January 2014--Older discussion, addressed by Mfg (appears): Stay away from Rolls Surrette!



  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,031 ✭✭✭✭✭
    In my opinion, the problems in this thread may have not had anything to do with RS batteries.  They did have some problems that were sorted out. Much better to learn your how your system works and verify/understand the design!
     If you do not have time, hire someone like me or the great folks at the store here.
     Warranty is a total pain with any battery manufacture.
     Best not to worry about warranty other than to use it as an indication of quality.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
    E-mail [email protected]

  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,509 ✭✭✭✭
    I read through maybe half of this before finding that OP recorded a shed temp of 44C.....that is 111F.

    I may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer.....but that temperature is a guaranteed battery killer.

    My thoughts on Rolls Surrette....keeping in mind that I am not an expert. They make a very good battery and charge more than the rest. Much of their sales comes from the apparent strength of their warranty. They do not always honor an unconditional type of warranty....leading to infuriated customers.

    There are ~100 ways to kill a battery bank. This is why I recommend that "newcomers" start with relatively inexpensive batteries such as golf cart batteries. I have been playing with solar since 2010 and still consider myself to be a relative newcomer. Solar power is danged complicated in many respects.

    Sorry about your problems. Sorry that I tend to agree with the harsh reality that a larger solar bank and much cooler storage temperatures would have likely made you a happy Rolls customer.

    Rolls makes a very good battery. Is it worth the extra money? Since we are paying for a glorious warranty...that may, or may not be validated...the answer is not certain.

    I know a solar guy who likes to yank out perfectly good solar banks and replace them with Rolls. He relies on the Rolls warranty in his sales approach. Actually I tend to disagree with him on a large number of issues. He does have the experience on his side....hard to argue with that.

    A warranty is only as good as the company behind it. The cheapest and worst tools always seem to carry the best warranty...on paper. Then, by comparison, we have Weatherby rifles....who offer no warranty at all on paper. Yet a gunsmith is likely to tell tell they actually have the best warranty in his experience. As in...guy ran over his rifle with his truck...they fixed it at no cost. Guy beat his stock to death in the brush....they fixed it at no cost. Just an example of warranties on paper vs. the real world.

    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • WaterWheelWaterWheel Registered Users Posts: 340 ✭✭✭
    edited September 2016 #34
    My local solar guy used Rolls for many years but a few years ago he had several Rolls batteries at different customers go bad, From what I understand Rolls made some less than perfect batteries for a while but now have fixed the problems so new Rolls batteries are probably very durable.

    But since applying for a Rolls battery claim is so cumbersome and time consuming he has since switched to recommending Crown batteries.      They cost substantially less, have good customer reviews, and while the warranty is short (2/4 yrs) the batteries have been holding up well over the three years he has been recommending them with only one failure.      He said the Crown warranty claim was much easier than filing a claim with Rolls.

    My local Crown distributor charges $311 for a 6CRP525 with water miser caps and free delivery (I had ordered 8).     (6v 395 amp hr)     Time will tell if I made a good decision going with Crown.

    Conext XW6848 with PDP, SCP, 80/600 controller, 60/150 controller and Conext battery monitor

    21 SW280 panels on Schletter ground mount

    48v Rolls 6CS 27P

  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 3,854 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    As a manufacturer they should have replaced the one battery regardless, without warranty on the replacement, suggest improvements to the system and thanking the customer for choosing their product, this is good business practice and is rewarded by customer loyalty.
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery with Battery Bodyguard BMS 
    Second system 1890W  3 × 300W No name brand poly, 3×330 Sunsolar Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery with Daly BMS, used for water pumping and day time air conditioning.  
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergency charging and welding.
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,031 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I think Surrette did reward loyalty in many cases that I know of.
     I am not just writing of my stystem but the many that I know everything about. That is the problem on this forum,
     many are here and gone with zero feedback!
    The problem is on the internet we often only hear one side. The other problem is that people who do not frequent sites like this, or fail to learn what they are doing, often are the people who have problems with Surrette and pick your favorite company!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
    E-mail [email protected]

  • Marc KurthMarc Kurth Solar Expert Posts: 866 ✭✭✭✭
    But, Dave - on the internet, everyone is an expert. (I read that on the internet, so I know that it is true!)

    The internet megaphone effect: A relatively small problem or issue goes viral with incomplete or inaccurate information, then compounded with each itineration.

    I always have more questions than answers. That's the nature of life.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,008 admin
    I will update the title to include Jan 2014 and indicate that this is an old thread.

    It does sound like Rolls has addressed a (hopefully) short term set of manufacturing issues.

    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,031 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Nice Bill, you are da man!  
    Marc I am going to go google you and let the cannons fly, or something like that I read from the internet :D
    I bought 4 sets of Roll 2V cells in 2016 because I could not wait for US to build them. I am not knocking US battery either as I think they have a great business plan in their 2V cells, build when ordered.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
    E-mail [email protected]

  • Marc KurthMarc Kurth Solar Expert Posts: 866 ✭✭✭✭
    But fortunately for me, there are very experienced folks around here that are willing to share that experience! My experience is deep, but narrow in scope - so I learn things here constantly.

    I always have more questions than answers. That's the nature of life.
  • twistedtreetwistedtree Solar Expert Posts: 126 ✭✭✭
    Just read this.  I have had an equally bad experience with Surrette batteries.

    Problem 1 is that they do require very high charge voltages, and/or very long absorb times.  The absorb times are longer than the sun shines each day, and the really hot charge voltage is a way to compensate.  But it's really inefficient, and results in excessive water consumption.  I add about 4 gal of water per month to my bank.  I don't doubt they are good batteries for industrial applications where there is continuous mains power for long charge cycles, but I think they are wholly inappropriate batteries for a solar application.  They know this, but still keep marketing into the solar industry.

    Problem 2 is that their warranty sucks.   Yes, on paper it's really long.  But as was earlier pointed out, the prorated replacement cost is based on MSRP.  Plus you have to pay for freight from Canada.  The net result is that my "free" replacement cell after a year of use cost as much as the second replacement cell I bought 2 years ago.  So I'd say it's effectively a 2-3 year warranty.  Plus I got the same run around as the original poster.

    Problem 3 is that I have had 2 cells fail in the 8 years I've been running this bank.  One failed at 1 year, and the other at about 6 years.  There is a third that I think is on it's way out.

    Problem 4 is that it takes 3-4 months to get a replacement cell.  My "warranty" replacement took 3 months, and the cell I purchased took 4 months.  Fortunately I was able to bypass the bad cell and run as a 46V system for the months that I was waiting for a replacement battery.

    Never again.  Friends don't let friends buy Surrette.

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