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 greater than another? If so, this article 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 the buck)!
When choosing 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 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 end of this article you will know just how to pick the ideal 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 type of battery that will fit your system.
Lead acid batteries are the most commonly used rechargeable battery in the world. They’re also one of the longest-used and most dependable batteries in existence. Compared to the other batteries we will discuss in this report; they are the cheapest option but you trade price for some battery life and depth of discharge. But for homeowners needing lots of storage for a lesser cost, or whether you are simply making the transfer to a solar panel system, lead acid batteries might be a very good 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 market and stay both somewhat untested and harder to come across. Of the 3 types of batteries, saltwater has the best depth of discharge, which means you’ll find the most output per charge before needing to recharge.
Lithium batteries are the most expensive and the longest lasting of the three types of solar batteries. 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) 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.
Price is probably one of the more obvious components. But the old saying,”you get what you pay for” holds true when purchasing batteries also. In some instances though, certain batteries may be overkill for your system so the most expensive battery might not be the ideal choice always.
For many systems, a battery will cycle every day, meaning it is going to charge and drain regularly. With every cycle, the battery’s ability to maintain the identical 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 keep in mind that if you use the maintenance and reconditioning methods we teach you at 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 harming 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 save. Power is how much energy that a battery can provide at a given moment. A battery with both a high capacity and high power can run a large system for several 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 quantity of energy it took to save energy. Batteries require power to control and efficacy compares the energy taken to control a battery together with the amount of energy that the charged battery produces.
This might not be a component most would consider, but it’s something to focus on. As with other technologies, there are both reputable brands and start-up brands. A trusted brand includes known defects and benefits; a start-up brand can perhaps have better technology, but could also have yet unknown technological difficulties. Depending on your system demands, you may decide to go with a well-reviewed firm or one that is brand new to the market.