So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
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Monday, July 27, 2015
My solar electric system charges a battery bank rather than feed into the grid. While I've got the expense of batteries, I also have power when the grid goes down. For me, that was the whole point.
The batteries are pretty old school: flooded lead acid batteries, the same kind used in golf carts. Every once in a while I have to top off the batteries with distilled water. While doing that the other day I noticed my batteries are now over 10 years old. That's pretty much near the end of their useful life. Since I took really good care of them, they have a few more years in them yet.
Batteries have always been the weak link in off-grid systems. My house batteries are essentially the same technology as batteries from 100 years ago. The best thing that can be said about them is they are good enough. They certainly could be better. Battery technology is making some huge advances, thanks in part to the development of electric cars. With any luck, when my batteries are replaced, the new battery systems will be available for a reasonable price.
Then again, if the new batteries start to displace the old technology, I might go with lead acid again. Why would I do that? If people start to unload their lead acid batteries for fire sale prices, I'd find it hard to say no. After all, they are "good enough."
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.