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Old 01-09-2017, 19:39   #16
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Re: Breaking in new batteries?

I have the same on my boat -- six Trojan T-105s -- which I plan to replace. The current batteries work just fine, but I'll be heading across the Pacific and think it's good to have fresh ones. I was hoping I could just take the old ones out and put the new ones in. I'll try to be especially nice to them early on, with low draw, but they will be put to work fairly quickly. Job done, right? Or is this like very other boat job: far more complicated than it seems at first.

As I say, the plan is to replace the Trojans. HOWEVER (here committing the forum faux pas of changing the subject), what if I want to replace these batteries with a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT TYPE? This is the first boat I've had with lead-acid batteries. I don't much like having to check the cells (which I have done carefully), top them up (with de-ionized distilled water) to keep the plates covered, and worry about what would happen if they spilled (they are in boxes, of course, but I have a metal boat, causing more than the usual paranoia). At the risk of opening up a huge debate (batteries do that like few other topics), is there another type of battery (or, better yet a specific brand and model) that is "maintenance-free" that I could slot in instead? I have had gels before and was very happy with them. But I am ignorant about whether one can use these as direct replacements for wet-cel batteries. I'm guessing that the charging system would need some modification, but saying that probably just display my ignorance.

(I know that battery knowledge is important for cruisers. I'm reading this forum in part to add to my knowledge. But when it comes to batteries I am thick as -- you know. It's like learning foreign languages -- easy for most people, and kids can do it without thinking, but my brain is just not wired correctly, if you'll forgive the pun.)
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Old 01-09-2017, 19:54   #17
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Re: Breaking in new batteries?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivansgarage View Post
Thats bull **** for a lead acid battery 10.5 volts NO NO will destroy it.
12 volts is dead as a doornail. Thats mostly what I do is batteries
for electric vehicles, lead acid and lithium.
Another issue, perhaps the source of your misunderstanding.

Perhaps you thought I meant to discharge the bank to a **resting** voltage of 10.5V, that is after no load nor charging for 48+ hours. That does indeed mean irrevocable damage.

But under a very light discharge rate like the capacity testing standard I spec'd at C/20 (5A load per 100AH capacity), 10.5V "live" is the same SoC as around 11.8V resting.

http://www.yachtingmonthly.com/archi...ry-power-26009

See also Nigel's canonical "Boatowner's Mechanical and Electrical Manual"

Note also, many LVD battery protection devices and inverters cut off at 10.5V.

A couple other relevant links: http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/a...rime_batteries

http://www.cartsunlimited.net/battery-break-in-.html
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Old 01-09-2017, 20:01   #18
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Re: Breaking in new batteries?

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Originally Posted by kimtrang View Post
Kind of off topic question. What would be the lifespan of a correctly sized bank of Trojan golf cart batteries, that were reasonably maintained with no excessive discharges?
I know many that have gotten ten years out of T-105, but **you** may not consider that level of coddling "reasonable", includes e.g. proper breaking in as described here installing in a cool location, using a good SoC monitor, checking water weekly and equalizing monthly, full 100% charge nearly every cycle, etc.

Probably well under 10% of owners bother with even half this and get under five years. PSOC abuse can murder in a single season.

The RE variant usually lasts another 30-50% longer compared to vanilla, all else being equal, perhaps more so when coddled.

Better quality like Rolls/Surette routinely go **much** longer.
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Old 01-09-2017, 20:07   #19
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Re: Breaking in new batteries?

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Originally Posted by Lantau View Post
is there another type of battery (or, better yet a specific brand and model) that is "maintenance-free" that I could slot in instead? I have had gels before and was very happy with them.
Good quality gels or AGM are convenient, and when properly coddled can last nearly as long. The list of trusted mfg is very short, and they are much more expensive.

They do have stricter charging requirements and the various abuses more drastically shorten lifespan.

And finally, you can't accurately assess SoC with a cheap hydrometer.
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Old 01-09-2017, 20:26   #20
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Re: Breaking in new batteries?

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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Good quality gels or AGM are convenient, and when properly coddled can last nearly as long. The list of trusted mfg is very short, and they are much more expensive.

They do have stricter charging requirements and the various abuses more drastically shorten lifespan.

And finally, you can't accurately assess SoC with a cheap hydrometer.
I'm agreeing with john61ct...

IMHO, cheapie GC2's will preform as well as expensive AGMS with the typical cruiser charge profiles. You do need to check water levels once a month or so. But really, that's not that big of a deal.

If you can't get to 100% every day or so, AGMs are a poor choice. (Price/performance wise). Mounting options (needing the batts to be on their side) overrides that.
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Old 01-09-2017, 20:53   #21
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Re: Breaking in new batteries?

Thanks John and sailcrazy. My bank of 4 Trojan golf carts lasted 5 years before a faulty solar regulator took them down. In that time they never dipped below 12.2v.

As with others, I'd love to find a AGM replacement for Trojans that came close to their durability.

My current batteries- 2x slimline Marathon 155 ah AGMs- are 7 years old according to the date on the battery, but I think they've spent most of their life connected to a decent charger on shore power.
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Old 02-09-2017, 03:11   #22
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Re: Breaking in new batteries?

Now that the six Trojans are installed and doing well, I'd like some guidance as to when it's recommended to top up the voltage of the batteries. I'm not in a marina and relay on my Yamaha generator or my engine for the power. No solar and a wind generator that really doesn't put out that much voltage. In the past, I'd run the batteries down to say 12.3, started the generator and run it till the Yamaha starts to surge as the batteries won't take much more volt. My Link 2000 shows them at 13.9 to 14.2 when I shut it off. After about thirty minutes of "resting" these new batteries are showing 12.8.
Am I doing this right? I know I can't get the batteries back to 100% unless I have an unlimited power source(like a marina)so I put in as much as I can with my generator. As of this morning, they were at 12.45 after running the generator for about 90 minutes yesterday afternoon(12.8reading).
I just want to get the best out of these that I can.
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Old 02-09-2017, 04:32   #23
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Re: Breaking in new batteries?

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Originally Posted by mestrezat View Post
Now that the six Trojans are installed and doing well, I'd like some guidance as to when it's recommended to top up the voltage of the batteries. I'm not in a marina and relay on my Yamaha generator or my engine for the power. No solar and a wind generator that really doesn't put out that much voltage. In the past, I'd run the batteries down to say 12.3, started the generator and run it till the Yamaha starts to surge as the batteries won't take much more volt. My Link 2000 shows them at 13.9 to 14.2 when I shut it off. After about thirty minutes of "resting" these new batteries are showing 12.8.
Am I doing this right? I know I can't get the batteries back to 100% unless I have an unlimited power source(like a marina)so I put in as much as I can with my generator. As of this morning, they were at 12.45 after running the generator for about 90 minutes yesterday afternoon(12.8reading).
I just want to get the best out of these that I can.
Well, sounds like you probably know this already but if you want the best out of your batteries then get them back to 100% every time as soon as possible after they are discharged , no mean feat even with low usage and lots of solar - takes a l.o.n.g time to get back to 100%.
I think any "charge with genny to x volts" will just be an arbitrary figure, run the genny as long as you can put up with it and afford the fuel.
Might be some things you can do though, current tailing off at 13.9 to 14.2 sounds on the low side - does the genny power a mains charger? Can you adjust the absorption voltage higher? Mine is set to 15v, though it never gets there at the batteries, if it's on the (honda) genny then there will always be some current flowing and a little voltage drop between the charger and there batteries.
Next bad news is using voltage to determine state of charge is pretty much useless, below is my 2 x t105's, accurate voltage at the terminals - load something like 2A - 6A depending on what's on and if the fridge is running - takes hours after sunset for the voltage to drop down to showing full stage of charge, a good hydrometer is much better though so much less convenient.

Sorry, not very cheery message but having happy batteries isn't that easy on a boat away from some mains power.



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Old 02-09-2017, 04:44   #24
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Re: Breaking in new batteries?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lantau View Post
I have the same on my boat -- six Trojan T-105s -- which I plan to replace.

As I say, the plan is to replace the Trojans. HOWEVER (here committing the forum faux pas of changing the subject), what if I want to replace these batteries with a COMPLETELY DIFFERENT TYPE? This is the first boat I've had with lead-acid batteries. I don't much like having to check the cells (which I have done carefully), top them up (with de-ionized distilled water) to keep the plates covered, and worry about what would happen if they spilled (they are in boxes, of course, but I have a metal boat, causing more than the usual paranoia). At the risk of opening up a huge debate (batteries do that like few other topics), is there another type of battery (or, better yet a specific brand and model) that is "maintenance-free" that I could slot in instead? I have had gels before and was very happy with them. But I am ignorant about whether one can use these as direct replacements for wet-cel batteries. I'm guessing that the charging system would need some modification, but saying that probably just display my ignorance.
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimtrang View Post
Thanks John and sailcrazy. My bank of 4 Trojan golf carts lasted 5 years before a faulty solar regulator took them down. In that time they never dipped below 12.2v.

As with others, I'd love to find a AGM replacement for Trojans that came close to their durability.

Lifeline 6V GPL-4CT AGMs can replace T-105s. They have a good reputation. They cost a lot.

AGMs apparently have their own foibles, mostly recharging related, so research on that to determine whether their requirements fit your normal routine.

Their recommended charging profile is closer to flooded batteries than gel would be; best to review Lifeline's manual and the charger manual to see if they're simpatico, but it's likely possible to drop in 4CTs, modify charger settings if necessary, done deal.

I can't comment on longevity from personal knowledge, yet. I just replaced a battery bank with 4x 4CTs, but that's been so recent I don't have a history report yet. Our previous bank of (different brand and voltage: Odyssey 12V) AGMs lasted about 11 years -- in the manner we use batteries -- so the technology seems capable enough, apparently as long as the user's routine matches what AGMs need.

Lifeline also makes taller versions, if overhead space is available.

-Chris
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Old 02-09-2017, 06:53   #25
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Re: Breaking in new batteries?

Yes Lifeline, Odyssey and Northstar are the top quality AGMs.

Firefly Oasis are great for withstanding a chronic PSOC situation.

Key advantage besides "no maintenance" and fitting in tight spots, is high CAR, ability to accept Amps faster if minimizing charge time is important.

But in fact for longevity the bank **needs** high amps charging on a regular basis.

It is also more important to get to Full 100% as quickly and often as possible.

And since you **can't** replace water once offgassed, it's critical not to overcharge, the voltage specs are a narrower range.
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Old 02-09-2017, 07:25   #26
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Re: Breaking in new batteries?

Unfortunately, I don't have solar panels to put a steady stream of volts back into the batteries and must rely on my Yamaha generator to do the job. Just ran it for 95 minutes and after a bit of a rest, they are sitting at 12.8. With out a steady stream of power(tied up to a marina), I'm not sure I can keep them at 100% with out driving my generator into the ground. It would take hours to get them there even after only going 24 hours between charges(I think).
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Old 02-09-2017, 07:44   #27
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Re: Breaking in new batteries?

Yes no fossil fuel source alone will properly top up a lead bank, unless you are literally motoring all day long.

Without regular overnight use of mains power or at least a little solar setup, your bank is doomed to chronic PSOC abuse and thus a much shorter lifespan.

Two solutions.

1. accept the situation, resign yourself to replacing the bank frequently, keep a close eye on its health with periodic 20-hour load tests, especially before long passages.

And buy only the cheapest available true deep cycling FLA batts, like pairs of 6V golf car Duracells (actually East Penn) from Sam's Club or Batteries+, around $180 per 200+AH.

2. Buy your bank in a chemistry resistant to PSOC abuse, a good LFP system costs a lot but cares not a fig about getting back to full, in fact prefers sitting at low SoC when not cycling.

A lower cost option is Firefly Oasis, currently only available in G31 size, around $500 per 100AH, and I believe currently backordered a few months.

Obviously putting in a good panel is cheapest if possible.
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Old 02-09-2017, 10:51   #28
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Re: Breaking in new batteries?

Please explain what a "PSOC" and what ever the other set of letters is. Not an electrician so,I have no clue(sorry). Last set of Trojans lasted almost exactly four years of abuse since I don't often go into marinas where I can get steady power. Stuck with engine, generator and a crappy wind generator. No solar unfortunately.
If these last me four yours, that's fine as I'll be back in Mexico having finished my circumnavigation. Once that's done, the hard choices will have to be made as to what the heck to do next. "Used to have money, then I bought a boat. Now I have a boat and no more money". These. Little suckers ran me $253 apiece. Cheapest six volts in Curaçao.
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Old 02-09-2017, 11:32   #29
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Re: Breaking in new batteries?

http://bfy.tw/DiJu
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Old 24-09-2017, 00:09   #30
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Re: Breaking in new batteries?

This is slightly off topic, but it's about the same Trojan t-105 batteries: What's the capacity (AH) of these batteries?

I realize that this is more or less a really dumb question (the kind of question that sometimes gets a reply like "if you need to ask that you are too dumb to have a boat" in these forums!). But here's the thing: Trojan doesn't give a single answer to this question. The amps are based on different lengths of time. So if someone asks "what's the capacity of this battery?" the reply seems to be "it depends on what time frame you are interested in." Have I got this right?

I think the short answer to my question is about 200 amps (perhaps officially 225 under ideal conditions) for comparison purposes.

I have two banks, one bank of two batteries and one bank of four batteries, in a 12v system (each of the Trojan t-105 being 6v), so I thought I had about 600 ah total (400 in one bank 200 in the other). But then I started to study the Trojan data sheets and got myself into a muddle. I am guessing that Trojan gives different numbers for different times because different applications (trucks, golf carts, boats, whatever) use different conventions for ascertaining amps produced or consumed.

In normal "boat" lexicon, am I right in concluding that each of these Trojans is about 200 amps (if it's really 225, I'll stick with 200, knowing also that I actually have to take only a fraction of even that 200 for real-world planning).

I'm asking because I'm trying to decide if I should add a couple batteries when I replace the ones I've got (so that I'll have two banks of four each).
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