Well I took the plunge and ordered a nickel iron battery pack. There was a lot of hemming and hawing but after a huge amount of research and calculating, I could find no better alternative currently available and no new technology shortly forthcoming that was worth waiting for.
The 500Ah 12V pack will cost me $5200.00 shipped to my door with everything I need to set it up. This pack will last 25 years before the fluid needs replacing and then another 25 years after that. I know people with packs of original Edison batteries passed down from generation to generation that are in the range of 75 years old and still functioning at full capacity.
On the other end of the spectrum the very best Flooded Lead Acid (FLA) deep cycle batteries I could find for renewable energy purposes of the size that would be required to match the pack above would be a 1270Ah pack costing me $3310. This pack is guaranteed in the following way.
If the battery fails to deliver 80% of it’s capacity in the first year, any defective cells will be replaced including the shipping costs.
For the next 6 years any defective cells will be replaced, but the consumer will pay the shipping costs.
The last 3 years of the warranty you will be offered a substantial discount on the purchase of a new battery of equal or greater value.
The thing I find most disconcerting about this arrangement is the fact that you cannot simply replace a cell in an aged battery pack. Older cells will load on the newer cells and drag them down. This plan does not work and costs 3/5th of what I am paying for batteries that will not die before I do. I just had to try it. Even if I get a grid tied solar array, I have figured out how to make a hybrid system using the batteries and an AC charger to charge them, an inverter to supply signal to keep the grid tied inverters running so I can run the house and charge the batteries during sunlight hours even when the grid is down. Then I can run the basics around the house at night from the batteries.
It the end this will be the best of both worlds. But you know what they say about the best laid plans……