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Old 10-25-2009, 09:23 PM   #1
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Re: Let's Talk Battery Banks

Smitty, wish I could help as I have researched this topic extensively in the past, but as you said things tend to slip the mind when we are not actively engaged with certain subjects. I plan to do the off grid idea, but I never did figure out how long I would have to go before I saved money...I just liked the idea of sticking it to the man by not being burdened with his power bills even if the upfront costs me out the you know what.
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Old 10-25-2009, 11:36 PM   #2
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Re: Let's Talk Battery Banks

since you are looking at industrial batteries with the 8D's why not go the next step and look into the ultimate deep cycle battery and check out electric forklift batteries, they are not AGM's but they could be mounted outside with a roller or lift system for servicing once a month. the other plus is that they are rebuildable one cell at a time if the need occurs.
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Old 10-26-2009, 12:06 AM   #3
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Re: Let's Talk Battery Banks

I considered the forklift batteries also, but(correct me if I'm wrong) don't you have to both vent those and keep them within certain temperature specifications. I mean with a non-venting battery you can store it inside without worrying about gassing yourself.
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Old 10-26-2009, 01:50 PM   #4
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Re: Let's Talk Battery Banks

smitty; i haven't been around around industrial batteries for 15 years or better, i don't know if they are available as AGMs or not, but when i was still active in that buisiness group 31 batteries were the largest AGMs available, it's amazing how fast things change when you're looking elsewhere.
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Old 10-26-2009, 07:27 PM   #5
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Re: Let's Talk Battery Banks

I'm in the same boat with the did a bunch of research, but that was a while ago.

I used to rely on a couple of local shops to see what they install in solar situations. The used to love the Trojan T-105's but now they seem to favor the Interstate UL-16's. So lately, I've been considering the L16, but been looking at DEKA. These are all lead-acid types, around 300-cycles and 3 year pro-rated (2 year replacement, then pro-rated after that) warranty. Generally about $1 per Amp-hour. Then I saw Rolls Battery company. I don't know anything about them other than they offer larger batteries generally around $0.90 per Amp-hour, but offer a 10-year (3 year replacement, then pro-rated) after that. So many choices...

As for temperature, I had read that (please correct me if I'm wrong) a battery's capacity is reduced in the cold, meaning it doesn't store as much energy and energy comes out and goes in more slowly. But also, it's lifespan increases in cold weather. I was dead-set on storing my batteries in-side, but lately have been researching under-body truck bays and draw slides. I'm with smitty about putting the batteries on a drawer and slide them in and out to do basic maintenance, you may need to add a little length to your a DC cable to have it bend and flex, but not too bad. I'll put them in a weather protected, but vented underbody box rather than inside, but still with smitty on an outside access door. If you do go the unsealed lead-acid type, maintenance is key, the more you monitor and take care of your batteries, the longer they will last. And it seems like its quite a monetary investment.

As for the 1-12V vs 2-6V, I don't think there's any real difference to worry about. Like you said, there may be a little more weight to the battery case and also a couple of extra wire connections, but as long as they are greased and bolted should be fine. Both the T-105's and UL-16's I mentioned above (the local solar guys love and swear by them) are 6-Volt batteries.
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Old 10-26-2009, 11:14 PM   #6
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Re: Let's Talk Battery Banks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smitty
John, if you haven't already bought batterys, and don't have a local source, heres an option that offers free shipping:

http://www.tristatebattery.com/product_ ... ts_id=1106

lol, and I just happen to bookmark the page that will load.....with that monster battery

But I wouldn't mind having a handful of 'em
Woah, I may have to rethink things. The UL16H is approximately $380 for 375 aH @ 6VDC. So 700 for 375 aH @ 12VDC. About a 50 cents an amp hour. Your monster battery is $500 for 245 aH, about 50 cents an amp hour. I thought AGM batteries were supposed to be a lot more expensive?

From what i remember a while ago, there was no maintenance for an AGM battery? Would you even need a drawer? or a vent? No off-gassing... Maybe you could even put the inverter / charger / etc.. in the same bay? Perhaps just a big box to put them in, not worry about being able to slide them out at all.

How many cycles is your monster battery rated for?
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Old 10-27-2009, 09:28 AM   #7
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Re: Let's Talk Battery Banks

back in the day it was explained to me that any battery only had xx amount of charge/discharge cycles in it's life, with the best lifespan if you kept the battery from being severely discharged but yet not charged to often, so make sure that you use batteries designed for extended-deep cycle use (slow steady charge / discharge rates) VS starting batteries (high amp draw /short cycle time). It appears that the larger the individual cells are the more amp rating they have, so a 6V battery has 2x+ the amp rating of a 12V.
Shop for the most amperage at a given cost, take into account who makes/markets the battery and their corporate history/health, a super deal on batteries from someone that won't be their to help with service and warranty is no deal.
Battery technology continues to change by leaps and bounds, AGMs are lead acid batteries that are built with paste on film and rolled up cell construction instead of lead plates submerged in liquid, continue to follow as small cordless tool battery technology advances, it is what is driving the electric car technology
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Old 10-27-2009, 10:33 AM   #8
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Re: Let's Talk Battery Banks

Agreed, 6 vs 12V is a wash cost wise but the larger individual cell size of the 6V might be an advantage, also golfcart sized batteries are a lot easier to manouver than 8D's from both weight and physical size aspect. you might consider making a HD drawer slide using small channels inverted into eachother and plastic blocks cut from a poly cuttung board for sliders, use a piece of ACME threaded rod to jack the drawer open and closed.
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Old 10-27-2009, 10:52 AM   #9
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Re: Let's Talk Battery Banks

Another option for slides would be to go with something like Slide Master (http://www.truckcargobed.com/slide_master.html) instead of individual slides. But it is more expensive than the slides you showed.

I would like to see someone try the method above:

Quote:
Originally Posted by paul iossi
you might consider making a HD drawer slide using small channels inverted into eachother and plastic blocks cut from a poly cuttung board for sliders, use a piece of ACME threaded rod to jack the drawer open and closed.
I was looking at my stock ward battery box the other day, it is just two inverted steel pieces. Sure it doesn't slide out the smoothest, but how often are you going to be opening and monitoring your batteries.
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Old 10-27-2009, 05:12 PM   #10
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Re: Let's Talk Battery Banks

Smitty

I know this isn't as much power as you are lookng for but we have been off the grid now for about 5-6 weeks. The system we set up in the bus has (4) 100AH batteries we got from the local Batteries Plus store. They are Werker brand & they are AGM. We went with AGM mainly for the ability to keep them inside the bus as the solar is being used for our business office & to help control temperature plus we didn't want to have to maintain them. BP gave us the "commercial" rate on the 4 batteries & were gernerous enough to throw in the cables for free! It totaled to $660 before taxes (or $165 each). They told us normal retail if buying one battery is $259.00 so it was a substantial savings. We are totally happy with the system as the weather has turned on us already (snow in forcast tonight) & we have had cloudy days so we are not getting a full charge everyday from the panels...
Just a little info from a newbie to solar!

Jonathan
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