How To Pick Out The Best Battery For a Solar Panel System, Battery Bank, or Off-Grid System
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 better than another? If so, this article will answer these questions and give 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) for your solar panel system, there are three categories of batteries that work best. We’ll do this in 2 parts:
Part 1) Instantly 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 manufacturer.
By the conclusion of the article you will know just how to pick out the ideal battery for your own solar panel system!
So let’s begin…
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 reliable batteries in existence. Compared to the other batteries we’ll discuss in this report; they’re the cheapest option but you trade cost for some battery life and depth of discharge. But for homeowners needing a great deal of storage for a lesser price, or if you are just making the transfer to a solar panel system, lead acid batteries may be an excellent option. They’re the sort of battery we use in the majority 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 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, which means 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 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 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 components 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 explore to find the perfect battery to your system.
Cost 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 best 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 same 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 bear 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 damaging its life. Certain solar batteries can be depleted farther 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.
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 many hours; a battery with low capacity and higher power can run a large system but only for a brief time.
Efficiency is the amount of energy used compared to the amount of energy it took to store energy. Batteries require power to control and efficiency compares the energy taken to charge a battery together with the amount of energy that the charged battery produces.
This might not be a part most would consider, but it is something to pay attention to. As with other technologies, 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 issues. Depending upon your system demands, you might decide to go with a well-reviewed company or one that is brand new to the market.