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Old 25-10-2017, 05:19   #106
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Re: Lead Crystal Batteries

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Originally Posted by billknny View Post
Replacing one battery out of a bank is a sure recipe for killing the rest of it. Every reference on battery management will tell you that!

All batteries in a bank should be the SAME type and age. Otherwise they get different charge profiles, and they die very quickly.

I constantly see people looking to change battery types to solve their problem" but it rarely works. If you can't keep flooded cells alive, AGMs won't help. If AGMs dies early for you, lead crystal won't do any better. I am sure you can find magic fairy dust batteries that will promise they will work for you, but they will not solve the problem either.

You really need to go back to basics and learn how to care for batteries. I worry you are going to buy very expensive batteries and have them be a disappointment.

Our 450 Amp-hr AGM bank has been in FULL TIME cruising service for 7 years. They still work because they have been cared for--not because they are special. They are NEVER discharged below about 60%, and rarely below 70%, they are quickly recharged to 90% every day, with genset and solar and then are topped up to as near full as we can at least once a week.

Discharging batteries down to 12.05 volts is dropping them to about 45% charge. That's much too low as a routine for them to last.
That's good advice!!

I would go on like this:

1. Replace the entire bank with simple flooded fork lift/golf cart batteries. These require some effort keeping watered, but are harder to kill and much cheaper. Batteries are consumables and as Billknny said, need to be replaced in whole banks, not a battery at a time. So if they are cheaper, you don't mind nearly as much throwing out the whole bank, which is what you need to do, when one battery goes bad. Flooded batteries can also be equalized, which can greatly extend their lives.

2. Don't measure state of charge by amp/hours consumed. The relationship between amp/hours consumed and state of charge is a very complicated one, and in my opinion too complicated for a non-electrician to use. [This is controversial; others will give you a different view, but that is mine.] You'll be OK if you always charge when you see 12.25v or at latest 12.1v in the system (measured at the battery with a decent voltmeter), PROVIDED: (a) there has been no charging recently and there has been enough discharging since the last charging to take the surface charge off); and (b) there have been no heavy loads on the batteries in the last hour or so; and (c) loads which are on at the time you measure voltage are small enough in relation to battery capacity not to pull the voltage down too much. Say a couple percent of C. If you want to automate that, then buy a Merlin Smartgauge, which is very accurate and just about foolproof for telling you the ONE THING which is really critical for battery management, and that is when you need to charge.

3. Make sure and get a good long 100% charge on them on a regular basis. The useful lives of lead-acid batteries is very much determined by the regularity of achieving a full charge, because partial charge-discharge cycles is what causes sulfation which is the primary cause of their demise. If you have solar, consider running the generator first thing in the morning on sunny days until the bulk phase is over, then let solar finish the job. Or in the worst case, be sure to go into a marina at least once or twice a week and let the batteries get a good long overnight charge.

4. Make sure your battery charger is up to the job. You will want it to have not too little and not too much capacity -- about .2C is ideal (some, like Victrons, can be adjusted). It should have FOUR stages (including a sub-float stage for long periods on shore power), should have temperature compensation, and voltage sensor should be connected directly to the batteries. If your battery charger is not state of the art, then the first thing to do is throw it out -- you're wasting your money on batteries otherwise.

5. Make sure your alternator is externally regulated. A heavy duty large frame alternator, if it will fit on your boat, is a fantastic investment -- can produce large amounts of power, give a good finishing charge to your batteries when you motor or motor-sail, save generator run time, keep your batteries in a better state of charge.

Good luck!
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Old 25-10-2017, 05:22   #107
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Re: Lead Crystal Batteries

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Originally Posted by GTom View Post
Back to the "lead crystal" topic, they claim to be more resistant to PSOC
Yes, they claim. Worth ZERO to me.

Now, if Maine Sail and Nigel had tested a bank and verified any of their claims, I would feel differently.
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Old 25-10-2017, 05:26   #108
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Re: Lead Crystal Batteries

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Originally Posted by daletournier View Post
Ignore your amp counter and believe your volt meter. 12.05v is just to low on a regular basis, with respect this seems to be a management problem.
Yes, absolutely.

This is a classical case of amp-counting meters misleading sailors and killing batteries!

12.05v measured at the batteries, at 20C or thereabouts, is about 45% SOC. Could be less if he's measuring it soon after any charging has occurred, or if there is any solar going into the system.

Amp/hour capacity of a battery bank is NOT fixed. It changes according to temperature and rate of discharge, and it constantly degrades over the life of the bank. Amp-counting meters will accumulate and compound errors if they are not frequently reset to zero, if they are not frequently adjusted to the changing real capacity of the bank (which is NEVER in the first place the capacity written on the battery), or if you start with what you think is a "full tank" but you were not actually 100% charged. In my opinion all this is just a mess with too many places for errors to come in.

Believe your voltage!! Voltage won't tell you everything -- won't tell you where you got while charging, won't tell you exactly where you are if there are loads on. BUT the errors are all on the harmless side, and you can rely on it to tell you the one thing which is critical -- when to charge! If there is an error, it might tell you to charge a little too soon, but that is a harmless error!
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Old 25-10-2017, 08:58   #109
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Re: Lead Crystal Batteries

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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Yes, they claim. Worth ZERO to me.

Now, if Maine Sail and Nigel had tested a bank and verified any of their claims, I would feel differently.
100% agreed, that's why I keep putting "claim" in any statements on these products. Checking the internet in a few languages, not even a decent customer feedback...
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Old 06-11-2017, 10:53   #110
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Re: Lead Crystal Batteries

Many many thanks for all your very helpful and detailed suggestions.

It's galling to realise that I've never properly got to grips with battery management, and that there's still so much more to learn......... Especially since I have long been involved with launching small satellites which depend on highly sophisticated solar charge cycles to maintain battery life....no replacements possible in space :-)

I will try to put this into practice with the next set when I get to South Africa. However I still have to choose one of three types of battery that can fit into my underfloor battery box. I have a choice of 100Ah AGM/VRLA, Gel, or Lead crystal from e.g. Deltec in South Africa. It sounds as though I should ignore the lead crystal, and pick either of the other two.
(100AH - 12V GEL Battery - BK-12V100G - Batteries Online )

plus review my Cristec charger system and most critical of all to not let voltage fall too far before recharging!
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Old 06-11-2017, 23:28   #111
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Re: Lead Crystal Batteries

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Originally Posted by jpaulstephens View Post
.... However I still have to choose one of three types of battery that can fit into my underfloor battery box.....
With VRLA batteries you donít need a battery box because they can leak acid. This gives you so much more choice, and more places you could put more batteries. Just make sure they are well secured.
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Old 07-11-2017, 11:48   #112
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Re: Lead Crystal Batteries

Flooded are usual best value and very robust, last longer without special charging requirements. That's what I recommend unless you can't get to them for checking / replenishing water, or need higher CAR.

Accurate SoC checking with just a hydrometer is a big advantage.

Quality GEL can last longer than AGM but only if charging infrastructure is tuned to their specific requirements, easy to damage and usually pricier.

AGM also needs care not to go over spec on voltage, need high charge amps and to get to true 100% more frequently for longevity.

None of this addresses the need for a quality manufacturer, which may be different there.
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Old 07-11-2017, 23:55   #113
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Re: Lead Crystal Batteries

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Originally Posted by sailinglegend View Post
With VRLA batteries you donít need a battery box because they can leak acid. This gives you so much more choice, and more places you could put more batteries. Just make sure they are well secured.
CORRECTION

I should have said:

ďWith VRLA batteries you donít need a battery box because they canít leak acid.Ē...
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Old 09-02-2018, 12:14   #114
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Re: Lead Crystal Batteries

i had an interesting chat with one of the directors today of elfa regarding their betta lead crystal batteries ,unfortunatly i had just bought a bunch of t105's and agms for my catamaran,but apparently they have on special a bunch of the 120 amp 30 kg weight galax-e batteries for sale at £149 +vat and shipping,which is extremly cheap as the listed price is over £300.
they can ship from their plant in the midlands to anywhere in the uk.

Head Office Elfa United Kingdom:
Elfa Elementenfabriek Ltd.
Burrough Court
Burrough-on-the-Hill
Melton Mowbray
Leicestershire, LE14 2QS
T: +44 (0) 1664 250025
E: info@elfa-uk.co.uk / sales@elfa-uk.co.uk
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Old 09-02-2018, 12:47   #115
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Re: Lead Crystal Batteries

Wow, thats a very good price, cheaper than some flooded batteries!
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Old 09-02-2018, 13:00   #116
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Re: Lead Crystal Batteries

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Originally Posted by GTom View Post
Wow, thats a very good price, cheaper than some flooded batteries!
thought i would give the uk guys a heads up if looking for batteries that potentially can last up to 18 years!

unfortunatly i have just bought a bunch of batteries,100kgs to be exact,but the lead crystal at 33 kg each would have just been a bit too much extra weight,and the batteries really need to be charged at a higher rate than my solar would supply~15a,but ideal if from engine or genset and able to charge at 25a + or equivalent for agms on fast charge.

here is a retail price comparison and data sheet on the lead crystal galax-e batteris FYI
http://www.motorcaravanning.co.uk/sh...ad_crystal.htm
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Old 09-02-2018, 13:46   #117
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Re: Lead Crystal Batteries

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Originally Posted by atoll View Post
i had an interesting chat with one of the directors today of elfa regarding their betta lead crystal batteries ,unfortunatly i had just bought a bunch of t105's and agms for my catamaran,but apparently they have on special a bunch of the 120 amp 30 kg weight galax-e batteries for sale at £149 +vat and shipping,which is extremly cheap as the listed price is over £300.
they can ship from their plant in the midlands to anywhere in the uk.
Interesting because I will be in the market for a pair of batteries shortly and a quick look suggests the Galax-e battery will fit (sadly T105s are just too tall)

However, I am not impressed with the website so sent them this as feedback including a link to this thread. Lets see what they come back with:

So I found your business from this forum thread:
Lead Crystal Batteries

Your website is littered with broken links, which just doesn't impress for a company selling new technology. In addition the standard of English on the Galax page is dreadful adn probably written by someone whose first language isn't English. Was the page proofed before publication?

Finally what is this stuff about batteries drying out and needing space for charging for a sealed battery, come on you can do better than this surely.

Will I buy some of your Galax batteries for my yacht? well lets just say you have some work to do before I handover my hard earned money.
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Old 09-02-2018, 16:50   #118
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Re: Lead Crystal Batteries

[QUOTE=Pete7;2573363]Interesting because I will be in the market for a pair of batteries shortly and a quick look suggests the Galax-e battery will fit (sadly T105s are just too tall)

However, I am not impressed with the website so sent them this as feedback including a link to this thread. Lets see what they come back with:


i think the problem is that as we are such a tiny segment of the market for the batterys.
we as leisure battery consumers are really not viable for general supply to the public with the higher initial cost.

ups,military and telecoms have been using them for 10 years now,which keeps betea batteries profits ticking over nicely.

you also have to consider ,do battery suppliers really want to sell you a battery that will last for 18 years with many thousands of cycles when they can sell you a battery at a similar cost that will last 4-5 years.

a cure for cancer and drug companies comes to mind.......
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Old 09-02-2018, 17:02   #119
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Re: Lead Crystal Batteries

Looks like its another pair of Varta Hobby batteries again which because they don't go below 12.4v in normal use seem to last well for us and I would be quite happy with the same again.

Pete
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Old 09-02-2018, 17:10   #120
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Re: Lead Crystal Batteries

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Looks like its another pair of Varta Hobby batteries again which because they don't go below 12.4v in normal use seem to last well for us and I would be quite happy with the same again.

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