Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 06-01-2016, 19:26   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2009
Boat: Kadey Krogen 44
Posts: 24
Equalizing Batterys

I have a 1000 amp hour 12 volt AGM battery bank on my boat made up four 8D Lifelines. They are 8 years old now and beginning to lose some capacity. They've not been worked hard, very seldom discharged below 12.3 and, due to the recession, have spent most of their time at float (13.2-13.3). Now I'm advised I need to replace them, a two to two point five boat unit expense.
These batterys have never been equalized because I've always assumed one does not equalize AGM's (can't add water). Some say a good equalization would extend their life for a year or so.
So, I called Lifeline. They RECOMMEND equalization @ 15.5 volts. No amperage value given. About five hours ballpark.
That's a lot of non specific information to my way of thinking.
So I asked if they had a recommendation on a brand of charger to use to get a constant 15.5 volts for five hours. "Use your inverter/charger's equalization mode" I was told. Well, I burned up a perfectly good pair of golf cart (flooded) batterys once using an inverter/charger so I'm a bit hesitant.
I use Outbacks for my inverter/chargers (stacked units), and I think they are good equipment but I'd still rather have a dedicated charger. Anybody know where I can get one.....or am I just being paranoid.
Any advice would be appreciated.
Ray
__________________

__________________
GRNordstrom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2016, 19:41   #2
Registered User
 
vtomanov's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: UK , London
Boat: Jeanneau Sun Liberty 34
Posts: 197
Re: Equalizing Batterys

If you get to the point of changing them just get 500ah LiFePo4 - will have same capacity and longer life and drop-in replacement ...
__________________

__________________
vtomanov is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2016, 19:54   #3
Sponsoring Vendor

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Port Alberni, BC Canada
Boat: Uniflite 31, 1973
Posts: 128
Images: 1
Re: Equalizing Batterys

Well, first, 8 years is pretty much expected service life under good to best conditions. You say they've lost 'some' capacity - around 40% is what I would expect. I would not have believed that the manufacturer recommended equalizing, and don't think that any gain realized would be significant or lasting, it would be a matter of squeezing the last out but they will still have to be replaced and you might as well get on with it.

The way I understand it, equalizing is to re-mix acid and water which tends to separate over time in stationary batteries. Gas bubbles cause the mixing action, and this would be impossible in an AGM battery.

It doesn't sound like you can do much better if you got satisfactory service for 8 years - keep alternator voltage below 14, avoid discharge below 50%, and return to full charge (that is, 100% and gone to float) as soon as practical after each discharge cycle.
EngNate is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2016, 20:27   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2009
Boat: Kadey Krogen 44
Posts: 24
Re: Equalizing Batterys

Hi,Thanks for your reply.
So, where do I go to find a price for these batterys?
They really sound interesting and if one of them is an 8D @ 500 amp hours then I could double my battery capacity.
Sounds a little too good.....What's the downside?
Ray
__________________
GRNordstrom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2016, 20:34   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2009
Boat: Kadey Krogen 44
Posts: 24
Re: Equalizing Batterys

I would guess I've lost 15%. They still charge well @ 14.4 volts and have decent stay power with a 25 amp draw. About 8 hours to 12.3 on a fully charged bank. That used to carry 35 amps for 8 to 9 hours.
Yea, it's time to replace them I guess.
Thanks for you reply.
__________________
GRNordstrom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-01-2016, 21:29   #6
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 78
Re: Equalizing Batterys

Lifelines enjoy high charging currents from their most depleted state. They say 20 amps per 100AH of capacity, minimum. Have you been feeding them this much?

Deep cycles and lesser currents help to tickle them to death.

Lifeline also has a 'conditioning' cycle, that can be called equalization, but there are some differences.

scroll down to page 20:

http://www.lifelinebatteries.com/manual.pdf

I use an adjustable voltage power supply for all my AC charging on a small land based system, a Meanwell RSP-500-15. It will go as high as 19.23 volts and as low as 13.12v and output a maximum of 40 amps.

I'd discharge your batteries to 50% and give them a 20 amps or more per 100AH capacity charge,until 14.4 is reached, then hold 14.4v until amps taper to 0.5% of total capacity, then bump voltage upto 15.5v and follow lifeline's 'conditioning' procedure.

I have a Northstar AGM battery that gets all petulant after 5 low and slow solar only recharges. It then needs a high amp recharge until 14.46 and held for as long as it takes to taper to 0,5% of capacity/100% full, to wake up and perform properly at this point.

If your Lifelines have been tickled to this rather advanced age, perhaps a deeper discharge a high amp recharge and a conditioning can restore enough capacity to put off replacement for another season, or 2.
__________________
Sternwake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2016, 02:22   #7
Registered User
 
vtomanov's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: UK , London
Boat: Jeanneau Sun Liberty 34
Posts: 197
Re: Equalizing Batterys

no down side in LiFePo4 batteries - may be price?

I change everything in my boat to LiFePo4 battery about two seasons ago including the starter battery (fir starter battery a 80ah wet is equal to 20ah LiFePo4)

the important thing is not buy a fake LiFePo4 - I buy my batteries from here : (for 12v you need 4 cells) , best strategy is to get the correct capacity and connect in series (parallel is also possible if you need huge capacities, but in this case better have a separate charge circuit for the parallel banks)

EV-Power | Winston (40Ah-1000Ah)
__________________
vtomanov is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2016, 07:06   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2009
Boat: Kadey Krogen 44
Posts: 24
Re: Equalizing Batterys

Thanks,
I'll try to find someone who sell Winston in the US.
I don't suppose they would have a direct replacement for my 8D's but the dimensions of one of them may be such that cabling together four of them (in series) may occupy the same space.
I appreciate your feed back. I had never heard of these batterys.
Ray
__________________
GRNordstrom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2016, 07:27   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2009
Boat: Kadey Krogen 44
Posts: 24
Re: Equalizing Batterys

Hi, Thanks for you feed back.
My two (stacked) Outbacks put 210 -220 amps in @12.3 volts for maybe 15 minutes then taper down as the voltage comes up. I have a 270 amp Leese-Neville alternator that will do the same from the main engine. The Balmar 612 regulator will hold 14.3 volts for a hour while the engine is at cruise dropping the amperage as needed. As I interpret Lifelines guidance ( I may be wrong) holding this voltage at this length of time is actually good for the batterys. That may be why I've gotten better life from these batterys than some others who rely only on the preset Balmar settings which only hold 14.3 for 15 minutes or so.
I'll reread the manual.
Battery technology is an interesting (and expensive) subject about which I know very little but when it comes to lifestyle on a boat is extremely important. This is particularly acute when you have a first mate on board who would rather not be deprived of her shoreside amenities! Ah, the joys of cruising and the prices we pay for them!!
Cheers,
Ray
__________________
GRNordstrom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2016, 07:42   #10
Marine Service Provider
 
Maine Sail's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Maine
Boat: CS-36T - Cupecoy
Posts: 3,060
Re: Equalizing Batterys

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRNordstrom View Post
Thanks,
I'll try to find someone who sell Winston in the US.
I don't suppose they would have a direct replacement for my 8D's but the dimensions of one of them may be such that cabling together four of them (in series) may occupy the same space.
I appreciate your feed back. I had never heard of these batterys.
Ray
Please understand that a proper installation of LiFePO4 is not a simple drop-in replacement for lead acid. You may want to read the numerous threads here on LiFePO4 batteries before taking that plunge. This link is one of the LiFePO4 monster threads....

LiFePO4 Discussion Thread For Those Using Them As House Banks


.
__________________
Marine How To Articles
Maine Sail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2016, 07:44   #11
Registered User
 
vtomanov's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: UK , London
Boat: Jeanneau Sun Liberty 34
Posts: 197
Re: Equalizing Batterys

BTW : for LiFePo4 battery you need only 1/2 of the capacity of the wet/agm/acid batteries as the LiFePo4 can be discharges in full with no issues and no memory affect or degradation for half charge life expectancy > 2000 cycles - and can be charged really fast e.g. for 100A bank it is safe to charge with 100A alternator e.g. 100A will be charged for about 1h - but do not exceed 1C charging e.g. the alternator - charger should be always <= to the battery capacity and no less then 0.05c - e.g. 0.05 * battery bank capacity

for the started/engine battery I use :

EV-Power | Lithium Battery LiFePO4 (12V/20Ah)

I originally switched to LiFePo4 because I needed the space and wanted a large battery bank which can be charged fast for my desalinator/watermaker
__________________
vtomanov is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2016, 08:09   #12
Registered User
 
vtomanov's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: UK , London
Boat: Jeanneau Sun Liberty 34
Posts: 197
Re: Equalizing Batterys

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Please understand that a proper installation of LiFePO4 is not a simple drop-in replacement for lead acid. You may want to read the numerous threads here on LiFePO4 batteries before taking that plunge. This link is one of the LiFePO4 monster threads....

LiFePO4 Discussion Thread For Those Using Them As House Banks


.
I don't actually agree - in reality if you follow a very simple rule - have battery bank capacity at least 2 x more the alternator ( and mains charger) capacity and you are happy with using 85%-90% capacity of the LiFePo4 ( which is better for the batteries actually they will last about 3000 cycle if always charged to 85% ) you can use it for drop-in replacement. - this is what I have done the last two years and I'm extremely happy.

if you want to have 100% of the capacity and do everything PERFECT then it is a enormousness expensive task - but I do not think this is worth for the 10%.

( btw : my knowledge is based on personal experience with my boat and working in project for Li-ion powered outboard engine )
__________________
vtomanov is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2016, 08:11   #13
Registered User
 
vtomanov's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: UK , London
Boat: Jeanneau Sun Liberty 34
Posts: 197
Re: Equalizing Batterys

here there is a generic info for using LiFePo4 for starting :

lithium & solar power LiFePO4, FAQ: Using LiFePO4 batteries as starting batteries...

using for house bank is actually better as you do not need the hi CCA's
__________________
vtomanov is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2016, 08:29   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Sep 2009
Boat: Kadey Krogen 44
Posts: 24
Re: Equalizing Batterys

Hello Sternwake!,
I looked up Meanwell and got a group of what I think are fixed power supplies but no adjustable ones. The descriptions didn't mention adjustability.. What am I missing?
Thanks,
Ray
__________________
GRNordstrom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2016, 09:16   #15
Registered User
 
ontherocks83's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Massachusetts
Boat: Checkmate Strobe 201
Posts: 1,593
Re: Equalizing Batterys

I would trust Maine sail on this. He tends to know what he's talking about and has the testing time and experience with more electronics and batteries then I knew existed.

Check out his web site, LOTS of good info

Compass Marine How To Articles Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com
__________________

__________________
-Si Vis Pacem Para Bellum
-Molon Labe
ontherocks83 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
battery

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Die Hard deep-cycle batterys 27M 29M 50%? liveaboardL Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 13 05-04-2014 08:25
Batterys again southace Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 6 28-06-2012 16:13
Equalizing Batteries mestrezat Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 2 12-11-2009 21:23
Equalizing AGMs theonecalledtom Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 16 15-03-2009 05:46
new batterys irwinsailor Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 26 06-09-2005 05:07



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:18.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.