Off Grid Home Forums Technical Discussion Batteries and Inverters Re: Batteries and Inverters


I live across the lake from Michigan for a quarter cedntury before moving to west coast region. My guess is you will experience peroids where you need more than the 3 day battery reserve most solar dealers recommend. We just finished a month long cloudy period. In our northern latitude solar must be supplemented with other means. If running a petro fuelled generator is counter to your personal eco-consciousness consider there are other fuel options. Propane, natural gas, and methane are the first that come to mind. With some effort you can also consider methanl home grown or industrial sourced. wood gas production is yet a third. Jean Paine produced his own fuel in big wood chip composters.

With respect to batteries, NiFe batteries cost more and take up more volume but has a much more benign eco footprint. The electrolyte is not an acid like sulphuric acid and the plates are nickel and iron not toxic lead. No one really knows how long they last because 75 year old Edison NiFe cells are still running. You change electrolyte every 10 years or so. Admittedly there is also a need to alter the charging regime. However premature battery failure due to lead sulfation is not one of the problems you need worry about.

Wind and waterpower are also options depending on geographic locations.

But often these are restricted for various reasons.