Should You Stock Disposable or Rechargeable Batteries for When the Grid Goes Down?
Grid down events are discussed pretty heavily in the prepardness community, some would argue that with the threat of an EMP attack, a r grid down scenario is the most likely thing to happen.
On today’s market, there is an abundance of batteries from which one can choose. There are different types of batteries and there are a lot of brands promoting their products as “life-lasting” energy supplies. When choosing a battery, there are a few things to be considered. Before you decided on a certain type, make sure you know the following:
- Shelf life
- Charging options
- Crisis functionality
You should know that all rechargeable batteries are rated for Capacity (C) and nominal voltage (V). The capacity of a large battery is usually measured in amp hours (Ah) such as the ones that are lead acid types. For smaller cells, the capacity is measured in milliamp hours (mAh) and this information should be specified on the package.
When it comes to a batter’s capacity, this characteristic is defined by its ability to supply the specified current for one hour of time. So if you have a battery that has a rating of 12V 7Ah, this means that your battery will supply 7amps of current for 1 hour before being depleted.
It is important to know the capacity and time rating of the batteries you buy because this will help you in planning a power solution for the off-grid scenario you are preparing for. This will also help you extend the life of your batteries and avoid over or undercharging them.
Most rechargeable batteries that can be found on the market are capable of high current delivery, but the high rate of discharge will increase temperature and damage the cell in time.
Rechargeable Batteries Options for an off grid situation:
Nickel cadmium (NiCad) batteries
NiCad batteries are the most popular rechargeable batteries in use today an almost everyone uses them. They can be found in gadgets such as cordless phones or handled power tools. These types of batteries are able to supply very high peak currents, discharging more than 5C in some application. These are cells designed for being rechargeable around one thousand times. NiCad batteries are available in common sizes such as AAA, AA, C and D and they are rated 1.2V nominal in these sizes. The capacity will vary according to the cell size, but the AA types are usually rated at 1000 mAh.
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