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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 better 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 the buck)!

When choosing a battery (or batteries) for your solar panel system, there are 3 categories of batteries which work best.    We will do this in two parts:

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

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

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

So let’s begin…

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

Lead Acid Batteries

Lead acid batteries are the most commonly used rechargeable battery in the world. They are also one of the longest-used and most reliable batteries in existence.  When compared with 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 price, or whether you are just making the transfer to a solar panel system, lead acid batteries may be a very good option.  They’re the type of battery we use in most 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.  Unlike lead acid batteries, saltwater batteries are basically 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 greatest 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 battery is the Tesla Powerwall.

Part 2) Assess the elements 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 research to find the perfect 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 as well.  Sometimes though, certain batteries could be overkill for your system so the most expensive battery may not be the best choice always.

For many systems, a battery will cycle daily, meaning it will drain and charge regularly.  With every cycle, the battery’s ability to hold the same charge lessens slightly.  So one component to consider is the guarantee on the battery that 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 program, you can extend the life of your batteries.

Depth 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 can 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 compared to a battery with less.

Capacity 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 many hours; a battery with low capacity and higher power can run a large system but just for a brief time.

Efficiency

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

Manufacturer

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