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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 ensure you get the most bang for the buck)!

When choosing a battery (or batteries) to your solar panel system, there are 3 categories of batteries that work best.    We’ll do this in 2 parts:

Part 1)   Quickly 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, capacity and power, efficiency, battery life, and maker.

By the conclusion of the article you will know exactly how to pick the best battery to 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 sort of battery that will fit your system.

Lead acid batteries are the most commonly used rechargeable battery in the world. They are 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’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 simply 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 within 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 essentially brand new to the market and stay both somewhat untested and more difficult to come across.  Of the 3 types of batteries, saltwater has the greatest depth of discharge, which means you’ll get the most output per fee 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.  A good example of a lithium battery is the Tesla Powerwall.

Part 2) Assess the elements 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 could be overkill for your system so the most expensive battery may not be the best choice always.

For most systems, a battery will cycle every day, meaning it will drain and charge regularly.  With each cycle, the battery’s ability to hold the identical 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 when you use the maintenance and reconditioning methods we teach you in 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 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.  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

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 a high capacity and high power can run a massive system for many hours; a battery with low capacity and higher power can run a large system but only for a short time.

Efficiency

Efficiency is the amount of energy used compared to the quantity of energy it took to store said energy.  Batteries require power to control and efficacy compares the energy taken to charge a battery with the amount of energy which the charged battery produces. 

Manufacturer

This might not be a component most would consider, but it’s something to focus on.  As with other technologies, there are both trusted brands and startup brands.  A trusted brand comes with known defects and advantages; a start-up brand can perhaps have better technology, but can also have yet unknown technological difficulties.  Based upon your system demands, you might decide to go with a well-reviewed firm or one that is brand new to the market.