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Solar Power Batteries From Walmart And Costco

by Chris - February 2nd, 2011.
Filed under: Equipment. Tagged as: , , , , , , .


As it becomes more common for people to take advantage of solar power by installing solar panels and learning how to build solar panels, they need some way to utilize this free energy. This is either done with a grid-tied inverter and/or a battery bank. However, not all solar power batteries are created equal. While many people reach for the conventional car battery, this is not the best battery to use.

Only deep-cycle batteries are appropriate for solar power applications. Even though they look like the typical starting car battery, they are internally constructed differently to better survive the rigors of solar power home applications. This article contains car battery reviews of Walmart batteries and Costco car batteries that are appropriate for solar power house applications.


Walmart Batteries

As the largest retail store in America, many people search for walmart car batteries because it’s the most convenient approach to getting batteries for their project. Unfortunately, they do not sell car batteries at walmart’s website. However, they do sell Everstart batteries at their physical stores. I took a trip down to my local store yesterday to check out battery prices at Walmart as well as the specs of Everstart car batteries at Walmart:

Part Number for Everstart Batteries Amp-Hour (AH) Rating Price (as of 2/2/2011 in Washington)
Everstart 24DC-6 75 $58
Everstart 24DP-4 105 $65
Everstart 27DC-6 115 $70
Everstart MAXX-29 125 $85


Unfortunately, it did not appear that they sold Walmart golf cart batteries. These are ‘industrial’ batteries made with super thick plates for long life and deep discharge service. They have been dubbed golf-cart batteries because they get the majority of their use in golf-carts.


Costco Car Battery

Probably the second most convenient location for Americas to obtain solar power batteries would be Costco. Not only do they sell batteries, they have great deals, and they carry marine deep-cycle and golf cart batteries, which make the best solar power batteries. Rumor has it that Costco’s Kirkland Signature branded batteries are actually manufactured by Energizer.

I likewise took a trip down to my local Costco and was able to obtain a Costco car battery spec sheet. I also jotted down the prices of the Costco car battery prices for marine and gold cart batteries.

BCI Group Size Costco Item Number Cold Cranking Amps Reserve Capacity Length Width Height Price
Kirkland Signature Automotive Batteries
35 12865 640 100 9.6875 6.8750 8.8125 -
65 12866 850 150 12 7.4375 7.6250 -
75 12869 700 95 9.6875 7.25 7.6250 -
25 12870 640 100 9.6875 6.8750 8.8125 -
78 12872 800 110 10.9375 7.25 7.25 -
58 12873 610 90 10.0 7.1875 7.0 -
34 12877 795 105 10.9375 6.875 7.8125 -
48 989227 700 120 11.375 6.875 6.8125 -
51R 12881 500 85 9.3125 5 8.6875 -
47 12850 590 85 9.625 6.875 6.8125 -
36R 989215 650 130 10.25 7.1875 8.125 -
40R 201870 590 105 11.375 6.8125 6.8125 -
51 201864 500 85 9.3125 5.0 8.6875 -
Kirkland Signature Automotive Batteries
24DC 12851 550 140 11.0625 6.75 9.125 $61.99
27DC 12852 600 160 12.875 6.75 9.125 $68.99
OPTIMA Automotive Batteries
75/35 12853 720 90 9.3125 6.8125 7.625 -
34/78 989237 750 120 10 6.875 7.8125 -
51R 256735 450 66 9.3125 5.0625 8.9375 -
OPTIMA Marine Batteries
D34M 12854 750 120 10 6.875 7.8125 $154.99
Kirkland Signature Lawn & Garden Batteries
U1 207270 230 30 8.25 5.1875 7.1875 -
Kirkland Signature Golf Cart Batteries
GC2 245725 100 Min - 10.375 7.1875 11.34375 $78.99
GC8 25726 110 Min - 10.375 7.1875 11.34375 $78.99

I hope these short car battery reviews and my little bit of leg work helps you in your selection of solar power batteries. This article has not touched on how to properly size a battery or bank of solar power batteries for the home. That will be covered in a future article, but for those who can’t wait, be sure to read inverter manufacturer web sites. They often have guides to help you determine how many batteries you’ll need for your applications.






4 Responses to Solar Power Batteries From Walmart And Costco

  1. Is Costco’s Kirkland Signature’s Marine Deep Cycle Battery #12851 “maintenance free?” It does not indicate on the battery.

  2. I’m not sure. Most modern, deep-cycle batteries are gel-cell and thus ‘maintenance free’. Post back here if you find the answer!

  3. Here in the UK the best deep cycle battery for a sensible price I can find is the new Explorer range which is either 3 or 4 years guaranteed with a 70% cycle discharge and a guaranteed huge 500 cycle lifespan and sealed maintenance free, unlike most which are 50% discharge and around 150 to 200 cycles lifespan they come in a few AH sizes but I opted for the largest which is 140AH for a very reasonable £114.99 with free delivery, yes there is cheaper but not with anywhere the specs that this true deep cycle caries and a good warranty. Would love to be able to afford a bank of these at home but will have to stick with the small scale system on my 20ft yacht for now.
    You can check them out on the www dot alpha-batteries dot co dot uk site a very interesting read.
    Phil

  4. If a Deep Cycle Battery has a CCA rating (Cold Cranking Amps) it’s not a true Deep Cycle battery. Not suggested for use in a solar power system. The plates in these aren’t as thick as a true Deep Cycle battery, they are closer to a standard battery size than the D.C. type

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