Below are some of the lead acid batteries that we have worked with for more than ten years. When it comes to storage options today the cheapest most practical is going to be some form of lead acid or AGM.
Keep in mind that Interstate Batteries is only a distribution brand nothing else. They have branches across America but a majority of their batteries are manufactured in China. We started to buy batteries more direct from China and find that many of the batteries China can offer directly are just as good if not better than the interstate u2200 or trojan T-105. Interstate batteries has many online distributors who get payed very little to resell their batteries. Some are legitimate and others are only advertising.
The next time you are thinking to buy a battery do some research. There are alternatives to the main stream batteries that are being sold through large distributors. Almost all of these distributors know nothing technical about batteries. They are only in the distribution business so volume is their priority not knowledge. They have not tested these batteries under high loads and run these tests over long periods of time. We have extensive knowledge on how these batteries tend to fail over long term use. Distributors have basic knowledge of batteries and will not know about custom applications. They know three things. Model numbers, volts and amp hours nothing else. Distributors usually will not sell you the latest and greatest technology such as lithium because they are in the business to sell only what they have in stock.
The AGM batteries will give you about a three year life span and the deep cycle liquid cells can give you four to six years if they are well maintained. We have applied high discharge rates to several of these batteries in many different applications and have seen a variety of results. Most of the results we have do not match the manufacturers specifications. Our applications are not what most of the manufacuturers have designed these batteries for. Most deep cycle batteries were not designed for renewable energy applications. They were originally used in fork lifts and golf carts. As a matter of fact the same batteries that are used in most renewable energy applications today came from fork lifts and golf carts.
Manufacturers tend to over spec devices in order to beat the competition. We also have worked with several lithium-ion battery manufacturers with a variety of results. Lithium-ion is a great option when you need a small area to store a lot more energy and you are trying to reduce weight. The problem with lithium is if you do not maintain good lithium charge levels permanent damage to lithium batteries can occur quickly.
High voltage battery packs are much more efficient. Copper costs can be reduced. Weight can be reduced and overall performance can be increased. Series and parallel connections can help with increasing your battery voltages but keep in mind that battery balancing is always going to be a problem. Lead acid batteries tend to unbalance easily and the pack will need to be rebalanced.
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