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) 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 ensure you get the most bang for the buck)!
When picking a battery (or batteries) to your solar panel system, there are 3 categories of batteries which work best. We’ll do this in two parts:
Part 1) Instantly compare the three main kinds of solar batteries (lead acid, saltwater, and lithium). And,
Part 2) Compare the elements of batteries, such as: depth of discharge, power and capacity, efficiency, battery life, and maker.
By the conclusion of this article you will know exactly how to pick the ideal battery for your own 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 sort of battery that will fit your system.
Lead Acid Batteries
They are also one of the longest-used and most reliable batteries in existence. Compared to the other batteries we’ll 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 lots of storage for a lower 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 within our solar panel systems.
Saltwater batteries are more expensive than lead acid batteries, but also have a better lifespan. Unlike lead acid batteries, saltwater batteries are basically brand new to the industry and stay both somewhat untested and harder to come across. Of the three 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. Their depth of discharge is less than that of a saltwater battery, but more than that of a lead acid battery. Comparing all three choices, the lithium battery may be the highest rated, but also the most expensive. A good example of a lithium battery is the Tesla Powerwall.
Part 2) Assess 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 research to find the perfect 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 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.
For most systems, a battery will cycle daily, meaning it is going to charge and drain regularly. With every cycle, the battery’s ability to hold the same charge lessens slightly. So 1 component to consider is the guarantee on the battery that guarantees a specific 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
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 will provide more battery power per charge than a battery with less.
Capacity 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 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 charge 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 may not be a part most would consider, but it is something to pay attention to. As with other technologies, there are both reputable brands and startup brands. A trusted brand comes with known flaws and benefits; a start-up brand can perhaps have better technology, but can also have unknown technological difficulties. Based on your system needs, you might decide to go for a well-reviewed company or one that is brand new to the market.