A good off-grid battery can cost you anywhere from $70- $2000 and last between 4-10 years, if you look after it right. And the best buy is NOT a Tesla.
Experienced off gridders know how crucial it is to have good energy storage capacity, to ensure comfortable living. We’ve gone ahead and broken it down for you, so you don’t have to.
- Deep-Cycle Lead-Acid Batteries
Lifespan: 4-8 years
Price: $69.99 for a 35Ah 12V battery. These are probably the best you can get right now, in terms of price vs quality. This is a battery that you can charge to a significant amount and which can provide a steady amount of useable power for extended periods of time. They are designed to be regularly deeply discharged using most of its capacity and can be stacked. Lasting around 20 hours per charged use and 4-8 years, this battery is a low-cost favorite for the outdoor lifestyle.
- Sealed Lead-Acid Batteries
Lifespan: 2-4 years
Price: $60. These beauties use gelled or absorbed electrolytes and although bearing some resemblance to the ones above, there are a few distinct differences between the two. In some ways, the sealed alternatives are better than deep-cycle lead-acid batteries. They require no maintenance other than charging, work well with small solar arrays and can be charged to lower voltages as lower charge rates, don’t leak or suffer terminal corrosion are easily stackable so will take up less space in a battery bank which is a big plus when you’re pushed. They are extremely sensitive, meaning that they can be damaged easily if they are overcharged, and may not even work if they are undercharged. Also, they are similarly as priced as their competition but their life span is only half as long. So that’s a big thumbs down for reliability and being cost effective.
- Tesla, Powerwall
Lifespan: Over 10 years
Price: $3,000-$3,500. Now this battery was designed to power your entire home using renewable battery power, indefinitely. CEO of Telsa, Elon Musk refers to it as changing the “entire energy infrastructure of the world.” and you can watch him unveil it here. Powerwall comes in 10 kWh weekly cycle and 7 kWh daily cycle models. Both are guaranteed for ten years and are sufficient to power most homes during peak evening hours. Multiple batteries may be installed together for homes with greater energy need, up to 90 kWh total for the 10 kWh battery and 63 kWh total for the 7 kWh battery. The only downside is the price. The 7 kWh model is priced at $3000 and the 10 kWh at $3500. So if you can afford to splurge, this is the battery to break the bank!
- LG Chem, New Generation System
Lifespan: Over 10 years
Price: $2,000. The South Korean company has released a new battery system in Australia which offers low and high voltage options to your household with its new battery storage systems ranging from a stackable 3.3kWh lithium-ion system to a 9.8kWh system. LG Chem says its battery storage systems are pitched at households that want to store the output of their solar systems for use in the evening, minimising the amount of solar energy that is sent back to the grid, and which no longer attract significant tariffs. The battery is being trailed in Australia and will later be released to the rest of the world. LG Chem Li-Ion 3.2kWh 48V battery expansion pack is retailed at just over $2,000.
- Sonnen, Eco Compact
Lifespan: Warranty for up to 10,000 cycles
Price: $5,950. The German battery company revealed their newest invention in home battery system earlier this summer. The Eco Compact is said to have been designed to increase grid-tied solar consumption and is available at up to 40 percent the cost of Sonnen’s other products. It’s an ‘all-in-one residential solar battery solution and represents the latest evolution of the company’s smart energy management products. Using Sonnen’s proven self-learning software, the eco compact provides various grid-tied functions – increasing household solar self-consumption, managing time-of-use and supporting grid services, not including backup power.’ The fully integrated 4-kilowatt-hour eco compact system retails for $5,950 plus installation, which can range from an additional $500 to $3,000, depending on the customer.
- According to UK-based IMS Research,the global market for power storage from solar panels is expected to soar from $200 million in 2012 to $19 billion by 2017 making that a ninety-five-fold increase in just five years time! With demand on the market for batteries that will be compatible with off-the-grid alternative energy systems increasing rapidly we can assume we are going to be positively spoilt for choice when shopping for the best battery.
Buy our book - OFF THE GRID - a tour of American off-grid places and people written by Nick Rosen, editor of the off-grid.net web site
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