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Can I use a bunch of AA Batteries setup in cells in place of a deep cycle battery for green power storage? Answered


I have been looking more and more into solar and wind power generation as well as ways to store the power. I am still in the planning stages and have not yet tested anything. What I usually see in almost every green power storage guide is to use deep cycle batteries mostly of the types designed for solar, golf carts, etc. That would work fine but they are always rather expensive atleast any I have found online (if you know a cheaper source I would love to hear about it).

So my question is this could I just buy a bulk quantity of AA NiMH (the new ones without memory) or AA Lithium ion batteries and set them up in series to make cells of 8x AA per cell for 12v total then connect all cells in parallel for my battery bank? I am not sure if this would actually be more expensive as it is just an idea I had and have been unable to find someone that tried it (perhaps I am searching for the wrong thing). It seems to me this could be more effective as I could replace one battery in the cell when it goes out and be able to constantly repair the cells in that manner.

Has anyone tried this and does it work? Would it require a special charge controller unlike the usual ones sold for solar? If anyone knows of any guides that show this please share them as I would love to do more research on this before I make a decision. I think I saw once on some show that the electric car they showed was setup in this way. Anyway thank you for your assistance it is greatly appreciated!


If you want to run anything more then a few lights, a Deep Cycle is the only way to go. If you were to use some Led's for lighting you may be able to get away with that.

Why don't we do some math...

12V = (8 X 1.5v @2.5Ah NiMh batteries, wired in series) = $20 including shipping from ebay

A Deep cycle battery will run you anywhere from $120 (70AH) to $350 (200AH)

So even a cheep Deep cycle @ 70Ah provides something like 28X the storage capacity, and costs FAR less then AA's. If that's not enough, you could wire two deep cycle's in parallel for the reliability you mentioned, and even more storage potential ! These are designed for you purpose, and are Easy to Maintain.


**If you are using traditional 12v batteries, Please Ensure your batteries are in a Ventilated aria ** As they charge they will produce some possibly Explosive Hydrogen gas.

That is very helpful thanks. I was also curious how the amp hours would compare and price to power ratio. Thanks again and have a nice day.

In principle I guess so. BUT look up Amper hour - Charge rates - How electrical power is derived.

Lots of electrical vehicles use Lithium batteries, High power, easy to assemble in battery banks to give high voltage and current BUT Expensive and tricky to charge.

NiMH lower efficiency

And for all of these a pretty large cost factor compared to Lead Acid.

Yeah I wondered if they would be tricker to charge and I was curious which would cost more. Thank you and have a nice day.


I am waiting for some enterprising licensee of this technology to make home solar systems. Vanadium Redox batteries are often used in off-grid applications to facilitate peak balancing in alternative energy systems like wind solar, etc. They rule, and would look awesome in my basement.

The synchronizer and inverter costs the most. An APC puts those two parts and a battery in one unit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stxvuxxRjGY . A 200watt apc costs $30 here http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40%7CR40%7CR40&_sacat=0&_nkw=200watt+apc&_sop=15 . If you are producing less than 40watts you will be using that on vampire energy constantly.

I had not really though much about buying a UPS for an inverter and battery, that could be an cheaper start and at $30 isnt bad. Also the links were helpful, thank you and have a nice day.

Simple answer is no.

The standard charge rate on those NiMH AA's is about 200ma.

Lead acids are expensive because of their thick lead plates which can stand repeated deep discharges down to the 50% capacity level as well as handle high charge rates in the 10's of amps.

Also a good point for the charge rate difference. Having something that can handle more charging amps would be easier to manage. Thank you and have a nice day.

You get the most storage bang for your buck from Lead-acid cells. They are brutes, and you can hammer them in ways NiMh and Lion just cannot.

That is a good point if lead acid batteries have better resilience that would make it a better choice. Thank you and have a nice day.