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Or have you wondered what makes one deep cycle battery greater 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 the buck)!

When choosing a battery (or batteries) to your solar panel system, there are three categories of batteries that work best.    We will do this in 2 parts:

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

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

By the conclusion of this article you will know just how to pick the best battery for your solar panel system!

So let’s begin…

So the first decision to make is the type of battery that will fit your system.

Lead acid batteries are the most commonly used rechargeable battery in the world. 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 trade price for some battery life and depth of discharge.  But for homeowners needing lots of storage for a lesser price, or whether you are just making the transfer to a solar panel system, lead acid batteries might be an excellent option.  They’re the sort 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 better lifespan.  Unlike lead acid batteries, saltwater batteries are essentially brand new to the industry and remain both somewhat untested and more difficult to come across.  Of the three types of batteries, saltwater has the best depth of discharge, so 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 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 ion 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.  As soon as 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 explore to find the perfect battery for your system.  

Cost

Price 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.  In some instances though, certain batteries may be overkill for your system so the most expensive battery may not be the ideal choice always.

For many systems, a battery will cycle every day, meaning it will drain and charge regularly.  With each cycle, the battery’s ability to hold the same charge lessens slightly.  So one component to consider is the guarantee on the battery which guarantees a certain 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 application, 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 damaging 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

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 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 save energy.  Batteries require power to control and efficiency compares the energy taken to control a battery with the amount of energy which the charged battery produces.  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.  As with other technologies, there are both trusted brands and startup brands.  A trusted brand includes known defects and advantages; a start-up brand can perhaps have better technology, but could also have unknown technological difficulties.  Based on your system needs, you may decide to go with a well-reviewed firm or one that is brand new to the market.