Solar News

Robust and affordable off-grid lithium batteries

4 June 2018
Category: Solar Systems
Victron BYD off grid solar system

The lithium battery revolution has come to many markets already. We are used to them now in our power tools, mobile phones and laptops.

Until very recently though, lithium batteries were not quite right for stand alone home power systems. Despite initial enthusiasm and some promising characteristics, there have been a few issues that have held up Rainbow Power's willingness to support them.

We are excited to say after YEARS of people asking us about lithium batteries, Rainbow Power now has an off grid lithium battery system we are confident in putting our name and company behind.

There are some huge advantages. Lithium has built in battery management units. This allows you to add batteries whenever you like to get more power, have longer autonomy without a generator or extend system life. This was not possible before with lead acid batteries where you needed to wait until they did not work any longer and all of them would need to be replaced.

A Victron/BYD Lithium system can be connected to any existing stand alone power system. This allows you to extend the life of your current system indefinitely and manage the usually very large costs of a complete battery replacement.

It is difficult to compare price between lithium and lead acid batteries as they are sized quite differently and behave quite differently. Correctly sizing these new battery banks is less important as it once was. This is due to the ability to add another cell or two if loads increase.

A customer recently wanted to add a reverse cycle air conditioner to heat and cool their house. They were beginning to feel the winters as they got older.

They already had a reliable and functioning off grid system and adding lithium and extra panels allowed for a capacity upgrade that kept all their existing equipment, and allowed them a pathway forward which should last them for the rest of their lives.

After a couple of months of monitoring performance and saving money, they bought another lithium cell to add to the system to hopefully reduce their generator requirement through winter.

These new batteries are available immediately and we have stock on the floor in our shop. One of the amazing things about these new batteries is that they are all the same size, you just add more to increase power and storage capacity. Previously we had dozens of different battery sizes for different needs which made it much harder to keep them all in stock.

We have been testing these batteries for over 6 months in real world applications. The results have given us the confidence to begin promoting them for system upgrades and battery replacements during this winter period where stand alone systems can often struggle.

The final word is on safety. Not all lithium batteries are the same. The cells we have chosen for our off grid systems use the safest available lithium chemistry type, LiFePO4 (Lithium Iron Phosphate). This does not thermally run away (catch fire). Obviously this is REALLY important.

Contact us to to see if one of our new lithium battery systems is right for you.

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We install solar systems in Northern NSW and Southern QLD.


QLD:
Gold Coast (from Coolangatta to Southport), Nerang and Hinterland (Beaudesert) and out West (Warwick, Stanthorpe, Killarney)


NSW:
Northern NSW (Tweed Heads to Yamba, including Evans Head, Byron Bay and Ballina); the Far North Coast Hinterland (Grafton via Lismore to Murwillumbah) and out West (Casino to Tenterfield, including Drake and Tabulam, as well as Woodenbong and Bonalbo)

For larger system we also go up to Brisbane or down to Coffs Harbour and even Glen Innes. Other places by arrangement.