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 buying your new battery (to ensure you get the most bang for the buck)!
When choosing a battery (or batteries) for your solar panel system, there are 3 categories of batteries that work best. We’ll do this in 2 parts:
Part 1) Quickly compare the three chief types of solar batteries (lead acid, saltwater, and lithium). And,
Part 2) Compare the components of batteries, such as: depth of discharge, power and capacity, efficiency, battery life, and maker.
By the end of the article you will know just how to pick the best 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. 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 type of battery that will fit your system.
Lead Acid Batteries
They’re also one of the longest-used and most reliable batteries in existence. Compared to 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 price, or whether you are just making the move to a solar panel system, lead acid batteries might be a very good option. They’re the sort of battery we use in the majority of the battery banks within 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 market and remain both somewhat untested and more difficult to come across. Of the three types of batteries, saltwater has the best 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 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. An example of a lithium ion battery is the Tesla Powerwall.
Part 2) Compare 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 elements 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 buying batteries as well. Sometimes though, certain batteries could 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 every day, meaning it will drain and charge regularly. With each cycle, the battery’s ability to hold the identical charge lessens slightly. So 1 component to consider is the guarantee on the battery that guarantees a specific number of cycles of useful life. But keep 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
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 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 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 save. Power is how much energy a battery can provide at a given moment. A battery with a high capacity and higher power can run a massive system for many hours; a battery with low capacity and high power can operate 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 control and efficacy compares the energy taken to charge a battery with the amount of energy that the charged battery produces. The higher the efficiency, the more cost-effective the battery.
This may not be a part most would consider, but it’s something to focus on. Like other technology, there are both reputable brands and startup brands. A trusted brand comes with known defects and benefits; a start-up brand can perhaps have better technology, but can also have unknown technological difficulties. Depending on your system demands, you might decide to go with a well-reviewed company or one that is brand new to the market.