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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 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 three categories of batteries that work best.    We’ll do this in two parts:

Part 1)   Instantly compare the three chief types 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 the ideal battery to your solar panel system!

So let’s begin…

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 sort 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.  When compared with the other batteries we will 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 lesser price, or whether you are simply making the transfer to a solar panel system, lead acid batteries may be a very good 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.  Unlike lead acid batteries, saltwater batteries are basically brand new to the market and stay both somewhat untested and harder to come across.  Of the 3 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

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.  As soon as you’ve picked 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

Cost is probably one of the more obvious components.  But the old saying,”you get what you pay for” holds true when purchasing 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.

Battery Life and Warranty

For many systems, a battery will cycle daily, 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 bear in mind that when 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 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.  Essentially, 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 store.   Power is how much energy that a battery can provide at a given moment.  A battery with a high capacity and high power can run a massive system for many hours; a battery with low capacity and high 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 store energy.  Batteries require power to charge and efficiency compares the energy taken to control a battery together with the amount of energy that the charged battery generates.  The higher the efficiency, the more cost-effective the battery.

Manufacturer

This may not be a part most would consider, but it is something to pay attention to.  As with other technology, there are both reputable brands and startup brands.  A trusted brand comes with known flaws and advantages; a start-up brand can perhaps have better technology, but can also have unknown technological difficulties.  Based on your system needs, you might decide to go for a well-reviewed company or one that is brand new to the market.