Choosing the right generator battery for off-grid use is essential to keep power in the case of any short circuits or power outages. These can happen at any time, although it is far less likely to happen off the grid.
To select the right battery system for an off-grid generator, it is essential to establish how long you wish the battery to last and the applications in which it will be used. Some generator batteries will last longer than others, and having multiple options can present an advantage.
Being off-grid can make repairs more challenging and time-consuming, so it may be a good idea to choose a battery that can last for an extended period, particularly if you’re situated in a remote location.
Most generators will use a lead-acid battery since these are incredibly efficient. There are two types to choose from: maintenance-free and conventional batteries.
Maintenance-free batteries are usually sealed and not easily accessible; however, as the name suggests, they don’t require a great deal of maintenance.
Conventional batteries are easier to access and can be customised for various power uses, such as adding electrolytes to allow them to reach optimal performance.
Better quality batteries will use better materials leading to higher performance. However, this is usually at a premium price.
Lithium batteries are often more efficient and particularly useful in the long term; however, they can be expensive to run and will struggle to run if the temperatures outside are too low.
AGM batteries, on the other hand, are especially useful in the short term. They are often more expensive than lithium batteries; however, do not require nearly as much maintenance.
At Powerguard, we offer a Renewable Energy Control System (REC system) for off-grid solar power solutions, which can generate power from renewable sources in any location.
Our systems feature a high-quality charge control system. Without this, batteries can often malfunction, and when this is off-grid, it becomes a difficult problem to solve. Our system can efficiently control the charge rate of the batteries to ensure a longer lifespan.
There are many reasons to opt for off-grid power, such as:
Power outages are rare; however, they still happen. Although the power usually comes back quickly, sometimes it is long enough to lose data from computers, short circuit some devices and leave homes and businesses without heating and electricity for extended periods.
By going off-grid, you’ll always have a reliable system available for outage situations.
Going off-grid may be an investment, but it is an investment that can save you money on electricity in the long run. Electricity rates are reduced, and therefore the costs of setting up the equipment for off-grid power will soon be recovered.
Using an off-grid system means you’re using less fossil fuels, and minimal carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere depending on the kind of generator you’re using. However, by opting for a renewable energy source, you can simply make use of what is already there, such as wind energy or the heat from the sun.
Most off-grid solutions will need to be paired with a generator, as we’ve already touched upon. Off-grid setups require a contingency plan in case solar panels or wind turbines aren’t able to retrieve the energy necessary to meet demand.
Diesel and natural gas generators are most common in off-grid systems as they can provide the charge the battery requires when other facilities aren’t able to keep up with the needs of the property. They are also ideal for use as a backup energy source in the case of equipment failure, where the inverter system must be bypassed.
As a general rule of thumb, a generator should be about two times the size of the inverter’s continual output. For instance, a 4,000-watt inverter should be coupled with an 8,000-watt generator.
This is due to the fact that the generator must be able to charge the batteries while still providing power to the loads. For example, if the loads total 4,000 watts, and the charger is 60 amps at 48 volts, this means 7kW of continuous power is required.
This means that 8kW is the ideal size to power the load, while still reserving enough power to keep the batteries charged too.
It’s also wise to account for some loss of power if you’re situated in an area of higher elevation. Generators can lose around 3% power efficiency for every 1,000 meters of increased altitude.
At Powerguard, we are able to work closely with you to ensure that you’re receiving the most efficient, cost-effective and environmentally friendly option for your needs.