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How To Pick Out The Best Battery For a Solar Panel System, Battery Bank, or Off-Grid System

Have you ever wondered how to pick out the best battery(s) to 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 report will answer these questions and give you specific things to check on before buying your new battery (to ensure you get the most bang for your buck)!

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

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

Part 2)   Assess the components of batteries, such as: depth of discharge, power and capacity, efficiency, battery life, and manufacturer.

By the conclusion of the article you will know exactly how to pick out the ideal battery for your own solar panel system!

So let’s get started…

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 are also among the longest-used and most reliable batteries in existence.  When compared with the other batteries we’ll 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 price, or whether you are just making the move to a solar panel system, lead acid batteries may be an excellent option.  They’re the type of battery we use in most of the battery banks in our solar panel systems.

Saltwater Batteries

Saltwater batteries are more expensive than lead acid batteries, but also have a greater lifespan.  Contrary to lead acid batteries, saltwater batteries are basically 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 find 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 is probably the highest rated, but also the most expensive.  A good example of a lithium 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 explore 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 buying batteries as well.  Sometimes though, certain batteries could be overkill for your system so the most expensive battery might not be the ideal 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 maintain the identical 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 keep in mind that if you use the maintenance and reconditioning methods we teach you at the EZ Battery Reconditioning application, you can extend the life of your batteries.

Depth of Discharge

Depth of discharge is how much you can drain the battery down before needing to recharge the battery without harming its life.  Particular 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.

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 given moment.  A battery with both a high capacity and higher power can run a massive system for many hours; a battery with low capacity and higher power can run a large system but just for a brief time.

Efficiency

Efficiency is the amount of energy used compared to the amount of energy it took to store said energy.  Batteries require power to control and efficiency compares the energy taken to charge a battery with the amount of energy which the charged battery generates.  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 focus on.  As with other technology, there are both reputable brands and startup brands.  A trusted brand comes with known defects and benefits; a start-up brand can perhaps have better technology, but can also have yet unknown technological difficulties.  Based upon your system needs, you might decide to go with a well-reviewed firm or one that is brand new to the market.