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

Have you ever wondered how to pick out the best battery(s) for your solar panel system (or off-grid energy system)? Or have you wondered what makes one deep cycle battery greater than another?  If so, this report will answer these questions and give you specific things to check on before purchasing your new battery (to make certain you get the most bang for the buck)!

When picking a battery (or batteries) for your solar panel system, there are 3 categories of batteries that work best.    We will do this in 2 parts:

Part 1)   Instantly compare the three chief types 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 end of the article you will know exactly how to pick out the best battery to your own solar panel system!

So let’s get started…

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

Lead acid batteries are the most commonly used rechargeable battery in the world. They are also among the longest-used and most reliable batteries in existence.  Compared to the other batteries we will discuss in this report; they are the cheapest option but you exchange cost for some battery life and depth of discharge.  But for homeowners needing lots of storage for a lower cost, or if you are simply making the transfer to a solar panel system, lead acid batteries may be a very good option.  They’re the sort 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 better lifespan.  Unlike lead acid batteries, saltwater batteries are essentially brand new to the market and remain both somewhat untested and more difficult to come across.  Of the 3 kinds of batteries, saltwater has the greatest depth of discharge, which means you’ll get the most output per fee before needing to recharge.

Lithium batteries are the most expensive and the longest lasting of the three kinds of solar batteries.  Comparing all three options, the lithium battery is probably the highest rated, but also the most expensive.  An example of a lithium battery is the Tesla Powerwall.

Part 2) Compare 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 elements to research to find the ideal battery for your system.  

Cost

Price is probably one of the more obvious components.  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 may not be the ideal choice always.

Battery Life and Warranty

For many systems, a battery will cycle every day, meaning it will charge and drain regularly.  With each cycle, the battery’s ability to hold the identical charge lessens slightly.  So one component to consider is the warranty on the battery that guarantees a specific number of cycles of useful life.  But keep in mind that when you use the maintenance and reconditioning methods we teach you at the EZ Battery Reconditioning application, you can extend the life of your batteries.

Depth of Discharge

Length of release is how much you can drain the battery before needing to recharge the battery without harming its life.  Particular 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 provides more battery power per charge compared to a battery with less.

Capacity and Power

Measured in kilowatt hours (kWh), capacity is the amount of energy a battery can store over time. The more capacity a battery has, the more power it can save.   Power is how much energy that a battery can provide at a certain moment.  A battery with a high capacity and higher power can run a massive system for many hours; a battery with low capacity and high power can operate a large system but only for a brief time.

Efficiency

Efficiency is the amount of energy used compared to the amount of energy it took to save said energy.  Batteries require power to charge and efficacy compares the energy taken to control a battery together with the amount of energy that the charged battery generates. 

Manufacturer

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