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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 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 picking a battery (or batteries) for your solar panel system, there are 3 categories of batteries which work best.    We’ll do this in 2 parts:

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

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

By the conclusion of this article you will know just 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 are also one of the longest-used and most dependable batteries in existence.  Compared to the other batteries we will discuss in this report; they are 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 price, or if you are just making the move to a solar panel system, lead acid batteries might be a very good option.  They’re the type of battery we use in the majority of the battery banks within our solar panel systems.

Saltwater batteries are more expensive than lead acid batteries, but also have a greater lifespan.  Contrary to lead acid batteries, saltwater batteries are essentially brand new to the industry and stay both somewhat untested and harder to come across.  Of the 3 kinds 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 options, the lithium battery may be 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.  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 components to explore to find the perfect 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 also.  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 every cycle, the battery’s ability to hold the same charge lessens slightly.  So 1 component to consider is the warranty on the battery that guarantees a certain 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 program, you can extend the life of your batteries.

Length of Discharge

Length of release is how much you can drain the battery before needing to recharge the battery without damaging its life.  Certain 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.

Ability and Power

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 many hours; a battery with low capacity and high power can operate 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 save energy.  Batteries require power to control 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 technology, there are both trusted brands and startup brands.  A trusted brand comes with known defects and advantages; a start-up brand can perhaps have better technology, but can also have unknown technological issues.  Based upon your system needs, you may decide to go for a well-reviewed firm or one that is brand new to the market.