The growth and expansion of battery technology have meant that individuals can now often use backup power. As the industry grows, LiFePO4 batteries remain the dominant force with their continuous rising status. As a result, users are now burdened with the need to know whether they can use solar panels to charge these batteries. This guide will give all essential information concerning the charging of LiFePO4 batteries using solar panels and what is necessary to have for efficient charging.
Can solar panels charge LiFePO4 Batteries?
The answer to this question is that solar panels can charge this battery, which is possible with standard solar panels. There will be no need to have a special module to make this connection work.
However, one must have a charge controller so that they know when the battery is efficiently charged.
Concerning the charge controller, there are a few considerations one has to bear in mind with regards to which charge controller to use in the process. For example, there are two types of charge controllers; maximum power point tracking controllers and the Pulse Width Modulation controllers. These controllers differ in prices and their efficiency to charge. Depending on your budget and how efficient you will need your LiFePO4 battery charged.
Functions of the charge controllers
Primarily, the charge controller controls the amount of current going to the battery and is similar to the normal battery charging process. With its help, the battery being charged cannot overcharge and charges properly without being damaged. It is must-have equipment when using solar panels to charge the LiFePO4 battery.
Differences between the two charge controllers
• Maximum Power Point Tracking Controllers
These controllers are more expensive but more efficient too. They work by dropping the solar panel voltage down to the required charging voltage. It also increases the current to a similar ratio of the voltage. Since the sun strength will keep changing depending on the time of the day and the angle, this controller helps monitor and regulate these changes. Moreover, it makes maximum use of the energy available and provides 20% more current to the battery than the same size by PMW controller.
• Pulse Width Modulation Controllers
These controllers are low on price and less efficient. Generally, this controller is a switch connecting the battery to the solar array. It is switched on and off when required to hold the voltage at the absorption voltage. As a result, the array's voltage comes down to that of the battery. It functions to lower the amount of power that is transmitted to the batteries as it gets closer to fully charged, and if there is excess power, that goes to waste.
In conclusion, yes, the LiFePO4 batteries can be charged using the standard solar panels but with the help of the charge controller. As mentioned above, the maximum power point tracking charge controllers are the best to go for the charge controllers unless you are on a fixed budget. It ensures that the battery is efficiently charged and has no damage.