Have you ever wondered what’s inside a solar battery? We have broken down the components for you so you can know what is going on under the cover of your solar battery.
Two types of technologies are commonly used in solar batteries
A solar battery with lithium-ion technology uses similar technology to that found in your smartphone or laptop. It is slimmer and lighter than its predecessor, the lead-acid battery, and is now the most commonly used technology in solar batteries.
In simple terms a lithium-ion battery works through the movement of lithium ions. The irons move one way when the battery charges (when it is absorbing power) and move in the opposite direction when the battery discharges (when it is supplying power)
Lead acid batteries have been around for decades. The tried and tested technology albeit dated and bulky is dependable. Inside a lead-acid battery, sulphuric acid solution surrounds two plates, one made of lead and the other lead oxide. The lead oxide oxidises the lead plate making an electrical current.
Inside most solar batteries are similar key components:
- Battery pack – Inside a solar battery is a battery pack. This battery pack is usually made up of multiple lithium-ion cells connected to form a single battery.
- BMS (Solar Battery Management System) – Battery management systems are the brains behind the solar battery. They monitor battery voltage, state of charge and cell temperature (thermal monitoring).
- Inverter – Not all batteries have an inbuilt inverter, however batteries such as the Tesla Powerwall 2 and Goanna have this added feature. If a battery contains an inverter it is known as an AC coupled battery. AC batteries are useful if you are fitting them onto an existing system as they can fit onto any system. The inverter in an AC coupled battery allows the battery to convert the stored DC energy in the battery to AC (the type of energy that you use in your house).
- Connection point