Should I buy these batteries?

faccnatorfaccnator Registered Users Posts: 26 ✭✭
Hey all,

I have an opportunity to buy 8ea 12v batteries for $1500.00



In service since 2/1/17.

Owner says never less than 50% DOD.

Model is:

Outback Power EnergyCell 200NC (178AH)

Should I buy these? Is this a good value? If not, what is?
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Comments

  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 3,167 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Personally I would ask the question why is someone selling something that is perfectly good, buy new whenever possible, with a warranty that applies to you, the original purchasee, when something is too good to be true, it usually is, but then again one could  get lucky, but luck is a gamble. If you know the seller as a trustworthy individual, perhaps, if not, it's face value, many years of wheeling and dealing have taught me some lessons.
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
    Second system 1890W  3 × 300W No name brand poly, 3×330 Sunsolar Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal used for water pumping and day time air conditioning.  
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergency charging and welding.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,163 ✭✭✭✭
    Why is he selling them after only a year and a half ?

     
    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
  • faccnatorfaccnator Registered Users Posts: 26 ✭✭
    Thanks good point. I have asked the seller. I guess I’m trying to determine what is a fair price for a used battery. Hard to say I suppose. Does anyone have any information on that particular battery?
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,202 ✭✭✭✭✭
    You could (but not necessarily should) buy 16 brand new golf cart batteries for about the same price and ~25% more (rated) capacity, just for comparison. If P.O. "only" discharged the used ones to 50%, but left them sitting at that state of charge, they might still have lost significant capacity.

    If seriously considering, I'd recommend load testing. Being AGMs, you can't check SG, so ...
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • faccnatorfaccnator Registered Users Posts: 26 ✭✭
    edited August 2018 #6
    So I’m getting the impression the forum doesn’t “like” these batteries. I currently use 4 “sams” 6v golf cart batteries and want to expand and happened to see this offering on Craigslist near me. At 1/3 the price it seemed work looking at.
  • Marc KurthMarc Kurth Solar Expert Posts: 596 ✭✭✭✭
    I think that what you are hearing is: "Well, it may or may not be a good deal"

    Without load testing, you have no idea of what you are getting. Asking a seller why they are getting rid of something can be very misleading.

    Marc
    I always have more questions than answers. That's the nature of life.
  • faccnatorfaccnator Registered Users Posts: 26 ✭✭
    What about the battery itself?

    I only have experience with standard lead acid. I’ve never bought a carbon nano super super ultra tastic battery. Also I had planned to go with 2v cells in a series for my upgrade and not a bunch of parallel cells. Any opinions on that?
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,202 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I haven't read much about those specific batteries (probably a good indicator - you tend to hear when people have problems, not when they don't).

    The thing with these is they're basically an AGM battery. I have no opinion on the super-carbon-fragilistic thing, and certainly all AGM batteries aren't created equal. That said, AGMs generally have pros and cons, which may or may not make sense in a given application.

    For higher AH banks, bigger 2v batteries with fewer parallel strings makes a lot of sense to me.
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,695 ✭✭✭✭
    Sometimes it is best to trust ones gut. There is no way that us internet sleuths can properly evaluate used batteries without more data that may not be available. 

    Outback would not put their hallowed name on something that was not first class.

    Truly healthy and very freshly charged batteries should usually show about  12.7-12.8 volts at normal room temperature.
    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
  • Marc KurthMarc Kurth Solar Expert Posts: 596 ✭✭✭✭
    In general, they seem to be an OK battery line - similar to Deka/Trojan AGM's - likely manufactured by one of them. Nothing magical or even special about the product line. I have several PV contractor customers who have used them, but they generally seem to drift away from the product line over time.

    Certainly a cut above the typical cheap AGM's mass marketed by Vision and Ritar, under a multitude names.

    Marc


    I always have more questions than answers. That's the nature of life.
  • Marc KurthMarc Kurth Solar Expert Posts: 596 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2018 #12
    softdown said:
    Sometimes it is best to trust ones gut. There is no way that us internet sleuths can properly evaluate used batteries without more data that may not be available. 
    Outback would not put their hallowed name on something that was not first class.
    Truly healthy and very freshly charged batteries should usually show about  12.7-12.8 volts at normal room temperature.
    Yes, indeed this is true for for many brands, but not all.
    13.0v (regardless of temperature) is a new, fully charged battery from Concorde.
    I would expect 12.8v five to six to eight years down the road.
    12.9v is typical at 3-4 years old, assuming a full charge - measured 6-24 hours after charging or discharging.

    I post this as a reminder that not all batteries are created equal.

    Marc
    I always have more questions than answers. That's the nature of life.
  • 2manytoyz2manytoyz Solar Expert Posts: 373 ✭✭✭
    Those were pricey batteries to begin with, but "I" wouldn't buy a used set of batteries.

    I bought 5 NPP NPD12-200Ah batteries.  12V, 200AH AGM batteries.  These are $364 each on Amazon, and come with a 2 year warranty.  4 would be $1460 delivered!  That's cheaper than the used one.  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01J94RBDG/

    Details on my setup here: http://www.2manytoyz.com/agm-batt-bank.html

    Very pleased with mine so far.

  • bill von novakbill von novak Solar Expert Posts: 870 ✭✭✭✭
    2manytoyz said:
    Those were pricey batteries to begin with, but "I" wouldn't buy a used set of batteries.

    I bought 5 NPP NPD12-200Ah batteries.  12V, 200AH AGM batteries.  These are $364 each on Amazon, and come with a 2 year warranty.  4 would be $1460 delivered!  

    Just a note here - 

    Those are gel, not AGM, and look like they are intended for UPS applications.  They are spec'd for a cycle life of ~550 cycles to 50% charge.  So depending on how you use them you may just be able to claim that warranty and get 4 years out of the same $$.
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,695 ✭✭✭✭
    I was very surprised to see gel deep cycle batteries enjoying so much popularity in the sailboat community last year. Pretty sharp group though maybe not as sharp as they like to think, I did leave with the impression that it is possible for gels to be good deep cycle batteries. Though 550 cycles to 50% charge would be simply abysmal performance for a $364 solar battery.
    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
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,202 ✭✭✭✭✭
    As a sailor myself, I'd have to say sailors aren't all that great at battery stuff. You'd think otherwise, but...
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • bill von novakbill von novak Solar Expert Posts: 870 ✭✭✭✭
    softdown said:
    Though 550 cycles to 50% charge would be simply abysmal performance for a $364 solar battery.
    It's not really a solar battery; it's a UPS battery.  On the manufacturer's site it lists applications for this battery:

    Emergency light systems
    Standby power supply
    UPS and computer standby power supply
    Power supply
    Solar system
    Wind system
    Telecommunication system
    Firefighting equipment standby power supply
    Railway system
    Power station

    All but two of those are UPS applications.
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,695 ✭✭✭✭
    softdown said:
    Though 550 cycles to 50% charge would be simply abysmal performance for a $364 solar battery.
    It's not really a solar battery; it's a UPS battery.  On the manufacturer's site it lists applications for this battery:

    Emergency light systems
    Standby power supply
    UPS and computer standby power supply
    Power supply
    Solar system
    Wind system
    Telecommunication system
    Firefighting equipment standby power supply
    Railway system
    Power station

    All but two of those are UPS applications.
    I have seen UPS gel batteries last a very long time. Might be the right choice if one has enough that the voltage rarely drops below 12.5 volts. Mostly speculation on my part, I tend to study batteries as a hobby. 
    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
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,695 ✭✭✭✭
    Estragon said:
    As a sailor myself, I'd have to say sailors aren't all that great at battery stuff. You'd think otherwise, but...
    I was referring to liveaboard sailors with solar arrays. They also strongly preferred solar panels over wind energy in spite of the fact that sailboats encounter a lot of wind.

    My protests about deep cycle gel batteries were met with a .....deafening silence.
    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
  • bill von novakbill von novak Solar Expert Posts: 870 ✭✭✭✭
    softdown said:

    I have seen UPS gel batteries last a very long time. Might be the right choice if one has enough that the voltage rarely drops below 12.5 volts. Mostly speculation on my part, I tend to study batteries as a hobby. 
    Yes - but if they never drop below 12.5 volts (about 80% charge) that's very similar to a UPS application.  (Note that any lead acid battery will last a very long time if you don't discharge it more than 20%.)
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,695 ✭✭✭✭
    softdown said:

    I have seen UPS gel batteries last a very long time. Might be the right choice if one has enough that the voltage rarely drops below 12.5 volts. Mostly speculation on my part, I tend to study batteries as a hobby. 
    Yes - but if they never drop below 12.5 volts (about 80% charge) that's very similar to a UPS application.  (Note that any lead acid battery will last a very long time if you don't discharge it more than 20%.)
    Not sure of the credibility but I have seen claims of UPS gels lasting for 20 some years. Seems a bit of a stretch.
    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
  • bill von novakbill von novak Solar Expert Posts: 870 ✭✭✭✭
    softdown said:

    Not sure of the credibility but I have seen claims of UPS gels lasting for 20 some years. Seems a bit of a stretch.
    I definitely believe that.  We have UPS batteries here that we change out at 10 year intervals, but are like new (I've tested them.)  Floating a gel cell forever is the best way to take care of it.
  • Marc KurthMarc Kurth Solar Expert Posts: 596 ✭✭✭✭
    edited August 2018 #23

     Buying used batteries is like asking "How long is a piece of string?" 
    It depends............
    Marc
    I always have more questions than answers. That's the nature of life.
  • faccnatorfaccnator Registered Users Posts: 26 ✭✭
    Well I ended up buying the used batteries

    The seller actually reads these forums and is a super nice couple. They gave me a great deal and I picked them up last night.

    After meeting them I’m sure they are in great shape

    ill keep the forum updated as to their performance.
  • tr0ytr0y Solar Expert Posts: 96 ✭✭✭
    2manytoyz said:
    Those were pricey batteries to begin with, but "I" wouldn't buy a used set of batteries.

    I bought 5 NPP NPD12-200Ah batteries.  12V, 200AH AGM batteries.  These are $364 each on Amazon, and come with a 2 year warranty.  4 would be $1460 delivered!  

    Just a note here - 

    Those are gel, not AGM, and look like they are intended for UPS applications.  They are spec'd for a cycle life of ~550 cycles to 50% charge.  So depending on how you use them you may just be able to claim that warranty and get 4 years out of the same $$.
    @bill @bill von novak
    Where do you see that these are gel and not AGM ? If you go to NPP's site the gel batteries advertised are different looking and different configuration. 
  • littleharbor2littleharbor2 Solar Expert Posts: 1,444 ✭✭✭✭
    Everything I see tells me AGM.

    2.1 Kw Suntech 175 mono, Classic 200, Trace SW 4024 ( 15 years old  but brand new out of sealed factory box Jan. 2015), Bogart Tri-metric, 700 ah @24 volt AGM battery bank. Plenty of Baja Sea of Cortez sunshine.

  • bill von novakbill von novak Solar Expert Posts: 870 ✭✭✭✭
    tr0y said:

    Where do you see that these are gel and not AGM ? If you go to NPP's site the gel batteries advertised are different looking and different configuration. 
    You may be right.  I was looking at a site that advertised them as gel batteries, but I looked up the data sheet and it says AGM.
  • 2manytoyz2manytoyz Solar Expert Posts: 373 ✭✭✭
    2manytoyz said:
    Those were pricey batteries to begin with, but "I" wouldn't buy a used set of batteries.

    I bought 5 NPP NPD12-200Ah batteries.  12V, 200AH AGM batteries.  These are $364 each on Amazon, and come with a 2 year warranty.  4 would be $1460 delivered!  

    Just a note here - 

    Those are gel, not AGM, and look like they are intended for UPS applications.  They are spec'd for a cycle life of ~550 cycles to 50% charge.  So depending on how you use them you may just be able to claim that warranty and get 4 years out of the same $$.
    Says AGM on the box.

  • 2manytoyz2manytoyz Solar Expert Posts: 373 ✭✭✭
    I realize this is an older thread, but I have an important update about these NPP batteries.  Mine just failed after 1.5 years of gentle use.  SOC was never below 80%, and often 85-90% by morning.  They would charge to 96%+ via solar, otherwise they were topped off with an IOTA 75A charger. 

    About a week ago, my low voltage alarm on my inverter sounded at 4AM.  Xantrex LinkPRO showed the battery bank at 87%, but the 1000AH battery bank was down to 11.1V.

    The loads were disconnected, and the batteries were completely recharged.  I disconnected each one (of 5), and applied a 100A load tester.  The voltage immediately dropped below 11V, and showed them to be on the edge of "weak".  Keep in mind, these are 200AH batteries, rated at supplying 1400A for 5 seconds!



    While I can find examples of NPP having a 2 year warranty on these in the past, when I click on the highlighted links, the ads now all show only 1 year.  Obviously a known issue.  I've found similar reviews after I bought mine.

    I contacted NPP (the seller via Amazon).  They simply said they have a 1 year warranty (now), and offered no support, nor were interested in how they were used, or why they failed.  Amazon now lists it as "unavailable".  That was an $1825 mistake.  I will be sharing my experience with this product on the various forums, my website, my YouTube channel, and on the Amazon reviews.  I will be using these as a core exchange, and buying golf cart 6V batteries once again.  Those typically last me 5-6 years in hot FL.
  • littleharbor2littleharbor2 Solar Expert Posts: 1,444 ✭✭✭✭
    5 paralleled AGM batteries would be pretty much impossible to evenly charge. I had a bank of 8 AGM's in 4 strings that I managed to get 4 1/2 years out of. I was lucky to get that much life out of them apparently. I did have them on buss bars and equal length cabling to all of them though.

    2.1 Kw Suntech 175 mono, Classic 200, Trace SW 4024 ( 15 years old  but brand new out of sealed factory box Jan. 2015), Bogart Tri-metric, 700 ah @24 volt AGM battery bank. Plenty of Baja Sea of Cortez sunshine.

  • Marc KurthMarc Kurth Solar Expert Posts: 596 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 8 #31
    All brands of AGM batteries are not created equal......
    I just sold a replacement set of (32) L16 AGM's to replace the originals bought from me 8.5 years ago. This is a 100% off grid home, occupied full time in Central Texas. Four strings of eight for 1600 ah at 48v. This is not unusual, as I am seeing a lot replacements that I sold 7-10 years ago.
    Marc
    I always have more questions than answers. That's the nature of life.
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