Nascar Truck 2010

Or have you wondered what makes one deep cycle battery greater than another?  If so, this report 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 your buck)!

When picking a battery (or batteries) for your solar panel system, there are three categories of batteries which work best.    We’ll do this in two parts:

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

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

By the end of this article you will know exactly how to pick out the best battery to your 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.

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’re the cheapest option but you exchange cost for some battery life and depth of discharge.  But for homeowners needing lots of storage for a lower price, or if 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 most of the battery banks within our solar panel systems.

Saltwater Batteries

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 remain both somewhat untested and harder to come across.  Of the three kinds of batteries, saltwater has the best depth of discharge, so you’ll find the most output per fee before needing to recharge.

Lithium batteries are the most expensive and the longest lasting of the three kinds 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 battery is probably the highest rated, but also the most expensive.  An example of a lithium battery is the Tesla Powerwall.

Part 2) Assess 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 components to research to find the ideal battery for your system.  

Cost

Cost is probably one of the more obvious elements.  But the old saying,”you get what you pay for” holds true when buying batteries also.  In some instances though, certain batteries may be overkill for your system so the most expensive battery might not be the ideal choice always.

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

Length of release is how much you can drain the battery down 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.

Ability and Power

The more capacity a battery has, the more power it can save.   Power is how much energy a battery can provide at a certain moment.  A battery with a high capacity and high power can run a massive system for several hours; a battery with low capacity and higher power can run a large system but only for a short time.

Efficiency

Efficiency is the amount of energy used compared to the amount of energy it took to save energy.  Batteries require power to charge and efficacy compares the energy taken to charge 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 component most would consider, but it is something to pay attention to.  As with other technologies, there are both trusted brands and startup brands.  A trusted brand comes with known flaws and advantages; a start-up brand can perhaps have better technology, but could also have yet unknown technological issues.  Depending upon your system needs, you may decide to go for a well-reviewed company or one that is brand new to the market.