Limitations of Lead-Acid Batteries for Household Power
- Limited Appliances: Only lights, TVs, sound systems and low-wattage DC appliances are appropriate for use with batteries. Irons, large motors, and any heat-using appliances are not appropriate for battery and PV systems.
- Re-charging: Batteries need to be constantly charged and serviced, often at a cost of over $1 per charge. Carrying heavy batteries is quite cumbersome, and transportation may even be dangerous, as casings can crack and leak acid.
- Short Life: Use of batteries without charge regulators or solar modules is likely to shorten battery life and greatly increase the lifetime cost of energy. Most batteries are deeply discharged regularly. This reduces their service life, and adds to the equipment costs. Battery life in such systems is usually less than one year.
- Service: Battery charging stations often provide poor service. Charging equipment may be old and un-metered. Customers have no way of verifying whether their battery received a full charge (i.e. If there is only one bad battery among the ones being recharged simultaneously, none of the batteries can receive a decent charge). Users pay for the privilege of being connected for a fixed number of hours to a battery charger, regardless of the actual charge received.
- Cost: Using a car battery does not come cheap for the end-user. The costs for a typical charge range between $0.5 and $1, to which the costs for transport should be added. The equivalent kWh costs range between $1 and $3. A 100 Ah battery that lasts 1 - 2 years and costs $100 which will add approximately $2 per kWh, making the total cost of electricity from a car battery quite expensive: between $3 and $ 5 per kWh.