Written by: Randy Anderson, Technical Sales & Training Manager
What are some of the considerations that I need to take into account when choosing my battery bank?
One of them would be input voltage. This is generally going to be defined by what is the input voltage of the inverter. Usually that will be 12, 24, or 48 volts, usually 24 or 48 volts on larger off-grid systems. Higher voltage generally means less amperage input required.
Second consideration would be the amp hour or kilowatt hour capacity of the battery. So obviously the bigger the battery, the more storage capacity it has. So it's going to relate to how big your system is. In a typical off grid cottage application, you would have a 24 or 48-volt battery bank which is somewhere in the range of 600 to 800 amp hour. They can go as high as 6,000 amp hour or more in larger systems.
What type of cells do you need? Bigger two volts? What size cells? In this case, bigger equals more capacity in lead acid batteries. So, again, how much capacity you require will determine what size cells you need. And lastly is technology. In the lead acid category there's flooded, AGM, and gel. Flooded batteries are maintainable and have to be looked at regularly, AGM or absorbent glass mat and gel, are both maintenance free, and require much less looking after. These batteries are usually more expensive than the flooded lead acid initially to purchase, but the time you’ll save in maintenance time and cost outweighs that for some people.
Lithium batteries are also on the market now, which some are considering for off-grid applications. They are the most expensive to purchase, but have more cycles and more amp capacity delivered over the life of the battery.
Each battery type has pros and cons, what you pick will depend on your application type, the loads you’re going to run and your budget.
If you have additional questions on this topic, where to find the products, or want more information about the products, contact us!
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