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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 make certain you get the most bang for the buck)!

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

Part 1)   Quickly 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, power and capacity, efficiency, battery life, and manufacturer.

By the conclusion of the article you will know just how to pick out the ideal battery to your 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 depend on what you’re looking for. So the first decision to make is the type of battery that will fit your system.

They’re 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 lots of storage for a lower cost, or whether you are just making the move 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 in our solar panel systems.

Saltwater batteries are more expensive than lead acid batteries, but also have a greater lifespan.  Contrary to 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 kinds of batteries, saltwater has the greatest depth of discharge, which means 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.  Comparing all three options, the lithium ion battery is probably the highest rated, but also the most expensive.  An example of a lithium 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 components to research to find the perfect 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 as well.  Sometimes though, certain batteries could be overkill for your system so the most expensive battery may not be the best 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 maintain the same 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 keep 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.

Depth of Discharge

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

Efficiency

Efficiency is the amount of energy used compared to the quantity of energy it took to store said energy.  Batteries require power to control and efficacy compares the energy taken to control a battery together with the amount of energy that the charged battery generates. 

Manufacturer

This might not be a component most would consider, but it’s something to pay attention to.  Like 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 could also have unknown technological difficulties.  Based on your system needs, you might decide to go with a well-reviewed firm or one that is brand new to the market.