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Rats

A timely thread.

I have two banks of 400ah AGMs. Last Summer the stbd side failed (sudden, drastic overheating). I replaced the two 4Ds with Lifelines. This week the same thing happened to the port side bank (Deka Intimidators). I was on the verge of ordering another set of Lifelines when I see Mainesail saying the FLAs are a better way to go.

Sitting here at the dock, the batteries are charged by a Trace U2512SB inverter/charger. I've got 6 very old 75w solar panels that will be replaced by 100w Renogys going to 2 pwm controllers.

I don't think I can mix the AGM and FLA batteries. So do I buy another $1100 set of AGMs, ditch the AGMs and get FLAs, or bite the financial bullet and go to LiFePo?

The LiFePo option is appealing for the weight savings as well as more capacity, but I've been concerned about how much other stuff I'd have to replace. The price of the batteries alone is quite sobering.
 

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First, thank you all for the replies.

Timely? Oops, I got here from the murdering batteries thread which is fairly current. Oh well, I guess I won't worry about hijacking the thread.

1. Two banks? Well that's the way the boat came when I bought it a year ago. The two banks are about 25' apart (catamaran). I just checked and discovered that I have:

Port side: Leece Neville 35214610 110 amp alternator going to a Balmar ARS5 regulator. Output goes to a large battery isolator. One leg of the isolator goes to the starting battery and the other to the port house bank.

Stbd side: Yanmar (Hitachi?) 12272N 80 amp w/ internal regulator. I believe the PO had a Balmar 150 amp alternator, and there is another ARS5 that is disconnected. I don't know why he ditched the Balmar. There is another isolator wired the same as the port side.

3. Agreed regarding internal short. Since I've had the boat it's made one trip up the coast from FL to VA and a couple of weekends. Otherwise it's been plugged into shore power.

4. Will replace with Lifelines.

The Trace inverter is indeed programmable, and I believe covering the range required. The doc give figures for NiCad batteries and has an equalization mode that could be used to manually charge batteries at higher voltages. I still have to check how the charger is wired for two banks as it isn't designed for that.

I've followed the LFP threads on another forum. I am not DIY qualified. One of the three packages would be the way I'd have to go. I've been practicing Li battery care with my cell phone. I'd dearly love to save a lot of weight but agree that LFP may well be over my head.

The batteries were new in 2012, used in FL and the Bahamas. Why they died and in this fashion is a good question. I'll have to check the settings on the Trace. The Lifeline doc says they can be eqalized, but only when capacity has dropped off. The Intimidators can not be equalized. The Trace has maintained the SOC at 13.2 to 13.3 according to the Ample Power Energy Monitor II.

So I have no answer for why the batteries went into thermal meltdown. Any suggestions?
 

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On my last boat I used 6V batteries (Trojan), and they were fine. Big thing was a 6V battery weighs a lot less than an 8D. Getting them in place is a lot easier on the back.

Cheers,
 
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