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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 give you specific things to check on before purchasing your new battery (to ensure 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 2 parts:

Part 1)   Quickly compare the three chief types of solar batteries (lead acid, saltwater, and lithium).   And,

Part 2)   Compare the components of batteries, such as: depth of discharge, power and capacity, efficiency, battery life, and maker.

By the conclusion of this 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 type of battery that will fit your system.

They’re 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 are the cheapest option but you exchange price for some battery life and depth of discharge.  But for homeowners needing lots of storage for a lesser cost, or if you are just making the transfer to a solar panel system, lead acid batteries may be a very good 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.  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 3 kinds of batteries, saltwater has the best depth of discharge, which means you’ll get the most output per fee before needing to recharge.

Lithium batteries are the most expensive and the longest lasting of the three kinds of solar batteries.  Comparing all three options, the lithium battery may be the highest rated, but also the most expensive.  An example of a lithium ion battery is the Tesla Powerwall.

Part 2) Assess the components of batteries.  As soon as 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 research to find the ideal battery for your system.  

Cost

Cost is probably one of the more obvious elements.  But the old saying,”you get what you pay for” holds true when purchasing batteries also.  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 many systems, a battery will cycle daily, meaning it is going to charge and drain 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 keep in mind that if 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 before needing to recharge the battery without damaging its life.  Particular solar batteries can 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 than a battery with less.

Ability 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 certain moment.  A battery with a high capacity and high power can run a massive system for many hours; a battery with low capacity and high power can run 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 efficacy compares the energy taken to control a battery together with the amount of energy that the charged battery generates.  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 pay attention to.  Like other technology, there are both trusted brands and startup brands.  A trusted brand includes known defects and benefits; a start-up brand can perhaps have better technology, but could also have yet unknown technological issues.  Depending on your system needs, you may decide to go for a well-reviewed company or one that is brand new to the market.