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Old 24-11-2017, 11:00   #1
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Any two years reviews for Firefly batteries?

Lots of initial and one year reviews but not much recent. Anyone out there ready to give a two year review? Also, do they require any kind of special charging system for a non solar application? I have a Xantrex Truecharge 40 amp shore charger and a standard 80 amp alternator. I need to replace the original 2 Deka 4D Batteries and the Group 27 start battery. Considering 4 Firefly Group 31s and a yet to be determined start battery.
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Old 24-11-2017, 12:20   #2
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Re: Any two years reviews for Firefly batteries?

I would be interested in this as well. Also, would there be problem with a non-Firefly battery as a start battery since they would be effectively in parallel when charging from the engine alternator.
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Old 24-11-2017, 12:25   #3
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Re: Any two years reviews for Firefly batteries?

2 full seasons on 2 firefly batteries in parallel.

So far so good they've been excellent. They charge fast and deliver a good power. When I'm out cruising I do discharge them quite deeply.. so far they don't seem to care that I am beating them up. I should probably equalize them at some point.

The directions come with information about charging but it's pretty close to a lead acid battery. If you have a Balmar style alternator that is externally regulated you may want to check the charge voltage to ensure it complies.

But after two seasons it's taking all I can throw at it, I'm wondering why they even make any other kind of battery!

I'm impressed.
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Old 25-11-2017, 17:47   #4
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Re: Any two years reviews for Firefly batteries?

I have 5 in my bank and so far so good we run 3 refrigeration units and also a water maker , we make toast in the morning and my wife drys her hair every now and then. I have never taken the batteries down past 50% . I have however struggled to bring them back to 100 % a for about two weeks last year due to very overcast conditions . This year I will follow the discharge/recharge program that they recommend . I am upgrading the solar arrays to deal with the charging issue.
The only thing that you need to deal with is making sure that you set the charge peramaters correctly. That means a programable charger,solar controllers and alternators . I believe that the latter is the least important. Most of the modern equipment meets these requirements.
With our upgrade to 930 watts of solar this year I expect complete autonomy.
The only issue I had with the batteries was a small fluid build up by some of the caps . Firefly sent new ones to me in short order . The only thing I would do differently is I would have bought 1 more .
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Old 25-11-2017, 21:17   #5
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Re: Any two years reviews for Firefly batteries?

yea... im bringing them way down way past 50%.. I should have got 3 instead of 2 .. but I am going to do my best to kill these batteries They are supposed to be tough.. we will see about that!

I don't think I have ever brought them back to 100%. .. i havent really checked. Heck Boat was hauled last month and i havent even put a battery charger on it yet.

The balmar alternator/regulator seem to charge the batteries quite well. But I haven't done any capacity testing since I got them. But so far they are performing a lot better than the LA batteries I used before.

I know 2 seasons isnt really a controlled test. But if there is a weak spot, I will find it at some point!
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Old 26-11-2017, 21:29   #6
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Re: Any two years reviews for Firefly batteries?

I killed mine (one of the two) after 2 months. Charging with solar and discharging below 50%. (Normally 75%). Have now installed 6 large agms and so far they are running much better 7 months on.
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Old 27-11-2017, 07:28   #7
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Re: Any two years reviews for Firefly batteries?

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Originally Posted by cha0s View Post
I killed mine (one of the two) after 2 months. Charging with solar and discharging below 50%. (Normally 75%). Have now installed 6 large agms and so far they are running much better 7 months on.
what capacity is your new bank ?
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Old 15-11-2018, 18:11   #8
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Re: Any two years reviews for Firefly batteries?

phantomracer wrote:


Quote:
The balmar alternator/regulator seem to charge the batteries quite well. But I haven't done any capacity testing since I got them. But so far they are performing a lot better than the LA batteries I used before.

I know 2 seasons isnt really a controlled test. But if there is a weak spot, I will find it at some point!

Mildred Rose is a pretty boat, and the renovations are well documented. Thank you.


Do you have anything further to say about charging your (2) Firefly batteries?
Alternator is a Duo Max (what amperage?)
Your batteries are (2) G31 110ah batteries?
How long does it take to charge the batteries up from say 40% tp 90%?
I am hoping to reduce charge times much better than other AGM and FLA by installing a larger better alternator, but the question is about the charge rate of the Firefly.
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Old 15-11-2018, 18:53   #9
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Re: Any two years reviews for Firefly batteries?

We have had excellent performance from our Firefly batteries.

The only issue was one (of 8) had an internal short. Tech support through Ocean Planet Energy was great. Once diagnosed it was instantly and without question replaced by Firefly.

We monitor them with both a Smartgauge and a amphour meter. No obvious capacity reduction, and they charge FAST. With the genset, we push 170amps into a 440 amp-hour 24 Volt bank and they don't start to taper off until the get to about 85% SOC.

Full time cruising, we discharge them down to 75% the first day, 60% the second. Then the morning of day three we bump the charge to 85% with the genset, and let the solar system top them off to 100% by the end of the day. Repeat.
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Old 15-11-2018, 20:19   #10
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Re: Any two years reviews for Firefly batteries?

Quote:
We monitor them with both a Smartgauge and a amphour meter. No obvious capacity reduction, and they charge FAST. With the genset, we push 170amps into a 440 amp-hour 24 Volt bank and they don't start to taper off until the get to about 85% SOC.

That's very helpful. 170/400= 0.42 That's about what most AGMS do, where as Lithium can be higher. I'm trying to get away from ridiculous 2-5 hour FLA charging.
You must be running 2-2.5hrs?
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Old 15-11-2018, 20:59   #11
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Re: Any two years reviews for Firefly batteries?

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Originally Posted by rgleason View Post
phantomracer wrote:

Mildred Rose is a pretty boat, and the renovations are well documented. Thank you.

Do you have anything further to say about charging your (2) Firefly batteries?
Alternator is a Duo Max (what amperage?)
Your batteries are (2) G31 110ah batteries?
How long does it take to charge the batteries up from say 40% tp 90%?
I am hoping to reduce charge times much better than other AGM and FLA by installing a larger better alternator, but the question is about the charge rate of the Firefly.
Thanks.. the restoration was done by the previous owner, I can't take credit for it.. but still looks good after 10 years of me owning it! Sure is easier to keep up a well done boat than to restore it!

The batteries seem to charge a lot faster than the previous FLA batteries. I have since installed the Balmar SmartGauge. If it is accurate (I sense it is), the 100amp balmar alternator/614 regulator can get it mostly charged/fully charged in a few hours of motoring..which we did way too much of this year! I haven't done any actual testing per-se, but sure seems fast. Even on the hard, using a power supply, it gets charged a lot faster than I expect it to.

Being on a mooring, I put it away the condition it happens to be in when i get back, whether it is 50% or 90%. I throw a small 35w portable solar panel on it..which does a good job of topping it off.

Not a battery expert, but the firefly, at least in my use, makes life a lot easier! Time will tell.. but 3 seasons so far..I am still impressed.
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Old 15-11-2018, 21:16   #12
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Re: Any two years reviews for Firefly batteries?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cha0s View Post
I killed mine (one of the two) after 2 months. Charging with solar and discharging below 50%. (Normally 75%). Have now installed 6 large agms and so far they are running much better 7 months on.

And the factory said what...? I assume there was some warranty discussion.
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Old 16-11-2018, 00:41   #13
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Re: Any two years reviews for Firefly batteries?

I am on my third year and have no trouble. I have 770 AH and push 220 amps in when running generator. It takes it full speed to about 86% then slowly tapers. I am a bad PSOC person. I hardly ever get them fully charged and usually 30-40% is my cutoff to charge. They seem to still have the same capacity although I have not tested them. I get the same time out of them as i did initially.
There is one problem in that I have killed two engine start batteries because i use an Echocharger to charge them and since the charging voltage is lower then typical AGMs or flooded then engine never really gets charged. I am fixing that this time.
Overall I am very impressed although I suspect I will go lithium when these do eventually crap out just to get the higher voltage at the low SOC. I have not run into problem but when I make coffee in the morning it can drop pretty low.
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Old 19-11-2018, 10:20   #14
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Re: Any two years reviews for Firefly batteries?

Folks,

I'm interested in going with these batteries - all sounds great - big question is - HOW are you putting 170 or 220 ah into them?

Top Battery chargers around seem to put out sub-100amps. Top of the line Victron multiplus 3000 puts out 120, supposedly.

Thanks,

Matt
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Old 19-11-2018, 10:35   #15
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Re: Any two years reviews for Firefly batteries?

With the alternator while on the water, with a 12v power supply on the hard.

The battery will only accept so many amps. The Balmar 100 amp alternator I am using, with the 614 regulator, seems to be more than up to the task
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