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Monday, January 30, 2012

Creating A Battery Bank For Emergency Power Storage

Original Article

batterybank 320x2401 Creating A Battery Bank For Emergency Power Storage

In our last segment we discussed power inverters in the context of medical equipment. That was the main part of this series that was primarily targetted at medical equipment.

For the rest of the series, we’ll cover it from a more general perspective.

Today we’re talking about power storage, specifically storing them in battery banks. Sounds complicated, but it’s really not.

There’s a couple things you need to know and/or decide.

First, you need to know what voltage your inverter needs. This is usually going to be 12V or 24V … we’ll assume for this exercise that it’s 12V.

Second, you need to know what voltage your batteries are. A common battery for these types of systems are 6V Deep Cycle batteries from golf carts. So we’ll use those.

Finally, you need to know how much power you want to store. I’m actually going to be super arbitrary here and skip this. If you want more information about this, there will be more at the end of the post.
Without going all Electrical Engineer on you, the key concept you need to know about is Ohm’s Law. Using Ohm’s Law as a basis, if you wire batteries in Series, you increase the voltage of your system. If you wire them in parallel, then you increase the storage capacity.

Knowing those two design concepts is all you need.

Since we know that we want a 12 Volt system, we know that we need to have two of our 6 volt batteries wired in series. For a larger system we’d actually have two distinct battery banks wired in series instead. This increases our capacity as well as our voltage.

Without belaboring the point for a large system you could have two banks of six batteries, wired together in parallel, that provide essentially six times the storage capacity as a single battery. By wiring these two banks in series, we then increase the overall voltage to 12 volts.

For a more in depth discussion of the topic, I wrote an article a while ago on how to build an emergency power system … if this is something that interests you, definitely check it out. The article also discusses power generation in depth, so I’m not going to go over it again.

This will wrap up our series on emergency power for medical devices. Hope you enjoyed it, and if you have any suggestions for a how to or series post, send me a note!