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Old 15-09-2009, 07:57   #16
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Just a postscript. Lifeline batteries are made in the USA and are considered the equivalent of the original German AGM's. You pays a little more and it pays you right back. There are other high quality AGM's, but these are the ones that I know and have researched
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Old 16-09-2009, 04:04   #17
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came across these batteries which look interesting and, by uk standards, are competitively priced

Elecsol Batteries - Elecsol Batteries

has anyone any experience with them
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Old 21-09-2009, 23:01   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
Deep cycle is useless as starter battery. I'm afraid Jim St.Pierre mistakenly swapped the technologies.

For house service, "marine deep cycle" is the best, followed by "traction" which includes golf cart, fork lift batteries etc.

For starter service, the Odyssey AGM PC2150 will win because it's specially designed for the task, just like a flooded starter battery.

I would hesitate to buy Chinese batteries at this time. I would look at the new AGM's from Rolls or, if you have survived the shock of their pricing, the batteries from Mastervolt / Victron etc.

cheers,
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Nick usually I agree with you on most things, but on this one... nah.
No reason a deep cycle battery cannot start a diesel engine. I did it all the time with interstate golf cart batteries, 6 volts in series/parallel.
Also concerning the deep cycle vs traction battery, from what I know, the traction battery wins hands down. These types of batteries are heavy though. Golf cart batteries are not traction batteries. Forklift and electric diesel locomotive batteries come to mind.

I do agree that chinese batteries are not the ones I would buy. It is a mistake to think that all is made in china. Many are not.

I went with Sears diehard batteries this time.
DieHard Marine Battery, Platinum PM-1 - Group Size 31M (with exchange)
These are the same as Odyssey batteries. They are TPPL batteries for 1/2 the cost. 100 amp hours for 250 bucks each. They will take a fast hard charge, can be used as deep cycle for low power draw, or a fast draw like a inverter, windlass, or starting need. I don't know how long these puppies will last, but in 4-6 years there will be some nice battery technology and better pricing I hope.
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Old 22-09-2009, 04:35   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strygaldwir View Post
Hmm.... I use my deep cycle batteries regularly for starting my engines...
... Having said all that, I'd not install deep cycle batteries as a starting battery...
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Originally Posted by bobfnbw View Post
Nick usually I agree with you on most things, but on this one... nah.
No reason a deep cycle battery cannot start a diesel engine. I did it all the time with interstate golf cart batteries, 6 volts in series/parallel...
I expect most of us who happily start our diesel engines with deep cycle batteries are running 15 to 30 HP engines, whereas Nick will be running something slightly larger (140HP?).
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Old 22-09-2009, 12:27   #20
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Gord, good point.
Still a suficently large bank of deep cell batteries should be able to start a diesel that is in good shape. Mine started in the first 3 seconds or so.
Now if a lot of cranking is needed... then yeah maybe not so good.
A dedicated start battery is always a good idea anyway.
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Old 22-09-2009, 17:08   #21
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Guys,

It isn't a problem to start an engine with deep cycle or traction batteries when the bank is big enough. You need 20% higher Ah rating when doing that as compared to a real starter battery. So, 240Ah instead of 200Ah for example.

The problem (which might be history with all the improvements they have now) is that a traction or deep cycle battery has few thick plates, whereas a starter battery has many thin plates (much more plate surface area). The thick plates can bend if drawing lots of current from it, so much that they can create an internal short. This is all old-tech lead-acid and I don't think this can happen with AGM. The more surface area, the more current can be delivered. Starter service is lots of current for a very short time, house service is much less current for very long times. These are different uses of a battery and if you have a separate starter battery, it's better to buy a real starter battery.

My 140 hp starts in a fraction of a second on the Odyssey (100Ah) starter battery (less than 0.5 second) and takes just over a second when I start from the house bank, which is a series/parallel combi of 6 x Trojan L16, just under 1200Ah. So, the 100Ah Odyssey outperforms the 1200Ah traction bank.

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Old 22-09-2009, 18:16   #22
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There seems a bit big a gap between the prices to be comparing like with like.
"The price difference is huge from under $500 for chinese made to closer to $1500 for Deka, Mastervolt etc."
I don't know those brands but compared a couple of chinese gp 27 at around $560US equivalent for two to Lifeline at around $850. Lifeline appear to be very good. Maybe the chinese ones are good or not, I would check out the maker and see what other labels they make and ask around. To get to 1500 though you are talking another class - Rolls? That probably is not a fair comparison. Your real choice is say $560 or 850. How much the saving is important to you versus the uncertainty over brand is up to you. Say the lifelines last 6 years cost is 142 pa that equates to 4 years on the others. Real cost though depends on how you handle them.
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Old 25-09-2009, 19:54   #23
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Jedi's report

Jedi's last paragraph says it all regarding a start battery. The capacity is essentially irrelevant because it only takes about 1/2 Amp-hour or less to start the largest diesel engine given the folowing parameters:

The important parameters for a good start battery is electrolyte specific gravity (directly translates to terminal voltage and previously it has been noted that AGM batteries generally have higher terminal voltage than do flooded-cel batteries); internal cell resistance (extremely important); and surface area in conjunction with temperature and motility of electrolyte carriers.

Agm batteries excell in all of these areas over even flooded-cell start-only-start batteries which is why Jedi's report is testimony to a small high-quality start battery being able to start a diesel faster than a poor quality large bank for starting.
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Old 25-09-2009, 21:29   #24
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I recently had an interesting experience with lifeline group 27 AGMs. I had two lifeline 4Ds for my house bank and a group 27 for each engine. After 7 years the group 27s failed within a week of each other. I'm not complaining about the lifespan mind you, but the battery shop diagnosed them as having died from sulfation, which they attributed to being charged at low amperages and voltages over a long period. I've noted that these batteries discharge only a miniscule amount as my engines start instantly. The charger never gets out of float mode. My house bank on the otherhand (the same age) is discharged regularly to about 50% and gets a nice 3 stage charge. It shows no signs of sulfation. The battery shop suggested that I equalize my starting batteries about twice a year to prevent sulfation.
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Old 26-09-2009, 00:26   #25
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AGM Sulphation ?

My understanding was that AGM batteries don't suffer from sulphation and therefore don't need equalisation...and in fact the equalisation voltages can damage them

True or not ...anyone know for sure ?


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Old 26-09-2009, 04:30   #26
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See the
Concorde “LifeLine” AGM Battery Manual
http://www.lifelinebatteries.com/manual.pdf

See item 5.5 “Conditioning” (‘Equalization’), on page 20.

and Steve D’Antonio's excellent article
The ABCs of AGMs:
How to use and maintain absorbed glass mat batteries
http://www.zimmermanmarine.com/docs/AGM%20article.pdf
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Old 26-09-2009, 06:04   #27
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Thanks Gord..as always...on the button...

Still the equalisation deal with AGMs is not totally clear...some say yes, some say no...and the big problem seems to be the venting of the gasses generated during the equalisation process....AGMs should not vent..most say

So we still don't know !

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Old 26-09-2009, 06:17   #28
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I believe the lifelines have a catalyst that recombines the H2 and O2 internally. Perhaps other brands don't have that feature. The Lifeline web site definitely recommends equalization. I would not do it with any that don't recommend it. Interestingly my primary AC based charger will not go into equalization mode while set for AGMs. My solar controller however is not as "smart" and will do the job for me. All of the voltages on the solar controller have to be set manually according to a chart rather than having presets.
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Old 26-09-2009, 07:13   #29
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Still the equalisation deal with AGMs is not totally clear...some say yes, some say no...
So we still don't know !
Alan
Seems fairly obvious, to me.
Consult the manufacturer of your specific AGM batteries.
Concorde Lifline - yes, equalize
East Penn - no, don't equalize
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Old 26-09-2009, 09:14   #30
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Jedi ships log: steer clear of Concorde Lifeline AGM's because AGM's by design should never be equalized so there's something fishy with them.

cheers,
Nick.
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