Different parameters must be considered when selecting a battery solution, including cost, ease of maintenance, frequency of use, depth of discharge and longevity.
Battery storage used in solar panel installations is increasingly complex yet also becoming indispensable. It has emerged as a complement to solar energy, diverting energy to the batteries when production is higher than consumption. This energy is then available for use when energy consumption is higher than energy generated. As a result, batteries can have an important role in determining the amount of energy purchased from a utilities company or preventing outages on a microgrid.
Yet important differences exist between the two leading types of batteries – lead-acid and lithium-based batteries. According to a recent article in Solar Builder Magazine, different parameters must be considered when selecting a battery solution. Depending on requirements, these include cost, ease of maintenance, frequency of use, depth of discharge and longevity. And, the article highlights, standardization is essential for comparing battery lifetime.
IEC 61427-1: 2013 and IEC 61427-2: 2015 provide requirements for the batteries used in solar panel systems used in on- and off-grid applications. These Standards offer methods that can be used to test battery performance. An informed decision can be made by comparing and contrasting batteries from different manufacturers.
The IEC has been facilitating the adoption of solar panel installations through the work of two of its Technical Committees (TCs). IEC TC 82: Solar photovoltaic energy systems, produces International Standards enabling systems to convert solar into electrical energy. IEC TC 21: Secondary cells and batteries has been publishing Standards in the area of renewable energy storage, both on-grid and off-grid, including IEC 61427-1: 2013 and IEC 61427-2: 2015. To better handle rechargeable renewable energy storage systems, it formed a joint working group (JWG) with TC 82, JWG 82: Secondary cells and batteries for renewable energy storage.
IECRE, the IEC System for Certification of Standards Relating to Equipment Used in Renewable Energy Applications, defines the certification schemes for the solar sector. It aims to facilitate international trade in equipment and services for use in Renewable Energy Sectors while maintaining the required level of safety.