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 better than another? If so, this report 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 your buck)!
When choosing a battery (or batteries) for your solar panel system, there are three categories of batteries that work best. We’ll 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, power and capacity, efficiency, battery life, and maker.
By the end of this article you will know exactly how to pick the ideal battery to your own solar panel system!
So let’s get started…
There are three battery types that work exceptionally well; however, each battery type has pros and cons. So the first decision to make is the type of battery that will fit your system.
Lead Acid Batteries
Lead acid batteries are the most commonly used rechargeable battery in the world. They’re also among the longest-used and most dependable batteries in existence. When compared with the other batteries we will discuss in this report; they’re the cheapest option but you trade price for some battery life and depth of discharge. But for homeowners needing a great deal of storage for a lesser cost, or whether you are simply making the transfer to a solar panel system, lead acid batteries might 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 market and remain both somewhat untested and more difficult to come across. Of the three types of batteries, saltwater has the best depth of discharge, so 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 kinds of solar batteries. Comparing all three options, the lithium ion battery is probably the highest rated, but also the most expensive. A good example of a lithium battery is the Tesla Powerwall.
Part 2) Compare the components of batteries. Once you’ve chosen 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 perfect battery for your system.
Cost is probably one of the more obvious elements. But the old saying,”you get what you pay for” holds true when purchasing batteries as well. Sometimes though, certain batteries may be overkill for your system so the most expensive battery might not be the best choice always.
Battery Life and Warranty
For most systems, a battery will cycle daily, meaning it is going to drain and charge regularly. With every cycle, the battery’s ability to hold the same charge lessens slightly. So one component to consider is the warranty on the battery that guarantees a certain number of cycles of useful life. But keep in mind that when 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
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. Basically, a battery with a 90% depth of discharge per cycle provides more battery power per charge compared to a battery with less.
Capacity and Power
The more capacity a battery has, the more power it can save. Power is how much energy a battery can provide at a given 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 just for a short time.
Efficiency is the amount of energy used compared to the quantity of energy it took to store said energy. Batteries require power to control and efficiency compares the energy taken to control a battery together with the amount of energy that the charged battery generates.
This might not be a part most would consider, but it is something to focus on. As with other technologies, there are both reputable brands and start-up brands. A trusted brand includes known defects and benefits; a start-up brand can perhaps have better technology, but can also have unknown technological difficulties. Depending upon your system needs, you may decide to go for a well-reviewed company or one that is brand new to the market.