More and more people are interested in living off-the-grid, meaning less or no reliance on commercially offered water, electricity, and gas. However, living off-the-grid does not mean living uncomfortably. There are various methods of having electricity, for example, but using deep-cycle lead-acid batteries is probably the most reliable way. These types of batteries are quite affordable since they are designed to charge and then re-charge easily. Sole reliance on these batteries does require maintenance, however. Here are some easy ways to make your deep-cycle lead-acid batteries last longer.
Purchase Quality Batteries: Probably the best advice to take when creating an energy bank is to start with high quality batteries. Lesser quality or re-conditioned batteries may be cheaper at the beginning of your project, but might end up costing you plenty when these types of batteries fail. Do your research and buy reliable batteries.
Create the Right-Sized Battery Bank: In order to have a reliable source of power, you need to ensure that the battery bank you create can not only provide you with the power that you need, but can also provide back-up power at a moment’s notice. If your battery bank is able to carry between six to ten days of load, then you are in business!
Corrosion is Your Enemy: Nothing works faster to destroy the usefulness of your batteries then allowing corrosion to occur. To prevent or reduce corrosion: apply non-hardening sealant to each battery’s nuts, bolt, wire lugs, and terminals; also add petroleum jelly to the terminals for more protection; finally, use submersible rubber splice tape and place it around the terminal lug wire to seal it.
Temperature Effects Battery Life: Keep your batteries in a location where the temperature is always constant. Large swings in temperature (cold to hot to cold) impact the batteries effectiveness. As a result, your batteries may not last as long.
Monitoring Extends Battery Usability: Finally, purchase a renewable energy system monitor. This device helps you to monitor battery performance and will detect problems before they become serious.
Off-the-grid energy systems made with many deep-cycle lead-acid batteries can be an effect source of power. Following the above strategies should make your batteries last longer and provide you with a source of power reliably.