Anyone has Flood Lead Acid battery off grid system run for more than 10 years?

paulcheungpaulcheung Registered Users Posts: 46 ✭✭
Hi guys,
I have heard a lot of people said the battery bank last 8 to 10 years and so on. Is there any member of the forum or a client of the member of this forum has a working off grid FLA battery system run for more than 10 years or more like 15 years doing daily cycles still doing the job it was designed to do? 

I would like to know the average daily DOD percentage and the brand and model of those batteries? anyone?

Thank you in advance.


XW6848+ Magnum 4448PAE (Backup) 7800 watts total mixed Panels, 370 AH @48volts battery bank. Grid assist and soon be Tied.

Comments

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,028 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Many times with many clients, not all ! Always recharge at 50%,  hardly ever go below 30%, charge source for 360 days a year. The southwest and places like it. Be able to reduce loads during a bad stretch. Surrette, US, and and Trojan.

    Started using flooded in 1978 at Hewlett Packard from an old guy who taught me. Thank-you Oreville!
    "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: 30,052 admin
    Battery bank temperature is another factor... There is an old engineering (and calculus example in text books) rule of thumb... For every 10C (18F) increase in temperature, there is a decrease in life by a factor of 1/2 -- And conversely, every 10C decrease in temperature is a 2x increase in life (aging life--Cycling life is another issue). For batteries, they typically use 25C/75F as "room temperature".

    Some of our folks in the great white north (Canada) have very good battery life (can get 8+ years out of their cabin batteries).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • paulcheungpaulcheung Registered Users Posts: 46 ✭✭
    Many times with many clients, not all ! Always recharge at 50%,  hardly ever go below 30%, charge source for 360 days a year. The southwest and places like it. Be able to reduce loads during a bad stretch. Surrette, US, and and Trojan.

    Started using flooded in 1978 at Hewlett Packard from an old guy who taught me. Thank-you Oreville!
    Thank you.
    Those Surrette batteries are 5000 series or 4000 series? how often they get charged 100% SOC. everyday or twice a week?
    XW6848+ Magnum 4448PAE (Backup) 7800 watts total mixed Panels, 370 AH @48volts battery bank. Grid assist and soon be Tied.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,052 admin
    In general, suggest >90% state of charge is "full".

    Going to 100% often (more than once a week or once a month) is really approaching an EQ cycle (short EQ cycle)... Which while needed, also causes damage to lead acid batteries too (gasing, loss of water, oxidation/corrosion of the positive plates/grid, erosion of plates, and heating of the battery bank).

    So, avoiding "excessive" charging is not a good thing either.

    EQing has been suggested from once a month (especially tall cased batteries which can really use "mixing" of the electrolyte to prevent stratification) to when the high vs low SG cell differences are >~0.015 to 0.030 SG units apart (need EQ to "bring up" weak/undercharged cells)...

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,028 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I just do what the battery maker says on their cut sheets. They do not say anything about what Bill just said above. Undercharging is the worst thing you can do. I never hear on the forum or other places about overcharging, too many EQ's or heating of the bank. Sorry not trying to be a pain for anyone, especially the boss!

     I do have special instructions for my clients from my 250+ offgrid home experiences in the real world. I try to help with general info on the forum.
    "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: 30,052 admin
    I am certainly not an expert...

    Continue on. Here to learn.

    Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,108 ✭✭✭✭
    I  think the high SOC is prominent enough, in idea, if not fact, that Midnite and Victron or Schneider(?),  allow programing for  the charge controller to  'skip days'  when the battery is at high SOC in the morning.  
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,028 ✭✭✭✭✭
    And high state of charge for long periods, is not something that happens in an offgrid home where people live. That is my reference.

     A cabin that is unattended, or some "night owl" bachelor out in the woods that goes out for days at a time might have to think about that.
    No, Schneider, Outback do not do that, but you could by just telling the charger on a  "smart phone" to go to float, or disable the charger, If you get lucky on that date and she won't let you go home. :)
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • petertearaipetertearai Solar Expert Posts: 416 ✭✭✭✭
    8 years from surette 600 , didn't fail , just started to get hot 
    2225 wattts pv . Outback 2kw  fxr pure sine inverter . fm80 charge controller . victron battery monitor . 24 volts 450 ah surette batterys . off grid  holiday home 
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,915 ✭✭✭✭
    I've seen a few stories of solar batteries lasting well over ten years. One poster somehow obtained 18 years from his. Quality control must have been spot on with that batch of batteries. 

    The real battery experts here always seem to say that undercharging is by far the biggest enemy of battery longevity. 

    I'll guess that a six year run may be average. So many variables to consider though. 
    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: 2,915 ✭✭✭✭
    8 years from surette 600 , didn't fail , just started to get hot 
    Measuring their internal resistance would be of interest. 
    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
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,028 ✭✭✭✭✭
    softdown said:
    I've seen a few stories of solar batteries lasting well over ten years. One poster somehow obtained 18 years from his. Quality control must have been spot on with that batch of batteries. 

    The real battery experts here always seem to say that undercharging is by far the biggest enemy of battery longevity. 

    I'll guess that a six year run may be average. So many variables to consider though. 
    Agree and would add that maintenance has to be flawless. Either perfect, or it won't work long. Better batteries with longer cycle specs tend to go longer with perfect maintenance. The every other year calibration of SG and the charge source is important because a flooded can be easily corrected. Even AGM can be corrected but much easier with a SG calibration. I would say that few do any of this without good training. I always tell new folks to keep a copy of the battery check they wrote on the wall above the bank.

    It is often said to check water monthly and the reason, to me, is not that it needs to be done more than every other month. The reason is human error and forgetting to check a cell. If you uncover the cell, accidentally, even once, Vegas will change the odds.

    My last on this is that all the great help Bill has done over the decades is impressive. To me, it blows my mind how much he has done with very little feedback from the people who never come back after his help. Much easier for me with clients that have paid as they tend to listen and feedback, once they write the checks. I do like the checks and I do alot for charity also :)
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,451 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Sometimes ya pay your $ and take your chances.

    I replaced batteries in a sailboat a couple years ago.  The house bank (pair of GCs) was pretty much unused other than periodic refresh charging, as I haven't had the boat out overnight since.  Putting the boat to bed in the fall, the house bank seemed to get charged but fell to ~11.x volts fairly quickly after.  I didn't have time to investigate much, but my guess is a shorted cell.

    Bummer, but stuff happens  :(
    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
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,028 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Warranty from a quality company is important. I only use L16's and up, and it is extremely rare for what you describe after a couple weeks. Also another reason cabins/boats are battery killers because of unattended existence. Sorry to hear it but Costco will take a GC back. 

    Stuff happened out the window an hour ago. A nice big Black Oak that has been dead for 2 years fell. Now I have some fun work to cut it up.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • 706jim706jim Solar Expert Posts: 298 ✭✭✭
    I bought 12 Dunlop GC's from Sams club in 1996. They lasted 19 seasons before this (somewhat tired) bank was wrecked when someone left a spa pump running overnight. Usual DOD would be about 20% and this 660 A-hr 24 volt bank was charged with only about 400 watts of solar. Six months of the year, this bank was in cold storage as the system is on a water access only island and therefore wasn't used. I attribute this long life from the seasonal use and the relatively low DOD. Although it has been mentioned many times on this forum that the charge rate (13 max amps into a 660 A-hr bank) was far too low at maybe 2% of the bank rating, they ran everything we needed for that long time period with no problem. I now have an L16 bank and more panels mostly due to the installation of an electric fridge.
    Island cottage solar system with 2400 watts of panels, 1kw facing southeast 1kw facing southwest 400watt ancient Arco's facing south.Trace DR1524 MSW inverter, Trace C40 PWM controller 8 Trojan L16's. Insignia 11.5 cubic foot electric fridge. My 27th year.
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,451 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Even though basically unused, they're 2-3 years old now so warranty likely won't apply. 

    I did leave on shore power (Xantrex 2.5kw inverter/charger) for a few days in the summer, so it's possible that did it (eg didn't go to float properly).  More likely a defective cell I think though. 

    For a big oak I'd probably invest in a nice sharp new chain (or 2)  ;)
    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: 2,915 ✭✭✭✭
    Dried oak is fantastic firewood. 
    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
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,028 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I sharpen by hand here until the blade is gone. We do as much as possible ourselves offgrid. Even Amazon is too far away most of the time.
    The battery thing is funny because I deal with so many people. One guy just killed a bank and he went to the next size up.

     I told him/billed him to send me the set-point, temp comp, and EQ/SG data. That was 8 months ago. There are only so many who want the help and I just bite my tongue and let them be. Nice guy but who knows if he entered it all correctly after 6 years.....

    Canada going to sign USMCA next month? I think so from my crystal ball. Mexico and US have a deal.


    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,028 ✭✭✭✭✭
    softdown said:
    Dried oak is fantastic firewood. 
    Most of our our oak is blue oak as the lower Sierra is in zone 7 the blue oak woodland.
    The tree that fell is a black oak and it is special in that a large well ignited piece will burn thru the night slowly and give you good coals in the AM. Very little smoke if you go out to see the stars or the space station fly over. 
    "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: 30,052 admin
    Mostly from my experience with automotive batteries... After they get a few years on them, and if they are taken "dead once", then the batteries are just (sometimes) days/weeks from dying again. To the point that I simply replace (or tell others to replace) them immediately. The chances that they will get out to the car (and it does not matter if overnight, or just out running around doing trips), there is a very good chance the battery will simply "randomly be dead" again.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 2,915 ✭✭✭✭
    We all know that allowing batteries to get dead is very bad. What is unknown is how long it takes to really kill them for good. My 3/19 Ford battery was stone dead for probably a couple months. Yet it now appears that it will likely provide suitable service for awhile longer. Had it been made in 3/16, I bet it would have to be replaced. 
    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
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,108 ✭✭✭✭
    FWIW  - Arizona Wind and Sun use to sell  forklift batteries, I'm guessing, drop shipped from Crown. They had people reporting 20+ years.  I'm  8years into a GB forklift battery and have been happy. Even with poisoned cell, it has held up very  well.  Cell has  nothing to do  with manufacturer, More my job as security guard living in the community where  I worked.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 2,987 ✭✭✭✭
    Two separate banks here, of Surrette 5000 series batteries (4KS25s,  48V),  are in their 15 th year.  We only discharge to about 75 - 80% SOC daily.

    Using MkdNite Classics here,  and customarily Skip Days on each system,  except in questionable weather,  where we tend to try to charge daily,  as one seldom knows just how much sun will be available.

    We do run A/C in each power room in Spring/Summer/Fall,   and pet the batteries daily.

    We do intentionally cycle these main banks down to 50-ish percent SOC every couple of months, and recharge  immediately  (using the largest genset)   just to try to maintain Capacity

    There is a Backup 12 V system,  which use Surrette S-530 L-16s  --  also in year 15.   This Backup system is seldom really used,   and is cycled and recharged manually,   when needed

    Am very happy with these Surrette batteries,   and the top-notch Support that Surrette has provided.   Would buy them again,   when needed (but might consider a Forklift battery,   perhaps...)

    FWIW,    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.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,052 admin
    edited January 22 #25
    And remember to inspect new batteries, check electrolyte levels, electrolyte SG, resting voltage for each cell/battery delivered--And log (battery SN/Number/Cell number) in a log book for your battery bank (monthly readings, water usage, etc.)

    In times past, a few folks here have received (mostly flooded cell?) batteries that have had unusual issues (spilled electrolyte during shipping, cells with near 1.000 SG--Dead/pure water, etc.). And then follow the charging instruction when bringing your new bank into operation.

    Need to start well and not be tripped up with issues from day zero.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • paulcheungpaulcheung Registered Users Posts: 46 ✭✭
    Thank you for all the feed backs. I wish I have known all what I know now 8 years ago. My system would be much better and my first set Surrette 2 bank 4000 series would be still alive and kicking now. :'(
    XW6848+ Magnum 4448PAE (Backup) 7800 watts total mixed Panels, 370 AH @48volts battery bank. Grid assist and soon be Tied.
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