Going old school batteries

The Achilles’ heel of every off-gridder has got to be the battery bank. It is generally the most expensive part of the system, especially if you are going big, but for even those of us who run a small system, the batteries are the part that are the most problematic as well as expensive.

I am hard on my batteries, I freely admit it, I run them down on a regular basis, I have gone though 3 sets of deep cycle batteries in 9 years. I have never had a large system, 2-4 batteries at most, fortunately we have never needed a large system, we run a few lights, radio, laptop, tablet, cell phone, router and internet antenna, a 12 volt water pump, a few fans and the biggest energy eater is our converted freezer to fridge unit. There are the occasional power tools that are used, but for the most part, on a daily basis, it’s just the first set of items listed.

I am on the poor side of the financial scale, I am in fact considered at poverty level, but since we have so few bills, the property and vehicle are paid for, we do pretty well on not much money. I generally don’t have the kind of money to put out all at once to get a bigger battery bank, I would also need to upgrade our solar panels (bigger and more) before even considering getting more batteries.

I did a search on YouTube for off-grid batteries just to see what would come up, I know that battery technology is getting better and better as well as cheaper to buy, but to my surprise, an old technology came up in the search, Edison batteries. From what I have read, they are pretty indestructible, it’s even claimed that they would be the last batteries you would ever need to buy.

There are a couple of companies that are making and selling those batteries now, of course they are not cheap, especially since they claim to be essentially forever batteries. Watch this video and let me know what you think.

3 Responses

  1. I suppose that’s not you in the videao ;) …did you try to make a NiFe / Edison Battery yourself?
    ($1000+ even on eBay is not really most peoples price range – and worth trying to build them)

  2. The Nickle Iron batteries are great. We managed to get a fairly new one from a friend who refurbished forklifts when we lived in Florida. Our battery came from an electric forklift that had been traded in.. It is a 6000 ah 24 volt battery and weighs about 1500 lbs. I traded a bunch of Harley parts for it. Great deal for us since the parts were not on the list to make the move with us. Even though all of the power inverters that I had collected were for 12 volt it was just a matter of cutting one lead strap to make two 12 volt, from one 24. so after 7 years living off the grid I have found that inverters are power vampires, They drain a battery dead even when your not using them. So now we don’t. we now have all !2 volt appliances fridge, freezer and fans I run off of the two 12 v banks in the one battery. our battery is out in an unheated outside pallet shed that we built to house all of the electrical components and next to that shed is our generator witch will soon be converted to natural gas. Yeh, after 7 years of cutting and stacking fire wood we find out that we are allowed up to 3000 cubic feet of natural gas per year free. We live in Wv.
    Anyway in the winter we only have to run the genset once per week to keep the batteries up to 70% ,and when Sandie wants to vacuum the cabin. So now this new found wealth of the free gas will help to heat the new greenhouse project and make for less work of the firewood situation. Yes yes the NiFe batteries are the way to go and I would suggest looking for a forklift repair service that may have a used one that you might get a used one from.

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