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Old 04-06-2015, 04:45   #16
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Re: New to the Forum - Battery Question

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I have had 2 yellow Optima AGM house batteries for 12 years and they are still going strong. My blue Optima starting battery only lasted 10 years and has been replaced with the same again. They are all on solar panels and my 80 amp generator uses a Next Step smart regulator. Other advantages are no fumes and no spill. They are installed under the quarter berths. I don't know the East Penn Deka batteries but I can vouch for AGMs and I guess price is the decider. With all rechargeable batteries it's important to keep them charged properly for long life. I would stay away from LI batteries in a boat. Steve Fossett's record breaking catamaran PlayStation (around 100') had a battery explosion causing a lot of damage while moored in Auckland NZ Viaduct Basin some years ago. I understand it was a LI battery. Saved weight though for the 24 hr speed record. I've had a lot of good experience with lithium ion TV camera batteries and there are very strict regulations about size etc when carrying them on board aircraft due to the possibility of fire.
Be aware that your 12 year old Optima's were actually made by Enersys, the company that invented the technology, and one of the most respected battery makers out there in terms of producing a quality product. Enersys sold the Optima brand to Johnson Controls (JCI) a producer of "inexpensive" batteries sold under various brand. I removed a dead bank of four 3 year old JCI Blue tops just last week and have a number of the Enersys batteries still out there. I don't find the JCI Optima's to be what the old Enersys Optima's were.

Playstation had NiMH batteries not LiFePO4..
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Old 04-06-2015, 04:59   #17
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Re: New to the Forum - Battery Question

Consider regular flooded 6 volt golf cart batts from CostCo. Best bang for the buck, extremely durable, cheap. Flooded lead acid is cheaper than AGM or gel, which don't really have advantages that are so very valuable for our use.

I could not fit golf cart batts into my regular battery boxes, so had to use the more expensive and not as heavy duty 12 volt Trojans.

Nevertheless have gotten outstanding service from them. I am very hard on batteries as I live on board mostly off the grid, so deep cycle my batts almost every day. After nearly five years of this plus two accidents (run down to dead flat and left for weeks), the Trojans are still going strong without any perceptible loss of capacity. I have no problems with electrical power.

LiFePo is certainly a far superior technology, compared to our Dr. Frankenstein style Gothic lead acid batteries -- 19th century tech. But I'm in no hurry to change over -- lead acid works well, is cheap, requires no tinkering or experimentation or home engineering of anything. Maybe by the time these Trojans are finished, the technology will be more mainstream and it will be worth changing over. We shall see.
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Old 04-06-2015, 13:44   #18
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Re: New to the Forum - Battery Question

Maine Sail. Thanks for your knowledgable input on the Optima brand batteries. Isn't it often the case that when a sucessful company is sold the product suffers? In my opinion a similar thing happened to Navman Marine instruments. Thanks also for clarifying the battery type on PlayStation being NiMH. At the time of its battery explosion I couldn't find reference to the type of battery and I guessed it was LI. Boeing's B787 LI battery problems have been documented and presumably fixed. The good old lead acid battery in whatever form still has a lot going for it apart from weight.
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Old 04-06-2015, 14:07   #19
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Re: New to the Forum - Battery Question

Ach! Finally, a voice of reason and logic. Thanks, Dockhead.


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Consider regular flooded 6 volt golf cart batts from CostCo. Best bang for the buck, extremely durable, cheap. Flooded lead acid is cheaper than AGM or gel, which don't really have advantages that are so very valuable for our use.

I could not fit golf cart batts into my regular battery boxes, so had to use the more expensive and not as heavy duty 12 volt Trojans.

Nevertheless have gotten outstanding service from them. I am very hard on batteries as I live on board mostly off the grid, so deep cycle my batts almost every day. After nearly five years of this plus two accidents (run down to dead flat and left for weeks), the Trojans are still going strong without any perceptible loss of capacity. I have no problems with electrical power.

LiFePo is certainly a far superior technology, compared to our Dr. Frankenstein style Gothic lead acid batteries -- 19th century tech. But I'm in no hurry to change over -- lead acid works well, is cheap, requires no tinkering or experimentation or home engineering of anything. Maybe by the time these Trojans are finished, the technology will be more mainstream and it will be worth changing over. We shall see.
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Old 04-06-2015, 15:10   #20
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Re: New to the Forum - Battery Question

If you like to do your own repairs, concider more smaller batteries as a posed to fewer larger ones. The 31 though heavy are much easier than the 4-D. Trying to move a 130 lbs
4-D up and out to a dock is a challenge.

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Old 04-06-2015, 21:48   #21
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Re: New to the Forum - Battery Question

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If you like to do your own repairs, consider more smaller batteries as a posed to fewer larger ones. The 31 though heavy are much easier than the 4-D. Trying to move a 130 lbs
4-D up and out to a dock is a challenge.
4-D and 8-D batteries are rarely true deep cycle batteries. For that matter group 31 batteries are also rarely true deep cycle. Golf Cart 6 volts are and will survive twice as many cycles as virtually all 12 volt batteries.
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Old 07-06-2015, 16:50   #22
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Re: New to the Forum - Battery Question

Iīm working on powersupply systems for Yachts for some years and what most people donīt know or forget ist that itīs not just a brand or type of battery which influences the lifetime of a battery set.

The best battery has a short life time if the rest of the system is not built up to the demand of the product.

Also important: Charging setup of all sources (alternator, genset/shorepower charger, regulators from regenerative sources), power demand, environmental factors(espec. surounding temperature = quality ventilation), battery meantenance( water level, charging cycles, deep charging, equalizing)......

The list goes on and on. A lot of early death of batteries are due to incorrect setups and not caused by bad or faulty products. It seems very simple and basic, thatīs why there is so much wrong information circulating. I see often that owners choose to invest money in "better" more expensive batteries rather then getting a proper setup on the "whole power system". This are the best clients for the batteriesuppliers!
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