If you’ve decided to power your off-grid homestead with solar power, you may be considering using rechargeable forklift batteries to store the power from the sun. Here are a few important things to understand about using forklift batteries for solar off-grid power.
Used forklift batteries for solar
The Benefits Of Using A Forklift Battery for Solar Power
Living off-grid is a very interesting lifestyle that catches a lot of attention nowadays. It is a sustainable way of life that has a huge positive impact on our environment. But it also presents a fair share of challenges. Power is one of the main concerns that you have to address when deciding to live off-grid.
Since you won’t have any support from an electrical grid, you have to rely on stand-alone power systems for electricity. One of the most popular options that you have is a solar panel system. Some off-grid experts recommend using a forklift battery for solar panel power systems.
Forklift battery for solar system
The Top Choices Of Batteries For Off-Grid Systems
When it comes to choosing the battery that you will use for an off-grid or renewable power system there are several aspects that you have to consider. If you want a stable power grid that can handle a lot of electrical loads and last for years.
You have to use a battery that can keep up or better yet exceed your demands. Power cells that can store massive amounts of energy and have toughness and durability withstand the test of time. Just to give you an idea, the idea is to look for a lead-acid battery that has deep cycle capabilities, is extremely durable, and as much as possible a flooded type of battery.
Like the three types of batteries listed below.
Golf cart batteries
These power cells are deep cycle batteries and are considered to be one of the most manufactured types of batteries. Golf cart batteries are also the most commonly used battery for various renewable energy power systems worldwide.
These batteries are also available everywhere, and they are easy to find, making them very convenient for a user to replace. Although they can only offer a maximum of six years of life expectancy, golf cart batteries are cheap and very reliable.
The L16 Power Cells – An L16 power cell is a type of battery specially designed to offer more power storage. Compared to golf cart batteries, they have a higher amp rating and last longer than can reach up to eight years. However, these batteries are more pricey, and most of their 6V units are a lot heavier compared to their golf cart battery counterparts.
Forklift or Industrial Batteries – Finally, the most recommended by off-grid experts, are industrial batteries or forklift batteries. This type of battery features a hefty and bulky build that makes it heavy.
However, a single forklift battery can be equivalent to a string of multiple golf cart batteries when it comes to electrical storage capacity.
These batteries also offer extreme toughness and exceptional durability that can offer a service life of up to two decades. However, a new battery unit of this kind is really expensive, but there are a lot of ways of getting an old one for a cheap price.
Forklift battery for home solar
You may be thinking of new technologies involving sealed batteries of different materials. However, from what I have seen, the prices are still too high for these units. What I would call your attention to is still the standard lead-acid deep cycle battery, but one of a different variety.
They are sometimes right under our nose and for some reason, we don’t even think of them as an option. What could this possibly be?
Industrial forklift batteries
The lowly forklift or industrial battery is used in electric forklifts or pallet jacks. It is simply an incredibly heavy-duty, incredibly large, and surprisingly cost-effective lead-acid deep cycle battery.
Forklift batteries come in a variety of voltages (12, 24, 36, or 48) and sizes (from 1,000 pounds to several thousand pounds). They are available at local industrial battery suppliers or in at least one situation, from the manufacturer.
The lead plates on a forklift battery are far thicker and should last much longer than any L-16 battery made for renewable energy. The battery is composed of 2-volt cells, all packed in a heavy-duty metal case and tied together with metal bars in the proper configuration to add up to the labeled voltage.
When used with a forklift every day, these batteries typically last no more than seven or eight years but the expected lifespan is up to 15 or 20+ years when used with a renewable energy system, properly maintained, and not deeply discharged.
Forklift battery price
Where to Buy?
Forklift batteries are readily available from industrial battery dealers in most large cities. And while it is certainly worth checking those local sources, it is very possible that your best deal may come from an out-of-town source.
In addition, anytime you buy a battery for off-grid purposes from a forklift dealer, you have to expect that the dealer won’t be much help.
They may be very well versed in forklift batteries for use in forklifts, but we have found them to not only be clueless about off-grid usage but to actually give information that is just plain inaccurate. You see, what may be good advice for a forklift user could be positively bad advice for an off-grid user. We use our batteries VERY differently.
How much does a forklift battery cost?
Used forklift batteries usually cost around $1,500 to $3,500. You can buy used industrial batteries through a local material handling or battery dealer.
Most modern forklift batteries are designed to last a minimum of 1,500 charge cycles. If a battery is under heavy use and requires daily charging, the 1,500 charge cycles would represent approximately five years of service.
How often you should give your battery an equalized charge depends on the age of the battery. Newer batteries should have an equalizing charge every 10 charging cycles while older batteries need an equalizing charge every fifth charging cycle
Lead-acid forklift batteries provide a power source and act as a counterweight to a lift truck. A typical lead-acid battery is made up of a battery case, battery cells, and battery cables that come together to house a liquid electrolyte mixture of sulfuric acid and water.
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How to buy the right forklift battery? Before you spend hundreds of dollars on a battery, take a moment to learn how to choose the battery for your forklift.
When it comes to buying a battery for your forklift, the true cost of a forklift battery involves much more than just the initial price.
How do you recondition a forklift battery?
How do you refurbish a forklift battery?
Your forklift truck will run on its own battery if it’s an electric vehicle. The battery is a vital piece of equipment and must be cared for and kept charged in order for your truck to work properly.
Are forklift batteries deep cycle?