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 provide you specific things to check on before buying your new battery (to ensure you get the most bang for your buck)!
When picking a battery (or batteries) to your solar panel system, there are three categories of batteries which work best. We will 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, capacity and power, efficiency, battery life, and manufacturer.
By the conclusion of this 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.
They are also one of the longest-used and most dependable batteries in existence. When compared with the other batteries we will discuss in this report; they are 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 price, 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 most of the battery banks in 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 basically brand new to the industry and remain both somewhat untested and more difficult to come across. Of the three kinds 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 kinds of solar batteries. Comparing all three options, the lithium battery is probably the highest rated, but also the most expensive. An example of a lithium ion battery is the Tesla Powerwall.
Part 2) Compare the components of batteries. Once you’ve chosen 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 to 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 as well. In some instances though, certain batteries may be overkill for your system so the most expensive battery may 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 that guarantees a certain number of cycles of useful life. But bear in mind that if 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
Length of release is how much you can drain the battery before needing to recharge the battery without damaging its life. Particular solar batteries may be depleted farther than others, allowing for more use between charging. Essentially, a battery with a 90% depth of discharge per cycle provides more battery power per charge than a battery with less.
Capacity and Power
The more capacity a battery has, the more power it can store. Power is how much energy a battery can provide at a certain moment. A battery with both a high capacity and high power can run a massive system for many hours; a battery with low capacity and higher power can operate a large system but only for a short time.
Efficiency is the amount of energy used compared to the amount of energy it took to store said energy. Batteries require power to control and efficiency 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 pay attention to. Like other technologies, there are both trusted brands and start-up brands. A trusted brand comes with known defects and benefits; a startup brand can perhaps have better technology, but could also have unknown technological difficulties. Depending upon your system demands, you might decide to go with a well-reviewed company or one that is brand new to the market.