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Old 05-30-2012
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Lifeline Batteries

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I propose to fit Lifeline AGMs to Clarity's emerging electrical system, because to the best of my knowledge they are the best batteries about. Is that the experience of members?
If so, I propose a house bank of about 400 Ah and a starter of 105Ah, all AGMs, combined through a VSR. Despite Calder's advice that batteries should be all the same size, may I instal 2 x Lifeline GPL4DA 210 Ah as house and a GPL31T 105Ah as starter? With 600 cca's, this is sufficient for my brand new Betamarine (Kubota) 50hp
Any advice would be appreciated. Cheers. Bill
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Old 05-30-2012
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Have used AGMs but have gone back to flooded. More AmpHrs and tougher. The only real benefit to AGMs is that they work upsidedown (do not gas and are low maintenance). As I try to keep the boat topside up most of the time I find flooded give more bang for the buck.
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Old 05-30-2012
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Re: Lifeline Batteries

Clarity

I agree with Sea_hunter, flooded is the best bang for the buck. Flooded are also often the longest lasting batteries. 6 volt golf carts such as Trojan T-105 or Deka/East Penn made golf carts under the Duracell brand name at Sam's are excellent choices as they are more durable than 12 volt batteries.

If you stick with the Agm idea, make sure you upgrade the alternator to external reg with temp sensors or its life will be very short.

Agm batteries like to be charged to 100% often, several times a week if possible. And equalized often. They are good batteries if the charging system is planned around them and if they are treated as required.

Here is a quote from Justin at Lifeline regarding Agm lifespan that was posted by MaineSail recently.
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Old 05-31-2012
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Re: Lifeline Batteries

Clarity 36 Bill,

Little doubt about it, flooded golf cart batteries are the most economical and -- given the treatment most receive on cruising boats -- are likely to last longer (more cycles) than AGMs.

As mitiempo said, if you plan to go ahead with AGMs be very certain to examine your boat's ability to get them up to near 100% full charge at least once every 2-3 weeks. Otherwise, they will sulfate, lose capacity, and have a shortened useful lifetime.

AGMs have other advantages, of course. They can take an incredible amount of charging (more than 115% of their AH rating when discharged to 50% SOC)....for a few minutes at least. They continue to accept high amperage for 30 minutes to over two hours, depending on the size of your alternator and/or battery charger.

This means that IF you have sufficient charging capacity aboard, you can put more AH back into the AGM batteries faster than you can with flooded or gelled batteries. This will reduce charging costs, especially if you're using your engine/alternator.

AGMs may be a good choice for some discriminating and battery-savvy sailors aboard well-equipped boats, but for many sailors flooded batteries may be a better choice.

BTW, Calder's note re: same size batteries applied to batteries in the same bank only, i.e., the house battery bank in your case. No problem installing a separate smaller starting battery. I'd use an EchoCharge to maintain the start battery, thus avoiding any need to worry about switching.

Bill
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It's always best to match batteries to the same amphr rating. IE a 240 amphr Trojan 6V golf cart battery circuit should have a similar +/- 20 amphr start battery. I prefer to also keep all the batteries the same brand or at least have the same factory settings for charge/float etc. We just changed out our Trojans for 251 amphr 6V Interstate and a 12V Interstate marine start/house battery. This allows the batteries to absorb equally putting less strain on the charging system.
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Old 05-31-2012
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Re: Lifeline Batteries

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Originally Posted by sea_hunter View Post
It's always best to match batteries to the same amphr rating. IE a 240 amphr Trojan 6V golf cart battery circuit should have a similar +/- 20 amphr start battery. I prefer to also keep all the batteries the same brand or at least have the same factory settings for charge/float etc. We just changed out our Trojans for 251 amphr 6V Interstate and a 12V Interstate marine start/house battery. This allows the batteries to absorb equally putting less strain on the charging system.
If you are charging with an Echo Charge, Duocharge or similar it makes no difference. Commonly many have a house bank of 400AH or larger and a group 24 start. The battery is the determining factor - it accepts what it needs.
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Re: Lifeline Batteries

Quote:
Originally Posted by sea_hunter View Post
It's always best to match batteries to the same amphr rating. IE a 240 amphr Trojan 6V golf cart battery circuit should have a similar +/- 20 amphr start battery. I prefer to also keep all the batteries the same brand or at least have the same factory settings for charge/float etc. We just changed out our Trojans for 251 amphr 6V Interstate and a 12V Interstate marine start/house battery. This allows the batteries to absorb equally putting less strain on the charging system.
mitiempo was being nice!

This is just plain WRONG. Let me spell that: W R O N G

There is no earthly reason why start batteries need to have an amperage capacity anywhere near the house battery bank.

Especially not with EchoCharge or DuoCharge technology, or even with some of the other methods of "combining" batteries.

One poster on these Boards has 10, count 'em, 10 4-D batteries aboard, total over 2,000AH capacity. I'm just gonna guess that his start battery isn't anywhere near 2,000AH capacity!

Bill
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Old 06-01-2012
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Re: Lifeline Batteries

We have a House bank of 6-6volt AGM Lifelines which gives us 660 a/h at 20 amp/hr. Our starting battery is a blue topped Optima. We use a Xantex echo charger to keep the starter topped off while under way. In addition we have a Pronautic 60 amp charger 3 stage for shore power charging and a Electromax 80 amp alternator. We also have temp senors as well 80 amp ElectorMax alternator with extenal regulator.

Taking care of the maintainence of the AGM batteries as well as equalizing them gives us more years than wet cells, a greater acceptance charge more quickly, more deep cycles, the ability to draw them down further, as well as the ability to stack the AGMs. Not to mention very minimal maitainence.

If you are willing to spend the money for a the superior system you must also invest the the proper charginging tools (120 charger, alternator, temp sensor). If you do then it does become cost effective. If you cant do all the proper components get the cheaper wet cells and recycle them every 4-5 years.

Dave
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Old 06-01-2012
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Re: Lifeline Batteries

Many of my customers get 6 to 8 years or more from flooded golf carts.
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Old 06-01-2012
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Re: Lifeline Batteries

Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
mitiempo was being nice!

This is just plain WRONG. Let me spell that: W R O N G

There is no earthly reason why start batteries need to have an amperage capacity anywhere near the house battery bank.

Especially not with EchoCharge or DuoCharge technology, or even with some of the other methods of "combining" batteries.

One poster on these Boards has 10, count 'em, 10 4-D batteries aboard, total over 2,000AH capacity. I'm just gonna guess that his start battery isn't anywhere near 2,000AH capacity!

Bill
Thank you Bill !

So much info stated as fact on the net that is nowhere near the truth...

We have a 375Ah house bank, 3 group 31's, and 65Ah start/reserve bank a single group 24. They are CHEAP batteries (Wal*Mart) and are in their SIXTH season performing EXCEPTIONALLY well.

You can see the details of just how well here: 5 Year Wal*Mart Battery Observations

They are the "wrong sizes" and have been charged by, gasp, a DUMB regulated alternator, solar and charge combined with a Blue Sea ACR. They have literally THOUSANDS of "combined" hours on them due to the solar array and currently over 700 hours of alternator charging.....

I guess I better write them off now cause they simply won't work together......

On the topic of AGM I don't know very many of my customers who've got 6 good years of service from them but I have lots who've exceeded 7-10 years with deep cycle wets, GEL's too...

My average AGM bank life expectancy, here in Maine, spread over many customers who have them is about 2-4 years, though I do have a few who exceed that and they tend to do very shallow discharges and are then back to full within 24-48 hours....

I am very interested to see how the 4 customers I have with Odyssey AGM's do. The oldest bank is now in its third season.. These are very interesting batteries. I ran a 400Ah bank the other day for roughly 40 minutes at a 130A load. I was draining the bank down into bulk range to do a full loaded test of a new charging system and to program the regulator. It was still supporting the load and holding at 11.9 volts at 40 minutes!! I don't see many wet cell banks that can hold that voltage with that type of load for that long without shutting the inverter down on low voltage... Of course I am not jumping in with both feet on the Odyssey's just yet as I got badly burned doing with with AGM technology in general.
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 06-01-2012 at 10:47 AM.
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