By installing solar panels, you can lower your monthly electricity bills while minimizing your environmental footprint. An essential part of setting up your system is finding the best solar batteries to store your electricity so that you can use it even when the sun isn't shining.
The solar radiation in your home is one factor that determines the success of your solar system. In addition, an effective solar system requires the right modules connected to the right battery.
Homeowners usually look for the best solar panels, but your battery is just as important. It is therefore worth asking: which solar batteries are best for use in your home?
Importance of a solar panel battery bank
Before evaluating the best solar batteries, it is important to clarify what makes batteries so important.
This is how the storage of solar energy works
If you choose solar power, you will have a number of solar panels installed on your roof. The way solar panels work is that they collect energy from the sun and convert it into electricity. This electricity then flows through an inverter, which converts this raw electricity into a type of electricity that you can use to power your home.
Most home solar systems are plugged into local power grids, which means that if you ever produce more solar energy than your home needs, the excess will be fed back into the grid. This usually results in a credit from your utility company. If, on the other hand, your solar system does not produce enough energy, you draw energy from the grid.
Using a solar battery bank
Where do batteries come into play? A solar battery bank stores the energy generated by your system so that you can use it later. So if your system generates a surplus of electrical energy, you can store it instead of feeding it into the grid. Later, when your device no longer produces any energy (for example after dark or on cloudy days), you can tap into these energy reserves in your solar battery bank.
The result is that with batteries for solar panels you can have backup power for times when the sun is not shining or can be used during a local power outage. However, you may want to consider some of the best solar batteries before making a purchase for your home energy storage system.
The 5 best solar batteries
If you are juggling these different considerations and looking for the best solar batteries for your system, here are some specific products that deserve our recommendation.
1) Sungrow SBP4K8
Originally developed by Samsung, the Sungrow SBP4K8 is one of the best lithium-ion batteries for home renewable energy systems. Some of the biggest selling points are:
- With a retail price of around $ 4,000, it's pretty affordable compared to some other types of batteries.
- Thanks to its compact size and practical handles, this solar panel battery bank is easy to install or transport when required.
- Cable entry points ensure a quick and intuitive installation process.
- It comes with a warranty of around 10 years and claims to offer around 6,000 cycles
2) BYD battery box Premium HVM
BYD is a Chinese solar company and their premium battery is one of the best we've seen for solar power storage. Here are a few things we like about it:
- This modular tower battery comes in a variety of voltages so you can choose the option that best suits your home energy needs.
- It is a cobalt-free lithium iron phosphate battery that works well at high temperatures and has a longer lifespan than lithium ion batteries.
- Battery modules can be stacked to increase the total capacity available to you.
- The BYD battery comes with a 10-year guarantee and is said to be good for around 3,000 total cycles.
3) LG Chem RESU-10
The LG Chem RESU-10 lithium-ion battery was developed in South Korea and is now one of the most popular solar batteries in the world. Consider just a few of the key selling points:
- With a size of 9.8 kWh and a usable capacity of 90%, it is a real powerhouse.
- The battery cells are layered in a unique pattern that helps prevent failure and maximizes long-term reliability.
- Independent tests and consumer ratings routinely praise this as a very consistent, high quality solar battery.
- It has a 10 year warranty and claims to have a battery life of 4,000 cycles.
4) Tesla Powerwall 2
Tesla isn't just an automotive company; it also produces some of the top rated and most technologically advanced solar products on the market today. The Tesla Powerwall 2 is one of the best solar batteries and there are several reasons for this:
- While a bit expensive (around $ 10,000), it offers 13.5 kWh of usable capacity, making it one of the toughest solar batteries you can find. Hence, we think it's pretty decent value for money.
- This is a full AC lithium ion battery system meaning it has an inverter / converter already built in.
- The AC system makes it very easy to retrofit any house with an existing solar system.
- Its compact design enables one of the highest energy densities on the market and many solar battery storage options for homeowners.
5) Powerplus Energy LiFe
Last but not least, the PowerPlus Energy LiFe battery is a modular lithium unit with many recommendations:
- This battery uses lithium iron phosphate cells which are considered to be the longest lasting of any battery cell in the industry.
- At $ 3,500, this is a very affordable option, especially when you consider the 10-year warranty.
- It offers 3.3 kWh with 100% usable capacity.
Choosing the best solar batteries
If you are considering investing in your own solar system, you have a few types of solar panels and battery backup options. Here are a few important things to look out for when looking for the best solar batteries for your home.
Capacity refers to the total amount of electricity that you can store in your battery. It is usually measured in kilowatt hours (kWh). Note that most solar batteries are stackable, which just means that by combining multiple batteries you can pool their shared storage capacities to reserve a higher amount of energy.
In addition to the capacity of a battery, you should also take a look at its rated power. This tells you how much power the battery can deliver at any given time, and is usually measured in kilowatts (kW).
So how are performance and capacity related? For example, consider a high capacity but low power rating battery. This battery would be able to provide a small amount of electrical power (e.g. enough for a few small devices) over a long period of time. A battery with low capacity but high performance could produce enough power for much more robust devices, but only supply them with power for a short time.
Depth of discharge
Another important aspect is the depth of discharge. This refers to the state of charge that the battery must maintain at all times according to its chemical composition. The rule of thumb here is that you can use more of the total capacity of the battery with a higher depth of discharge.
Price and guarantee
Of course, the price will be a big problem with any solar investment. While you might not want to spend a lot on top of the cost of solar panels, just remember that you really value the value. Different batteries come at different costs, and paying less for a less powerful battery may not be the most cost-effective option in the long run.
The guarantee is closely linked to the price. Most solar panel batteries guarantee either a specific number of cycles or a specific number of years. The guarantee has to be weighed against the price as it can have a huge impact on the total value.
FAQ: Best batteries for solar panels
In the search for the best solar panel battery bank, here are a few final questions worth addressing.
How long do most solar batteries last?
A typical solar battery lasts between five and 15 years. This means that you will need to replace your battery at least once during the long life of your solar panels, which typically last 25 to 30 years.
How can I extend the life of my battery?
One way to extend the life of your solar battery is to protect it from extreme drops in temperature. This means that you get a battery with built-in temperature control (the Tesla battery is a great example) or secure earth-protected enclosures for your solar panel battery bank.
How many solar batteries do I need?
The number of batteries required can vary from house to house based on energy requirements and the capacity of each battery. (In general, higher capacity means fewer batteries overall.) A solar installer can provide a more personalized assessment.
How do I install a solar battery?
Many – but not all – of the top solar companies offer a battery setup with solar panel installation. When buying solar panels, ask your installer about battery add-ons. If you want to retrofit your current system with new battery technology, or if you own solar panels yourself, you can hire a separate company to install batteries or look up your specific solar system to find out how to do it yourself.
Final Thoughts: Best Solar Batteries
The bottom line is that you need more than just top-notch modules to get the most out of your solar system. Even the best solar batteries can make a difference. Make sure that you explore your options and consider your home's specific energy needs when choosing the best solar batteries for your system.