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 ensure you get the most bang for the buck)!
When picking a battery (or batteries) to your solar panel system, there are three categories of batteries which work best. We will do this in two parts:
Part 1) Quickly compare the three chief kinds 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 maker.
By the end of this article you will know just how to pick the ideal battery for your own solar panel system!
So let’s begin…
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. There are three battery types that work exceptionally well; however, each battery type has pros and cons. So the first decision to make is the sort of battery that will fit your system.
Lead Acid Batteries
They are also among the longest-used and most dependable batteries in existence. Compared to the other batteries we will 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 simply 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 the majority of the battery banks within our solar panel systems.
Saltwater batteries are more expensive than lead acid batteries, but also have a better lifespan. Unlike lead acid batteries, saltwater batteries are essentially brand new to the industry and stay both somewhat untested and more difficult to come across. Of the 3 types of batteries, saltwater has the greatest depth of discharge, so you’ll find 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. 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 is probably the highest rated, but also the most expensive. An example of a lithium battery is the Tesla Powerwall.
Part 2) Compare 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 explore to find the perfect 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 could be overkill for your system so the most expensive battery may not be the ideal choice always.
For many systems, a battery will cycle every day, meaning it is going to drain and charge regularly. With each 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 bear in mind that when you use the maintenance and reconditioning methods we teach you in the EZ Battery Reconditioning application, you can extend the life of your batteries.
Length of Discharge
Depth of discharge is how much you can drain the battery before needing to recharge the battery without harming its life. Certain solar batteries may be depleted farther than others, allowing for more use between charging. Essentially, a battery with a 90% depth of discharge per cycle will provide 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 certain moment. A battery with a high capacity and higher power can run a large system for several hours; a battery with low capacity and high power can run a large system but only for a short time.
Efficiency is the amount of energy used compared to the amount of energy it took to save said energy. Batteries require power to charge and efficiency compares the energy taken to charge a battery together with the amount of energy which the charged battery generates.
This might not be a component most would consider, but it is something to pay attention to. Like other technologies, there are both trusted brands and start-up brands. A trusted brand includes known flaws and benefits; a start-up brand can perhaps have better technology, but could also have yet unknown technological difficulties. Depending upon your system demands, you might decide to go with a well-reviewed company or one that is brand new to the market.