The best off-grid battery is the battery that successfully performs in a specific situation. Batteries are required in off-grid systems as the intent is to be fully self-sustaining. You generate power during the day and store it in the batteries ready for use anytime day or night.

Without batteries, you’re building a solar power system. Only with batteries are you truly going off-grid.

Types of Batteries Suitable for Off-grid Use

Selecting the best off-grid battery is all about choosing the right tool for the job.

There are two main type of battery for solar use, lithium and AGM. Both come as sealed or flooded and each has its strengths and weaknesses.

  • Lithium batteries perform efficiently and very well across the board but cost a lot and can stop working below zero degrees Celsius. When requiring a fast charge or using a generator they come into their own, saving fuel, time and money.
  • AGM batteries are good at high short term, high power applications and have a good price point. They are more expensive than lithium but require less maintenance.
  • Flooded lead acid batteries are a good budget option and can allow large storage facility for backup situations at a reasonable cost. 

These are some reasons to help you decide the type of battery you should consider for your project, however it is not the be all and end all.

Each application is different from the overall power required each day, the frequency of charging, capacity of batteries required, is weight a factor, budget considerations, is a generator being used etc?.. Below is a chart to help decide.

 

Lithium 

AGM 

Flooded or Sealed

cost

xxxx

xx

x

efficiency

xxx

xx

x

recharge rate

xxx

xxx

x

recharge time

xxxxx

xxx

x

weight and size (usable power density)

xxxx

xx

x

performance in cold conditions

x

x

x

below zero operation

o

xx

x

life expectancy

xxx

xx

xx 

cycle rate

xxxxx

xxx

xx 

To summarise. There is no best off-grid battery overall. All the attributes must be considered to create the best battery for solar off-grid applications.

In most cases these points may apply:

In homes and off-grid systems where generators are used to recharge regularly

Lithium batteries are worth the extra investment here. With batteries of this size the cost is not far from a high quality AGM battery. With huge generator run time savings it will pay back very quickly.

Less regularly used systems where solar has the capacity to recharge the battery

AGM would be a good option here as they have a superior recharge rate and recharge time. Less regularly used systems could include holiday lets, weekend homes and non-permanent residences.

Sheds, cabins, outbuildings, mobile offices and stables

AGM batteries are a good fit here as they can charge quickly and require no maintenance.

Large backup systems where power is stored for backup or power outage scenarios

Either AGM or Flooded are a good choice in this situation as either can hold a charge for longer between being charged and drained.

If you would like help deciding which is the best off-grid battery for your needs, please contact us and we can take care of everything for you.

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