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Gene Morris



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2019 6:51 pm    Post subject: battery question Reply with quote

A boat dealer had recommended Deka 24m7 sealed starting batteries. They are sealed lead/acid flooded batteries. My start batteries are in the house of our TomCat. Does anyone have experience with these. Or do you see a problem with sealed L/A batteries in the cabin? It has1000 MCA with 800 CCA and 130 mins reserve at 25 A

Gene

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Micahbigsur@msn.com



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2019 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are these truly "sealed" or are they vented with a recombinant system that keeps water loss to a minimum and slowly lose water over the life of the batteries if so they may still emit the fumes we try to avoid.
You might look at the end of our current new materials lithium ion battery thred, Bob has some good insight though I don't think normally LiFePo4 batteries are used as starting batteries.
I am a big fan of the 100% sealed LifeLine glass mat batteries and they are a good start and deep cycle in one, they do have some special care needs.

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Robert H. Wilkinson



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 31, 2019 9:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The specs for these batteries sounds impressive - 1000a from a group 24. The first thing I noticed when I looked at them was the weight. Very heavy for a group 24.

Reason for this is that the amps are determined by the number of plates in the battery. To achieve the 1000a spec in a group 24 size case the plates are made very thin. This leads me to believe they will not be very robust and may fail quicker in the marine environment(vibration).

My advise would be if you don't need 1000 cranking amps go with something in the 650 range. If you need 1000a and have the room then get it in a larger case - group 27 or 31.

Regards,

Rob

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Micahbigsur@msn.com



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 01, 2019 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To expand on glass mat type Batteries, they are very rugged and were used in the space shuttle and aircraft, and they can be mounted in any position they can have a very long life if they are returned to 100% charge within every 5 charging cycles, this is a downside if you can't give them this as it will shorten their life. They are safe, easy to regulate and charge and simple in design. Their cost is above flooded type batteries and at this point below the LiFePo4 batteries.
Rob has a good point, marine batteries are designed to be more rugged and big spec numbers don't tell the whole story.
The Ranger Tug we had came from the factory with glass mat batteries.
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C-Green



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 02, 2019 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lead acid batteries will gas (hydrogen) off; I imagine those "sealed" batteries would still be able to leak some gas. AGM (absorbant glass mat) batteries do not gas off - a very good thing for batteries in an enclosed cabin. I would go with AGM's.

Jay
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thataway



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to clarify which might be some minor misconceptions here. AGM batteries are still a "lead acid" battery. The difference is the way the electrolyte is contained and distributed.

The Lifeline batteries are arguably best built (as well as the glass mat, they use a semipermeable polypropylene membrane to contain the gel. Construction includes an expoy seal, vs heat seal. Lifeline is Mil Spec.). Lifeline are about twice as expense as the Duracell AGM, which are also made in the USA , by East Penn.). The group 27 Dura Cell at Sam's club is about $160. The Lifeline group 27 is $320 at Batteries Plus. The weight is about the same, and reserve capacity, and CCA MCA are about the same.

I am going to quote from the Lifeline technical battery manual below:

Code:
Lifeline® AGM batteries are valve-regulated, recombinant gas, absorbed electrolyte, lead acid batteries. The cells are sealed with a pressure relief valve that prevents gases within the battery from escaping.


Quote:
PRESSURE RELIEF SAFETY VALVE - Each cell in the battery employs a pressure relief safety valve. The valve is designed to release excess pressure that builds up over time to vent the small quantity of gasses that do not recombine inside of the battery. Once the pressure is released, the valve automatically re-seals. The gasses that escape are mainly oxygen and some hydrogen, and these gasses rapidly dissipate into the atmosphere.


Quote:
5.2 Installation
Be sure there is adequate ventilation in the area where the batteries are to be installed. Refer to Section 6.1 for specific safety hazards associated with the emission of hydrogen gas. The space surrounding adjacent batteries should be at least 0.25 inch to permit airflow around each battery.
Batteries may be installed in any orientation except upside down (i.e., terminals facing the earth). When batteries are installed on their sides there is a remote risk that a small quantity of electrolyte will be expelled from the vents during charge. Therefore, suitable precautions should be taken to protect the surroundings from exposure to any drops that are expelled. For example, a plastic containment tray could be placed under the batteries.


Quote:
Conditioning should only be done when the battery is showing symptoms of capacity loss due to extended time in a partial or low state of charge condition. This could be caused, for example, by low charging voltage for an extended number of charge cycles, or by repeatedly charging to only 90% state of charge.
NOTE: Some chargers use the term Equalizing Charge instead of Conditioning Charge. An Equalizing Charge is generally applied to flooded lead acid batteries that are susceptible to acid stratification. However, an Equalizing Charge may be used to provide a Conditioning Charge for Lifeline® batteries as described below.
To apply a conditioning charge, first go through the normal charge cycle to bring the battery to full charge. The conditioning charge should then be applied by charging for 8 hours. At 77°F (25°C), the conditioning voltage should be set at 2.58 VPC (15.5 volts for a 12 volt battery)


One of the problems we have with lead acid batteries of all types is that with outboard motors, the batteries never get up to full charge. This is a reason we like to go to a marina, or run our generator and battery charger for a longer time every 4 to 7 days, and top the batteries off. Also leaving a battery on a float charger (with a few exceptions,) Is not all that good for a battery.

I have had Sam's Duracells last 5+ years--and had some Interstate sealed lead acid starting batteries last 7 years. (starting a 8.3 Liter Diesel engine.

Summary: often batteries (even AGM) are mis -treated, which leads to early demise.
AGM batteries, are "safe" for inside--but not totally immure to spillage, or gas leakage. They still require a containment tray, and terminal protection (from shorts). Be sure there is ventilation and no accumulation of hydrogen vapors.
No one suggests that AGM batteries should be installed upside down.

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thataway



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 12:21 pm    Post subject: Carbon Foam "firefly" batteries Reply with quote

Since I took the time to review AGM batteries, it bears mentioning the other alternative which is Carbon Foam grid material. Here are the advantages from the OceanPlanet Energy website:

Quote:
Firefly Oasis Highlights:
1.) Unparalleled Resistance to Sulfation – Sulfation is what usually kills AGM batteries. The Oasis carbon foam AGM can operate or be stored at a partial state of charge for long periods of time without a loss in capacity.
2.) Depths of Discharge to 80%-100% of rated capacity without any loss of performance
3.) Superior Life Cycle – capable of 3X the number of deep discharge cycles than that of other lead acid batteries
4.) Strong Performance in Extreme Cold and Heat– performance range is -20° C to 50° C
5.) Fast Bulk Charging and topping up is seldom required
6.) Greater Usable Capacity– you can replace your existing bank with a smaller Oasis bank due to its deep discharge capability


Taking the battery to less than 50% charge has a penalty (as it does in almost all batteries),. If there is only 50% steady state discharge, you should get 3600 cycles. If there is 80% discharge, this drops to 1000 cycles. The former is important for a full time liveaboard who needs this capacity for years on end--the latter may be acceptable for the part time cruiser.

The payoff is that the group 31, with came capacities as above costs $512-- about 50% more than the LifeLine battery and 3x the Duracell AGM.

One other advantage of the Firefly , is even after 30 cycles of severe abuse (taking to 11.7 volts--it bounced right back after only two full recharge cycle, showing no "permeant damage to the cells. The major disadvantage is that it weighs about the same as lead acid: 78#.

Fire fly has a "Restoration charge"
Quote:
To perform the restoration charge: charge the G31 to 14.4V and continue to charge until the current drops to 0.6 A. Fully discharge the battery to 10.5V , and then repeat the same charge cycle. At this point, the battery should have regained full capacity.


Ben Ellison, (Panbo.com) put in Firefly batteries 3 1/2 years ago. I cannot find any recent update on how this has worked for him. One piece in 2018 suggested that he had a problem with one out of 4 batteries, which was replaced under warrantee. Nigel Calder pointed out that some of the early Firefly batteries had defective terminals and some leakage--but that appears to have been resolved.

In searching the sailing and cruising forums there are a few boaters using the Firefly--Several seem to have better durability than even Lifeline batteries--which they claim only lasted 3 years, despite very careful use (one never knows what that is). There has been a supply issue. The batteries are made in India. Amazon lists them in stock (but one never knows there!).

I believe Colby put in at least one Firefly (?).

No matter what type of battery, please consider putting in a monitor system, like Victron, Blue Seas or Balmar (SG200, with shunt). They are all within a few dollars cost now.

Having said all of this, we did fine when full time cruising and a 1200 amp hour battery bank--and a simple volt meter for years on our large sailboats, where a dependable source of 12 volts was essential.
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Micahbigsur@msn.com



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Practical Sailor put the Firefly batteries on it's, new, not yet but exceptional new technology list in 2015, the technology came out of the Caterpillar lab in 2005. I have been waiting since then to see if the company making them now, and the batteries themselves prove out in the marine market basically from 2010. We should have some good real world input by now and if they are as superior as they tested out in Practical Sailor, with much better recovery from partial state of charge I think they may replace the standard saturated glass mats.
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thataway



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Micahbigsur@msn.com wrote:
Practical Sailor put the Firefly batteries on it's, new, not yet but exceptional new technology list in 2015, the technology came out of the Caterpillar lab in 2005. I have been waiting since then to see if the company making them now, and the batteries themselves prove out in the marine market basically from 2010. We should have some good real world input by now and if they are as superior as they tested out in Practical Sailor, with much better recovery from partial state of charge I think they may replace the standard saturated glass mats.


One of the "problems" with the Firefly's popularity is the lack of Capitalization, and advertising (sort of like a boat company we all know!). There was a shortage of batteries for a long time--that may or may not have been solved. Only last year people were waiting 6 months for 4 batteries. Also many read Nigel Calder's comments about quality control.

The Firefly, high end AGMs and LiFePO4 batteries are not for every boater. They are limited because of costs and technology (more for the latter two). The average boater would not maintain, or monitor his batteries. Monitoring The Hull Truth, where there are lot of relatively novice boaters, one of the most common issues is battery failure: Run down flat, improperly installed, not properly topped off and abused. I don't think that even the characteristics of the Firefly will stand up to that abuse.

We are seeing more LiFePO4 in some of the racing boats and bass boats--because of the light weight. (Especially when used for trolling motors. Just yesterday, there was a thread where a fisherman had sprung for 3 LiFEPO4 batteries for his trolling motor, but had no idea how to charge them.). The price has gone up--where in many "new" technologies, like the Li batteries, the price has come down dramatically--yet not in reach for most boaters.)
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Micahbigsur@msn.com



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We've come almost full circle here, because of critical charging profiles and careful monitoring needs of these superior but finicky batteries we get back to flooded batteries. They are very rugged, tolerant of abuse and less expensive if the water levels are kept up, the "golf cart" 6 volts we all used to love are particularly tough and may be why boaters haven't realized that with these new types they need to learn a whole new way of treating batteries. Gene's original question was basically about an interior start battery system, because of corrosive and volatile fumes, flooded lead batteries are bad inside, unless they could be vented outside somehow, right now the simplest, cheapest system is probably a high end battery charger correctly programmed for AGMs along with a good monitor system and then paying attention to their needs for interior use.
You may be able to find uncommon start rated LiFiPO4 batteries its very specific type of battery charger and they might give better long term performance than AGMs. I'm just trying to find a simple bottom line, but boats for some reason are never simple!


Last edited by Micahbigsur@msn.com on Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:27 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Micahbigsur@msn.com



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess I should also say in the "bad old days" we commonly used flooded lead batteries inside just like we used to tolerate a lot of things that were bad for us and we mostly all survived, but with more knowledge and better technology those ways are now frowned on.
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BrentB



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

, please consider putting in a monitor system, like Victron, Blue Seas or Balmar (SG200, with shunt



Any of the above preferred?

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thataway



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 03, 2019 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

BrentB wrote:
, please consider putting in a monitor system, like Victron, Blue Seas or Balmar (SG200, with shunt Any of the above preferred?


They are all good--but are slightly different. The Balmar used to be considerably more expensive, and in some instances, there seemed to be some issues because there was no shunt so amps in and out could be measured.

I have used the Victron, partly because it is integrated with the inverter charger for the LIFePO4. Partly because I have used them in the past. There is also a blue tooth model to transmit to your smart phone if that would seem desirable.

My current 25 came with a "Clipper BM-1 Battery Monitor". It seems to work well also.

The Balmar is "magic"--has some type of mini computer which constantly analysis the State Of Charge, and gives a %. I like to have the amps, so I know what is really going on real time--and the addition of the shunt provides that. For the most part people who have had them, feel they are very accurate. The sg 200 has profiles for Li, Carbon Foam etc.

The Blue Seas, has 3 battery voltages (Others have 2), Its OLED, has alarms, and Blue Seas makes quality products--I have never used one, but if I had a Blue Seas charger would probably use one of their monitors.
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WeekiTiki



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Micahbigsur@msn.com wrote:
To expand on glass mat type Batteries, they are very rugged and were used in the space shuttle and aircraft, and they can be mounted in any position they can have a very long life if they are returned to 100% charge within every 5 charging cycles, this is a downside if you can't give them this as it will shorten their life. They are safe, easy to regulate and charge and simple in design. Their cost is above flooded type batteries and at this point below the LiFePo4 batteries.
Rob has a good point, marine batteries are designed to be more rugged and big spec numbers don't tell the whole story.
The Ranger Tug we had came from the factory with glass mat batteries.


Explains my experience with them. Can't sit in a truck that barely gets used.

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thataway



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 06, 2019 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

WeekiTiki wrote:
Micahbigsur@msn.com wrote:
... they can have a very long life if they are returned to 100% charge within every 5 charging cycles, this is a downside if you can't give them this as it will shorten their life. They are safe, easy to regulate and charge and simple in design.
.


Explains my experience with them. Can't sit in a truck that barely gets used.


All batteries have a self discharge rate, even if fully disconnected. The AGM batteries should be good for a vehicle which is rarely used, because of their very relatively low rate of self discharge. All batteries have a higher rate of self discharge in the first 24 hours--part of which reflects the surface charge.

LIFEPO4 self discharge 1 to 2% a month
AGM self discharge: 1-2% a month when new, and up to 6% when older
Flooded lead acid: some up to 4% a week, and most at least 5% a month.

This is why I used either AGM or FLA with a solar charger when I left trucks unused for longer periods.

All vehicles have some parasitic drain (for example clocks, the ECM, the radio memory). If your truck is loosing charge rapidly you need to disconnect the battery. (There are switches you can put right on the terminal) The other alternative is a small solar panel to keep it topped off.
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