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 greater than another? If so, this report will answer these questions and provide you specific things to check on before buying your new battery (to make certain you get the most bang for your buck)!
When choosing a battery (or batteries) for your solar panel system, there are three categories of batteries which work best. We will do this in two parts:
Part 1) Quickly compare the three main kinds of solar batteries (lead acid, saltwater, and lithium). And,
Part 2) Compare the components of batteries, such as: depth of discharge, capacity and power, efficiency, battery life, and manufacturer.
By the conclusion of this article you will know just how to pick the ideal battery to your own solar panel system!
So let’s get started…
There are three battery types that work exceptionally well; however, each battery type has pros and cons. So the first decision to make is the type of battery that will fit your system.
They’re also among the longest-used and most dependable batteries in existence. When compared with the other batteries we’ll 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 lots of storage for a lesser cost, or if you are simply making the move to a solar panel system, lead acid batteries might be an excellent option. They’re the type of battery we use in most of the battery banks in our solar panel systems.
Saltwater batteries are more expensive than lead acid batteries, but also have a greater lifespan. Contrary to lead acid batteries, saltwater batteries are essentially brand new to the industry and stay both somewhat untested and more difficult to come across. Of the three types of batteries, saltwater has the greatest depth of discharge, so you’ll find the most output per charge before needing to recharge.
Lithium batteries are the most expensive and the longest lasting of the three types of solar batteries. Their depth of discharge is less than that of a saltwater battery, but more than that of a lead acid battery. Comparing all three options, the lithium ion 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) Compare the components of batteries. As soon as you’ve picked the best battery type for your own solar panel or off-grid system (that meets your system’s needs), there are components to explore to find the perfect battery to your system.
Price is probably one of the more obvious elements. But the old saying,”you get what you pay for” holds true when purchasing batteries as well. Sometimes though, certain batteries could be overkill for your system so the most expensive battery might not be the best choice always.
For many systems, a battery will cycle daily, meaning it is going to drain and charge regularly. With every cycle, the battery’s ability to hold the same charge lessens slightly. So one component to consider is the warranty on the battery that guarantees a certain number of cycles of useful life. But keep in mind that if you use the maintenance and reconditioning methods we teach you at the EZ Battery Reconditioning application, you can extend the life of your batteries.
Length of Discharge
Depth of discharge is how much you can drain the battery before needing to recharge the battery without damaging its life. Particular solar batteries can be depleted farther than others, allowing for more use between charging. Essentially, a battery with a 90% depth of discharge per cycle provides more battery power per charge than a battery with less.
Ability and Power
The more capacity a battery has, the more power it can store. Power is how much energy a battery can provide at a given moment. A battery with a high capacity and high power can run a large system for many hours; a battery with low capacity and high power can operate a large system but only for a short time.
Efficiency is the amount of energy used compared to the quantity of energy it took to save energy. Batteries require power to control and efficacy compares the energy taken to charge a battery with the amount of energy that the charged battery generates. The higher the efficiency, the more cost-effective the battery.
This may not be a part most would consider, but it’s something to pay attention to. Like other technology, there are both reputable brands and start-up brands. A trusted brand comes with known defects and advantages; a startup brand can perhaps have better technology, but can also have yet unknown technological issues. Based on your system demands, you might decide to go for a well-reviewed firm or one that is brand new to the market.