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Still using lead acid batteries? Azimuth Solar can show you what you're missing

Brook Harrison (left), marketing manager of Azimuth Solar Products, company CEO Shari McDowell and chief technical officer Matthew Longman discuss the silicon dioxide batteries the company sell at its Kelowna showroom.
November 02, 2020 - 2:00 PM

With the popularity of RVs and off-grid homes and cabins increasing, it’s critical that safe, reliable and environmentally friendly power options are available.

Often the power sources used in such instances are batteries and in the past, owners and operators have turned to traditional lead acid batteries to meet their needs.

But there are new players in the game now including silicon dioxide — or lead crystal — batteries and they are growing in popularity.

Silicon dioxide batteries offer more greater performance, last much longer and provide outstanding performance in extreme weather conditions compared to their lead acid counterparts.

“They are a better option that no one else offers,” says Shari McDowell, CEO of Azimuth Solar Products, a Kelowna company that distributes silicon dioxide batteries across the country.

McDowell said as word spreads about the benefits of silicon dioxide batteries, more and more people who need specific power solutions are making the switch.

The batteries Azimuth carries are designed for off-grid, RVs and back-up power supplies, as well as marine and telecom applications. They can be charged and discharged many more times than a traditional lead acid battery over their more than 10-year life span and provide a cost-saving and environmentally friendly alternative. A lead acid battery has a typical lifespan of one to three years, depending on its use, as well as a limited temperature range and can “off-gas.”

A silicon dioxide battery costs around $600, about twice as much as its lead acid counterpart. However, the lifespan is five to six times longer.

But there are more benefits than just lifespan and cost-per-charge savings.

Silicon dioxide batteries are more powerful, do not need maintenance, special ventilation or cooling, and can be stored for up to two years without recharge. According to McDowell, the unique chemistry inside the batteries provides what is essentially a “dry cell,” meaning there is no liquid inside to spill, require topping up, create gas or freeze.

Also suited for heavy use applications, the batteries Azimuth carries come in a variety of sizes.

But batteries are not the only off-grid solutions Azimuth provides. Its retail location at 1050 Richter Street in Kelowna carries a large selection of solar power products and next year, expects to see the arrival of new technology lithium titanate batteries that will provide even longer lifespans and greater performance.

McDowell said response to the batteries the store sells has been very good as Canadians catch up to a technology known in other parts of the world for several years but is still fairly new in Canada.

She said countries like Australia and China have used silicon dioxide batteries for years.

Azimuth started in 2012 as the developer of a special mobile solar power station that could be set up quickly to deal with emergency situations. But McDowell said she and her partner, Matthew Longman, the chief technical officer with Azimuth, found it was the batteries that proved most popular with customers. So the company turned its attention to that side of the business.

“It just kind of morphed,” she said.

The Richter Street store has been open since 2017.

So, if you are looking for power solutions to meet your specific needs, or are in the market to replace batteries, check out Azimuth Solar Products.
The knowledgeable staff can help you find just what you need.

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