Have you ever wondered how to pick out the best battery(s) for 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 article will answer these questions and provide you specific things to check on before buying your new battery (to make certain 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 that 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, capacity and power, efficiency, battery life, and manufacturer.
By the conclusion of the article you will know exactly how to pick the ideal battery to 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. 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’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 lesser cost, or whether you are simply making the transfer to a solar panel system, lead acid batteries might 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 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 market and stay both somewhat untested and harder to come across. Of the 3 kinds of batteries, saltwater has the best depth of discharge, which means you’ll get 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. 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 is probably the highest rated, but also the most expensive. An example of a lithium ion battery is the Tesla Powerwall.
Part 2) Compare 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 elements to research to find the perfect battery to your system.
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 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 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 guarantee 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
Depth of discharge is how much you can drain the battery down before needing to recharge the battery without harming 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 than 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 given moment. A battery with both a high capacity and high power can run a large system for many hours; a battery with low capacity and higher power can run a large system but just for a brief time.
Efficiency is the amount of energy used compared to the amount of energy it took to save energy. Batteries require power to control and efficacy compares the energy taken to control a battery together with the amount of energy which the charged battery produces.
This might not be a part most would consider, but it is something to focus on. As with other technology, there are both reputable brands and startup brands. A trusted brand comes with known flaws and advantages; a startup brand can perhaps have better technology, but could also have 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.