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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 purchasing 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 three categories of batteries that work best.    We will do this in two parts:

Part 1)   Quickly compare the three main types 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 end of this article you will know exactly how to pick the best battery to your own solar panel system!

So let’s begin…

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 sort 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’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 cost, or whether you are simply making the move 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 within our solar panel systems.

Saltwater Batteries

Saltwater batteries are more expensive than lead acid batteries, but also have a greater lifespan.  Contrary to lead acid batteries, saltwater batteries are basically brand new to the industry and remain both somewhat untested and harder to come across.  Of the three types 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 types of solar batteries.  Comparing all three choices, the lithium ion 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 components of batteries.  Once you’ve picked the best battery type for your own 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

Price is probably one of the more obvious components.  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 ideal choice always.

Battery Life and Warranty

For most systems, a battery will cycle daily, meaning it will drain and charge regularly.  With every cycle, the battery’s ability to maintain the same charge lessens slightly.  So one component to consider is the guarantee on the battery which guarantees a specific 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 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.  Essentially, 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

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 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 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 control a battery with the amount of energy which the charged battery produces.  The higher the efficiency, the more cost-effective the battery.

Manufacturer

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