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 purchasing your new battery (to ensure you get the most bang for your buck)!
When choosing a battery (or batteries) for your solar panel system, there are 3 categories of batteries that work best. We’ll do this in two parts:
Part 1) Instantly compare the three chief kinds of solar batteries (lead acid, saltwater, and lithium). And,
Part 2) Assess the components of batteries, such as: depth of discharge, power and capacity, efficiency, battery life, and maker.
By the end of this article you will know exactly how to pick out the best battery to your solar panel system!
So let’s begin…
Part 1) The Three Best Types Of Batteries For Solar Panel Systems: The best type of battery for your solar panel system will be dependent on what you’re looking for. 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 are also among the longest-used and most dependable 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 lots of storage for a lower price, or whether you are simply making the transfer to a solar panel system, lead acid batteries may be an excellent option. They’re the sort 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. 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 best depth of discharge, which means you’ll find 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 choices, the lithium ion battery is probably the highest rated, but also the most expensive. An example of a lithium battery is the Tesla Powerwall.
Part 2) Compare the components of batteries. As soon as you’ve chosen the best battery type for your solar panel or off-grid system (that meets your system’s needs), there are elements to explore to find the ideal battery for 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 may not be the ideal choice always.
For most systems, a battery will cycle every day, meaning it will drain and charge regularly. With each cycle, the battery’s ability to hold the same charge lessens slightly. So 1 component to consider is the warranty 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 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. Certain 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 compared to a battery with less.
Ability 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 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 high power can run a large system but only for a short time.
Efficiency is the amount of energy used compared to the quantity of energy it took to save said energy. Batteries require power to control and efficiency compares the energy taken to charge a battery together with the amount of energy that the charged battery produces. The higher the efficiency, the more cost-effective the battery.
This may not be a part most would consider, but it is something to focus on. As with other technologies, there are both reputable brands and start-up brands. A trusted brand includes known flaws and advantages; 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 for a well-reviewed company or one that is brand new to the market.