these PV technologies were accounted for an estimated 6.2 to 6.9 percent of Germany’s net electricity generation in the year 2016.

However, new installations of photovoltaic systems have slowed down steadily since the beginning of the year 2011. Also, it was estimated in the year 2017 that over 70 percent of the employment in the solar industry of the country have been lost in recent years. Solar power in Germany has gone through rough times since it has been started in the wake of Germany’s Renewable Energy Act in the year 2000. However, German companies quickly loomed to global leadership in solar power technology before a collapse in the solar industry happen and some of the companies were forced to hold their businesses.

Proponents from the Photovoltaic industry blamed the government for its lack of commitment in the said industry, while others point out that the loss of jobs in the solar sector is due to financial burden that was associated with the fast-paced launching and manufacturing of photovoltaics, which in their perspective was very unsustainable to the transition of renewable energies.

With all of these, still, the official governmental goal of Germany is to continuously improve and increase the contribution of renewable energy to the country’s overall electricity generation and consumption. By 2020, Germany is aiming for a long-term minimum target of 35 percent capacity, 50 percent by 2030 and around 80 percent power capacity by the end of 2050.

Currently, the country is significantly producing more electricity at specific times with high solar irradiation than the country’s needs, slowing down spot-market prices and exporting the country’s electricity surplus to nearby countries. In 2014, the record of exported electricity surplus reached almost 34 TWh. The decline of spot-prices in the market may raise the electricity prices for retail customers, as the expansion of the guaranteed feed-in tariff and spot-price increases as well.

As the combined share of fluctuating wind and solar energy is nearly achieving 17 percent of the national electricity mix, energy issues and problems are also being prevented and others becoming more manageable. This is because of the electrical grid adaptation, new grid-storage capacity construction, reduction of fossil fuels, altering of nuclear power plants and constructing a new generation of combined heat and power plants. Today, nuclear power and brown coal are the cheapest suppliers of electricity in Germany.