Hi, this is Amy from the altE Store. I wanted
to show you an exciting new deep cycle battery technology. They are the Aquion Energy salt
water batteries. Yes, you heard right, salt water instead of lead acid. Aquion Energy
batteries are safe, non-toxic, and long lasting. First a little background on how batteries
work. A battery is made up of multiple metal plates forming the positive cathode and the
negative anode. They have an insulating separator between them, and are immersed in an electrolyte
solution. When using the energy from a battery, and therefore discharging it, a chemical reaction
occurs, creating an imbalance of electrons, causing the flow of electrons from the anode
to the cathode to try to restore balance. This is the flow of electricity. As a battery
discharges, the anode and cathode plates become more chemically alike, the electrolyte becomes
weaker , and the voltage drops. To charge the battery back up, the process is reversed.
In a lead acid battery, the plates are made of lead (often lead dioxide on the positive
plates and pure lead on the negative plates) and the electrolyte is sulfuric acid diluted
in water. Aquion batteries are instead made of carbon, cotton, salt water, and Manganese
Oxide. Manganese Oxide is the 10th most common element on earth, and is found in soil, in
lakes, and on the ocean floor. All of these materials are non-toxic and safe, unlike the
ingredients in lead acid batteries. Aquion Energy batteries are the only cradle to cradle
energy storage product on the market – certified proving to be safe for the environment from
creation to recycling. So, let’s take a closer look at the battery
itself. It comes prewired as a 48 Volt stack. The S30-0080 stack is being renamed to the
Aspen 48S-2.2. The 48 means 48V nominal voltage, the S is a reference to “single unit”,
formerly known as a stack, and the 2.2 equals 2.2 kWh nominal energy
at a 10 hour charge, 20 hour discharge rate. They have H4 connectors for easy wiring. You
simply buy H4 extension cable to wire them to a combiner box, just like you do with solar
panels. Multiple stacks can be wired together in parallel. Unlike lead acid batteries, you
can wire as many batteries in parallel as you need. With lead acid batteries, wiring
multiple strings in parallel can result in unequal charging and discharging, shortening
the life of your batteries. Aquion batteries self-balance the charge, so if one battery
is at a higher voltage than the other, they will even each other out with no negative
impact. Depending on how fast you charge and discharge
them, each stack has about 48 Amp hours for about twenty two hundred watt hours of capacity.
So if you need 22 kilowatt hours of energy, you would wire 10 stacks together in parallel,
usually using a combiner box so each stack has its own breaker.
The Aquion batteries are also available pre-wired in groups of 12 stacks for a module. The M110-LS83
module is being renamed to Aspen 48M-25.9. The 48 again means 48V nominal voltage, the
M is a reference to “multiple units”, formerly known as module, and 25.9 equals
25.9 kWh energy at a 10 hour charge, 20 hour discharge rate. If you need more energy
than that, you can wire multiple modules together to grow up to utility size storage. Here’s a few more cool things about the
Aquion battery. Due to its design, it can be discharged down to completely empty, with
no harm. It can be regularly cycled down to 90% depth of discharge, unlike a lead acid
battery that doesn’t want to go below 50% depth of discharge (or DoD). For example,
if you discharge a lead acid battery to 50% DoD every day, that will give you 1500 cycles,
or 1500 days, just over 4 years. An Aquion battery can be discharged to 90% DoD for about
3500 cycles, that’s about 9 ½ years. As a result, you can use a smaller battery bank with Aquion
than with lead batteries, since you can use more of the stored energy from it, and it
will still outlive the lead acid battery bank. A few important things to note about the Aquions.
One is that they do not like to be charged or discharged quickly. Each battery stack
should never have to handle more than 17A, the lower the better. As you can see by this
graph, the capacity of the battery decreases the harder you hit it with current, so the
battery is half the size if you hit it at 10A rather than at 2A. Aquion recommends you do not draw more than
14.1 amps per stack. At 48V, that is 677W. So if you have a very high draw load, like
motors or pumps, you may need to oversize the battery bank to handle it, or stay with
the more traditional lead acid batteries. The second is that while the operating temperature
is fairly wide , 23F – 104F, Aquion saltwater batteries do freeze at 14F.
You can thaw them and they will still work, but there’s a good chance that the capacity will
be affected. A simple enclosure should be enough to prevent the battery temperature
to go below 23F. The way you size an Aquion battery bank is
a little different than sizing a lead acid bank, because you have to be sure to take
the charge and discharge current into account. Let’s use the example of: 4kWh x 3 days=12kWh storage total needed. Charging via solar during the day will be
across 8 hours, and using the power throughout the day and night will be about 20 hours.
So we look at the energy capacity table from Aquion, and we see that if we charge for 8
hours and discharge for 20 hours, each stack of Aquion batteries can hold 2,046 watt hours
of energy. Since we calculated that we need 12kWh of energy, we divide that
by the 2,046 watt hours which gives us 5.8. So we round up to needing 6 stacks to store
enough energy for our needs. But now we have one more step. We need to
make sure that 6 stacks wired in parallel can handle the current draw from the inverter
when we use that energy. While designing the solar system and evaluating our needs, we
determined that the highest draw of the loads will be 4800 watts to power our fridge, well
pump, tools, etc. So 4800 watts divided by 677W max recommended draw=7 stacks. So you
see why we need to do this with 2 steps. Six stacks had enough storage, but we need a 7th
stack to help distribute the load across the battery bank, to not draw too much from each stack. If we didn’t have a high draw on our load, then we wouldn’t have had to add that extra stack. So, to summarize, Aquion Energy batteries
are safe and non-toxic. Their ability to handle deep depth of discharge allows you to use
a smaller battery bank while enjoying a longer battery life. While they aren’t ideal for
very high wattage loads, or extreme temperatures, they are a great battery for every-day off
grid living and back-up power. Contact us if you’d like help designing a system for yourself. I hope this was helpful, if so give us a like and a share, and be sure to subscribe to our altestore
channel so we can notify you when more videos are available. And don’t forget to go
to our website at altEstore.com, where we’ve been making renewable doable since 1999.