Top 3 Batteries For Starting Your Off-Grid Energy System - The Good Survivalist
Batteries For Starting Your An Off-Grid Energy System

Top 3 Batteries For Starting Your Off-Grid Energy System

6 min

19.5k shares, 357 points

A big question that anyone using alternative energy will ask is what are the best batteries for starting an off-grid energy system? In this article you will learn the top 3 batteries to accomplish this.

Because of the falling prices of renewable energy systems, more and more people are looking to use alternative energy sources as a way to:

  • Save money
  • Become more energy independent
  • And break their dependence on the big energy companies

Solar Battery Bank With Reconditioned BatteriesHowever, installing a renewable energy system, in most cases, requires you to make a considerable initial investment that you won’t get back for several years.

One of the biggest capital outlays associated with alternative energy systems is the batteries in the battery bank.

So choosing the right batteries for your off-grid system is vital (and keeping the batteries alive as long as possible is also vitally important)!

There Is No Need To Buy New Overpriced Batteries

Before learning what 3 batteries we recommend for your alternative energy system’s battery bank it’s very important to understand that you don’t have to purchase the 3 batteries we recommend brand new.

Instead, you can use the EZ Battery Reconditioning program to:

  • Get old or used batteries for free (or dirt cheap)
  • Recondition them back to “like-new” condition

Doing this will will save you a lot of money when building a battery bank and it helps make alternative energy accessible to those with a smaller budget!

But that still leaves the questions…

So, what are the best batteries to use in your solar power, wind power, or other alternative energy system?

In the rest of this article we’ll try to answer that question simply as possible

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  1. Lead Acid-Batteries VS. Other Battery Technologies in a battery bank
  2. Deep Cycle vs. Shallow Cycle Batteries in a battery bank
  3. Flooded Lead-Acid Batteries (FLA) VS Sealed Lead-Acid Batteries (SLA) in a battery bank
  4. And finally, which 3 Batteries we recommend for your residential off-grid energy system (based on the criteria we go over in this article)

how to recondition old batteries

Lead Acid-Batteries vs. Other Battery Technologies

Many of the batteries that are used in renewable energy systems were first made for other purposes. The best  example of this is the lead acid battery which has led the industry for a long time.

Deep cycle lead-acid batteries have demonstrated to be one of the best (and least costly) battery types for alternative energy system battery banks for these reasons:

  • They’re able to withstand frequent discharging,
  • They’re cheaper than other kinds of batteries,
  • They have more rugged durability,
  • They deliver more consistent performance than other batteries.

The fact that they are widely produced also means that they are relatively easy to replace if a battery in your battery bank needs replacing.

It’s important to know, that as of late, lithium ion batteries for residential alternative energy systems, like Tesla’s Powerwall, have been getting a lot of exposure – however the initial investment into lithium ion batteries is quiet a bit more than the initial investment into lead-acid batteries.

The Powerball may at some point change this but at the moment deep cycle lead-acid batteries are the most affordable, and practical solution for a home battery bank.

Deep Cycle vs. Shallow Cycle (Car) Batteries

Back when the renewable energy industry was still picking up steam, people that wanted to go completely off the grid would often have to improvise and make do with car batteries. However, car batteries were never built for this purpose and shouldn’t be continuously drained and recharged (which is what they need to do in a solar panel or wind turbine system).

Car batteries are supposed to be used only for starting and ignition. If you take a look inside one, you will see that they have a large number of thin plates.

These plates have a big total surface area that can facilitate a large number of chemical reactions. When you start your car, these reactions produce the sudden burst of power that is needed for ignition.

Deep cycle batteries on the other hand, have thick lead plates that don’t give much room for chemical reactions. Though they produce less current, they are designed to do so for a much longer period of time.

In essence, car batteries are “shallow cycle” batteries that will quickly burn out when used as storage for renewable power.

Flooded Lead-Acid Batteries  (FLA)  VS  Sealed Lead-Acid Batteries (SLA)

Before telling you what three batteries are best for alternative energy system’s battery banks, it should be made clear why flooded lead-acid batteries (FLA’s) are better for renewable energy than sealed lead-acid batteries (SLA’s).

One of the reasons that some people favor SLA’s is because they require little maintenance. Unlike FLA’s that need to be checked regularly for water level, SLA’s that are used properly can be left alone.

However, sealed lead-acid batteries have two big flaws: they are sensitive and wear out quickly. So if you’re planning on using your solar panel or wind power system every day, this will eventually pose a problem.

So, here are the categories of flooded lead-acid batteries that are best for an off-the-grid power system:

The Top 3 Best Batteries

So now that we understand that we want a lead acid battery, that’s flooded (FLA), and also has deep cycle properties …here are our top 3 favorite batteries for an off-grid system’s battery bank:

1) Golf Cart Batteries

Golf Cart BatteriesGolf cart batteries are the most widely manufactured batteries on this list.

They also work great in an alternative energy system application. So it’s no surprise that they’re one of the most commonly used batteries in battery banks for renewable energy systems.

In addition, golf cart batteries can also be found almost anywhere, making them a great choice for battery banks.

If you really want to build a high quality but inexpensive battery bank one of the best options is to:

  1. Get old or “dead” batteries from golf courses or golf cart shops for free …or dirt cheap (just call them and ask if you can have their old batteries probably lying around and cluttering their shop)
  2. Then recondition those batteries to like-new condition with the EZ Battery Reconditioning program
  3. Use those reconditioned batteries in your battery bank


2) Industrial or Forklift Batteries

Forklift BatteriesA battery bank that uses one or more industrial batteries follows the opposite philosophy of a golf cart battery bank. Instead of relying on multiple strings of smaller batteries, you use a few or even one battery to store all of your energy.

Because these batteries aren’t usually manufactured to standard dimensions, you will have to have one made that is just right for your needs.

Or you can try to find an old industrial or forklift battery that’s the correct size for your system and use that.

Like golf cart batteries, there are sometimes ways to get free or cheap forklift batteries.

One way is to call up or visit industrial companies and see if they have old or “dead” forklift batteries. Offer to dispose of it for them or pay them a little bit. If they agree, you can then recondition the battery and use it instead buying a new pricey industrial battery.

But if you choose to get a new custom made battery instead, you should expect to pay quite a bit. But the good news is these types of batteries are typically built to last 15 to 20 years.

Other thing to consider are:

  • These bigger batteries will be heavier and more difficult to move around.
  • There may be advancements in battery technology that could make the battery obsolete in years to come.

But if you don’t mind making a significant investment upfront (anywhere from $2,000 to $10,00) and are alright with spending time keeping your batteries in top condition, then industrial batteries might be right for you.


3) L16 Batteries

L16 batteries for SolarIf you want batteries that have a little more capacity than golf cart batteries but don’t want to spend on industrial batteries, L16 batteries are a good middle ground.

These flooded lead-acid batteries were originally designed for supermarket floor scrubbers.

The good thing with these batteries is that they last a bit longer than golf cart batteries – about six to eight years. However, they are often twice as heavy and the 6-volt models can be twice as expensive.



Different homes will have different power requirement and will need battery banks that are sized accordingly.

If you build a battery bank using any of the three batteries mentioned above, you should be able to create a battery bank that is just right for your needs.

There are some exciting new developments in the battery world for alternative energy. These new products should be entering the market over the next couple years, like the lithium ion Tesla Powerball. But at this time, our three favorite batteries for residential off-grid, alternative energy systems are golf cart batteries, L16 batteries, and industrial batteries.

And if you’re interested in saving money on your battery bank, you can use the EZ Battery Reconditioning program to learn how to:

  1. Get old or “dead” golf cart batteries, L16 batteries, or industrial batteries for free or dirt cheap
  2. Recondition them back to 100% of their working condition
  3. Use those “like-new” batteries instead of buying new overpriced batteries to save a lot of money!

Good luck with your battery bank! And Happy Battery Reconditioning!

Click Here Now if you’d like to learn exactly how to recondition old batteries and even profit from this knowledge.

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19.5k shares, 357 points


  1. I’m going to learn all I can about this. We are full time RV’rs and we have wanted to take the next step and go solar. Thanks for the great info!

  2. A thought ! buy enough battries to make your system work. When the SHTF we will have so many cars and trucks sitting around that with just a wagon one could collect many to build a sizable storage. take the extra ones that have the fluid and drain them into glass bottles. leaving no air and seal. it should last a good while so it is used to repair other batteries. we have golf clubs all around that would be a good source for the batteries and the chargers. Because the food is gone other things would still be in the hardware department as well as auto. parts to repair cars would be worth gold. Just a thought.

    1. Problem with the “we can go anywhere and collect lots and lots of batteries and gasoline from abandoned cars, rv’s ect. is that no one thinks of an EMP strike, 15 seconds that will drive us back to the 1850’s, crap hits the fan type of scenario. You may be able to use the gasoline for fire starter, but it will do you no good to collect it to say run a generator, batteries will be fried as well as any electrical components of automobiles, solar, wind generators, electric motors for pumping water, trucks that deliver food to Wally world, sewage plants ect. As well as roaming bands of looters, robbers, and just generally mean people who are trying to find food and water and someone to hurt.

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