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Old 02-12-2019, 06:49   #1
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Location: Fredericton, NB, Canada in the summer and fall; Caribbean in winter and spring aboard Cat Tales.
Boat: FP Tobago 35 (and a H-21 SE)
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I bought three new house batteries, giving up trying to keep a larger bank to make them last longer. No matter what, how babied, how lightly used, how often topped up and equalized, in the tropics, they die after year 4. I purchased them at Budget Marine, and they came with no information. (Choices are still somewhat limited - If you see it and you need it, you buy it)
I have challenged Budget personnel to find this, and have some hope they can.

I searched the Delco sites, found only one that allowed for contacts, and asked these questions. They said they are not authorized to provide the info, and that I should ask my nearest Delco Service Provider. Call me crazy, but I just don't think a Florida car dealership can tell me how to maintain marine deep cycle batteries with solar and wind in the deep, hot Caribbean. I'd rather have the email of the person at Delco they will ultimately have to call.
If you have these answers, please advise:

1.* What is the upper voltage setpoint that external alternator regulators, solar controllers, and windmill controllers should be set*up for for this brand and model?
2.* When the battery is set up for long-term storage (3-7 months), should the battery be disconnected, kept connected at the normal setpoint, or set to be maintained at a lower voltage?* Does the heat / temperature of the storage environment have any impact on these recommendations?
3.* What is the recommended, regular percent of discharge to optimize the lifetime of the battery?* 50%?
4.* If equalization of the battery is recommended from time to time, what are the recommendations; ie: what voltage, how long, and how often?
5.* What other recommendations does the manufacturer have for the new owner?
6.* What is the 21 hour amp-hour rating for this model?

I am currently in Carriacou, having fun; but likely undercharging my batteries due to a lack of information.

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Old 02-12-2019, 06:53   #2
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Re: ACDELCO Batteries, ACDM27DC

First you should know in spite of what it says on the label, a group 27 Delco battery is not a deep cycle battery. This could easily be your problem

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Old 02-12-2019, 08:11   #3
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Re: ACDELCO Batteries, ACDM27DC

From the AC Delco FAQs page ➥

• Recharge battery after each use.
• Use a taper type charger set at 15.0 volts: For best results, a 10-15 amp taper type charger is recommended to recharge ACDelco Voyager models. Taper chargers help avoid overcharge by reducing the charge rate as the battery nears full charge. Follow instructions provided with the charger.
• Determine the charging time that will be required. Check the built-in indicator and charge the battery for at least the number of hours shown in the charging table (located in “Charging Instructions” section). If the green ball is not visible in the indicator after charging, tap lightly on top to dislodge trapped air bubbles that might keep the green ball from floating into view. For the most accurate results allow the battery to rest for 12 hours then measure battery voltage, 12.8 volts is fully charged.
• NOTE: A more definite charging time can be set if an accurate voltmeter is available for reading open circuit voltage
• DO NOT leave a battery connected to a battery charger after the battery is fully charged. Inspect battery every 2 hours when charging.
• Batteries charge more efficiently at 60–80 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn off charger if battery is hot.
• Keep battery in a cool place when storing for long periods (make sure battery is fully charged – a discharged battery’s electrolyte can freeze).
• Keep battery terminals clean and free of corrosion. To remove corrosion from terminals use a terminal brush.
• For maximum battery life where electrical requirements are high, separate starting and running batteries are recommended.

Fully charged ACDelco Batteries (OCV is ≥12.7) should be stored in an upright position at temperatures between 32°F and 70°F. When a battery is stored, a very slow chemical reaction takes place between the plate materials and the electrolyte, causing a slow discharge. This reaction, called a self-discharge, occurs more rapidly at higher temperatures. If an ACDelco Battery is completely discharged, the electrolyte will freeze when stored below 30°F. To prevent electrolyte freezing and battery damage, do not store ACDelco Batteries below 30°F if their OCV is less than 12.5 volts.

AC Delco Marine/RV Deep Cycle Instruction Sheet
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 02-12-2019, 11:50   #4
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Re: ACDELCO Batteries, ACDM27DC

Yes, can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

There is a very short list of respected manufacturers of batteries truly suitable for deep cycling usage, and none are focused on big box retail nor the automotive market.

FLA is better value, more robust and longer lasting if you can go that way.

The best battery value by far is Duracell (actually Deka/East Penn) FLA deep cycle golf cart batteries, 2x6V, around $200 per 200+AH @12V pair from BatteriesPlus or Sam's Club. Deka labeled same batts also sold at Lowes.

Others include Rolls/Surette, Trojan, U.S. Battery, Crown and Superior.

If you truly need AGM, you will also need to spend more per Ah per year.

Odyssey, Northstar & Lifeline are the top makers there.
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