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 buying your new battery (to ensure 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 which work best. We’ll do this in two parts:
Part 1) Instantly compare the three chief kinds 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 end of this article you will know exactly how to pick out 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 are 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 price for some battery life and depth of discharge. But for homeowners needing a great deal of storage for a lower price, or whether you are simply making the move to a solar panel system, lead acid batteries might be an excellent option. They’re the type 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. Unlike 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 options, the lithium 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 components of batteries. As soon as you’ve picked the best battery type for your solar panel or off-grid system (that meets your system’s needs), there are elements to research to find the perfect battery for your system.
Price 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. In some instances though, certain batteries may be overkill for your system so the most expensive battery may not be the best choice always.
Battery Life and Warranty
For many systems, a battery will cycle daily, meaning it will drain and charge regularly. With every 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 specific number of cycles of useful life. But keep in mind that if you use the maintenance and reconditioning methods we teach you in the EZ Battery Reconditioning program, you can extend the life of your batteries.
Length 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 may be depleted farther 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.
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 save. 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 high power can operate 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 charge and efficacy compares the energy taken to control 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 component most would consider, but it’s something to focus on. As with other technology, there are both trusted brands and startup brands. A trusted brand comes with known flaws and benefits; a startup brand can perhaps have better technology, but can also have unknown technological issues. Depending on your system demands, you might decide to go with a well-reviewed company or one that is brand new to the market.