Dancing with Shingles is pretty much a full-time occupation. I seem to have little time for much else and so the blog suffers from lack of content, OTG type or otherwise. Plus, I am grouchy. Still, despite the unpleasantness, the show must go on, eh?
So, let’s do something mundane: batteries again. My old set is just that – getting old. 8D’s are expected to last five years if you are lucky and I am pretty sure we are well into our 6th year. And it is showing. Where the batteries would fully charge during a long sunny day and ‘go to bed’ that night with a charge of say, 50.4 volts or even sometimes, 50.6, they are now retiring for the night at 49.6 or even less. Well, actually 49.6 is good. 49.2 and even 48.8 are more common. Clearly, the batteries are showing their age. I am not going to go’dark’ anytime soon but now is the time to start looking for a new set.
Although, knowing me, I will stretch it out a bit longer.
A friend is representing Discover batteries and he is keen on them. They will ‘cycle’ twice as many times as will 8Ds and L16s. Or, so it is claimed. If that is true, they will last twice as long. Instead of stretching my battery bank to last six years, I can count on ten or twelve and maybe even a year or so longer. Maybe.
8Ds and L16’s come configured for about 200 amp hours and the ‘replacement’ Discover battery is rated at 10 to 20% less so that will have some bearing on how many cycles are required. So, it’s a bit of a trade-off. An 8D is $300. A Discover is $600. So, cost-wise, it is a wash. Still, there is something to be said simply for NOT having to do it again for a longer while.
“Geez, Dave, this REALLY is mundane.”
OK, here’s the part that might interest you: I can’t use just one. I need a minimum of 8 and would prefer 12. My choice: $5,000.00 or $7500.00. To me, that’s a big number. I bought my last car (a 2004 Pathfinder with 100,000 miles/160,000 kms) for $3500.00. That car will likely see me out, as the Brits say. Not the batteries.
Is it just me? Doesn’t the cost/benefit/complexity/weight ratio seem all wrong to you? Eight batteries cost more than a car! And get this for weird….twelve years ago when I first started this OTG thing, the BIG expense was solar panels. I paid $5.00 a watt and got a good deal at the time. Today, I can buy better panels at $1.00 a watt. Solar panels cost 20% of what they did just twelve years ago.
Twelve years ago, I bought batteries for $100.00. Admittedly, they were not as good as what Discover claims to be but the same ‘size’ battery (weight and dimensions) is now over five times that.
We’re still talking basic plates-in-acid technology! Methinks there is something wrong with this picture.
Yes…………….the technology is improving. Yes, five years from now better batteries for less money will be available. Yes, the best plan is to wait. But, by then, I will be in the dark so waiting is NOT really an option now, is it?
OK…so I have a bad attitude. I blame the Shingles. I will try to calm down.
So, my new plan is to wait………..but wait only until I have shed the Shingles and then I will start making some decisions. If I make decisions now, I will do something irrational and punch someone at the very least. Right now I want to punch Discover Energy. And Elon Musk. And China. And MIT. And Aquion Energy (sea water battery technology). They are all failing my expectations of them.
That feeling is just not rational. I know that. That feeling is just plain silly. Mind you, I advise giving me a wide berth just now. Better for everyone. Chalk it up to the Shingles.
Yes….I would like to punch Shingles in the face, too.