Dune Buggy Atlanta

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 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)   Instantly compare the three main types 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 maker.

By the conclusion of this article you will know just how to pick the best battery to your own 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 dependable batteries in existence.  When compared with the other batteries we’ll discuss in this report; they are the cheapest option but you trade cost for some battery life and depth of discharge.  But for homeowners needing lots of storage for a lower price, or whether 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

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 market and stay both somewhat untested and harder to come across.  Of the three types of batteries, saltwater has the greatest depth of discharge, so you’ll get 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 choices, 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 components of batteries.  Once you’ve picked the best battery type for your solar panel or off-grid system (that meets your system’s needs), there are components to research to find the ideal battery to your system.  

Cost

Price 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.  In some instances though, certain batteries may be overkill for your system so the most expensive battery might not be the best choice always.

Battery Life and Warranty

For many systems, a battery will cycle daily, meaning it is going to charge and drain regularly.  With each cycle, the battery’s ability to maintain the same charge lessens slightly.  So 1 component to consider is the warranty on the battery which guarantees a certain number of cycles of useful life.  But bear in mind that if you use the maintenance and reconditioning methods we teach you at the EZ Battery Reconditioning program, you can extend the life of your batteries.

Length of Discharge

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

Capacity 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 given moment.  A battery with 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 only for a brief 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 control a battery with the amount of energy that 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 is something to focus on.  As with other technology, there are both trusted brands and startup brands.  A trusted brand includes known defects and advantages; a start-up brand can perhaps have better technology, but can also have yet unknown technological issues.  Depending upon your system demands, you might decide to go with a well-reviewed company or one that is brand new to the market.