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Question: What battery is best for living off the grid?
Trojan 105
Gell cell sealed
Costco deep cycle
Other

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Author Topic: What battery is best for living off the grid?  (Read 5210 times)
Oregonconversion
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« on: November 30, 2009, 09:17:37 PM »

I am going to be living with as much free power as I can from the sun and wind. What battery will give me the best longevity and performance? I want these puppies to last for 10 years!


I have narrowed it down to these batteries. Please let me know if you reccomend something else.

Trojan 105s. Nice because they are more efficient being a series parallel system, but how efficient?
Costco $70 deep cycle batteries (#14 I think) most bang for the buck.
Gell cell batteries. Twice the price.. But less maintainance and I won't have to vent. Any other benefits?

Btw I am running a 12V 3000 watt inverter and want about 1000AH for about $1000-1500

thanks in advance for your responce.
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« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2009, 09:38:01 PM »

I voted for Gel because they are maintenance free and can be put about anywhere in any position.

But I did see some big a$$ cool batteries made specially for solar/wind systems at a scrap yard in Fort Collins, Co. Weighed about 200 lbs each and were lead acid. Guy had them for ten years or more but were shot.  I believe there were 10 of them.

What you got for solar & wind power now or just in planning stages?
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84dime
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« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2009, 09:50:25 PM »

For what you say you wanted to use them for then i voted trojan 105s. I just bought 4 of them today. where at do you live? i live in salem and i got them from batteriesnorthwest for $50 each. Im a little worried about using them to start the bus but im getting ready to start a tread about that Smiley
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Joshua Chapin
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Salem,OR
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« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2009, 09:57:32 PM »

Oh ya with 4 of the trojan 105s, im getting 450AH. 4 of them cost $200 + $16 for two 2-O jumpers so grand total of $216.

If you double that you will have 900AH for $432

and so on.....

Thats way less then you thought you needed to spend if your close to Salem
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Joshua Chapin
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Salem,OR
TomC
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« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2009, 10:14:07 PM »

You get what you pay for.  If you want a cheap battery that will work, but have to constantly be checking the water, make sure they are properly vented, clean the terminals regularly, and wait a long time for them to charge back up-then the Trojan T105's are the ones for you.
If on the other hand, you get a battery that is expensive, but never have to check water since it is sealed, they don't need venting and can be mounted in any position (except upside down), never have to clean the terminals since they don't out gas, and the will take as much amperage charging as long as you don't over volt them- then the Absorbed Glass Mat-like the Lifeline batteries are for you. 
I replaced my two standard deep cycle 8D watered batteries with Lifeline AGM 8D's four years ago, and I have done ZERO as to maintenance to those batteries-they just keep on working.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
Oregonconversion
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« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2009, 10:17:51 PM »

That's a good price! Are they referbs? I can get the blue top optima batteries for $50 and they are referbished.
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« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2009, 10:36:27 PM »

Ya they are referbs but have bought all my batteries there for over 7 years with no problems.
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Joshua Chapin
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Salem,OR
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« Reply #7 on: November 30, 2009, 10:47:17 PM »

Tom, if you don't mind me asking, where did you get the Lifeline AGM 8D's and how much each?
Thanks
Jack
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Jack Hart, CDS
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« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2009, 04:30:22 AM »

Jack, you can figure the cost of a AGM battery at around 3 bucks a AH you get more bang for the buck with a golf cart battery they are around a buck for each AH.
All depends on what you want I guess I am the only one here that hasn't had good luck with the Lifeline battery and fwiw you can install it upside down you see it all the time in Prevost.  
You can buy the same battery made by the same company for less money named Concorde only difference is a warranty you pay big bucks for the warranty on a Lifeline battery I am not going to waste any more money on AGM after 3 sets at over 1800 bucks.
Lifeline is good about replacing batteries under warranty I will hand that to them.
Mounting batteries on the inside of your coach AGM is the only way too go but I can buy a lot of water for the 1200 bucks difference in the price


good luck
« Last Edit: December 01, 2009, 05:10:59 AM by luvrbus » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2009, 05:43:22 AM »

It all comes down to dollars per amp-hour per year.  I think that if you religiously dedicated one to two hours per month, every month, for battery maintenance, lead acid wet cells like the T-105's would be the best value.
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« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2009, 06:14:23 AM »

I use 4, 12 volt, floor scrubber batteries (acid). they are hooked up series and parallel to give me 24 volts, which feeds a 4500 amp inverter with 100 amp smart charger they have worked great the last 5 years. I paid $200 Cnd each   
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Joe Beleskey ,Stroud Ont. 50 Miles north of Toronto
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« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2009, 07:41:45 AM »

I favor the Golf Cart type batteries for the economics.  Yes, you need to watch the water, but that is not a huge deal

No matter what your choice, YOU ***MUST*** monitor "state of charge" if you plan to do a lot of off grid "camping".  You can't do this with a voltmeter (you can if you let the batteries sit for 24 hours without input or output).  Get a state of charge meter like this one:  http://www.bogartengineering.com/.  Then, never let the state of charge get below 50%.  If you do that, most any DEEP CYCLE battery will give you good service.

BTW, with a wet system, you can check the specific gravity of each cell in order to determine if there is a battery problem.

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
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« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2009, 08:12:39 AM »

For some reason when I used 8 golf cart batteries in series and parallel the terminals and cables corroded like crazy.  I took everything apart and cleaned all the corrosion off and used a battery spray, but it happened again in a month or two.  I checked the water and it was always good.  It may have been all of the cables I used to connect the batteries I don't know.

I bought some used AGM batteries cheap and they seem to work fine.  I did get battery cables all the same length this time and wired to common studs.

Same inverter/charger for both sets of batteries.  I do know golf cart batteries work for lots of folks.  I had a bad experience.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
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« Reply #13 on: December 01, 2009, 08:20:49 AM »

I bought the Lifeline batteries straight from the factory in Irwindale, Ca.  If I remember right, they were about $450.00 each-which works out to be less then $1.76 per amp hour-not that much more then the watered battery (the 8D's put out 255 amp hours). The only thing I don't like about the 8D's is the weight- 165lbs.  Next time will use either the 220amp hour, or the larger 300 amp hour 6v batteries to get around 1500 amp hours since my refrigerator is going to be a home type.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #14 on: December 01, 2009, 08:52:23 AM »

TomC call and get a price now close to 600 bucks for new stock and about 550. for old stock


good luck
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