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Have you ever wondered how to pick out the best battery(s) to your solar panel system (or off-grid energy system)? 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 your buck)!

When choosing a battery (or batteries) to your solar panel system, there are 3 categories of batteries which work best.    We’ll do this in 2 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 manufacturer.

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

So let’s get started…

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. 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 type 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’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 cost, or if you are simply making the transfer to a solar panel system, lead acid batteries might be an excellent option.  They’re the type of battery we use in the majority of the battery banks in our solar panel systems.

Saltwater Batteries

Saltwater batteries are more expensive than lead acid batteries, but also have a better lifespan.  Contrary to lead acid batteries, saltwater batteries are essentially brand new to the market and remain both somewhat untested and more difficult to come across.  Of the 3 types of batteries, saltwater has the greatest depth of discharge, so you’ll get the most output per charge before needing to recharge.

Lithium Batteries

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 may be the highest rated, but also the most expensive.  A good example of a lithium battery is the Tesla Powerwall.

Part 2) Assess the elements of batteries.  As soon as you’ve chosen the best battery type for your own solar panel or off-grid system (that meets your system’s needs), there are components to research to find the ideal battery to 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 purchasing batteries also.  Sometimes though, certain batteries may be overkill for your system so the most expensive battery may not be the ideal choice always.

Battery Life and Warranty

For many systems, a battery will cycle daily, meaning it is going to drain and charge regularly.  With each cycle, the battery’s ability to hold the identical charge lessens slightly.  So 1 component to consider is the warranty on the battery that guarantees a certain number of cycles of useful life.  But keep in mind that when you use the maintenance and reconditioning methods we teach you in 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.  Particular solar batteries may be depleted farther 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 compared to a battery with less.

Capacity and Power

The more capacity a battery has, the more power it can store.   Power is how much energy 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 amount of energy it took to save energy.  Batteries require power to charge and efficiency compares the energy taken to control a battery together with the amount of energy which the charged battery generates. 

Manufacturer

This might not be a component most would consider, but it’s something to focus on.  As with other technology, there are both reputable brands and startup brands.  A trusted brand includes known defects and benefits; a startup brand can perhaps have better technology, but could also have yet unknown technological issues.  Depending on your system needs, you might decide to go with a well-reviewed firm or one that is brand new to the market.