Have you ever wondered how to pick out the best battery(s) to 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 provide 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) Quickly compare the three chief kinds of solar batteries (lead acid, saltwater, and lithium). And,
Part 2) Compare the elements of batteries, such as: depth of discharge, capacity and power, efficiency, battery life, and manufacturer.
By the conclusion of this article you will know exactly how to pick out the best battery for your own solar panel system!
So let’s begin…
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 sort of battery that will fit your system.
They’re also among the longest-used and most reliable batteries in existence. Compared to the other batteries we’ll discuss in this report; they are 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 cost, 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 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. Unlike lead acid batteries, saltwater batteries are essentially brand new to the industry and stay both somewhat untested and harder to come across. Of the 3 types of batteries, saltwater has the greatest depth of discharge, so you’ll find 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. Their depth of discharge is less than that of a saltwater battery, but more than that of a lead acid battery. Comparing all three choices, the lithium ion 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 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 components to explore to find the ideal battery for 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 as well. In some instances though, certain batteries may be overkill for your system so the most expensive battery might 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 every cycle, the battery’s ability to hold 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 in 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 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 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 a battery can provide at a certain moment. A battery with both a high capacity and high 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 quantity of energy it took to save said energy. Batteries require power to control and efficacy compares the energy taken to charge a battery with the amount of energy which the charged battery generates. The higher the efficiency, the more cost-effective the battery.
This might not be a part most would consider, but it is something to focus on. As with other technology, there are both trusted brands and start-up brands. A trusted brand comes with known defects and benefits; a start-up brand can perhaps have better technology, but could also have yet unknown technological issues. Depending upon your system demands, you may decide to go for a well-reviewed firm or one that is brand new to the market.