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 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 will do this in two parts:
Part 1) Quickly compare the three chief types of solar batteries (lead acid, saltwater, and lithium). And,
Part 2) Assess the elements of batteries, such as: depth of discharge, capacity and power, efficiency, battery life, and maker.
By the conclusion of the article you will know just how to pick out the ideal battery for your solar panel system!
So let’s begin…
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 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 trade cost for some battery life and depth of discharge. But for homeowners needing a great deal of storage for a lesser price, 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 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 stay both somewhat untested and harder to come across. Of the 3 types of batteries, saltwater has the greatest depth of discharge, which means you’ll get 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 choices, 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 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 elements to research 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 buying batteries as well. Sometimes though, certain batteries could be overkill for your system so the most expensive battery may not be the best choice always.
Battery Life and Warranty
For most 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 guarantee on the battery which guarantees a specific 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.
Depth of Discharge
Depth of discharge is how much you can drain the battery down 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 compared to 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 certain 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 operate 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 energy. Batteries require power to charge and efficacy compares the energy taken to control a battery with the amount of energy which the charged battery generates. 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. As with other technologies, there are both reputable 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 unknown technological issues. Based on your system needs, you might decide to go with a well-reviewed firm or one that is brand new to the market.