"Renewable Energy" batteries vs. big box deep cycle

Is there really that big a difference between batteries marketed as "Renewable Energy" versus a deep cycle battery that can be obtained at a store such as Sears or Walmart for a lot less money? Or is it just marketing hype designed to sell at a higher price? Obviously I am talking only about flooded batteries, not sealed or AGM. The extra maintenance is not an issue. It's for a portable solar power system.

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,721 admin
    Re: "Renewable Energy" batteries vs. big box deep cycle

    Yes, there is a big difference in life from ~3-5 years for the inexpensive deep cycle (i.e., golf cart) to 10-15 years for high end batteries to 20+ years for forklift/traction batteries.

    Unfortunately, it appears if you pay 2x for a better battery, it will probably last 2x longer (not 4-8x longer).

    The problem is there are numerous manufacturers of batteries, who market under a multitude of names they may own and/or under private labels (like Walmart and Costco, etc.).

    And, it appears, even vendors with gold plated reputations (and prices to match) do occasionally lose the recipe.

    A couple of FAQ's to read:

    Deep Cycle Battery FAQ
    www.batteryfaq.org

    And the one huge variable--How you treat the battery bank...

    All it takes is exposing the plates to air, under charging (or deficit charging), or taking the battery bank near dead to kill them. You can knock years off a battery by not taking care of them, or a guest/kids can kill a bank overnight by leaving the lights/pumps/etc. turned on.

    Getting a good set of "golf cart" batteries will carry you through 3-5 years (or perhaps longer) without spending too much money. Get your mistakes out of the way and figure out the size of bank/panels you need... In a few years, you will not feel so bad about tossing the first bank out and installing your "dream bank".

    Renewable Energy Battery is not really a "type of battery", but probably more of a marketing term... They may be very good ones, or just relabeled "Marine Batteries" which are not very good for deep cycling (between car and deep cycle type battery).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: "Renewable Energy" batteries vs. big box deep cycle

    Thanks for the reply!
    Seems like the more I learn, the more I need to find out.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 29,721 admin
    Re: "Renewable Energy" batteries vs. big box deep cycle

    Don't we all... The more I learned in engineering, I realized that there was more in life than I could ever learn. :roll:

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
Sign In or Register to comment.