Battery Recommendations?

Being displeased with the latest batch of batteries I bought, I'd like to ask about other people's experiences:

What brand/type batteries have you used, and how satisfied with them were you?
Did they live up to manufacturer's claimed specs?
Would you buy them again?

I won't mention what I'm using now, because I don't want to "prejudice" my "survey".

Thanks for your input!
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Comments

  • landyacht.318landyacht.318 Solar Expert Posts: 82 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Recommendations?

    I just had a battery go bad due to a shorted cell in my campervan.
    It was a wallyworld Everstart group 27, and no I would not recommend them nor buy them again. Any money I saved buy buying a cheap battery has been nullified.
    Apparently according to rv.net, some people have had good results with the group 24 trolling everstarts and claim they even weigh the same as the 27's.

    My ES 27 weighed 50.8 lbs. I think a similar 27 sized Trojan weighs 62.
  • MoeMoe Solar Expert Posts: 60 ✭✭
    Re: Battery Recommendations?

    The first batteries in our Airstream were Interstate SRM-27, but they didn't last very long. In fairness, part of the problem may've been the 55A single-stage (13.8 V) Parallax converter/charger.

    I replaced the batteries with group 27 Lifeline AGMs and the converter with a 60 amp Progressive Dynamics Intelipower with 3-stage Charge Wizard. No problems since then.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Recommendations?

    i had those walmart everstarts too and they failed me due to my error after a few years. they were being overcharged because i didn't think at the time that a 2.25% charge rate would hurt them without a controller. i now have a sunxtender going about 4-5 years now i think.
  • crewzercrewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Recommendations?

    Greetings from Burlington, WA! Here are links to my battery saga:

    http://www.outbackpower.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=848
    http://www.outbackpower.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1750

    http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?t=15

    I'm very happy with my Deka 8A4D AGM batteries, which will be three years old next month.

    HTH,
    Jim / crewzer
  • SolarJohnSolarJohn Solar Expert Posts: 202 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Recommendations?

    I've recently upgraded to GC-2 batteries. I wanted "real" deep cycle batteries (instead of the Wally World trolling motor batteries I previously used. The GC-2's seemed to be the best deal at the time when considering cost-per-AH. The price has increased since I bought them. Time will tell though, as I need to find out how much life I get from them.

    John
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Recommendations?

    gee, i guess it was over 5 years ago i bought mine as that thread was dated june 2003! how time flies. now i'm starting to wonder just when i did buy it.
  • n3qikn3qik Solar Expert Posts: 741 ✭✭
    Re: Battery Recommendations?

    Optima Yellow top batteries, 8 of them 1 year old, so far good to go.
  • mwilsonnmmwilsonnm Solar Expert Posts: 26
    Re: Battery Recommendations?

    I have had great service with the T-105's. My first set of 4 powered my off grid cabin for 4.5 years and I still have 2 of them powering a water pump, and cfl fixture in a small bathroom. (the other 2 were given to a friend so he could start a small system) They are now over 5.5 years old. I now have 6 of them (installed 6/07) supplying power to the cabin and have used Water Miser caps on all of the batts. They are equalized every 28 days, watered 3 times a year, and the batts have never seen a Dod > 25%. They see temperature ranges from 10 degrees to 100 degrees F. In my opinion....for the money the Trojans are a great way to go, especially in a small, moderately used system. Best of Luck, Mark
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,311 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Recommendations?

    those wally world type of batteries are good for making mistakes with or if you intend to upgrade your system in a few years.
  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,244 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Recommendations?

    I second the Trojan T-105's. I have a set going on 10 years in seasonal service, powering a cabin. Never equalized until about year 7 because I didn't know what that was. They sit in an unheated shed 12 months with temps near -40f, and are kept up with a 53 watt panel.

    Ditto with the Trojan l-16's My neighbor went 8 years on a set of six in full time off grid service, charged with ~ 300 watts of panels. 1 failed in year 8 and he sold the remaining 5 to me for a song. 1 has failed every year since, so now I am down to 2 in year 11, running a seasonal cabin.

    I don't know if the Canadian PowRsurge line from Trojan will have the same life expectancy, but I am currently running 4 T105's. I am just over a year on them now,,so far so good.

    Tony

    PS I think that you get what you pay for, and with batteries the heavier the better. All things being equal. given the costs of the t-105's vs the cost of the l-16's I figured the lifecycle cost of the t-105 was less, assuming that the 105s last 7 years, the l-16's 10. Every year after is a bonus.

    It would be an interesting test to install a bank of say 400 amp/hours of "good" batteries, and 400 amp/hours of "cheapies", run them the same, and do a real time life cycle cost. My intuition is that it might be cheaper to by the cheapies, and replace them more frequently because their initial cost is so much less due to mass marketing. You can buy "deep cycle" batteries everywhere, but good quality t-105's or l-16's are a specialty item and as such command a premium price (and or shipping)
  • MangasMangas Solar Expert Posts: 547 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Recommendations?

    Agree on the L-16s'. I have 64 in service since 2006. So far, I'd highly recommend them. I try to maintain them by the book.

    Hope I don't have to replace them before 2014.
    Ranch Off Grid System & Custom Home: 2 x pair stacked Schneider XW 5548+ Plus inverters (4), 2 x Schneider MPPT 80-600 Charge Controllers, 2 Xanbus AGS Generator Start and Air Extraction System Controllers, 64 Trojan L16 REB 6v 375 AH Flooded Cel Batteries w/Water Miser Caps, 44 x 185 Sharp Solar Panels, Cummins Onan RS20 KW Propane Water Cooled Genset, ICF House Construction, all appliances, Central A/C, 2 x High Efficiency Variable Speed three ton Central A/C 220v compressors, 2 x Propane furnaces, 2 x Variable Speed Air Handlers, 2 x HD WiFi HVAC Zoned System Controllers
  • WisJimWisJim Solar Expert Posts: 59 ✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Recommendations?

    My first batteries were used telephone company Exides, 16 cells at 840 amp hrs for our 32 volt windgenerator system. Then we added a set of 17 cells at 1680 amp hrs which we used for almost 12 years, until we moved to a different town and sold the batteries as salvage at a profit. We currently use a set of SBS (out of Milwaukee, WI) forklift style 2 volt cells, 1500 amp hours, set of 12 for our 24 volt system. We switched to an inverter when we moved and set it all up again, and the set of SBS batteries is about 10 years old and shows no noticable wear. But they were not cheap--about $4000 in 1998 or 99.
  • lamplightlamplight Solar Expert Posts: 368 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Recommendations?

    wow three years goes by fast!! seems like yesterday. hope youre well jim.
    crewzer wrote: »
    Greetings from Burlington, WA! Here are links to my battery saga:

    http://www.outbackpower.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=848
    http://www.outbackpower.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1750

    http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?t=15

    I'm very happy with my Deka 8A4D AGM batteries, which will be three years old next month.

    HTH,
    Jim / crewzer
  • JESSICAJESSICA Solar Expert Posts: 289 ✭✭
    Re: Battery Recommendations?

    Exide Golf Cart batteries; 6 volts, 205 amps. Bought at Sam's for $70 each.
    After one year: Excellent service. No complaints.

    Crewzer:

    Three years ago you paid $220 for each of your Dekas...
    ["At $220 each, my four 8A4D AGM batteries were $880 plus tax."]

    Now it is almost $500 for each one, at NAWS!
  • crewzercrewzer Registered Users, Solar Expert Posts: 1,832 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Recommendations?

    Greetings from Seattle... I'm indeed well, but tired... been on the road for two weeks: Solar Power in San Diego, and meetings at OutBack HQ in Arlington... Flyin' home tomorrow AM...

    Yeah... battery prices have risen dramatically... commodity (i.e., lead) prices and energy costs (manufacturing and freight) have been issues...:grr

    See if you can find a local battery warehouse... check out this old thread: http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?t=416&page=7

    HTH,
    Jim / crewzer
  • jacobsjacobs Solar Expert Posts: 72 ✭✭
    Re: Battery Recommendations?

    We installed 73 slightly used Exide 350AH 2 volt lead/calcium batteries in 1994 that were removed from service at Buckley Air Force Base in Denver. We've never cycled them more than 10%. They are still going great after 14 years on our 144 volt system.
  • WindsunWindsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
    Re: Battery Recommendations?

    With the recent crash and burn of the various commodities, including Lead, oil, Aluminum, and Copper we keep hoping to start seeing some lower prices on batteries and wire soon, but who knows.
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Battery Recommendations?

    well i have used Exide 12 Volt. batteries
    Did they live up to manufacturer's claimed specs? it was perfect, i would really buy this brand again and again
  • rrbvrrbv Registered Users Posts: 15 ✭✭
    Re: Battery Recommendations?
    Being displeased with the latest batch of batteries I bought, I'd like to ask about other people's experiences:

    What brand/type batteries have you used, and how satisfied with them were you?
    Did they live up to manufacturer's claimed specs?
    Would you buy them again?

    I won't mention what I'm using now, because I don't want to "prejudice" my "survey".

    Thanks for your input!

    I got 8 years of good service from Interstate L16's in continuous service. Two banks of 24volt (4 batteries in each bank) in parallel. After 8 years 1 cell in one bank shorted and probably ruined or damaged the others in that bank. I disconnected that bank and ran off the other bank until I got around to replacing all 8 batteries 3 years ago. No problems since. My charge controller is a Blue Sky SB50 with manual equalization (discontinued due to component availability at this time). I only equalize when the battery terminal (6v) voltages vary more than +/- .01 volts and then only for a half hour or so. I have not equalized in the 3 years on this battery bank. I do rewater with distilled every couple months at the most.
    RRBV
  • ChrisChris Solar Expert Posts: 135 ✭✭
    Re: Battery Recommendations?
    Being displeased with the latest batch of batteries I bought, I'd like to ask about other people's experiences:

    What brand/type batteries have you used, and how satisfied with them were you?
    Did they live up to manufacturer's claimed specs?
    Would you buy them again?

    I won't mention what I'm using now, because I don't want to "prejudice" my "survey".

    Thanks for your input!

    Being that this post is almost 6 years old now, what type of batteries did you get to replace the bad ones? are they still kicking and living up to your expectations?
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Battery Recommendations?
    Chris wrote: »
    Being that this post is almost 6 years old now, what type of batteries did you get to replace the bad ones? are they still kicking and living up to your expectations?

    East Penn/Deka/US Battery (all the same company) PS2200. They have worked flawlessly since and are still going strong. :D
  • ChrisChris Solar Expert Posts: 135 ✭✭
    Re: Battery Recommendations?

    thanx Coot,

    I'm ordering my batteries this weeks......and was torn between the T-105+ and the US2200......I think I just may go that rout.
  • RybrenRybren Solar Expert Posts: 348
    Re: Battery Recommendations?

    Chris,

    I have the the US2200 as well. I only got mine late last summer, but I'm happy. They were also cheaper than the Trojans.

    Jerry
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,142 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Recommendations?

    here is a bit of info I got by email today that probably will interest you 2...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9WsEVEOWfU&feature=youtu.be
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • RybrenRybren Solar Expert Posts: 348
    Re: Battery Recommendations?

    Thanks.

    I received the same email from them today.
  • ChrisChris Solar Expert Posts: 135 ✭✭
    Re: Battery Recommendations?
    Rybren wrote: »
    Chris,

    I have the the US2200 as well. I only got mine late last summer, but I'm happy. They were also cheaper than the Trojans.

    Jerry

    Hi Jerry,

    The price here is pretty much the same for both brands....just shy of $800 for 4...that's why I have been torn between the 2. But I I'm leaning towards the 2200's as you guys have both had good luck with them.
  • RybrenRybren Solar Expert Posts: 348
    Re: Battery Recommendations?

    Hey Chris,

    That's about $100 more than what I had to pay (incl core and taxes), but there's more competition here in the city as opposed to you out in the boondocks. The best local price that I could find for the Trojans was $800 all in (from the same guy that I got my US2200s from)
  • cow_ranchercow_rancher Solar Expert Posts: 116 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Recommendations?
    Chris wrote: »
    The price here is pretty much the same for both brands....just shy of $800 for 4...that's why I have been torn between the 2. But I I'm leaning towards the 2200's as you guys have both had good luck with them.
    So you all are going with 6 volt golf cart batteries instead of a 2 volt RE HD2V XC (2V) type battery, I'm looking at adding batteries and a Xantex XM6048 inverter charger to my Grid Tie system so I can have power when the light go out. Why choose the 6Volt battery over a larger capacity 2Volt battery.

    My application is when the power goes out I can still have lights and well water pumping, which happened when we had a wild fire in the area. Also when SHTF.

    Rancher
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Battery Recommendations?
    So you all are going with 6 volt golf cart batteries instead of a 2 volt RE HD2V XC (2V) type battery, I'm looking at adding batteries and a Xantex XM6048 inverter charger to my Grid Tie system so I can have power when the light go out. Why choose the 6Volt battery over a larger capacity 2Volt battery.

    My application is when the power goes out I can still have lights and well water pumping, which happened when we had a wild fire in the area. Also when SHTF.

    Rancher

    Simple: how much battery capacity do you need?
    In the case of you grid-tying with a 6kW 48 Volt inverter you need a minimum 600 Amp hours.
    In the case of me needing a couple of kW hours per day 232 Amp hours @ 24 Volts fits the bill.

    Never buy more or less battery than you need.
  • cow_ranchercow_rancher Solar Expert Posts: 116 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Battery Recommendations?
    Simple: how much battery capacity do you need?
    In the case of you grid-tying with a 6kW 48 Volt inverter you need a minimum 600 Amp hours.
    In the case of me needing a couple of kW hours per day 232 Amp hours @ 24 Volts fits the bill.

    Never buy more or less battery than you need.
    OK, so what I'm really asking is, not knowing what I really need, what would you suggest.

    Best case scenario is one 1/2 hp well pump running at a time, and worst case would be 2 - 1/2 hp pumps running at the same time, with some lighting since cooking and water heating is by gas, and in the case of SHTF I would convert that to wood, or take cold showers.

    Water is my main concern, I have a 1/2 hp submersible pump that pumps to a storage tank and a 1/2 hp centrifugal booster pump that pressurizes the pressure tank.

    And 8.4 KW grid tie collectors on the roof...

    I guess give me a range, if I wanted to do the 6KW max what would you recommend for battery storage.



    Rancher
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