The Aquion Energy Saltwater Storage Battery
The Aquion Energy Saltwater energy storage battery has gotten some press in the last couple of years for it’s unique technology, but it deserves a lot more I think. I’m just your normal homeowner myself, but I’ve been following solar technology for years wondering when it would be viable for the general public to start making our own power vs buying it from the grid.
I went OG years ago using lead acid batteries on multiple strings which is NOT viable for most people. If you know what you’re doing & maintain your system to a high standard it’s still a lot to know & do to keep things working well.
And it’s not cheap in any sense. But I’ve been sharing my knowledge with others in the area & have friends who have their own systems now that we share info on together.
For the sake of terminology, I’ll use the word member & relate the following story about one of the newest OG members in our group who wants to remain un-named as most OG owners do:
A few years back I decided to go off-grid (OG) in my garage at home & then maybe in the future, at my house as well. I wanted to find out for myself if I thought I could live with an OG system long term, & starting in my garage was a good way to gain experience. My garage at 2000 sqft is slightly larger than my home, but my power usage is much less & more sporadic.
Being retired, I’m home most days and basically manage a small homestead growing a lot of my own food, we have fruit & nut trees, multiple types of berries, we have chickens, etc. Enough to keep you busy everyday & I’m in my garage doing something all the time. I’ve also owned a Polaris Ranger EV since 2010 & we use it daily working around the property.
We both love the fact that we just charge it as needed & it has required almost no maintenance to this day. Just turn the key & go – summer or winter. We now have multiple OG friends with these EV’s & everyone loves them. So later on I decided that charging it off of solar would be nice & that branched into an upgrade to my OG garage idea.
Another aggravation in the garage was that it had a separate meter which we paid a $28 monthly fee whether we used power from the grid or not. Not a lot, but that money stays in our pocket now. The first thing I found out about trying to go OG was not what I expected.
There’s not a lot of solar companies close to me & I figured it would be an issue finding one to just come out here. But the real problem was getting a company to install an OG system period. They all advertise off-grid on their website, but that’s really just a search term to get hits to their website. When you call them to come design a system for you, they only seem interested in doing cookie cutter grid-tie systems.
The people that CAN actually do OG systems are apparently the bigger commercial installers & they don’t want to be bothered with small residential installs. It took me 3 months to find someone willing to come do my ‘garage’ install.
So I started with 3.5 kwh of Canadian Solar panels feeding an Outback Flexmax80 Charge Controller which is charging eight Model:L16H-AC 6volt Trojan batteries in series to power up a 48volt system. Inverter was a Magnum Model MS4448PAE 4400 watt, 220vac true sine wave off-grid style capable of bumping up to 8000 watts for short periods.
My only backup was a Generac 11kwh Generator, but because my garage use was not a priority, I rarely had to use the generator to finish something I was working on. Usually I only needed it in the winter when there was no sun for days, and maybe once during summer rains with overcast skies for days on end.