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bell ringer
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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone tried the RE solar deep cycle batteries? If so have they been any better/worst than the "regular" ones? Near as I can tell they are the same as some other battery in manufacturers lines except for blah blah bah marketing and the color of the case (maybe)
 

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No seen many owners state they do last a lot longer given equal care.

But whether they are worth the price differential, depends on many factors.

For sure IMO if setting off for a cruise for years to primitive places.

I would check on Surrette / Rolls pricing first though.
 

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I googled that and it came back with a few batteries carrying that name. US Battery, Trojan, Crown, and a couple others.

Anyway, I don't have any experience with them regardless of actual battery, so won't be helpful here.

I can say that after many years with FLA's, I came to the conclusion that one could judge them for a cruising application solely by weight. Heavier = better. With equal weight, I found no usable difference between inexpensive Sam's Club and expensive Trojan batteries. I'd bet a donut that Surrette/Rolls weigh more for the same battery than others. If they don't, I wouldn't expect any different lifespan, and probably not performance either.

Under excellent management, all of the Sam's Club, Costco, and Trojan batteries we used over 13yrs had a usable cruising lifespan of around 4-5yrs, with the 4th year a babying one.

My take on batteries for a cruising boat now is either lithium, or cheap flooded golf cart. Gel or Firefly if you don't want to go lithium and really need to stuff them some place that can't be accessed even with an automatic watering system. No place for AGM on a cruising boat - waste of money IMO.

BTW, the boat we have now came with a set of new Trojan L16's with a watering system that you just pumped a bulb and all the batteries filled to a perfect level with water. That is sweet, and I wouldn't have FLA without one now. Those L16's, however, were beasts. The change to lithium got rid of 600lbs.

Addressing the topic (barely) AND thread drift all in one post!

Mark
 

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bell ringer
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
I feel the chances someone here with RE batteries at pretty slim. But sometimes you can not help asking

Btw if I got rid of my house batteries it would only be 248 lbs
 

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The new battery decision is ALSO informed by the size of the battery compartment / box. For wet cells you want something that is acid proof because at some point battery acid will escape YUCK.

When I switched from flooded to gel I escaped the need for acid containment. YEAH!!

When those died I decided to try AGM and built a compartment aft of the engine for 2- 8Ds and some wiring devices... like shunts and busses.

I bought a brand unknown to me from the www (inexpensive)\ and they were delivered to the dock in Spring at the end of in water winter storage. I paid the yard guy Woodie to do the heavy lifting which was to get the batts from the cabin sole up and down into their compartment. The rest I did with a halyard. That was 8 years ago.

I had new cables made, added an echo charge for a new Optima Blue top... new fuses and so forth. I still use 2 - 55 watt panels from '88. I don't run 12 refer and do run engine when windlass is used. The rest of the loads are LED lighting, nav instruments and fans and pumps.. and the AP... the the occasional use of the Espar heater.

No complaints.

Batteries are still fine 8 years on.
 

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Third set of 6 Lifeline AGM 6 volt.
Each Set has lasted 10 years.
No babying at all
No watering
No maintainence other than equalizing.
Easy to lift
No acid fumes

And all this without solar.
 

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And all this without solar.
But plugged into shore power almost constantly, and laid up for part of the year.

This is the Achilles' heel for AGM on a cruising boat like Don's - AGM doesn't do well with the charging and usage patterns found on most cruising boats.

I've yet to meet a single cruising boat that has gotten more lifespan out of AGM than good FLA. Probably half of them have gotten shorter life from AGM. Firefly carbon foam AGM is an exception I'm told, but have no experience with them.

But if easy to lift is a real criteria, lithium is the winner. :wink

Mark
 

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On year 7 with lifeline agms for the house. Still over 85% initial performance. Engine start got down to 70% so was replaced last year with a west marine AGM in Grenada. Next set will be carbon fireflies. Boat goes on a diet and just drop them in with no messing around with stuff. Can see due to rate of acceptance depending on your solar/wind production an advantage to Li or carbon. It’s always the going form 80% to 100% that’s the issue with agm or flooded. It’s rare a cruising boats bank doesn’t have some draw on it. Even if it’s only parasitic draws or monitoring of systems. We oversized our alt. energy so get to 100% several times a week. Think regardless of brand that’s key with any form of Pb based battery. Hype about tech doesn’t matter if it’s Pb it needs to get fully charged to last.
 

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bell ringer
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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I can say that after many years with FLA's, I came to the conclusion that one could judge them for a cruising application solely by weight. Heavier = better.
Well the trojan T105-RE batteries are 5# heavier (8% more) than the T105

but they are also .6" taller

The T105s 20hr rate is 225ah and the T105RE are 250ah, which is a 11% increase. So a 11% capacity increase on a battery that is only 8% weighter kind of suggests a less durable battery to me.

Other than that both Trojan and US Battery use the same "buzz words" in their marketing sheets for the their regular GC2 and RE versions of their batteries.

While the extra AH is attractive to me I don't really need it and I would have to modify my storage location for the height. Plus the regular GCw batteries for golf cart have a track record for boats and I don't think the RE versions have one. So just old fashion GC2 6V FLA batteries look like the route I am going to go with again for all the same reasons as the last time I went though this exercise.
 

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On year 7 with lifeline agms for the house.
Years aren't very meaningful unless they are well-defined in terms of usage. Is this 7 years of continual use, or 7 years with layup periods (which might only account for an equivalent 4yrs of actual use)? The only way to measure lifespan is cycle counts.

Mark
 

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The T105s 20hr rate is 225ah and the T105RE are 250ah, which is a 22% increase. So a 11% capacity increase on a battery that is only 8% weighter kind of suggests a less durable battery to me.
That is assuming a linear relationship. I don't know what it is. What makes a battery "RE", other than the extra lead and capacity? Hard to imagine anything can be done to make it more specific to renewable energy charging compared to non-renewable energy charging. How does it know what type of energy is providing the current?

Mark
 

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Can see due to rate of acceptance depending on your solar/wind production an advantage to Li or carbon. It’s always the going form 80% to 100% that’s the issue with agm or flooded.
The advantage to lithium, and somewhat to carbon foam, is that they never have to be charged fully. It doesn't matter what charging abilities you have, as long as it is enough to get enough charge in to meet usage without emptying them. Carbon foam does need periodic regular full charges, but they don't suffer like other LA's by operating in partial states of charge for reasonable time intervals.

Of course, nobody plans their energy systems around meager charger sources and accommodating batteries, but with lithium (and somewhat carbon foam), one simply stops thinking about their batteries at all. Similar to how one never thinks about their solar panels - they just do what they do, and give what they give.

Mark
 

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~ 60 months full time cruising, 7 1700 to 2000m passages, 3 lay ups not plugged in with batteries charged on wind and solar, maybe 5-7 weeks plugged into shore power. Have taken slips for a day or two here and there to get something done. Commonly don’t plug into shore power unless we want AC. Was in a slip waiting for a flight out and leave the boat in a slip when we fly home for Xmas so you’re right although never taken out of the boat probably more like 5 years. However in the other 2 they do cycle some on windless, cloudy or rainy days.
 

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1st thought is they are adding a slice of 2v industrial build to a 105
....giving them something..new n improved to market

Kinda like...do you want extra pickles
 

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But plugged into shore power almost constantly, and laid up for part of the year.

This is the Achilles' heel for AGM on a cruising boat like Don's - AGM doesn't do well with the charging and usage patterns found on most cruising boats.

I've yet to meet a single cruising boat that has gotten more lifespan out of AGM than good FLA. Probably half of them have gotten shorter life from AGM. Firefly carbon foam AGM is an exception I'm told, but have no experience with them.

But if easy to lift is a real criteria, lithium is the winner. :wink

Mark
Not Shiva.... She's on a mooring and almost never plugged in to shore power. No gen set... Only a couple of solar panels and some periods of a few weeks I leave the shore power charging during in water winter store.... but never for the whole winter.

Rarely deeply discharged and regular smart regulated alternator charging from engine use.
 

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bell ringer
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Discussion Starter #16
That is assuming a linear relationship. I don't know what it is. What makes a battery "RE", other than the extra lead and capacity? Hard to imagine anything can be done to make it more specific to renewable energy charging compared to non-renewable energy charging. How does it know what type of energy is providing the current?

Mark
Just crunching the numbers to try to answer my question. Personally I currently don't think there is anything different between the regular batteries and the RE for a given physical size except the sticker and in the case of US Battery a green case.

I bet the market for RE batteries is nothing compared to the golf cart market. If the manufacturer had some new better technology to apply they would apply it to the one that would make $$$$$$ not just be a sound bite.

I don't really care if AGM would last twice as long as my FLA. They cost 3x as much so I fail to see the advantage for me. But it doesn't matter to me what others chose for their boats and it is natural to justify anything one spends their money and time on.

In the end they are just boxes of lead and acid!
 

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But plugged into shore power almost constantly, and laid up for part of the year.

This is the Achilles' heel for AGM on a cruising boat like Don's - AGM doesn't do well with the charging and usage patterns found on most cruising boats.

I've yet to meet a single cruising boat that has gotten more lifespan out of AGM than good FLA. Probably half of them have gotten shorter life from AGM. Firefly carbon foam AGM is an exception I'm told, but have no experience with them.

But if easy to lift is a real criteria, lithium is the winner. :wink

Mark
Oh, that's interesting, he didn't mention that finer detail! Makes a huge difference, of course, to be able to charge the back to full regularly.
 

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Has anyone tried the RE solar deep cycle batteries? If so have they been any better/worst than the "regular" ones? Near as I can tell they are the same as some other battery in manufacturers lines except for blah blah bah marketing and the color of the case (maybe)
is 'RE solar deep cycle batteries' a brand or technology? Even Dr. Google didn't reveal this.
 

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No knowledge of the batteries that you are asking about.
We purchased two G31 firefly batteries a bit over two years back. As a full time cruising couple they have been great, no special installation needs, can be drawn down well under fifty percent SOC with no harm done, so lots of available amps compared to other batteries. We basically ignore them for the most part, we check SOC via the battery monitor when it’s been cloudy for three four days in a row, but outside of that no actual maintenance has been needed, they have been as advertised.

Fair winds,
 
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