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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) for 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 make certain 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 that work best.    We’ll do this in two 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, capacity and power, efficiency, battery life, and manufacturer.

By the end of the article you will know exactly how to pick out the ideal battery to your own 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 type of battery that will fit your system.

Lead Acid Batteries

They are also among the longest-used and most reliable batteries in existence.  When compared with the other batteries we will 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 just making the transfer to a solar panel system, lead acid batteries might be a very good option.  They’re the sort of battery we use in the majority of the battery banks within our solar panel systems.

Saltwater batteries are more expensive than lead acid batteries, but also have a better lifespan.  Contrary to lead acid batteries, saltwater batteries are basically brand new to the industry and stay both somewhat untested and more difficult to come across.  Of the 3 kinds of batteries, saltwater has the best depth of discharge, so 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 types of solar batteries.  Comparing all three choices, 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.  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 elements to explore to find the ideal battery to your system.  

Cost

Price is probably one of the more obvious elements.  But the old saying,”you get what you pay for” holds true when purchasing batteries as well.  Sometimes 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 drain and charge regularly.  With every cycle, the battery’s ability to hold 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 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

Depth of discharge is how much you can drain the battery before needing to recharge the battery without damaging its life.  Particular 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 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 save.   Power is how much energy that a battery can provide at a certain moment.  A battery with both a high capacity and higher power can run a massive system for many hours; a battery with low capacity and high power can operate a large system but only for a short 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 control and efficacy 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.

Manufacturer

This may not be a part most would consider, but it’s something to focus on.  Like other technology, there are both trusted brands and start-up 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 difficulties.  Depending on your system demands, you may decide to go for a well-reviewed company or one that is brand new to the market.