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Old 21-10-2018, 10:58   #1
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LIFELINE advice please

I am preparing to replace my bank 1 Lifeline 4 X 6 volts = 24 VDC GPL-L16T - Lifeline Batteries

This bank is 8 years old.

Most of last sailing season they started the late afternoon after float around 3:30 PM and 27.8 volts. By about 7:00 PM they were showing 24.48 volts. At that time I would switch to house bank 2, different Lifelines, similar capacity. This would easily run the boat through the rest of the night down to 25.5 volts when the solar charger would catch up around 8:30. The load is mostly Frigaboat 24 VDC fridge and freezer, 4.5 amps each. Freezer 100%, fridge 75% run time.

These four 400 AH batteries have been sitting on the hard in Trinidad with both banks connected to shore power and a charger now for the hurricane season. Individually and disconnected they show 6.50 volts each. Physical appearance is like new, no bulges etc.

I guess the question is, am I correct that they appear to fully charge but have nowhere the AH capacity? - or did I make an expensive swap?

New batteries on hand are Firefly 450 AH 4 volt X six batteries.
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Old 21-10-2018, 11:47   #2
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Re: LIFELINE advice please

Yes sounds like the Lifeline are EoL, but only a load test will tell for sure.

What is the purpose of your asking at this point, were you hoping to get more than scrap value selling them?

Firefly are fine, but don't expect PSOC abuse miracles unless you can regularly and precisely run their "capacity restore" protocol.
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Old 21-10-2018, 11:54   #3
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Re: LIFELINE advice please

If you already have a new replacement bank itís sort of mute?
However before I canned them Iíd at least try an equalization, then run them down to 21 V, fully recharge and another equalization, if your trying to keep them in service.
Watching temperature of course, and letting them rest a day between fully recharging and equalization.

However at eight years, likely they are just simply old and aged out.
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Old 21-10-2018, 15:46   #4
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Re: LIFELINE advice please

Thanks. Iím pretty well prepared to replace them. There will be some carpentry to fit the new ones in. Five are easy. #6 will be tough.

After a few hours, volts are 6.48. The Lifeline site suggests overcharging can dry them out, resulting in reduced load capacity. In my case, three years in the Caribbean preceded by several years on the dock power might yield the same results. The voltage at rest is not out of line.

We have relatively new, regulated multi point programmable charging systems. Balmar alternator controllers, Victron charger-inverter, solar TriStar MPPT. these are about as battery friendly as possible. I make a point of not deep discharging.

I guess Iím just trying to understand what Iím seeing and that Iíve made the right evaluation and move. Learning curves are steep and expensive.

Four Lifelines pictured.
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Old 21-10-2018, 16:38   #5
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Re: LIFELINE advice please

Having swapped out Lifelines for Firefies almost a year ago, I'd say just go for it and don't look back.

Higher charge rates, and without the need to fully recharge regularly our generator run time is 1/2 what it was.

80% of the functionality of what the Li fans say they get--for a fraction of the cost.
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Old 21-10-2018, 17:31   #6
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Re: LIFELINE advice please

I'd try to equalize them first; instructions are on the lifeline page; worth a shot if you want to be sure... that said, 8 years is good service
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Old 21-10-2018, 19:25   #7
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Re: LIFELINE advice please

Do you mind showing me where the Lifeline manual says overcharging dries them out?
I know thatís obvious, about like saying if you drop one on your foot, itís going to hurt, just I wasnít aware of that warning.
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Old 21-10-2018, 20:07   #8
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Re: LIFELINE advice please

Yes the **definition** of overcharging with AGM is keep boiling too long.

Assuming voltage is within spec, 14.7V iirc

Just stop when amps taper to .005C, or if worn, when amps taper less than .1A in an hour.

But stopping (dropping to Float V) too **early** is far more serious / common a problem.

Even the fanciest gear needs to be calibrated to prevent that, default settings out of the box are almost always murderously low AHT.
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Old 21-10-2018, 20:12   #9
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Re: LIFELINE advice please

Lifeline spec for absorption is 14.3 + or - .1V.
I wanted to see the warning to see if there was further info, like what they consider to be a problem, how high a voltage, or how long or something.
I just looked and canít find it, I just donít think that overcharging is an issue, or it would be specifically warned against. I believe more than once Lifeline warns against undercharging for example.

Iím not saying you canít overcharge a Lifeline battery, of course you can, and of course if you do it enough youíll ruin it, no doubt, just I think that if decent charge sources are used, and they are even close to being correctly programmed and used, itís just not an issue.
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Old 21-10-2018, 21:03   #10
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Re: LIFELINE advice please

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Do you mind showing me where the Lifeline manual says overcharging dries them out?
I know thatís obvious, about like saying if you drop one on your foot, itís going to hurt, just I wasnít aware of that warning.
It was in the FAQ section
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Old 21-10-2018, 21:06   #11
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Re: LIFELINE advice please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Berg View Post
I'd try to equalize them first; instructions are on the lifeline page; worth a shot if you want to be sure... that said, 8 years is good service
I have done the equalize a couple times.
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Old 21-10-2018, 23:01   #12
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Re: LIFELINE advice please

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Originally Posted by Nicholson58 View Post
It was in the FAQ section


That is appendix B, itís apparently been removed, or at least I couldnít find it.
Things change
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Old 21-10-2018, 23:02   #13
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LIFELINE advice please

Quote:
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I have done the equalize a couple times.


If you have then I think they are due to be out out to pasture.
Hopefully the Firefly will give as good a service
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