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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 report will answer these questions and give you specific things to check on before purchasing your new battery (to make certain you get the most bang for the buck)!

When picking a battery (or batteries) to 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)   Assess the elements 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 own solar panel system!

So let’s get started…

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’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 price, or whether you are simply making the transfer to a solar panel system, lead acid batteries might be a very good option.  They’re the type of battery we use in the majority of the battery banks within our solar panel systems.

Saltwater Batteries

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 market and stay both somewhat untested and harder 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 fee before needing to recharge.

Lithium batteries are the most expensive and the longest lasting of the three kinds 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 may be the highest rated, but also the most expensive.  A good example of a lithium battery is the Tesla Powerwall.

Part 2) Assess the components 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 elements to research to find the perfect battery for your system.  

Cost

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 might not be the ideal choice always.

For many systems, a battery will cycle daily, meaning it is going to drain and charge regularly.  With every cycle, the battery’s ability to maintain the identical charge lessens slightly.  So 1 component to consider is the warranty 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.

Length of Discharge

Length of release is how much you can drain the battery before needing to recharge the battery without harming its life.  Particular solar batteries may 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 compared to a battery with less.

Capacity and Power

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 both a high capacity and high power can run a large system for many hours; a battery with low capacity and high power can run a large system but only for a short time.

Efficiency

Efficiency is the amount of energy used compared to the quantity of energy it took to save said energy.  Batteries require power to control and efficacy compares the energy taken to control a battery with the amount of energy which the charged battery generates.  The higher the efficiency, the more cost-effective the battery.

Manufacturer

This may not be a component most would consider, but it’s something to pay attention to.  As with other technologies, there are both trusted brands and start-up brands.  A trusted brand comes with known defects and benefits; a start-up brand can perhaps have better technology, but could also have yet unknown technological difficulties.  Based upon your system needs, you might decide to go for a well-reviewed firm or one that is brand new to the market.