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 purchasing your new battery (to make certain you get the most bang for your buck)!
When choosing a battery (or batteries) to your solar panel system, there are three categories of batteries that work best. We will do this in two parts:
Part 1) Instantly compare the three chief types of solar batteries (lead acid, saltwater, and lithium). And,
Part 2) Assess the elements of batteries, such as: depth of discharge, capacity and power, efficiency, battery life, and maker.
By the conclusion of the article you will know exactly how to pick the best battery for your own 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 are the most commonly used rechargeable battery in the world. They are also one of 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 lots of storage for a lower price, or if you are simply making the move to a solar panel system, lead acid batteries may 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 better lifespan. Contrary to lead acid batteries, saltwater batteries are essentially brand new to the market and remain both somewhat untested and harder to come across. Of the 3 kinds of batteries, saltwater has the best 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 kinds of solar batteries. Comparing all three options, the lithium battery may be the highest rated, but also the most expensive. A good example of a lithium battery is the Tesla Powerwall.
Part 2) Compare the components of batteries. Once 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 research to find the ideal battery to your system.
Cost is probably one of the more obvious elements. But the old saying,”you get what you pay for” holds true when purchasing batteries also. Sometimes though, certain batteries may be overkill for your system so the most expensive battery might not be the best choice always.
Battery Life and Warranty
For many systems, a battery will cycle daily, meaning it will charge and drain regularly. With each cycle, the battery’s ability to maintain the identical 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 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
Length of release is how much you can drain the battery before needing to recharge the battery without damaging its life. Certain solar batteries can be depleted further than others, allowing for more use between charging. Basically, a battery with a 90% depth of discharge per cycle will provide 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 save. Power is how much energy that a battery can provide at a given moment. A battery with a high capacity and higher power can run a massive system for several hours; a battery with low capacity and higher power can run a large system but only for a short time.
Efficiency is the amount of energy used compared to the amount of energy it took to save energy. Batteries require power to control and efficiency compares the energy taken to charge a battery with the amount of energy that the charged battery produces.
This might not be a part most would consider, but it is something to pay attention to. As with other technologies, there are both reputable brands and start-up brands. A trusted brand comes with known flaws and advantages; a start-up brand can perhaps have better technology, but can also have yet unknown technological difficulties. Based on your system demands, you may decide to go for a well-reviewed company or one that is brand new to the market.