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Old 27-10-2014, 12:20   #1
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Life of a gel Battery

Bought a West Marine deep cycle marine gel battery. After 5 years of light use, it has failed. Could the culprit be a dumb charging system consisting of a basic J35/Yanmar alternator? Thanks in advance for ideas.
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Old 27-10-2014, 12:33   #2
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Re: Life of a gel Battery

Five years from a West Marine battery sounds like you got more than your money's worth.
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Old 27-10-2014, 21:17   #3
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Re: Life of a gel Battery

We used 3 Sonnenshein batteries back in 1986-91
or so and then sold the boat. When we next saw
the boat in 1999, the same batteries were working.
It was 270 amp hours of batteries charged by
96 watts of solar, through a controller that would
never let the batteries see more than 14.2 volts.
That's the critical thing with sealed gel batteries.
We had refrigeration and ham radio and autopilot.
Love the gel cells.
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Old 28-10-2014, 05:02   #4
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Re: Life of a gel Battery

I went around the world twice with the same set of gel batteries. I think they were Geltech. Gel batts are really underrated (most AGM greatly overrated), you just need to properly charge them. The CAR may not be so high, however most boats don't have that much charging power anyhow.

Of course they are heavy, and you can still ruin them with extended PSOC (Partial State Of Charge) operation, same as with AGM.
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Old 29-10-2014, 11:07   #5
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Re: Life of a gel Battery

Probably. Both your alternator and chargers need to be configured to gel voltages
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Old 29-10-2014, 11:20   #6
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Re: Life of a gel Battery

Don't buy batteries at WM, they are the same with huge markups.

5 years is OK, but many have lasted longer. As Maine Sail says, "Batteries don't die, they are murdered!!!"

Poke around here on the battery topics and find out why:
Electrical Systems 101 Electrical Systems 101
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Old 02-11-2014, 14:16   #7
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Re: Life of a gel Battery

A lot of good info. Whats the best way to remedy the "dumb" charger to be more friendly to the remaining gel battery? Thanks.
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Old 02-11-2014, 14:45   #8
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Re: Life of a gel Battery

Gels should last much longer than that. It may not be the only issue, but sustained internally regulated alternator use, with charge voltage probably set for wet cells and not gels, is certainly a suspect.


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Old 02-11-2014, 14:47   #9
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Re: Life of a gel Battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghost0070 View Post
Bought a West Marine deep cycle marine gel battery. After 5 years of light use, it has failed. Could the culprit be a dumb charging system consisting of a basic J35/Yanmar alternator? Thanks in advance for ideas.
I doubt it really is the fault of the charger. Unless you can provide data as to the amount of discharge, state of charge, how you left the battery state etc., I would say it more likely the way you treated and maintained the battery is the answer.
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