Makita 18V Lithium Battery Fix

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 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 the buck)!

When picking a battery (or batteries) for your solar panel system, there are 3 categories of batteries which work best.    We will 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 elements of batteries, such as: depth of discharge, power and capacity, efficiency, battery life, and maker.

By the conclusion of the article you will know exactly how to pick the best battery to your solar panel system!

So let’s get started…

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 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’re also among 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 exchange cost for some battery life and depth of discharge.  But for homeowners needing lots of storage for a lower cost, or if you are just making the transfer to a solar panel system, lead acid batteries may 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 better lifespan.  Contrary to 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 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 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 ion 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 elements of batteries.  As soon as you’ve picked the best battery type for your own 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

Cost is probably one of the more obvious components.  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 many systems, a battery will cycle daily, meaning it is going to charge and drain regularly.  With each cycle, the battery’s ability to hold the identical charge lessens slightly.  So 1 component to consider is the guarantee on the battery which guarantees a certain 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 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 compared to a battery with less.

Capacity and Power

Measured in kilowatt hours (kWh), capacity is the amount of energy a battery can store over time. 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 large system for several hours; a battery with low capacity and high power can operate a large system but only for a brief time.

Efficiency

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 control a battery with the amount of energy that the charged battery generates.  The higher the efficiency, the more cost-effective the battery.

Manufacturer

This might not be a component most would consider, but it’s something to pay attention to.  As with other technology, 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 could also have yet unknown technological difficulties.  Based upon your system demands, you might decide to go for a well-reviewed firm or one that is brand new to the market.