Steve Jay Lenos Garage

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 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 make certain you get the most bang for your buck)!

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

Part 1)   Quickly 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 conclusion of this article you will know just how to pick the ideal battery to 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. 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 are also one of the longest-used and most reliable batteries in existence.  When compared with the other batteries we will discuss in this report; they’re 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 just making the transfer to a solar panel system, lead acid batteries might 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 more difficult to come across.  Of the 3 kinds of batteries, saltwater has the best depth of discharge, so you’ll find the most output per charge before needing to recharge.

Lithium batteries are the most expensive and the longest lasting of the three types of solar batteries.  Comparing all three options, 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) 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 explore 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 could be overkill for your system so the most expensive battery may not be the ideal choice always.

Battery Life and Warranty

For most systems, a battery will cycle every day, meaning it will charge and drain regularly.  With each cycle, the battery’s ability to hold the identical charge lessens slightly.  So one component to consider is the guarantee 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 in the EZ Battery Reconditioning program, you can extend the life of your batteries.

Depth of Discharge

Length of release is how much you can drain the battery before needing to recharge the battery without harming 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 compared to a battery with less.

Ability 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 high power can run a massive system for several hours; a battery with low capacity and high power can operate a large system but just 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 charge and efficiency 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.

Manufacturer

This may not be a part most would consider, but it’s something to focus on.  As with 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 issues.  Depending upon your system demands, you may decide to go for a well-reviewed firm or one that is brand new to the market.