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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 ensure you get the most bang for the buck)!

When choosing a battery (or batteries) to 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 types of solar batteries (lead acid, saltwater, and lithium).   And,

Part 2)   Assess the elements 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 out the ideal battery to your 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 depend on what you’re looking for. 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.

They are also one of the longest-used and most dependable batteries in existence.  Compared to the other batteries we will discuss in this report; they are the cheapest option but you exchange cost for some battery life and depth of discharge.  But for homeowners needing a great deal of storage for a lower cost, or whether you are simply making the transfer to a solar panel system, lead acid batteries may be a very good option.  They’re the type 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 market and stay both somewhat untested and harder to come across.  Of the 3 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 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 choices, the lithium ion battery may be the highest rated, but also the most expensive.  A good example of a lithium ion 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 research to find the perfect 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 buying batteries also.  Sometimes though, certain batteries may be overkill for your system so the most expensive battery might not be the best choice always.

For most systems, a battery will cycle every day, meaning it is going to charge and drain regularly.  With each cycle, the battery’s ability to hold the identical charge lessens slightly.  So one component to consider is the warranty on the battery which guarantees a certain 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

Depth of discharge is how much you can drain the battery before needing to recharge the battery without harming its life.  Certain solar batteries can be depleted further than others, allowing for more use between charging.  Essentially, a battery with a 90% depth of discharge per cycle will provide 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 store.   Power is how much energy that a battery can provide at a given moment.  A battery with a high capacity and higher power can run a large system for many hours; a battery with low capacity and higher power can run a large system but just for a brief time.

Efficiency

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 generates. 

Manufacturer

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