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 three categories of batteries that work best. We’ll do this in 2 parts:
Part 1) Quickly compare the three chief types 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 manufacturer.
By the end of this article you will know exactly how to pick the ideal battery to 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 exchange 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 may be an excellent 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. Unlike lead acid batteries, saltwater batteries are basically brand new to the market and stay both somewhat untested and harder to come across. Of the three kinds of batteries, saltwater has the best 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 types of solar batteries. Comparing all three choices, the lithium 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. 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 explore 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 as well. In some instances though, certain batteries could 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 maintain the same charge lessens slightly. So one component to consider is the warranty on the battery which 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 program, 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. Certain solar batteries can be depleted further than others, allowing for more use between charging. Essentially, a battery with a 90% depth of discharge per cycle will provide more battery power per charge than a battery with less.
Ability and Power
The more capacity a battery has, the more power it can store. Power is how much energy a battery can provide at a certain 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 operate 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 said energy. Batteries require power to control and efficacy compares the energy taken to control a battery with the amount of energy that the charged battery produces. The higher the efficiency, the more cost-effective the battery.
This might not be a component most would consider, but it’s something to pay attention to. Like 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. Depending upon your system demands, you may decide to go with a well-reviewed firm or one that is brand new to the market.