Solar panels to generate electricity

windeguy

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We ended up replacing our Trojan batteries with US Batteries, industrial size. One batter equals 2 of the trojans. Bought 18, the equivalent of 36 regular ones. So far we are very pleased with energy enough to function 24 hours. We have 3 refrigerators and a freezer, in addition to all the fans, lights, and electronics needed for a largish house and casita. The pool pump is also solar, but we have a backup electric pool pump, too, which we have been using because our water turned green when we had all those rains a few weeks ago. The only thing connected to street power is the bedroom air conditioners.

Time will tell if this is a good buy. I understand that several large businesses and factories in Santiago and Moca are using these batteries. Have seen photos.

But so far, so good.
Can you provide a model number and price on those batteries and also where they were purchased.

When I spoke to US Battery, they told me their Trojan equivalent models was not as good a choice for the DR because they were what is called electrolyte starved batteries and have a limited lifetime in warm environments, but your batteries are a different style. They sound like a 12 volt deep cycle, but it would be interesting to see the details.
 
Aug 21, 2007
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Can you provide a model number and price on those batteries and also where they were purchased.

When I spoke to US Battery, they told me their Trojan equivalent models was not as good a choice for the DR because they were what is called electrolyte starved batteries and have a limited lifetime in warm environments, but your batteries are a different style. They sound like a 12 volt deep cycle, but it would be interesting to see the details.
Sorry. When I went out to take the photo, I saw we bought 16, not 18. Anyway, here are the photos, Windy.

537A79F0-9829-49B7-87A4-5E2A77E94E55.jpeg
55862E63-1B28-46E9-A912-BDB4D671B886.jpeg
 
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Aug 21, 2007
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They are 8 volt. I have no idea about what electrolyte starved means. All I know is that we investigated with our solar guy all different types of batteries and options and decided to use what is being used in commercial businesses and factories here.

Seems to me we paid about the same, maybe just a little more than if we had purchased Trojan. I believe the cost was around $5,000USD for the batteries, not including cables.
 

reilleyp

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Dec 12, 2006
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They are 8 volt. I have no idea about what electrolyte starved means. All I know is that we investigated with our solar guy all different types of batteries and options and decided to use what is being used in commercial businesses and factories here.

Seems to me we paid about the same, maybe just a little more than if we had purchased Trojan. I believe the cost was around $5,000USD for the batteries, not including cables.
Thanks for sharing. How many Ah is each battery? I tried to read the label but it is too blurry.
 

XTraveller

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Thanks for sharing. How many Ah is each battery? I tried to read the label but it is too blurry.
Strange 8 volts, we clearly see 3 cells per battery. Basic lead acid principle is 2.17 volts per cell for a float voltage of 6.51 voltage nominal 6 voltage. Maybe different/new but first time I see this for lead acid batteries?

Show us the label maybe can figure this out. Also total 16 batteries looks like 2 strings of 8 batteries each. Would be 8X6= 48 volt system. No bad intention on my part but I think whoever told you 8 volts batteries is misleading you or you may have misunderstood.
Thanks, keep us inform.

Error on my part Reilleye this is address to Lindsey
 
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Strange 8 volts, we clearly see 3 cells per battery. Basic lead acid principle is 2.17 volts per cell for a float voltage of 6.51 voltage nominal 6 voltage. Maybe different/new but first time I see this for lead acid batteries?

Show us the label maybe can figure this out. Also total 16 batteries looks like 2 strings of 8 batteries each. Would be 8X6= 48 volt system. No bad intention on my part but I think whoever told you 8 volts batteries is misleading you or you may have misunderstood.
Thanks, keep us inform.

Error on my part Reilleye this is address to Lindsey
I misread what the label on the battery said. You are right. 6 Volt. These batteries are twice the size of the Trojan batteries we previously had. And I was told that each one is equal to 2 regular batteries for such a system. I am not an electrician nor solar expert. I depend on the information I gather from others. We investigated various types of batteries available here and to import and decided on these. Time will tell if it was a good choice or not.

Let me try again to post a photo of the label. See if this helps. Also am inserting one of many photos I have of them being used in industrial settings here in the DR.




. IMG_9648.jpeg

PHOTO-2021-07-21-16-36-56.jpg
 

windeguy

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Sorry. When I went out to take the photo, I saw we bought 16, not 18. Anyway, here are the photos, Windy.

View attachment 4739View attachment 4740

US L16E battery is indeed taller, heavier and has more capacity than the Trojan T-105 by virtue of its size and amount of lead it contains:
Here is the Trojan T105 spec


Your batteries appear to be US L16E batteries which are 6V 360AH batteries while Trojan T105's are 6V 225 AH batteries using the 20 hour rate for both batteries. No way to know without asking if these batteries are also "electrolyte staved" as the sales engineer described the other 6 volt batteries US Battery has that are the same capacity as the Trojan T105. Now to the math before coffee and after a night of mostly no power from Edenorte here in Cabarete with another lovely day expected of hardly any power while they work on something to make system better somewhere in the DR:

360AH divided by 225AH = 1.6 times the capacity of Trojan T105 for the US L16E's .

Well, as you would know better than almost everyone as an administrator and educator, 1.6 does round up to 2 in the fuzzy math of selling products used here. If you paid almost the same at a T 105 , then that could be a bargain. It is very true that time will tell how long they last.

You have 4 banks of 4 batteries per bank. A 24 volt system with a 1440 AH rating at 20 Hours . With my 8 Trojan T105's I have a 24 volt system with 450 AH.

NOTE: Hard for me to tell from the picture of the array of 16 as they are installed, but I hope they connections to the hopefully VERY FAT cables going to your inverter/chargers has the two main cables from diagonally opposite ends of that array of batteries. If not, battery life could be significantly reduced.

Was the price really about the same as a Trojan T105 per battery, or about the same as 2 Trojan T105's, knowing how people do math here?
 

windeguy

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Lindsey:

Was the price really about the same as a Trojan T105 per battery, or about the same as 2 Trojan T105's, knowing how people do math here?

In the US, the USL16E battery is almost $300 each


While at the same store a T105 is $189 each but they can be had for $139 at other US based stores.


My guess is he said, I should say meant, they were about the same price as twice as many Trojan T105 batteries here in the DR. I paid 8,000 RD each for my T105s in May of 2020. About $143 US each at the time here in the DR.
 

reilleyp

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US L16E battery is indeed taller, heavier and has more capacity than the Trojan T-105 by virtue of its size and amount of lead it contains:
Here is the Trojan T105 spec


Your batteries appear to be US L16E batteries which are 6V 360AH batteries while Trojan T105's are 6V 225 AH batteries using the 20 hour rate for both batteries. No way to know without asking if these batteries are also "electrolyte staved" as the sales engineer described the other 6 volt batteries US Battery has that are the same capacity as the Trojan T105. Now to the math before coffee and after a night of mostly no power from Edenorte here in Cabarete with another lovely day expected of hardly any power while they work on something to make system better somewhere in the DR:

360AH divided by 225AH = 1.6 times the capacity of Trojan T105 for the US L16E's .

Well, as you would know better than almost everyone as an administrator and educator, 1.6 does round up to 2 in the fuzzy math of selling products used here. If you paid almost the same at a T 105 , then that could be a bargain. It is very true that time will tell how long they last.

You have 4 banks of 4 batteries per bank. A 24 volt system with a 1440 AH rating at 20 Hours . With my 8 Trojan T105's I have a 24 volt system with 450 AH.

NOTE: Hard for me to tell from the picture of the array of 16 as they are installed, but I hope they connections to the hopefully VERY FAT cables going to your inverter/chargers has the two main cables from diagonally opposite ends of that array of batteries. If not, battery life could be significantly reduced.

Was the price really about the same as a Trojan T105 per battery, or about the same as 2 Trojan T105's, knowing how people do math here?
It is hard for me to see, but are you sure that isn't a 48V wiring set up? 6 X 16 X 369 is 34,560Kwh. Since you should only drain it down to 50%, that should give you about 17,280 Kwh. Is that about right?
 
Aug 21, 2007
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We paid about 5,000 USD for 16 batteries. We were able to purchase them at our technician’s cost. We paid by credit card or they would have been even less expensive.
 

DR Solar

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Some have been on a 20 year rant to discredit others regarding energy.
Being done past the point of facts and easy to find them but use face value and twisting it.

WINDY...GET GRIP!
Batteries from different manufacturers hVe different set points for
 

windeguy

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Jul 10, 2004
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Some have been on a 20 year rant to discredit others regarding energy.
Being done past the point of facts and easy to find them but use face value and twisting it.

WINDY...GET GRIP!
Batteries from different manufacturers hVe different set points for
What DR Solar? Is it possible for you to communicate coherently?
I am very familiar with battery technology after being here in the DR for 18 years and communicating with a variety of manufacturers including Trojan, Crown, and US Battery. What "grip" do I need?

As for the batteries Lindsay purchased, they are about double the price at $312 US each of what I paid for Trojan T105s a year ago and and those US Batteries have 1.6 times the storage capacity of the Trojans. That makes them more expensive than the Trojan batteries per kWh, BUT a doubling the number of batteries using lower capacity batteries means chances one will fail and cause problems are increased. So trade offs are in play. Some would consider going with ROLLS 2 volt batteries. Much larger and very expensive and probably not readily available in the DR but fewer batteries to reach high capacity with fewer interconnections to cause problems.

It is hard for me to see, but are you sure that isn't a 48V wiring set up? 6 X 16 X 369 is 34,560Kwh. Since you should only drain it down to 50%, that should give you about 17,280 Kwh. Is that about right?
Reillyp, there is no way for me to see the wiring to tell if it is a 24 or 48 volt set up in that picture. You are correct that 50% discharge is a referred to as a "safe" limit for flooded lead acid batteries so they are not damaged quickly. I also calculate 34,560 kWh total capacity, so 50% of that is 17,280 kWh as you stated above
 

reilleyp

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Dec 12, 2006
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Happy 4th all.Wanted to throw my 2cents in on this great discussion.I am big fan of lifepo4 for many reasons... safety being being the utmost.
I follow several you tubers that specialize in batteries and the prevailing opinion seems to be lithium ,lifepo4 in particular always seems to be the
more efficient and cost-effective option.their ability in some cases to discharge down to 20 even 10 % obviously makes them much more useful than Lead Acid but if you mistakenly think that they're set it and forget it you are in for an expensive lesson.Undercharging,overchrging,and inferior charging equipment can be a death sentence for them, but with a little research and homework its is not only do-able.But makes for an awesome backup source.


Looking at those alibaba cells they are "prismatic' cells,an extremely energy dense package in a 3.2 volt cell. Great cells, but you have to exercise caution when buying from china.One of the biggies these you tubers warn about is that many alibaba sellers are offering grade B cells, which can be either used, repurposed or simply never sold and stored in a warehouse for lengthy periods, which in itself doesn't have to be a dealbreaker as self discharge on many of these cells is very low, but it still can be a caveat emptor situation at that kind of cash. Iin a nutshell some of the things to look out for are matching QR codes, testing the cells to see if they are within voltage range, and checking for warp or Bends. Many more telltale signs, just too much to list here.

If I may I'd like to suggest anyone who may be interested in lifepo4 batteries Amazon sells 12 volt 100 amphr batteries under the name ampere time, and Chin's. I suggest you go into YouTube and look up Will prowse he is the guru when it comes to solar and batteries and he has done extensive lab work and complete teardown on many of these cells and batteries and he gives you an unbiased review as most of his videos are unsponsored. The aformentioned batteries are just two of the very many cells and or batteries which he and others have tested and have done much of the legwork that you guys may be looking to do. Both of these batteries the biggest con appears to be that they don't really have a temperature sensing function which really comes into play in cold weather charging and discharging. But last I checked you really don't have snowball fights in the DR come winter time.
I want to give an update on my purchases. On June 6, I ordered 16 of the Esare 420 Ah 3.2V LiFePo4 batteries from Aliexpress.com. Since you can discharge these down to zero, it should give you about 20,000 Ah. Actually a little less since you should not discharge them down to zero. They have several guarantees. They were guaranteed to arrive in 75 days or full refund. They also a supposed to show up without damage.
They arrived in 100 days, and because they were not packaged correctly and had pressure on the bolts sticking out, they were damaged and leaking acid. There were four boxes, one was damaged. I asked for a refund and they said they would not give a refund without a video of the unboxing. Very important; video all of your unboxings because they are requiring this.
After I provided the video, they said they would give me a refund if I shipped the batteries back to China. This would cost me $250 to send back $600 dollars of batteries. I told them that I needed four to replace the damaged box. I offered to buy 16 more if they would replace the four damaged ones, for a total of 20 more batteries. They delayed, delayed, delay, and never answered me. I think I had two or three weeks to provide proof of return. Once it passed the return window, they finally answered me and said "sorry"
So that was it. I missed the return window. When you dispute something on AliExpress, you can only dispute the item once. I should have initially disputed how long it took for the item to arrive. Now I am out of luck.
Here comes the bad part. After looking at reviews from others who purchased the batteries this summer, I discovered that they do not have anywhere near the Ah that they advertised. They should have been 420, but after watch the videos and testing my own batteries I discovered they only have about 240 Ah each. To make matters worse, some suspect that these are repackaged used batteries. They claim to have a life of 4000-6000 cycles but if they are used, they will never last that long.
Some on youtube recommend buying from Amazon and getting the Eve brand 280 or 300 Ah batteries. They test better, look better and do not have to posts sticking out of the top which can be damaged if stacked too high or dropped.
Here are the reviews of the duds. I will let you do your own research on the 280's so nobody is mad at me if they do not work out. LOL
 
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OldSkool

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I want to give an update on my purchases.
Thanks. Being in the market for an additional inverter and batteries your news sucks but at least we're forewarned.

I'll probably just go with what a couple of contacts are suggesting. Local/Dominican made inverter and something like good ole trojans for batteries.

Sometimes it's just sooooo much simpler and easier to go with the flow. Go local.
 

windeguy

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Jul 10, 2004
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Thanks. Being in the market for an additional inverter and batteries your news sucks but at least we're forewarned.

I'll probably just go with what a couple of contacts are suggesting. Local/Dominican made inverter and something like good ole trojans for batteries.

Sometimes it's just sooooo much simpler and easier to go with the flow. Go local.
I have been using Trojan T105 batteries


and locally sold (I expect they are made in China since I really doubt any are made in the DR) inverters from Megatone for years.

 

OldSkool

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Aug 31, 2021
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My motto?

Always buy what a local can fix
Agreed and I also add always buy what the locals are successfully using.

I find I have to clarify on this topic since often it's more about what they could actually get their hands on and afford. Sometimes I get what they wish they cold have afforded or what richer relatives use. I try to buy locally for almost everything where it makes sense.