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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 report will answer these questions and give you specific things to check on before buying your new battery (to make certain you get the most bang for your buck)!

When choosing a battery (or batteries) to 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)   Assess the components of batteries, such as: depth of discharge, capacity and power, efficiency, battery life, and manufacturer.

By the end of the article you will know exactly how to pick out the best battery for your 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 depend on what you’re looking for. So the first decision to make is the sort of battery that will fit your system.

They’re also one of the longest-used and most reliable batteries in existence.  When compared with 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 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 sort 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 remain both somewhat untested and more difficult to come across.  Of the three kinds of batteries, saltwater has the best depth of discharge, which means you’ll find 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 options, the lithium ion 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 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 explore to find the ideal battery to your system.  

Cost

Price is probably one of the more obvious elements.  But the old saying,”you get what you pay for” holds true when buying batteries as well.  Sometimes 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 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 warranty on the battery which guarantees a certain number of cycles of useful life.  But bear in mind that when 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 down before needing to recharge the battery without damaging its life.  Certain solar batteries may be depleted farther than others, allowing for more use between charging.  Essentially, a battery with a 90% depth of discharge per cycle provides more battery power per charge than a battery with less.

Capacity and Power

The more capacity a battery has, the more power it can store.   Power is how much energy that 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 high power can run a large system but only for a short time.

Efficiency

Efficiency is the amount of energy used compared to the quantity of energy it took to store energy.  Batteries require power to charge and efficacy compares the energy taken to control a battery together 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 part 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 advantages; a start-up brand can perhaps have better technology, but can also have yet unknown technological issues.  Based on your system demands, you might decide to go for a well-reviewed company or one that is brand new to the market.