How To Pick Out The Best Battery For a Solar Panel System, Battery Bank, or Off-Grid System
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 which work best. We will do this in two parts:
Part 1) Instantly compare the three main 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 manufacturer.
By the end of this article you will know exactly how to pick the ideal battery for your solar panel system!
So let’s begin…
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 one of the longest-used and most dependable batteries in existence. Compared to 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 lots of storage for a lesser cost, or if you are simply making the transfer to a solar panel system, lead acid batteries might be a very good option. They’re the sort 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 better lifespan. Unlike lead acid batteries, saltwater batteries are essentially brand new to the market and stay both somewhat untested and harder to come across. Of the 3 kinds 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 choices, the lithium battery is probably the highest rated, but also the most expensive. A good example of a lithium ion battery is the Tesla Powerwall.
Part 2) Compare the elements of batteries. As soon as you’ve picked 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 ideal battery to your system.
Price is probably one of the more obvious components. But the old saying,”you get what you pay for” holds true when purchasing batteries also. Sometimes though, certain batteries may be overkill for your system so the most expensive battery might not be the best choice always.
For many systems, a battery will cycle daily, meaning it will charge and drain 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 specific 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.
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 can be depleted further 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 save. Power is how much energy a battery can provide at a certain moment. A battery with both a high capacity and higher power can run a large system for many hours; a battery with low capacity and higher power can operate a large system but just for a brief time.
Efficiency is the amount of energy used compared to the amount of energy it took to store energy. Batteries require power to control 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.
This might not be a part most would consider, but it is something to focus on. Like other technology, there are both trusted brands and start-up brands. A trusted brand comes with known defects and benefits; a start-up brand can perhaps have better technology, but can also have 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.