A Skinny 8D AGM? - SailNet Community

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  #1  
Old 05-28-2007
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A Skinny 8D AGM?

210 Ah at a shave under 5 inches wide? Why, even I have that sort of clearance beneath my saloon cabin sole. This could change my plans to turn the engine room into a great big battery box. Anyone heard of the company's products in terms of reliability? It strikes me that you could lay four of these on their sides right in the middle of a boat and have quite short runs to an inverter, with a separate wet-cell remaining as a starter in the engine compartment.

.: Battery Specifications : Energy 1

I'm looking at the NSB210FT model, the purported 8D size equivalent.

Thoughts? Scam city? The future of marine batteries?
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Old 05-28-2007
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Doesn't look like hype to me. Pretty neat...her's an article:
http://www.boatelectric.com/Sea%20Ci...t%20hi-res.pdf

At a list price of nearly $600 bucks though...you have to really need the space!
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Old 05-28-2007
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Good Day Valiente,

I see you found your way to the reference link for the Northstar Batteries. It's going to be interesting (read as amusing ) to see folks thoughts on your questions.

It might be helpful to all of us as we formulate our replies to know what your definition of "Reliability" is or will be as this discussion thread starts up.

Also, it would be helpful to all if you would include the criteria for assessing the product as a scam if in fact it becomes necessary to do so.

Best of luck with your ongoing planning for your cruise.

Regards, John
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Old 05-28-2007
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Cam, thanks for posting the article. I had not seen that one. When I purchased these battteries last July, the NSB 210FTs were $372.45 and the NSB3100 was $220.35.

I have the two NSB210FTs mounted on their sides (stacked & strapped in the battery box) for the house bank. I use the NSB3100 as my start battery.

Several other boats here have installed these batteries and all report positive results so far. One boat, a 54' catamaran, installed 8 of the 210s and a 3100 for a start battery. He is now about 1500 NM WSW of the Galapagos on his way to New Zealand. He charges with a combination of engine driven alternators and solar arrays (no SS involved ).

These may not be an answer for many folks but they just might fit the bill for a few of us.

Sorry to see you have left the moderator role.

Regards, John
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Old 05-28-2007
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John...Who was selling them for $372?? Around Beaufort? I couldn't find anything other than list price on line. At your price they are quite attractive for long term cruising due to the fast recharge and life cyle extension vs. flooded. These could find a place on a lot more boats than 8D's!
I will be interested in hearing how they work for you long term but it seems as though a lot of high end applications are using them. They need to get them into West or Defender to get their name out.
I missed your earlier link to these...glad Valiente resurrected it. Thanks!
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Old 05-28-2007
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Cam, I bought mine thru Engines1 out of Portsmouth VA. The contact info is available at AGM batteries, Marine Batteries, Heavy Duty Batteries, dry cell batteries site. I looked out there today and they show the retail price about what you indicated. I pulled my invoice from them and reverified the cost I posted earlier.

As always, there are shipping costs to be considered and when one can pick up the batteries they can avoid those costs. Otherwise you would also have to consider the cost of shipping in the overall cost.

Regards, John
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Old 05-28-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whampoa
Good Day Valiente,

I see you found your way to the reference link for the Northstar Batteries. It's going to be interesting (read as amusing ) to see folks thoughts on your questions.

It might be helpful to all of us as we formulate our replies to know what your definition of "Reliability" is or will be as this discussion thread starts up.

Also, it would be helpful to all if you would include the criteria for assessing the product as a scam if in fact it becomes necessary to do so.

Best of luck with your ongoing planning for your cruise.

Regards, John
I sense a note of sarcasm, but I'll provide definitions, if you wish. My notion of reliability would include "as reliable as any of the current crop of well-regarded AGM and wet-cell marine battery makers manufacturing deep-cycle batteries suitable for extended cruising and charged by a mix of alternator, solar, wind and genset, with the appropriate charger, MPPTs, isolators, fuses and properly sized cabling installed as per manufacturers' instructions."

The criteria for "scam" would be if their is some sort of inherent design flaw related to the building of a thin-profile AGM 8D-equivalent battery that would disqualify it from marine use as opposed to say, a forklift or a relatively stationary application. More than once has the sailing community been dunned by a product that simply was not suitable once put into a sea-going boat.

I'd love your thoughts on both this product (which seems so sensible a form factor to me) and your "ideal" or "proven" large capacity battery installation as per the above-noted criteria.
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Old 05-28-2007
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I would prefer to call it "Sailnet pragmatism" instead of sarcasm. After the SS thread you gotta agree it's important to clear up the basic rules .

Sorry if you took my comments as aimed at you.

With respect to the Northstars, I don't know yet if they will be all I had hoped for them. From a purely anecdotal perspective after 10 months of experience with them, they appear to be performing well.

I am not equipped to perform the level of monitoring, measurement and reporting that some on the forum would like to see. I am not an electrical engineer and make no claims to such knowledge.

I am able to read, research, inquire about options and then think through a plan that makes sense for me and my boat using the data gathered from such activites. I am also not risk averse when it comes to small investments such as this but many are.

I went with the Northstar AGMs for the following basic reasons, (1) Form Factor/AH Capacity/mounting flexibility, which allowed me to increase my house capacity by about 25% in the same battery space (2) Minimal Service reqs as my batteries are located in an area not easily accessed for service (3) low self discharge rate typical from AGMs, and (4) higher rate of charge acceptance available with AGMs as I currently only have an engine driven alternator for charging when away from shore power.

Of course many of these factors are not unique to the Northstars and are more generally attributable to the AGM technology. The form factor did appear to be unique to them , at least last year when I made my purchase.

I have not formed an ideal configuration for Whampoa yet. I am considering further capacity expansions but at the moment I am working to understand what might be necessary to double the house capacity and then how I would keep it charged etc. For now my power needs are met but as we look to extend our time off of shorepower I am sure I will want to make some upgrades.

Regards, John
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Old 05-28-2007
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Pragmatism is a seamanlike virtue...

That's what I hope to establish. If all other things are equal, it might well be worth the price premium to get the form factor, because otherwise I have a fair bit of construction to make "cooler bays" in my engine room (not difficult but lessens access), whereas I would ideally like to have inverter/charger and batteries on the same "cool" side of the half bulkhead that separates below the pilothouse from the main cabin. I could then leave the 12 VDC buss bars in the engine compartment and run smaller pos/neg to them, or move it elsewhere. As the circuit breakers are at the pilothouse helm, I suspect it's easier just to run 6 or 8 AWG to the main buss from the batteries or a switch.

Anyway, a five inch thick, 210 Ah, 125 lbs. 8D AGM is, as they say, "relevant to my interests".
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