US 12VXZ XC2

On National Battery Day, The Battery Industry Focuses On The Ongoing Discussions Regarding Lead Batteries As The Future Of Energy Storage

While National Battery Day (February 18) is observed to appreciate the convenience of batteries on everyday life, the future of batteries and the role they play in energy storage was the subject of a briefing held on February 12 on Capitol Hill. The event featured a panel of leading science and business leaders who shared highlights on innovative lead battery research and expressed the need to continue support, as the results will meet the growing needs of energy storage, sustainable manufacturing, and in the automotive industry.

Among the representatives attending were California Rep. Mark Takano (Democrat) and New York Rep. Chris Collins (Republican) who serve as co-chairs of the Advanced Energy Storage Caucus. “Energy storage is the future of renewable energy,” said Takano. “Cheap grid-scale storage means that renewables can compete with fossil fuels on cost alone.”

Rep. Collins also stated that energy storage means energy independence, noting that the current downside of solar and wind power is that environmental conditions aren’t always available. ”We have to store the energy in a way that’s real and sustainable, and the technology is not quite there,” said Collins…“We need breakthroughs.”

Takano also applauded the lead battery industry’s efforts in recycling. “As we have honest conversations about batteries, battery storage, and renewable energy, we cannot ignore the environmental life cycle of these [lead] batteries. I commend the leading science and business leaders who are pioneering developments on battery research. Together, we can pave the way for a sustainable future for every community.”

Dr. Tim Ellis, president of Dallas-based RSR Technologies, was one of several experts who shared highlights on innovative lead battery research, citing ongoing research at Argonne National Laboratory to better understand the performance of lead batteries at the molecular level, leading to better dynamic charging acceptance and improved cycle life.

According to the Battery Council International, the need has never been greater for innovative storage solutions, especially advanced lead batteries. The BCI noted that lead batteries have a 150-year proven track record and are poised to meet growing demand and future applications.

On National Battery Day, the Battery Industry also wants to remind consumers to recycle all forms of batteries, being careful not mix lead and lithium batteries together. For more information on where to find a battery recycling center visit the Call2Recycle website.

US REL16 XC2

Experienced Off-Grid Homesteaders Believe Flooded Lead Acid Batteries Are Still The Best Choice For Renewable Energy Systems

Batteries used for energy storage are necessary for any off-grid homestead or cabin. For experienced off-grid homesteaders, managing power storage from renewable energy sources is something they become good at, and over the years, the choice of batteries for experienced homesteaders like Allan Sindelar, a licensed electrician, and homesteader who has been living off-grid for more than 25 years, he still prefers deep-cycle flooded lead-acid batteries (FLA) for the job. “Few off-grid installers have been selecting, installing, and maintaining batteries long enough to learn from entire battery life cycles,” said Sindelar in his article The Best Batteries For Your Off-Grid Battery Bank that was published in Mother Earth News. “Without much long-term data, we tend to use what has worked previously, rather than trying new and possibly expensive approaches.”

Sindelar recalls when early homesteaders were using two car batteries 30 years ago, but once the FLA batteries became more affordable, off-grid homesteaders settled on using the L16 FLA batteries for their performance and reliability. “These are well-sized for small-to-medium systems and are available at a relatively low cost.” Sindelar also says in his article that experienced homesteaders are often better at performing routine maintenance which can lead to FLA batteries lasting greater than six years or more.

With other battery types trickling into the off-grid industry, Sindelar believes the data isn’t there to determine if they are a better solution over the long-run. “While tremendous advances are taking place in battery development, most are based around increasing a battery’s performance and energy density per pound, that is, lightweight, high-capacity batteries for electric vehicles and portable applications,” says Sindelar. “In homestead systems, weight isn’t a key factor. For most homesteaders, conventional flooded lead-acid batteries still fit this bill best.”

The appeal of batteries with no maintenance is big among new homesteaders, but Sindelar believes there are drawbacks. “Sealed batteries are substantially more expensive and more susceptible to damage from overcharging,” says Sindelar. “They’re well-suited to homeowners who don’t want to perform their own battery maintenance, as the charge for professional service several times each year adds up. This group might include many newcomers to off-grid living, who value the benefits but don’t desire the DIY involvement of earlier generations.”

As battery technology increases Sindelar believes it’s a good idea to use tried-and-true flooded lead-acid batteries until the various choices of batter types become clear in this form of use. “Homesteaders may want to consider waiting through one more set of batteries before trying lithium or other emerging technologies. Superior technologies are coming, and prices will drop as PV module prices have dropped in recent years, but we’re not there quite yet.”

U.S. Battery Supports Sprinter Build Out International’s Project Adventure Camper

With more than 16,000 members, Sprinter Build Out International is a growing group on Facebook that provides tips and answers to Sprinter owners who are building their vehicles as multi-use camper, sports, and work utility vehicles. The group’s administrator and creator Rick Griffin is also in the process of building out his Sprinter van to use for both work and camping.

Griffin reached out to U.S. Battery Manufacturing to get more information on storing power for a solar system he’s installing for the vehicle. “I am the superintendent of a construction company and I’ve become familiar with batteries and battery storage,” says Griffin. “When it came to energy storage, I shopped around and talked to a variety of manufacturers, and came across U.S. Battery. After polling some of our members, U.S. Battery came up high on the list for reliability and customer service.”

USBattery2224AGMsU.S. Battery liked Griffin’s ideas and helped by providing two 2224 AGM 6-volt Batteries for his solar project. Running the 6volt batteries in series to support a 12volt system. “We’re running a refrigerator, TV, and other accessories and the vehicle battery wasn’t enough,” said Griffin. “So we found a battery tray built by Adventure Wagon that would accept two 6volt batteries and we’re connecting three solar panels from Renogy solar. We’re hoping that this will give us more than enough energy to power our accessories when out on adventures.”

U.S. Battery AGM deep-cycle batteries are a maintenance-free design that uses absorbed glass matt plates (AGM) that don’t require adding water, won’t spill or be damaged if frozen. In addition, these batteries are designed to be stored for longer periods of time are often used in aircraft applications and enclosed spaces.

Griffin has also added a dinette bed conversion and used high-tech honeycomb aircraft material that is strong but lightweight. According to Griffin, he wants the Sprinter to be usable for work and adventures but doesn’t want to add unnecessary weight. The U.S. Battery AGMs will also help with keeping the system light, but also maintenance free.  More information on Sprinter Build Out International’s project can be found on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SprinterBuild/

 

More information on U.S. Battery’s line of deep-cycle AGM or flooded lead-acid batteries for a variety of applications can be found on the U.S. Battery website at www.usbattery.com.

Renewable Energy Storage Linked To Success In Statewide Plans

An article in Alternate Energy Magazine.com, an article by Megan Ray Nichols points out how renewable energy is continuing to outperform expectations. In Colorado, for example, Nichols showcases the states largest utility company Xcel Energy, planned to double its renewable energy capacity and in 2016 began a plan to shut down two coal plants and add 700 megawatts of solar energy, one gigawatt of wind, and 700 megawatts of natural gas.

To do this, the importance of energy storage was also a major factor in the distribution of energy. According to Xcel Energy, adding storage from batteries helped to mitigate the effects of generating power only in the sunshine or in windy conditions. According to Nichols the plan is still in the works and is moving to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission for approval.

U.S. Battery Manufacturing’s RE Series, Renewable Energy Storage Batteries Get An Updated Look

The Renewable Energy industry will soon appreciate the updated appearance of U.S. Battery’s RE Deep Cycle product line. The batteries will feature new labeling with stronger graphics and battery information, but the internal structure and design of the RE Series line will remain the same.

U.S. Battery RE Series deep-cycle batteries are the top energy storage solution chosen by a variety of industries and individual homeowners looking for the most cost-effective method to store energy from renewable solar and wind power systems. The unique components built into the RE Series batteries deliver the highest peak capacity, cycle life, reliability, and improved watt-hours per liter and watt-hours per kilogram.

These include the company’s exclusive Diamond Plate technology, highly efficient synthetic tetrabasic lead sulfate (TTBLS) crystal structures that enhanced performance, charging, and extend battery life. U.S. Battery’s RE-Series deep-cycle batteries also include Defender™ moss shields that effectively prevent the formation of “mossing shorts” caused when positive active material particles dislodge from the plates and collect at the top of the cell elements. Outside Positive (OSP™) battery design, mitigates the effects of positive plate deterioration and further increases battery life, overall capacity, and provides stable performance over the life of the battery.

U.S. Battery RE Series deep cycle batteries are available in 6-volt and 2-volt configurations, both featuring extra heavy-duty connector lugs for extreme power loads, a tough polypropylene exterior case, heavy-duty lifting handles, and the company’s SpeedCap® Venting positive locking system for easy maintenance. An optional factory-installed, single-point watering system is also available.

U.S. Battery manufactures a variety of deep-cycle batteries that are all manufactured in the U.S.A. and are distributed worldwide. For more information, contact U.S. Battery Manufacturing, 1675 Sampson Ave. Corona, CA 92879. (800) 695-0945. Visit https://www.usbattery.com.

Advanced Energy Storage Applications Using Flooded Lead-Acid Batteries

Flooded lead-acid batteries are being used in numerous new and advanced energy storage applications

Flooded lead-acid batteries remain as one of the most cost-effective and environmentally safe ways to store energy. Because of this, many are being used in advanced energy storage applications in large scale to power businesses and residents with solar farms across the United States.

In one example, the Public Services Company in New Mexico (PNM), serves more than 500,000 residents and utilizes solar farms with flooded lead-acid battery storage systems that can deliver 500kW of power. According to PNM, the system allows for stabilized power output during high demand. Batteries are rack-mounted in eight freight containers adjacent to solar panels.

The University of New Mexico and Sandia National Laboratories helped work on the project and has successfully demonstrated peak shaving, smoothing of photovoltaic ramp rates, and minimizing of voltage fluctuations to the satisfaction of PNM.

For more information on deep-cycle flooded lead-acid batteries for solar energy storage, visit www.usbattery.com.

Simple Solar Power Upgrade For Marine Use

This boat owner and blogger pieced together a simple solar system to efficiently re-charge his deep-cycle batteries

Mark McMaster wanted to add a solar charging system to provide efficient power on his 34-foot, 1983 Tollycraft Series II boat, and reduce the need to run a noisy generator and conserve fuel. “We don’t have an onboard generator, and we hate the noise in quiet anchorages,” says McMaster.

TollyBatteryCompartmentBeing in the Equipment Business, especially related to golf courses and parks, McMaster was familiar with battery powered products and 12-volt deep-cycle batteries. “We supplied these machines with a variety of brands of batteries, but hands down, the best overall performance has been with U.S. Battery Products,” said McMaster.

It didn’t take long for McMaster to install a bank of four US2200 XC2 6-volt deep-cycle batteries in 2013 to his boat. Once he decided to go solar, he added a second set of four batteries and began the conversion. McMaster added four 100-watt flexible panels from Amray Solar and attached them to the bimini for the time being. A Victron MPPT charge controller was also used along with LinkPro battery monitor. The system allows McMaster to monitor the system via the Victron app and with the four solar panels, has so far managed to keep the batteries fully charged.

“The system works great so far, beyond expectations,” says McMaster. “We’ll get a better test of the entire set-up once we head out for a two or three-week trip. My only wish is that I should have taken better care of the batteries when I started. I should have performed an equalization charge on them on a regular basis and not let them get down to the 55-percent discharge range. I might replace them next spring and we’ll definitely use U.S. Battery products.”

You can see the entire solar system upgrade and other upgrades he’s made to his boat, on the Tolly Rodger blog: https://tollyroger.com. More information on U.S. Battery deep-cycle batteries for marine and RV applications can be found on the U.S. Battery Manufacturing website at https://www.usbattery.com.

Wiring system and controller for the battery bank.

Wiring system and the controller for the battery bank.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Solar panels temporarily attached to bimini.

Solar panels temporarily attached to bimini.

U.S. Battery Offers Solutions To Renewable Energy Storage That Are Also Environmentally Conscious

Looking For “Greener” And More Efficient Methods To Reduce Your Energy Costs And Flatten Power Curves? Visit U.S. Battery Manufacturing’s (Booth #3232) At The 2018 SPI Show in Anaheim, CA. To Find Out How.

U.S. Battery Manufacturing will be showcasing its line of RE-Series deep-cycle battery products, specifically designed for energy storage, at the 2018 Solar Power International (SPI). The show will be held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA, September 24-27th, where U.S. Battery Manufacturing will have the latest information for optimizing energy storage for a variety of commercial and residential industries.

The SPI show is one of the leading trade shows for the Solar Energy market and allows U.S. Battery to offer a better understanding of how energy storage with the company’s RE-Series of batteries can provide one of the best solutions for reducing energy consumption and flattening power curves for streamlined efficiency.

In addition, U.S. Battery’s RE-Series batteries can offer SPI attendees the benefits of improved battery cycle life with the company’s unique features offered on RE-Series batteries. With a recycling rate of nearly 100-percent, U.S. Battery’s deep-cycle flooded lead-acid batteries are also one of the best environmental choices for long-term energy storage. For more information, visit U.S. Battery at the SPI show in booth #3232, as well as online at www.usbattery.com.

 

Camper Van Equipped With Solar And Battery Storage

Traveling Troy outfitted his Astro Van with a solar system and U.S. Battery AGM batteries for energy storage

Not many of us can pack up our van and head out onto the open road for extended periods, but Traveling Troy is a blogger who converted his Chevrolet Astro Van into a camper and is now enjoying the van life. “From the beginning of the build, I knew I wanted to be unplugged from the grid as much as possible,” says Troy. “I knew solar would be my main source of power, but we (my Dad and I) also installed the ability to use stored power and a battery isolator for those rainy days.”

Troy had no idea how many solar cells and batteries he would need, so he began listing all of the electronic components and how often he would use them. “To determine how many watts of solar and the battery size needed, I listed all the power consuming items I planned to use while traveling,” says Troy. “This included my laptop, cellphone, gadgets, fridge, and others.”  U.S. Battery has an Interactive Energy Chart that helps determine battery storage requirements on the U.S. Battery websites. “We took the estimated watt usage from each of these items and determined how many hours or minutes a day I would use them,” he says. “This gave us an idea of maximum daily consumption.”

camper van power center Realizing how much power he was going to need, Troy says he figured to utilize as much of the van’s rooftop for solar panels. “It was decided that we would go as big as we could go with the limited space,” says Troy.  “That ended up being 300 watts of solar panels on the roof of the van and two 6 volt batteries with 210 amp hours inside the van.”

Troy decided to use U.S. Battery AGM deep-cycle batteries because of their compact size and because he wanted something maintenance-free. “We knew space was going to be limited in the small Astro van and every inch mattered,” says Troy. “The battery compartment was no exception.  We chose U.S. Battery AGMs because we wanted a deep cycle battery that was reliable, maintenance free and spill proof.  The plan was to install the batteries in the back corner of the van and build around them.  The area above the batteries and around the batteries was valuable build space.  Two years later, and the U.S. Battery AGM batteries are still going strong.”

The solar system installed in his camper van is a custom build, but many of the pieces are readily available. “Our solar systems consist of Three Renogy 100 watt Monocrystalline solar panels run in parallel to a Renogy PMW solar controller which charges two 6-volt AGM 2000 batteries from U.S. Battery,” says Troy. “All the components are neatly packed into our ‘Power Center’ which uses what would normally be wasted space around the back passenger wheel well of the van.  Some of the components include a 200-watt inverter, 12-volt cigarette plug, shore power breaker and shore power battery charger.”

power center 2 (1)So far, the system has worked well and Troy has had enough power to live out of the van and explore the country. “I’m in the third week of a 3-month road trip and it has been really amazing being on the road full-time and living out of the van, off the grid,” says Troy. “My plan is to explore Arizona and visit the Grand Canyon for my birthday.  Then I’ll be exploring Southern Utah and the Mighty Five National Parks.  Finally, I’m hoping to meet up with my dad and step-mom in Colorado while they’re on a road trip.”

Troy chronicles his trips and the continuous build-up of his camper van on his social media pages, travelingtroy.com. Additional information and videos on the camper van build are on Troy’s YouTube page. www.youtube.com/c/Travelingtroy.

 

 

 

A Bright Future For Solar In California

Home Developers Gear Up For A Surge In Solar Panels And Battery Storage

In May of 2018, California passed a law requiring new homes to have solar power. While the law won’t take effect until 2020, builders are gearing up for what may be a surge in solar panel and equipment sales. While consumers fear the added solar systems will cause housing costs to skyrocket, advocates say that the extra costs will more than make up the cost in lower energy builds.

In a New York Times article, (California Will Require Solar Power for New Homes, May 29, 2018), sources say that the state is looking for alternative ways of energy production, which raises many questions as to how much of the solar energy collected will be put back into the local power grid, and how will rates change for solar and non-solar homes.

According to the Times, the increasing use of “smart” meters will help calculate costs and control consumption rages, but many homeowners are also looking into utilizing battery storage to offset peaks and valleys during high use periods. Battery storage is a popular way to efficiently utilize energy from solar and wind systems in rural off-grid areas, where solar systems output more than enough power during the day and charge batteries for use at night. Businesses often use battery storage to level out times of high energy demand and have seen dramatic cuts in their electric bills.

Most developers such as KB Homes, say that new home buyers will have a choice between buying the system outright (average cost is about $14,000) or lease the system with a monthly payment (on average $70 to $80 a month).  According to the California Energy Commission, the added cost of the solar system will add about$40 to an average monthly payment for a 30-year mortgage. While customers are offered an option, the overall hope is that the state can generate enough power for the millions of homes that are currently not on solar.