How To Pick Out The Best Battery For a Solar Panel System, Battery Bank, or Off-Grid System
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 better than another? If so, this article 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) for your solar panel system, there are three categories of batteries that work best. We will do this in 2 parts:
Part 1) Quickly compare the three chief kinds 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 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 be dependent on what you’re looking for. So the first decision to make is the sort of battery that will fit your system.
They are also among 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 cost for some battery life and depth of discharge. But for homeowners needing lots of storage for a lesser cost, or whether you are just making the move to a solar panel system, lead acid batteries may be an excellent option. They’re the type 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 better lifespan. Unlike lead acid batteries, saltwater batteries are essentially brand new to the market and stay both somewhat untested and harder to come across. Of the three types of batteries, saltwater has the best 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 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 ion battery may be the highest rated, but also the most expensive. A good example of a lithium battery is the Tesla Powerwall.
Part 2) Compare the elements of batteries. Once you’ve chosen the best battery type for your solar panel or off-grid system (that meets your system’s needs), there are elements to explore to find the ideal battery to your system.
Price is probably one of the more obvious components. 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 ideal choice always.
For most systems, a battery will cycle every day, meaning it will drain and charge regularly. With every cycle, the battery’s ability to hold the identical charge lessens slightly. So 1 component to consider is the guarantee on the battery that 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 in the EZ Battery Reconditioning application, you can extend the life of your batteries.
Depth 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 can be depleted farther 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 than 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 save. Power is how much energy that a battery can provide at a given moment. A battery with both 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 just for a brief time.
Efficiency is the amount of energy used compared to the quantity of energy it took to save energy. Batteries require power to control and efficacy compares the energy taken to control a battery with the amount of energy which the charged battery produces. The higher the efficiency, the more cost-effective the battery.
This may not be a part most would consider, but it’s something to pay attention to. As with other technology, there are both trusted brands and start-up brands. A trusted brand includes known defects and advantages; a startup brand can perhaps have better technology, but could also have yet unknown technological difficulties. Based on your system needs, you may decide to go for a well-reviewed firm or one that is brand new to the market.