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Old 21-02-2018, 05:08   #1
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Firefly's for seasonal usage

Curious what folks would think of using Firefly batteries in a seasonal use boat. Typical weekending off dock with a few week+ long trips each season off dock. Smaller electrical budget needs (60-80ah day), have solar (200w) and likely and upgraded alternator and external regulator in near future.

Due to height restrictions and battery locationneed to stick with AGM's. Can't decide if want to go with 3x cheap Duracell AGM or 2-3 Firefly's. G31 size.

Firefly's massive overkill?
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Old 21-02-2018, 05:45   #2
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Re: Firefly's for seasonal usage

Duracell AGMs are not even proper deep cycling quality, no real comparison there.

Firefly's are great, but IMO only worth it when you **know** PSOC abuse conditions are inevitable in a given setup, **and** you have the gear to properly run the capacity-restore protocol when returning to shore power.

Otherwise Odyssey, Lifeline maybe Northstar, are well-proven robust AGMs.

Do you even really need AGM? Quality FLA will be much better value.
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Old 21-02-2018, 11:02   #3
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Re: Firefly's for seasonal usage

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Do you even really need AGM? Quality FLA will be much better value.
I have been thinking on flooded Trojans, but they even warn against mounting them at an angle (heeling boat...). Otherwise really nice characteristics, 1000+deep cycles, but sulfuric acid is the last thing I want to see in flowing in the boat...
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Old 21-02-2018, 11:16   #4
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Re: Firefly's for seasonal usage

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Originally Posted by marty9876 View Post
Curious what folks would think of using Firefly batteries in a seasonal use boat. Typical weekending off dock with a few week+ long trips each season off dock. Smaller electrical budget needs (60-80ah day), have solar (200w) and likely and upgraded alternator and external regulator in near future.

Due to height restrictions and battery locationneed to stick with AGM's. Can't decide if want to go with 3x cheap Duracell AGM or 2-3 Firefly's. G31 size.

Firefly's massive overkill?
Since you need a sealed battery, AGM is a good choice. The Fireflys should give you a good long life with minimal concern. Make sure you have a quality batt charger and the solar controller is programmed to the Fireflys specs. Two will probably be fine.
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Old 21-02-2018, 14:16   #5
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Re: Firefly's for seasonal usage

http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/f...ry_orientation

https://forums.sailboatowners.com/in...teries.148709/
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Old 21-02-2018, 15:21   #6
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Re: Firefly's for seasonal usage

Interesting reading, thanks! What about stormy conditions, when the boat does all 3D moves possible, or when the s't hits the fan, knockdown? I'd still feel safer with gel batteries.
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Old 21-02-2018, 16:32   #7
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Re: Firefly's for seasonal usage

Your money, your boat.

GEL is yet a fourth chemistry type, or third if you count Firefly's "carbon foam" as a subtype of AGM.

You haven't mentioned the PSOC abuse issue, so if not FLA then IMO Lifeline or Odyssey will be the best choice.
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Old 21-02-2018, 18:00   #8
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Re: Firefly's for seasonal usage

Thanks for the input. Charging is 40amp promarianer charger with custom profiles to match battery type and temp compensated. Solar is Morningstar SunSaver with custom profiles also temp compensated. External alternator regulator would be installed also with profiles and temp compensated (Balmar 612 etc)- personal, goal here is to really learn about 12v power management.

Lifeline and Odyssey I've ruled out simply from a cost point of view - Firefly is *only* $100 bucks or so more a battery. Might as well go all in at that point I'm thinking.

FLA are tough, I don't have the height for Trojans or golf carts. Boat more or less has a very shallow bilage so the batteries are under the aft berth. I get FLA don't really off gas if setup right, just the thought of them inches from my head is less than appealing (yes, AGM off has also if your really screw up too I think). Core issue is quality FLA won't fit due to height.

Gel have me worried I'm too new to 12v system. By the time I'm done the system will be setup able to support them and I'm confident I understand the theory if gel maintenance. Theory and practice are two different stories.

Duracell was an easy decision until I learned just how poorly they perform (after 30 cycles take 30% off the top).

I'm assuming PSOC abuse but perhaps my use profile would not be that hard on them (hence maybe Duracell would be babied and a fine choice, or maybe not).
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Old 21-02-2018, 18:23   #9
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Re: Firefly's for seasonal usage

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Interesting reading, thanks! What about stormy conditions, when the boat does all 3D moves possible, or when the s't hits the fan, knockdown? I'd still feel safer with gel batteries.


Iím surprised there havenít been thousands of sunken boats from all the sulfuric acid (said sarcastically).
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Old 21-02-2018, 21:33   #10
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Re: Firefly's for seasonal usage

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Iím surprised there havenít been thousands of sunken boats from all the sulfuric acid (said sarcastically).
Do thousands of boats get knocked down? 99.9% don't even sail out at or above f6.
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Old 21-02-2018, 22:28   #11
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Re: Firefly's for seasonal usage

> Lifeline and Odyssey I've ruled out simply from a cost point of view - Firefly is *only* $100 bucks or so more a battery.

But overall quality is much less thoroughly proven, especially wrt longevity

> I'm assuming PSOC abuse

Why? Seems like you will have the gear to get to Full a few times per week, as long as you learn how to verify that with endAmps, maybe get a SoC meter to not go too low.
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Old 22-02-2018, 03:28   #12
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Re: Firefly's for seasonal usage

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Originally Posted by marty9876 View Post
Thanks for the input. Charging is 40amp promarianer charger with custom profiles to match battery type and temp compensated. Solar is Morningstar SunSaver with custom profiles also temp compensated. External alternator regulator would be installed also with profiles and temp compensated (Balmar 612 etc)- personal, goal here is to really learn about 12v power management.

Lifeline and Odyssey I've ruled out simply from a cost point of view - Firefly is *only* $100 bucks or so more a battery. Might as well go all in at that point I'm thinking.

FLA are tough, I don't have the height for Trojans or golf carts. Boat more or less has a very shallow bilage so the batteries are under the aft berth. I get FLA don't really off gas if setup right, just the thought of them inches from my head is less than appealing (yes, AGM off has also if your really screw up too I think). Core issue is quality FLA won't fit due to height.

Gel have me worried I'm too new to 12v system. By the time I'm done the system will be setup able to support them and I'm confident I understand the theory if gel maintenance. Theory and practice are two different stories.

Duracell was an easy decision until I learned just how poorly they perform (after 30 cycles take 30% off the top).

I'm assuming PSOC abuse but perhaps my use profile would not be that hard on them (hence maybe Duracell would be babied and a fine choice, or maybe not).
I know what people say about the Duracell agms however I must say I had 3 group 31 on last boat. After 8 years they were going strong. I would use boat off dock every weekend (3 days), 1 2+ week and 2 separate 1 week trips each season. Refrig/ice box stereo, led lights instruments. Plugged in shore power 40 amp charger Monday to Friday morning. Had balmar 70 amp with external reg.
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Old 22-02-2018, 04:12   #13
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Re: Firefly's for seasonal usage

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I know what people say about the Duracell agms however I must say I had 3 group 31 on last boat. After 8 years they were going strong. I would use boat off dock every weekend (3 days), 1 2+ week and 2 separate 1 week trips each season. Refrig/ice box stereo, led lights instruments. Plugged in shore power 40 amp charger Monday to Friday morning. Had balmar 70 amp with external reg.
how much recharge do they need after an average weekend? Are you motoring a lot/do you have a big solar or discharging them deep?
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Old 22-02-2018, 04:35   #14
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Re: Firefly's for seasonal usage

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Lifeline and Odyssey I've ruled out simply from a cost point of view - Firefly is *only* $100 bucks or so more a battery. Might as well go all in at that point I'm thinking.

Sorta like "they cost too much... so I'll spend even more to make up for it".

??



I think Fireflys sound like overkill for your situation. I've had very good luck with Odyssey PC-2150s (G31s).

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Old 22-02-2018, 04:56   #15
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Re: Firefly's for seasonal usage

Sorry but I couldn’t agree less that Odyssey batteries work well in a deep cycle context. My experience is they don’t and it cost me a couple of grand to find out. Their TA department eventually admitted that to me as well.

Most of what you read about AGMs deep cycling is hyped in my opinion. If you want to get a more balanced perspective, read information from companies that make both AGM and gels like Victron. They more honesty represent what their batteries are intended to do.
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