Deep Cycle Battery Types Comparisons (2024)

What to Compare?

There is more to comparing batteries than just cost or amp-hour ratings. For example, based only on cost, the Concorde AGM's do not look so good. On the other hand, you probably would not want to store a flooded battery in your computer room. There is no one best battery for all applications. If the batteries are in a remote communications site, low maintenance might be the most important feature. For the off-grid full-time home, capacity, life, and long-term cost would probably be the most important.

We stock batteries from these companies (among others). We do not stock all sizes from all companies.

Universal - Sealed AGM
Concorde - Sealed AGM - Sun Xtender
Crown - Flooded, industrial (forklift type) and standard deep cycle. Surrette Canada (Rolls) - All solar batteries.
Trojan deep cycle solar batteries (RE series)

Follow this link to see our entire selection of deep cycle batteries.

The "Best" battery for a particular system is not always the most expensive, but it is seldom the cheapest either. There are many things to consider:

System Storage Requirements:

How much storage, in amp-hours, do you need? This will vary with the application and what part of the country you are in. As a rough rule for home solar systems, the total battery capacity (in amp-hours) should be three to five times your daily usage. 3 days is usually sufficient in most of the Sunbelt states, 4 in most of the Midwest, in the East and Northwest, 4 to 5 days is better. If you are in a good wind area and have a wind generator, you can probably cut this down a day, but wind turbine output can be highly variable in many areas.

For backup power systems (UPS), the total capacity should be enough to cover about twice the longest anticipated outage. To figure how many amp-hours ofstorage you need, take your average daily usage in watts and divide by the battery voltage. For example, if you use 5 kWh (kilowatt-hours) per day, and have a 48-volt system, then dividing 5000 by 48 gives you 105 AH. Since you do not want to discharge the battery more than 50% in most cases, you would need 210 AH. If you want to keep running for 4 days of bad weather with no sun, multiply that times 4, which gives you about 850 AH total capacity. UPS and backup power systems are the same, except that the times are often in hours instead of days.

How many Watt-Hours in a battery?: Watts are pretty simple - it is just battery voltage times amp-hours. A 12 volt 105 AH battery can supply (under perfect conditions and to 100% discharge) 12 x 105, or 1260 Watt-hours (1.26 kWh).

Upfront (initial) Costs:

This is what most people look at. Batteries are the component that is most often skimped on but can make or break a system. There is a lot of hype about batteries, especially those being sold outside the solar industry - that "deep cycle" marine battery on sale for $39 might seem like a good deal - until you find out that it will probably only last about 2 years. In general battery types run (from cheapest to most expensive): generic golf car (such as those sold at various discount stores), "regular" deep cycle, such as the Trojan's, heavy duty or premium deep cycle, such as the Rolls-Surrette, and then the sealed AGM by Concorde & Deka, and the industrial batteries, such as the Crown forklift batteries.

Price is a fair indicator of the overall expected life when used in a particular application, with the exception of the Concorde AGM's, which are a special purpose sealed battery. The weight of the battery is also something to look at - if one battery rated at 220 amp-hours weighs 60 pounds, and another weighs 68 pounds, that is a pretty good indication that something was skimped on in the lighter battery.

A note here on "free" batteries - they are usually worth about what you pay for them. There are exceptions, such as occasionally stumbling over a pile of 4-year old telephone batteries, but they are few and far between. In fact, we usually do not recommend ANY used batteries - regardless of the price. While they may be "new", as in never used, that does not mean they are any good. If they have been sitting around for months or years at less than full charge, you may be getting nothing but scrap Lead.

Lifetime Costs:

This is what really determines the long-term cost, but sometimes the up-front costs can be higher than what was expected. There is more to the lifetime cost of a battery system than just the battery costs up front - you have the interconnects, shipping costs, maybe Hydrocaps or Water Miser caps, maintenance, and eventually disposal. Maintenance may not cost money, but it can certainly cost time - if you have an underachieving set of batteries that you have to keep watering constantly, that can get old real fast. As a general rule, the more expensive the battery, the longer it will last. Generic golf car batteries can be expected to last 3 to 5 years, Trojan and similar types around 4 to 6 years, Surrette (depending on type) 8 to 20 years, and industrial 15 to 25 years. AGM's will generally go for 5 to 8 years. There are pro's and con's to both sides - if you are only going to use the system for 5 years, there is not much point to buying 20-year batteries.

Size and Weight:

The best and/or cheapest battery in the world is not much good if it so heavy that you cannot move it. While the industrial batteries, such as the Crown are the heaviest duty batteries, they are also the heaviest - some can weigh as much as 2,000 pounds for a 12-volt pack. On the other hand, you don't want to end up with 50 or 60 small batteries that are a nightmare to wire up and keep maintained. A good rule is to try and keep the total number of batteries between no more than 8 to 12. If you need more capacity, get bigger batteries, not more small ones. If you use Hydrocaps, they cost around $9 each - whether you need 48 for a pile of small batteries, or 12 for a few larger batteries.

Flooded or Sealed:

Sealed batteries, such as the Concorde, make sense in some applications - but not all. Sealed (AGM) batteries are generally about 2 times as expensive as flooded, and the cycle lifetime is usually similar or a little longer. Nearly all sealed batteries are AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) or gelled - we are not big fans of gelled.

Sealed AGM-type batteriesare usually the best choice in these situations: In areas with no or poor ventilation:

In areas or applications where maintenance is a problem or is poorly done

Any place that a flooded battery might spill or break and cause damage

Where the batteries are in a spot where it is difficult or time-consuming to check water levels

In situations where the batteries must be mounted on their sides to fit

Flooded batteries are probably your best choice if none of the above apply:

Flooded batteries are fine for most applications. They are nearly always cheaper, and there is better availability of types and sizes. They are the best choice where:

You have adequate ventilation for the batteries.

You do not have to worry about tipping, spillage, or breakage.

The batteries are in an area where maintenance can be performed without too much hassle.

You need a very large battery bank - AGM batteries have a pretty sparse range of choices for large capacity sizes, such as over 250 amp-hours.

Disposal Costs:

This is usually only an issue where some of the "exotic" batteries, such as NiCad, are concerned. But it may also be a concern where large heavy batteries are used that will need a crane or forklift to move.

Deep Cycle Battery Types Comparisons (2024)


Deep Cycle Battery Types Comparisons? ›

A lead acid battery can give 200 cycles (based on 100% DOD, to 80% capacity) whereas a deep cycle lithium battery can achieve over 10 times the amount at 2000 + cycles.

How do you compare deep cycle batteries? ›

Deep cycle batteries have thicker lead plates compared to traditional lead-acid batteries, allowing the battery to provide longer sustained amounts of electricity but less power compared to traditional batteries.

What is the best deep cycle battery? ›

Our pick for the overall best deep cycle RV battery is the Weize 12V 100AH Deep Cycle AGM SLA VRLA Battery thanks to its high capacity and long service life. When you use the Weize to power your RV's appliances, it won't ever let you down.

Are AGM deep cycle batteries better? ›

AGM batteries have a lower self-discharge rate than flooded batteries. They can retain their charge for longer periods when not in use, which can be advantageous for applications with infrequent or seasonal use. Additionally, the glass mat separator makes them highly resistant to vibrations and shocks.

What is the difference between a group 24 and group 27 deep cycle battery? ›

Key Differences: 1. Size and Dimensions: Group 24 batteries typically measure 10.5 inches in length, 6.1875 inches in width, and 8.875 inches in height. In contrast, Group 27 batteries are slightly larger, with dimensions of 12.5 inches in length, 6.75 inches in width, and 9.37 inches in height.

What is the main disadvantage of an AGM battery? ›

The main disadvantage of an AGM battery is the up-front cost, when compared to a traditional flooded lead-acid battery. That's it.

What is the difference between a marine battery and a marine deep cycle battery? ›

Starting batteries, designed for quick bursts of high current, typically last around 3 to 5 years. Deep cycle batteries, engineered for sustained power delivery, can endure between 2 to 4 years when well-maintained. Lithium marine batteries, on the other hand, can last 10 to 15 years!

What are the common problems with AGM batteries? ›

Common problems of AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) batteries are:
  • Battery not holding charge.
  • Battery cannot be fully charged.
  • The battery cannot maintain its charge.
Jun 6, 2023

Should I get AGM or lithium? ›

If your upfront budget is lower, an AGM battery may be a better option as they are cheaper to buy. However, because a lithium battery offers a longer lifespan, it will usually be more economical in the long run.

Is it worth switching to AGM battery? ›

AGM, or absorbed glass mat, batteries will not only perform better and last longer than flooded batteries, but their sealed design will help minimize the chance of battery acid causing damage to your vehicle.

What does MCA mean on a battery? ›

The Marine Cranking Amps (MCA) shows how well the battery performs in colder temperatures. MCA states how many amps the 12 volt battery delivers at 32°F for 30 seconds.

How long will a group 27 deep cycle battery last? ›

How long do deep cycle batteries last? The average lifespan of a deep cycle battery is about 3-6 years.

Can I replace a group 27 battery with a group 24? ›

Group 27 battery is a lot bigger than group 24 cells. But it provides more power. If size is not an issue, they can be interchangeable.

What do the numbers mean on a deep cycle battery? ›

All deep cycle batteries are rated in amp-hours. An amp-hour is one amp for one hour, or 10 amps for 1/10 of an hour and so forth. It is amps x hours. If you have something that pulls 20 amps, and you use it for 20 minutes, then the amp-hours used would be 20 (amps) x . 333 (hours), or 6.67 AH.

What is the difference between RC and Ah in deep cycle batteries? ›

Reserve capacity differs from amp-hours (Ah) in that reserve capacity is simply a measure of time, whereas amp-hours measure the amount of amps, or current, that can be produced in one hour. You can calculate reserve capacity from amp-hours, and vice versa, as they are related, but they are not the same thing.

Is it better to have 2 100Ah lithium batteries or 1 200Ah lithium battery? ›

If you have high power demands or need to run multiple devices simultaneously, two 100Ah batteries may provide more power and flexibility. On the other hand, if your power needs are moderate and you prioritize simplicity and space-saving, a single 200Ah battery may be a better fit.

Which is better AGM or lead-acid battery? ›

Because an AGM has a lower internal resistance, it has a faster recovery charging time. This is up to 5 times quicker than a Lead Acid while maintaining the same amount of discharge and using the same charger. The amount of Depth of Discharge is also greater for an AGM.

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