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Old 04-04-2013, 04:23 PM   #61
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Originally Posted by Art View Post
Hi Portager - You're a wealth o' knowledge on dealing w/batts.

I copied your two recent posts and placed in my batt info folder! Could you do me a favor by commenting on my post # 47; this page of this thread. I try to keep things simple as possible... any suggestions as to how I could make it even simpler / less costly / better, easier usage parameters?

Happy Boating Daze

Thanks - Art
Art: I looked at your post. My recommendation would be to switch to AGM batteries when your flooded lead acid battery wear out. As I showed in my previous post the AGM batteries cost more up front but you get that cost back on the cost of recharging. In addition reduced maintenance requirements of AGM over FLA will make your life simpler. Although, I noticed your a Deka (Eastern Penn) fan. I looked at Deka's web site http://www.dekabatteries.com/assets/base/0139.pdf lots of good information in that document, but their AGM battery life seams very low to me. They are pushing their Gel batteries and under selling their AGM. I'd look at other manufacturers AGM batteries.

Once you make the switch to AGM, then in the future you'll be able to increase the charge rate and greatly reduce your recharge time.

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Originally Posted by SeaHorse II View Post
(Whew!) So, being somewhat math challenged, which batteries do you consider to be the best buy?
When you address the total cost of ownership, i.e. acquisition cost plus maintenance and recharging cost, the difference between FLA and AGM comes out a wash. Therefore, I agree with you, get the lower maintenance and safer batteries.
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Old 04-04-2013, 08:16 PM   #62
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Portager - You're a trip. Good to see your calcs! Now, what is the chance for ruining AGM or FLA batts by overcharging?
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:56 PM   #63
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As I'm sure you know it is easier to ruin AGM batteries by over charging them than FLA's. However, if you do over charge FLA you need to water more frequently and you better make sure that you have good ventilation since they will give off hydrogen gas which is explosive.

Regardless of the battery type you use, you need to use a charger/voltage regulator with battery temperature compensation. A charger that does not have automatic temperature compensation can cause out gassing of batteries at high temperatures, or under charging of batteries at low temperatures. It is also possible for thermal runaway to occur at higher temperatures.

Assuming you have temperature compensated charging with temperature sensors mounted on your batteries and the charger is set to the proper charging profile the risk of over or undercharging either FLA or AGM batteries is very low.
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Old 04-04-2013, 11:33 PM   #64
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I'm understand a little about math too, very little I'm sure. Two and one half my up front capex to buy AGMs vs Trojan 105s does not compute on an NPV basis, assuming an extra charging fuel rate of 0.1 gph, 2 HP or 1.5 KWH of fuel in opex.

BTW, my boat watcher adds the battery water as part of their checks so I'm free of that 20 minute per month hassle..
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Old 04-05-2013, 05:42 AM   #65
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IF there is room above the house set,these work well.

Hydrocap | Information
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Old 04-05-2013, 10:50 AM   #66
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IF there is room above the house set,these work well.

Hydrocap | Information
TY, FF – Those “Hydrocap” seem to be very useful. You or any you know used them yet... long enough to get a “feel of the deal”?

I use Group 31 Deep Cycle wet-leads mfgd by DEKA East Penn manufacturing co. http://www.dekabatteries.com/default.aspx?pageid=356 and sold under Batteries Plus trade mark “SL132DC Xtreme Deep Cycle Battery”. http://www.batteriesplus.com/product...Group-31M.aspx

These batts are in-store sold/promoted as “Maintenance Free”, i.e. never needing fluid check. In reality... under the large and relatively easily removable “Maintenance Free” sticker are 1” dia tight sealing “O” ring screw caps that can be removed for fluid level checks. I’ve found that even though checking every 6 mos (for safety sake) that I only top off fluid levels once every year and a half. Had four of these batts for four years now... so far so good!

I’m wondering if “Hydrocap” you provided link to would be even better for reduced service needs / extended life on my Group 31 Deep Cycle wet-leads?
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Old 04-05-2013, 02:53 PM   #67
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I don't use Hydrocaps, but I have been using Water Miser caps for nearly 2 years with good results.

Just a couple of days ago I was in the ER checking the batts. My start 8D does not have caps compatible with the Water Miser caps, so it still has the original caps. The WM caps require the 1/4 turn bayonet style cap. My start battery has the push-on cap. My house bank has all Water Miser caps.

The start battery needed to be serviced with water after 3 months and vented water was evident on the battery top. The house bank was still full of water with no evidence of vented water on its surface.

I'd estimate my water servicing interval is extended by 50-75% with the Water Miser caps. Also, once screwed into the cell, it's just a flip-up top to open and an easy snap-down closing action. I'm very satisfied with them.

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Old 04-05-2013, 02:57 PM   #68
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Thanks FW - Water Miser caps look cool/simple/easy to use!
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Old 04-05-2013, 05:49 PM   #69
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While I don't profess to know a lot about batteries, A division of my company is a battery distributer and I have sat through many training seminars. There are only three batery manufacturers in the U.S., East Penn (Deka), the guys that make Interstate and one other company that pretty much specializes in golf cart batteries. Every brand you will see is made by one of these companies and private labeled. Our sales guys use the CCA rating on the battery to determine the premium rating. The higher the CCA (cold cranking amps), the better the battery
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:56 PM   #70
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W
There are only three batery manufacturers in the U.S., East Penn (Deka), the guys that make Interstate and one other company that pretty much specializes in golf cart batteries. Every brand you will see is made by one of these companies and private labeled. John

Don't forget Trojan, Johnson Controls, Dyno and Rolls Surrette. There are others.
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Old 04-05-2013, 09:40 PM   #71
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While I don't profess to know a lot about batteries, A division of my company is a battery distributer and I have sat through many training seminars. There are only three batery manufacturers in the U.S., East Penn (Deka), the guys that make Interstate and one other company that pretty much specializes in golf cart batteries. Every brand you will see is made by one of these companies and private labeled. Our sales guys use the CCA rating on the battery to determine the premium rating. The higher the CCA (cold cranking amps), the better the battery
John
Higher CCA is good for starting batteries. Higher AH is good for house batteries in a boat, golf car batteries, etc.
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Old 04-06-2013, 07:08 AM   #72
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Those “Hydrocap” seem to be very useful. You or any you know used them yet... long enough to get a “feel of the deal”?

About 15 years so far, , they are most usefull when installed on a house set that has a larger alt that can create gassing during recharge.

Dont do much for a dock queen with a trickle charger that slowly boils away the water.
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:26 PM   #73
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I'll find out and post tomorrow who the other two U.S. manufacturers are. East Penn is one. There are a lot of brands sold in the U.S. but all are made buy one of those three.
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Old 04-07-2013, 03:36 PM   #74
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I used Hydro-Caps on L16s in a off grid home. Reduced distilled water usage from 4 gallons per year to 1/2 gallon.
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Old 04-08-2013, 07:41 PM   #75
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I had no luck with the Water Misers myself, Did a stint with them 1/2 on the same battery 1/2 without, on a bank of 8 batteries. saw no difference in consumption (admittedly had a bad board in my charger which was "cooking" them a bit). When I switched out the batteries I forgot to take them off, was going to go back to the recycler and get them (still had the OEM caps) then said the heck with it.

I have to try Hydrocaps some day. I went to the "factory" in North Miami one day, one of the more unique experiences, kind of like being in a Dickens novel. The guy was very cool, we spent a good part of the afternoon talking about all kinds of stuff, little at all to do with batteries. On my boat, watering the many batteries is very easy so never got really motivated. The Hydrocap guy said, "if that's the case, spend your money on something more fun!"
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