For decades, we’ve been relying on batteries to keep our technology running. But their role has been steadily growing in our lives. From powering a Walkman, we now have batteries that can store enough power to run cars and solar homes.
So how have they become so powerful?
Lithium Battery Technology
The evolution of batteries involved a variety of metals and chemicals. These included lead-acid, nickel-cadmium, and nickel-metal-hydride batteries. But the big leap came in the ‘90s with the use of lithium – which was efficient and allowed for rechargeability.
A lithium-ion battery is made up of:
- An anode and cathode at either end – their job is to store the lithium.
- An electrolyte – this promotes the transfer of positively charged ions between the anode and cathode.
- A positive and negative collector – they each receive electrons during discharge (depending on whether the battery is discharging or charging).
- A separator – this sits between the anode and cathode to stop internal transfers of electrons.
As lithium ions move within the anode, their electrons are separated and create a charge. This charge channels from the anode’s positive collector, through an electrical device (e.g. smartphone or car), then to the cathode’s negative collector. This process – depending on the direction of the current – allows the battery to store electrons or use them to power something externally.
Lithium is perfect for this job because it’s lightweight and has a high tendency to lose electrons.
Batteries for Solar Panels
As lithium-ion battery technology has advanced, it’s become the perfect place to store solar power. In fact, both the Tesla Powerwall and the LG Chem – among other solar storage units – use a rechargeable lithium-ion battery system. These comprise of:
- Many lithium-ion cells (the battery pack)
- An inverter to create useable energy
- A cooling system.
Because of these systems, they’re able to store electricity more efficiently and distribute it when you need power. The better the battery, the better it can store your solar energy. Not sure which solar power battery is right for your home? Our friendly experts are happy to help.
Get in touch with our friendly team online or call us on 1800 270 963 for an obligation-free quote today.