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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 better 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 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 2 parts:

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

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

By the conclusion of the article you will know exactly how to pick out the best battery to your solar panel system!

So let’s get started…

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’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 lower cost, or if you are just making the move 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

Saltwater batteries are more expensive than lead acid batteries, but also have a greater lifespan.  Contrary to lead acid batteries, saltwater batteries are basically brand new to the market and stay both somewhat untested and more difficult to come across.  Of the three kinds of batteries, saltwater has the best depth of discharge, which means you’ll find 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.  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.  Once 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 explore to find the perfect battery to 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 as well.  Sometimes though, certain batteries may be overkill for your system so the most expensive battery may not be the best choice always.

For most systems, a battery will cycle every day, meaning it will drain and charge regularly.  With each cycle, the battery’s ability to maintain the same charge lessens slightly.  So one component to consider is the warranty on the battery that guarantees a specific 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 program, 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 harming its life.  Certain solar batteries may 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

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 certain moment.  A battery with both a high capacity and high power can run a large system for several hours; a battery with low capacity and high power can operate 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 energy.  Batteries require power to charge and efficiency compares the energy taken to control a battery with the amount of energy which the charged battery generates.  The higher the efficiency, the more cost-effective the battery.

Manufacturer

This might not be a part most would consider, but it’s something to pay attention to.  Like other technology, there are both trusted brands and start-up brands.  A trusted brand comes with known defects and advantages; a start-up 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.