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Should I set my system’s battery bank up at 12, 24 or 48 VDC?

The PV industry really began with the 12V recreational vehicle market. These systems were typically small (1-2 solar modules) and had all 12 VDC loads.

As the solar industry matured and entered the home market, systems became much larger (16+ solar modules) and no longer used DC loads exclusively. Most home systems today are 24 or 48 VDC since the higher system voltage gives you a lot more flexibility as to how far away you can place your solar modules from the battery bank as compared to a 12V system. For a given power output, a higher system voltage reduces your amperage flow (but not your power) which allows you to use a smaller and less expensive gauge wire for your solar to battery and battery to inverter wire runs. Of course, if you already have a lot of 12VDC loads this may be the deciding factor in what voltage you set your system up at.

Most grid-tied systems operate at 48 volts or higher.

General Lead Acid Battery Description
General Lead Acid Battery Applications
General Lead Acid Battery Types
General Lead Acid Battery Chemistry
Discover® Sealed Valve Regulated Lead Acid Batteries
Discover® Deep Cycle AGM Battery
Discover®700 Series Dry Cell Battery
Discover® EV Traction Dry Cell Battery
General Benefits and Features of Discover Valve Regulated Lead Acid (VRLA) Technology
Sales Channels for Discover Battery Technologies
Things to question when making a battery buying decision
What to consider when buying a deep cycle battery
Information gathering before buying batteries
Calculating cost to own when purchasing batteries
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Safety and Productivity
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How much will a system cost for my 2000 square foot home?
Can I use all of my normal 120/240 VAC appliances?
What components do I need for a grid-tie system?
What components do I need for a complete solar system?
What type of solar module mounting structure should I use?
Where should I mount the solar modules and what direction should I face them?
Should I set my system’s battery bank up at 12, 24 or 48 VDC?
Should I wire my home for AC or DC loads?
Can I use PV to heat water or for space heating?
How do solar panels (cells) generate electricity?
Will solar work in my location?
Tables & Figures