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How To Pick Out The Best Battery For a Solar Panel System, Battery Bank, or Off-Grid System

Or have you wondered what makes one deep cycle battery better than another?  If so, this article will answer these questions and provide you specific things to check on before buying your new battery (to ensure you get the most bang for the buck)!

When picking a battery (or batteries) for your solar panel system, there are three categories of batteries that work best.    We’ll do this in 2 parts:

Part 1)   Instantly compare the three main kinds of solar batteries (lead acid, saltwater, and lithium).   And,

Part 2)   Assess the elements of batteries, such as: depth of discharge, power and capacity, efficiency, battery life, and manufacturer.

By the end of the article you will know just how to pick the ideal battery to your solar panel system!

So let’s get started…

So the first decision to make is the sort of battery that will fit your system.

Lead Acid Batteries

They’re also among the longest-used and most reliable batteries in existence.  Compared to the other batteries we will discuss in this report; they’re the cheapest option but you exchange price for some battery life and depth of discharge.  But for homeowners needing a great deal of storage for a lower price, or whether you are simply making the transfer to a solar panel system, lead acid batteries might be a very good option.  They’re the type of battery we use in the majority of the battery banks within our solar panel systems.

Saltwater Batteries

Saltwater batteries are more expensive than lead acid batteries, but also have a greater lifespan.  Contrary to lead acid batteries, saltwater batteries are basically brand new to the industry and stay both somewhat untested and harder to come across.  Of the three kinds of batteries, saltwater has the best depth of discharge, which means you’ll find the most output per fee before needing to recharge.

Lithium Batteries

Lithium batteries are the most expensive and the longest lasting of the three types of solar batteries.  Comparing all three choices, the lithium battery may be the highest rated, but also the most expensive.  A good example of a lithium ion battery is the Tesla Powerwall.

Part 2) Assess the components of batteries.  As soon as you’ve chosen the best battery type for your own solar panel or off-grid system (that meets your system’s needs), there are components to research to find the ideal battery to your system.  

Cost

Cost is probably one of the more obvious components.  But the old saying,”you get what you pay for” holds true when buying batteries as well.  In some instances though, certain batteries could be overkill for your system so the most expensive battery may not be the best choice always.

For most systems, a battery will cycle every day, meaning it is going to charge and drain regularly.  With each cycle, the battery’s ability to maintain the same charge lessens slightly.  So one component to consider is the guarantee on the battery that guarantees a specific number of cycles of useful life.  But bear in mind that if you use the maintenance and reconditioning methods we teach you at the EZ Battery Reconditioning program, you can extend the life of your batteries.

Depth of Discharge

Length of release is how much you can drain the battery down before needing to recharge the battery without damaging its life.  Certain solar batteries may be depleted further than others, allowing for more use between charging.  Essentially, a battery with a 90% depth of discharge per cycle will provide more battery power per charge compared to a battery with less.

Capacity and Power

The more capacity a battery has, the more power it can store.   Power is how much energy that a battery can provide at a given moment.  A battery with both a high capacity and high power can run a large system for several hours; a battery with low capacity and high power can run a large system but just for a short time.

Efficiency

Efficiency is the amount of energy used compared to the quantity of energy it took to store energy.  Batteries require power to charge and efficacy compares the energy taken to control a battery with the amount of energy that the charged battery generates.  The higher the efficiency, the more cost-effective the battery.

Manufacturer

This may not be a component most would consider, but it is something to focus on.  Like other technologies, there are both trusted brands and start-up brands.  A trusted brand includes known defects and advantages; a startup brand can perhaps have better technology, but could also have yet unknown technological difficulties.  Depending upon your system demands, you might decide to go with a well-reviewed firm or one that is brand new to the market.