I found some very good discussions on inverter batteries in the old forum. The posts are all several years old and I'm guessing things have changed some. We need to replace our batteries in the Spring and would appreciate any advice. We currently have 6 - 6V lead acid batteries. Should I replace with same? Someone mentioned golf cart batteries, what about those?
I think the "golf cart" batteries are just like what you have - 6V lead acid, but I may be wrong. When we purchased our first HB I replaced the house batteries. I researched and got lots of different opions on what are the 'best" batteries to get. After much reading, we settled on good old inexpensive "golf cart" batteries from Costco (same can be found at Sam's Club or maybe even Walmart). $60 each. They have had heavy use for 6 years and still going strong.
You probably found my old post about my batteries then. My inverter can be set up to accommodate several different types of batteries from lead acid to AGMs. I settled upon AGM deep cycle batteries which ran me $125 each installed with custom 4 gauge wiring. I bought a total of 8. Our boat will go all day on the batteries as long as I leave the stupid rope lights off - those things lika-da-juice!
If you're in the middle TN area, the guy I bought them from is in Murfreesboro and will likely sell them at whole sale price. PM me if you're interested.
I have twelve 6v golf cart batteries for my inverter. A lot of people like AGM. I just don't see the cost difference being worth it. Go to Sams or Costco, treat them nice (check water levels, do not discharge them too deep), and they will last 4-8 years.
You need to do some research on batteries. First, batteries are divided by type, starting and deep cycle. Starting batteries are used for starting engines and powering some equipment, Deep cycle batteries are "house batteries". They are used to power most of the DC appliances, and run some AC appliances through an inverter. The 6 V batteries mentiond are deep cycle, sometimes called golf cart batteries because they are commonly used on golf carts. You will find there are people who swear that 6V batteries are the best way to go, and others who say 12V deep cycle batteries are the best. Actually neither is right ( hear the yelling in the background?)
They awful truth is there is no best. You need to buy batteries that suit your needs. Plus that there is no "best brand" . Almost all batteries sold in the USA are made by a handful of companies. The two biggest are Johnson Controls, and a company in China called Guangzhgou (SIC)t. Almost all of the batteries sold here are made by those two and third party labeled and sold as everything from CostCO and Walmart, to Sears Diehard. The only real difference is the price. There are some made here and sold under the makers name. For instance Interstate and East Penn
For more info see:
Batteries, Everything You Need to Know. http://newboatbuilders.com/docs/BatteriesEverything.pdf
Car and Deep Cycle Battery FAQ http://www.batteryfaq.org/
Advantages to 6V: smaller, readily available. Last about 6 years if properly maintained
disadvantages: you have to buy twice as many batteries, Weight
Advantages 12V; Readily available, you don't need as many batteries, also lasts about 6 years if properly maintained
Disadvantages: bigger than 6V, cost, weight
What you need to watch out for is "marine Batteries" which are typically sold at Walmart, K-mart, West Marine, and many other places. These are often sold as Deep Cycle but are not true deep cycle. 6V batteries are true deep cycle batteries. True deep cycle 12V batteries cost more than the "Marine Batteries". Marine batteries are actually combo deep cycle/starting batteries that have both thin plates for starting and thick plates for deep cycle. True deep cycle batteries have very thick plates.
I run 4 ALPHA CELL premium gel 165 GXL- 12 volt. They are used by phone companies for standby use. They are a little pricey but, have an 8+ year life. Some phone companies change them out every year and we have a source to obtain them.
I run 10 Sams Club 6volts. They were the best bang for the buck and Amp hours.
Just make sure your charger will accommodate the types of batteries that you choose.
There ARE better batteries out there than golf batteries, but they are hard to come by and EXPENSIVE. I agree with JTAlberts, golf batteries give you the best bang for the buck.
8 - Costco 6 volt golf cart batteries. I have built my system piece by piece, currently have 550 watts of solar but will upgrade this winter to 750 watts feeding a 60amp output morningstar charge controller. Batteries feed a 2,000 watt Xantrex inverter. I two wish I would have gone 48 volt, and I may yet. I plan on upgrading to a 3,000 watt inverter in the near future.