With increasingly higher energy prices, the switch to off-grid solar energy is a winning strategy for many, helping save money and look after the environment.
The use of LiFePO4 leisure batteries with solar panels gives the added benefits of increased depth of discharge, higher life cycle, superior chemical make-up and lower weights in comparison to other varieties of leisure batteries.
What is solar energy?
Solar energy offers a self-sufficient way of harvesting energy from the natural environment. You use solar panels to collect solar power from the sun during the day. These solar panels are made of photovoltaic cells that convert the sun’s energy into electricity. The electricity collected is then stored in your battery to be used at another time to power your 12v electrical appliances.
What does the term “off grid” mean?
The term “off grid” means producing enough energy, and having enough energy stored, enabling you to completely disconnect from the power grid.
Why use LiFePO4 leisure batteries for off-grid solar energy?LiFePO4 leisure batteries add real benefit when it comes to harnessing, retaining and utilising solar energy. The batteries naturally store more energy, drain more energy and have a much longer lifespan. If you only utilise your battery during your off-grid adventures, your battery will tolerate being kept in a partial state of charge without any deterioration or decline in efficiency, although we do recommend your batteries are stored at room temperature, charged to about 30% to 50% of capacity.
What types of solar panels can I use a LiFePO4 leisure battery with?
LiFePO4 leisure batteries can be used with all types of solar panels. Whether you’re opting for a small 30w 12v standing system, or a 240w 12v MPPT rooftop mounted solar system - a LiFePO4 leisure battery, used with the correct charge controller, can facilitate your requirements. Key to this is ensuring you have the correct battery, with the right capacity.
How much battery capacity do I need to go off grid?With the right amount of planning you can work out how much storage you need to take yourself completely off-grid. Energy usage is measured in kilowatt-hours, and over a set period of time. Here’s how to measure your battery capacity;
- List the 12v appliances you will be using and the watts of each appliance, 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 (if you are using a 12v battery) to give you your overall amp-hours (Ah). For example; 1,023.1wh/12v = 85.25ah. 85.25 is our daily energy usage.
When going off grid and using LiFePO4 leisure batteries, you also need to consider any potential declines in temperature (this can affect the performance of your battery). There will naturally be more sunlight in the summer months, therefore your solar panels will perform better during this time.
If you’re looking for a reliable LiFePO4 battery to take you off-grid, the Fogstar Drift range of leisure batteries provides the very best EVE Grade A Prismatic cells, integrated BMS system, built-in Heating, Bluetooth and associated App for external battery management, we’re also the cheapest on the market - by some distance.
What do you need from a leisure battery?When you start looking around for your ideal off-grid leisure battery there are a few important questions you'll need to ask yourself;
- what is your overall budget for a battery?
- do you plan on going off-grid and for how long?
- will you be hooking your battery up to solar panels?
- where do you plan on storing your battery in your vehicle/boat?
- how much power do you plan on using during your adventures?
Still wondering which leisure battery might best suit your off-grid needs? Take a look at our Fogstar Drift products or speak to a member of our team - we’ll be happy to help!