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Old 30-12-2008, 09:14   #1
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Battery life

OK I've read all the various posts about, types, cycles, bank sizes and all that. Lots of technical design stuff, but not really any real numbers. You would get the impression from some of the posts that batteries while cruising would only last a year, but that of course can't be the norm. So for those who have cruised and been off the grid the only real question is:

How long did your batteries last????? And if possible add what type you had, total bank size, and the avg daily net load (load on batteries less any "passive" charging from solar/wind etc).

The hope on this post isn't to restart any of the "cycles" or "design" threads, it is to just give info on how long your given baterries lasted in their given use.
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Old 30-12-2008, 09:18   #2
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I have had a set of 8D gels which lasted 5 yrs live aboard cruising most in the tropics. I had a smart regulator and a few solar panels, but engine drive refer.

Present set of 8D AGMs in going on yr 4 or 5 mostly weekend use.
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Old 30-12-2008, 10:11   #3
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I never had my AGM's long enough to die and so they are with another owner in year 4, but I've had two sets of Golf Carts that the first died at about 6 years and the second set at 7. Talking to my battery supplier he has seen them go 10 years though 6 to 7 seems more average. Amount of use and care and feeding probably accounts for a lot of the variety given I am talking about the same Trojan T105's. I really don't think they made them any different over the years.

Well cared for the larger thicker platted industrial batteries could go 10 years.
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Old 30-12-2008, 10:20   #4
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Our Interstate batteries are pairs of 6 volt Worhaholics and each pair, we replace them in pairs, last us about 6 to 7 years. The charging consisted of three 85 watt solar panels, a Four Winds wind generator and a ProMariner 3 stage battery charger. we are what might be considered heavy power users.
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Old 30-12-2008, 10:53   #5
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I personally believe that it's more, how you use them will give you how long they will last. When your living on the hook with minimum battery charging ability and have electric refrigeration you will find the battery life will be much less than if your plugged into shore power. I always understood that the more times you drop a battery to minimum charge it decreases the life. Best to keep the batteries charged to 75% or more if you want the maximum life.
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Old 30-12-2008, 14:12   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d0ug View Post
I personally believe that it's more, how you use them will give you how long they will last. When your living on the hook with minimum battery charging ability and have electric refrigeration you will find the battery life will be much less than if your plugged into shore power. I always understood that the more times you drop a battery to minimum charge it decreases the life. Best to keep the batteries charged to 75% or more if you want the maximum life.
Being on the hook in no way shortens the life of your batteries if you have your charging system set up properly. Much of the 6 or 7 years we get out of our batteries are spent under way and on the hook. If you only charge your batteries to 75% they will most certainly not last very long.
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Old 30-12-2008, 17:20   #7
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I killed a set of Flooded cells in a year when we went cruising since I did not really understand proper charging and regulation. The replacements were going strong 3 years later when I sold the boat. My next boat had AGM's for two years of mostly on the hook living and showed no loss of capacity at that time.
I think the there are clearly brands of batteries that you pay more for that offer better cycle life than the same type of less well constructed bateries...but ultimately it is rigidly following proper discharging, charging and EQ and maintenance parameters for your particular batteries that will get you the bettery life you are paying for.
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