I may have mentioned that I exist off the grid for much of the winter months. Now I happen to do so in a tent, but that tent is set up a couple hundred yards from a buddy's log cabin. His cabin is what falls right into this discussion. Also off the grid, he has a system that utilizes wind power( 1, 6ft? turbine), solar power (4 3'x6' panels) , and a gas or diesel (dependant on which one is working) generator and a rack (a 12-20?) of lead/acid batteries.
I have not done a study of it but from him I know that although things are working, he is disappointed in much of it and the generators are running quite a bit. Personal observation has me being disappointed also as his needs are seemingly small yet he seems to have to be on constant vigilant watch...and I see that rack of batteries in the basement and it just seems like one should be able to run off them for a few days without any kind of regeneration...and that is just not the case. I will do a closer study this winter...usually I am already there by now, but although its been cold, they are lacking the snow that is my draw.
He is in the midst of building a larger log cabin next to the original as his wife is expecting and while I assume he is going to hook into much of the existing I also assume he is doing some rethinking about what he has and how it could be better.
Suggestions? Should he wait a bit before investing in a bunch of new lead/acids.
Are there other materials, over and above the Zinc/Alluminum/Lithium that have promise? How available is Zinc...no shortage scenerio like you allude with lithium? (When Bolivia was mentioned, I saw scenes of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid run through IRW's head
A side note...I worked in a coal burning power plant a couple decades ago and I remember they had a huge battery room...I can't remember the exact purpose but I would guess now it was purely for backup for lighting needs in case they themselves lost power.
Instead of preventing, can the Zinc fingers be effectively scrubbed?