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) to 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 purchasing your new battery (to ensure you get the most bang for your buck)!
When picking a battery (or batteries) for your solar panel system, there are three categories of batteries which work best. We’ll do this in two parts:
Part 1) Instantly compare the three chief 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 maker.
By the conclusion of this article you will know just how to pick the best battery to your solar panel system!
So let’s begin…
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 are the most commonly used rechargeable battery in the world. They are also one of the longest-used and most reliable batteries in existence. When compared with the other batteries we will discuss in this report; they’re the cheapest option but you exchange price for some battery life and depth of discharge. But for homeowners needing a great deal of storage for a lower cost, or if you are just making the move to a solar panel system, lead acid batteries might 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 greater lifespan. Contrary to lead acid batteries, saltwater batteries are basically brand new to the industry and remain both somewhat untested and harder to come across. Of the 3 types 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. Comparing all three options, the lithium ion battery may be the highest rated, but also the most expensive. A good example of a lithium ion battery is the Tesla Powerwall.
Part 2) Compare the components of batteries. As soon as you’ve chosen 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 for your system.
Price is probably one of the more obvious elements. 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 may not be the ideal choice always.
For many systems, a battery will cycle every day, meaning it will drain and charge regularly. With each cycle, the battery’s ability to maintain the identical charge lessens slightly. So 1 component to consider is the warranty on the battery that guarantees a certain number of cycles of useful life. But bear 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.
Depth of Discharge
Length of release is how much you can drain the battery down before needing to recharge the battery without damaging its life. Certain solar batteries may be depleted farther than others, allowing for more use between charging. Basically, a battery with a 90% depth of discharge per cycle will provide 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 store. Power is how much energy that a battery can provide at a given moment. A battery with both a high capacity and higher power can run a large system for several hours; a battery with low capacity and higher power can run a large system but just for a short time.
Efficiency is the amount of energy used compared to the quantity of energy it took to store said 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.
This might not be a component most would consider, but it’s something to focus on. Like other technologies, there are both reputable brands and start-up brands. A trusted brand includes known defects and advantages; a startup 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.