How to choose your off grid leisure battery
Looking to go off grid with your boat or campervan? Then you'll definitely need the right leisure battery for the ride! But with so many battery options on the market, it's easy to feel overwhelmed and unsure about where to start. Don't worry though, Fogstar Drift has got you covered!
First things first, let's talk about the importance of purchasing the right battery for going off grid. With the right leisure battery, you can run all your appliances and gadgets while on the move, without the need for mains power. This means you can enjoy both the wilderness and the comfort of modern technology. Who says you can’t have the best of both worlds?
Here at Fogstar Drift, we sell a wide range of Lithium Leisure batteries, ranging from 105ah through to 560ah, 12v to 24v. So whether you're planning to spend one night, or even a week off grid - we have quite the selection of batteries to choose from.
Now, let's dive into the nitty-gritty of choosing the perfect leisure battery size for your needs. We'll work through the important factors to consider so that you end up with the perfect battery that suits your budget and power requirements.
Living off grid does not mean a life of sacrifice and discomfort. With the right leisure battery for your boat or campervan, you can still have all the comforts that modern technology has to offer, and it all starts with selecting the right size leisure battery.
Powering your adventure: picking the best off grid leisure battery
Going off grid is an exhilarating experience. Whether you're boating or camping in a remote location, you shouldn't have to worry about being close to a power source. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the right size leisure battery;
The Duration of Your Stay
The longer you stay off grid, the larger the leisure battery you require. If you plan to stay for a few days, a small battery will suffice. However, if you plan to stay for an extended period, or power large appliances, you will need a battery with a much larger capacity.
One important feature to look for when choosing a leisure battery for your off grid adventure is the amp-hour (Ah) rating. This measures how long the battery can provide power. Higher amp-hours indicate longer run times.
To calculate the required amp hours for your off grid expedition you need to consider the power consumption of your appliances and devices, and estimate how many hours per day they will be used, this leads us nicely into...
The Power Consumption of your Appliances
Your battery should be able to handle the power consumption of your appliances (and some more). Many of our home-based electrical appliances are powered via a 240v supply, although you can find many of these in 12v versions too; perfect for your off grid travels. A quick search on Google and you'll find plenty of 12v kettles, hairdryers, toasters and lights.
If you can't bear to part with your precious 240v appliances you'll require an Inverter. Inverters turn 12v DC battery power into 230/240v AC allowing you to run all of your household appliances in your boat or campervan. If you want to run an inverter this will also influence the size of leisure battery you require.
The appropriate battery size for off grid use in a boat or campervan depends on your specific power consumption needs, and there's an easy way to calculate this;
- List all of the appliances you will be using and the watts of each appliance. As an example, a laptop typically uses around 20-30W per hour and LED lights typically use between 0.5-5W per hour.
- Then list the estimated daily running time (in hours) and daily energy usage (in watt hours).
- This will allow you to work out the overall watt-hours you will be using every day.
- Simply divide your watt-hours by 12 (or 24 if you're using a 24v battery) to give you your overall amp-hours (Ah).
- An example of this would be; 1,023.1wh/12v = 85.25ah. 85.25 is our daily energy usage.
A Fogstar Drift 105ah would be perfect for us if we were planning a day off grid.
Your choice of battery chemistry
You'll find lots of different types of batteries available on the market including Lead Acid, AGM, Gel, and (of course) our speciality, Lithium. Each type of battery has specific features that make it suitable for different applications. We've talked at length about the benefits of LiFePO4 in comparison with Lead Acid batteries in another blog, and you'll certainly notice a much greater Depth of Discharge (or DOD) using Lithium over other battery chemistries.
Lithium, or LiFePO4 batteries, are a great choice when it comes to going off grid due to the high energy density, low weight and modest maintenance requirements. You'll also find Lithium batteries will last far longer than Lead Acid batteries, you'll get 10-15 years of life from a Lithium battery compared to just 2-5 years from a Lead Acid - that's a lot of off grid adventures!
The Climate and Temperature
The climate and temperature of your location can affect the performance of your battery, so if you're planning a mid-winter off grid expedition, it's worth factoring this into your purchase decision.
Whilst you can safely discharge a LiFePO4 battery down to -20°C degrees with no issues, it's really important not to charge LiFePO4 batteries below freezing as this can have a significant impact on the lifespan, and overall performance of the battery.
If you own a Fogstar Drift, you'll have no issues using your battery in low temperatures. The heating pads in our batteries are activated when the battery is being charged, and are only powered by the incoming charge current, not the battery itself.
If you put your Drift on charge in cold temperatures, the unit will always heat the battery first, and then allow current through when the temperature is safe enough to do so.
Not all Lithium Leisure Batteries on the market come with heating - so be sure to check before you make a purchase!
The use of solar to charge your leisure batteries
If you're going off grid with no access to a hook-up, solar panels can be used to recharge your battery.
If you already have solar panels on your van or boat, it's important to really consider the size and capacity of your batteries before you make a purchase. You'll need to make sure that your solar panels can produce enough energy to fully charge your batteries, and in a reasonable amount of time!
Using solar panels in combination with leisure batteries allows you to take your boat or campervan to remote locations without worrying about running out of power. This can lead to a more enjoyable and stress-free off grid experience.
Choosing the right leisure battery size is crucial for your off grid experience, you need consider the following;
- How long you plan on staying off grid
- The power consumption of your appliances
- The type of battery you plan on using
- The climate and temperature
- The use of solar to charge your leisure batteries.
So there we have it! Choosing the right off grid leisure battery all comes down to a few key factors that can affect the overall performance of your battery. Consider things like the length of your trip, the power consumption of your appliances, and the climate and temperature. Don't forget to also think about the type of battery you plan on using and whether you'll be using solar to charge your leisure batteries. By taking these factors into account, you can make an informed decision and enjoy your off grid experience with ultimate peace of mind.
Take a look at our range of LiFePO4 Leisure Batteries - prices start at just £369 for a 12v 105ah and come with Grade A EVE Cells, JBD BMS, Heating and an App as standard.