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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 buying your new battery (to make certain you get the most bang for the buck)!

When choosing a battery (or batteries) for your solar panel system, there are 3 categories of batteries that work best.    We will do this in 2 parts:

Part 1)   Instantly compare the three chief kinds of solar batteries (lead acid, saltwater, and lithium).   And,

Part 2)   Compare the elements of batteries, such as: depth of discharge, capacity and power, efficiency, battery life, and maker.

By the end of this article you will know just how to pick the ideal battery to your own 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. 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 sort 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 reliable batteries in existence.  When compared with 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 a great deal of storage for a lesser cost, or if you are simply 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 the majority 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 industry and remain both somewhat untested and harder to come across.  Of the three kinds of batteries, saltwater has the best depth of discharge, which means 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.  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 ion battery may be the highest rated, but also the most expensive.  An example of a lithium battery is the Tesla Powerwall.

Part 2) Assess 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 research to find the ideal 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 buying batteries also.  In some instances though, certain batteries may be overkill for your system so the most expensive battery might 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 same 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 when 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

Depth of discharge is how much you can drain the battery before needing to recharge the battery without damaging its life.  Particular solar batteries may 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 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 large system for many 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 amount of energy it took to save energy.  Batteries require power to control and efficiency compares the energy taken to charge a battery together with the amount of energy which the charged battery generates. 

Manufacturer

This might not be a part most would consider, but it’s something to pay attention to.  Like other technology, there are both reputable brands and start-up brands.  A trusted brand comes with known flaws and advantages; a startup brand can perhaps have better technology, but could also have yet unknown technological difficulties.  Depending on your system demands, you might decide to go with a well-reviewed company or one that is brand new to the market.