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 better than another? If so, this article 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) for your solar panel system, there are three categories of batteries which work best. We’ll do this in two parts:
Part 1) Instantly compare the three main types of solar batteries (lead acid, saltwater, and lithium). And,
Part 2) Compare the components of batteries, such as: depth of discharge, capacity and power, efficiency, battery life, and manufacturer.
By the conclusion of the article you will know just how to pick out the ideal battery for your solar panel system!
So let’s begin…
So the first decision to make is the type of battery that will fit your system.
They’re also one of the longest-used and most reliable batteries in existence. Compared to the other batteries we will 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 lots of storage for a lower price, or if you are just making the transfer to a solar panel system, lead acid batteries may 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 greater lifespan. Unlike lead acid batteries, saltwater batteries are basically brand new to the market 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 fee before needing to recharge.
Lithium batteries are the most expensive and the longest lasting of the three kinds 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. An example of a lithium ion battery is the Tesla Powerwall.
Part 2) Assess the components of batteries. As soon as 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 for your system.
Cost is probably one of the more obvious elements. But the old saying,”you get what you pay for” holds true when purchasing batteries as well. In some instances though, certain batteries may be overkill for your system so the most expensive battery may not be the best choice always.
For many 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 identical charge lessens slightly. So one component to consider is the warranty on the battery that guarantees a certain number of cycles of useful life. But keep in mind that when 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 damaging 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 compared to 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 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 short time.
Efficiency is the amount of energy used compared to the quantity of energy it took to store said energy. Batteries require power to charge and efficiency compares the energy taken to charge a battery with the amount of energy that the charged battery produces.
This may not be a part most would consider, but it’s something to focus on. As with other technologies, there are both reputable brands and startup brands. A trusted brand includes known flaws and advantages; a startup brand can perhaps have better technology, but can also have yet unknown technological issues. Based upon your system demands, you may decide to go with a well-reviewed company or one that is brand new to the market.