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) 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 the 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) Quickly compare the three chief types 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 manufacturer.
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 get started…
Part 1) The Three Best Types Of Batteries For Solar Panel Systems: The best type of battery for your solar panel system will be dependent on what you’re looking for. 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 are also among 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 lower cost, or whether you are just making the transfer to a solar panel system, lead acid batteries might be an excellent option. They’re the type 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 market and remain both somewhat untested and harder to come across. Of the three types of batteries, saltwater has the greatest 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. Their depth of discharge is less than that of a saltwater battery, but more than that of a lead acid battery. Comparing all three choices, the lithium ion battery may be 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. As soon as you’ve chosen the best battery type for your 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.
Price 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 every day, meaning it will drain and charge regularly. With each cycle, the battery’s ability to maintain the same charge lessens slightly. So 1 component to consider is the warranty on the battery which 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 in 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 damaging its life. Particular solar batteries can be depleted farther 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 save. 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 massive system for several hours; a battery with low capacity and high power can run a large system but only for a short time.
Efficiency is the amount of energy used compared to the quantity of energy it took to store energy. Batteries require power to charge and efficiency compares the energy taken to control a battery together with the amount of energy which the charged battery produces.
This might not be a part most would consider, but it is something to pay attention to. As with other technology, there are both trusted brands and start-up brands. A trusted brand includes known defects and advantages; a startup brand can perhaps have better technology, but can also have yet unknown technological difficulties. Depending upon your system demands, you might decide to go with a well-reviewed company or one that is brand new to the market.