Nascar 55 2017

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 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 picking a battery (or batteries) for your solar panel system, there are 3 categories of batteries which work best.    We will do this in two 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 manufacturer.

By the conclusion of this article you will know just how to pick the best battery to your own 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 are the most commonly used rechargeable battery in the world. 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’re the cheapest option but you exchange 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 might be an excellent option.  They’re the type of battery we use in most of the battery banks within 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 three types of batteries, saltwater has the best depth of discharge, so 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.  Comparing all three options, the lithium ion battery may be the highest rated, but also the most expensive.  An example of a lithium battery is the Tesla Powerwall.

Part 2) Compare the elements of batteries.  As soon as you’ve picked the best battery type for your 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 components.  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 might not be the best choice always.

Battery Life and Warranty

For many systems, a battery will cycle every day, meaning it is going to charge and drain regularly.  With each cycle, the battery’s ability to maintain the same 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 bear 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

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.  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 both a high capacity and higher power can run a large system for several hours; a battery with low capacity and higher power can run a large system but only for a brief time.

Efficiency

Efficiency is the amount of energy used compared to the amount of energy it took to store energy.  Batteries require power to charge and efficiency compares the energy taken to charge a battery with the amount of energy that the charged battery generates.  The higher the efficiency, the more cost-effective the battery.

Manufacturer

This may not be a part most would consider, but it is something to focus on.  As with other technology, there are both reputable brands and start-up brands.  A trusted brand includes known flaws and benefits; a start-up brand can perhaps have better technology, but could also have yet unknown technological difficulties.  Based upon your system demands, you may decide to go for a well-reviewed company or one that is brand new to the market.