Whether you're preparing for the apocalypse or simply looking for greater energy independence, any residential energy system meant to supply off-grid power consistently will eventually require a battery bank. Most commonly paired with solar panel systems, battery banks are used to power your home and other facilities even when you aren't actively generating power. These batteries are often expensive and complicated to install, but many off-grid enthusiasts are surprised to learn of a relatively inexpensive alternative in used forklift batteries. These are four things to keep in mind when considering a used industrial battery to serve as a bank for your solar panel system.
Providing Industrial Durability
Forklift batteries are designed to handle large quantities of energy on a daily basis for years at a time, and this pragmatic efficiency can make them far more durable than brand-name solar battery banks. By comparison, the relatively light demands of a solar power system versus a forklift can keep industrial batteries chugging along well past their expected expiration date, meaning they should last significantly longer than their more expensive, specialized counterparts.
Managing Costs for the Same Amp-Hours
When you buy new batteries, you are paying for the cost of extracting and refining raw materials as well as the labor needed to design and assemble the battery. Used batteries have already made up these costs and, with some minor restoration, can be just as reliable and efficient as new ones. Because they are used, and because they are less glamorous than brand-name solar products, you should be able to buy industrial batteries with the same amp-hour capacity for hundreds or even thousands of dollars less.
Considering Your Power Needs
Industrial batteries come in a range of sizes, with the largest behemoths typically capable of handling 48 volts. If that seems a little excessive for your system, industrial batteries are also typically available in lower voltages, right down to the power of a standard car battery. These smaller batteries can be combined as best fits your battery bank and the electricity demands of your home.
Arranging Purchase and Transportation
Most forklift battery suppliers will sell their used products to residential homeowners, though you may need to figure out how to get it home safely. This can be no easy task when you're dealing with hundreds or even thousands of pounds of battery, so be sure you only purchase what you're prepared to take home with you. Some suppliers offer shipping services, so it never hurts to ask. If you are looking to upgrade or replace your solar power system and don't want to needlessly waste your money on branded packaging, contact a local industrial equipment supplier like U.S. Lift & Warehouse Equipment Inc to begin figuring out what will work for your electricity needs.