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Old 18-06-2019, 12:53   #1
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LA Battery Report

Just wanted to give an update to those thinking batteries. After two years with LA batteries which after the first season had lost much capacity due to only running the diesel for an hour everyday. The following year added 220w of solar panels and was at full charge 12.8 down to 12.4 overnight. After leaving the boat on the hard over the year with panels charging the batteries they are 100%. I am at 13.4 and down to12.7 overnight.

Discussions with my electician (yes I use an electrician for insurance/liability reason) whose experience was the LA batts he supplies on average last about 7 years. Lots of insight into batts I will not add nor the make I use because I do not want to get into a flame war. I have decided to stick with my LA since the numbers speak for themselves.
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Old 18-06-2019, 18:27   #2
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Re: LA Battery Report

By LA are you meaning FLA or a sealed type (VRLA) like AGM / GEL?
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Old 19-06-2019, 01:10   #3
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Re: LA Battery Report

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Just wanted to give an update to those thinking batteries.....only running the diesel for an hour everyday. The following year added 220w of solar panels and was at full charge 12.8 down to 12.4 overnight.....
Not sure what you are updating - or the point of your post - except that is does help readers see a lot of confusion in your understanding of battery charging. I fear a lot of people misuse their batteries this way.

Full charge is not 12.8v. There are not enough hours in the day for most people to get their batteries back to 100% with solar, especially if they drain them down nearly 50% every night.

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.....After leaving the boat on the hard over the year with panels charging the batteries they are 100%. I am at 13.4 and down to12.7 overnight.....
13.4v means they are on float charge. Now they have had a chance to climb back up from a Partial State of Charge and get a real 100% full charge over the winter. During the season they may suffer badly from PSoC unless you equalise them.

The problem is that Float does not mean batteries are fully charged. Charge controllers are designed to charge batteries, not overcharge batteries them, so they will not get batteries 100% fully charged without some serious adjustment and monitoring their true state of charge to get the batteries fully charged. This takes a lot of technical understanding and measuring end-amps going into the batteries. There are thousands of posts on this subject so let's not start another one here with a one liner about 0.5% of C - which most readers probably don't understand!

They key point is to understand why Float is not fully charged - it might only be 95%, and more importantly, why this is so important for the life of nearly all batteries.

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.....Lots of insight into batts I will not add nor the make I use because I do not want to get into a flame war......
It doesn't matter if they are FLA, VRLA, SLA.... they are all Lead Acid and suffer similar problems with undercharging - except Carbon Foam batteries which very few have and even fewer can get their hands on..
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Old 19-06-2019, 04:51   #4
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Re: LA Battery Report

1,000s of threads here about batteries and battery charging. Yet people still have this belief that you tell that LA batteries are charged based on just voltage.

But, glad to hear OP's batteries sound to be getting mostly charged. I had 290w solar for years and they would get the batteries to full charge in the day IF:
- they started at no more than -30AH in the morning
- the panels got full sun all day with no shading
- the only load during the day was the refrigerator
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Old 19-06-2019, 05:48   #5
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Re: LA Battery Report

The point of posting this is because there are people trying to push certain products. Certain people wishing my batteries die.
My batteries are full at mid day. They start to go down from13.4 as the sun is going down after 6pm. I brought back my batteries fron a depressed state to full capacity. They are sealed la. 180 euros each 3 x 100ah for a grand total of 540 euros. If I get 5 years out of them they will be ~100 per year cost. For me to get this from lpf it would take 30 years of use. For wanting a 10% more use and being able to use high draw items like microwaves, hair dryers, etc. if that is what you want then that is your choice. Since I am only using about ~ 20% I suspect my batteries will go past 7 years if the damage during the first year does not impact.
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Old 19-06-2019, 06:10   #6
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Re: LA Battery Report

We are also getting similar performance from our FLA batteries. Cheap and simple, has lots to recommend for those who don't want to pay the high up front up cost of some other types.

Keeping an eye on the new Carbon/lead in Europe too which at 239 for 100AH could be a game changer.

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Old 19-06-2019, 06:58   #7
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Re: LA Battery Report

No one is wishing your bank will die.

Yes there are LFP fanboi around, but just as many demonstrating FLA are usually better value from a strictly economic POV, but that can also depends on what market you're in.

Some really need those attributes where LFP is superior, and are not on a tight budget.

Quote:
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My batteries are full at mid day.
That is doubtful, but fine if you want to think so. How to objectively measure that your bank is truly at 100% SoC

which is required at least a couple times per week in order to get optimum longevity

has been outlined in hundreds of threads, as well as on the sites we often reference here. If you want to have it explained yet again let us know.

Finally 5 years, or even 7 is no great whoop for FLA longevity if optimally cared for.

It's pretty good for AGM though, especially if using an objective EoL standard like 70% or 80% SoH.
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Old 19-06-2019, 07:09   #8
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Re: LA Battery Report

If that last little bit of charge in your lead acid is super important and you don't want to run a gen all night, you could look into something like a Goal Zero YETI 1000. Plug it into your shore power input plug and let it float your battery bank all night, then recharge both banks during the day with your solar. I am not sure it would be worth it since the YETI is $800 on sale, although you might be able to justify it because you would have a backup small AC power source and backup solar controller if things went to poop in your boat's electrical system.

For a 400 amp-hour 12V bank that reaches 90% during the day, the remaining 40 amp hours would easily fit into the capacity of the YETI 1000's 1050 watt-hr LNMO battery.
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Old 19-06-2019, 08:31   #9
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Re: LA Battery Report

Be a lot cheaper and longer lasting to do the same with a small LFP bank, but discussion of such radical outside the box schemes really deserves its own thread.

But has also been extensively debated in these past threads which could be resurrected rather than starting a new one,

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Old 19-06-2019, 10:24   #10
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Re: LA Battery Report

If I get 5 years out of my current house battery bank the batteries will have cost me $110/year. That's only $9.16/month!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Why do we spend so much time discussing the most abused and used thing on a cruising boat, but which is so incredibly cheap????

And I'm still trying to teach myself to take LESS care and provide LESS attention to my boxes of lead and acid. I'm getting better and now sometimes don't check my battery monitor for a whole day.

Stop the battery insanity!!
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Old 19-06-2019, 10:50   #11
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Re: LA Battery Report

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Stop the battery insanity!!
Why comment then?

Every topic has been done many times.

Yes I know now. You have given yourself away.
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Old 19-06-2019, 12:24   #12
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Re: LA Battery Report

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Why comment then?

Every topic has been done many times.

Yes I know now. You have given yourself away.
Well you need to explain your comment better so I understand your attack at me.

Is it that somehow you don't like that I commented on your topic done 1,000 times already with a comment of my own?

BTW - I haven't "given yourself away" at all. If you spend time reading some of the old 1,000 times battery threads over the past years you can find I have said the same thing. Batteries are cheap and they are consumables on a boat. Nothing is as cheap for the usage on a boat than batteries. On a price per hour of use the cost is so low you would laugh at the number. Yet people spend more time and money on "saving" their batteries than it would be to just replace them every few years. This includes fancy monitoring systems, enough solar panels to make your boat look like an aircraft carrier and that cost more than 2 sets of new batteries, or fancy new battery technology that gained nothing for most except in their mind to justify them.

Now I realize I know nothing because I come right out and say I'm not an expert. But 2 days ago I plugged into shore power for the first time in 3 months. Prior to that I went 11 months without plugging in. All time I lived and cruised full time on my now 2.7 year old 440ah FLA golf cart battery house bank that cost $550 brand new.
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Old 19-06-2019, 12:49   #13
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Re: LA Battery Report

The point sailorboy is this is a forum for sharing ideas. There is a concerted effort to sell snake oil of various products. Facts matter. Even if they have been said many times before in varying degrees. So how many people will try to argue with me when I say I watch my solar charger and my battery monitor both say 13.4, 13.3, 13.2, 13.1, 13.0, 12.9, 12.8 and sometimes to 12.7 over the course of the night until morning.
The point is unless you know something definitively, factual, then refrain from making comments especially if you have nothing constructive to say.
And like clockwork whenever a post or topic highlights a product not being snake oiled...the deflections to derail.
And yes, you have shown yourself.
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Old 19-06-2019, 13:16   #14
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Re: LA Battery Report

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Stop the battery insanity!!
Simply ignore threads that don't interest you.
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Old 19-06-2019, 13:19   #15
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Re: LA Battery Report

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The point sailorboy is this is a forum for sharing ideas. There is a concerted effort to sell snake oil of various products. Facts matter. Even if they have been said many times before in varying degrees. So how many people will try to argue with me when I say I watch my solar charger and my battery monitor both say 13.4, 13.3, 13.2, 13.1, 13.0, 12.9, 12.8 and sometimes to 12.7 over the course of the night until morning.
The point is unless you know something definitively, factual, then refrain from making comments especially if you have nothing constructive to say.
And like clockwork whenever a post or topic highlights a product not being snake oiled...the deflections to derail.
And yes, you have shown yourself.
Man you take offense easy and must like to argue.

And these "people" you mention probably have soooooo much more experience than you. You have gotten nothing but "facts" posted here and yet for some mystery reason you want to argue with me.

Just what is the point you are attempting to make in post 1? Is it that battery voltage increases with charged batteries? What is this idea you suggest? What "snake oil" is being sold to you?

It's raining out and I have time. If you want to explain more to ME what this "forum" is go ahead

BTW - I feel safe in saying don't understand battery voltage and surface voltage readings. I could be wrong................................, but if you really believe that 12.8+V battery reading means a lot a lot by itself, well I'll let others explain it (someone I see someone did already on the thread)
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