When I returned to the boat after summer storage
Irene, I saw that the house battery
bank looked dead. A bit of time in the boatyard has confirmed that it is, and now is my chance to "start over" as I hadn't even finished properly mounting them in their new location. Let me describe my circumstances here:
1. Starting bank--year old sealed group 24 flooded battery
. NO CHANGES.
2A. 20A AC charger
, new-ish, smart 3/4-phase system. I would like to get the temperature probe for it someday, but don't plan other changes.
2B. 270W Solar
w/ 15A (max) charger
. NO CHANGES
2C. Alternator--Lightly used, 5-year old factory 60A Yanmar
, with the factory regulator
. No immediate changes. I might consider trying to add a 3-stage regulator
, but don't intend to right away. Flutterby spends most of her life either on AC power, or on the hook (solar panels), so the bulk of my battery charging
is not done by the alternator
3. System Load: We live aboard, and can spend way too much time doing geeky stuff, so computers
are the big one, probably 30~60AH per day, with occasional higher usage. Stereo and lighting
are very small in comparison. We may add a small electric
cooler/fridge eventually, but I hope to get away with less than doubling the high end of usage for us. Last winter in Florida
, the solar panels
got the batteries up to 100% just about every day.
4. OLD house bank...2X G27 West Marine
AGM's, 92AH each.
So my question is: What to get as a NEW house bank. My assumptions/requirements are as follows:
A. I'll pick the shape/size based on fitting them under the quarterberth. It should be 2 or 3 G27 or G31 batteries, or possibly 2 6V Golf Cart batteries
B. I do not want to check water
levels in cells, nor do I wish to deal with acid dribbling out of the batteries. (I have always seen some leakage on unsealed flooded cells.)
.........OK, there is the background, now here's the question: What should I buy? Both technology and brand?
A friend of mine has been replacing Delco deep cycle sealed lead acid batteries every five years since 1980, and is happy with it.
The AGMs that lasted five years don't seem better to me, although they were "dual purpose" instead of deep cycle.
Gels don't seem quite right for me, especially as they would want a significantly different charging voltage than my start battery.