This project will be published in a few weeks. If you want to access it now, refer to Electronics For You’s February 2023 Issue–print or ezine edition.
Solar photovoltaic panels produce energy only while the Sun shines, but lighting is required mainly during night. So, the solar energy needs to be stored, which is now generally done through lithium-ion batteries.
The lithium-ion batteries have some limitations. For one, cost of lithium-ion batteries is increasing year after year, so these are suitable for high-priced mobile items like vehicles and smartphones only. For stationary applications we need to find alternatives.
Second, lithium-ion batteries can handle a few thousand charge/discharge cycles only. This means the batteries need to be replaced after about five years of use.
Third, re-cycling of lithium-ion batteries is challenging and expensive. Also, India does not have lithium mines, so we are completely dependent on imports.
Fourth, lithium-ion batteries also use metals like nickel and cobalt. Therefore, these batteries are not environment-friendly. Besides, lot of mining is required to get these metals.
Hence, it becomes important to explore other devices for energy storage. Here we will explore use of supercapacitors for energy storage for low power but widespread applications.