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 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 2 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, power and capacity, efficiency, battery life, and maker.
By the conclusion of the article you will know just how to pick out the ideal battery for your own solar panel system!
So let’s get started…
Part 1) The Three Best Types Of Batteries For Solar Panel Systems: The best type of battery for your solar panel system will depend on what you’re looking for. So the first decision to make is the type of battery that will fit your system.
They are also among the longest-used and most reliable batteries in existence. Compared to the other batteries we will discuss in this report; they’re the cheapest option but you exchange cost for some battery life and depth of discharge. But for homeowners needing a great deal of storage for a lesser price, or if you are just making the move to a solar panel system, lead acid batteries may be an excellent option. They’re the sort 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 better lifespan. Unlike lead acid batteries, saltwater batteries are basically brand new to the industry and remain both somewhat untested and more difficult 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 types 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 options, the lithium battery may be the highest rated, but also the most expensive. An example of a lithium battery is the Tesla Powerwall.
Part 2) Compare the elements of batteries. Once you’ve picked the best battery type for your own 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.
Cost 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. 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 many systems, a battery will cycle every day, meaning it will charge and drain regularly. With every cycle, the battery’s ability to maintain the identical charge lessens slightly. So 1 component to consider is the guarantee on the battery that guarantees a certain number of cycles of useful life. But bear in mind that if 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 harming its life. Particular solar batteries can be depleted further 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 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 massive system for many hours; a battery with low capacity and high power can run a large system but just 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 efficiency compares the energy taken to control a battery with the amount of energy that the charged battery generates.
This may not be a component most would consider, but it’s something to pay attention to. Like other technology, there are both trusted brands and start-up brands. A trusted brand comes with known defects and benefits; a startup brand can perhaps have better technology, but could also have unknown technological issues. Depending upon your system needs, you may decide to go for a well-reviewed company or one that is brand new to the market.