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Battery upgrade for 200aH Mecer load shedding system, with a look to the future

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In March 2020, I bought a Mecer 2.4 KVA box system, containing an inverter and two 100aH lead acid batteries (https://mhn.co.za/shop/mecer-inverter-2-4-kva-1440-w-with-housing-and-wheel/). We've been using it mainly for our computers during load shedding. We have 2 desktops and up to 3 laptops working off it. It used to easily cope with 4.5 hours of loadshedding in Jo'burg, lasting up to about 6 hours. But recently we've noticed that it is cutting out after just over an hour, and can't cope with even one desktop for the full 2.5 hours loadshedding. Since it's been over 18 months, and we haven't exactly been kind to the batteries, is it fair to say that the batteries have reached the end of life?


I'm looking to replace the batteries with LiFePO4, but in such a way that possibly we could use them for a bigger system, and add solar panel(s) either now or later. If we could add the  fridge (rated A++) and 100 litre chest freezer (A+) to our system, for at least part-time use, that would be ideal.   


My questions:

1. Can I use LiFePO4 batteries with my present inverter?

2. Recommended batteries? 

3. Recommended solar panels?

4. Anything else to bear in mind (controllers etc)?





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