Living off grid means you have to find ways to create your own power, and with that comes the need to store that power, which means batteries. Finding the right type of battery can depend on many variables, there is new technology being introduced all the time but some of that is still years away. Axion Power offers a hybrid style battery that uses a supercapacitor negative electrode made of activated carbon, which reduces the amount of lead compared to traditional batteries as well as making them more efficient than standard lead acid options, and they also provide better extreme temperature operation than Li Ion systems. This can make them ideal for those living off grid in areas where the climate has more extreme swings in temperature. These new batteries are being put to the test in two recent off grid applications, both combined with solar panels to provide the energy to be stored. One is an FAA remote location beacon and the other is to be used at a portable water treatment facility.
credit: Axion Power
These hybrid batteries are also being studied for use in the electric and hybrid cars, for military applications, and a variety of other uses. With better performance, efficiency, and temperature tolerances that other current options, these could be an option for some and certainly seem to be a simpler option than other systems that may require liquid cooling or other systems to maximize their potential.