Deep-Cycle Lead-Acid Batteries

Deep-Cycle Lead-Acid Batteries – Selection Guide

Here we explain the main criteria when considering building a battery bank for your solar system using deep-cycle lead-acid batteries.

Battery System Voltage

The first and most important step to configure your battery bank is to know your system’s voltage. Small battery systems used in RVs and boats are usually 12V. We recommend using 24V or 48V for medium-sized energy systems and always 48V for large systems. Some systems can even go up to 60V; however, 12V, 24V, and 48V are the standard battery voltage in solar and renewable energy systems.

Whatever your system voltage is, keep that number in mind since it will be consistent across your system design; changing your system voltage down the road could increase the overall system cost and complexity.

Available Space for Batteries

Another factor is to know the space available for the batteries, this is especially true for mobile applications and systems with a designated battery enclosure. These enclosures are usually designed for a specific type and a number of batteries, for example, four L-16 batteries.

What Type of Battery? 

Knowing the type of battery you want is also part of the selection process. You only want to use deep-cycle batteries in renewable energy systems. Lead-acid batteries are the most common; they can be flooded or sealed. Flooded batteries require periodic maintenance, such as refilling water levels, while sealed or VRLA batteries are considered maintenance-free.

Even with the introduction of lithium batteries, you will find flooded lead-acid batteries in most renewable energy systems, mainly because of their lower cost. Applications in remote locations with difficult access call for sealed batteries that do not require constant human supervision. Both batteries, flooded and sealed, are comparable in performance; the determining factors are the application and cost.

Battery Bank Storage Capacity

A factor that requires careful consideration is your energy needs, which will ultimately determine the size of your battery bank. Technically speaking, the larger the battery bank, the better. A large battery bank will reduce the depth of discharge of each cycle, thus extending the life of the batteries. Realistically, not everybody has the budget for an oversized battery bank.

In Summary

Once the above factors have been figured out, the rest is relatively easy. The voltage will determine the number of batteries in the bank, if you have a 48V system, you will need eight 6V batteries or twelve 4V batteries. Your energy needs will determine the battery capacity (in Amp-hr).

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We hope you found this short article helpful; if you are in the market for a new battery bank, please visit our online shop.