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 article will answer these questions and give you specific things to check on before buying your new battery (to make certain 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 that work best. We’ll do this in 2 parts:
Part 1) Instantly compare the three chief 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 end of this article you will know just how to pick out the best battery to your solar panel system!
So let’s get started…
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
Lead acid batteries are the most commonly used rechargeable battery in the world. They are also one of the longest-used and most reliable batteries in existence. Compared to the other batteries we’ll 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 cost, 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 in our solar panel systems.
Saltwater batteries are more expensive than lead acid batteries, but also have a greater 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, which means 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 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 options, the lithium ion 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 elements of batteries. Once 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 explore to find the ideal 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 buying batteries also. Sometimes though, certain batteries could be overkill for your system so the most expensive battery may not be the ideal choice always.
Battery Life and Warranty
For most systems, a battery will cycle daily, meaning it will 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 that guarantees a specific number of cycles of useful life. But bear in mind that if 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
Length of release 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. 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 a battery can provide at a given moment. A battery with a high capacity and high power can run a large system for many hours; a battery with low capacity and high power can operate a large system but only for a brief time.
Efficiency is the amount of energy used compared to the amount of energy it took to store said energy. Batteries require power to charge and efficiency compares the energy taken to control a battery together with the amount of energy which the charged battery produces. The higher the efficiency, the more cost-effective the battery.
This might not be a part most would consider, but it’s something to pay attention to. Like other technologies, there are both trusted brands and startup brands. A trusted brand comes with known flaws and advantages; a start-up brand can perhaps have better technology, but can also have yet unknown technological issues. Based upon your system needs, you may decide to go with a well-reviewed company or one that is brand new to the market.