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Old 05-26-2017, 12:00 PM   #1
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House/Solar battery choice question?

Calling all Battery Experts:

I am hunting for a good house battery solution that leaves enough money in my pocket that I can still afford my Happy Meal. While the price of solar panels and charge controllers have come down significantly in the past few years the price of batteries has not.

I was cruising CL the other day and came across these:

SuperSafe 190F SBS AGM Pure Lead batteries.
12 Volt VRLA maintenance free.

12 Volt

190 A/H (10 Hr. Rate)

size / dimensions: 22.10 x 4.90 x 12.40

From 2013 - 2014. LIKE NEW NEVER USED.

All recharged @ 12.80 volts

132lbs.

Retail $899.00

My Price $175.00 ea.

ONE YEAR FULL MONEY BACK WARRANTY!

These are high end deep cycle batteries with a 10 year life span made for maximum duration, Removed from a huge computer back up system they are in great condition having sat on maintainers and not actually used for the last 3-4 years. You save hundreds per battery over brand new and still get years and years of life out of them. Sealed, and maintenance free, These are great heavy duty long lasting batteries for campers, boats, and off grid.

Designed for solar, wind, boat batteries, trolling motors
Car Audio,Trailer Camping,Tractors
electric cars, golf carts

The ultimate in off-the-grid back-up power.

BY APPT ONLY THX.


Somewhere I read: "UPS batteries are not suitable for solar". I don't recall where and, with my basic battery knowledge, don't see why the AGM batteries above would not be suitable.

Can anyone explain to me why these batteries would or would not be a good choice for my solar charged house batteries?

Thanks.

S.
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Old 05-26-2017, 12:24 PM   #2
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I've also noticed the UPSs that are sold in the auctions and wondered the same thing. A battery shop is about the only place that could explain the difference, and that might be difficult for them because those are not intended as vehicle batteries.

A UPS can be had cheap from the auctions. I'm thinking those UPS cases likely have an inverter built in, as they are designed to maintain 110 volt current. I recently passed up a 10 year old UPS that had never been unpackaged or used.

I'm not necessarily after a battery pack like that but it would run just about anything I've got in my bus, except the heater.
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Old 05-26-2017, 12:49 PM   #3
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I have worked in IT operations for many years and nearly all of the "small" (under 20 kVA) UPS's that we dealt with used gelled electrolyte batteries or FLA. The only ones that we dealt with that were AGM were VERY large UPS's at remote communications sites or data centers.

I do understand that the gel & FLA batteries that are used in UPS's are not ideal for this application but I do not have the knowledge to understand if the AGM's are suitable.
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Old 05-26-2017, 01:42 PM   #4
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I recall hearing that UPS are replaced every few years, whether bad or not, to maintain a high level of power protection. It's the age that counts.
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Old 05-26-2017, 01:47 PM   #5
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I couldn't technically answer that question either. Golf cart batteries are AGMs.

I also worked in IT in college and while working for the state. Nobody seemed to know much about the UPSs. They apparently just ordered the UPSs based on numbers.

The deal I found was a complete UPS cabinet that had never been unwrapped, and it was less than $150. I've got to guess these large UPSs have their own power manager.
One UPS probably has enough batteries for two buses, if they're still viable batteries.

I've been wondering about using a large UPS for several years. I've never heard of anyone reusing a UPS for a bus so I figured there were some kind of problems. They've got to have a charging system and an inverter that's already safe for computers.
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Old 05-26-2017, 02:06 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin97396 View Post
I couldn't technically answer that question either. Golf cart batteries are AGMs.

I also worked in IT in college and while working for the state. Nobody seemed to know much about the UPSs. They apparently just ordered the UPSs based on numbers.

The deal I found was a complete UPS cabinet that had never been unwrapped, and it was less than $150. I've got to guess these large UPSs have their own power manager.
One UPS probably has enough batteries for two buses, if they're still viable batteries.

I've been wondering about using a large UPS for several years. I've never heard of anyone reusing a UPS for a bus so I figured there were some kind of problems. They've got to have a charging system and an inverter that's already safe for computers.
I have used "retired" UPS's at home during power outages and found them to be very inefficient. Today's new ones may be better but I am inclined to go with an inverter designed for this application and with manufacturer support.

If one enjoys tinkering then it could be fun to try out an auction bargain UPS as your bus power solution. Batteries, charger, inverter and transfer switch all in one package.

As I think about it though... The only ones that I dealt with that had large enough battery banks for my application also had 10kVA inverters as well. Not the ideal size for my application.
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Old 05-26-2017, 02:07 PM   #7
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Back to the question: Any battery Guru's out there that can speak to the merit of using the AGM's above as house batteries in my bus?

Thanks.

S.
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Old 05-26-2017, 05:42 PM   #8
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A little more information would be helpful. How much capacity are you looking for and what size solar array are you considering?

I spent $500 on four Duracell brand 6v golf cart type FLA batteries. They were considerably cheaper than similar size Trojans and weighed the same (telling me the had similar size lead plates in them which is typically what wears out).

Considering that my batteries had to fit or be fitted into a battery compartment, and suitable cables made to carry large amounts of current to my inverter, I would think the risk of trying something different would have to be weighed against all things that might have to be changed if the cheaper solution did not work out. Don't get me wrong... I love Craigslist and the secondhand market. Most of what I own is used stuff! But batteries are something I would prefer to purchase new from a reliable source seeing as how important they are to me and my bus.

That said... many have done something similar to your ideas and have been successful! My two cents only!

Best of luck!

Regards!

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Old 05-26-2017, 05:49 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by rossfree View Post
A little more information would be helpful. How much capacity are you looking for and what size solar array are you considering?

Ross
Those are good questions and relate directly to "how many of this battery do I need?".

What I am asking is "Are these particular batteries suited as house/solar batteries?"

Here are the options I am considering:

V A/H Avail A/H Avail KwH Charge Rate Min Array Watts
4 – T105 S/P 12 450 225 2.7 58.5 702

4 – T105 S 24 225 112.5 2.7 29.25 702

8 – T105 S/P 24 450 225 5.4 58.5 1404

8 – Sam’s GC2 24 416 208 4.992 54.08 1297.92

4 – SBS190 AGM 24 380 266 6.384 76 1824

2 – SBS190 AGM 24 190 133 3.192 38 912
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Old 05-26-2017, 05:50 PM   #10
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Sorry that did not format well.

Again, my question is about suitability to application not bank sizing.

Thanks.

S.
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Old 05-26-2017, 06:55 PM   #11
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The short answer is yes. They could work as a battery bank. I don't like his statement that he charged them up to 12.8v. That would indicate that they needed charging. As stated earlier, batteries do not like to be left in a discharged state for any period of time. This will ruin batteries. And can you really count on a one year warranty on Craig's list?

I don't like to be negative here. I had to bring two $100 Jer Ski AGM batteries back to Wally World because they sat discharged on the shelf too long. I could not recharge them at all! Brand new in the box. Two trips.

You can't tell by looking at a battery how well it has been taken care of. :-/

If you feel sure this is legit then go for it. They can be made to work.

Regards!

Ross
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Old 05-26-2017, 07:22 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by rossfree View Post
The short answer is yes. They could work as a battery bank. .................................................. .........................They can be made to work.

Regards!

Ross
Thank you Ross.

The batteries are being offered by a business that deals in batteries. I would not bet my life on that warranty but I would gamble a bit that I could take them home and test them. If they did not test to my expectations I would have them back on the sellers doorstep in a matter of days.

I know that they "could work" and they "can be made to work".

My question is "Are these particular batteries suited as house/solar batteries?"

If they are a poor fit for my application then I am better served to buy $86 GC2's from Sam's Club.

Assuming that they are in the condition that the seller states then they are, by far, the best value as far as usable energy per $ spent.

So my question remains: "Are these particular batteries well suited as house/solar batteries?"

Thank you again for your input.

S.
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Old 05-28-2017, 05:41 PM   #13
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Almost all UPS workloads are "standby" type workloads, not "active". Most bus style workloads are "active" and not "standby". There's a big difference between the two:

Standby workloads are those that are only called on once or twice a year for a short period of time (generally measured in minutes to low hours). Active workloads are in constant use.

If you try to use a system designed for "standby" in an "active" style workload, then you will experience premature failure. The components used in a "standby" system's construction were not the most robust components available.

Should you move forward with such a situation, you should derate the maximum power point of the system by about 25%-33%. These systems were designed to run in a glass shop (i.e. datacenter) where they would be stationary and kept cool by copious amounts of AC air, not in a bus where they will be subjected to mechanical jolts as well as widely varying temperatures and airflows.

As for the different lead-acid batteries, if you follow the 25%-33% derate, then you should automatically stay within the design limits of any battery type. However, should you need to push the system for whatever reason, understand that the "non-spillable" electrolyte batteries come with a down-side: you cannot pull the same level of current out of them as you can with a similarly sized wet battery. Also, you cannot charge them as quickly (and that goes for the aggressive charging voltages and charging profiles people report using on this site).

Finally, never, ever subject a "non-spillable" battery to freezing temperatures, especially during operation, as they can rupture. Flooded batteries can handle freezing temps much better than their "non-spillable" cousins....

As in all things, check the manufacturer's recommended environmental specs before using....
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