Choosing Batteries for a Solar Energy System

When putting together a solar energy system, like any other project, having the proper parts and tools for the job is paramount to overall success. With quality components and a little bit of know how, you can design and install your very own solar energy system whether for dedicated appliance use or as a complete replacement for conventional electric energy. Choosing the right parts is a big step in the process, and once you’ve decided which type of solar panels to use and how many you’ll need, the next logical step is to find appropriate batteries.

The most important step in choosing batteries for your solar energy system is making sure you purchase a bank with corresponding voltage to the panel array you’ve designed. The voltage of individual battery units on the market is 2; depending on how many individual battery units come in the bank, the voltage of the unit itself will be 2, 4, 6, 8, and so on. Once you’ve established the correct voltage for your battery bank, you can browse the available types and models to arrive at the perfect unit for your system. There are four basic kinds of battery banks widely available for purchase: marine models, and “industrial strength” varieties which include flooded, gel, and AGM features.

The marine models, commonly used on boats and small vehicles such as golf carts, tend to be the least inexpensive, and may be an option for small solar projects or those requiring solar powering for a limited period of time. In the long run, however, purchasing an industrial battery bank will save money. Flooded battery types are an economical option, with a moderate price and a reasonable longevity. These types release gas while charging, and so are not suitable for indoor use. Gel batteries, while a little more expensive, do not release gas allowing for indoor use, and come with a slightly longer life expectancy. Finally, AGM batteries may cost more, but have numerous benefits, including the longest longevity available, lack of gas or other leakage, and superior efficiency.

Taking care to select the battery bank that’s right for your solar system and its application is an important part of the overall design process, and, if done carefully, can lead to many years of nearly maintenance-free energy enjoyment. Shop with quality in mind and give yourself the gift of peace of mind for years to come.