I have Optima AGMs with Ample Power
Next Step smart alternator regulator
with temp sensor.
My regulator is over 13 years old now as are the AGM house batteries. My Blue Top starting battery only lasted about 11 years and I replaced it with the same model Optima Blue top.
The batteries are all on solar all the time (except night!) with separate panels
and solar controllers for house and start, and instruments.
No problems ever. My Yanmar 2GM
20 starts in a millisecond. A small Engle electric
fridge runs all the time when we are cruising.
My battery system keeps on going and going like the Energiser Man.
A similar set up with flooded batteries and correct charge settings would no doubt keep going just the same except, I'd need to check the battery water
, and they would need to be well ventilated as hydrogen is produced. (my AGMs in lockers are not ventilated and I haven't had an explosion yet).
Flooded tend to get more deposits on the terminals and can spill acid. There are "sealed" flooded batteries too. They just have a larger capacity of liquid electrolyte which extends well above the plates. With that type I've had in cars it was possible to prise off a long cap and check the electrolyte.
But flooded might have a cost advantage over time?? though I'm very happy with my Optimas cost life ratio. I have one other Chinese AGM powering the instruments only, isolated including separate negative. That is only on solar charge to avoid voltage spikes from the alternator and from various items on the house circuit such as Autohelm
. That battery just keeps going too.
One early problem I did have relating to the use of a smart regulator was a single
alternator drive belt with an 80 amp alternator tended to slip and wear quickly. I then installed custom made double belt pulleys with the alternator pulley made 10mm larger than original for better belt wrap and less load. So one thing leads to another and there can be cost involved.
Leave any batteries uncharged over winter or whenever and they won't last. One percent loss every day and they are virtually flat in a couple of months. Then the plates sulphate and then they are stuffed.
As usual others will agree or disagree in the AGM debate but that is my experience.