We Fix It Batteries Plus

Or have you wondered what makes one deep cycle battery greater than another?  If so, this report will answer these questions and provide you specific things to check on before buying your new battery (to make certain you get the most bang for your buck)!

When picking a battery (or batteries) to 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 kinds 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 end of this article you will know exactly how to pick out the best battery for your own solar panel system!

So let’s get started…

So the first decision to make is the type of battery that will fit your system.

Lead Acid Batteries

They are also one of the longest-used and most dependable 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 lots of storage for a lower cost, or if you are just making the transfer to a solar panel system, lead acid batteries may be a very good option.  They’re the sort of battery we use in the majority of the battery banks within our solar panel systems.

Saltwater Batteries

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 three 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

Lithium batteries are the most expensive and the longest lasting of the three kinds 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 ion battery is the Tesla Powerwall.

Part 2) Compare the elements of batteries.  Once you’ve picked 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 perfect battery to your system.  

Cost

Cost is probably one of the more obvious components.  But the old saying,”you get what you pay for” holds true when purchasing batteries also.  Sometimes though, certain batteries could be overkill for your system so the most expensive battery might not be the best choice always.

For most systems, a battery will cycle daily, meaning it will 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 guarantee on the battery that 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.

Length of Discharge

Depth of discharge is how much you can drain the battery down before needing to recharge the battery without damaging its life.  Certain 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 provides more battery power per charge than 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 store.   Power is how much energy a battery can provide at a certain moment.  A battery with a high capacity and higher power can run a massive system for several hours; a battery with low capacity and higher power can operate a large system but just for a short time.

Efficiency

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 with the amount of energy that the charged battery produces.  The higher the efficiency, the more cost-effective the battery.

Manufacturer

This may 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 includes known defects and benefits; a startup brand can perhaps have better technology, but can also have yet unknown technological difficulties.  Based upon your system demands, you may decide to go with a well-reviewed firm or one that is brand new to the market.