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 better than another? If so, this article will answer these questions and give you specific things to check on before purchasing your new battery (to ensure 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) Quickly compare the three main types of solar batteries (lead acid, saltwater, and lithium). And,
Part 2) Assess the elements of batteries, such as: depth of discharge, power and capacity, efficiency, battery life, and maker.
By the conclusion of this article you will know exactly how to pick the ideal battery to your 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 be dependent 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 are the most commonly used rechargeable battery in the world. They are also among the longest-used and most dependable batteries in existence. Compared to the other batteries we’ll discuss in this report; they’re the cheapest option but you trade price for some battery life and depth of discharge. But for homeowners needing lots of storage for a lesser cost, or whether you are just making the transfer to a solar panel system, lead acid batteries may be a very good 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 greater lifespan. Contrary to lead acid batteries, saltwater batteries are basically 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 get the most output per charge before needing to recharge.
Lithium batteries are the most expensive and the longest lasting of the three types 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 is probably the highest rated, but also the most expensive. A good example of a lithium ion battery is the Tesla Powerwall.
Part 2) Assess the elements 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 components to research to find the perfect battery to your system.
Price is probably one of the more obvious components. But the old saying,”you get what you pay for” holds true when buying batteries also. In some instances though, certain batteries may be overkill for your system so the most expensive battery may 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 hold the identical charge lessens slightly. So one component to consider is the guarantee on the battery which guarantees a certain number of cycles of useful life. But bear in mind that when you use the maintenance and reconditioning methods we teach you in the EZ Battery Reconditioning program, you can extend the life of your batteries.
Depth of Discharge
Depth of discharge is how much you can drain the battery down before needing to recharge the battery without harming its life. Certain solar batteries can be depleted farther 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 compared to 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 store. Power is how much energy a battery can provide at a given moment. A battery with both 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 just for a short time.
Efficiency is the amount of energy used compared to the amount of energy it took to store said energy. Batteries require power to control and efficiency compares the energy taken to control a battery together 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 pay attention to. Like other technologies, there are both reputable brands and start-up brands. A trusted brand includes known defects and advantages; a start-up brand can perhaps have better technology, but could also have unknown technological issues. Depending on your system demands, you might decide to go for a well-reviewed firm or one that is brand new to the market.