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Old 13-09-2013, 01:16   #31
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Re: best battery?

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I am also looking at replacing my house batteries. I have 2 90 aH AGMs now but they are several years old and seem to lose a charge fairly quickly. I am thinking about 4 6v golf cart batteries from Sam's but my problem is I need to put them under a pull out berth and the only way to get to them is to disassemble the berth. My question is how often should I expect to have to add water to the batteries? I will be charging them with a Balmer alternator with a 3 stage regulator or a 3 stage shorepower charger. It sounds like folks have a lot of experience with these batteries. Thanks.
Trojan have an auto fill system, don't know how well it works, saw it in the catalog.
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Old 13-09-2013, 04:55   #32
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Re: best battery?

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Originally Posted by Exile View Post
Is it safe to say that two of the 6v golf cart batts. will fit a compartment made for one 8D? What about height? I guess you're also looking at making up add'l cables.

Battery dimensions will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer but the batteries per classification are roughly the same but the 6V is sometimes taller than the 8D, but much lighter.....you would have to be a lorry driver to lift an 8D in and out of a dinghy!!!

Here's two links that give dimensions:
BCI Battery Group Size Chart

http://www.trojanbattery.com/pdf/trj...dspecguide.pdf

I'm sold on the 6v groups............sure beats the 27's by a mile.
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Old 13-09-2013, 05:15   #33
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Re: best battery?

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with a rough calculation, its $2 per AH for these.
This is a Deka GC15 relabeled as a Duracell EGC2. It is a true deep cycling golf cart GC2 battery. They are rated at 230Ah's for $88.74 at Sam's Club..... That comes out to just 77 per Ah @ 12V, and we've not even taken the extra cycling life into account which drives the savings between a 4D and a true deep cycle battery even further...

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Old 13-09-2013, 05:32   #34
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Re: best battery?

I just went through a charging/battery situation this early summer. Short part of it was, due to a faulty charger and a defective bilge pump, my house bank of 6 Rolls 234 ahr batteries weren't fully charging. Two battery dealers said they were shot. I called the dealer I bought them from and he said bring them in. 6 batteries at 75 lbs each, out of the bilge, into the cockpit, to the deck, to the dinghy, to the dock, to the truck, etc., but it was worth it. He had them for a week, they had sulfated. Through his charging system, he desulfated them and tested, and his word were, as good as new, and it appears that he is right. They charge as they used to, and have capacity very much like as new. They are 8 years old and still going strong. Compare the long term cost of better batteries compared to Sam's club throw aways and use that for part of your decision. I used RAE Battery in Berlin CT. In my calling dealers, one, who sells Trojan and USA batteries, said he has lately had a higher rate of return of Trojans than in the past. I have since installed a new charger inverter, replacing the3 year old Xantrex.
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Old 13-09-2013, 08:15   #35
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Re: best battery?

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Originally Posted by keepondancin View Post
I just went through a charging/battery situation this early summer. Short part of it was, due to a faulty charger and a defective bilge pump, my house bank of 6 Rolls 234 ahr batteries weren't fully charging. Two battery dealers said they were shot. I called the dealer I bought them from and he said bring them in. 6 batteries at 75 lbs each, out of the bilge, into the cockpit, to the deck, to the dinghy, to the dock, to the truck, etc., but it was worth it. He had them for a week, they had sulfated. Through his charging system, he desulfated them and tested, and his word were, as good as new, and it appears that he is right. They charge as they used to, and have capacity very much like as new. They are 8 years old and still going strong. Compare the long term cost of better batteries compared to Sam's club throw aways and use that for part of your decision. I used RAE Battery in Berlin CT. In my calling dealers, one, who sells Trojan and USA batteries, said he has lately had a higher rate of return of Trojans than in the past. I have since installed a new charger inverter, replacing the3 year old Xantrex.
The "Sam's Club throw away's" pictured above are actually Deka batteries. These are the SAME batteries that West Marine and many others re-sell/re-label only for a LOT less money. If you want to pay twice the price for the same exact battery at West Marine or another battery retailer, then go for it.

I have seen little to no measurable cycle life differences between any of the GC2 batteries and I do own thousands of dollars in test equipment to help me quantify this. The GC2 market is very, very competitive as golf courses go through hundreds of thousands of "boxes" per year and they often spread sheet cycle life. They are also widely used in the RE market. If your batteries are bad you simply won't compete in those markets. The Johnson Controls GC2 are probably the least robust but even they will last 8 years when treated as they should be.

You can pay more but it does not always mean you get more. Rolls are in a different category than any of the other flooded batteries and you do get more. They are also in a separate category price wise..

US Battery makes excellent GC2 batteries as does Trojan, Deka, Crown and Superior... Trojan does not re-label their product but most of the others do.

As a direct comparison example:

WM Sells the Deka DC31DT Marine Master 105Ah battery re-labeled as a SeaVolt Deep Cycle 105 Item #1231158 for $247.99 WM or $2.38 per Ah

(They even call it by its Deka product number DC31DT under the WMBAT# column)

Sam's Club sells the Deka DC31DT Marine Master 105Ah battery re-labeled as a Duracell 29HM for $89.67 or 85 per Ah.

You can buy the Deka Marine Master stickered battery for somewhere in between the WM price and the Sam's price but the only differences are the sticker....

Sold as a Deka or West Marine battery not "throw away" but the minute you stick the same battery into a Sam's Club, with a different sticker, it magically becomes junk...

The only difference between the WM SeaVolt DC105 and the Duracell 29HM is the sticker...

Oh and $158.32 premium for the privilege of buying a battery with a WM sticker on it...

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Old 13-09-2013, 09:19   #36
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Re: best battery?

I think that WM batteries are made by East Penn. you do pay the WM premium when purchases through them. I replaced my generator 24 series marine start battery. WM price was $140-$150 ( I am going by memory so I don't need to be sevey corrected) and NAPA was $90 for theirs. Same rating same appearance and both made by East Penn. I truly believe by cheap buy twice. Interstate batteries are made by Johnson Controls. Many big box products are built the their own specs and price point so often it is hard to do an accurate comparison.
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Old 13-09-2013, 11:09   #37
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Re: best battery?

MaineSail:
Who makes the EverStart batteries that WalMart sells?

P.S. thanks for your work on your website and thanks for selling me your prop!
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Old 13-09-2013, 11:19   #38
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Re: best battery?

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Originally Posted by keepondancin View Post
I think that WM batteries are made by East Penn. you do pay the WM premium when purchases through them. I replaced my generator 24 series marine start battery. WM price was $140-$150 ( I am going by memory so I don't need to be sevey corrected) and NAPA was $90 for theirs. Same rating same appearance and both made by East Penn. I truly believe by cheap buy twice. Interstate batteries are made by Johnson Controls. Many big box products are built the their own specs and price point so often it is hard to do an accurate comparison.

East Penn is Deka, same company, Deka is East Penn's in house brand name.. They make batteries for NAPA, Sam's, West Marine O'reilly etc. etc... My inside contact there has confirmed that the only differences between re-sellers is a sticker. You can always pay more if you want to....
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Old 13-09-2013, 11:33   #39
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Re: best battery?

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Originally Posted by Tortuga's Lie View Post
MaineSail:
Who makes the EverStart batteries that WalMart sells?

P.S. thanks for your work on your website and thanks for selling me your prop!

I believe JCI is making them now.

Some of the older JCI supplied marine batteries were a tremendous value such as the group 29/31. This was actually a US made US Battery DCXC product sold to JCI then onto Wal*Mart. These were tremendous batteries. The current crop are not that quality. The East Penn / Deka product at Sam's is a far better value.
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Old 13-09-2013, 11:42   #40
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Re: best battery?

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Originally Posted by Tortuga's Lie View Post
Battery dimensions will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer but the batteries per classification are roughly the same but the 6V is sometimes taller than the 8D, but much lighter.....you would have to be a lorry driver to lift an 8D in and out of a dinghy!!!

Here's two links that give dimensions:
BCI Battery Group Size Chart

http://www.trojanbattery.com/pdf/trj...dspecguide.pdf

I'm sold on the 6v groups............sure beats the 27's by a mile.

Excellent links -- thank you. It looks like the Trojan 6v GC batts. are almost exactly 1/2 the length of their 8D, a bit narrower, and slightly less than an inch taller. As you say, dimensions may differ among mfgs. Might be time to invest in that batt. cable crimper tool that Maine Sail discusses in his How-To's!
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Old 13-09-2013, 11:56   #41
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Re: best battery?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
The "Sam's Club throw away's" pictured above are actually Deka batteries. These are the SAME batteries that West Marine and many others re-sell/re-label only for a LOT less money. If you want to pay twice the price for the same exact battery at West Marine or another battery retailer, then go for it.

I have seen little to no measurable cycle life differences between any of the GC2 batteries and I do own thousands of dollars in test equipment to help me quantify this. The GC2 market is very, very competitive as golf courses go through hundreds of thousands of "boxes" per year and they often spread sheet cycle life. They are also widely used in the RE market. If your batteries are bad you simply won't compete in those markets. The Johnson Controls GC2 are probably the least robust but even they will last 8 years when treated as they should be.

You can pay more but it does not always mean you get more. Rolls are in a different category than any of the other flooded batteries and you do get more. They are also in a separate category price wise..

US Battery makes excellent GC2 batteries as does Trojan, Deka, Crown and Superior... Trojan does not re-label their product but most of the others do.

As a direct comparison example:

WM Sells the Deka DC31DT Marine Master 105Ah battery re-labeled as a SeaVolt Deep Cycle 105 Item #1231158 for $247.99 WM or $2.38 per Ah

(They even call it by its Deka product number DC31DT under the WMBAT# column)

Sam's Club sells the Deka DC31DT Marine Master 105Ah battery re-labeled as a Duracell 29HM for $89.67 or 85 per Ah.

You can buy the Deka Marine Master stickered battery for somewhere in between the WM price and the Sam's price but the only differences are the sticker....

Sold as a Deka or West Marine battery not "throw away" but the minute you stick the same battery into a Sam's Club, with a different sticker, it magically becomes junk...

The only difference between the WM SeaVolt DC105 and the Duracell 29HM is the sticker...

Oh and $158.32 premium for the privilege of buying a battery with a WM sticker on it...


As usual, this information is priceless, pun intended! Thank you.

A couple of quick questions:

1. How often should these golf cart batts. be equalized/conditioned to remove sulfation?

2. Like with AGM's, is it best to only discharge them down to 50% before re-charging?
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Old 13-09-2013, 12:15   #42
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Re: best battery?

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Originally Posted by Exile View Post
As usual, this information is priceless, pun intended! Thank you.

A couple of quick questions:

1. How often should these golf cart batts. be equalized/conditioned to remove sulfation?

2. Like with AGM's, is it best to only discharge them down to 50% before re-charging?
Batteries should ideally get equalized when they begin to show signs of capacity loss, come up to absorption voltage faster than normal, drop voltage faster than normal, take longer to charge than normal or the cells become out of balance based on SG readings.

In a perfect world if the can be topped up once per week, or more often, then yearly or bi-yearly equalizations can be enough. These batts do like to be charged hard, as in 14.6V to 14.8V absorption voltages.. If you charge at these voltages they will sulfate less especially if you get them back to 100% often. In hot climates batteries will sulfate faster...

For example a deep cycle bank with a charging source capable of 20% of the bank capacity should not even attain a 14.4V / absorption voltage for 100 minutes +/- if you started at ea known 50% SOC. It should hit 14.4V at approx 80-85% SOC with a source capable of 20% of "C" when starting from 50%. If the bank comes up to 14.4V faster than that then the bank is showing signs of sulfation.

To put that in perspective a healthy 450Ah bank of four T105's really should not hit 14.4V with a 90A alternator supplying this 90A steadily, the entire time, for about 100 minutes give or take a few minutes, if you started at a known 50% SOC... This is a good sign of healthy batteries.

I know this because I have physically done this test here in my shop with known healthy batteries....

50% is the deepest recommended normal discharge but shallower discharges lead to longer cycle life.
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Old 13-09-2013, 12:33   #43
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Re: best battery?

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Batteries should be equalized when they begin to show signs of capacity loss, come up to absorption voltage faster than normal or the cells become out of balance based on SG readings. Ideally if the can be topped up once per week then yearly equalizatiosn can be more than enough. These batts do like to be charged hard as in 14.6V to 14.8V absorption..

For example a deep cycle bank with a charging source capable of 20% of the bank capacity should not even attain a 14.4V / absorption voltage for 100 minutes or more. It should hit 14.4V at approx 80-85% SOC with a source capable of 20% of "C". If the bank comes up to 14.4V faster than that then the bank is showing signs of sulfation.

50% is the deepest recommended normal discharge but shallower discharges lead to longer cycle life.
Interesting. I had no idea that a too-fast bulk phase could be an indication of sulfation. Is the 100+ min. scenario to reach absorption phase you describe above based on a batt. that is 50% discharged, or does it matter?

Is it fair to say that another advantage of flooded LA batts. over AGM's & Gel's is that you don't have to worry about equalizing too much since you can always add water? (I currently have Lifeline's and have been following their recommendations for periodic equalization.)
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Old 13-09-2013, 12:43   #44
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Re: best battery?

I've read differing statements regarding how large a battery charger should be for a given size bank. Trojan say 10-13% of 20 hr capacity. MS and other have said 20%. I'm trying to decide on a new charger for a new flooded LA bank. The bank will be between 480 to 780 AH of golf cart batteries, depending on what I can stuff in the space. Probably Trojans. I need a "world voltage" capable charger and would prefer it to be capable of operation from a Honda EU2000 on rare occasions. I think I've narrowed it down to either the Sterling Procharge Ultra 60 amp, or the Newmar PT-80 80 amp. I like the Sterling for its configurability and especially its price, but I'm concerned that it's a bit underpowered for my potential bank and does not appear to be very robust. I also really like the Newmar as it has a reputation of being bullet-proof, but it's not as configurable and a lot more expensive. Any reccomendations for one over the other or for something else all together.
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Old 13-09-2013, 12:54   #45
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Re: best battery?

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Interesting. I had no idea that a too-fast bulk phase could be an indication of sulfation. Is the 100+ min. scenario to reach absorption phase you describe above based on a batt. that is 50% discharged, or does it matter?

Is it fair to say that another advantage of flooded LA batts. over AGM's & Gel's is that you don't have to worry about equalizing too much since you can always add water? (I currently have Lifeline's and have been following their recommendations for periodic equalization.)
Yes I did a series of tests in my shop using a bunch of healthy LA batteries, including T105's, and a charge source set to 14.4V and then to max current of 20% of "C" for each bank/battery tested. I chose 20% as I find this to be fairly standard size for alternator charging..

The batteries were fully charged to less than 0.5% acceptance at 14.6V then discharged at their 20 hour rate, or for example 5A for a 100Ah, battery, to 50% SOC. SOC was then confirmed with SG and OCV readings to be sure it matched up with the battery monitor that was tracking performance.

Voltage and current were then recorded every 2 minutes. On average, from 50% SOC, it takes healthy deep cycle FLA batteries about 100 minutes to attain 14.4V when starting from 50% SOC and using a charge source set to 20% of the 20 hour capacity........
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