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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 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 your buck)!

When picking a battery (or batteries) for your solar panel system, there are 3 categories of batteries that work best.    We will do this in 2 parts:

Part 1)   Instantly 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 out the ideal battery for your solar panel system!

So let’s get started…

So the first decision to make is the type of battery that will fit your system.

Lead Acid Batteries

They’re also among the longest-used and most reliable batteries in existence.  When compared with the other batteries we’ll discuss in this report; they’re the cheapest option but you exchange cost for some battery life and depth of discharge.  But for homeowners needing a great deal of storage for a lesser cost, or if you are simply making the move 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 in our solar panel systems.

Saltwater Batteries

Saltwater batteries are more expensive than lead acid batteries, but also have a greater lifespan.  Unlike lead acid batteries, saltwater batteries are essentially brand new to the industry and stay both somewhat untested and harder to come across.  Of the 3 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 types 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 ion 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.  Once 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 perfect battery for your system.  

Cost

Cost is probably one of the more obvious elements.  But the old saying,”you get what you pay for” holds true when purchasing batteries as well.  Sometimes though, certain batteries may be overkill for your system so the most expensive battery may not be the best 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 hold the identical 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 keep in mind that if you use the maintenance and reconditioning methods we teach you in 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 before needing to recharge the battery without damaging 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 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 store.   Power is how much energy that a battery can provide at a certain moment.  A battery with a high capacity and high power can run a large system for several hours; a battery with low capacity and higher power can operate a large system but just for a short time.

Efficiency

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

Manufacturer

This may not be a part most would consider, but it is something to focus on.  Like other technologies, there are both trusted brands and start-up brands.  A trusted brand comes with known defects and advantages; a startup brand can perhaps have better technology, but can also have yet unknown technological difficulties.  Based upon your system needs, you may decide to go for a well-reviewed company or one that is brand new to the market.