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 article will answer these questions and give 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 that work best. We’ll do this in two parts:
Part 1) Instantly compare the three main types 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 maker.
By the conclusion of this article you will know exactly how to pick the best battery for 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 sort of battery that will fit your system.
They’re also one of the longest-used and most dependable batteries in existence. Compared to 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 simply making the move 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 better lifespan. Unlike lead acid batteries, saltwater batteries are essentially brand new to the industry and remain both somewhat untested and more difficult to come across. Of the three types of batteries, saltwater has the greatest depth of discharge, which means 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. Comparing all three choices, the lithium 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 picked the best battery type for your own solar panel or off-grid system (that meets your system’s needs), there are components to explore to find the ideal battery to your system.
Cost is probably one of the more obvious elements. But the old saying,”you get what you pay for” holds true when purchasing batteries also. In some instances though, certain batteries may be overkill for your system so the most expensive battery may not be the best choice always.
For many systems, a battery will cycle every day, 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 warranty 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 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 damaging its life. Particular solar batteries may be depleted further than others, allowing for more use between charging. Basically, a battery with a 90% depth of discharge per cycle provides 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 certain moment. A battery with both a high capacity and higher power can run a large 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 said energy. Batteries require power to control 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 may not be a component most would consider, but it is something to focus on. Like other technologies, there are both reputable brands and start-up brands. A trusted brand comes with known flaws and benefits; a startup brand can perhaps have better technology, but could also have unknown technological issues. Based upon your system demands, you may decide to go for a well-reviewed firm or one that is brand new to the market.