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Old 20-11-2013, 09:32   #16
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Re: LEAD CRYSTAL BATTERIES .

Hi Phil , l have just watched Lorton's videos and these Lead Crystal batteries seem to be the business .
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Old 20-11-2013, 14:21   #17
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Re: LEAD CRYSTAL BATTERIES .

Found this in a forum
Just keep in mind that LC batteries don’t like operating at a temperature of above 40 deg C, so don’t use them in the engine bay of a vehicle. They get air bubbles in and lose efficiency. The battery bulges out on the sides from the air bubbles inside. Unlike a lead acid battery that has a vent, there is nowhere for any gases to escape out of a LC battery.

I found this link about the temperature resistance claiming a temp range from -40 C to + 65C.

Claimed yes, I have proof otherwise. ExSolar also warned me about the temperature issue when they sold me the battery. (It was a Betta Battery, as per the bid or buy link, their ‘specs’ are also given as 60 deg C).

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!to...um/wtUU_XgKuf8
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Old 20-11-2013, 14:43   #18
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Re: LEAD CRYSTAL BATTERIES .

Lead Crystal batteries

looks good longer life then LiThium.
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Old 21-11-2013, 02:27   #19
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Re: LEAD CRYSTAL BATTERIES .

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Originally Posted by careka View Post
....The battery bulges out on the sides from the air bubbles inside. Unlike a lead acid battery that has a vent, there is nowhere for any gases to escape out of a LC battery....
I've done a bit more digging and I think they are AGMs with a different construction, which means they are a VRLA battery with a valve that releases at about 4 PSI.

So if they are AGMs why not say so. Notice they compare Crystal with Lead Acid and Lead Gel, not with AGMs, which are very different to Gels.

If their life cycles and discharge rates are to be believed they they look a better bet than going lithium, at much cheaper cost. My only concern is are they robust enough for a sailboat. They don't include marine in their list of users, so are they true deep cycle or a "leisure" battery which is part starter and part deep cycle?

Why can't all this information be properly presented and questions answered - instead of the "hype" we get - which then produces postings like this with everyone trying to get to the bottom of their claims?

Many battery manufacturers appear not to be as helpful as they could. It would seem that if they limit the information they all know batteries will get murdered by their customers more quickly than they should, so increasing their sales. That is a very bad charge to be levelled at any manufacturer. My Lifeline AGMs have a 36 page user manual.

Delphi Freedom Calcium battery manufacturers are a very good example!!!! Their literature is very unhelpful in places, and produced postings on here that were seeking to determine simple things like the correct charging regime.
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Old 27-11-2013, 07:16   #20
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Re: LEAD CRYSTAL BATTERIES .

Interesting comments from Sailing Legend, although very much incorrect in many respects. In fact, all battery comparisons are against AGM, Lead Acid and Gel, and often wet sealed lead acid as well. AGM stands for Absorbed Glass Matt, which uses a fibreglass mesh between the plates of the battery. The purpose of any separator is just to hold the electrolyte in close proximity to the plates. In the case of AGM, the fibres create a greater surface area for the electrolyte to contact with. As we all know, batteries produce hydrogen gas and oxygen, which when it reaches a certain pressure within the batteries, vents out through release valves that generally work at 5psi.

Lead crystal batteries don't have a release valve, they have a rubber cap over the filling hole. As a dry powder when crystallised, there is no capability for gassing. As they don't have fibreglass separators, nor regulator valves, how can they possibly be considered as AGM batteries?

The difference between these batteries and others available (and we sell many thousands of different products annually from all of the major manufacturers) is the electrolyte composition. There is 5% acid in the LC battery - can you please tell me another similar product that has that little acid content? And as for comparing against Lithium, that is not an option. They have a major advantage in Wh / kg terms, but nothing like the durability and power capability that traditional batteries do. They also require massive engineering input to create systems - look at the money and resources required to make the Toyota Prius work - and generally this is way beyond most of our typical battery requirements / applications.

The bottom line is that battery technology is moving forward. Some of the hype claims I agree are hard to accept, some are plain outrageous. However, proof is only gained by seeing what happens during use. After 23 years working in the energy storage industry worldwide, I take some convincing. I don't add my name to forums lightly, I don't use alternatives either. This technology works, it is very different, and it is the fastest growing battery technology outside of Lithium currently available today.
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Old 27-11-2013, 07:23   #21
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Re: LEAD CRYSTAL BATTERIES .

Quote:
Originally Posted by careka View Post
Found this in a forum
Just keep in mind that LC batteries donít like operating at a temperature of above 40 deg C, so donít use them in the engine bay of a vehicle. They get air bubbles in and lose efficiency. The battery bulges out on the sides from the air bubbles inside. Unlike a lead acid battery that has a vent, there is nowhere for any gases to escape out of a LC battery.

I found this link about the temperature resistance claiming a temp range from -40 C to + 65C.

Claimed yes, I have proof otherwise. ExSolar also warned me about the temperature issue when they sold me the battery. (It was a Betta Battery, as per the bid or buy link, their Ďspecsí are also given as 60 deg C).

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!to...um/wtUU_XgKuf8
Just saw this item from Careka too, and I would concur that an engine bay on a vehicle in high temperatures is not advisable as well. As for the gas bubbles forming, again not actually possible if they are correctly charged and crystallised. I don't know when those original batteries were sold, but in the days gone buy when they were originally introduced under the spark batteries name, they did indeed have vent valves then (we have some here in the UK). In these batteries, we have actually blown the cases and caused the damp electrolyte to gas - but two things: 1) they were incorrectly charged and not crystallised. 2) they have since been recovered and tested still work.
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Old 27-11-2013, 08:13   #22
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Re: LEAD CRYSTAL BATTERIES .

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Originally Posted by phil dunn View Post
... In fact, all battery comparisons are against AGM, Lead Acid and Gel, and often wet sealed lead acid as well....
Thanks for your comments Phil, but it is taking a lot of hard work to get info out of you on these batteries.

Nowhere that I have found do you or anyone else make comparisons with AGMs as you say you do, so I concluded they were a kind of AGM. Axcom SA say that they "use a new advanced type of AGM material as a separator". They appear to be calling them AGMs!!! OK they don't have VRLAs, but then not all AGMs are the same anyway.

The really interesting fact that I found on an Axcom site is their claim that they don't sulfate. If that is true then that is music to the ears of sailors. Unless always on shorepower we can only charge our batteries up to about 85% using gensets or alternators.

Can you comment on sulfation and not regularly charging back to 100%. And why aren't they yet recommended for marine use?
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Old 03-12-2013, 09:28   #23
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Re: LEAD CRYSTAL BATTERIES .

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Originally Posted by ALLAN WARD View Post
Hi Phil , something l would like you to be aware of is how the batteries (AGM ) have been maintained over the past five years ....How would that suit a Lead Crystal battery ?
In an attempt to keep this thread going whilst we wait for Phil Dunn from Betta Batteries UK to respond again, let me try and answer some of your questions, and pose a few more of my own.

Lead Crystal are AGMs so Phil was wrong on this ones!!!! BUT unlike AGMs they need a minimum charging current of 0.3C, my AGMs need 0.2C - that means a 100 Ah Lead Crystal Battery would need a minimum of 30 amps to charge it, so a 40 amp charger would be needed to provide house loads as well. So a smallish cruising bank of 400 Ahs would need 120 amps to charge it - so your 150 amp alternator is good, but your 50 amp Victron shorepower is BAD. Apart from the minimum current demanded by Lead Crystal batteries any shorepower charger needs to be able to FULLY charge batteries in 12 hours if you go into a marina for just one night, this won't happen with most shorepower chargers on most boats!!!!

There are lots of other questions that I don't have the answers to just yet, like:

1. Why only a 10 hour rate - that is normally for starter batteries?
2. Are there different types of Lead Crystal, like starter, leisure, true deep cycle?
3. Are they tough enough for sailing boats or designed for solar use only?
4. What's their Peukerts constant - not available at the moment but you need this for a Battery Monitor?

I am now in personal contact with the MD of Betta Batteries Europe who is forwarding my questions to the engineers.

On a question of sufation he has said they sulfate much less than normal batteries but should be equalized every 6 months to help clear off the lead sulfate. I would have thought by then it would have hardened too much!!!

I will keep all informed as the info comes my way.
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Old 03-12-2013, 10:25   #24
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Re: LEAD CRYSTAL BATTERIES .

Hi Sailing Legend

sorry for any delay in replying to posts, I do keep busy during the week and don't often get the time to look at the various posts. I am a little confused though that you are finding it difficult to get answers from me - I seem to have answered every question posed so far. If I have missed something then please accept my apologise. By the way, I don't work for Betta Batteries as you stated, I work for a distribution partner of theirs in the UK just to avoid any confusion.

let's try and answer the various items in order of appearance if I may:

1) These are not AGM batteries. AGM stands for Absorbed Glass Mat, which is a fibreglass like construction used as a sheet to act as a separator material within a battery - Lead Crystal uses a similar material with a very different structure and in a very different way. This is essential in understanding how Lead Crystal batteries work. The person with whom you spoke, who is the MD of Betta Batteries Europe, said to you directly that yes we do use AGM but not in any way the same as you would traditionally find it being used. I think you have perhaps not fully understood what he said. This is a whole different technology and way of constructing the insides of the battery - you just have accept that there are different ways of doing things using the same materials and principals. The other issue is people incorrectly use acronyms like AGM and assign them to products, which leads to misunderstanding, rather than as part elements.
2) the Victron shorepower will be fine as a charger - it has been used by boat companies here and on other applications with LC without issue. It is an excellent charger unit and will not cause a problem.
3) C10 is the rate normally used for traditional applications like UPS systems, C3 or C5 is generally used for starter batteries. Again, historically people associated batteries of a particular type for a particular application - this is now changing. I am currently using some LC batteries to power electric vehicles (the type you see in airports etc) and they are working brilliantly. The reason? how the battery is constructed and how Betta can make it work using the electrolyte they use and the plate structure/formation they use. Just because it used to be, doesn't mean it is as my mother once told me.
4) there are indeed other types of Lead Crystal batteries, but often these are batteries which are market specific due to their physical size, rather than their capabilities. The electrolyte is the same in all, the plates are as well, but the case sizes and shapes vary. And in these products, they get rated at c3 or c5 or c20 depending on where they are being sold. Interestingly though, they are basically all the same thing.
5) when batteries are tested by the IEC, they have to pass multiple drop tests and still work, and also not lose electrolyte, and the LC has passed all the relevant IEC tests. Not only that, one of the directors of Betta Batteries has even had batteries shot and still used them. They are perfectly suitable for sailing boats, they get used on tanks and military applications which are far more rugged and abusive environments without issue.
6) Peukerts figure is 1.
7) sulphation, not an issue if you use the batteries and cycle them properly.

The best thing I can say to you or anyone who is doubtful about the claims being made is simply to buy some. They have a three year warranty, and if performance is not up to scratch, send them back for a refund. Technology advances all the time, and this time it has finally applied to storage batteries. More and more manufacturers are looking at advances in old technologies with tweaks and twists that are making huge differences - be it plate thickness, compounds included in the plates, electrolyte formations or whatever. The biggest changes however will have to come from users, and that is a mind set issue people will have to overcome.

Now, please excuse me I have rugby training to attend in the cold and wet of a typically beautiful English December evening - deep joy!!
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:20   #25
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Re: LEAD CRYSTAL BATTERIES .

Phill,

To be honest you guys are a little over my head when it comes to battery technology, and I am good with that. But I deal with a lot of bad batteries, and so am always interested in new technology that may make my life easier. Particularly now that flooded cells are no longer in spec for use on boats.

That being said, I have some issues when it comes to using a LC battery or a LIFEPO one for that matter. In part it is because I don't understand, and in part it is because there is no unbiased review of them from a source I accept as authorative.

My question for you is if either you, or the manufacturer would be willing to contribute to a research project by a neutral third party. Practical Sailor comes to mind, but there are some very good British sailing magazines that could also undertake this type of review I am sure.

In my eyes a positive test/endorsement from them would open up a huge new market for your batteries, and give those of us who have just a cursory understanding of batteries a much better basis from which to work.


I would like to commend you for coming on a forum like this and answering questions abut your products. It is nice to have a line to an informed person when discussing new technology.

As for warranty value... It often costs more than a new battery to get bad batteries anywhere. So unless the manufacturer is willing to warranty the shipping as well they are useless to me. I have a boat on Jamaica, to get a battery from there to the US would cost me about $2,000 and take 8 weeks to get to the US. So no warranty by any manufacturer is going to really matter much to me, since I couldn't take advantage of it anyway.
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Old 03-12-2013, 11:41   #26
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Re: LEAD CRYSTAL BATTERIES .

"Particularly that flooded batteries are no longer in spec for use on boats."

Exactly what do you mean by this? Not only are flooded batteries the best value they can also last as long as many other types of battery.
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Old 03-12-2013, 12:52   #27
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Re: LEAD CRYSTAL BATTERIES .

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Originally Posted by sailinglegend View Post

There are lots of other questions that I don't have the answers to just yet, like:

1. Why only a 10 hour rate - that is normally for starter batteries?

When I looked at the site, I found it difficult to quickly compare LC batteries to common group sizes I'm familiar with (31, 4D, 8D, golf carts, etc.) -- without registering for and then downloading the PDF.

I also found the 10-hour rate not particularly useful... since we're used to using the 20-hour rate for amp-hour comparisons...

So I couldn't get a fast feel for whether LC is enough better to make pursuit worthwhile when (if?) they eventually arrive here...

For example, if a pair of 6v AGM golf cart batteries will give 220-ah at 12v for $XXX... and some kind of equivalent LCs will give 230-ah for $XXXX... it might take me a while to look closely enough to decide whether the investment would be a giant technology leap... or just a small hop.

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Old 03-12-2013, 14:12   #28
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Re: LEAD CRYSTAL BATTERIES .

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Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
"Particularly that flooded batteries are no longer in spec for use on boats."

Exactly what do you mean by this? Not only are flooded batteries the best value they can also last as long as many other types of battery.
I should rephrase. Only sealed batteries are now approved for OSR/IORC racing or cruises. See OSR 3.28.4 b which states...

3.28.4 Battery Systems
b) All rechargeable batteries on board shall be of the sealed type from which liquid electrolyte cannot escape. Other types of battery installed on board at 1/12 may continue in use for the remainder of their service lives.

This rule has been interpreted to exclude sealed lead acid, but to include gell, agm, and lifepo. I would assume a lead crystal would also be acceptable depending on construction method.
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Old 03-12-2013, 14:30   #29
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Re: LEAD CRYSTAL BATTERIES .

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I should rephrase. Only sealed batteries are now approved for OSR/IORC racing or cruises. See OSR 3.28.4 b which states...

3.28.4 Battery Systems
b) All rechargeable batteries on board shall be of the sealed type from which liquid electrolyte cannot escape. Other types of battery installed on board at 1/12 may continue in use for the remainder of their service lives.

This rule has been interpreted to exclude sealed lead acid, but to include gell, agm, and lifepo. I would assume a lead crystal would also be acceptable depending on construction method.
I see. Too bad, some of the best batteries available with the longest service life are top level flooded batteries from Rolls/Surrette. Not many other batteries can reach 15 years plus.
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Old 04-12-2013, 00:52   #30
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Re: LEAD CRYSTAL BATTERIES .

Dear Greg

your email or post about 3rd party testing is exactly what we want to do. Any information about a suitable testing party that can be provided would be extremely useful and we will take it up with them. Happy to do this.
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