how long can batteries last?

jimbob01jimbob01 Solar Expert Posts: 63 ✭✭
i would like to know who has batteries of say 15 yrs plus? anyone? jim

Comments

  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: how long can batteries last?

    Most designs require that a battery be at between 75-80% of their rated capacity, that said most RE people will try to keep them in service until they reach 50 % of rated capacity, then you only have 1/2 a system. There becomes a point that they cannot maintain their voltage long enough to support your loads for the required time. I'v seen them last 2 years and some say they have a good batteries 11-14 years old, I'v never owned one over 7 years. Deep cycling and temperature are usually the two biggest limiters. There probably some forklift batteries that might go 15-20 years at some capacity.
  • twinomadtwinomad Registered Users Posts: 6
    Re: how long can batteries last?

    IN Hilo, HI. I began with Excite Batteries, because of the price- they lasted almost a year. I then bought Interstate but I got only 22 months, the last set I bought for that system was Trojan [twice the price of the first set] they lasted a tad over three years. All were similar in amp. and in its usage. AND each time the sales person recommended the battery for that solar use. Since Grid Tie was not available at that time I dumped the solar until I could find better batteries. I think Solar for remote homes will mature when battery storage becomes norm but until then solar is not ready for prime-time.
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,400 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: how long can batteries last?

    I have a set of 2 t105s that have been in service since. They were full tme for 8 years with light duty. Now they are on very light duty (fridge ignitor, couple of lights telephone) seasonaly. I think they are beginning to get tired, but they still hold a reasonable charge.

    Tony

    PS, as for solar not being better for prime time...it is mostly opperater error in most cases. My current set of 4 T105s has Benin full time since 2007 and they perform perfectly. I expect to get several more years out of them...with proper care. My neighbor gets ten years out of a set of 6 L16s, loaded way more than mine, perhaps 2-3 kwh/day.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,485 admin
    Re: how long can batteries last?

    Remember that "hot batteries" do not last as long either... Hawaii vs Canada. For every 10C increase in temperature, you get ~1/2 the life (or 10C decrease, 2x the life--Works both ways--also works for just about anything from food to electronics to whatever).

    I understand for "tropical batteries", some vendors/distributors will lessen the specific gravity initial fill a bit to lengthen battery life too.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • zonebluezoneblue Solar Expert Posts: 1,218 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: how long can batteries last?

    I know a guy who has a 48v set of Hoppecke FLAs (with recomb valves) , that are now 10 years old, and he runs as much stuff of those as about 4 familys.
    1.8kWp CSUN, 10kWh AGM, Midnite Classic 150, Outback VFX3024E,
    http://zoneblue.org/cms/page.php?view=off-grid-solar


  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: how long can batteries last?

    I recently replaced 11 or 12 year old Power Battery L-16 batteries. They worked well till the end, even with the abuse I heaped on them from time to time. Of course where I live we don't get really hot weather and several months every year the battery temps hang around 0C as they are in an unheated out building. First few years I kept them insulated in Winter, but in later years I didn't bother. The cooler temperatures the batteries often lived in probably contributed to their long life.
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: how long can batteries last?

    Here is a interesting Graph of battery life based on temperature from the initial break in cycles to the end for Industrial battery ( Enersys Forklift ) The fall off in capacity is pretty steep once you pass half life. I guess you could extrapolate it to some other type of batteries we use. Interesting how the capacity goes up with temperature, but the life takes a nose dive. Surrette use to have a similar chart that was more relevant, but it's been scrubbed.

    Attachment not found.

    I am guessing that a Battery either ends life because of a short or you charge for 5 hours and it only lasts for 15 minutes. My Northern friends may have less Sun, but they win on Battery life.
    .
  • jtdiesel65jtdiesel65 Solar Expert Posts: 145 ✭✭✭
    Re: how long can batteries last?

    Our old surrettes went 13 yrs which was good considering they were chronically undercharged for the first 8 years or so.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,175 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: how long can batteries last?

    I have a customer with 16 years on the high end Rolls 5000 batteries. Mine are now 12 years on the standard L16 Rolls S530's. L16's are not designed/priced to last like the better models. Heat in the tropics and deserts are as big of a factor as maintenance/system design in battery demise.

    The main thing to always keep in mind is that battery companies are in business to sell batteries. Much of their literature is written to get one just through the warranty and normal accepted life. Even this does not always happen as you may know.

    I have battery info from Rolls/Surrette that has changed at least four times over the last 21 years. I wonder why.......
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • NorthGuyNorthGuy Solar Expert Posts: 1,925 ✭✭
    Re: how long can batteries last?
    Mine are now 12 years on the standard L16 Rolls S530's.

    Wow! Would you tell us how deep you discharge them and how you charge/maintain them to get such a long life?
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: how long can batteries last?
    twinomad wrote: »
    IN Hilo, HI. I began with Excite Batteries, because of the price- they lasted almost a year. I then bought Interstate but I got only 22 months, the last set I bought for that system was Trojan [twice the price of the first set] they lasted a tad over three years. All were similar in amp. and in its usage. AND each time the sales person recommended the battery for that solar use. Since Grid Tie was not available at that time I dumped the solar until I could find better batteries. I think Solar for remote homes will mature when battery storage becomes norm but until then solar is not ready for prime-time.

    If you're getting less than 3 years service out of a set of batteries there's something seriously wrong with the system. Even the cheapest, must unsuitable batteries (RV/Marine type) can be used longer than that if they are given the charging they need and not dragged down to dead.

    I suspect a flaw in your system design.
  • SurfpathSurfpath Solar Expert Posts: 393 ✭✭✭
    Re: how long can batteries last?
    I recently replaced 11 or 12 year old Power Battery L-16 batteries. They worked well till the end, even with the abuse I heaped on them from time to time. Of course where I live we don't get really hot weather and several months every year the battery temps hang around 0C as they are in an unheated out building. First few years I kept them insulated in Winter, but in later years I didn't bother. The cooler temperatures the batteries often lived in probably contributed to their long life.

    Perhaps if you have a night-time charging source (wind/hydro), like Wayne does, they will also degrade less over time (higher average SOC).

    Or maybe in reality it's because, regardless of night time charging, degradation occurs...however it doesn't matter as much when they are at 50% capacity since you always have an incoming power source to keep them near full.

    hmmm...
    Outback Flexpower 1 (FM80, VFX3048E-230v, Mate, FlexNetDC) 2,730watts of "Grid-type" PV, 370 AmpHrs Trojan RE-B's, Honda 2000 watt genny, 100% off grid.
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,400 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: how long can batteries last?

    I discharge mine 10-15% per day, and almost never more than 25%. If I am in the 90s (%) over several days, I won't bother running the genny, but if I am under 90 after a few days I'll top them up.

    Tony
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: how long can batteries last?
    Surfpath wrote: »
    Perhaps if you have a night-time charging source (wind/hydro), like Wayne does, they will also degrade less over time (higher average SOC).

    Or maybe in reality it's because, regardless of night time charging, degradation occurs...however it doesn't matter as much when they are at 50% capacity since you always have an incoming power source to keep them near full.

    hmmm...
    It doesn't matter as long as you perceive the charging source as Free, when your running a Generator @ $10 a hour it makes a huge difference. A cow in a Dairy Herd averages 4 years where economics matter, down on the farm they Milk them for 15 years.
  • peakbaggerpeakbagger Solar Expert Posts: 341 ✭✭✭
    Re: how long can batteries last?

    Not long when you drop them out of a helicopter

    http://bangordailynews.com/2013/10/23/news/midcoast/helicopter-spills-large-batteries-on-ragged-mountain/
  • H2SO4_guyH2SO4_guy Solar Expert Posts: 213 ✭✭✭
    Re: how long can batteries last?

    I try to buy used batteries and spares when possible. I traded in a working set of 48 VDC 100 AH made in 2000 on larger cells. Now I am able to run the A/C all night on them, or the heater portion of the heat pump. I have about $1300 in 112 kwh of batteries that I have had for about 3 months now. I'll report back when they stop working.

    Skip
    12K asst panels charging through Midnite Classic 150's, powering Exeltechs and Outback VFX-3648 inverter at 12 and 48 volts.  2080 AH @ 48 VDC of Panasonic Stationary batteries (2 strings of 1040 AH each) purchased for slightly over scrap, installed August 2013.  Outback PSX-240X for 220 volt duties.  No genny usage since 2014. 
  • WNY DaveWNY Dave Registered Users Posts: 23 ✭✭
    Re: how long can batteries last?

    We just replaced the 12 house batteries from 1999 (Deka 6 Volt 200aHr). The wind turbine broke and the batteries went dead since no one was there for a while, and then froze over the winter.
    They were pretty much shot. They didn't leak, just warped really bad.

    I still have my original car battery in my car from 2003 and my truck since 2004. I keep a Battery tender (Deltran) on them when not in use.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,175 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: how long can batteries last?
    NorthGuy wrote: »
    Wow! Would you tell us how deep you discharge them and how you charge/maintain them to get such a long life?

    I do the same thing that Tony Icarus does pretty much. In the winter I never use more than 3 kwh. It is the old sailor method of always saving battery capacity to get long life. In the first days of electric sailboats it was very hard to get batteries around the world where they sailed. They did this!

    Living offgrid there will be a few times that you can cycle down to 50% and then recharge the next day. Not too many times! Recharge daily!
    In summer and on good winter days I can get close to 30 kwh from my arrays for a heat pump. At night I just keep averaging the 3 kwh, and that does include the recharge from the previous solar day. The bank is 10kwh and I do the same thing for almost all of the larger banks my customers use.

    Battery maintenance is either perfect or bad. I teach my customers to never screw up in this area! Never, or be ready to buy new ones! I ask them to save a copy of the battery check and place it near the bank where they see it daily!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,485 admin
    Re: how long can batteries last?
    I ask them to save a copy of the battery check and place it near the bank where they see it daily!

    You are a "mean guy" Dave.

    -Bill :p:D
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: how long can batteries last?
    I do the same thing that Tony Icarus does pretty much. In the winter I never use more than 3 kwh. It is the old sailor method of always saving battery capacity to get long life. In the first days of electric sailboats it was very hard to get batteries around the world where they sailed. They did this!

    Living offgrid there will be a few times that you can cycle down to 50% and then recharge the next day. Not too many times! Recharge daily!
    In summer and on good winter days I can get close to 30 kwh from my arrays for a heat pump. !

    That's basically my religion as well. When the sun isn't shining I'm very careful what I use. If I know it's going to be sunny the next day, I don't mind using extra at night, otherwise I tend to only allow base loads.
    Yes, I DO realize how lucky I am to have the micro-mini hydro, it pretty much will carry the base loads through the short, dark, stormy days of Winter. Before Hydro, I had to pretty much remove all but the most minor of loads from the batteries until Spring.
    I'm EXTREMELY thankful for what I have. If a person can be Blessed, then I have so been when it comes to electricity. I've also been Blessed with the Scottish gene for conservation and the ability to look after my system, and I've been Blessed with a lot of help form members of this forum, especially in my early "alternative" energy years. :D
  • Marc KurthMarc Kurth Solar Expert Posts: 757 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: how long can batteries last?
    jimbob01 wrote: »
    i would like to know who has batteries of say 15 yrs plus? anyone? jim

    I just helped a man replace his Concorde AGM's that were dated coded 1998. It was a 48v, 37 KWH bank of (12) 8D's. They lived in his aircondiitioned basement and were designed for 10% average dailly DOD. Of the twelve batteries, six load tested at about 65% of rated capacity. The rest were between 10%-40%. IMHO, being kept cool 24/7 is the reason for the longevity. Unusual, but yes - it can be done if you want to pay for it.

    I typically see larger motor coach battery banks (24 kwh, some much larger) that get 5-8 years from their Concorde Lifelines in the South West. The identical setup, but with the coach used more often in cooler Northern climates, often go 7-10 years.
    I always have more questions than answers. That's the nature of life.
  • 2manytoyz2manytoyz Solar Expert Posts: 373 ✭✭✭
    Re: how long can batteries last?

    I'm using no frills GC2 batteries. They live in a hot FL garage all year. With a little TLC, I've managed to get 5-6 years of service from all 8. I just pulled them out of service recently. In two weeks, they'll all be replaced.

    FWIW, automobile batteries only last about 3 years in vehicles in our area. Heat certainly is a factor.

    Attachment not found.
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: how long can batteries last?
    2manytoyz wrote: »
    I'm using no frills GC2 batteries. They live in a hot FL garage all year. With a little TLC, I've managed to get 5-6 years of service from all 8. I just pulled them out of service recently. In two weeks, they'll all be replaced.

    FWIW, automobile batteries only last about 3 years in vehicles in our area. Heat certainly is a factor.
    Any idea how much capacity they have left ?? 5-6 years from them @ $70 or so when you bought them, it's not to bad. It'll cost you more to replace them now. To be honest they wouldn't have lasted that much longer in a cooler climate. I'v never had them last longer if they were cycled 10% or 50%, the time just seems to get to them.

    One thing I have always asked myself is if the voltage configuration they are in makes a difference in their longevity. I am kind of stuck because all of mine and my customers are in 12v banks so I can't get a line on it. Seems like the larger Amp draw @ 12 v could make a difference over time.
    .
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,485 admin
    Re: how long can batteries last?
    Marc Kurth wrote: »
    I just helped a man replace his Concorde AGM's that were dated coded 1998. It was a 48v, 37 KWH bank of (12) 8D's. They lived in his aircondiitioned basement and were designed for 10% average dailly DOD. Of the twelve batteries, six load tested at about 65% of rated capacity. The rest were between 10%-40%. IMHO, being kept cool 24/7 is the reason for the longevity. Unusual, but yes - it can be done if you want to pay for it.

    I typically see larger motor coach battery banks (24 kwh, some much larger) that get 5-8 years from their Concorde Lifelines in the South West. The identical setup, but with the coach used more often in cooler Northern climates, often go 7-10 years.

    Concorde uses 80% of capacity (20% loss of capacity as End of Life)... For a typical off gridder using 50% max discharge as the typical maximum discharge, the batteries will "appear" to have a longer life... I.e., as long as the battery still meets your needs, it has yet to fail.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • DavidOHDavidOH Solar Expert Posts: 109 ✭✭✭
    Re: how long can batteries last?

    No mention of Iron Edison Batteries yet? They have a 10 year warranty.
    http://ironedison.com/

    I've heard stories form others getting 7 years from those 3 year lead acid batteries. Cheap ones from Wal Mart!
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