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Old 09-09-2017, 08:25 PM   #1
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Batteries

what type of batteries are you using ?? I have a 36 ft albin which currently has 6 house batteries flood type. and one starter flood. They were put in in 2013. I think its time for replacement and asking what type/manufacture most folks are using . mine are group 24 ... thank you
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Old 09-09-2017, 10:25 PM   #2
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Two flooded 8D batteries for house loads and starting the single engine. They also run the windlass and bow thruster. The generator has it's independent starting battery, I believe group 27, also flooded. This system has worked well for us.
We have a Magnum 2KW inverter/charger.
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Old 09-09-2017, 10:36 PM   #3
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What leads you to believe it's time to replace them?

Battery life is measured in cycles, not length of time in service. The cycle rating of batteries is dependent on the construction of the battery and typical depth of discharge of each cycle. Frequent deep discharges shortens battery life as does chronic under or over charging. So the battery that does a really great job for me might not fare so well under the conditions you have. If your batteries have lived much of their life dockside, they may have many cycles left. It's not enough to look at the battery, as it's only one piece of the puzzle. Better to take a system approach and consider the battery as a part of the system, and insure that the battery is a good fit within that system.

If you spend a great deal of time at anchor and your bank is routinely not fully floated, anticipate shorter life. How is your bank recharged?What is the AH capacity of the bank? What's your typical DOD% (depth of discharge)per cycle? Does recharging always charge fully to float? Any solar? Is your engine capable of fully recharging the bank? Smart charger? Smart alternator regulator? Battery temperature controlled charging? All impact life expectancy, and the better your system is at returning the bank to 100% recharge, the longer the bank will last.

If there is some question about the present condition of the bank, if it's flooded a test of the SG (specific gravity) of the electrolyte could give some indication of the condition. Load testing would augment that, and provide additional input in determining battery life status.
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Old 09-10-2017, 02:13 AM   #4
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I`m with Maerin. Because your batts are flooded type you can easily test them for specific gravity with a hydrometer, which costs very little and should come with instructions, or find them online. Don`y just change them without testing unless you really want to.
2013 batts could be getting towards problems, but do a test. Load testers are not expensive either, check ebay.
FWIW, I have 8Ds. Don`t forget one bad batt in a bank sucks the power out of the good one(s). And if you replace one baddie the new one is better than the other oldies, so you may need to make a judgement there.
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Old 09-10-2017, 02:28 AM   #5
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How your batteries are charged can also have an affect. Charging house and starting battery through a combiner will shorten the life of your starting battery. Mixing different types of batteries in one bank will affect battery life. Even unbalanced wiring of parallel banks can shorten a batteries life. As said before, a whole system approach is best.
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Old 09-10-2017, 04:50 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by KEVMAR View Post
what type of batteries are you using ?? I have a 36 ft albin which currently has 6 house batteries flood type. and one starter flood. They were put in in 2013. I think its time for replacement and asking what type/manufacture most folks are using . mine are group 24 ... thank you

Is it easy for you to access and service your flooded batteries?

Are all seven of your batteries 12V G24s?

What is minimum CCA/MCA required by your engine? And what is CCA/MCA rating for your current starter battery?

How many Ah total in the house bank?

Do you want more house capacity?

How much capacity do you need?

What is your charging capability?

How much will budget impact your buying decisions?

It may be easy enough to upgrade your overall capacity, but as others have said, a systems approach would be best. That doesn't necessarily you mean you have to do everything in one fell swoop; you could replace one bank when necessary, later maybe upgrade the charger if needed, eventually upgrade another bank, etc.

My first guess is that G24s aren't the best choice for a house bank, unless maybe that's all that will fit in your available space. That might lead to questions about what's better, but that'll also depend on space, form factor, etc. Could be several 12V G31s might be better, or maybe a 2-3 pairs of 6V golf cart batteries would be nifty. Need more info.

FWIW, 8Ds and 4Ds are heavy; they have their place, but they also come with that disadvantage.

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Old 09-10-2017, 07:32 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by KEVMAR View Post
what type of batteries are you using ?? I have a 36 ft albin which currently has 6 house batteries flood type. and one starter flood. They were put in in 2013. I think its time for replacement and asking what type/manufacture most folks are using . mine are group 24 ... thank you
Personally, I am using group 31 AGM batteries. Four for the house and one for starting. I chose AGMs because it is very difficult to maintain flooded cell batteries in my boat because of the placement.

It doesn't really matter what others are using, use what's best in your situation. You can test your batteries as some have suggested but if yours were installed in 2013, they are nearing the end of their expected life. You can keep what you have until they fail or replace them now. If you're just boating around home, failure shouldn't be a big deal. If you are heading out on a long cruise away from home where failure could be a problem, you might want to consider replacing them before you leave.

With the service life you have experienced, I wouldn't change things except to go to group 31s if you have the room.
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Old 09-10-2017, 07:34 AM   #8
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The only reliable test for State of Health is the standard 20 hour load test.

Read this CMS HowTo, or jump to "accurate 20 hour capacity test"
http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/p...attery_monitor
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Old 09-10-2017, 07:56 AM   #9
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Any thoughts on a brand of maintenance free batteries from North State Batteries ?
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Old 09-10-2017, 08:34 AM   #10
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Top AGM makers for the US market are Odyssey, Lifeline and Northstar.

IMO rest not worth considering for true deep cycling.

And FLA much better value, only use AGM if the install space requires it, or high CAR required to minimize genset runtime.
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Old 09-10-2017, 09:32 AM   #11
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Any thoughts on a brand of maintenance free batteries from North State Batteries ?

Do you mean "maintenance free" as in the automotive sense? Or do you mean AGM or gel "valve-regulated lead acid" (VRLA) batteries?

Haven't ever heard of North State Batteries....

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Old 09-10-2017, 09:46 AM   #12
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Quote:
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I`m with Maerin. Because your batts are flooded type you can easily test them for specific gravity with a hydrometer, which costs very little and should come with instructions, or find them online. Don`y just change them without testing unless you really want to.
2013 batts could be getting towards problems, but do a test. Load testers are not expensive either, check ebay.
FWIW, I have 8Ds. Don`t forget one bad batt in a bank sucks the power out of the good one(s). And if you replace one baddie the new one is better than the other oldies, so you may need to make a judgement there.
+1.

Cheers.

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Old 09-10-2017, 09:59 AM   #13
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Haven't ever heard of North State Batteries....

-Chris
I think it is a distributor and not a battery brand.

All excellent advice on here. And I personally don't think 4 year old batteries should be considered at the end of their life. One of the best things you can invest in is a good battery charger. If you can find a 4 stage charger, that would be best. I know you will find a lot of 3 stage chargers. In a 4 stage charger, the 4th stage is "idle"...IOW, no charge is being put on the battery. The charger intermittently "tests" the battery and will put a float on it if needed. But having a float charge on your batteries continuously is not as good as having them at idle when they are fully charged.

And Listen to what Maerin said. That is excellent advice and an excellent post!!
My group 31 Odyssey AGMs are 2013 install and they are nowhere near the end of their life. My system theory is very similar to Steve's up above. I have 5 Group 31 AGMs for house AND start. And an isolated Optima GRP27 AGM for generator start. All maintained by a Magnum 2000w/100amp inverter/charger. I do have the original Charles 80 amp charger on standby if needed(it is usually when I make a mistake and that was only once). Another advantage with a charger like a Magnum is you can customize each charge phase to exactly what the manufacturer recommends...and not some "canned" charging profile that is simply "adequate".
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Old 09-10-2017, 10:53 AM   #14
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Top AGM makers for the US market are Odyssey, Lifeline and Northstar.

IMO rest not worth considering for true deep cycling.

And FLA much better value, only use AGM if the install space requires it, or high CAR required to minimize genset runtime.


Right on John
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Old 09-10-2017, 02:20 PM   #15
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And FLA much better value, only use AGM if the install space requires it, or high CAR required to minimize genset runtime.
Or maybe if off-gassing is a concern.

Might be useful for some folks to keep Odyssey PC-2150s (G31s) in mind for DC thruster use, partly because they offer huge cranking amps compared to most other batteries in that BCI Group, and partly because off-gassing may well be a concern if the batteries are mounted in living spaces (as for example under a forward berth).

But I digress...

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Old 09-10-2017, 04:45 PM   #16
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Any kind of lead battery has some off-gassing, if in a sealed box even AGM should be vented.

Fact that it's lighter than air does help in a boat.

And yes, those Odysseys are a very rare exception that proves the "avoid dual purpose" rule.

But the first issue the OP needs to clear up is, does the bank actually need replacing?

And that likely will need, unless he **knows** they're dead, a proper 20hr load test.
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Old 09-12-2017, 06:10 AM   #17
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I have had good luck for decades over several boats with Lifeline AGM's.
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Old 09-12-2017, 06:45 AM   #18
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Maybe useful reading for kevmar, RC (aka Maine Sail in other fora) ref selecting house batteries:

https://marinehowto.com/what-is-a-deep-cycle-battery/

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Old 09-12-2017, 06:57 AM   #19
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It is entirely possible, and quite likely, that 4 year old flooded G-24 batteries are at end of life, especially if they have actually been deep cycled.

In the flooded form factors of G-24, 27, 29/30/31 and most 4D and 8D batteries are really more of a dual purpose battery yielding less real world cycle life than a battery specifically designed for deep-cycling purposes, even if the label says "deep cycle"...

What is a Deep Cycle Battery?

Also please don't be lulled into the understanding that a specific gravity test can tell you much about the state of health of a flooded battery. All an SG reading can tell you is the batteries state of charge or a cells SOC. You can also derive battery SOC from a resting open circuit voltage reading. SG is best used to discern cell imbalances and to help determine equalization schedules..

Even a battery suffering a 60% loss in Ah capacity, eg: 100Ah battery delivering just 40Ah's, can still put up a good SG reading. It's entirely possible, I see and measure it regularly, for that 100Ah rated battery to deliver a perfect SG reading when it can only deliver 40% of its original Ah capacity.
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Old 09-12-2017, 07:04 AM   #20
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the batteries that are now in the boat are 6 volt golf cart battery GC2 and there are only 4 . the starting battery is 12 volt and all are flooded .. I miss quoted in my original post.
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