1. The largest cost, over the life of the system, is the batteries. The lifetime cost, including maintenance, of your batteries is dependent on your initial purchase price, how well you adhere to a maintenance schedule, and the replacement interval for the batteries you select.
2. The energy storage capacity of a battery is measured in watt-hours, which is the amp-hour rating times the voltage. For example, a 12-volt, 100-amp-hour battery has a storage capacity of 1,200 watt-hours, which is the same as a 600-amp-hour, 2-volt battery.
3. Follow manufacturer recommendations for voltage set points. Make sure that your charger or charge controller will supply the correct voltage.
4. Place batteries in a well-ventilated, temperature-moderated area because batteries give off gases that could accumulate to form an explosive mixture. Batteries should be kept in an uncluttered, dry area of a shed or garage or placed in a vented box with a strong lock for easy but safe access.
5. Always refer to the battery manufacturer’s recommendations for use and maintenance.