Making smart energy decisions not only helps the environment and your wallet. Solar panels help you minimize your environmental footprint and be energy efficient. However, getting the best solar batteries for your home is very important if you want to get the best use out of your solar panels. It’s an important choice to make, as it can save energy generated from solar panels, and therefore save you a ton of money!
How Do Solar Batteries Work?
Solar batteries enable you to store the excess solar energy rather than sending it back to the power grid. This allows you to draw from the stored energy when required. If the energy being produced is more than your requirement, it can be used to charge your battery. When the battery is full, the electricity is sent back to the grid, whereas it is only drawn from the grid when the battery is low.
Choosing one solar battery amongst numerous is not an easy feat for any homeowner. To help you navigate this daunting task, use our solar calculator that enables you to make the right decision for your home. Note that choosing the best solar batteries will require checking the capacity to ensure it meets your household's energy needs.
Choosing the Best Solar Batteries for Your Home: Factors to Consider
There are numerous factors you must consider before deciding on one battery. What should you take into account?
- The battery capacity. It refers to the total amount of electricity it can store, generally measured in kilowatt-hours (kWh).
- The battery life is important, but so is the warranty, as the performance is bound to deteriorate over time. With a warranty, you can be worry-free as you know that good performance for numerous cycles is guaranteed.
- The depth of discharge (DoD) is another factor you must consider, as it indicates the amount of battery capacity that has been utilized. Aim for a high DoD, at least 40% or higher, to give you more usage from the battery.
- Look for a higher round-trip efficiency (80%), as it is more economical.
Types of Solar Batteries: Lead-acid and Lithium-ion
Lead-acid and lithium-ion batteries are the most common solar batteries for residential households.
Lead-acid batteries are:
- less expensive
- have larger dimensions
- lower DoD
- need to be recharged more often
You should also note:
- If you want a backup solution to prepare for a power outage, lead-acid batteries are a decent choice, but not a great option if you want to power your house daily.
- Flooded lead-acid batteries require regular maintenance and water refilling every one to three months.
- Sealed lead-acid batteries don’t require maintenance as they never completely charge to avoid gas dispersal and water depletion.
Lithium-ion batteries are considered to be the best solar batteries because they are:
- have longer DoD
- come with a minimum lifespan of 10 years
- lower maintenance compared to most of the alternatives in the market.
Best Solar Batteries:
If you’re confused about which battery is right for you, here are some popular options that may work for you:
- Tesla Powerwall 2: It is a full AC lithium-ion battery system that has an inverter built-in, and offers a usable capacity of 13.5 kWh, making it the best in the market. In addition, it is compact, has high energy density, and can be easily fitted into any solar system. However, it is on the pricier end and can cost $10,000 on average.
- Sungrow SBP4K8: One of the best solar batteries for in-home solar systems, the Sungrow SBP4K8 is developed by Samsung and retails for around $4000. It is easy to install and transport as it is fairly compact. It comes with a 10-year warranty. The installation process is easy and quick due to numerous cable entry points, and it claims to offer roughly 6,000 cycles.
- LG Chem RESU-10: The LG Chem RESU-10 is sized at 9.8 kWh, providing 90% usable capacity. This battery maximizes long-term reliability as the cells are layered in a pattern that prevents failure. It comes with 4,000 life cycles and a 10-year warranty.
- BYD Premium HVM: Available in two different voltage levels, the BYD Premium HVM performs well even at high-energy temperatures because of the cobalt-free lithium iron phosphate battery. If you want to increase the total capacity, you can stack the battery modules. The battery provides 3,000 cycles and comes with a 10-year warranty.
- Powerplus Energy LiFe: The Powerplus Energy Life is considered one of the most durable batteries as it uses lithium iron phosphate cells. The battery offers 3.3 kWh and 100% usable capacity. It is priced at $3,500 and is affordable as compared to other brands. It also comes with a 10-year warranty.
Make sure to do your research and compare different options to utilize your solar system to its optimal potential. A typical battery will last you 5-15 years and if you wish, you can extend its lifespan by protecting it from extreme temperature drops. For example, the Tesla Powerwall 2 comes with a built-in temperature moderator.
Don’t forget, that utilizing EnergyBot’s calculator tool will help you get clear about what your home needs out of a solar battery. Solar batteries are an excellent investment. Depending on your energy usage, it can help you save a lot of money, reduce your environmental impact, and live entirely off-grid if you wish to!