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  #61  
Old 11-25-2012
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Re: Battery Sizing - am I crazy?

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
And, no doubt, the version you purchased weren't rated at 1amp or you would have run.
Correct. The problem is the batteries the OP bought are also not rated at 1A, though that is what it says. It makes NO SENSE...

I suspect they are a 95-115Ah battery at the 20 hour rate. There are only a few group 31 batteries that approach 125 - 130 Ah's legitimately and US Battery and Trojan are two of those suppliers.. As an example the Deka group 31's are 105Ah and the Trojan SCS 225 and US Battery DCXC31 is also 130Ah's...

Still none of these 12V batts will last as long as a 6V. If you can fit 6V they are almost always the best bet and best bang for the buck. Still our "Wal*Mart" batteries have cost us about $29.94 per year of service for the entire bank.... Pretty cheap energy....
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  #62  
Old 11-27-2012
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Re: Battery Sizing - am I crazy?

Mainesail, those were the deep cycle ever starts that u got from Walmart, correct? They are everstarts, right? Because they still sell them here by me.

I need a new battery for one of my banks, I have had a walmart everstart for about a year now and it does the job so far, but I'm very suspect about anything Walmart sells, quality wise. I was thinking to get an optima for the bank, as I have heard really good things about optimas, but it is $200 compared to less than half that for an ever start dc or similar. What do you think about the optimas? Are the everstarts here:EverStart 27DC-6 Marine Battery: Automotive : Walmart.com the same ones that you tested over the 6 years?
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Old 11-27-2012
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Re: Battery Sizing - am I crazy?

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Originally Posted by peterchech View Post
Mainesail, those were the deep cycle ever starts that u got from Walmart, correct? They are everstarts, right? Because they still sell them here by me.

I need a new battery for one of my banks, I have had a walmart everstart for about a year now and it does the job so far, but I'm very suspect about anything Walmart sells, quality wise. I was thinking to get an optima for the bank, as I have heard really good things about optimas, but it is $200 compared to less than half that for an ever start dc or similar. What do you think about the optimas? Are the everstarts here:EverStart 27DC-6 Marine Battery: Automotive : Walmart.com the same ones that you tested over the 6 years?
Wal*Mart no longer sells the US Battery product. The case looks like this:




This was a customers battery who switched to AGM. It is also a 2007 and still good. It is the same exact battery I have on our boat and is a US Battery group 31..


If you can find a US Battery distributor the US Battery DCXC-31 is a great battery and I find it even better than the Trojan SCS-225 in terms of average longevity:


The DCXC 31 was specifically designed for the floor scrubber industry and has plates nearly as thick as a GC battery at .100. It is about as close to a true "deep cycle" battery you're going to get in group 31 case....
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  #64  
Old 11-27-2012
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Re: Battery Sizing - am I crazy?

Peter-
Optima batteries are in a world of their own. They are made by JCI, who are a top maker. They are sprial-wound AGM batteries, and in theory that process makes them much cheaper to build than flat-plate batteries, and more vibration resistant. In practice, JCI charges about a 30-40% premium for them, and because you have round batteries in a rectangular case, you also get about 10% less capacity than a same-size flat plate battery.
And, no better warranty.

If AGM is the way you want to go, I'd go with flat-plate AGM batteries, get 10% more capacity at 30% less price. Last year...I think that was about $200? $230? for a G31 from various sources. Of course the price of lead seems to double almost weekly, for reasons that totally elude me.

And if your charging system can match the, consider gel batteries. Even the AGM-makers are now saying gel batteries will totally outperform AGMs in terms of charge cycles, if you can give them everything else they want.

But Optimas? Mainly, they've been branded very nicely. If JCI would just drop the price and raise the warranty, to match what they say about the technology...
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Re: Battery Sizing - am I crazy?

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Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Peter-
Optima batteries are in a world of their own. They are made by JCI, who are a top maker. They are sprial-wound AGM batteries, and in theory that process makes them much cheaper to build than flat-plate batteries, and more vibration resistant. In practice, JCI charges about a 30-40% premium for them, and because you have round batteries in a rectangular case, you also get about 10% less capacity than a same-size flat plate battery.
And, no better warranty.

If AGM is the way you want to go, I'd go with flat-plate AGM batteries, get 10% more capacity at 30% less price. Last year...I think that was about $200? $230? for a G31 from various sources. Of course the price of lead seems to double almost weekly, for reasons that totally elude me.

And if your charging system can match the, consider gel batteries. Even the AGM-makers are now saying gel batteries will totally outperform AGMs in terms of charge cycles, if you can give them everything else they want.

But Optimas? Mainly, they've been branded very nicely. If JCI would just drop the price and raise the warranty, to match what they say about the technology...
It should be noted that JCI bought this brand from EnerSys who invented the Optima's. JCI does not manufacturer all their own batteries and many of the "brands" they have purchased. They still buy batteries from companies like US Battery in certain sizes and then private label them.

EnerSys sold the brand because they had a much better designed AGM in the Odyssey thin plate, pure lead battery. The Odyssey batteries are quite amazing in the current they can both take and deliver but still don't quite have the cycle life of a decent deep cycle flooded or GEL. I have personally watched a 400Ah bank of Odyssey batteries take 130A+ for nearly an hour or everything the alt could throw at them.. They would have taken more if we had it...

It should also be noted that the spiral cells cost you a lot more than 10% in Ah capacity if you compare case size for case size as in the group 31 batteries below..

A group 31 Optima Blue Top AGM is 75Ah
A group 31 Lifeline AGM is available in either 105Ah or 125Ah capacities
A group 31 Deka AGM is 105Ah
A group 31 Odyssey AGM is 100Ah
A group 31 Trojan wet cell is 130Ah
A group 31 US Battery wet cell is 130Ah
A group 31 Deka/West Marine/Sam's Club/NAPA wet cell is 105Ah


Even the absolute lowest Ah capacity flat plate batteries is has 25% more capacity than an Optima group 31 and the largest has 43% more capacity..... Big differences!!!
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Old 11-27-2012
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Re: Battery Sizing - am I crazy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
Peter-
Optima batteries are in a world of their own. They are made by JCI, who are a top maker. They are sprial-wound AGM batteries, and in theory that process makes them much cheaper to build than flat-plate batteries, and more vibration resistant. In practice, JCI charges about a 30-40% premium for them, and because you have round batteries in a rectangular case, you also get about 10% less capacity than a same-size flat plate battery.
And, no better warranty.

If AGM is the way you want to go, I'd go with flat-plate AGM batteries, get 10% more capacity at 30% less price. Last year...I think that was about $200? $230? for a G31 from various sources. Of course the price of lead seems to double almost weekly, for reasons that totally elude me.

And if your charging system can match the, consider gel batteries. Even the AGM-makers are now saying gel batteries will totally outperform AGMs in terms of charge cycles, if you can give them everything else they want.

But Optimas? Mainly, they've been branded very nicely. If JCI would just drop the price and raise the warranty, to match what they say about the technology...
I must say I had an Optima in my Miata and it lasted 10 years. It even started the car after sitting for 2 years without being jumped. But on a boat? I think I would stay with wet cells.
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Re: Battery Sizing - am I crazy?

I can't see that wet cells vary from 105 to 130Ah in the same size group. IIRC a G31 was "always" rated around 100Ah ten years ago, and no one has made astonishing breakthroughs in chemistry, meaning they'd have to thin the case walls down to stuff in 30% more plates.

Dunno, Maine, but it smells like someone is using a rubber ruler to get some of those numbers. Have you done any cycle testing to see how those numbers play in the real world? I just can't see a full 1/3 difference in capacity being real.

Paul-
When Miata was a big new thing, AGM flat plate batteries were almost unheard-of, which may be why Mazda used the Optima. Or, again remembering the time frame, someone could have cut them a loss-leader deal to promote the brand. But Mazda learned a big lesson from Fiat: Wet lead battery in trunk means big time corrosion problems from acid vapors. BMW currently puts wet lead acid in the back of the X3/X5, but of course they found a superior (cough) way to engineer it, with a little breather hose to vent the battery under the car. So it can rot out the underbody instead.

I only got 8 years from my last abused AGM. In which time I think the prices doubled. (Ouch!)

Last edited by hellosailor; 11-27-2012 at 03:47 PM.
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Old 11-27-2012
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Re: Battery Sizing - am I crazy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
I can't see that wet cells vary from 105 to 130Ah in the same size group. IIRC a G31 was "always" rated around 100Ah ten years ago, and no one has made astonishing breakthroughs in chemistry, meaning they'd have to thin the case walls down to stuff in 30% more plates.
The Trojan SCS-225 has been around a long time at 130Ah's and the US Battery DCXC 31 about 10 years. Lifeline recently added the 31XT to the line up. It all has to do with the lead, paste grid design etc. etc... US Battery is using the same paste and design they use in their GC batts in the group 31 because they sell them to a huge floor scrubber company who demanded more cycle life.. While a bit more expensive than a typical group 31 they are still less than the Trojan SCS-225.

Group 31 cases are not the only case size to have variances. The 6V GC2 batts range from 200Ah to 240+Ah's all in the same case...

I have capacity tested the SCS-225 and the US DCXC 31 and both meet the Ah rating at least at year one (US SCXC 31) and year two (SCS-225)

Our US Battery/Wal*Mart batteries came within a few Ah's of their 125Ah rating at year 5.....

This is what my 5 year old US Battery group 31's put up during a 20 hour capacity test. They were rated at 125 Ah's:

Battery #1 = 117.7Ah @ 5 years old
Battery #2 = 118.3 Ah @ 5 years old
Battery #3 = 117.9 Ah @ 5 years old
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Re: Battery Sizing - am I crazy?

Yeah the Optimas are very expensive, considering that they are only 54 ah @ 20 hours for a group 27 battery...

I just have a hard time finding anything better locally... autozone has duralasts any thoughts on this brand?
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Old 11-28-2012
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Re: Battery Sizing - am I crazy?

Well my new batteries have held a charge for 3 days! That's a land speed record compared to my kaput banks.

Speaking of the kaput batteries. I found a local company that will come pick them up and give me $20 bucks each for them. I've never tried recycling batteries for cash. Is this a reasonable amount?

If not, anyone know of a San Diego company that will do better?

-Charts
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