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Or have you wondered what makes one deep cycle battery greater than another?  If so, this report will answer these questions and provide 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 that 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)   Assess the elements of batteries, such as: depth of discharge, power and capacity, efficiency, battery life, and maker.

By the end of the article you will know exactly how to pick the best battery to your own solar panel system!

So let’s get started…

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 are also one of the longest-used and most reliable batteries in existence.  Compared to the other batteries we’ll 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 if you are just making the move to a solar panel system, lead acid batteries may 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 greater 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 greatest depth of discharge, which means you’ll get the most output per fee before needing to recharge.

Lithium Batteries

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 choices, 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) Assess the elements 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 perfect battery for your system.  

Cost

Cost is probably one of the more obvious elements.  But the old saying,”you get what you pay for” holds true when purchasing batteries also.  In some instances though, certain batteries could be overkill for your system so the most expensive battery might not be the ideal choice always.

For most systems, a battery will cycle every day, meaning it is going to drain and charge regularly.  With every cycle, the battery’s ability to maintain the same charge lessens slightly.  So 1 component to consider is the warranty on the battery that guarantees a specific number of cycles of useful life.  But bear 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 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.  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 save.   Power is how much energy a battery can provide at a given moment.  A battery with a high capacity and higher 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

Efficiency is the amount of energy used compared to the quantity of energy it took to save said 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 produces. 

Manufacturer

This might not be a component most would consider, but it is something to focus on.  Like other technology, there are both reputable brands and startup brands.  A trusted brand includes known defects and benefits; a start-up brand can perhaps have better technology, but could also have yet unknown technological issues.  Based upon your system demands, you might decide to go with a well-reviewed company or one that is brand new to the market.