Inverter battery question?

JD Jones

Moderator - Covid 19 in DR & North Coast
Jan 7, 2016
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Bought falsificated Trojans around 2010 in San Pedro from a local electrician. Super offer for a complete system including installation. Too good to be true.
Got suspicious because the stickers with the product name were not properly aligned and later verified that the originals look somewhat different. Maybe someone has stickers printed and attaches them to some no name chinese imports. The seller denied any wrongdoing and said he bought them as originals, whatever that means. Same as discussing with a street vendor that his Nike shoes are originals for the price. They will always pretend that they sell originals and probably also believe it.

Alexander
You can find 2000 peso "Red Trojans" all day long on FB marketplace and Corotos. I wouldn't touch those with a ten foot pole.

They're running 9K plus in all of the regular stores.
 

ese tipo

Newbie
Apr 12, 2019
79
33
28
Those of you that are in the market for new batteries, curious as to why Lifepo4 isn't in your search? I confess that I don't know what the logistics are for shipping a lithium battery to the island, but this site are very savvy when it comes to shipping. I only mention this because some raise concerns about the maintenance of lead acid something that with Lifepo4 seems to almost be a non-issue. If you were to get someone to install the correct board on your inverter/charger or at the very least use the charging parameters for AGM( pretty similar to lifepo4 )you'll be way ahead of the game with not only less maintenance but greater longevity, depth of discharge to almost 90%, physical weight of battery to sometimes less than half, and warranties that seem to start at 3 years and go up to 5 some of the more expensive ones up to 10. Some of you already have battery racking space which accommodate two batteries replacing two 6 volt let acids with 2 12 V lifepo4 ( in parallel as opposed to series ) you'll double your capacity as well as depth of discharge. Also the price of lithium batteries has over the years gotten very much if not more so competitive than lead acid. A quick search on Amazon for example a 100 amp hour lifepo4 battery will Bring up a ton of options along with reviews, questions and answers, and many times videos. Also some of these very same batteries are tested and torn apart on YouTube. If shipping weren't such a PIA I believe Lifepo4 would be on store shelves.

As far as trying to revive lead acid if your inverter has a desulfication Setting then this may help. Sometimes no matter how heads up you are with maintenance, that on again off again grid on the island sure is tough on those batteries.
 

bachata

Silver
Aug 18, 2007
4,551
576
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I also a battery bank size trade off. Once. The four batteries died MUCH faster than 8 of them die. Those discharge/recharge cycles on a smaller bank of batteries really wears them out. 8 batteries work for me in the main house and 4 batteries for some apartments. Now that we have DR style 24/7 power!
Yes the more batteries more amps x hour.
JJ
 

bachata

Silver
Aug 18, 2007
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I removed the inverter from the apartment in Sosua, it was incorrectly installed.
The batteries were located in closed area with not ventilation at all.
In my next trips I will have someone to do it the right way.
I gave away the batteries to watchiman, he made his day! Sold them right away $2000. Pesos.

JJ
 
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JD Jones

Moderator - Covid 19 in DR & North Coast
Jan 7, 2016
6,219
3,593
113
Those of you that are in the market for new batteries, curious as to why Lifepo4 isn't in your search? I confess that I don't know what the logistics are for shipping a lithium battery to the island, but this site are very savvy when it comes to shipping. I only mention this because some raise concerns about the maintenance of lead acid something that with Lifepo4 seems to almost be a non-issue. If you were to get someone to install the correct board on your inverter/charger or at the very least use the charging parameters for AGM( pretty similar to lifepo4 )you'll be way ahead of the game with not only less maintenance but greater longevity, depth of discharge to almost 90%, physical weight of battery to sometimes less than half, and warranties that seem to start at 3 years and go up to 5 some of the more expensive ones up to 10. Some of you already have battery racking space which accommodate two batteries replacing two 6 volt let acids with 2 12 V lifepo4 ( in parallel as opposed to series ) you'll double your capacity as well as depth of discharge. Also the price of lithium batteries has over the years gotten very much if not more so competitive than lead acid. A quick search on Amazon for example a 100 amp hour lifepo4 battery will Bring up a ton of options along with reviews, questions and answers, and many times videos. Also some of these very same batteries are tested and torn apart on YouTube. If shipping weren't such a PIA I believe Lifepo4 would be on store shelves.

As far as trying to revive lead acid if your inverter has a desulfication Setting then this may help. Sometimes no matter how heads up you are with maintenance, that on again off again grid on the island sure is tough on those batteries.

I didn't know about them when I bought my latest set a couple of years ago.

You brought up some really good selling points and had I known about them at the time I probably would have bought two.
 

gicamuci

Member
Apr 15, 2014
48
13
8
As I mentioned already, I have been pretty good at checking the fluid level in my inverter batteries and topping up with distilled water as necessary. Unfortunately my area has frequent power outages some for 6-8 hours at least. Thus my batteries see fairly heavy use. I try to limit the power drain on the batteries during these outages and very few times has the inverter shown less than 50% charge left. However the batteries are now about 3 years old and are showing signs of wear. The charge doesn't seem stay above 50% for as long as it did in the past and recharging seems to be taking longer than before. I know that I will have to replace the batteries eventually but would like to get as much use out of the current ones for as long possible. My question is this: I do not have a specific gravity tester so do not have a way of gauging the acidity of the fluid in the batteries. Having only ever added water over their lifetime, is there any advantage to adding new battery acid solution instead of water for the next few top up or so?
Lead acid batteries like to be cycled as long as you stay above the 50% DOD.
One of the enemies of our batteries here in DR is heat.
If your inverter supports it, get a temperature sensor. If not, get an inverter that does.
While the amp rate for charging them matters, the bulk, absorb and float voltage are very important. Not taking the heat into consideration you will easily overcharging them and shorten their life.
 

bachata

Silver
Aug 18, 2007
4,551
576
113
Lead acid batteries like to be cycled as long as you stay above the 50% DOD.
One of the enemies of our batteries here in DR is heat.
If your inverter supports it, get a temperature sensor. If not, get an inverter that does.
While the amp rate for charging them matters, the bulk, absorb and float voltage are very important. Not taking the heat into consideration you will easily overcharging them and shorten their life.
I bought a Trace inverter here in the US that came with temperature sensors and it had the capability to be set up for water or gel batteries, I wired wrong and no way I could get it fixed.
I kept the transformer but recycled everything else.

JJ
 

windeguy

Platinum
Jul 10, 2004
38,891
3,992
113
I'm not concerned with whether or not they are a US company but their batteries do not come from Haina. Maybe you're thinking of Cometa?

Trace is Trace International. They have an office on Roberto Pastoriza and the batteries are manufactured in Puerto Rico. They are available in most stores where batteries are sold and they are sold in other countries as well.

Their website is

And their FB page is https://web.facebook.com/tracesolar/

Cdn Gringo, a gravity meter only costs a few dollars on Amazon. I have a battery charger that has a recondition function that seems to have helped with old batteries in the past, but like Windy says, those cycles really are tough on batteries and even more so when they get almost totally discharged.

One of the reasons I bought my generator was to recharge batteries before they go too low, but up till now it's just been collecting dust.
OK. That explains more on where the Trace name became appropriated into Trace International and Trace Solar. I had no idea where the Trace batteries were made. Perhaps they are good. I have no idea. The ones I bought were a long time ago when we were getting about 10 to 12 hours of power a day and no battery would last long how I used them.
 
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windeguy

Platinum
Jul 10, 2004
38,891
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Those of you that are in the market for new batteries, curious as to why Lifepo4 isn't in your search? I confess that I don't know what the logistics are for shipping a lithium battery to the island, but this site are very savvy when it comes to shipping. I only mention this because some raise concerns about the maintenance of lead acid something that with Lifepo4 seems to almost be a non-issue. If you were to get someone to install the correct board on your inverter/charger or at the very least use the charging parameters for AGM( pretty similar to lifepo4 )you'll be way ahead of the game with not only less maintenance but greater longevity, depth of discharge to almost 90%, physical weight of battery to sometimes less than half, and warranties that seem to start at 3 years and go up to 5 some of the more expensive ones up to 10. Some of you already have battery racking space which accommodate two batteries replacing two 6 volt let acids with 2 12 V lifepo4 ( in parallel as opposed to series ) you'll double your capacity as well as depth of discharge. Also the price of lithium batteries has over the years gotten very much if not more so competitive than lead acid. A quick search on Amazon for example a 100 amp hour lifepo4 battery will Bring up a ton of options along with reviews, questions and answers, and many times videos. Also some of these very same batteries are tested and torn apart on YouTube. If shipping weren't such a PIA I believe Lifepo4 would be on store shelves.

As far as trying to revive lead acid if your inverter has a desulfication Setting then this may help. Sometimes no matter how heads up you are with maintenance, that on again off again grid on the island sure is tough on those batteries.
I would consider them if we had good access to inverter chargers, and people that can repair them, that work with their charging profile and people reported back with good results.

As a retired electronic design engineer, I am a late adaptor of new technology, and for a reason. Others tried to buy LiPo batteries from Ali Express and had some bad experiences. But let me know if you have success with them and explain how. The inverter/charges I have (2 of them) would need to be replaced with those compatible with LiPo and I have never seen such a charger or the batteries here yet. Maybe some day.

I have tried the gimmicks to regarding sulphation including EDTA on lead acid batteries which did not work. Some chargers here have a cycle to equalize the batteries from time to time, but that is about it for the ones I would buy. Some just charge and discharge the batteries, they die and you get new ones.
 

ese tipo

Newbie
Apr 12, 2019
79
33
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I would consider them if we had good access to inverter chargers, and people that can repair them, that work with their charging profile and people reported back with good results.

As a retired electronic design engineer, I am a late adaptor of new technology, and for a reason. Others tried to buy LiPo batteries from Ali Express and had some bad experiences. But let me know if you have success with them and explain how. The inverter/charges I have (2 of them) would need to be replaced with those compatible with LiPo and I have never seen such a charger or the batteries here yet. Maybe some day.

I have tried the gimmicks to regarding sulphation including EDTA on lead acid batteries which did not work. Some chargers here have a cycle to equalize the batteries from time to time, but that is about it for the ones I would buy. Some just charge and discharge the batteries, they die and you get new ones.
I'll certainly yield to you experience and especially to your geography (as I don't live on the island but have relatives there) inverter chargers with lifepo4 parameters are available and becoming mores every day.I had seen a few videos on YouTube for Megatone inversores and I see that they're one of the preferred brands there, and they indeed cover lithium batteries in their discussions so I'm pretty sure other brands are either setup for them or on the verge.

The Lead acid - inversor combos that are on the island are indeed battle ready and have been quite the beasts of burden and it's hard to beat their sturdy construction .Which brings me to the topic of the newer all in one inverters on the market.These new "boy band "inverters and their high frequency designs are seemingly taking over.They have much of what is needed over there.Since there's high frequency inversion you don't have the weight you do with the older design ( no transformer which is where most of the weight on the older ones come from ).These all in ones are also pulling their weight with convenience being key IE 1) pure sine wave 2) inverter/charger 3) have solarMPPT chargers which you would not need to buy a separate charge controller 4) and most importantly have most battery types pre programmed in their profiles.On the lower end price wise you have brands like MPP solar,Growatt solar, higher end models like Phocos,Schneider,Fronius etc.and the Cadillac (price wise )Sol ark.

I had seen it written that the worst of the worst grids is to be found on the island,You have my sympathies, so I'm not sure how well these so Called"hybrid" inverters would fair.But as a comparison they are widely used in many Asian countries and those grids are not far behind RD"S
 

2020

Active member
Apr 10, 2012
342
65
28
Las Terrenas
We just replaced our 4 inverter batteries last week. They lasted 6 years.

Installed the Trojan brand (not Trace) 6 volt 225amp. LT ferretería (The Home Acosta Polanco Eirl). The cost was a hefty 9,890 pesos per battery. Plus, I had to buy new cables.

Life in the tropics :>(
 

fuchs4d

Active member
Mar 7, 2004
266
118
43
curious as to why Lifepo4 isn't in your search?
Simply because they are way too expensive. It costs multiple times more to store the same amount of energy compared to lead acid.
Next time in the DR I will buy sealed AGM (gel batteries of type for inverters, solar, forklifts).
They are more expensive than regular not-sealed batteries, but have 2 important advantages that makes them 1st choice:
  • indoor installation: reduced risc of theft
  • maintenane free: instructing locals to check and properly refill with destillated water never works

Alexander
 

chico bill

Silver
May 6, 2016
9,520
3,464
113
No idea. I bought them because they were cheap and my inverter barely gets used. Other brands are going through the roof.
Everything is through the roof. We need a major economic correction or we all might be stealing batteries to make ends meet.
Where do live?
 

zeferus

New member
Feb 22, 2022
4
1
3
Canada
Has anyone used lithium ion battery bank here in DR ? Or lithium phosphate? With the way the draining of batteries goes nickel iron would be best but getting those shipped here has to cost an arm and a leg.
 

JD Jones

Moderator - Covid 19 in DR & North Coast
Jan 7, 2016
6,219
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Has anyone used lithium ion battery bank here in DR ? Or lithium phosphate? With the way the draining of batteries goes nickel iron would be best but getting those shipped here has to cost an arm and a leg.
Either buying in the US and shipping or buying here they're too expensive for me to justify.

The last time I asked I think they were around 60K a pop.