What would you replace your current battery bank with, today?

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by Asia-Off-Grid, Dec 13, 2015.

  1. Flooded Lead Acid (FLA)

    3 vote(s)
  2. Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM)

    2 vote(s)
  3. Gel Battery

    0 vote(s)
  4. Lead-Carbon (PbC)

    0 vote(s)
  5. Nickel Iron (NiFe)

    1 vote(s)
  6. Nickel Cadmium (NiCad)

    0 vote(s)
  7. Lithium Ion (Li-On)

    0 vote(s)
  8. Redox Flow battery

    0 vote(s)
  9. Tesla PowerWall

    2 vote(s)
  10. Aqueous Hybrid Ion (AHI)

    0 vote(s)
  1. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    I am about to have to start looking for some new batteries. I do live in Cambodia. So, it may take a bit more searching to find a specific battery, if I go with something aside from the typical battery types, FLA or AGM, for example. I am leaning toward Lead-Carbon (PbC) batteries. But, I am open to other options, certainly.

    Anyway, I would like to ask, for those of you who have off-grid systems, or perhaps a hybrid system with batteries, what battery system would you go with if you were to replace yours today?

    Input here is welcomed.

    NOTE: I would have offered a couple more types of batteries to choose from. But, the poll limited my choices to 10 options.
    Seepalaces likes this.
  2. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Who manufactures a solar charge controller for PbC batteries that may require very different charging parameters from that of the most common FLA type batteries?

    Or are the characteristics close enough as to be negligible?

    May want to find out before spending big bucks only to realize that your battery bank is trashed after six months due to improper charging.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2015
    Seepalaces likes this.
  3. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    Would an MPPT controller not charge a Lead-Carbon (PbC) battery? Not talking a cheap Chinese made controller. I am talking a reliable made unit.
  4. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Don't know. But you may want to be sure before you spend big bucks on PbC batteries. The two types (FLA and PbC) could have very different charging requirements. I'd do some serious research, maybe contact an engineer at Axion.

    NiCad and NiFe have very different charging requirements from Lead Acid. For instance, if you use a charger that's designed for lead acid to charge NiCads, no matter the quality of the charger, the NiCad batteries won't last very long.

    The same could be true of PbC.
  5. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Depends on if MONEY was NOT a Criteria.... If that was the case Li-Ion would be my choice... If I was paying for them, I would go with a Flooded Lead/Acid Traction Battery.....
  6. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    I have a Beta Kid. It's currently on another array. But, I could swap it out for one of my Beta Brat's, actually.
    Seepalaces likes this.
  7. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    Well, I'm not one to pinch pennies. But, I'm not Donald Trump, either. :D:D
    Seepalaces likes this.
  8. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    One array is on a a 10cm x 10cm steel post. It can be manually adjusted. The other arrays are on the roof. Both of those are static mounts.

    I'll be right back. Gotta go get the caribou out of the mud. :D
    Tully Mars likes this.
  9. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    A Prius...
    Lithium ion batteries - big ones
    Built in charging system
    Built in gernerator
    kellory, Asia-Off-Grid and sec_monkey like this.
  10. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    I feel so violated.

    I just want you to know. Normally, I am not this cheap, or easy.
    Altoidfishfins and kellory like this.
  11. hitchcock4

    hitchcock4 Monkey+

    Any other input? Curious to see what 'modern' batteries people use for longevity. I figure anything I buy I would want to be reliable and hopefully be able to use it for 7 to 10 or more years.
  12. duane

    duane Monkey+++

    Not an expert on batteries, but in my limited experience, the proper care, level of discharge, charge rate, float voltage, discharge rate, seem to be more important than the type of battery. I know of FLA that are 20 years old and still ticking and li ion that didn't last 2 weeks.
  13. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    How about Nickel Iron (NiFe)? They have a heck of a history behind them, for sure.

    I have attached one man's story, from Chicago. It is dated, though, having been written in 2000.

    Attached Files:

    Cruisin Sloth likes this.
  14. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    I will admit, I have experienced good service from my FLAs. Trouble is, they require you to stay on top of the maintenance. If I went with a large bank of FLA's, I would go with auto watering, for sure. The most I had attached to one controller / array, was 4 each, 12vdc batteries. Manual watering, even for only four batteries, was a bit of a pain. Not having to deal with maintaining them says a lot, for me.

    I am currently looking for two batteries, perhaps a 150ah and a 200ah battery, for two small systems. So, I may just go back with FLA's, this time as well.
  15. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    Well, CS, to be honest, I have always just called it a "tropical" climate region. However, stupid me had to get curious and go using a search engine, after reading your post. (I am, obviously, not the smart one in my family.) Upon doing a bit of searching, I have learned that Cambodia ranges anywhere between tropical-moist, to tropical-monsoonal. Personally, I would lean (a lot) toward "monsoonal", as an adjective. (What the heck is tropical-moist? Sounds like a damp washcloth.)

    I say this because of a typical storm we encountered not so long ago, that blew through Battambang (where I reside). My 63 square meter (678 square feet) roof overflowed a 1,500 liters (396 US gallons) primary tank - from completely empty, in five minutes flat. (The collection area is only the rear of a salt box style roof, on an attached home.) Storms like that are not uncommon here, during "wet" or "rainy" season. (Of course, heavy rains like that do save from having to clean solar panels very often.)

    Thanks for the input, as I have never used an auto watering system. Any particular manufacturer of auto watering systems you would recommend?

    Thank you for the advice. Will follow it.

    Hmm. Good question. There is a dealer of solar / deep cycle batteries in Phnom Penh. I can go with anything from golf carts, to standard deep cycle batteries, to specific made-for-solar batteries. FLA and AGM seem to be the most commonly available battery types here, for solar applications.

    I repeatedly have tried to contact a Trojan dealer, in Thailand. (Bangkok is about 8 hours from here, by land.) No answers, no replies. Not surprising, though, in Southeast Asia.
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
  16. Asia-Off-Grid

    Asia-Off-Grid RIP 11-8-2018

    Yeah. I have received packages, letters, and even some parcels from the US. Parcels are sent via (USPS) Priority Mail. All are sent to my box here at the local post office. Priority Mail will cost considerably more. But, it has proven to be a guaranteed way of receiving important items that cannot be found, or purchased here.

    The water used for FLA batteries here, is sold in one liter bottles. It is called "de-ionized" water. It comes out of Thailand in packs of six bottles, twenty-four to the case. It costs 2,500 ($.625c US) Cambodian Riel (r) per liter.

    Man, in most cases, you never get the caribou out of the mud - anywhere in SE Asia. You get one out of the mud, then another is helplessly flopping around in another mud hole.

    The only way to shed yourself completely from that, is to disassociate yourself from the entire family. I am pretty fortunate, though. My gal's family rarely, if ever comes to me for anything. Not sure what she told them in the beginning. But, whatever it was, it has worked ever since. Maybe they think I'm a leper?
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