New Solar Array and Core Charges, Ditch Lead?

BurntTechBurntTech Registered Users Posts: 8 ✭✭
I'm curious what others are doing for battery setups since core charges in MN are going for 20% of the cost of the batteries for Golf Cart batteries. The batteries them self aren't bad prices at about $91 after 10% for online orders but a $22 Core fee starts to eat into a 8-12 battery setup. Lithium powerwalls are starting to look like more attractive.

Comments

  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,484 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The core charge gets refunded when the bank gets retired, so it's really just the opportunity cost of tying up the core charge. If interest rates were 20% it would be a thing, but with rates near zero, not so much.
    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
  • BurntTechBurntTech Registered Users Posts: 8 ✭✭
    I would assume lead prices aren't going to bottom out but it appears all the core charges go with lead scrap pricing? Looks like buying bigger lead acid batteries doesn't seem to help much. Lithium rv style are still really expensive, so I guess it might be worth just riding a few hundred dollars on core charges?
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,484 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Usually, core charges are set at a level that gets batteries to recyclers - they are one of the most recycled products in the world, so it makes sense there would be a relationship with scrap prices.
    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
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,335 admin
    Core charges in California are set by state law.

    I turned in a Costco battery, and they gave me back the old core charge (from my purchase history) even though the current core charge was higher.

    - Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,484 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Where I buy batteries a core is a core, whether I bought it there or not. If I have a core, they don't charge whatever the current core charge is. There's an arm's length government agency that runs recycling and gets fees like tire tax and I assume the core charges.
    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
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 31,335 admin
    If I turned in a non - Costco battery, I assume they would give me the current core charge.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • SolraySolray Registered Users Posts: 246 ✭✭✭
    They refund the charge you paid, not the charge today, unless you bought it today.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 5,503 ✭✭✭✭✭
    If you are referring to core charges at Sam's Club (personal knowledge) or Costco (hearsay), They will take almost any battery as a core. I have used lawn tractor and motorcycle batteries at Sam's club. If it's not illegal, you might go around to lawn mower repair places, particularly shade tree guy's and pick them up for $6-8 dollars to use for cores.
    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
  • BurntTechBurntTech Registered Users Posts: 8 ✭✭
    That is a good idea to look for salvage batteries, I was looking for junked golf carts for 6v batteries but it appears other people were thinking the same thing. I might start with a smaller battery bank and test using the inverter/charger/transfer switch with the off peak meter we have. With the solar and the batteries should be able to ride out outages when they turn off the meter. We use too much power to be offgrid :smile: for now. The first plan is to use as much solar without having to store it too long. we range from 2000kwH to 2500kwH for usage a month. 

    As for core charge and the future If you only buy the same batteries type and size you should be ok. Since in our area the core charges range from $10 to $60 depending on size. But just a heads up might be an issue if you wanted to upgrade types. I've also heard some places are very relaxed on trade in or core price per AH. I have a call in with a battery distribution company to see if bulk orders are same price but I expect they are.
  • bill von novakbill von novak Solar Expert Posts: 891 ✭✭✭✭
    BurntTech said:
    I'm curious what others are doing for battery setups . . .
    Just switched to a 9kwhr CALB pack (LiFePO4.)  It came in at about $420/kwhr.  I was tempted by the Powerwall 2, but that's a minor savings ($407/kwhr) and they are hard to buy without going through an installer, who will want to do more than I want to do.

    A local EV supply place (EVWest) has some very tempting Tesla modules - 3kwhr 57 volt at $212 a kwhr.  But they are lithium ion, not lithium iron phosphate, and the risk of fire is too high for me.
  • SolraySolray Registered Users Posts: 246 ✭✭✭
    I don't think it will take very long to start seeing core charges for other types of batteries too. Just think of it as an investment that will return the full value back to you in time.
  • Raj174Raj174 Solar Expert Posts: 779 ✭✭✭✭
    @bill von novak
    That's great bill, did you get the 18 180AH cells you had mentioned in a previous post? I have enjoyed using my LFP bank over the past year. Of course it's nice to have a full bank in the evening, but no worries about not getting a full charge or leaving them in a partial state of charge if you have to. Nice charge efficiency also. My only regret with LFP is not getting a bigger bank.

    Rick
    3600W PV, MNE175DR-TR, MN Classic 150, Outback Radian GS4048A, Mate3, 51.2V 360AH LiFePO4, Kohler Pro 5.2E.
  • bill von novakbill von novak Solar Expert Posts: 891 ✭✭✭✭
    Raj174 said:
    @bill von novak
    That's great bill, did you get the 18 180AH cells you had mentioned in a previous post? I have enjoyed using my LFP bank over the past year. Of course it's nice to have a full bank in the evening, but no worries about not getting a full charge or leaving them in a partial state of charge if you have to. Nice charge efficiency also. My only regret with LFP is not getting a bigger bank.

    16 rather than 18, but yes.  Fortunately there is space in the battery box to double the system size if needed.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,195 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Solray said:
    I don't think it will take very long to start seeing core charges for other types of batteries too. Just think of it as an investment that will return the full value back to you in time.
    And what is the purpose of a core charge for Li batteries ?  The core charge (deposit for glass soda bottles) went away in the late 70's, now it's merely a recycle tax.
     Lead can easily be recycled in batteries.  Lithium cannot. The other metals in Li batteries are more valuable that the Li.
    https://waste-management-world.com/a/1-the-lithium-battery-recycling-challenge

    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • SolraySolray Registered Users Posts: 246 ✭✭✭
    The bottle deposit did not 'go away' in fact it increased in OR.
    http://www.oregonlive.com/today/index.ssf/2017/03/ignore_the_label_oregon_bottle.html
    It is for all bottles, not just glass ones, it includes plastic and aluminum as well.

  • solarvicsolarvic Solar Expert Posts: 1,053 ✭✭✭✭
    Is it possible that some states regulate how much the core charge is? I know different stores in Pennsylvania have different core charges and lots of them will take  any size battery to use as a core charge.
  • Marc KurthMarc Kurth Solar Expert Posts: 836 ✭✭✭✭
    BB. said:
    Core charges in California are set by state law.

    I turned in a Costco battery, and they gave me back the old core charge (from my purchase history) even though the current core charge was higher.

    - Bill
    I am guessing that is a retail sale thing? The only battery fee that I am aware of in CA is the newer $1/battery fee.

    I don't do much retail, but here in Texas I am forced to collect $2/battery under 12v and $3v for 12v or higher for retail level sales. That gets sent to the state as an "Environmental Recovery Fee."  

    "Core charges" around here are simply an income stream for retail battery sales people because junk lead-acid batteries are worth $.35/lb. on the recycle market - and people expect to give up their old battery.

    It can add up when doing large change-outs. In 9 years of selling 2000 to 3000 batteries per year, I have never collected a core charge. But I have written a whole lot of checks for old batteries! 

    Marc
    I always have more questions than answers. That's the nature of life.
  • SolraySolray Registered Users Posts: 246 ✭✭✭
    edited July 2017 #19
    The fees you collect are the same thing as the core charge and for the same reason, to keep dead batteries off of the side of the road and out of landfills. Different states use different methods depending on the severity of the problem they face and other variables.
    Selling batteries itself is just a revenue stream in and of itself. No one is selling batteries for cost out of the goodness of their hearts, not even the manufacturers. :)

    https://comptroller.texas.gov/taxes/battery/faq.php

    https://www.boe.ca.gov/pdf/l489.pdf

    The $1.00 California battery fee will increase to $2.00 on April 1, 2022
  • Marc KurthMarc Kurth Solar Expert Posts: 836 ✭✭✭✭

    Solray said:
    The fees you collect are the same thing as the core charge and for the same reason, to keep dead batteries off of the side of the road and out of landfills. Different states use different methods depending on the severity of the problem they face and other variables.
    Selling batteries itself is just a revenue stream in and of itself. No one is selling batteries for cost out of the goodness of their hearts, not even the manufacturers. :)

    https://comptroller.texas.gov/taxes/battery/faq.php

    Somehow you feel that a $2.00 fee paid up front and is non-refundable later, will keep batteries off the side of the road out of landfills?  Really? Please so tell me how that is the same thing.

    Selling batteries is indeed an income stream. That is the point of having the business. Is there a point to your comment, or did you miss the whole point about core charges?

     


    I always have more questions than answers. That's the nature of life.
  • Marc KurthMarc Kurth Solar Expert Posts: 836 ✭✭✭✭
    I just realized that I got suckered in and I fell for it again! You seem to post just to get attention and/or get a rise out of people. It is a game for you two (three under the same IP?)

    My problem is that I take this place seriously and I tend to forget that some people see it as their playground. You just love to argue and have posted to yourself under both (3?) screen names.

    I will endeavor to stay clear of you.
    I always have more questions than answers. That's the nature of life.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,195 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Solray said:
    The bottle deposit did not 'go away' in fact it increased in OR.
    http://www.oregonlive.com/today/index.ssf/2017/03/ignore_the_label_oregon_bottle.html
    It is for all bottles, not just glass ones, it includes plastic and aluminum as well.

    I'm not talking about recycle tax/fee.  I'm talking about the mfg's deposit for returning the bottles for reuse, Milk bottles $1, soda bottles 10 cents in 1970, unbroken so they could be reused.  But when the reprocessing cost exceeds the raw cost, the mfg deposit went away, and then, to reduce the clutter, recycle taxes were imposed to get the cans/bottles off the streets. 
    Currently, there is a core charge for the valuable lead in lead acid batteries.   The cost to reprocess Li batteries is higher than raw materials, which is why there is no core charge for Li.   Maybe your state will put a tax on them for you and then you can feel good.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

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