Having your own solar power system is an exciting project. It may be expensive at first and you may have to maintain it regularly but overall and in the long run, you will be saving a lot of money by getting your power from the sun.
In a solar power system, it’s vital that you get a good deep cycle solar battery where you can store power so that even if it’s cloudy, rainy, or if it’s nighttime already, you still have power to use for your off-grid home.
In this article, we’ll share with you how you can assess the best batteries for your system. Let’s begin!
How to Choose a Battery for Your Solar Power System
Deep cycle batteries are an important part of any stand-alone solar power system. Regardless if you have a hydroelectric, solar, or wind system that will be connected to the utility grid, you will be needing deep cycle batteries so you can use power in case of an outage.
Without these batteries, you will only be able to utilize power at that same time that it is being produced. This means without the sun; if you don’t have batteries, you won’t have any power.
In systems such as solar powered ones, you need deep cycle batteries so that you can have a storage for power. This kind of battery is not like your car battery which means it is not meant to be repeatedly discharged and recharged.
To make sure that the battery serves you for a long time, don’t let the depth of discharge fall below 20%. Or better yet, don’t let it fall below 50%. There are inverters that have a feature for Low Voltage Disconnect. This will disconnect some of the loads at a given limit.
There are alarms that warn you of low voltage. Also, get solar battery bank calculator, monitors, voltmeters, and ammeters so that you can keep your deep cycle battery healthy and you can check the statistics of your battery’s condition from time to time.
How to Compare Various Types of Batteries
When you compare deep cycle batteries, you don’t just look at the amp hour ratings or the cost. For example, looking only at the cost, you probably won’t go for AGM batteries because they can be quite expensive. While there is no single battery that can be used for all types of applications, there are batteries that you can use specifically for their purpose.
If you will be using batteries for a site for remote communications, it is best to choose one that is low-maintenance. If you need a battery system to provide power for your off-grid home, then what you ought to look at would be the long-term cost.
The best battery is not necessarily the most expensive. We cannot also say that more affordable ones are not great. That’s why we’ve prepared this article so that you can assess for yourself what a good battery is for you and your needs.
Kinds of Solar Batteries
When you choose a deep cycle battery as storage for your solar power system, you can use a lead-acid battery, a sealed battery which can be Gel cell or AGM, or a lithium battery. Remember that with lead-acid batteries, they will be needing maintenance from time to time.
However, they do last longer compared to the sealed batteries. They are more affordable as well. As for Gel cell, AGM, and Lithium batteries, they have good features and are easier and more convenient to use.
Using Desulphators to Extend the Life of the Battery
If you want your batteries to last longer, it would be great if you can invest in a desulphator. This can help in preventing sulfation. Not only that, but it can also improve the overall performance of your battery.
With lead-acid batteries, there can be sulfate build up on the lead plates after some time. With desulphators, the sulfate crystals will be shaken off of the lead plates, giving your battery a longer life.
Differences in Weight
Deep cycle batteries can be confusing if you’re new to them. They come in a variety of sizes. There are batteries that weigh only 10 lbs. While there are other that can be as heavy as 200 lbs. There are smaller ones that can easily fit in your backpack while there are bigger ones as well.
In general, the weight and size of the battery reflect the storage amp hours. If you will need a large electrical storage, then make sure that you also provide the right amount of space for your batteries. Also, you will be needing help from strong people to move them around.
Even if you only have one battery or a system of 36 units, you have to remember that it is important to store them properly. You can use battery boxes to contain them neatly and safely. You can also build one yourself. Many users also add battery fans or ventilators so that the hydrogen gas can vent. It is a natural process when charging deep cycle batteries.
Battery banks are composed of one of a few batteries. They are measured based on their storage capacity in amp hours.
Each of the batteries can be 2v, 4v, 6v, or 12v. Choosing the voltage will be dependent on your system voltage which can be 12v, 24v, or 48v, as well as your preference for the number of amp hours or storage capacity.
Most of the time, the 2v batteries can give you the biggest amount of storage. But then again, you will be needing 24 units of those if you have a 48v system.
Requirements for the System Storage
Before you get yourself a battery, you have to know how many amp hours you will need. This will depend based on how you will use it and where you are located. There’s a general rule when it comes to solar battery systems.
You should have a battery capacity, which is measured in amp hours, that is 3 to 5 times more than what you usually use in a day. Also, if you are in an area that is quite windy, you can get a wind generator to add up to the power that you get.
Another thing to know is the watt-hours the battery has. This is the voltage of the battery multiplied by its amp hours. So for example, in a 12v battery with 105 amp hours, you can get 1,260 watt-hours.
Of course, an important factor to consider as well is the cost to have the system going. Most of the time, people skimp on the batteries but getting a cheap and ineffective one can pull down your system.
Solar batteries prices can be a good indicator of the quality of the battery, yes. But not all affordable batteries are bad, and not all expensive ones are good. You really just have to do your research well so that you know what you’ll get for the value of your money.
Of course, solar batteries Tesla has made can be quite costly but if you can afford them, then by all means, get those battery system.
Also, remember to get fresh batteries. There are batteries that are still new and unused, but they may have been sitting around for months or even years.
You won’t get anything good out of those batteries any more. As a general rule of thumb, get one that is not older than six months.
Adding Battery Backup to Your Solar Power System
If you’ve been planning to do this but are doubtful if it’s possible, we’re telling you now that it is. It is becoming a popular option for many users because of the extreme weather conditions nowadays.
There are several ways where you can add a solar panel battery bank to your grid-tied solar power system. Remember, you already have energy from the sun. Of course, you can store energy for your continued use when your system is down.
How to Wire Up the Batteries
When connecting the solar batteries for home, use interconnect cables. You can connect the batteries in parallel or in series. You can also do a combination of the two. It highly depends on the system voltage as well as the storage capacity required.
A deep cycle solar battery can be quite expensive especially if you have a large solar power system. But with the right care and proper maintenance, your solar batteries lifespan can last for a good decade.
So don’t worry if you need to spend up front because imagine, in a few years, your investment will pay off and you will be getting free power from the sun. That’s why it’s crucial that you get good parts early on so that you’ll know that they will last for a long time.
If you are interested to know about solar batteries for sale near you, a quick search on the Internet can show you the many retailers available in your area. If you have more questions about deep cycle batteries for your solar power system, don’t hesitate to email us. We’d love to share more information about them.