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Old 29-01-2012, 12:36   #16
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Re: Battery Puzzle

What Trojans are you looking at? Are you sure those are the only deep cycle batteries you can get in England that will fit?

I certainly would stay away from "leisure" batteries unless you want to do it all over again in a year or two.
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Old 29-01-2012, 12:42   #17
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Re: Battery Puzzle

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Originally Posted by SunDevil View Post
I am pro-LiFePO4, but my first experience with them hasn't been too good. I don't know if the solar charge controller wasn't set up for them, I needed a battery management system of some sort, or I just got a bad battery, but it died way too fast.

My little system is pretty small, and it is experimental. But, I had expected it to work and I'm still trying to figure out what went wrong.
Exactly what I don't need right now. I don't have a lot of time or mental energy to devote to batteries. I am trying to gear up for an adventurous cruise to Iceland this summer. I would rather have a straightforward and well-proven solution -- this time. My next batteries will definitely be LifePo.
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Old 29-01-2012, 12:45   #18
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Re: Battery Puzzle

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I really need to order my new batteries this week, and I continue to be stumped.

I have three major options:

1. El-Cheapo leisure batteries, like the Lucas XV Supreme, which cost about 90 pounds each. On the theory that you're going to kill them anyway sooner or later, so they might as well be disposable.

2. Carbon-fiber Elecsol batteries, which are reasonably price (110 pounds each) and which are guaranteed for five years not to sulphate at all. I combed the 'net and couldn't find anything negative about them, and found quite a bit of positive reviews.

3. 12v Trojans, which cost 200 pounds each (more than $300, so more than $2500 for the 8 which I need -- ouch). This is not that much cheaper than LifePo's. I am also skeptical that they can be so much better than the crappy "leisure" batts, since they are the same size and weight.

Arrrgggghhh. Anybody have any pearls of wisdom???
Oh dear, sorry to contribute a possible 4th.....
I just wonder why you do not consider the 2v forktruck batteries which come in many different sizes. I have included the two links for the sales brochure and the size pdf.

Look at it this way.... forktruck drivers do not care about batteries and regularly crawl them back to the charger for an incomplete charge while they have smoko....if anything needs tolerant batteries , its a forktruck......How long would starter batteries last in a forktruck??.
I have them in my boat, now 6 years old, 25% of total amphr acceptance till 80% , 29.6v absorbtion, 31v equalization.
The brochure - http://www.enersys-hawker.com/pdf/pe...ct_plus_gb.pdf
The sizes - http://www.enersys-hawker.com/pdf/pe...ct_plus_td.pdf

And the big benefit is that they are completely maintenance free!!!
Well... not quite... but can you imagine the fortruck driver taking all those tops off to fill them all up ... No, and I cant either.... and thats why they come with a great single point watering system with floats in each cell. To add water , turn a tap and watch the little red wheel spin, when it stops, switch off... 20 secs at most.
A walk in the park.
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Old 29-01-2012, 12:45   #19
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Re: Battery Puzzle

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Originally Posted by DeepFrz View Post
What Trojans are you looking at? Are you sure those are the only deep cycle batteries you can get in England that will fit?

I certainly would stay away from "leisure" batteries unless you want to do it all over again in a year or two.
Yes. Not just what I can get in England, but what are made. Only the 12v ones will work. Trojan makes one in the same size as my existing ones. But they cost a bloody fortune -- 200 pounds or over $300 each -- ouch. If I could get real heavy duty 6v batts or 2v cells for $2500, I would consider it. But how much better can the same thing be, just made a little better?

Leisure batts will last for years if you don't let them run down all the way. I was quite happy with the previous set until I killed them
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Old 29-01-2012, 12:54   #20
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Re: Battery Puzzle

I put a small solar panel on my 4d lead acid batteries, when the boat sat most of the winter and they lasted 7 years, they were the deep cycle models. I use regular deep cycle lead acid batteries in my current vessel and I have not had any problems thus far. I think keeping the water up and the terminals clean, and don't let them get run down really helps to keep the life of a lead acid battery.
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Old 29-01-2012, 12:56   #21
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Re: Battery Puzzle

I would forget Trojans, I could never justify the price and you can still kill them with a charging error.

The 2V cell are a good idea, These are usually full circular plate batteries, ie full traction. But they are as dear as Trojans.

IN my mind a reasonable semi traction battery, at around 10 /Ah is what Id use, full accessible wet cell. Bin them in 5 years.
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Old 29-01-2012, 13:02   #22
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Re: Battery Puzzle

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But I did not like how easily I killed the previous batteries, nor did I like the fact that I had an apparent melt-down and boil-down while I was off the boat, due to a shorted cell, apparently. It seems to me that all this is a sign of less than robust construction of the Varta "leisure" batts.
Just a reminder from your original post. I wonder how much replacement batteries would cost in Iceland? I'm not trying to be a smart ass here, just reminding you that the "leisure" batteries died very quickly and quite dramatically. I have sailed on a boat with poor batteries and a less than idea charging system. It wasn't a great voyage, to put it mildly.
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Old 29-01-2012, 13:02   #23
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Re: Battery Puzzle

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
I would forget Trojans, I could never justify the price and you can still kill them with a charging error.

The 2V cell are a good idea, These are usually full circular plate batteries, ie full traction. But they are as dear as Trojans.

IN my mind a reasonable semi traction battery, at around 10 /Ah is what Id use, full accessible wet cell. Bin them in 5 years.
Well, I wouldn't mind paying the Trojan price for real heavy duty 2v cells. Full traction batteries. They all seem much too tall for my battery boxes, however, and I am not willing to re-engineer them. They are tailor made for the boat and her available space, and I don't have time for a huge re-design of them.

A reasonable semi-traction bat for 10 pounds/AH would be just fine! Where do I get such?? I don't think we can call the Varta "Hobby" or Lucas "XV Supreme" semi-traction batteries, can we?
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Old 29-01-2012, 13:06   #24
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Re: Battery Puzzle

"Sounds like bullhockey to me."
Amen, brother.
Since the carbon fibre is used in the separator mats, which normally would be inert glass fibers, the only possible magic would be if the carbon were acting as a catalyst in the electrolyte, somehow sucking the sulphur back into solution.
But they've got their main facts wrong. According to Deka/East Penn (one of the 3 largest battery makers in the US) you get the most number of deepest cycles from GEL batteries, not AGM. And Deka makes and sells all three types, they wouldn't be shortselling their AGMs.

The only way I've believe a thousand deep cycles (define deep) from a battery maker is if they put a little "cycle meter" in the casing and warranteed in writing that they'd replace it if it didn't last the full thousand deep cycles.

Lucas batteries...Now there's a concept. In the US Lucas is referred to as "The Prince of Darkness" and I'd guess their batteries come pre-shorted, so the new standard was guaranteed blackness. Don't tell me, they've changed, and can no longer be relied upon for, ah, legendary non-performance?!
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Old 29-01-2012, 13:08   #25
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Re: Battery Puzzle

If you are going to keep the batteries charged with the wind charger and are only using the boat a few weeks a year, then id get the cheapest flooded lead acid i could find(not sealed), if you are going to use the boat regularly and heavily cycle the batteries then in go for the elecsol that i bought as well.
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Old 29-01-2012, 13:13   #26
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Re: Battery Puzzle

I also should add that when I bought my boat the 2v batteries were reading 21v and had been that way for probably 3 months.
21v is completely dead.
They charged up and worked fine for 3 years.
The electrician convinced me to change them as he said, we had no idea how damaged they were..(they had lots of bits of broken plate)..well, he was right so I reluctantly paid for a full new set.... waste of money as the new set work the same.
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Old 29-01-2012, 13:14   #27
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Re: Battery Puzzle

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Originally Posted by stevensuf View Post
If you are going to keep the batteries charged with the wind charger and are only using the boat a few weeks a year, then id get the cheapest flooded lead acid i could find(not sealed), if you are going to use the boat regularly and heavily cycle the batteries then in go for the elecsol that i bought as well.
Hmm, well I get in 50 to 60 logged sea days a year, with another month odd of time on the boat not going anywhere, so I am almost a liveaboard -- I guess 90 days a year on board.

The boat lived on a mid-river pontoon in the Hamble last spring, summer and fall when I was not travelling somewhere. That is, with no shore power. This year I might just leave her here and there as I make a slow circumnav of Britain via Orkneys, Faroes, and Iceland, on the installment plan.

So I guess that puts me somewhere in between, in terms of the type of usage.

But I have a good generator on board which I don't hesitate to fire up, since it is practically inaudible. So I don't really have any good reason to cycle my batteries deeply.

There are a lot of arguments in favor of cheap leisure batteries.
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Old 29-01-2012, 13:18   #28
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Re: Battery Puzzle

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"Sounds like bullhockey to me."
Amen, brother.
Since the carbon fibre is used in the separator mats, which normally would be inert glass fibers, the only possible magic would be if the carbon were acting as a catalyst in the electrolyte, somehow sucking the sulphur back into solution.
But they've got their main facts wrong. According to Deka/East Penn (one of the 3 largest battery makers in the US) you get the most number of deepest cycles from GEL batteries, not AGM. And Deka makes and sells all three types, they wouldn't be shortselling their AGMs.
Well, the carbon fiber is supposed to be embedded in the plates themselves, not the separators.



Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Lucas batteries...Now there's a concept. In the US Lucas is referred to as "The Prince of Darkness" and I'd guess their batteries come pre-shorted, so the new standard was guaranteed blackness. Don't tell me, they've changed, and can no longer be relied upon for, ah, legendary non-performance?!
LOL. Yes, I grew up restoring MG's, Jags and Aston Martins, so I know all of the Lucas jokes. What are the three positions on a Lucas headlamp switch? "Dim", "Fizzle", and "Blow". LOL. Why do the British drink warm beer? Lucas refrigerators. Who makes the only fuel injection system you light with a match? Lucas. Hah, hah.
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Old 29-01-2012, 13:31   #29
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Re: Battery Puzzle

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
I really need to order my new batteries this week, and I continue to be stumped.

I have three major options:

1. El-Cheapo leisure batteries, like the Lucas XV Supreme, which cost about 90 pounds each. On the theory that you're going to kill them anyway sooner or later, so they might as well be disposable.

2. Carbon-fiber Elecsol batteries, which are reasonably price (110 pounds each) and which are guaranteed for five years not to sulphate at all. I combed the 'net and couldn't find anything negative about them, and found quite a bit of positive reviews.

3. 12v Trojans, which cost 200 pounds each (more than $300, so more than $2500 for the 8 which I need -- ouch). This is not that much cheaper than LifePo's. I am also skeptical that they can be so much better than the crappy "leisure" batts, since they are the same size and weight.

Arrrgggghhh. Anybody have any pearls of wisdom???
Given your criteria, I'd go with the Elecsol leisure batts.
Seen good reviews on other boat forums, mentions of still going good after 8 years.
Think they might be my choice for next time
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Old 29-01-2012, 13:35   #30
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Re: Battery Puzzle

From what you are saying I'd get el cheapo flooded leisure batteries, as long as they are not regularly deeply cycled they will last fine, Im planning on 360 days a year live aboard with solar for main charging, so wanted batteries that will take some abuse, Im sure elecsol are exagerating claims, but as i said before i had one that was very well abused and is still going fine.

My old boat had a 180ah elecsol on the port bank and 2x 85ah lucas on the starboard side, after 2 years the lucas batteries wouldnt hold a charge worth a damn and this was with only about 40 days use per year, granted deeply discharging them and much neglect and abuse, left all winter with no charger on them, the elecsol is fine and was older than the lucas ones to start with.

If you were looking after them , it would be a different story, with less abuse id say cheap flooded ones would work out cheaper in the long run.
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