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Going solar for your home, RV, lodge, or anywhere else is a great way to commit to bettering the environment by reducing your footprint. Unfortunately, it’s not an all-in-one kind of thing and you have to collect a number of components for everything to work properly.

One of the most important things for your home or commercial solar energy system is going to involve creating a battery bank with the best batteries for solar.

Without these batteries, your solar panels are basically worthless. They can produce the energy, but they have no way of powering your devices or store energy for overnight use, et cetera. And if you have no batteries, you definitely have no backup power for when you’re off-the-grid, intentionally or not.

So, how do you determine the best solar battery from the other guys?

We’ve put together some thoughts on this so you can understand which option is best for you – as well as providing you with some reviews of what we believe to be the best options available right now.

Best Solar Battery Quick-Find Table

ImageProduct
  • High-quality lithium battery designed specifically for use with solar applications
  • Comes from an extremely well-trusted brand in solar energy
  • Has more than 2000 cycles in extended life span
  • High-quality lithium battery designed specifically for use with solar applications
  • Comes from an extremely well-trusted brand in solar energy
  • Has more than 2000 cycles in extended life span
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  • Great for off-grid and RVing
  • Low maintenance generally
  • Extremely low discharge compatible
  • Great for off-grid and RVing
  • Low maintenance generally
  • Extremely low discharge compatible
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  • Military grade, custom made plates
  • Designed for battery backup, use with wind turbines, and solar panels
  • Good for use in situations when battery needs to rest on its side
  • Military grade, custom made plates
  • Designed for battery backup, use with wind turbines, and solar panels
  • Good for use in situations when battery needs to rest on its side
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  • Basically maintenance free
  • Can be mounted anywhere – in any position
  • Great for solar or wind
  • Basically maintenance free
  • Can be mounted anywhere – in any position
  • Great for solar or wind
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>> Tap here to skip right to our reviews <<

best solar battery for solar panels on house

The Different Types of Batteries You Can Use with Your Solar System

There are a few different kinds of batteries you can use for your home solar power system. Each has different benefits, uses, price-rages, et cetera, of course, so it’s best to study up a bit to see which best fits your needs rather than just going with something that looks good on paper.

So, the question comes down to, what is the best type of battery to use with solar panels? The reality is, it will vary from situation to situation.

Lithium-Ion Batteries

Probably the most commonly familiar batteries for anything are lithium batteries. We use this type of battery in most household devices that we use rechargeable batteries for – think cameras, flashlights, remotes.

They’re also extremely popular for solar devices and equipment that are outdoors because they can endure harsher weather than some other types. For example, trail cameras – we highly recommend lithium batteries over any other kind for this reason.

The main issue with this battery type is that they tend to run about four-times the cost of other solar batteries. But, when you consider performance value, they’re worth the extra expense in many cases.

The life cycle and capacity on lithium-ion batteries is pretty darn good, especially considering their size and weight compared to others.

They’re also highly efficient and have a long lifespan while being stable and safe and barely need any maintenance.

Flooded Lead Acid Batteries

Probably the longest used batteries are the flooded lead acid batteries. They’ve been around since 1859. The two biggest advantages to these are that they’re nearly 99% recyclable and that they’re affordable. They’re also easy to take care of once their lifespan has passed.

There are different kinds of lead-acid batteries – flooded, sealed, and absorbed glass mat (AGM).

Flooded batteries are intended to handle regularly, daily charging cycles. They do, however, emit gas a byproduct, so they need to be well-ventilated. They also need regular maintenance, thanks to the fact that every cell in the battery has to submerged in water in order to function. You have to add water every couple of months to keep these plates submerged properly.

These batteries are best for folks who are looking for a more hands-on approach to their solar power systems. They are more affordable than lithium-ion, but need that regular attention.

testing solar battery

Sealed Lead-Acid Batteries

As mentioned, the other kind of lead-acid battery is the sealed variety. These are better for folks who won’t be around for regular checkups on their devices.

They’re spill-proof and non-hazardous and a self-contained system.

These are best for places like remote properties like hunting lodges you only use seasonally. They also don’t self-discharge if they sit around unused for a while.

AGM Batteries

This lead-acid battery type has a special glass mat separator that wicks the electrolyte solution between the plates of the battery.

The design enables fiberglass to saturate in electrolyte, which creates a “dry” state.

This type of battery is ideal for placement of the battery on its side for use with your RV, electronics, or other uses. The nature of the battery prevents the plates from going “dry” because of the absorption of the fiberglass of the electrolyte fluids.

Gel Batteries

Finally, there are gel batteries. These are probably the least likely to be chosen since they have more disadvantages than most other types. Their advantages are also minor, compared to other options.

They used fumed silica to thicken electrolyte, which makes the cells sturdier – which helps to prevent leakage if damage occurs. They are low maintenance as well and tend to be durable and resistant to foul weather, shock, and vibration.

However, they have narrow charging profiles, damage easily through overcharging or improper use, and they don’t have great amp-hour capacity. Plus, they tend to be expensive.

Of all the battery types, these are the ones we least recommend for use with your solar energy system.

How Many Batteries Do You Need?

First, you need to understand how much energy your battery is capable of storing. From there, you select a solar panel that replenish your energy at the appropriate rate based on your typical pattern of use.

Clear as mud, right?

Here’s a basic formula.

Battery capacity is measure in amp hours, marked as Ah. You have to convert the number of Ah into watt hours. You do this by multiplying Ah by the voltage.

For example, if you have a 20Ah, 12V battery, the watt hours formula is 20 x 12 = 240. Your battery can supply 240 watts for one hour or 120 watts for two hours or 2 watts for 120 hours.

If you’re a visual learner, you may find a video more helpful than a black and white formula on the page. So, while this video is specifically speaking of Renogy products, the formulas work for any situation in determining the size and number of batteries you need for your setup.

If you are unable to determine this on your own, consult an electrician.

How Does All of This Work Together?

The best batteries for solar power storage have to be paired with the proper solar panels. The right wattage matches up with the right voltage (as mentioned above) to create a system that runs everything smoothly. But they also have to have some other components to create the system.

The solar batteries work by storing up the energy generated by the solar panels during daylight hours. They save them in the form of DC energy. This means they need a power inverter to convert the DC energy into AC energy that’s usable in your devices.

Generally speaking, at home you use either 120V or 230V.

You also need a solar charge controller. This device helps to make sure that the energy that’s produced by the panels doesn’t overcharge the batteries.

It also keeps the power that’s stored in the cells from running back into the panels and therefore draining the batteries overnight when the panels are not charging via the daylight.

Battery Life Span

The life span of a battery is the literal period of time that the battery is useful for before it’s no longer able to recharge and hold a charge. This life span can be measured in cycles (the number of times the battery can discharge and recharge) or in terms of hours, days, or years.

The life span of a battery will vary greatly depending on a number of factors, including battery type, battery size, and brand.

The longer lasting a lifespan you need, the more expensive the battery will be. For example, a lithium battery will be several hundred dollars more than a flooded lead-acid battery. This longevity is based on the type, yes, but also the quality of manufacture and the size of the battery.

Batteries for use with solar systems with last between 5 and 20 years. More typically, 5-15. You’re almost guaranteed to have to replace the battery at least once during the lifespan of your solar power system, which typically will last 20 to 30 years.

There are some factors that affect that longevity of the battery.

  1. Solar battery usage – how often it recharges after use and what kind of overcharging protection you’ve got
  2. Solar battery temperature – how hot that battery gets can affect its lifespan, just like how cold it gets
  3. Maintenance required – the type of and frequency of maintenance required can also affect the lifespan of a solar battery

How to Choose the Right Solar Battery for Your Needs

Some basic things to consider for choosing the best batteries for solar off grid living include the following.

  1. Battery Capacity – will the Ah rating meet your needs?
  2. Charging Time – the best off grid battery will charge within a few hours, including gel and lithium batteries
  3. Ease of Installation – the best off grid solar batteries will be easy to install for anyone, no electrician required
  4. Your Budget – think long-term and short-term. Can you afford this today? Is the investment in your future worth more for the long run?
  5. Battery Lifespan – when you’ll need to replace it should factor into your decision. If you only need it for 5 years, then anything should do, pretty much, but if you need long-lasting, plan for that.
  6. Manufacturer’s Warranty – even if they don’t have amazing ones that last for decades, you should at least have a couple of years on the warranty. Always inquire about extended warranties, as well.

Reviews of the 4 Best Solar Batteries

Whether you’re looking for what is the best battery bank to use with a 400watt solar system or you’re just looking for a single battery to run your RV, these options are the best of best in solar deep cycle batteries.

Renogy Smart Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery

Our number one pick for the best battery for solar system is the Renogy Smart Lithium Iron Phosphate Battery. This option is made by a highly trusted solar energy brand, has a super long life, and has built-in protection against multiple potential issues.

  • Battery Type: Lithium-ion
  • Life span: 2000+ cycles
  • Voltage: 12V
  • Amp Hours: 100Ah

What We Loved

The first thing, besides being a lithium battery, our top recommendation for a solar battery, is that this Renogy battery has over 2000 cycles in it. That’s a lot of use for this single battery. More than double of that of lead-acid batteries.

Plus, this battery has built-in battery protection system that optimizes performance. It automatically balances the cells and protects against over-charging, over-discharging, high-temperatures, and short-circuiting.

It’s also a safe battery to use – largely thanks to the protections – and easy to install and use in your RV, house, log cabin, or just about anywhere else you’d need it.

What We Didn’t Love

The main thing we’re not thrilled about with on this is a neither-here-nor-there for some: the price. It’s definitely a pricey battery that not everybody is going to be able to justify purchasing. It will outlast the competition, but not everyone can afford to find that out.

Our Verdict

Ultimately, if you can afford this fantastic battery for your solar energy system, this is the way to go. It’s ultra-safe, has great protections against common issues with batteries, comes from a trusted manufacturer, and has a super long life span. But it is quite pricey. You’ll need to weigh and balance the cost per value on this one. Personally, we think the higher price is worth it.

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on Amazon.com <<

WindyNation AGM Sealed Lead Acid Battery

This deep cycle solar battery from WindyNation is another trust-worthy option from a well-respected solar energy company. The AGM Sealed Lead Acid battery for solar RV, offshore marine power, and off-the-grid living is great for those looking for little maintenance and bit more affordable than the lithium battery.

  • Battery Type: Sealed Lead-Acid AGM
  • Life span: 10-12 years
  • Voltage: 12V
  • Amp Hours: 100Ah

What We Loved

There are a number of things we love about this one. It’s super long-lasting, especially in low-discharge settings. The 99.995% pure virgin lead is perfect for those situations when you need a little power for a long time.

 We love that it’s been designed with solar use in mind. It’s perfect for RVing, off-the-grid living, long-term offshore marine use, UPS, communications, portable tool use, et cetera.

We also love that the heavy-duty plates are designed for deep, repetitive charges and will last for 10 to 12 years with loads of low energy use.

What We Didn’t Love

Well, though we love it for many reasons, there is one that’s not so great for folks who need a “leave it and go” situation for long-term, high-energy use. It’s great for low-energy uses, but not going to last nearly as long as the lithium will for high-energy usage.

We saw some complaints of what seems to be lemons that only lasted half a year, as well, so we precaution against tossing that warranty (a year+), and making sure you document any losses and report immediately if it turns out to be one of those lemons. They’re pretty few and far between but felt the need to mention.

Our Verdict

Basically, this is your affordable, low-maintenance, low-energy use battery. If you’re running a lodge in the woods, a boat’s refrigerator, or some other minimal power options (or at least short-term in the now), this is a great option. It’s low maintenance, budget-friendly, and comes from an extremely reliable manufacturer.

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on Amazon.com <<

Vmax Tanks VMAXSLR125 AGM Deep Cycle Battery

The VMAX Tanks VMAXSLR125 AGM battery offers superior performance during its 8 to 10 year lifespan. They’re designed specifically for use with solar and wind energy in mind, and because they’re such high-quality AGMs, they’re great for use in any situation when you need to wedge the battery in at some awkward angle or on its side.

  • Battery Type: AGM
  • Life span: 8-10 years
  • Voltage: 12V
  • Amp Hours: 125Ah

What We Loved

The first thing to note is the quality – it’s an extremely well-built battery, with custom made military grade plates.

We also love that it’s designed for 99% recombination, with no dangerous fumes or gases emitted on use.

It’s a great fit with PV solar panels with smart chargers or use with wind turbines and inverters, for backup power or running a small lodge or cabin.

What We Didn’t Love

There are two main issues we have this, which may or may not effect any given individual.

First off, it appears, like most products, that there was a shipment of lemons that went out on a couple different occasions. The one-year warranty did not cover them, though, unfortunately, because the problems arose after the year was over. We would recommend investing in additional coverage.

The second is that it’s a pricier option than most non-lithium batteries. Again, this may or may not be a factor for many.

Our Verdict

Ultimately, this is the best deep cycle battery for solar when you’re going to be placing the battery on its side, at an angle, or otherwise in an awkward position. The battery plates will be the most protected and “submersed” with this one. It has a long lifespan, is made of high-quality materials, and is a great choice for solar or wind backup. It is not the cheapest battery out there, though, so if your budget is tight, it may not be your winner.

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on Amazon.com <<

Universal Power Group AGM SLA Deep Cycle VRLA Battery

The Universal Power Group AGM Sealed Lead-Acid Battery is the final option in our selection of best battery for solar panels. It’s a pretty basic, standard model, but being an AGM, it can be mounted anywhere, in any position, even upside down. 

  • Battery Type: Sealed Lead-Acid AGM
  • Life span: 6 years or 500 cycles
  • Voltage: 12V, 24V, or 48V
  • Amp Hours: 100Ah

What We Loved

This battery is pretty straightforward. It’s a great quality 12V, 100Ah battery that comes from a trusted brand.

We love that it’s super low maintenance – possibly zero maintenance, depending on what you’re using it for.

We also love that it is specifically designed to work well with both solar and wind energy systems, helping to make our world a little bit greener.

This one is also slightly cheaper than much of the competition, but still worth the price.

Finally, we appreciate that this battery is available in more than one voltage for those who may have some unique setup requirements. You can get it in 12V, 24V, or even 48V.

What We Didn’t Love

Among the complaints we’ve spotted, a few were reported as arriving only half-charged or even fully discharged. This isn’t a great sign, admittedly, so we’d recommend returning on the lemon factor after trying for a few days if it’s charge and hold charge. There’s a 30-day return policy just for this reason, plus a one-year warranty.

Our Verdict

If you need a basic battery that can handle weird positioning and heavy use, this is a great option. You can literally install it at any angle, in any position, and the plates won’t run into trouble. It’s also a great option for folks who don’t want to deal with maintenance on their battery.

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on Amazon.com <<

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