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Old 17-01-2015, 12:56   #16
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Re: Praise for Trojan Batteries

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Originally Posted by Saltyhog View Post
Has anybody seen the new Trojan AGMs. They call them Reliant.

They are claiming to be the only true deep cycle AGM. I want to believe the marketing, but I remain skeptical.
I don't believe the new Trojan built AGM's are shipping yet. I was just on the phone last week with Trojan and the plant building them will be shipping soon if not already. This is a new plant for them, in Georgia. Previously some of their AGM's were built in China, some in the US. Their GEL's were and are still not made by Trojan but they are great GEL batteries.. Their claim of being the only deep cycle AGM is marketing... My guess is the Firefly Carbon Foam AGM would likely out cycle it. With AGM's it really all comes down to how you care for them....
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Old 17-01-2015, 15:34   #17
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Re: Praise for Trojan Batteries

I'm not rich but can't figure out all of the concern about batteries. Use them till they are shot and replaces them. I guess there is an advantage to deep cycle but a bunch of 8Ds can probably be bought for some of the prices I have seen?
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Old 17-01-2015, 16:00   #18
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Re: Praise for Trojan Batteries

I have tried a number of other brands of deep cycle batteries over the 14 years I have been living aboard and have now settled exclusively on Trojan T105s.

I have found the Trojans abuse very durably and have had them last up to seven years and still have a reasonable amount of capacity.

They are very expensive in Australia but I believe worth the money.

Having said all that I am really looking forward to Lithium becoming a truly mature technology and the prices going down.
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Old 17-01-2015, 17:38   #19
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Re: Praise for Trojan Batteries

I've had good luck with T-105's on prior boats, but my last buy hasn't worked out so well. Two of the six purchased four years' ago (next month) just failed. The dealer who did full capacity tests couldn't tell me why that happened, as they were all located together in a 2S3P bank, lightly used, properly maintained, watered, equalized, and charged with smart Magnum and Balmar regulators. Luck of the draw I guess!

Since I'm preparing for offshore cruising, I decided now was the time to do additional research on off-grid type batteries. And that lead me to a big aha moment regarding lead-acid batteries. I realized that without the ability (or desire to) charge FLA batteries to 100% SOC and equalize them regularly - you just kill them. Since I normally cruise in Puget Sound where you always seem to motor (and charge) due to tides and unpredictable wind, this wasn't a problem. But I concluded that extended cruising in the South Pacific would need a more cost-effective solution.

That’s when I decided to get the lead out, and embrace the future. My trade study results for LFP vs. FLA shocked me! The life-cycle costs for my use profile were so positive, I couldn't believe it! So I began getting myself educated about LiFePO4 battery “SYSTEMS” over the last few months, and I am now committed. Many thanks to the 4,000+ posts on the “LiFePO4 House Banks” thread from guru contributors’ like Main Sail, T1 Terry & others who have made the translation from technical publications to fractional "C" systems so much easier. You've inspired me with your passion for the subject and willingness to share your knowledge and hard work with apprentices' like me.

So, if you’re not happy maintaining your FLA batteries with hours of charging with your main engine, generator, etc., you owe yourself a look into LFP technology IMHO.
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Old 17-01-2015, 18:30   #20
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Re: Praise for Trojan Batteries

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........
So, if you’re not happy maintaining your FLA batteries with hours of charging with your main engine, generator, etc., you owe yourself a look into LFP technology IMHO.
But, it's not that simple. Although FLA maintenance is more than LFP, it's still rather minor in the grand scheme of boat maintenance, so cost is the biggest factor. LFP only becomes attractive if you are cycling batteries more than 100 times a year. Hence, full time live aboard, yes, LFP probably makes sense. But if FLA can last a part-time cruiser 5-7 years, that would mean LFP would last 20+ years based on claimed cycle duties. Will LFP last 20 years? As that's the only way to make them cost effective for the use case.
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Old 18-01-2015, 07:12   #21
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Re: Praise for Trojan Batteries

I use L16 (16 inch tall 6v floor polisher batteries).

I had DEKA (east penn) usable for 9 years. Next went to trojans (more expensive). Got 1 year 3 months (bad cell). No help (1year warranty).

Back to deka ( 5 years and running).

my .02
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Old 18-01-2015, 11:09   #22
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Re: Praise for Trojan Batteries

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But, it's not that simple. Although FLA maintenance is more than LFP, it's still rather minor in the grand scheme of boat maintenance, so cost is the biggest factor.
Of course it’s not simple! Exactly my point as every application has different requirements, parameters, existing infrastructure etc. For me, LFP was a far more cost effective option to FLA batteries than I would have ever realized without doing the research. That’s my point – do the analysis. Generalizations don’t work in technology! Everyone should do the trades before they decide. It also depends on one’s objective, be it lowest cost, least weight, least noise, etc. What surprised me was the fact that the cost to go LFP was not as big a delta over FLA as I had assumed. For me, the cost of 6v deep cycles are; 675 ah Trojan T-105 is ~$900, Full River 672 ah AGM’s ~$1540, Lifeline 660 ah AGM ~$2,200 – while 4 equivalent Sinopoly 400ah cells are ~$1840, plus another $400 for the BMS and relays.

When I say "maintaining your FLA batteries with hours of charging", I mean the cost of extended charge times - not putting water in them! When you add up the cost & time of charging FLA’s due to their Coulombic inefficiencies, charging system costs need to be considered. I just replaced a 75 hp Yanmar that spent 600+ hours a year charging batteries while in charter service. But I seldom see that cost included in others’ calculations. Thankfully Nigel Calder did the math already (same engine as mine) a few years ago for a Sail article which I used in my cost analysis.. The price of diesel in French Polynesia was $5.90 /us gal in 2010, so it depends where you're going as well. I’ll stop there in the interest of brevity.

Will a LFP cell last 20 years? I doubt it. Like FLA, it all depends on how they are used and cared for! But after studying the technology, I believe they’ll last enough longer than FLA to pay for themselves - if you actually use them.
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Old 18-01-2015, 11:30   #23
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Re: Praise for Trojan Batteries

FLA batteries are more forgiving than AGM...by far. On most cruising boats, they almost never reach 100% charge, yet go on for 5-7 years with reasonable capacity.

The best way to reach 100% charge state is not by mechanical means (engine or generator), but rather by solar or -- perhaps -- wind. And, of course, by shorepower if that's available.

All liveaboards don't cycle their batteries much. Many live at dockside plugged into shore power 90% of the time or more.

And, the way I calculate it, 6 Trojan or Crown golf-cart batteries (top of the line as far as I'm concerned) cost just about $100 each. You can buy six new T-105's from a dealer in GA for $649. I paid just about the same amount two years ago for six Crown Industrial golf-cart batteries in Annapolis. So far, they've been great.

So, the comparison is between:

$2,240 for the LFP setup which will last an unknown number of years

and

$650 for replacement premium golf-cart batteries with a 5-7 year life expectancy.


Just sayin' :-)

Bill
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Old 18-01-2015, 11:36   #24
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Re: Praise for Trojan Batteries

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What ever happened to the idea of solar on the pontoon? Avoiding carp and all that.
You have a good memory

Harbormaster, unfortunately, said nyet.
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Old 18-01-2015, 11:37   #25
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Re: Praise for Trojan Batteries

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Originally Posted by SailorGerry View Post
Of course it’s not simple! Exactly my point as every application has different requirements, parameters, existing infrastructure etc. For me, LFP was a far more cost effective option to FLA batteries than I would have ever realized without doing the research. That’s my point – do the analysis. Generalizations don’t work in technology! Everyone should do the trades before they decide. It also depends on one’s objective, be it lowest cost, least weight, least noise, etc. What surprised me was the fact that the cost to go LFP was not as big a delta over FLA as I had assumed. For me, the cost of 6v deep cycles are; 675 ah Trojan T-105 is ~$900, Full River 672 ah AGM’s ~$1540, Lifeline 660 ah AGM ~$2,200 – while 4 equivalent Sinopoly 400ah cells are ~$1840, plus another $400 for the BMS and relays.

When I say "maintaining your FLA batteries with hours of charging", I mean the cost of extended charge times - not putting water in them! When you add up the cost & time of charging FLA’s due to their Coulombic inefficiencies, charging system costs need to be considered. I just replaced a 75 hp Yanmar that spent 600+ hours a year charging batteries while in charter service. But I seldom see that cost included in others’ calculations. Thankfully Nigel Calder did the math already (same engine as mine) a few years ago for a Sail article which I used in my cost analysis.. The price of diesel in French Polynesia was $5.90 /us gal in 2010, so it depends where you're going as well. I’ll stop there in the interest of brevity.

Will a LFP cell last 20 years? I doubt it. Like FLA, it all depends on how they are used and cared for! But after studying the technology, I believe they’ll last enough longer than FLA to pay for themselves - if you actually use them.
For me, 675ah of T-105s are $540 ($90ea incl. sales tax), but I only have 450ah, hence $360. T-105s are pretty hard to kill, a while back the main ELCI tripped killing the shore power charger. The solar couldn't keep up and several days later I found the amp hour counter sitting at 490ah consumed. Restored the power, charged them for 24 hours, checked the water, equalized them for 6 hours @ 15.5v, then went cruising for 10 days, I can't tell of any harm, and they are 5 years old! From the reading I've done, it's not clear you could get away with that using LFP. If I toast the T-105s I'm out $360, do that with 400ah of LFP an you just lost $1600 minimum.

Choices, choices.......
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Old 18-01-2015, 11:47   #26
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Re: Praise for Trojan Batteries

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So, if you’re not happy maintaining your FLA batteries with hours of charging with your main engine, generator, etc., you owe yourself a look into LFP technology IMHO.
I'm convinced that Lithium is the future for sure.

But I don't want to be a beta tester, and for damn sure not a developer and alpha tester. I'm waiting for the technology to be better developed. Maybe after these batteries are worn out.

I live aboard most of the year without shore power, so I should be the ideal candidate for the new technology. But the old technology works ok for me. I run the generator a couple of hours every day, and that keeps me in power without any big hassle. I cycle my batteries between probably 60% and 80% most of the time. I don't mind frequent charging (2x or sometimes even 3x a day) because I have a heavy duty low speed genset which is almost silent, charging through a 70 amps (*24v) Victron charger/inverter. I try to go into a marina once a week or so (I need water anyway) and charge overnight, and equalize the batts. This routine seems to work well, at least with these Trojans.
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Old 18-01-2015, 12:08   #27
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Re: Praise for Trojan Batteries

I have Trojans on my little Westerly.
Checking the tags they are 4 years old.
They just work.
I have one solar panel to trickle when away.
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Old 18-01-2015, 12:40   #28
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Re: Praise for Trojan Batteries

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Harbormaster, unfortunately, said nyet.
What do you mean by this?
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Old 18-01-2015, 12:59   #29
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Re: Praise for Trojan Batteries

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What do you mean by this?
I mean nein, non, no. Nix. No masts and solar panels on mid-river pontoons; against the rules.
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Old 18-01-2015, 13:12   #30
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Re: Praise for Trojan Batteries

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I mean nein, non, no. Nix. No masts and solar panels on mid-river pontoons; against the rules.

Yes, you never know just where those pesky car carriers could end up, sure the next time he might rest it against the road bridge up from you

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