Fossil fuels and the resulting carbon emissions are the biggest contributors to rising levels of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
As global temperatures rise at alarming rates, it’s essential that we work toward greater adoption of renewable energy methods to reduce carbon emissions and global warming rates.
Solar power is one of the most popular alternatives to fossil fuel energy—with wide-scale adoption across Europe and the United States.
There’s one problem with solar power though—it’s intermittent. Imagine if one day, electricity demand spikes because it’s hot out and everyone wants to turn up their air conditioning.
If you get plenty of sunlight at the same time, that’s not a problem—but if a cloudy patch shows up to reduce electricity generation, there’s no way you can make up for the demand spike. Similarly, if you produce more energy than you need—the surplus will probably go to waste.
It’s widely agreed that devising power storage methods to store excess energy efficiently is the best possible way to save up excess energy and channel it into grids when demand spikes. Lithium ion and lead acid batteries are two of the more popular battery choices—but the question for us is— which is the better battery?
The Pros and Cons of Lead Acid Batteries
One major advantage of lead acid batteries is that these are pretty cheap compared to alternatives—it’s also why they’ve been the go-to battery options for many commercial and residential applications since the 1970’s.
We’ve come a long way since then and we’ve come to realize that lead acid batteries represent major health and ecological hazards.
The real bane of lead acid batteries, though, is that they aren’t very efficient nor do they last very long. Statistics indicate that the average lead-acid battery will give you 200 full charge cycles before it dies out completely. There are added risks of corrosion, leakages and you have to invest in more batteries if you want to store more energy.
Is Lithium Ion a Better Alternative?
Lithium ion batteries were some of the most expensive rechargeable batteries in the market—but ever since EVs became increasingly popular, the supply has significantly increased.
Compared to lead-acid batteries, lithium ion batteries can give you more than twice the amount of value—lasting for over 500 cycles on full charge. Lithium ion batteries don’t corrode, they offer minute health risks and manufacturing them is far less harmful to the environment than lead acid batteries.
An Increasingly Larger Circular Economy for Lithium Ion Batteries
One of the reasons for the cost-effectiveness of lead acid batteries is the large circular economy which emphasizes re-using and recycling these batteries. While lithium-ion batteries aren’t recycled at the same rate as lead acid batteries—they’re getting there. Reports are rolling out from Europe where nearly 58% of all lithium-ion batteries were recycled back in 2018 and companies across the world are setting up recycling plants as well.
Bringing it All Together
Considering that we need ways to store more energy and have that energy last for longer periods, lithium ion batteries are definitely the way to go. Over the past decade or so, the rates for lithium ion batteries have fallen by 90% and these trends are likely to continue—which basically cancels out the cost advantages of lead acid batteries. Since lithium-ion batteries last longer, are much more efficient and cheaper than ever before, there clearly the best option for solar energy storage.
BigBattery is a leading supplier of recycled lithium ion batteries in Canada. The company works towards reducing the cost of recyclable energy storage solutions for industrial and residential applications. Big Battery sells a wide range of products that includes off-grid solar battery backups, portable solar power generators and more. Visit the company website today for more information on their services.