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 your buck)!
When choosing 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 main kinds of solar batteries (lead acid, saltwater, and lithium). And,
Part 2) Assess the elements of batteries, such as: depth of discharge, capacity and power, efficiency, battery life, and maker.
By the end of this article you will know exactly how to pick the ideal battery for your own solar panel system!
So let’s get started…
Part 1) The Three Best Types Of Batteries For Solar Panel Systems: The best type of battery for your solar panel system will depend 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
Lead acid batteries are the most commonly used rechargeable battery in the world. They’re also one of the longest-used and most dependable batteries in existence. Compared to 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 lesser cost, or whether you are just making the transfer to a solar panel system, lead acid batteries may 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 better lifespan. Unlike lead acid batteries, saltwater batteries are basically brand new to the industry and stay both somewhat untested and harder to come across. Of the three kinds of batteries, saltwater has the best 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. Comparing all three choices, the lithium ion battery is probably 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 picked the best battery type for your solar panel or off-grid system (that meets your system’s needs), there are components to explore 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 buying batteries also. Sometimes though, certain batteries may be overkill for your system so the most expensive battery might not be the best choice always.
For most systems, a battery will cycle every day, meaning it will drain and charge regularly. With each cycle, the battery’s ability to maintain 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.
Depth of Discharge
Depth of discharge 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. 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
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 a high capacity and higher power can run a massive system for many hours; a battery with low capacity and higher power can operate a large system but just for a brief time.
Efficiency is the amount of energy used compared to the quantity of energy it took to store said energy. Batteries require power to charge and efficiency compares the energy taken to control a battery with the amount of energy that the charged battery produces.
This may not be a part most would consider, but it is something to pay attention to. 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 can also have unknown technological difficulties. Based upon your system demands, you may decide to go with a well-reviewed company or one that is brand new to the market.