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Old 02-23-2016, 06:11 PM   #41
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Hmm, I really will have to remember to stay clear of Surrette. And I had thought they were good!

Odyssey goes the other direction: ultra thin plate, pure lead. Can be used either as start battery or deep cycle. So far so good with them.
I am an Odyssey fan as well(Sears DieHards made by Odyssey actually). I have no clue if it means anything but everyone else's GRP31s are 50lbs. Odysseys are almost 80!!!! SO they are packing something in those things!!!
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Old 02-23-2016, 08:22 PM   #42
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Speaking of Batteries...
Has anyone researched supercaps for starting batteries?
Easy Installation with the KSM Starting Module

Back a while ago, I ran across them and they looked pretty good. The supercaps could charge up from a nearly dead house bank enough to get the engines cranked. Also, they are smaller, lighter and never (10,000 cycles+) wear out.

I have never seen one in action though, with day in, day out use, but the demo I saw looked like a winning solution.
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Old 02-23-2016, 08:53 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by stubones99 View Post
Speaking of Batteries...
Has anyone researched supercaps for starting batteries?
Easy Installation with the KSM Starting Module

Back a while ago, I ran across them and they looked pretty good. The supercaps could charge up from a nearly dead house bank enough to get the engines cranked. Also, they are smaller, lighter and never (10,000 cycles+) wear out.

I have never seen one in action though, with day in, day out use, but the demo I saw looked like a winning solution.
You wont want to drop a screw driver across em.
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Old 02-28-2016, 12:22 PM   #44
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Thanks for all the very informative replies. My batteries are easily accessible and am used to the maintenance . I opted on the less expensive route....see you all on the water!
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Old 02-28-2016, 05:23 PM   #45
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Batteries

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Time to replace our batteries. Currently have 850 amp batteries and thinking of going to agm type. Very pricey. Worth it? 46 gb Europa and planning on Alaska this season.
We purchased a 2007 Mariner/Helmsman 38, and replace the 3 8D house bank with 4 AGM Golf Cart Btrys, and the 4D Start Btry with 2 AGM Golf Cart batteries. We also installed a NextGen 3.5KW gen set.

The objective was to have the means to recharge our house bank, but more importantly to support our hot water heater. On our previous boats we found the usually ran our main propulsion engine 2X per day just for hot water, even though we still had lots of battery capacity left. With a much larger main engine I wanted to avoid running it for hot water.

This set up serves us well. We run the genset twice per day (30-45 minutes each time) while on the hook so that we have hot water for dishes and showers.

I was able to source the 6 "Lifeline" AGM golf cart batteries on line from the following link.

Lifeline GPL-4CT 6Volt Deep Cycle AGM Battery - $299.92 FREE SHIPPING!

I had these shipped (free shipping) directly to my marine electrician's shop, saving on 8.6% state sales tax and shipping. Pretty hard to beat that.

Good Luck

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Old 02-28-2016, 08:53 PM   #46
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Before leaving on our trip to the Broughtons last summer we switched to new Oasis carbon foam batteries from Bruce Schwab at Ocean Planet Energy. Nigel Calder calls these AGM-style batteries a "game changer". They are definitely not cheap, but check out all the specs and the $/kWh comparison.

Firefly Oasis Battery - Carbon Foam AGM

The simplified bottom line perspective for us is this: while on the hook we went from running the generator two or more hours a day to a couple of hours every two days. We went from a lead acid bank of four 6V golf cart batts (480 Ah) to four carbon foam batts (440 Ah). Since the old bank could not go below 50% rated capacity, we essentially only had a little over 200 Ah available. The Oasis batts can be discharged 80% or more of their capacity without harming them, so we effectively doubled our available amp hours in the same footprint. Needless to say nine months later we love 'em!
Thanks for the report, Darren. I have been intending to replace our 8 year old Northstar AGM's with the Firefly battery, and it is nice to know they are living up to their billing in the real world.
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Old 02-28-2016, 08:56 PM   #47
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Li batteries catch on fire all the time!!!!
Not LiFePO. There are different lithium variants, but LiFePO are no more dangerous than we cell.
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Old 02-29-2016, 06:53 AM   #48
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To not run the engine for hot water as often , would not a 4X larger (as required) HW capacity , with extra wrapped insulation be a simpler choice?
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Old 02-29-2016, 10:17 AM   #49
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I am an Odyssey fan as well(Sears DieHards made by Odyssey actually). I have no clue if it means anything but everyone else's GRP31s are 50lbs. Odysseys are almost 80!!!! SO they are packing something in those things!!!
Our present house bank is Sears DieHard Platinum g31 AGM's (75lb, 100AH), but my previous Deka g31 AGM's which lasted 11 summers were 69lb and 105AH. Optima Yellowtop g31 AGM's weigh only 60lb, hold only 75 AH, and thus are not so good for deep cycle use.

If I were replacing, I'd be going for the carbon-foam Firefly's.
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Old 02-29-2016, 10:33 AM   #50
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Forgot to mention that while the Oasis carbon foam batteries do require specific AGM charging profiles, our nearly 4-yr old Magnum inverter/charger was easily programmed to charge them properly.
These sound really interesting. I am going to try to keep my AGM bank going (1 down, three left (8D's) until I get back to North America.

Though I may discover this summer and another one has bitten the dust. That will leave me with only 440 amp-hrs, but expect to be in marinas a lot this coming year.

And I may even start running my gen routinely,much more than the twice a year that I did in 2015
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Old 02-29-2016, 10:39 AM   #51
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To not run the engine for hot water as often , would not a 4X larger (as required) HW capacity , with extra wrapped insulation be a simpler choice?
I would think so also, but i also put my WH (50 gal Raritan) on the inverter circuit. Now, it takes most of the inverter capacity, so I only run it when the solar panels are putting out power and the batteries are full.
That way I am using power that would thrown away anyway.
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Old 02-29-2016, 10:46 AM   #52
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I fail to see how C foam is a must for a boat where space is not necessarily an issue and very big cost differential real.

But, if my budget allows it in 3 years when wet cells are due for replacement maybe the price will be less of a difference.

Question, will a PSW Magnum inverter charger work with the Cfoam?
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Old 02-29-2016, 11:02 AM   #53
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I would think so also, but i also put my WH (50 gal Raritan) on the inverter circuit. Now, it takes most of the inverter capacity, so I only run it when the solar panels are putting out power and the batteries are full.
That way I am using power that would thrown away anyway.
Yikes!!! Maybe running your hot water heater on your inverter might be the reason for the early demise of your batteries??? That is pretty heavy service to expect from your batteries....especially 50 gallons!!! I would much rather start my generator to heat water than subject my batteries to that sort of punishment. I state this ignorantly as I do not know your set up. But a water heater, especially a 50 gallon one, is one of the highest drawing AC appliances on the boat.
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Old 02-29-2016, 11:03 AM   #54
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I fail to see how C foam is a must for a boat where space is not necessarily an issue and very big cost differential real.
Not a must, however...from link above;

Quote:
-Unparalleled Resistance to Sulfation – Sulfation is what usually kills AGM batteries.

-The Oasis carbon foam AGM can operate or be stored at a partial state of charge for long periods of time without a loss in capacity.

-Depths of Discharge to 80%-100% of rated capacity without any loss of performance.

-Superior Life Cycle – capable of 3X the number of deep discharge cycles than that of other lead acid batteries.

-Strong Performance in Extreme Cold and Heat– performance range is -20 C to 50 C

-Fast Bulk Charging and topping up is seldom required.

-Greater Usable Capacity– you can replace your existing bank with a smaller Oasis bank due to it’s deep discharge capability.
Those are pretty compelling reasons.
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Old 02-29-2016, 11:22 AM   #55
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In Northern climes, hot water is a very nice additional advantage to having a diesel hydronic heating system. If you are on the hook for a while in cool weather, the heat will be on anyway and therefore unlimited HW without running the generator. It does use 12v to driving the pumps, but that is low amps compared to actually using electricity to heat the water.
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Old 02-29-2016, 12:12 PM   #56
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Those are pretty compelling reasons.
For some, not all. Cost effectiveness and excellent life from LAs cannot be overlooked. Plus for those of us that enjoy the benefits of a genset, the margin of victory gets narrow real quick.

Again though, I will certainly give them a hard look to ascertain if, in my case, they are an answer to a problem or a solution looking for a problem to solve.
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Old 02-29-2016, 01:06 PM   #57
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Here's an interesting sidebar about bulk Li-ion batteries in airline cargo compartments.

ICAO Li-Ion Cargo Ban Divides Battery, Aviation Industries | Commercial Aviation content from Aviation Week
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Old 02-29-2016, 08:44 PM   #58
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Here's an interesting sidebar about bulk Li-ion batteries in airline cargo compartments.

ICAO Li-Ion Cargo Ban Divides Battery, Aviation Industries | Commercial Aviation content from Aviation Week
Again, Lithium Ion batteries are not the specific technology used on vessels.
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Old 02-29-2016, 11:28 PM   #59
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If you're contemplating replacing conventional batteries with Li-ion technology batteries, be sure and check with your insurance company first.
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Old 02-29-2016, 11:47 PM   #60
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If actual information about LiFePO batteries is of interest, Maine Sail's blog post on the topic might be of interest:

LiFePO4 Batteries - Thoughts & Musings Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com

Or perhaps this article: https://www.batterystuff.com/kb/arti...-overview.html

"The LiFePO4 batteries are the safest type of Lithium batteries as they will not overheat, and even if punctured they will not catch on fire. The cathode material in LiFePO4 batteries is not hazardous, and so poses no negative health hazards or environmental hazards. Due to the oxygen being bonded tightly to the molecule, there is no danger of the battery erupting into flames like there is with Lithium-Ion."

If confusing the battery in your cell phone with the technology appropriate for a marine application is preferred, then the above will not be of interest.
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