It’s the question that anybody utilizing alternative energy undoubtedly asks eventually …
What are the best batteries for an off-grid energy system?
Because of the falling costs of renewable energy systems, increasingly more individuals are seeking to utilize alternative energy sources as a method to:
- Save money
- Become more energy independent
- And break their reliance on the big energy companies
Setting up a sustainable energy system, in most cases, needs you to make a significant initial financial investment that you won’t get back for several years.
Among the most significant costs related to alternative energy systems is the batteries in the battery bank.
Choosing the right batteries for your off-grid system is vital (and keeping the batteries alive as long as possible is likewise essentially important)!
You Don’t Have To Buy New Overpriced Batteries
Before we show you what 3 batteries we suggest for your alternative energy system’s battery bank …
It’s crucial to first note that you don’t need to purchase the 3 batteries we suggest brand new.
Rather, you can utilize the EZ Battery Reconditioning program to:
- Get old or used batteries totally free (or dirt cheap).
- Recondition them back to “like-new” condition.
- Utilize those reconditioned (like-new) batteries in your alternative energy system’s battery bank INSTEAD of purchasing brand-new expensive batteries.
When constructing a battery bank and it helps make alternative energy available to those with a tighter budget, doing this will save you a significant amount of money!
However that still leaves the questions…
What are the best batteries to use in your solar power, wind power, or other alternative energy system?
In this post we’ll attempt to answer that question in a straightforward and really simple way.
Here’s what we’ll discuss:
- Lead Acid-Batteries VS. Other Battery Technologies in a battery bank.
- Deep Cycle vs. Shallow Cycle Batteries in a battery bank.
- Flooded Lead-Acid Batteries (FLA) VS Sealed Lead-Acid Batteries (SLA) in a battery bank.
- Which 3 Batteries we suggest for your residential off-grid energy system (based on the criteria we discuss in this post).
Lead Acid-Batteries vs. Other Battery Technologies
A lot of the batteries that are utilized in renewable energy systems were initially developed for other functions. The most popular example of this is the lead acid battery which has actually dominated the industry for a very long time.
Deep cycle lead-acid batteries have actually proven to be one of the best (and most affordable) battery types for alternative energy system battery banks for these factors:
- They’re able to endure frequent discharging,.
- They’re more affordable than other types of batteries,.
- They have more rugged resilience,.
- They provide more constant performance than other batteries.
If a battery in your battery bank needs replacing, the fact that they are extensively produced also indicates that they are fairly easy to replace.
It must be noted though, that as of late, lithium ion batteries for residential alternative energy systems, like Tesla’s Powerwall, have been making headway– however the initial financial investment into lithium ion batteries is still much more than the initial financial investment into lead-acid batteries.
The Powerwall might ultimately alter this however at the moment deep cycle lead-acid batteries are the most affordable and most practical option for a home battery bank.
Deep Cycle vs. Shallow Cycle (Car) Batteries
Back when the renewable energy industry was still getting steam, individuals that wanted to go totally off the grid would typically need to improvise and make do with car batteries. Car batteries were never developed for this function and shouldn’t be constantly drained and recharged (which is what they need to do in a solar panel or wind turbine system).
Car batteries are expected to be utilized just for starting and ignition. You will see that they have a large number of thin plates if you take a look inside one.
These plates have a big total surface area that can facilitate a large number of chemical reactions. These reactions produce the abrupt burst of power that is required for ignition when you start your car.
Deep cycle batteries on the other hand, have thick lead plates that don’t provide much space for chemical reactions. They produce less current, they are developed to do so for a much longer duration of time.
In essence, car batteries are “shallow cycle” batteries that will rapidly burn out when utilized as storage for sustainable power.
Flooded Lead-Acid Batteries (FLA) VS Sealed Lead-Acid Batteries (SLA)
Before informing you what 3 batteries are best for alternative energy system’s battery banks, it must be explained why flooded lead-acid batteries (FLA’s) are better for renewable energy than sealed lead-acid batteries (SLA’s).
Because they need little maintenance, one of the factors that some individuals favour SLA’s is. Unlike FLA’s that require to be inspected frequently for water level, SLA’s that are utilized correctly can be left alone.
Sealed lead-acid batteries have 2 big defects: they are sensitive and wear out rapidly. So if you’re intending on utilizing your solar panel or wind power system every day, this will eventually pose a problem.
Here are the classifications of flooded lead-acid batteries that are best for an off-the-grid power system:.
The 3 Best Batteries
Now that we understand we want a lead acid battery, that’s flooded (FLA), and likewise has deep cycle properties … here are our 3 preferred batteries for an off-grid system’s battery bank:
1) Golf Cart Batteries
Golf cart batteries are the most extensively produced batteries on this list.
They likewise work fantastic in an alternative energy system application. It’s no surprise that they’re one of the most frequently utilized batteries in battery banks for sustainable energy systems.
Although the 5 to 6 year life span of golf cart batteries might appear fairly short, golf cart batteries more than make up for their shortage in this area by being cheap and incredibly resilient (you can likewise utilize these 7 tips to extend the life of golf cart batteries).
In addition, golf cart batteries can likewise be discovered almost anywhere, making them a fantastic option for battery banks.
If you truly want to construct a high quality but affordable battery bank one of the best alternatives is to:
- Get old or “dead” batteries from golf courses or golf cart shops for free … or dirt cheap (just call them and ask if you can have their old batteries probably lying around and jumbling their store).
- Then recondition those batteries to like-new condition with the EZ Battery Reconditioning program.
- Utilize those reconditioned batteries in your battery bank.
2) Industrial or Forklift Batteries
A battery bank that utilizes one or more industrial batteries follows the opposite approach of a golf cart battery bank. Instead of depending on several strings of smaller sized batteries, you utilize a few or perhaps one battery to keep all of your energy.
You will have to have one made that is just right for your requirements due to the fact that these batteries aren’t typically produced to standard dimensions.
Or you can search for an old industrial or forklift battery that’s the right size for your system and utilize that.
Like golf cart batteries, there are sometimes ways to get cheap or totally free forklift batteries.
One way is to contact or go to industrial companies and see if they have old or “dead” forklift batteries. Offer to dispose of it for them or pay them a little bit. You can then recondition the battery and utilize it instead of purchasing a new expensive industrial battery if they agree.
If you choose to get a brand-new custom-made battery instead, you must anticipate to pay quite a bit. The good news is these types of batteries are usually developed to last 15 to 20 years.
Other thing to think about are:
- These bigger batteries will be heavier and harder to move around.
There might be improvements in battery innovation that could make the battery obsolete in years to come.
- But if you don’t mind making a substantial financial investment upfront (anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000) and are alright with spending time keeping your batteries in top condition, then industrial batteries might be best for you.
3) L16 Batteries
L16 batteries are an excellent middle ground if you desire batteries that have a little more capacity than golf cart batteries but don’t want to invest on industrial batteries.
These flooded lead-acid batteries were initially developed for supermarket floor scrubbers.
The good thing with these batteries is that they last a bit longer than golf cart batteries– about 6 to 8 years. They are typically twice as heavy and the 6-volt models can be twice as expensive.
Different houses will have different power requirement and will require battery banks that are sized accordingly.
You must be able to develop a battery bank that is just right for your requirements if you build a battery bank utilizing any of the 3 batteries discussed above.
There are some amazing brand-new advancements in the battery world for alternative energy. These brand-new products should be going into the marketplace over the next couple years, like the lithium ion Tesla Powerwall. However at this time, our 3 preferred batteries for residential off-grid, alternative energy systems are golf cart batteries, L16 batteries, and industrial batteries.
And if you’re interested in saving money on your battery bank, you can use the EZ Battery Reconditioning program to learn how to:
- Get old or “dead” golf cart batteries, L16 batteries, or industrial batteries totally free or dirt cheap.
- Recondition them back to 100% of their working condition.
- Utilize those “like-new” batteries instead of purchasing brand-new expensive batteries to save a lot of money!
Good luck with your battery bank! And Happy Battery Reconditioning!