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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 picking a battery (or batteries) for your solar panel system, there are three categories of batteries which work best.    We’ll do this in two 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 maker.

By the end of this article you will know just how to pick the ideal battery for your solar panel system!

So let’s get started…

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.

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’re the cheapest option but you exchange price for some battery life and depth of discharge.  But for homeowners needing a great deal of storage for a lower price, or whether you are just making the move to a solar panel system, lead acid batteries might be a very good option.  They’re the sort of battery we use in most of the battery banks in 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 industry and stay both somewhat untested and harder to come across.  Of the 3 types 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 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 options, the lithium battery may be the highest rated, but also the most expensive.  An example of a lithium battery is the Tesla Powerwall.

Part 2) Assess the elements of batteries.  As soon as you’ve chosen the best battery type for your own solar panel or off-grid system (that meets your system’s needs), there are elements to research to find the perfect 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 purchasing batteries also.  In some instances though, certain batteries could 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 hold the same charge lessens slightly.  So one component to consider is the warranty on the battery that guarantees a specific number of cycles of useful life.  But keep in mind that when 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 harming 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 compared to a battery with less.

Capacity and Power

The more capacity a battery has, the more power it can save.   Power is how much energy that a battery can provide at a certain moment.  A battery with both a high capacity and higher power can run a massive system for several 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 said energy.  Batteries require power to control and efficiency compares the energy taken to charge a battery with the amount of energy that the charged battery generates. 

Manufacturer

This might not be a component most would consider, but it’s something to pay attention to.  As with other technologies, there are both trusted 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 unknown technological issues.  Based upon your system needs, you may decide to go for a well-reviewed company or one that is brand new to the market.