Have you ever wondered how to pick out the best battery(s) to 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 provide you specific things to check on before buying 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 which work best. We’ll do this in 2 parts:
Part 1) Quickly 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, power and capacity, efficiency, battery life, and maker.
By the end of the article you will know exactly how to pick the best battery to your solar panel system!
So let’s begin…
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.
They are also among the longest-used and most dependable batteries in existence. When compared with 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 lots of storage for a lower cost, or if you are just 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. Contrary to lead acid batteries, saltwater batteries are essentially brand new to the market and stay 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 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. 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 solar panel or off-grid system (that meets your system’s needs), there are elements to research to find the ideal 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 also. Sometimes though, certain batteries could 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 hold the same charge lessens slightly. So 1 component to consider is the warranty on the battery which 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 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. Particular solar batteries can be depleted farther 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 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 store. 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 large system for several hours; a battery with low capacity and high power can operate a large system but only for a brief time.
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 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 focus on. Like other technology, there are both trusted brands and startup brands. A trusted brand includes known flaws and benefits; a start-up brand can perhaps have better technology, but could also have unknown technological difficulties. Based upon your system demands, you might decide to go with a well-reviewed firm or one that is brand new to the market.