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Old 30-12-2013, 14:02   #16
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Re: Derka 8L16 Batteries

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Originally Posted by svinshallah View Post
My first set of Deka L-16s lasted 5 years, full-time live-aboard and only connected to the dock when I hauled out. The second set lasted over 7 years after adding a little more solar capacity to help keep them charged. I'm on my third set over 2 years. Without meaning to start an argument, for a full-time-liveaboard, you will get much longer service out of flooded batteries than an AGM. Deka, who make all three types, say a good flooded battery will outlast an AGM by 2-3 times.
That's why I'm going flooded. I was considering AGMs, but everyone I've talked to recommends against it unless the boat is always on shore power.

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Old 30-12-2013, 15:16   #17
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Re: Derka 8L16 Batteries

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
The problems around AGM batteries result from having one or more bad batteries in the bank or using incompatible charging gear (alternator regulator, solar controller, wind controller, battery charger, inverter/charger etc. all need to be compatible with AGM, set to the right settings and be of good quality)

I can only wish that were the case.....
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Old 30-12-2013, 18:16   #18
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Re: Derka 8L16 Batteries

I have two 4d Deka/East Penn AGMs on my boat. Too heavy to remove in the winter. I just checked them yesterday, thinking they might need a boost after 2 1/2 mos. on the hard. Nope, they are both at 12.8 v. I know my flooded batteries on the other boat are hurting and need to come home (they are group 27s, so more manageable). Now I understand why AGMs are so popular up here.

East penn makes very good batteries. They can't control how long they sit in a walmart warehouse before you buy. There is an EastPenn warehouse here in RI and I have bought batteries there. Very new, tested at well over spec'd capacity on my fancy electronic battery tester. I got the 4ds at Defender and they also tested over spec when brand new, and both right around 100% spec yesterday. Defender has a high inventory turnover in batteries, so theirs are generally quite new.
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Old 31-12-2013, 03:37   #19
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Re: Derka 8L16 Batteries

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Originally Posted by svinshallah View Post
...Deka, who make all three types, say a good flooded battery will outlast an AGM by 2-3 times.
There is a lot of confusion of AGMs because not all AGMs are the same.

Having just read the Deka product literature the Intimidator Starting and Cycling Service batteries deliver high starting and moderate deep cycle power. So in other words they are a NOT a true full deep cycle battery. Their literature doesn't promote an AGMs primary advantage - that of being able to charge much more quickly than an FLA battery. Thier FLAs may last 2-3 times the life of their AGMs. Deka shouldn't make such generalized statements, but all manufacturers do the same thing to promote their products. You have to learn to read between the lines!

Their generalization maybe valid in many cases because AGM users do not, in general, have the right charging regime for these kind of batteries.

My Lifeline AGMs are in their 10th year of full liveaboard use for 7 of those 10 years - only ever in a marina for 6 months during winter. For the first four years they weren't very well looked after because I was just not aware of what was needed.
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Old 31-12-2013, 04:31   #20
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Re: Derka 8L16 Batteries

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There is a lot of confusion of AGMs because not all AGMs are the same.

Having just read the Deka product literature the Intimidator Starting and Cycling Service batteries deliver high starting and moderate deep cycle power. So in other words they are a NOT a true full deep cycle battery. Their literature doesn't promote an AGMs primary advantage - that of being able to charge much more quickly than an FLA battery. Thier FLAs may last 2-3 times the life of their AGMs. Deka shouldn't make such generalized statements, but all manufacturers do the same thing to promote their products. You have to learn to read between the lines!

Their generalization maybe valid in many cases because AGM users do not, in general, have the right charging regime for these kind of batteries.

My Lifeline AGMs are in their 10th year of full liveaboard use for 7 of those 10 years - only ever in a marina for 6 months during winter. For the first four years they weren't very well looked after because I was just not aware of what was needed.
You are 100% right. The problem is that Lifeline AGM's cost more, which makes some people go to extremes to "prove" that AGM = bad and cheap (their choice) = good. This is so that they can comfortably numb away in the knowledge that they have the best and smarted out the fools who spent more.
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Old 31-12-2013, 11:05   #21
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Re: Derka 8L16 Batteries

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Originally Posted by s/v Jedi View Post
You are 100% right. The problem is that Lifeline AGM's cost more, which makes some people go to extremes to "prove" that AGM = bad and cheap (their choice) = good. This is so that they can comfortably numb away in the knowledge that they have the best and smarted out the fools who spent more.

Completely untrue in my case. I work on piles of boats and have installed SLEWS of Lifeline AGM batteries, still do. Odyssey & Lifeline are the true premium AGM's...

However I would NEVER mislead one of my customers into believing they are longer lasting than a good deep cycle FLA battery when it comes to cycle life, or that they require less maintenance (Lifeline) to get the cycles you expect.

If I want a customer to get the most cycles with the least effort (no equalizing) GEL does so with ease.. In April I have one customer going into his 15th season with GEL's!!!

If AGM's do not get proper care and treatment, and are cycled deeply, they tend not last as long as a decent quality FLA deep cycle battery, at least in my direct experience with them.

They have MANY other benefits but extended cycle life beyond deep cycle FLA's is not one that I have been able to measure or quantify, in the marine environment.

If you can give them the care they need then they can certainly last a good number of cycles.

I think John Harries of Morgan's Cloud has finally nailed down getting good cycle life from his AGM bank. One may want to read what he has had to do to get that many cycles out of them. He has a whole series on getting the most out of Lifeline's.

I was discovering exactly what John discovered back in the late 90's when we were still being told "you can't equalize AGM's" and "Discharging to 80% DOD is fine." and "They don't sulfate."... We now know that those early tunes they sung about AGM's have changed a lot.... You can equalize Lifeline's, you should not regularly discharge below 50% SOC, and they do sulfate...

Folks considering AGM's, specifically Lifeline, should keep in mind Lifeline's own words for care/longevity:

[I]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin Godber Lifeline Battery
[INDENT] 1- Fully charge after each discharge. Estimated life: 6-9 Years.

2- Fully Recharge at least once a week and equalize once a month. Estimated life: 4-6 Years.

3- Only recharge to 85% and equalize once a month. Estimated life: 2-4 years.

4- Only charge to 85% and never equalize. Estimated life: [B]1 year.
Lifeline's are GREAT AGM's, as are Odyssey, but in the real world they require very specific care and feeding if you want good cycle life out of them. They also LOVE and need to get back to 100% SOC as often as possible, which is not easy for all cruisers to do...
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Old 31-12-2013, 13:24   #22
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Re: Derka 8L16 Batteries

So Marine Sail, which would you recommend: FLA or Gels? I'll be using the boat as a full time liveaboard at a marina and taking the boat out at least once a week and anchoring out for a couple nights. I'll also be doing at least one to two week to two week trips a year without going on shore power during the trip. Followed by extensive cruising in about 4-5 years where I will almost never be on shore power. I will have solar on board and plan on having a 740ah bank. Which would you recommend?

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Old 31-12-2013, 15:12   #23
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Re: Derka 8L16 Batteries

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So Marine Sail, which would you recommend: FLA or Gels? I'll be using the boat as a full time liveaboard at a marina and taking the boat out at least once a week and anchoring out for a couple nights. I'll also be doing at least one to two week to two week trips a year without going on shore power during the trip. Followed by extensive cruising in about 4-5 years where I will almost never be on shore power. I will have solar on board and plan on having a 740ah bank. Which would you recommend?

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That depends on your budget, whether you are okay with some maintenance, if you are okay or set up for GELS etc. etc.. Generally speaking for what you want to do FLA's would be fine as would GEL or AGM but GEL will require more specific charging voltages than AGM or FLA.. AGM and FLA have very similar charging voltages but you are always best to use the manufacturers specific charging voltages, temp corrected..

An AGM or GEL bank will likely require modifications to the charging system to treat them the way they need to be treated FLA's are a tad more tolerant of abuse than either AGM or GEL because the electrolyte can be replaced. Over charging GEL or AGM can be quite detrimental and chronic undercharging really tends to eat into AGM technology more so than FLA or GEL.....

Any upgrades for AGM or GEL never hurt for FLA either...

*How do you plan to recharge the 740Ah bank???

*How much solar?

*Where are the batts located? Engine Room?

*Do you plan to have temp compensation?

*How big is the alt?

*What type of bet for the alternator/alternators?

*What voltage regulator?

*On board gen set?

*What is your daily Ah consumption?

*How long do you want to go between hearing an engine?

What type of energy conservation efforts have you been through? LED's etc?
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Old 31-12-2013, 17:02   #24
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Re: Derka 8L16 Batteries

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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Completely untrue in my case
But you're not "some people" and also ignored the smiley

I agree 100% with your post by the way, I just use a different term for maintenance (i.e. adding water is maintenance, charging is not).

Boats that spend significant time on shore power are mostly better off with AGM because those love to be at float while flooded LA doesn't. Also, if you store a boat for periods, you can disconnect AGM's for long periods and return to find them still charged 70+ percent (even after a year). When I store my boat next summer, it will have one AGM start battery on-line (Odyssey 2150) with solar power, to run essentials like bilge pumps etc., while the 2nd starter battery, as well as the house bank, will be disconnected.

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Old 31-12-2013, 18:04   #25
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Re: Derka 8L16 Batteries

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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
That depends on your budget, whether you are okay with some maintenance, if you are okay or set up for GELS etc. etc.. Generally speaking for what you want to do FLA's would be fine as would GEL or AGM but GEL will require more specific charging voltages than AGM or FLA.. AGM and FLA have very similar charging voltages but you are always best to use the manufacturers specific charging voltages, temp corrected..

An AGM or GEL bank will likely require modifications to the charging system to treat them the way they need to be treated FLA's are a tad more tolerant of abuse than either AGM or GEL because the electrolyte can be replaced. Over charging GEL or AGM can be quite detrimental and chronic undercharging really tends to eat into AGM technology more so than FLA or GEL.....

Any upgrades for AGM or GEL never hurt for FLA either...

*How do you plan to recharge the 740Ah bank???

*How much solar?

*Where are the batts located? Engine Room?

*Do you plan to have temp compensation?

*How big is the alt?

*What type of bet for the alternator/alternators?

*What voltage regulator?

*On board gen set?

*What is your daily Ah consumption?

*How long do you want to go between hearing an engine?

What type of energy conservation efforts have you been through? LED's etc?
I'm in the middle of a top to bottom refit, including repowering. I haven't decided on some points. So that's why I'm getting as much info as I can. The batteries will not be in the engine room. Most likely they will be under the companionway ladder. I am planning on having a gen set on board prior to cruising. I'd like to go as long as possible before hearing an engine, though if I have to run it to top them off, I will. Daily consumption will include depth sounder, speed log, wind, AIS, radar (not continuous), on board LED lights, VHF, SSB, watermaker (when needed) and charging laptops. As far as solar, I'd like to mount at least 600W and possibly up to 900W if I can find the room. Where I'm a little unsure is what size alternator I should install and what voltage regulator. I'm going to use two additional 6V batteries for engine start and trickle charge them from the house bank. So basically at this point, the boat is a blank slate. She'll also be completely rewired, so any tips there would also be greatly appreciated.

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Old 31-12-2013, 18:28   #26
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Re: Derka 8L16 Batteries

In premium batteries it's interesting nobody mentioned Rolls-Surrette. My wife and I have lived off-grid for 28 years and have a 1,100 ah 48V battery bank of Surrettes. We have two strings of the 5000-series 6-CS-17PS 6V batteries. They are 546ah at the 20hr rate and weigh about 230 lbs each. On off-grid power the batteries get cycled every day. Our first bank lasted 19 years and our current bank is 9 years old.

The 5000-series Rolls batteries have .260 negative plates, which is heavier than most forklift batteries. And they are dual container and have individually replaceable cells. I know they are quite popular for house batteries in high end motor yachts, evidently not so much in sailboats.

In off-grid power systems, Deka/East Penn is considered the absolute bottom of the heap, maximum economy battery, right alongside Walmart/Johnson Controls marine deep cycles. Trojans one step up from that. Crown or GB Industrial forklift batteries are considered a more serious system. And Rolls-Surrette is the top-of-the-line.

Having lived with and depend on battery power for 28 years, I can authoritatively state that you will spend less money on premium batteries over the long term than you will on the cheap ones that won't even make 1,000 cycles before they drop to 50% original capacity. Our Legend 37 is receiving two new 6-CS's during its refit (about $950 each). The 5000-series Surrettes are available as 2V cells, 6V, 8V and 12V container configurations.
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Old 31-12-2013, 18:42   #27
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Re: Derka 8L16 Batteries

My first set of Deka 6V lasted 5 years, second set 6.5 years, good stuff.
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