Solar batteries are the heart of every off-grid solar power system. While the solar panels generate the electricity, they do it intermittently; it's the solar batteries that provide the consistency needed for comfortable off-grid living around the clock. Solar batteries are also called "deep cycle batteries" for their ability to handle long, frequent, deep charge/discharge cycles. Deep cycle batteries can be used in other renewable energy applications like wind and hydro power systems as well.
In an off-grid system, everything comes and goes from the battery bank, so your solar batteries will be working hard. You can help protect deep cycle batteries by regulating their charge with a charge controller and keeping tabs on them with a battery monitor. All batteries' capacity to store and deliver energy wears down over time, but there are significant differences between the different types of solar batteries, how deeply they can cycle, and how long they can be expected to last - see below for a comparison.
Real Goods has been designing renewable energy systems since 1978. Today we carry what we consider the industry's best solar batteries for off-grid use from top manufacturers like SimpliPhi, KiloVault, Trojan, and MK Battery. We've been truly impressed with KiloVault's cycle lifespan and safe, lightweight chemistry. Below are some other best sellers and staff favorites.
Lithium batteries are quickly proving to be the best and longest-lasting type of deep-cycle battery. Most have cycle lifespans in the thousands!
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, watch the video to the right or use our Solar Load Calculator.
Our Solar Techs have answers! Contact them at 800-919-2400 or [email protected]