Flooded Lead Acid Batteries
Lead-acid batteries are the most common in PV systems because their initial cost is lower and because they are readily available nearly everywhere in the world. There are many different sizes and designs of lead-acid batteries, but the most important designation is whether they are deep cycle batteries or shallow-cycle batteries. Shallow-cycle batteries, like the starting batteries in automobiles, are designed to supply a large amount of current for a short time and to stand mild overcharge without losing electrolyte. These batteries are not a good choice for a PV system. Deep cycle batteries are designed to be repeatedly discharged by as much as 80% of their capacity so they are a good choice for PV systems. Even though they are designed to withstand deep cycling, these batteries will have a longer life if the cycles are shallower. All lead-acid batteries fail prematurely when they are not recharged completely after each cycle. Letting a lead-acid battery stay in a discharged condition for days at a time will cause a permanent loss of capacity.