Lithium Titanate Batteries for Off-grid Solar Systems

Would you like to go off-grid but aren't sure if lithium titanate batteries are the perfect choice to provide off-grid solar power storage?

This guide got you.

When you make the brilliant decision of installing off-grid solar systems, you'll have to plan for solar power storage.

There're several off-grid solar battery options, but lithium titanate batteries stand out for their superb demand charge capability. It's also well known that lithium titanate batteries are lightweight, safe, easy to use, and perfect for on-demand charging.

Listed below are some questions you may have about Lithium titanate batteries for off-grid solar:

  • Are lithium titanate batteries the best battery for solar power storage?
  • How do lithium titanate batteries work for off-grid solar?
  • Which size of lithium titanate batteries should I purchase for my off-grid solar applications?
  • Which is the best place to buy lithium titanate batteries for an off-grid solar system, and how much will I spend on them?

We will discuss these questions at length and explore why lithium titanate batteries have emerged as the preferred energy storage technology for off-grid applications

What are Off-grid Solar Systems and why do they need Battery Storage?

The term off-grid solar refers to power systems that can be operated from off the grid. Using this technology, you can harness solar energy, convert it into electricity and use it for off-grid operations.

Point to note: Off-grid is not limited to outdoor applications. Households of all sizes, as well as commercial and industrial enterprises, can go off-grid too.

DC power can be used directly off-grid via solar systems, but having a backup solution is a good practice.

This is where solar rechargeable batteries such as lithium titanate batteries come into play.

They'll store solar power and avail it when the off-grid systems harness insufficient solar energy.

Off-grid applications require the following factors for an energy storage system to be successful:

  • High charge-discharge cycles
  • Deep discharge
  • Improved durability
  • Sturdiness
  • Wide operating temperature

How do Lithium Titanate Batteries Work, their Chemistry, and Technology?

Lithium titanate (Li2TiO3) batteries, also known as Lithium titanate oxide (LTO) are rechargeable batteries designed following the nanotechnology battery technology. The lithium titanate chemistry underpins their operation.

The chemistry is the basic oxidation-reduction reaction that allows for electrons to transfer in the cells. In LTO batteries, the cathode is typically lithium iron phosphate (LFP), and the anode is lithium titanate (LTO).

Side note: The anode in other Lithium batteries such as lithium-ion is graphite

While Lithium titanate chemistry is relatively new, it's impressively the most durable lithium chemistry available.

To produce LTO batteries, high-tech nanotechnology is leveraged. Without going into too much detail, the technology uses nanoparticles of lithium titanate.

The nanoparticles used in lithium batteries are much smaller than carbon particles, but they have a much higher surface area. The nanoparticles form a 3D crystal structure that has a surface area of around 100 square meters per gram.

The greater surface area is responsible for:

  • High current discharge- Around 10 times what other lithium batteries for off-grid systems produce.
  • Exceptional charging/recharging capabilities- Due to the large surface area of lithium titanium batteries anode, there's rapid electrons movement and consequently fast charging/ recharging capabilities.
  • Excellent long lifespan of these batteries.

In my opinion, this is one of the most promising electronic technologies. For the best part, Lithium Titanate batteries technology is aimed at improving the consumer experience for off-grid as well as on-grid applications. And this is great coming from such a relatively new technology.

Lithium Titanate Batteries Key Specifications

Operating temperatureGood temperature tolerance. -30 to 60◦C
Energy density
Relatively lower energy density due to the low cell voltage
Nominal cell voltage2.3V- 2.4V
PerformanceGreat performance in general
Charging speed
Excellent-fast charging speeds. Around 8 minutes to charge a standard LTO battery
Average daily charging cyclesAround 3 cycles
Average life cycles20,000 cycles
Energy storageReliable and efficient energy storage
Depth of discharge
Can be deeply discharged. Almost up to 100%
Charge/Recharge efficiency95% to a record 98%
Discharge efficiencyAround 85%
Tolerance to rapid charge and dischargeHigh tolerance
Average lifespan20 years
Average cost per kWh$600-$770

Are Lithium Titanate Batteries Good to use for Off-grid Solar Systems?

In light of the three sections above, it is abundantly clear that lithium titanate batteries are one of the best choices for off-grid solar applications.

These batteries meet the criteria for off-grid energy storage systems, except for some factors including cost, which we will discuss later in this guide.

That said, using lithium titanate for off-grid solar systems requires some considerations. A great one is properly sizing your batteries to meet your off-grid power requirements.

Sizing Lithium Titanate Batteries for your Off-grid Solar System

It’s possible to use lithium titanate batteries in both small and large applications, so you should choose the type of batteries that would best suit your needs.

In this regard, LTO batteries can be categorized as follows:

  • Small batteries- Below 100Ah. Used to power small devices.
  • Medium batteries- 100- 1000Ah Perfect for powering your car or home devices off-grid.
  • Containerized solutions- Megawatts energy storage systems. Suitable for commercial and industrial use.

Lithium Titanate Batteries Price

The price per KWH of Lithium titanate batteries is around $600-$770.

Expect to pay around $30-$40 for a 40Ah LTO battery, $600-$700 for a 4000Ah, and as high as $70,000 for containerized solutions.

Make sure that you choose a Lithium Titanate battery that will fit your budget, but most importantly, ensures that it will satisfy your off-grid power needs.

Where to buy Lithium Titanate Batteries for Off-grid Solar Systems?

The first and best place to buy LTO batteries is from online solar retailers. In addition to convenience shopping, you will have a variety of choices, and your batteries will be delivered right to your doorstep.

Secondly, you can search major e-commerce websites like Amazon, eBay, and Alibaba for these off-grid batteries.

Lastly, you can still find these batteries in local solar retailers, but since it's such a new technology, your choices might be limited to a few brands.

Lifespan and Maintenance of Titanate Batteries

One of the biggest advantages of titanate batteries is their long lifespan. Most of these batteries will clock the 10,000 cycles effortlessly. Some brands will even go to upwards of 25,000 cycles (20 years+ of standard use).

In essence, most lithium titanate batteries have a 20-year warranty and will show no loss in capacity for at least their first 15 years of operation.

Other Lithium Batteries that can be used for Off-grid Solar Systems

Lifepo4Good charge/discharge efficiencyLow energy density
Lithium-ionHigh energy density and thermally stable3000 cycles and they'll fall below the 70% discharge threshold (around 10 years).
Lithium iron phosphateFaster charging rateLow nominal voltage/ power density
Lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxideHigh energy/power densityCan't handle the high current charge and discharge rates needed for off-grid loads.

Lithium Titanate Batteries for Commercial and Industrial (C&I) Off-grid Solar Systems

LTOs are scalable for use in commercial and industrial settings.

Also, as previously mentioned, there are dedicated lithium titanate solar batteries for C&I. A perfect example would be the containerized titanate batteries, which are used as all-in-one installations for storing solar energy off-grid.

Please note: While off-grid commercial options of lithium titanate batteries exist, high cost is still a big hurdle for their application.

Integrated Energy Storage Options Powered by Lithium Titanate Batteries

Did you know that lithium titanate batteries can work on-grid, off-grid, and with multiple energy sources such as solar and wind?

I believe this is one of the most promising innovations, especially for off-grid applications. And yes, you should get ready to see batteries that utilize lithium titanate to store solar and wind power leading to all of the other renewable energy sources soon.

Lithium Titanate Batteries Advantages

Fast charging

Main off-grid applications of Lithium titanate batteries are based on fast charging, which definitely means reliable energy storage. You get the same rapid charging from lithium titanate batteries as you do with capacitors.

The LTO batteries for off-grid solar systems may only take 8 minutes to recharge as opposed to solar rechargeable batteries that can take up to 8 hours.

High discharge rates

Lithium titanate batteries can be discharged entirely in a single cycle, meaning they offer more juice at a go. The fast charging rate is also something that will impress any solar power user.

Note: Thanks to the high charge/discharge rates, off-grid consumers use less electricity and power to sustain the Lithium titanate battery power.

Not space-intensive

Lithium titanate batteries for off-grid solar systems are highly space-efficient. This is, of course, due to their exceptional demand charging capabilities and efficient energy storage.

Low maintenance, Greater life cycle

Lithium titanate batteries can be charged multiple times without any degradation or power loss.

In addition to their long life cycle, lithium titanate batteries are also low maintenance making them ideal for off-grid applications.

A safe technology to use for off-grid applications

Lithium titanate batteries are safe for off-grid power consumers as well as the environment-And there're reasons for that:

First, these batteries operate at lower voltages than normal batteries.

Secondly, Lithium Titanate batteries don't overheat since they're free of carbon. With this, you're not exposed to the risk of fires or explosions (common problems with traditional energy storage systems)

Thirdly, LTO batteries are made with relatively safer chemical components.

Lastly, Lithium titanate batteries are also resistant to mechanical damage, which is critical for off-grid applications.

You can now use the safest kind of energy storage – lithium titanate batteries – for both household and industrial purposes.

Outstanding low-temperature performance

Lithium titanate batteries benefit from nanotechnology by providing exceptional low-temperature performance. It's one of the unique features that set them apart from other off-grid solar battery technologies.

These batteries are not only low-temperature capable, but they are highly temperature-adaptive as well. From -22°F to 140°F (-30°C to 60°C), these batteries will produce the needed juice just fine.

Lithium Titanate Batteries Disadvantages

The technology is not fully developed

Lithium titanate batteries have not properly taken their spot in the off-grid applications of solar power. There's much to do from manufacturing to real installation designs for this technology to be rendered fully functional.

Expensive for off-grid applications

As I highlighted in the price section, lithium titanate batteries are not the cheapest options on the market for your typical off-grid applications. Compared to other solar energy storage batteries, lithium titanate batteries are also relatively costly.

Although this is not ideal, the battery's positive aspects, such as higher performance and longer lifespan, should somewhat compensate for it.

Low energy density

Unlike other Lithium batteries, lithium titanate batteries have low cell voltage, which translates to low energy density. Even so, capacity problems should be resolved as manufacturing technology improves.

Note that this can open up a world of possibilities for off-grid solar energy storage systems.

FAQs about the use of Lithium Titanate Batteries for Off-grid Solar Systems

Can you go off-grid with lithium titanate batteries?

Definitely. Lithium titanate batteries exhibit characteristics such as reliable energy storage and durability that are perfect for off-grid applications. Despite their high cost, Solar off-grid systems utilizing lithium titanate batteries will work better than off-grid systems using other batteries.

In an off-grid solar system, what is better between lead-acid batteries or lithium titanate batteries?

The choice is yours. As a general rule, lead-acid batteries are great for storing backup power. In other words, you'll most likely use them during a power outage.

Lithium titanate batteries (like other lithium batteries) are an excellent choice for on-demand charging. So, knowing why you need solar rechargeable batteries is the key to finding the right option for you.

Can lithium titanate batteries work for on-grid systems?

Recently, there has been a big shift to LTO batteries for on-grid applications. Same reasons as for off-grid solar systems replicate here:

  • Great consumer experience
  • Fast charging and discharging rates
  • Really long battery life

A perfect example of on-grid solar systems using lithium titanate batteries is the test project of a 2MW LTO energy storage system to support grid management.

This project will allow for a feasibility test, the economic and technical viability of Lithium titanate in the grid.

Wrapping Up

Battery systems using lithium titanate are undoubtedly the most viable and revolutionary energy storage systems of today and the future.

These batteries are packed with features like being extremely powerful and highly dependable for demand charging applications.

Cost is the main barrier to the use of lithium titanate batteries for off-grid solar systems. Fortunately, this technology is still young, and manufacturers will do everything they can to keep costs low in the future.

Expect lithium titanate batteries to revolutionize not only off-grid solar systems but also the entire batteries industry.