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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 greater than another?  If so, this report will answer these questions and provide you specific things to check on before buying your new battery (to ensure you get the most bang for your buck)!

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

Part 1)   Quickly compare the three main 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 conclusion of the article you will know exactly how to pick out the best battery for your 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 be dependent 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

They’re also one of the longest-used and most dependable batteries in existence.  When compared with the other batteries we will discuss in this report; they are the cheapest option but you trade price 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 type of battery we use in most 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 essentially brand new to the industry and stay both somewhat untested and harder to come across.  Of the three kinds of batteries, saltwater has the greatest 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 options, the lithium battery may be the highest rated, but also the most expensive.  An example of a lithium battery is the Tesla Powerwall.

Part 2) Assess the elements of batteries.  As soon as you’ve chosen the best battery type for your own solar panel or off-grid system (that meets your system’s needs), there are components to research 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 buying batteries also.  In some instances though, certain batteries may be overkill for your system so the most expensive battery may not be the ideal choice always.

Battery Life and Warranty

For many systems, a battery will cycle daily, meaning it is going to drain and charge regularly.  With every cycle, the battery’s ability to maintain the identical charge lessens slightly.  So one component to consider is the warranty on the battery which guarantees a specific number of cycles of useful life.  But bear 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.

Depth of Discharge

Length of release is how much you can drain the battery down 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.  Basically, 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

The more capacity a battery has, the more power it can save.   Power is how much energy a battery can provide at a certain moment.  A battery with a high capacity and high power can run a large system for many hours; a battery with low capacity and higher power can operate a large system but just for a brief 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 charge and efficiency compares the energy taken to charge a battery together with the amount of energy that the charged battery produces.  The higher the efficiency, the more cost-effective the battery.

Manufacturer

This might not be a component most would consider, but it’s something to focus on.  Like other technology, there are both reputable brands and startup brands.  A trusted brand comes with known defects and benefits; a start-up brand can perhaps have better technology, but could also have unknown technological difficulties.  Depending upon your system needs, you may decide to go for a well-reviewed company or one that is brand new to the market.