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 provide you specific things to check on before purchasing your new battery (to make certain you get the most bang for your buck)!
When picking 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) Quickly compare the three main types of solar batteries (lead acid, saltwater, and lithium). And,
Part 2) Assess the components of batteries, such as: depth of discharge, power and capacity, efficiency, battery life, and maker.
By the conclusion of the article you will know exactly how to pick out the ideal battery for your own solar panel system!
So let’s begin…
Part 1) The Three Best Types Of Batteries For Solar Panel Systems: The best type of battery for your solar panel system will depend on what you’re looking for. So the first decision to make is the type of battery that will fit your system.
Lead Acid Batteries
Lead acid batteries are the most commonly used rechargeable battery in the world. They’re also one of 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 price for some battery life and depth of discharge. But for homeowners needing a great deal of storage for a lower cost, or if you are just making the transfer to a solar panel system, lead acid batteries might be a very good option. They’re the type of battery we use in most of the battery banks within 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 basically brand new to the industry and remain both somewhat untested and more difficult to come across. Of the 3 kinds 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 options, the lithium ion battery is probably 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. As soon as 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 perfect 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 purchasing batteries as well. Sometimes 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 each cycle, the battery’s ability to hold the identical charge lessens slightly. So 1 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. Particular 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.
Ability 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 both a high capacity and high power can run a large system for many hours; a battery with low capacity and higher power can run a large system but just for a brief time.
Efficiency is the amount of energy used compared to the amount of energy it took to store said energy. Batteries require power to charge and efficiency compares the energy taken to control a battery with the amount of energy which 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 is something to focus on. As with other technology, there are both reputable brands and startup brands. A trusted brand comes with known flaws and benefits; a startup brand can perhaps have better technology, but could also have unknown technological difficulties. Based on your system demands, you might decide to go for a well-reviewed company or one that is brand new to the market.