Deep cycle batteries provide the consistency needed for comfortable off-grid living. They are the center of every off-grid solar (or wind or hydroelectric) system. Most renewable energy sources produce electricity instantaneously - but intermittently. The sun sets, the wind stops, the stream dries up - so you need batteries to store what went unused of that instantaneous power so you'll have it for later.
Everything comes and goes from the battery bank, so your solar batteries will be working hard. You can help protect your deep cycle batteries by regulating their charge with a charge controller and overcurrent protection and keeping tabs on them with a system monitor, but they do wear out over time. Real Goods has built renewable energy systems since 1978 using all kinds of batteries, and today we carry what we consider the industry's best for deep-cycling, off-grid use.
We carry deep cycle batteries from top battery manufacturers like SimpliPhi, Rolls, Trojan, Fullriver, Relion, Atlas, US Battery, MK Battery, and Centennial. We've been truly impressed with SimpliPhi's safety and quality and are now recommending them to many off-gridders. Below are some other best sellers and staff favorites.
It depends on what is most important to you. If lowest cost is the highest priority, lead acid batteries are for you.
Lithium-ion batteries, while relatively new to the renewable storage sector, are quickly proving to be the best and longest-lasting type of deep-cycle battery.
Lithium ferro phosphate (LiFeP04). LFP batteries are non-toxic, non-flammable, and so safe that you can use them indoors.
Think of batteries in terms of their storage capacity in kilowatt-hours (kWh). To estimate how many kWh of storage you need, use our Solar Load Calculator.
Our Solar Techs have answers! Contact them at 800-919-2400 or [email protected]
Solar Tech Erik Frye discusses the pros and cons of using flooded lead acid batteries for solar energy storage
Real Goods founder John Schaeffer shows off his 81kWh SimpliPhi LFP solar battery bank