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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) for 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 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 which work best.    We will 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 elements of batteries, such as: depth of discharge, power and capacity, efficiency, battery life, and maker.

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

So let’s begin…

So the first decision to make is the sort of battery that will fit your system.

Lead Acid Batteries

They are 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 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 may be a very good option.  They’re the type 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.  Unlike 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 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 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 choices, the lithium battery may be the highest rated, but also the most expensive.  A good example of a lithium battery is the Tesla Powerwall.

Part 2) Assess the components of batteries.  Once 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 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 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.

Battery Life and Warranty

For most systems, a battery will cycle daily, meaning it is going to charge and drain regularly.  With every 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 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 program, 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 may be depleted further than others, allowing for more use between charging.  Basically, 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

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 that a battery can provide at a given moment.  A battery with both a high capacity and high power can run a massive system for many hours; a battery with low capacity and higher 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 charge and efficiency compares the energy taken to charge a battery with the amount of energy which the charged battery produces.  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 pay attention to.  As with other technologies, there are both trusted brands and startup brands.  A trusted brand includes known defects and benefits; a startup brand can perhaps have better technology, but could also have yet unknown technological issues.  Depending upon your system demands, you may decide to go with a well-reviewed company or one that is brand new to the market.