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Old 29-01-2012, 13:39   #31
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Re: Battery Puzzle

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Originally Posted by stevensuf View Post
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.
Hmmm, that's another ringing hymn of praise for Elecsols. They are not really that much more expensive than the el-cheapos.

I can get 125 amp Elecsols for 131 pounds each, comparing very well to Vartas -- 110 ah for 110 pounds, and even to the cheap Lucases -- 110 amps for 90 pounds.

Mind you, these are the flooded ones, not AGM, which are more expensive.
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Old 29-01-2012, 13:44   #32
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Re: Battery Puzzle

nb meant to say as well, elecsol's warranty is about as good as the paper its written on, though i still bought their batteries - a bit of a contradiction, but i know where the company is coming from, 90% of warranty claims will be from people overcharging or leaving dead for ever.
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Old 29-01-2012, 13:52   #33
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Re: Battery Puzzle

Dockhead the elecsols i am talking about are the carbon fibre agm jobs, they are much more than you are quoting, the price you are quoting is for the non agm ones, i can't say anything about the quality of those ones, it is the yellow top agm ones i have
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Old 29-01-2012, 14:03   #34
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Re: Battery Puzzle

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Dockhead the elecsols i am talking about are the carbon fibre agm jobs, they are much more than you are quoting, the price you are quoting is for the non agm ones, i can't say anything about the quality of those ones, it is the yellow top agm ones i have
Yes, thanks, I had figured that out. I don't really want AGM's, even if they were not so much more expensive. But I am seriously thinking about the other ones. I have not been able to uncover any negative information about them in the 'net, although I did find a number of complaints about customer service from the company.
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Old 30-01-2012, 01:03   #35
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Wasted an enormous amount of time researching batteries. I have come to two conclusions: (1) batteries are nearly nothing but trouble for most cruisers; and (2) despite the wonders of the Internet, it is almost impossible to find objective information about them.

I have about decided to take the conservative approach, spend a little more, and buy the Trojan 27TMX's. As far as I can tell, these are just "leisure" batts - they even quote CCA's. The cost 133 pounds versus 110 for Varta and 90 for Lucas and there is no guarantee that they are not just the same crappy car batts with the Trojan name applied. But at least there is some hope that they are not crappy car batts, whereas with the others there is none. So worth the $600 premium for that hope? Hmmm. Well, respectable vendors sell the Trojans for floor cleaners and golf carts, so maybe.
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Old 04-02-2012, 15:08   #36
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Re: Battery Puzzle

I installed the new Trojans today. They are lighter than the Vartas they replaced - not a good sign. I put them under a load with the inverter to see how they held up -- 66 amps -- resulting in about 8 amps at 230 volts or 1.5kW -- pulled them down to about 24 volts and set off the low battery alarm. Hmm.
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Old 04-02-2012, 16:18   #37
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Re: Battery Puzzle

Dockhead-
That would be interesting, using conductive carbon fiber as an "armature" to form the plates on. I could see that should make for some kind of difference, since the armature wouldn't be "consumed" the way regular plates are.
But having seen all sorts of numbers claims...I'll still pay for them to put a Hobbs meter [sic] into the battery case, and warrant the performance for a thousand cycles. Not just prorata rat trap, either.<G>

I'm slowly working my way through the reality of really really optimizing batteries. Finally made up a 10VDC precision voltage reference, so I can test my meters (or any other system) and see if it is telling the truth when it says twelve-point-something-or-other volts. One more vampire spiked, one less error source.
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Old 05-02-2012, 03:50   #38
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Re: Battery Puzzle

do you not need to cycle new batteries a few times first to get to their proper capacity?
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Old 05-02-2012, 04:46   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevensuf
do you not need to cycle new batteries a few times first to get to their proper capacity?
Maybe. I hope so. I have an Argus battery analyzer and tested all the batts from new. They all gave around 600 amps more or less. I will test them periodically as the get broken in. We'll see. But I didn't like the fact that they are noticeably lighter than the Vartas they replaced. It means less lead, which can't be a good thing.
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:31   #40
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Re: Battery Puzzle

did you're inverter bottom out on the old batteries? also have you checked the connections are good, just in case you are getting a voltage dip past the batteries
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:53   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevensuf
did you're inverter bottom out on the old batteries? also have you checked the connections are good, just in case you are getting a voltage dip past the batteries
I don't know. The batts were already knackered when I installed the inverter last summer. I am now recording amps and voltage, to be able to understand any trend. But subjectively, the well-knackered old batts seemed to hold under momentary big loads not much worse than 8 new Trojans

420 amp/hours of batts versus a 66 amp load shouldn't be that big a deal - 15 percent of the one hour capacity. Doesn't seem like voltage should drop that far.
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Old 05-02-2012, 08:06   #42
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Re: Battery Puzzle

id definitely go over all the connections with some sand paper and clean them all up, even the battery link cables, also what size gauge do you have on the inverter cable? there will be a large voltage drop there, are you measuring the voltage at the inverter or at the bank itself?, best to check on the battery terminals, does away with any voltage drop along the lines if using a remote gauge
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Old 05-02-2012, 08:38   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevensuf
id definitely go over all the connections with some sand paper and clean them all up, even the battery link cables, also what size gauge do you have on the inverter cable? there will be a large voltage drop there, are you measuring the voltage at the inverter or at the bank itself?, best to check on the battery terminals, does away with any voltage drop along the lines if using a remote gauge
I'm measuring at the batts, so it's not the connections.
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Old 05-02-2012, 09:44   #44
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Re: Battery Puzzle

Dockhead-
Batteries do need to be conditioned (cycled a few times) before they reach full capacity. I've heard that one manufacturer does one deep cycle before they ship, to promote this as part of their qc process, but only heard it from one.
The different response could also be from different plate construction (thick vs thin, storage vs impulse) and some of the wieght difference can be from the cases, rubber vs plastic, or shorter plates allowing more room fro sediment to accumulate in the bottom. (i.e. cheating on plate size a cynic might say.)

And with wet cells, it can take 24 hours after a full charge before the electrolyte redistributes evenly in the battery--giving you all sorts of transient wrong readings until the internal chemistry has had a chance to even out.

But I'd also check the voltage of each battery vs the others, in case there's a problem in one particular battery. Everything ships DOA sometimes.

If the capacity doesn't match the rating sticker--call the distributor and the maker. They might just say "bring 'em back".
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