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 article will answer these questions and give you specific things to check on before buying your new battery (to make certain you get the most bang for the buck)!
When choosing a battery (or batteries) to your solar panel system, there are 3 categories of batteries which work best. We’ll do this in 2 parts:
Part 1) Quickly compare the three main kinds of solar batteries (lead acid, saltwater, and lithium). And,
Part 2) Compare the elements of batteries, such as: depth of discharge, power and capacity, efficiency, battery life, and maker.
By the end of this article you will know just how to pick out the ideal battery for your solar panel system!
So let’s get started…
Part 1) The Three Best Types Of Batteries For Solar Panel Systems: The best type of battery for your solar panel system will be dependent on what you’re looking for. 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 reliable batteries in existence. When compared with the other batteries we’ll discuss in this report; they are the cheapest option but you trade cost for some battery life and depth of discharge. But for homeowners needing lots of storage for a lower cost, or if you are just making the move to a solar panel system, lead acid batteries may be an excellent 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 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 3 types of batteries, saltwater has the greatest depth of discharge, which means 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 kinds of solar batteries. Comparing all three choices, the lithium battery may be the highest rated, but also the most expensive. An example of a lithium battery is the Tesla Powerwall.
Part 2) Assess the elements of batteries. Once you’ve chosen the best battery type for your solar panel or off-grid system (that meets your system’s needs), there are elements to research to find the ideal battery to your system.
Cost is probably one of the more obvious components. But the old saying,”you get what you pay for” holds true when buying batteries also. Sometimes though, certain batteries could be overkill for your system so the most expensive battery might not be the ideal choice always.
For most systems, a battery will cycle daily, meaning it is going to charge and drain regularly. With each cycle, the battery’s ability to maintain the same charge lessens slightly. So 1 component to consider is the guarantee on the battery that guarantees a certain number of cycles of useful life. But bear in mind that if you use the maintenance and reconditioning methods we teach you in 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 down before needing to recharge the battery without damaging its life. Certain solar batteries may be depleted farther than others, allowing for more use between charging. Basically, a battery with a 90% depth of discharge per cycle provides more battery power per charge than 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 store. 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 several hours; a battery with low capacity and high power can run 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 said energy. Batteries require power to charge and efficiency compares the energy taken to charge a battery with the amount of energy that the charged battery produces. The higher the efficiency, the more cost-effective the battery.
This might not be a component most would consider, but it is something to focus on. As with other technologies, there are both trusted brands and start-up brands. A trusted brand includes known flaws and benefits; a start-up brand can perhaps have better technology, but can also have yet unknown technological issues. Based on your system demands, you may decide to go for a well-reviewed firm or one that is brand new to the market.