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 report 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) for your solar panel system, there are 3 categories of batteries which work best. We will do this in two parts:
Part 1) Quickly compare the three chief kinds of solar batteries (lead acid, saltwater, and lithium). And,
Part 2) Compare the components of batteries, such as: depth of discharge, capacity and power, efficiency, battery life, and manufacturer.
By the end of this article you will know exactly how to pick out the best battery to your own solar panel system!
So let’s get started…
So the first decision to make is the type of battery that will fit your system.
They are also among the longest-used and most reliable batteries in existence. When compared with the other batteries we’ll discuss in this report; they’re 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 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 within 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 industry and remain both somewhat untested and harder to come across. Of the three types of batteries, saltwater has the best depth of discharge, so you’ll get the most output per fee 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 options, 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) Compare the components of batteries. Once you’ve picked the best battery type for your solar panel or off-grid system (that meets your system’s needs), there are components to research to find the perfect battery for your system.
Cost is probably one of the more obvious elements. But the old saying,”you get what you pay for” holds true when buying batteries also. Sometimes 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 every day, meaning it will drain and charge regularly. With each cycle, the battery’s ability to maintain the same 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 at 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 down before needing to recharge the battery without harming its life. Particular solar batteries can be depleted further than others, allowing for more use between charging. Essentially, 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
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 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 save energy. Batteries require power to charge and efficacy compares the energy taken to charge a battery together with the amount of energy which 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 trusted brands and start-up brands. A trusted brand includes known flaws and advantages; a start-up brand can perhaps have better technology, but could also have yet unknown technological difficulties. Based on your system demands, you might decide to go for a well-reviewed firm or one that is brand new to the market.