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Old 30-01-2016, 13:55   #16
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Re: Battery advice, please?

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Originally Posted by Vasco View Post
My daily usage is about 75 amps. That's mostly the freezer/fridge. How do you use 225 amps daily? I have a smart phone, iPad and computer. All lighting led. Just wondering where all that power is going. By the way my house bank is 600 amps, Trojan 12 volt batteries , flooded.

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I can tell you why I use almost that much. After a few of our younger years part time on a 30' sail boat I asked "She whom must be obeyed" what she wanted to be happy spending 6 or more months a year on a boat now that we are in our 60s. We are coastal cruisers not voyagers. We do prefer to anchor rather than go from marina to marine.

1. Shower separate from the toilet so she didn't have to wipe down a toilet fixture right after getting clean. Zero electrical draw.
2. A queen size berth that she don't have to climb on to make. Zero electrical draw.
3. A real refrigerator and freezer. She's done with diving into the bottom of a corner pit to find what she is looking for. So we have a trawler. I took out the Dominic refer. , did some cabinet work and installed an apt. sized 14 cubic foot refrigerator/freezer with home made locks on the doors. Needs lots of electricity. I haven't measured it exactly but could not be as bad as many think. And I have ICE CREAM any time I want it.
4. Big screen TV. A couple of tv shows or a movie almost every night. TV news :banged: almost every morning and evening. I just go outside for the news. I don't believe half of what they say anyway and I figure if they nuke us I'll hear about it......
Not free either from an energy stand point. But we are not camping and she is with me. 44 years of marriage and I still do what I can.

Before trying to get by on 600 +- amps of batteries I would do a careful energy audit. With 800+ amps available I can go over 24 hours before needing to pay attention so normal use is an hour to a hour and a half depending on how long it's been since moving the boat.
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Old 30-01-2016, 14:36   #17
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Re: Battery advice, please?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post

Now there are experts here, but I'm not one. Do you good to read some of Maine Sails thoughts, somebody have the link?


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Actually a64, you've been providing the best discussion of the adv and disadv of AGMs very, very well. Thanks for great summaries of what many of us have been saying for years.


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Old 30-01-2016, 15:17   #18
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Re: Battery advice, please?

www.marinehowto.com


"Poor is the Captain with the Admiral on board"

Please allow... I wrote it to my own Admiral
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Old 30-01-2016, 16:22   #19
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Re: Battery advice, please?

John (Captain Dharma),
All of the above, are good info..

Here are some links for your reading.

Mainesail's stuff:

His testing on deep cycle batt's.
What Is A "Deep Cycle" Battery? Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com

Installation of flooded cells.
Installation & Orientation of Flooded Batteries Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com

Also, another type to consider, C-AGM (Carbon AGM). Much more expensive up front, but in the long run, would be better.
Firefly Battery Report - Inside Practical Sailor Blog Article

The last is what I'm looking at for replacement of my AGM's.
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Old 31-01-2016, 18:33   #20
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Re: Battery advice, please?

OK, Thanks again to all of you. My 225 a day is a high estimate, but I am trying to please the Admiral and we have the big screen TV, a real fridge with freezer, a nice toaster/oven, microwave, 2 MacBooks, 2 iPhones, and even the occasional use of the A/C on our trawler. I haven't done a complete audit, but larger seems safer than smaller. If I use less than that, I will have an oversized House Bank. Thanks, Bill for the leads near Jacksonville. I'm going to start calling around tomorrow morning and see who has what. Again, thanks to everyone.
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Old 01-02-2016, 12:45   #21
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Re: Battery advice, please?

The more I learn, the less I know! I have found Crown CR-220s locally for $95 + $25 because I have no cores to turn in. Robert, the very helpful guy on the phone knew and loved Crowns, but he said that unless a battery bank had time to cool down after being charged, its life expectancy would be cut in half. His recommendation was for a day of use, a day of charging and a day of cooling off before using again. This meant to me that I needed 3 House Banks if I planned to live on the hook for any amount of time. Has anyone else heard of this "cooling off" period?
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Old 01-02-2016, 13:24   #22
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Re: Battery advice, please?

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Originally Posted by Captain Dharma View Post
The more I learn, the less I know! I have found Crown CR-220s locally for $95 + $25 because I have no cores to turn in. Robert, the very helpful guy on the phone knew and loved Crowns, but he said that unless a battery bank had time to cool down after being charged, its life expectancy would be cut in half. His recommendation was for a day of use, a day of charging and a day of cooling off before using again. This meant to me that I needed 3 House Banks if I planned to live on the hook for any amount of time. Has anyone else heard of this "cooling off" period?
This is a classic example of battery sales people not understanding their products or the way we need to use them. There may be a perfect world someplace but it is not the one we live in. Trust me on this. Read and understand what Maine Sail has to say about batteries and ignore what any sales person says if it conflicts with that. If you are going to keep your present boat 10 years and don't mind very high initial costs (I was going to say investment but it may be a little too early in the game to think of it that way.) LiFePo is a possibility. BIG bucks upfront. If you want best "bang for the buck" on a shorter term many of us think that the Sam's club golf cart batteries wired series then parallel to the size of bank you require is the way to go. In between these two options are many variations. One of which would be industrial "traction batteries". If I were to spend the money for these I would use two volt cells of the size I need and put six of them in series. These babies are heavy and tall so mounting may be an issue. They will require the same maintenance as flooded golf cart batteries. As A64 so clearly pointed out unless you are at a marina at least once a week and twice would be better or unless you have other issues like he does or you can afford the new foam tech. AGM is not the best way to go.
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Old 01-02-2016, 13:44   #23
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Re: Battery advice, please?

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Originally Posted by Captain Dharma View Post
The more I learn, the less I know! I have found Crown CR-220s locally for $95 + $25 because I have no cores to turn in. Robert, the very helpful guy on the phone knew and loved Crowns, but he said that unless a battery bank had time to cool down after being charged, its life expectancy would be cut in half. His recommendation was for a day of use, a day of charging and a day of cooling off before using again. This meant to me that I needed 3 House Banks if I planned to live on the hook for any amount of time. Has anyone else heard of this "cooling off" period?
While this salesman's advice may be "technically" correct, it's not possible in the real world. Even high dollar installations at cell phone towers, etc probably don't do that.

What they do is install an oversized bank, charge at 1/10th or possibly 1/8th of capacity and leave a little room between batteries to help them cool a little.

Charging voltages are determined at 25*C (77*F) and if you charge the batteries at 35*C (95*F) you will shorten their life in half. You don't have any control over ambient temp. unless you install them inside somewhere where it's temp. controlled. Make sure all of your charging sources use a temperature probe to adjust charge rate based on temp.

What you can control is charge rate, too high of a charge rate will result in increased temp. Spreading the load (equally) over more batteries will result in longer life for all, and charging them all day from a solar system will really help a lot.

As a matter of fact, with a properly sized solar system, the solar panels provide all of your 12v power all day in addition to charging the batteries. The load on the batteries drops drastically as they only provide power at night.


I just finished installing an 1140 watt solar system with 4 panels and 2 controllers and the largest cables possible. His batteries are 6 x 120AH = 720AH total. After a couple of days of testing, his batteries are barely discharged overnight and are fully charged back up by 930 or 10 am. I mentioned to him that he's going to have to get in the habit of using more electricity during the day (water maker, washing machine, buy an ice maker, etc) so that the batteries don't sit fully charged all day and all of that free solar power doesn't go to waste as his batteries sit at float.

The nice thing about a solar system is they have dropped drastically in price if you install it yourself or get a buddy to help you and it helps the resale value of the boat. Batteries are considered consumable, solar systems work for 20 yrs or more.
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Old 09-02-2016, 07:13   #24
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Re: Battery advice, please?

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I agree with A64pilot, AGMs are NOT what you need. This is because of price (relatively expensive) because of their need to be FULLY charged frequently. For all practical purposes, this means either charging at dockside or having sufficient onboard solar power to reach a full charge every day or two.
I agree AGM's are not for everyone but I would really like some documented research from you on why you think AGM's are any different to other "expensive" FLAs:....because of their need to be FULLY charged frequently.

Lifeline do say that AGMs should be charged to 100% as often as possible, BUT they also say this is the same for ALL Lead Acid batteries.

My Lifelines AGMs are now 11 years old and as a liveaboard for ten years they only get a guaranteed recharge to 100% on shorepower every 2-3 weeks, and equalised about twice a year.
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Old 09-02-2016, 08:10   #25
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Re: Battery advice, please?

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I agree AGM's are not for everyone but I would really like some documented research from you on why you think AGM's are any different to other "expensive" FLAs:....because of their need to be FULLY charged frequently.

Lifeline do say that AGMs should be charged to 100% as often as possible, BUT they also say this is the same for ALL Lead Acid batteries.

My Lifelines AGMs are now 11 years old and as a liveaboard for ten years they only get a guaranteed recharge to 100% on shorepower every 2-3 weeks, and equalised about twice a year.

Truth is , Id say call David Goodbar I think is the name of the Gentleman I spoke with at Lifeline and or default to Maine Sail.
I'm not the one to do documentation frankly, Maine Sail has done far more than I ever will, so I'll not repeat that work, it's not my mission in life.
I have a sort of an inside with the Goodbar family from their excellent line of Concorde aircraft batteries, really very similar to the Lifeline brand.
They are far away the best aircraft battery available. Remember your only allowed to install certified parts in an aircraft, LIfe-Po is not an option, yet.
I've tried for a few years to get them into the aircraft we manufacture, but the owner won't pay for them.

Unless I'm mistaken the Concorde / Lifeline batteries are a family owned company, with the mission of simply manufacturing the best battery they can. Anyway if you call them, they are very honest and straight forward people, who will tell you that their battery is not the best choice for partial charge cycling, yes PSOC is bad for all LA batteries, but if your gonna kill a battery from PSOC, kill a $100 one, not a $400 one.

You getting 10 years out of a bank is phenomenal, but I'd suspect if you did a Cap check, you would find they died long ago, and you have just been living with a low capacity bank, but if it works for you, great.

After my discussions with David, I became very determined to get my bank to 100%, frequently. That meant a generator as I don't see any other way, except shorepower.
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Old 09-02-2016, 08:16   #26
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Re: Battery advice, please?

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Originally Posted by Captain Dharma View Post
The more I learn, the less I know! I have found Crown CR-220s locally for $95 + $25 because I have no cores to turn in. Robert, the very helpful guy on the phone knew and loved Crowns, but he said that unless a battery bank had time to cool down after being charged, its life expectancy would be cut in half. His recommendation was for a day of use, a day of charging and a day of cooling off before using again. This meant to me that I needed 3 House Banks if I planned to live on the hook for any amount of time. Has anyone else heard of this "cooling off" period?

If you have a small bank, like a Golf Cart for example, but have a monster charger, you can significantly raise the temp of the bank, but,
we normally have monster banks compared to other uses, and relatively small charge sources in comparison, plus we have a tendency to have "smart" chargers that monitor the bank temp and adjust charge voltage to that temp, gold carts, forklifts etc do not.
If my use is any way average, I see only about a degree or maybe two rise in temp in a charge cycle. I have two chargers, both monitor and will display bank temp.
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Old 09-02-2016, 08:50   #27
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Re: Battery advice, please?

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. . . . . if your gonna kill a battery from PSOC, kill a $100 one, not a $400 one.
This is the $64,000 'kill shot' answer, to ALL 'off grid' battery questions.

SPOT ON!

I managed to get just over 15 years out of a bank of heavy duty (good plates) agricultural tractor batteries (they died in an unforecast -25 deg C temperature with massive additional wind chill - I kept them in a cool pace with good airflow and that ended up biting me), just by keeping an eye on a voltmeter, and never letting them go below 12.2v apparent, on that voltmeter.

KISS works, and it saves a fortune.

PS. If I don't have to buy a house bank for the new boat before heading back (if I do I am heading for SAM's Club and a bank of golf batteries), I'm going to install a bank of a new type of FLA when I get back, to test them out. It will be very interesting to see how this new type compares, but it will take 5 years before I can do even an initial report (unless they die prematurely). 5 years will equal a tentative report, 10 years will equal a provisional recommendation, 15 years will equal a solid recommendation.

It's a slow process.
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Old 09-02-2016, 10:00   #28
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Re: Battery advice, please?

If Costco ever sells LiFePo4 batteries, I'm sure it will be a good deal due to the volume involved!
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Old 12-02-2016, 13:54   #29
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Re: Battery advice, please?

" but if your gonna kill a battery from PSOC, kill a $100 one, not a $400 one. "

Plus one more! That's why I recommend he go with golf cart batteries. Currently the most bang for the buck and a little harder to kill than some of the other technologies. Going by the questions the OP asked he has a lot to learn. Still the way to go for most of us that have shallow pockets IMHO.
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