Renewable Energy systems such as solar or wind have a few drawbacks and that comes in the form of storage of the energy for use when the wind isn’t blowing, and you have some cloudy days in a row where solar energy output will be minimal.
When you are not generating energy you either use it from your grid-tied system, or you potentially have a battery bank of batteries that you charge for these times. Deep cycle batteries are not cheap at all and some of the batteries that are created solely for the use of renewable energy can cost of upwards of $250 per battery!
So what can you do about this? Well there are a couple of things that you can do, especially if you make the right people contacts in just about any town you live in. This is where opportunity lies for getting some nice batteries on the cheap.
Deep Cycle batteries are used in marine, vehicle, RV’s, Off-road ATV’s, Golf Carts, ForkLifts, and just about any application. One of the largest manufacturer of these batteries is a company named Trojan Battery company and the batteries they have are great for renewable energy sources. They even happen to have a line dedicated specifically for RE uses.
So…. Instead of buying a large bank of these batteries at $250 a pop you should hunt around local golf cart maintenance shops, forklift repair shops, and more for finding these deep-cycle gems.:)
Most of the time the batteries themselves are not in horrible condition beyond repair, some easy work they can be fixed up to practically new without much cost at all. One simple method of repair is for using EDTA in the electrolytic fluid in each cell that doesn’t pass the test of a standard electrolytic hydrometer. Although some battery types are sealed most are recoverable with this technique. EDTA stands for ethylene diamine tetra acetic, and can be purchased on the internet rather easily. If you see people selling you “special” battery reconditioning mixtures this is what the main ingredient is.