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  #11  
Old 08-19-2006
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When in doubt...email or call Lifeline, ask them about your equipment and situation. Since they are pretty much alone in recommending equalization for AGMs, maybe they can tell you what's special for their batteries at the same time. (And wouldn't it be interesting if they just said "don't".<G>)
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Old 11-23-2006
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Lifeline Needs a Jump Start

I have a set of four Lifeline AGM's on Eventyr and have experienced a marked loss of performance. I contacted Lifeline a year ago and was instructed to equalize them at 15.5 volts. I did this with my Xantrex TrueCharge 40+ on the wet cell setting. I regained some capacity, but only temporarily.

In my situation, I'm living on the hook almost 24/7/365. I have solar and wind charging, but most days, I do not get back to a full charge. I run the generator on occasion but only for an hour or two a day. When it's running, I have two 40 amp chargers putting it back into the bank, but not to a full charge. Doing that would require five or six hours of gen running time.

I'm seriously thinking of switching to wet cell deep cycle batteries. It seems the value is there as well as the performance.

I contacted Lifeline on a warranty issue recently and they weren't much help. I had a casing failure and obvious leakage around one of the posts. I sent photos and a detailed explanation to them and had several conversations on the phone with the warranty rep. He basically told me that, yeah, it is a problem and we can send you a replacement for that battery. The problem with this, as I told him, is that one new cell in a bank of three older cells won't work. Further, I would be responsible for shipping the thing from California to St. Maarten. I was completely unsatisfied with this arrangement, but that was the end of our discussions.

Lifeline advertises as a premium manufacturer. Be aware that premium manufacturer and premium cost does not equate to premium customer service.

-Dan Forter
S/V Eventyr
IP40-129
www.ipphotos.com/eventyr
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Old 11-23-2006
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Dan.. I went the other way...from wet to AGM after experiencing the SAME performance you are describing from the wet cells so I'm not sure that switching is the answer you are looking for. So far the AGM's are doing well for me but I've only had them a bit over a year. I am beginning to believe that with every day use, the important thing is to really cycle the batteries down to 50% and then give the a FULL charge up with the generator at least once every couple of weeks. The constant "mini" charging from solar/wind and minor generator runs seems to gradually deteriorate the batteries ability to take a charge. I have no technical foundation for this but a couple of long term cruisers suggested the new routine to me and as I said, it is working so far. I really lie the AGM's from the maintenance aspect since it is a pain to access them in my boat but I do NOT have "Lifeline" so can't comment on them specifically. Down island, you are facing a hell of an expense to replace them so I understand the wet cell attractiveness. Have you tried deeply discharging your current ones and then bringing them back to full charge dockside with the charger?
Good luck!
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Old 04-04-2009
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Good Day All. Reading the thread on AGMs and discovering that 'mini charges' (with solar panels etc) will degrade them is bad news, and also that equalization is sometimes necessary makes it worse. The reason I use them is because maintaining acid batteries is a bore. I had gels before and had good results with them, but AGMs came along, I thought all my problems were over. I thought that my 80 watts of solar power was well enough to top up a pair of 8Ds (and two G27s for the diesel) but if not going to full charge is not good?! That wasn’t in the advertizing! I upped the alternator to 200 amps; installed a Balmar Max Charge and a PV7D regulator for the solar panels and battery combiners, all on the quote from West Marine that ‘batteries don’t die, they’re murdered’. So now I’m guilty of involuntary man slaughter. Usually the batteries are all showing at least 13.2 volts when I go aboard, now it’s 12.8. I will do a ‘full charge’ with the engine and see what happens; wish me luck.
CKS
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Old 10-07-2009
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I know this is an old thread. But it appears AGMs are still around <g. Interesting article from a few years back can be read here regarding AGMs. Someone else in this thread referred to it, but there was no link.

http://www.zimmermanmarine.com/docs/AGM%20article.pdf

cheers
michael
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Old 10-08-2009
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AGM's

Hi,
that's the article I read. I've decided to add another 100 watts of solar power to the 80 I alreadty have and replace the batteries; that should keep the problems away. I'll do all that next spring.
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Old 12-18-2010
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As AGMs are "sealed" they should not be subjected to the "equalizing" conditions. Flooded lead acid can take the overcharging conditions that the equalizing subjects them to as they can vent. The AGMs venting are safety valves. Lead acid batteries should be equalized as the plates will build up scale and this reduces capacity. The AGM while "starved" is a lead acid but cannot be equalized. I have had AGMs and now use gel which because of a different electrolyte are so slow to sulfate that you don't even have to think about it.
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Old 12-18-2010
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Originally Posted by dbackiel View Post
As AGMs are "sealed" they should not be subjected to the "equalizing" conditions. Flooded lead acid can take the overcharging conditions that the equalizing subjects them to as they can vent. The AGMs venting are safety valves. Lead acid batteries should be equalized as the plates will build up scale and this reduces capacity. The AGM while "starved" is a lead acid but cannot be equalized. I have had AGMs and now use gel which because of a different electrolyte are so slow to sulfate that you don't even have to think about it.

Before you make factually worded statements like you did above, you should ideally freshen up your knowledge on the subject before posting.

Considering this thread was originally, back in 2006, about Lifeline & Deka/East Penn batteries, and Lifeline says equalizing is okay to do if the batteries are showing diminished capacity, and Deka says no then your broad based statement above is an unreliable choice of presented information. In a worst case scenario it might cause someone with Lifelines to buy new batteries pre-maturely, which could be an expensive mistake, before trying and equalizing / conditioning charge.

This is a DIRECT quote from Lifeline:


"Conditioning/Equalizing Charge: 15.5 volts for 8 hours
Conditioning/equalizing should only be done when the battery is showing symptoms of capacity loss. If conditioning/equalizing is necessary, first go through the normal charge cycle. Once the battery is as fully charged as possible, start the conditioning/equalizing charge.

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). The conditioning voltage at other temperatures is shown in Table 5-2. By using the temperature compensated conditioning voltage, batteries that are not in controlled temperature environments may be conditioned without bringing them to room temperature. If temperature compensation is not available, it is best to bring the battery as close to room temperature as possible before applying the conditioning charge.

For maximum battery life, a battery must be recharged to 100% capacity. Recharging to less than 100% may result in premature battery failure. Lifeline batteries are not covered under warranty if they are not recharged properly. For more information, please refer to our warranty policy."


A more accurate statement would have been to say that some manufacturers say it is okay to equalize AGM's and some or many others prefer that you don't. As always read the manual or check with your manufacturer before equalizing AGM batteries.


Because each manufacturer has specific requirements for their own AGM's a blanket statement can not be made. Here is Trojan's statement on equalizing AGM's.


Direct quote from Trojan Battery:

WARNING: Do not equalize gel or AGM batteries.
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 12-18-2010 at 02:13 PM.
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  #19  
Old 12-18-2010
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"As AGMs are "sealed" they should not be subjected to the "equalizing" conditions."
As Maine says, Lifeline is BUILT TO BE EQUALIZED. East Penn IS NOT. Saying all AGM batteries are the same, or should be treaeted the same, is like saying it's OK to drink the orange Windex because it looks just like Fanta and Nehi.

Could be they are different products under that pretty box, huh? For the price LifeLine charges, they can afford to build a stronger case that can take the strains of equalizing. Maybe it is better, maybe it is not, but it definitely is not the same product.
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Old 12-24-2010
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I have 2 Lifeline 8D's AGM's under my salon settee which I believe need to be "conditioned" Would you recommend removing them from the boat before conditioning (they are 160lbs ea)
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