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Old 22-11-2010, 19:36   #16
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According to Xantrex you should not equalize AGM batteries. If you do so to any battery and it starts to bulge then you are asking for trouble......

I have a sailboat in San Francisco Bay and just purchased a new 170ah AGM slimline for $280. Via Craigslist, but so far is seems great.

Baz
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Old 22-11-2010, 20:05   #17
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I was able to but lifeline 8d s for $550 each locally shop around
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Old 22-11-2010, 20:10   #18
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G'day, Baz, When I bought by AGMs from Lifeline, I had direct communication with them. They gave me specific guidelines and parameters to equalize them to. I had to manually configure my Link 2000 to accomplish this. Cheers.
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Old 23-11-2010, 07:07   #19
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Another excellent choice in AGM batteries is East Penn Mfg (Deka). Our house bank, 2 G31 Deka SeaMate AGM's model 8A31DT (now called 8A31DTM), just completed its tenth summer of cruising, and is still in fine shape. On these batteries we've traveled some 22,000 NM, and anchored (w/o generator) at least 700 nights. They're sold under various names, including SeaVolt at West Marine, but are available much less expensively from industrial battery suppliers.
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Old 23-11-2010, 07:30   #20
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The Lifeline Technical Manual http://www.lifelinebatteries.com/manual.pdf provides the procedure for "Conditioning" (technically, not "equalizing") their batteries when they show symptoms of capacity loss due to undercharging. I suspect that my three Lifeline GPL-4DL house batteries are ready for this, but doubt that my original Sentry fully automatic battery charger will do the procedure. Can anyone recommend a portable (I have to fly with it to Cancun or locate one there) charger/conditioner to accomplish this?
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Old 23-11-2010, 08:08   #21
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I do hope that people realized that AGM, GELS and flooded batteries require different battery charge voltages/profiles? Something is wrong if AGM battery vents are bulging or heating up so much you can't touch it. The problem may be with alternator charging which works well with flooded lead acid but, may be harmful to AGM or Gels without some type of charge control circuitry so you don't cook the batteries.
I have six batteries on board two gels (12 volt house) and four 12 volts in series set up as a 48 volt bank (for electric propulsion). All of my charging options Solar, wind and Honda 2000 (via 120 volt charger) are setup to provide the proper charging voltages to each of the banks. I don't have an alternator issue because I have no longer have an alternator on board. Buying new batteries may not solve any problems if the charging system on board your boat are not setup for the type of batteries you are using.
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Old 23-11-2010, 09:07   #22
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Originally Posted by mbianka View Post
I do hope that people realized that AGM, GELS and flooded batteries require different battery charge voltages/profiles? Something is wrong if AGM battery vents are bulging or heating up so much you can't touch it. The problem may be with alternator charging which works well with flooded lead acid but, may be harmful to AGM or Gels without some type of charge control circuitry so you don't cook the batteries.
Mike, it is set up to charge AGMs, with a $700 "intelligent" charger. As I recall, it's a 50A maybe from Charles Marine? I meant to check before leaving the boat, but forgot.

The "problem" occurred when the battery selector was turned to "both", and the bad battery sucked down the good one.
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Old 23-11-2010, 11:47   #23
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We use a lot of the Odyssey AGMs here where I work and the other day we had a set heat up and bulge while charging. They are in series to charge at 24 volts. The interesting thing here is that the Smart Charger's 120v source was a new diesel generator running at 62HZ, not sure of the exact AC Volts but I wouldn't think that would matter much. What caused this? We are not sure but we have close to 150 of these batteries in use and this is the first time this has ever happened in 4 years. The literature on the batteries warns about charging at any more than 14.7 volts max. Unfortunately I don't know what the charging voltage was. Could this cause breakdown? Probably.The recommended charge volts normally is right around 14V. The other thing that could fry an AGM in our case could be ac frequency leaking through the charger. It might be a good idea to check your chargers output before you install new batts. It is pretty obvious that the cause of your heating this is a short, either internally or externally. Maybe too high of a charge rate damages the glass separation and causes an internal breakdown leading to a short. With a short cct current at the terminals being as high as 3500amps I'm sure if one cel shorted within it could be as high as 600a, Thats a lot of heat.
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Old 23-11-2010, 12:23   #24
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Conditioning AGM Batteries

Not to hijack this thread, but it appears that some knowledgeable people are on the topic. I wonder if anyone has used this device "BatteryMINDer® Plus AGM/OPTIMA Maintenance Charger" for conditioning/desulphating AGM's?
BatteryMINDer® Plus AGM/OPTIMA Maintenance Charger / Desulfator-Conditioner 12 Volt – 1.0 Amp | All | Battery Chargers by BatteryMINDers.com

As I mentioned in my previous post, I need something light and portable to fly to my boat with, and this might fit the need. The downside is 2-3 days required for each battery, as detailed here Charging Multiple Batteries.
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Old 23-11-2010, 18:11   #25
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G'day, Baz, When I bought by AGMs from Lifeline, I had direct communication with them. They gave me specific guidelines and parameters to equalize them to. I had to manually configure my Link 2000 to accomplish this. Cheers.
Your lucky to have a link 2000, I just have the remote panel for my inverter/charger and apart from from choosing the battery type I have no means of programming a equalization charge. But I don't think it should be needed if I charge normally using the marine 3000. But it occurs to me that a small solar panel would help to prevent undercharging when underway. Well in the summer here anyway, there's plenty of sunshine off the California Coast!

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Old 29-11-2010, 13:18   #26
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Well, we went back to the boat this weekend. Looks like I was wrong, we have 8Ds.

I talked to Lifeline this am. We are 3 months out of warranty. Ugh. I've explored every possible alternative, and it looks like we will go back with Lifeline AGMs. I can buy them for $480 each locally, plus tax. They are far superior to the West Marine AGMs (Dekka), and very similar to the Odyssey's. The Lifeline rep actually told me that the only other battery he's buy is an Odyssey.

Now, for a NICE piece of info for others: Sears DieHard Platinum Marine batteries are made by Odyssey. I'd considered using Sears Group 24s (6 of them), but even with a discount, I'd end up $200 higher AND I'd have to rewire.
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Old 29-11-2010, 13:30   #27
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Bill,

Like I wrote earlier, I also need to replace my Lifeline AGMs. I found this series interesting.... especially the 4th and 5th articles on charging AGMs, with specific data for Lifelines. Here it is.
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Old 04-12-2010, 15:00   #28
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Portable Conditioning Charger

Quote:
Originally Posted by JamuJoe View Post
The Lifeline Technical Manual http://www.lifelinebatteries.com/manual.pdf provides the procedure for "Conditioning" (technically, not "equalizing") their batteries when they show symptoms of capacity loss due to undercharging. I suspect that my three Lifeline GPL-4DL house batteries are ready for this, but doubt that my original Sentry fully automatic battery charger will do the procedure. Can anyone recommend a portable (I have to fly with it to Cancun or locate one there) charger/conditioner to accomplish this?
After consulting with both Lifeline and VDC Electronics, I settled upon the BatteryMINDer 12248 BatteryMINDer® 12-Volt 2, 4, or 8 Amp Charger-Maintainer-Desulfator-Conditioner w/ABS-248 | All | Battery Chargers by BatteryMINDers.com
for conditioning/desulfating my AGMs. The batteries must be tested/qualified and conditioned separately the first time, but after that can be continuously conditioned as a bank when on shore power in a maintenance mode. I'll share results in January when I return to the boat and use the device.
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Old 05-12-2010, 13:52   #29
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Bazzer-
"According to Xantrex you should not equalize AGM batteries. "
That could be simply because there is perhaps only ONE manufacturer who tells customers to equalize their AGM batteries. Apparently that one maker builds a strong enough case to withstand the higher pressure from equalizing. But for AGM batteries in general, equalizing will either dry them out or slag them down. I'd expect Xantrex wants to "keep it simple" and make sure their customers don't set off too many melt-downs.
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Old 05-12-2010, 15:20   #30
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Because new batteries seem to be so much better than anything else I've been buying generic wet cell batteries rather than the AGMs and whatever. Like Trojan deep cycle. Seems more economical to simply recycle them sooner than limp along fussing with half-old fancy products.
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