Loadshedding isn’t going anywhere anytime soon (still), so the search for back-up power is more important than ever. But with myriad options on the market, how do you know the performers from the flops when it comes to storage batteries?

Lance Dickerson, Managing Director of Honeydew-based battery specialists REVOV, says, “Whether a household or a business chooses to invest in renewable energy generation, such as solar, or in an uninterrupted power supply (UPS) system, batteries are an integral component. If the wind is not blowing and the sun is not shining, electricity that has been generated needs to be stored to carry the system until the renewable source resumes once more.”

Here’s a five-step guide to choosing the right battery for your system.

The chemistry

This is critically important. If the chemical make-up of the battery is incorrect, not only will the battery be ineffective, it may be dangerous as well. Different chemistries are better suited for specific environments – for example, automotive-grade battery cells deliver extreme temperature resilience and high-energy density, which makes them well suited to environments that rely on these characteristics.

Charging capacity

A battery must meet user demands, so you need to ensure that whatever unit you choose has the right capacity insurance. That means the battery has the ability to support the charging required and remain within the operation paradigm of the system.

Well-designed box

It does not help to spend a fortune in time and money to design and develop a battery cell, only to use substandard materials to construct the frame structure. The physical box that houses the battery not only needs to be rugged to protect the user from any potential physical risk, it needs to shield the battery from any possible damage from external forces. There must also be secure monitoring systems in place to provide the user with accurate information about the status of the battery at all times.


Batteries are built using chemicals and there is a constant chemical reaction taking place within the cell. Safety is paramount when choosing a unit to install in your system.

A lithium battery, for example, has a battery management system (BMS) that monitors and shuts down the battery at failure. There are also physical signs to look out for, like a misshapen form or leaks. 2nd LiFe batteries from electric vehicles (EVs) are designed to deliver performance and safety. If you consider that 2nd LiFe batteries have 10-15 years of use once they have been repurposed from their 1st LiFe in EVs into storage batteries, the value is two-fold: You pay less for high-grade batteries, and batteries headed for landfills are moved off grid in a sustainable manner.

Carbon footprint

Choosing the lowest environmental impact is the right thing to do. Our children and their children deserve a healthy planet. There is no battery with a lower carbon footprint than a 2nd LiFe battery. They have already lived their first life in the EV market. The components are made of the best cells, a casing and the BMS – no new lithium or lead is mined and beneficiated, and the cells are put to good use instead of being tossed into landfills.

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