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Frequently Asked Questions

Lithium-ion batteries have many advantages2024-02-07T14:55:54+02:00

When it comes to energy storage, lithium-ion batteries are far superior to other battery types on the market currently, which makes them the battery of choice for energy storage and back-up applications.

They have a number of advantages over other battery types:

  •       High energy density

With a higher cell energy density, lithium-ion cells can be made smaller and more efficient than other cell chemistries. This allows for a more compact, lightweight battery, making them ideal for back-up installations with space limitations.

  •       Improved discharge and charge efficiency

These batteries perform significantly better than other battery technologies as they are discharged. Other battery technologies tend to experience increasing voltage drop over a cycle, leading to a steady decline in performance as the battery is drained.

With lithium-ion, no significant voltage drop is experienced until the battery has already discharged 80-90% of its capacity. This means that the performance of a lithium-ion battery will remain consistent until it has reached the end of the cycle and needs to be recharged. Lithium-ion batteries will typically also last longer than other battery types before they need to be recharged.

Lithium-ion batteries charge at nearly 100% efficiency, whereas technology such as lead-acid tends to only have an 85% charge efficiency. Because of this, there is much less energy wastage, allowing for faster recharge times.

  •       Lower maintenance requirements

Lithium-ion batteries do not require active maintenance such as water top-ups or battery conditioning like lead-acid batteries do. This makes them a lot easier to care for.

Although they do require some level of care and perform best at a range of charge between 50% and 80%, they are a lot more forgiving than other battery types. Many lithium-ion batteries come with a built-in Battery Management System (BMS), so they will be put to sleep if their charge drops too low, but this is a protective mechanism to ensure the battery’s longevity.

  •       Longer cycle life

Lithium-ion batteries typically get the most cycles out of any other battery type commonly on the market. With typical use, their lifespan would be around 500 cycles or 2-3 years. However, with the correct settings on the Battery Management System (BMS), proper cell alignment, and ambient temperature control, a lithium-ion battery could last decades.

  •       Higher cell voltage

Lithium-ion batteries can be made much smaller and more efficient due to the higher voltage of their individual cells. This allows for fewer cells required per unit, meaning that they can deliver the same amount of voltage as another battery type with fewer cells.

Despite their higher price point, these advantages make them cheaper in the long run, as they will cause fewer issues and have to be replaced less often.

Lithium-ion is a buffer between power generation and consumption2024-02-07T14:55:36+02:00

When it comes to back-up and small-scale energy generation solutions, one of the most important aspects to consider is energy storage, which forms the gap between power generation and consumption.

When power is generated, not all of it is immediately used. Considering power generation solutions such as solar power, this becomes even more relevant. Solar power can only be generated during the day, and it is affected by other factors such as cloud coverage. Many other renewables are also affected by constraints.

Evidently, because power sources are not always available, and because it is wise to store excess power for future use, a reliable form of energy storage is a fundamental part of any back-up energy system.

Lithium-ion batteries are the gold standard for energy storage solutions, making them a sought-after choice for those with the budget to invest in them.

The South African Electricity Crisis2024-02-07T14:55:21+02:00

South Africa has a critically constrained power system. Since 2010, the country has faced a steadily worsening situation, with current levels of demand far exceeding supply. There are several contributors to this problem, such as frequent power station breakdowns, maintenance issues, corruption, lack of infrastructure, as well as a growing copper cable theft problem.

Despite the government’s promise to address these issues, it is unlikely that the energy crisis in South Africa will be resolved in the next 5-10 years.

The upcoming period is also anticipated to be globally transformative, with many developed countries shifting their electrification grid to renewable energy. This means that South Africa faces the double challenge of having to resolve its existing issues and modernise its power generation methods.

In 2020, the electricity generated from renewables amounted to about 10.5% of the South African national total, meaning that South Africa still has a long way to go towards moving away from coal-generated power.

While the government is self-constrained in rolling out major projects to address the energy crisis, the private sector will play a key role in transforming the electrification landscape over the coming years. One of the main setbacks in progress is the complicated legislation regarding Independent Power Producers (IPPs).

However, South Africans need not hold their breath for these changes. There are many solutions to address these challenges, with many households and businesses taking electricity availability into their own hands.

Lithium-ion technology has made back-up and energy storage solutions more viable as grid instability increases

Why Lithium-ion is Suited for the South African Market2024-02-07T14:55:06+02:00

With the economic situation South Africa finds itself in, it may seem that the country would still have a long way to go towards expanding its lithium-ion market. Lithium-ion batteries are known as one of the most expensive batteries available, and yet they continue to become increasingly more popular as time goes on.

There are several reasons why this is the case. Firstly, South Africa finds itself with a uniquely challenging electrification problem. Amidst the growing struggles of Eskom, consumers and businesses need to find workable and reliable solutions to the electricity crisis so that they can continue with business and daily life.

With the growing push towards renewables from the international community, South Africa will also find itself having to keep up with global trends. The entire economic landscape is expected to change as global private sectors and governments undergo energy reforms and international climate agreements come into effect. So, while it is unclear to what extent this shift will affect developing economies, it is reasonable to assume that South Africa, as one of Africa’s largest economies, will still have a significant role to play in this.

Lithium-ion batteries are widely recognised as one of the most reliable battery technologies for several different uses. They have several advantages over other battery technologies such as lead-acid, making them the smarter investment over the long-term.

Because of this, they are ideally suited to back-up and energy storage installations for homes and businesses. As local players in the market open up even more avenues for increasingly innovative and cost-effective solutions in this technology, lithium-ion will become the battery technology of choice for energy storage in alternative power solutions.

Lithium Ion Batteries2024-02-07T14:54:50+02:00

Experience top-tier performance and a lifespan that will exceed your expectations. Extended warranty – the battery comes with a 5-year warranty on the BMS and an impressive 10-year warranty on the battery cells.

Compared with traditional battery technology, lithium-ion batteries charge faster, last longer, and have a higher power density for more battery life in a lighter package. When you know a little about how they work, they can work that much better for you.

Lithium-ion batteries are far superior to lead-acid batteries and their variants, especially considering South Africa’s consistent load-shedding. They can discharge to 100% without any long-term side effects. However, they should be set to a DoD of 80% to maintain battery life.

Tubular batteries2024-02-07T14:54:28+02:00

Tubular Batteries are becoming more popular for Home UPS systems and have several advantages compared to flat plate batteries.  A more complex design increases the manufacture cost but the high electrical efficiency and extra long life make tubular batteries suitable for both domestic and industrial applications. Good tubular batteries can last unto 2, 3 or 4 times as long as lead acid batteries. The cost of tubular batteries can be up to double that of a lead acid battery, however if you have a high efficiency inverter then go for a tubular battery, you will not regret it.

Sealed Maintenance Free batteries (SMF)2024-02-07T14:54:18+02:00

Normal lead acid batteries require regular maintenance. During charging and discharge lead acid batteries release gasses and need to be very well ventilated.

Home inverters generally use maintenance free batteries which are sealed lead acid batteries which do not require regular maintenance or additional ventilation.

Why automotive batteries are not suitable for inverters?2024-02-07T14:54:07+02:00

Lead acid batteries used for automotive purpose are designed to provide high current for a very short duration (to start the vehicle). Automotive lead acid batteries are not designed to be regularly discharged by more than 25% of their rated capacity. The requirements of inverter systems are totally different. Inverters require “Deep Cycle” batteries to provide continuous power which can be discharged at least 50% of their rated capacity. Some good deep cycle batteries can be discharged over 70% of their capacity. Deep Cycle batteries have specially designed thick plates to withstand frequent charging and discharging.

Battery Capacity2024-02-07T14:53:57+02:00

Capacity of a battery is expressed in terms of Ampere Hour (Ah). It indicates the rate of current a battery can supply for a given duration. If the capacity of a battery is 100 Ah, that battery can supply 100 Ampere current for 1 Hour or 1 Ampere Current for 100 Hrs, 2 Amps Current for 50 Hrs. capacity of inverter batteries are generally 100 Ah, 150 Ah or 180 Ah.

Inverter Battery Guide2024-02-07T14:53:47+02:00

The Batteries are a vital part of your home UPS inverter system and constitute a large portion of your out lay.

The life span of your battery or battery bank will largely depend on the quality, type of the battery and how well you look after the batteries. Incorrect charging, lack of maintenance or deep discharging are battery killers.

Make sure the inverter you chose has a proper charge controller and low discharge battery protection.

Requirements of an Inverter Battery

  • Ability to withstand frequent deep discharge.
  • Reliability over years of operation.
  • Low maintenance
  • Minimum emission of gases/fumes
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