How To Pick Out The Best Battery For a Solar Panel System, Battery Bank, or Off-Grid System
Or have you wondered what makes one deep cycle battery better than another? If so, this report 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 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) Quickly 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, capacity and power, efficiency, battery life, and maker.
By the end of the article you will know exactly how to pick the ideal battery for your own solar panel system!
So let’s begin…
So the first decision to make is the sort of battery that will fit your system.
Lead Acid Batteries
Lead acid batteries are the most commonly used rechargeable battery in the world. They are also among the longest-used and most reliable batteries in existence. When compared with the other batteries we will 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 if you are just making the move to a solar panel system, lead acid batteries may be a very good option. They’re the sort of battery we use in most of the battery banks in 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 basically brand new to the market and stay both somewhat untested and more difficult to come across. Of the three kinds of batteries, saltwater has the greatest depth of discharge, so 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 options, the lithium 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 elements 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 ideal battery for your system.
Cost is probably one of the more obvious elements. 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 may not be the ideal choice always.
Battery Life and Warranty
For most systems, a battery will cycle daily, meaning it is going to charge and drain regularly. With every cycle, the battery’s ability to maintain the same charge lessens slightly. So 1 component to consider is the guarantee 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 in the EZ Battery Reconditioning application, 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 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 than a battery with less.
Ability and Power
The more capacity a battery has, the more power it can save. Power is how much energy that a battery can provide at a given moment. A battery with 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 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 with the amount of energy that the charged battery produces. The higher the efficiency, the more cost-effective the battery.
This might not be a part most would consider, but it is something to focus on. As with other technology, there are both reputable brands and startup brands. A trusted brand includes known flaws and advantages; a startup brand can perhaps have better technology, but can also have yet unknown technological issues. Depending upon your system demands, you may decide to go for a well-reviewed firm or one that is brand new to the market.