Best brand name batteries?

abdoudiawabdoudiaw Registered Users Posts: 12
Concorde, Universal, Surrette, Crown, Trojan, Outback, ... Who is the best ?
How Deka ranks among battery makers?

Comments

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Best brand name batteries?

    Sorry to say it is a roll of the dice.

    Some people have had good experiences with a particular brand while others have had bad experiences with the same brand. There really doesn't seem to be any distinct "this is the best battery brand" that I can see.

    I am, so far, happy with my Deka/USA Battery/East Penn PS2200 6 Volt 232 Amp hour flooded cells. I just installed them last year, though. The Interstate utility grade I had before that - one failed in the first month and needed replacement. Before that I had Trojans that lasted for years. Before that some Edmonds that croaked over winter.

    The fact is you're probably better off with whichever ones you can get for the least amount of money. This includes "no name" "warehouse" brands from places like Costco or Sam's Club. Especially as a first set because it's so easy to do something wrong when you first start out and wreck them.
  • YehoshuaAgapaoYehoshuaAgapao Solar Expert Posts: 280 ✭✭
    Re: Best brand name batteries?

    Deka and Surrette are overpriced with standard internet pricing. Concorde SunXtender is mainly AGM. I lean toward Crown or Trojan. I have surrettes because I got a good deal on them ($288 each). Don't know Outback, Universal, or US battery. Deka is 'featured' in solar textbooks alot. I'm thinking whatever's cheap at your warehouse store for low/medium quality, Trojan for premium/renewable grade, and Crown for industrial grade (forklift batteries).
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 2,970 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Best brand name batteries?

    What's the BEST Motor Oil?
    What's the BEST TV?
    What's the best car or refrigerator? Who's the best Doctor? It's all about the same kind of question.

    How will the product/service be used, what are the important factors to the buyer/user, what is the relative budget, etc are all very important considerations before purchase. And, these variables and many more are very specific to the nature of the use or expectation of the buyer/user.

    I have had very good service from Surrette batteries, as have a number of neighbors, but your needs might well require a different solution.
    YMMV, Good Luck, Vic
    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH [email protected], 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Best brand name batteries?
    Vic wrote: »
    I have had very good service from Surrette batteries, as have a number of neighbors. Vic
    Good to hear. I just ordered six, Surrette S-1380, 2 volt (L16 size). Told there would be a 6 wk wait right from their factory here in Nova Scotia, so sounds like they don't sit around in storage waiting for customers. Same thing happened a few years ago with my cousin who got a couple of Surrette 6 volt L-16, he also had to wait for production. So far so good with his batteries.
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 2,970 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Best brand name batteries?

    Hi Wayne,

    Great on the bank of new Surrette 2V L-16s. Looks like a great way to go -- real 2-volt single cell batteries.

    All of the Surrettes here, and those at neighbors were drop-shipped from Surrette in NS. It took a while to get to CA, but by the date-codes they WERE fresh. Good that they are built to order.

    You have done so well with your batteries, these should go almost forever! Good Luck, Thanks for the info. Vic
    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH [email protected], 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,925 ✭✭
    Re: Best brand name batteries?
    Good to hear. I just ordered six, Surrette S-1380, 2 volt (L16 size). Told there would be a 6 wk wait right from their factory here in Nova Scotia, so sounds like they don't sit around in storage waiting for customers. Same thing happened a few years ago with my cousin who got a couple of Surrette 6 volt L-16, he also had to wait for production. So far so good with his batteries.

    How did you place an order for drop-shipping? When I was buying batteries, I tried to buy Surrettes, but dealers didn't offer any reasonable delivery option.
  • CDN_VTCDN_VT Solar Expert Posts: 492 ✭✭✭
    Re: Best brand name batteries?

    Im also in the market to purchase cells.
    Been pricing & looking for a while now.
    So is NorthGuy In Tuktoyaktuk ? Im on VI BC .. So Nova Scotia is like China to us westerners. Shipping is more than the cells cost..
    Most of my purchases are sent to my WA house because I can't get decent shipping to Canada. I just bought a clothes line dryer from Auzi , Tent to cover in Rain from soggy home . Both Commonwealth , but had to be shipped to USA for duty free and no VAT. Canada would of cost me more than the purchase price . (ya but you have "free" medical, that I pay every month)
    VT
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Best brand name batteries?

    Thanks Vic for your encouraging words, makes me feel good about my decision.
    And NorthGuy, I ordered them through a dealer not far from the Surrette factory. I can PM you the link to that business if you like. Not sure how the deal works, but he tells me that when they're ready, they will notify him, then he will notify me and I can pick them up at the factory and pay for them there. They must then send him a commission I suppose, as he wouldn't do the arrangement for free. He also told me that Surrette offers free shipping (don't know how far) for orders of 12 or more. Perhaps that's only in Eastern Canada I don't know.
    Just let me know if you want the dealer link. I definitely do not want to direct business away from out host, they've been very good to me in the past. This order however, it made no sense for me to order from NAWS, as the batteries are made right here in my home Province.
    Wayne
  • PNjunctionPNjunction Solar Expert Posts: 762 ✭✭✭
    Re: Best brand name batteries?
    ... The fact is you're probably better off with whichever ones you can get for the least amount of money. This includes "no name" "warehouse" brands from places like Costco or Sam's Club. Especially as a first set because it's so easy to do something wrong when you first start out and wreck them.

    I would second that, although I would add the precaution to the newcomer that some dealers would love to do nothing more than sell you batteries that have been sitting on the shelf for 2 years without a charge whatsoever. You, having the presence of mind to bring a voltmeter with you measure something nice like 14.7 volts at the store, only to discover that this is a surface charge, and the voltage of the sulfated batteries you brought home reveal themselves under their first load. Ask me how I know. :)

    So whatever you do, or whatever brand you pick (just be sure it is NOT an SLI car-starter battery), try to get fresh batteries so you'll have a half-way chance of starting out on the right foot and possibly not blaming your fledgling solar setup, when it is your crap batteries that are causing all the trouble.

    That being said, on a small scale for AGM's, I've found Deka (East Penn is the parent company) and rebadges like MK, to be second only to Odyssey agm's. For a starter, Deka / East Penn would be a fine choice, but it doesn't mean a hill of beans if they have been sitting on the shelf for two years without a charge. In that case, the cheapies from down the street, if they are fresh, would beat a shelf-queen any day. I also like yellow-top Optima's for small scale solar - but again, freshness is crucial, along with proper charging techniques thereafter. Some day I'll try a Sun-Xtender and I'm sure it would be tops too.

    I guess this is my long way of saying I agree with you. :)
  • PanamretireePanamretiree Solar Expert Posts: 278 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Best brand name batteries?
    CDN_VT wrote: »
    Im also in the market to purchase cells.

    So is NorthGuy In Tuktoyaktuk ? Im on VI BC .. So Nova Scotia is like China to us westerners. Shipping is more than the cells cost..

    VT

    It's that wee moat you have between you and the mainland that is the issue, not so much being a westerner. Didn't think the westerners thought of west of the Rockies as being west, just little China. I also enjoy paying for that "free" medical.

    Cheers

    Ernest
  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,925 ✭✭
    Re: Best brand name batteries?
    And NorthGuy, I ordered them through a dealer not far from the Surrette factory. I can PM you the link to that business if you like. Not sure how the deal works, but he tells me that when they're ready, they will notify him, then he will notify me and I can pick them up at the factory and pay for them there. They must then send him a commission I suppose, as he wouldn't do the arrangement for free. He also told me that Surrette offers free shipping (don't know how far) for orders of 12 or more. Perhaps that's only in Eastern Canada I don't know.
    Just let me know if you want the dealer link. I definitely do not want to direct business away from out host, they've been very good to me in the past. This order however, it made no sense for me to order from NAWS, as the batteries are made right here in my home Province.

    Thank you Wayne. I thought you have found a way to order directly from the factory. I'm not currently buying batteries, but I have no idea how long my set is going to last. Could be 15 years, but could be 2. If I were in the US, I would go for cheap no-brand L16s, but they're extinct in Canada. So, my next set is probably going to be Surrettes. I'm just gathering information on what would be the best way to buy. NS is very far for me, but I think if your dealer could arrange direct delivery, I should be able to find a local dealer that could do that to me. I would be needing 24, so I'm supposed to get two free deliveries :D

    The best prices I could find on Surrettes were in the US, in places like NAWS, but there are always difficulties with shipping.
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 2,970 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Best brand name batteries?

    Will just add my comments from a stateside guy regarding Surrette drop-shipments;

    Here in the US, if one does not use a battery dealer, it is possible to either deal directly with a Solar Distributor, or a mail order Solar Reseller. In my experience these orders will usually not be shipped to the distributor/reseller, but rather be drop-shipped directly to the customer prepaid, FOB Destination.

    In the case of the Surrette batteries we have ordered , with shipments to the West US, Surrette offered free shipping for orders totaling 4,000 lbs or more. Battery manufacturers get preferential freight rates that almost no one else could come close to matching, as they are such good customers of the freight carriers, so drop shipping is a great thing to look for. Do realize that the customer always pays the freight, but if batteries can be shipped directly to the customer it is a good thing. Drop-shipping usually means waiting for product to be built, but you will know that it is fresh.

    I have not ordered batteries through our host, wind-sun, would expect that they could easily arrange drop-shipping, but have not checked on that.

    This is just the way it has been for us in the US, FWIW.
    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH [email protected], 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • YehoshuaAgapaoYehoshuaAgapao Solar Expert Posts: 280 ✭✭
    Re: Best brand name batteries?
    Vic wrote: »
    What's the BEST Motor Oil?
    What's the BEST TV?
    What's the best car or refrigerator? Who's the best Doctor? It's all about the same kind of question.

    Motor oil is easy if you are seeking synthetic - Mobile One and Amsoil are the only ones that produce true synthetic oil. All the others use a legal loophole to label extra-detergented petroleum based oil as synthetic. TVs are volatile. Refridgerators don't know. Good doctors are rare and when you find one, it is at least 2-3 weeks to wait for an appointment. Cars I prefer Honda and Toyota - they don't break, but are expensive & are not for performance cars. Hyundai appears to be emerging.
  • CDN_VTCDN_VT Solar Expert Posts: 492 ✭✭✭
    Re: Best brand name batteries?
    Motor oil is easy if you are seeking synthetic - Mobile One and Amsoil are the only ones that produce true synthetic oil. All the others use a legal loophole to label extra-detergented petroleum based oil as synthetic.

    NOT !
    In My world It's ELF ,Fuchs,Agip (French,German,Italian) Oils that are true synthetic for the ACEA of ISO2018 A/B-8..
    Your legal loophole (API -/-SAE) is like the FDA being run by Monsanto !!
    Check Euros ACEA against the API , A joke.. Glad that the Aircraft has it's own MIL spec's , or we would be raining aircraft.

    Back on track , My Moat is a problem , but so is BC,Canadian shipping , compared to me getting shipments to my US house 98292 , it's like 1/5th ..
    I don't mind buying in country , but for any HELIO part its almost the same(exchange only), the rest is HUGE tariffs , then taxation to the crown.
    For that.the last 4 years I have been reading , preparing buildings / roofs , Underground conduits , major tree trimming (5 foot stumps) and working to see what type of system is needed to work correctly. Panels , controllers ,and then the dreaded battery's !! It's the weight ,plus the movement of such weight.

    Plus all of the other great posts of the previous gents, fresh is what were mostly after.
    2manytoyz might have a great point , pickup cheap GC210's and replace as necessary !!

    VT
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Best brand name batteries?

    Aw, c'mon VT: where are ya gonna find "cheap" anything in British Columbia?! :p
    We're living in the Sachs Fifth Avenue of Canadian Provinces!
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Best brand name batteries?

    Point of interest for the curious.
    Just received preliminary estimate on when my ordered Surrette batteries will be available for pickup at their factory. - - - - - 2 August 2013. Subject to confirmation as that date draws near.
    Certainly looking like they should be fresh if nothing else!
  • CDN_VTCDN_VT Solar Expert Posts: 492 ✭✭✭
    Re: Best brand name batteries?
    Aw, c'mon VT: where are ya gonna find "cheap" anything in British Columbia?! :p
    We're living in the Sachs Fifth Avenue of Canadian Provinces!

    Agreed, And our regurgitated crusty just gave more major money away while the Rural province is being dismantled & sold offshore. The P-Rupert oil is already moving by train,the pipe is being built,while you hear radio news about when it starts ! You see the Taxi I can view with !
    The disparaging way the price per/lb is advertised when you purchase it's price per/ gram/litre (volume corrected for fuel) [Not-A-Pigging Clue] , Biggest Bravo-Serra & canuks are none the wiser.

    I buy my supplies state side. Almonds here are 7.65 per pound(grams figured by convert :http://joshmadison.com/convert-for-windows/) , Winco there 3.32/per but in bulk there 2.20 a pound for a box of 50 pounds . every can of beans to soup is one to almost a dollar to two cheaper. Just READ ! the labels of the contents , I buy the least amount of GMO or fructose / natural flavors etc. It's a great way to spend 1000.00 and a few hrs for a quarter/full years basic food pantry.

    Coming soon Cariboocoot is Double wide doors for all buildings ETC.
    OK so Canadian BC folks need to fix the problem , Im at the end of my working , should of retired my shoes years ago. Problem is , they left a huge VOID !! I feel the string is guitar tight , and any more tightening the non city / non gov workers /private sector is about to explode. I see rural folks (down2earth/normal/drugfree) starving, to feed themselves they cut firewood etc,but was a ticketed worker.

    Back on track , I still don't have a "Smart Meter" But my Neighbours are choked that there bills are larger than last years .
    I need to purchase battery's , I have over 100 cores I have been saving / scrounging bc CHARGES EPA TAX , WA charges if you don't bring one back .In
    BC you buy a new boat battery (pay EPA tax) , replace it ,dump it in the harbour , done!! In WA you get 10.00 credit for returning your extinguished battery. I have done alot of marina boat diving with a few garbage cans to float the lead up.


    SO back to the links for purchasing ????

    VT
  • TecnodaveTecnodave Registered Users Posts: 412 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Best brand name batteries?

    Just my two cents worth. Surettes are great batteries as are Rolls and Trojans. I just bought Interstate L-16 375 ah @ 6volts for $219.00/each delivered to my local dealer in Watsonville,CA from Interstate battery in Salinas, CA. ABOUT $475/each from solar dealers. It was $475 per pair with tax and environmental fees. I am looking for max bang for the buck and am a very hands on electrician
    2 Classic 150, 2 Kid, 5 arrays 7.5 kw total  2ea.  2S6P Sharp NE-170/NE-165, 1ea. 12P Sanyo HIT 200,  2ea. 4/6P Sanyo HIT 200, MagnaSine MS4024AE, Exeltech XP-1100,  2 Banks L-16 battery, Rolls-Surette S-530 and Interstate Traction, Shunts with whizbangJr and Bogart Tri-Metric, iCharger i208B  dc-dc buck/boost converter with BMS for small form lithium 8S 16650 or LiFePO4,
  • CDN_VTCDN_VT Solar Expert Posts: 492 ✭✭✭
    Re: Best brand name batteries?
    Tecnodave wrote: »
    Just my two cents worth. Surettes are great batteries as are Rolls and Trojans. I just bought Interstate L-16 375 ah @ 6volts for $219.00/each delivered to my local dealer in Watsonville,CA from Interstate battery in Salinas, CA. ABOUT $475/each from solar dealers. It was $475 per pair with tax and environmental fees. I am looking for max bang for the buck and am a very hands on electrician

    Great info Dave ! We have a account with interstate .. and sometimes we are the hot shot delivery (if were going that direction)
    Thanks.
    VT
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Best brand name batteries?
    Tecnodave wrote: »
    I am looking for max bang for the buck and am a very hands on electrician
    Just so you are a head on electrician too.... :-)
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
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