Northstar AGMs...anybody using them? - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 22 Old 08-18-2007 Thread Starter
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Northstar AGMs...anybody using them?

http://www.northstarbattery.com/hd_marine.php

Somewhat lighter and definitely skinnier form factor roughly equivalent to 8Ds.

Seems four of them between my frames and my cabin floor would do the trick and then some.

I've mentioned these before some months ago...has anyone used them? A five inch thick 8D solves a lot of problems for me.
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post #2 of 22 Old 08-18-2007
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Fits right

They look like a nice item. Are they pricey? I understand they last a long time, so that helps, when you consider the replacement of regular batteries.

My formula for living is quite simple. I get up in the morning and I go to bed at night. In between, I occupy myself as best I can.
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post #3 of 22 Old 08-18-2007 Thread Starter
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Unless they are outrageously expensive, I don't care about the price. The form factor allow me to get them and the inverter closer to the CG of the boat, just aft of the mast, and out of the hot engine room, which would get the spare chain, anchor and assorted metal out of the forepeak to a more sensible spot.

I would only keep the start battery by the engine.
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post #4 of 22 Old 08-18-2007
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They are quite pricey. I looked them over when you last posted and am likewise curious as to the results of actual use. I wouldn't think they would justify the cost until you actually departed for cruising. I'd be curious if Cam would have considered them a good investment a few years back.

“Scientists are people who build the Brooklyn Bridge and then buy it.”
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post #5 of 22 Old 08-18-2007
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Sailaway....how pricey? I can't find any pricing anywhere. I would not consider them a good investment unless they outperformed the standard AGM's in some way other than form factor. On the other hand...if you need to pack a lot of amp hours into a small space they might be just the thing to buy. Essentially you can get abut 170 more amp hours packed into the same approximate size as an 8D...so price will really tell the story.
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post #6 of 22 Old 08-18-2007
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"unless they outperformed the standard AGM's in some way other than form factor."
Well, they are claiming 500 charge cycles at a C/3 rate (which is pretty high) to 80% discharge. That would make them more robust than many batteries. I've seen similar claims--but have no idea how they perform in real life.
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post #7 of 22 Old 08-18-2007
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HS...lifeline AGM's "claim" 1000 cycles so the 500 claim didn't represent a breakthrough to me...but 80% does so I dug into their site a bit. Turns out that 500 is at cooler temperatures and at 77 degrees you get 400 cycles and at 95 you get about 200 AT 80% DOD. In fact, they act like normal AGM's up to a 60% DOD but I note that IF you keep from going more than 60% DOD...the lifetime of the battery is said to be 4-5 years depending on temperature. Like other AGM's life is shortened if you discharge more than 60% and you DO get 500 cycles at 60%.
Here's the link...see g. 14-15: http://www.northstarbattery.com/SES-544-02.pdf
It is commendable that they give so much info about their batteries but I still don't see anything that would justify a huge price differential vs. conventional AGM's. If space were an issue though...they are unique and seem to be focused on quality and testing which gives one confidence in the product.
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post #8 of 22 Old 08-18-2007
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While I can't add anything about the AGM, I will say that I have been to their facility, a few years ago and it was impressive. They are committed to technology and quality control. They also had the cleanest battery plant I have ever seen.
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Considering the costs of shipping lead around, I think my choices would be highly influenced by the choice of who has a local distributor, so I'm buying "shipping" by the truckload rate rather than the residential delivery rate.
And, by reputation and warranty as well. I tend to prefer dealing with "known" vendors, and I'll pay a bit more for reputation when it is something that I can't really be sure of--like, which battery claims will be true.
But the more I learn about batteries, the more I'm starting to appreciate that they are less alike than it might seem. And some of these folks selling at higher prices--seem to have products that might be worth it.
Northstar? Dunno, never heard of them before today. We need more gummint test funding to do some more "deep cycle till it dies" comparative testing. Get working on the grant proposal, will ya?
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post #10 of 22 Old 08-18-2007
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HS...have you sent the STIK back yet...maybe you can get a northstar test going!! (G)
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