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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 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 picking a battery (or batteries) for your solar panel system, there are three categories of batteries that work best.    We will do this in 2 parts:

Part 1)   Quickly compare the three chief types of solar batteries (lead acid, saltwater, and lithium).   And,

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

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

So let’s get started…

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. 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 dependable 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 lesser price, or whether you are just making the transfer to a solar panel system, lead acid batteries may be an excellent option.  They’re the sort of battery we use in most of the battery banks within our solar panel systems.

Saltwater Batteries

Saltwater batteries are more expensive than lead acid batteries, but also have a better lifespan.  Contrary to lead acid batteries, saltwater batteries are basically brand new to the industry and stay both somewhat untested and more difficult to come across.  Of the three types of batteries, saltwater has the best depth of discharge, so you’ll get 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.  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 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

Price is probably one of the more obvious elements.  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 might not be the ideal choice always.

For most systems, a battery will cycle every day, meaning it will charge and drain regularly.  With each cycle, the battery’s ability to maintain the identical charge lessens slightly.  So one component to consider is the guarantee on the battery which 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.

Length of Discharge

Length of release 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 farther 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.

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 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 high power can operate a large system but just for a short time.

Efficiency

Efficiency is the amount of energy used compared to the amount of energy it took to save energy.  Batteries require power to charge and efficacy compares the energy taken to control a battery together with the amount of energy that the charged battery produces. 

Manufacturer

This may not be a part most would consider, but it is something to pay attention to.  As with other technologies, there are both reputable brands and start-up brands.  A trusted brand comes with known flaws and benefits; a startup brand can perhaps have better technology, but could also have unknown technological issues.  Based upon your system demands, you may decide to go for a well-reviewed firm or one that is brand new to the market.