Four factors to consider when buying a battery

1. Performance and longevity. What is the lifespan of the battery, and how much of the wattage is usable?

2. Durability. How does the battery function in hot climates?

3. Price. How much does the battery cost per kWh, and for how many years?

4. Environmental foot print and human impact. What is the impact from production and how easy is it to recycle?

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How is battery lifespan measured?

Each manufacturer offers a specification sheet that shows how many cycles a battery will have at specific Depths of Discharge, or DoD. What this ultimately tells you is how long the battery will last. If a battery says 1,000 cycles at DoD 50%, this means that if you only use half of your battery, and go from 100% charge to 50%, and then immediately recharge the battery, you can expect to have 1,000 cycles. In other words, if you discharged your battery to 50% every single day, you could expect battery to last 1,000 days.

Lead Acid batteries can't be fully discharged without being damaged. Typically, 50% is about as high of a discharge as these batteries like, and they will last longer if they are discharged less amounts like 20%. This means that for Lead Acid battery, you must purchase double the amount of battery and use half. By contrast, LiFePO batteries generally can be discharged 80-90% every day, and NMC batteries can be fully discharged. 

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