Jump to content
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
Sign in to follow this  
swmenzies

Battery Choices

Featured Posts

We have had our boat for nearly a year now, the age and previous condition of the lesuire batteries are unknown to me. One thing I do know is that the batteries do not hold their charge.

 

Reading through the forum posts I have found a lot of information on testing the batteries but no information on what to look for when buying a replacement bank.

 

I was wondering if anyone can part knowledge on what to consider when buying new batteries. I like the idea of AGM but not the price.

 

Is there brands to look out for? We have 3 x 110 Numax, are these considered good? Does branding make any difference?

 

Many thanks,

 

SWMenzies

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Given the competitiveness of Trojan T105 at £107.50 delivered, I will be replacing my 3 x 110Ah Varta Hobbys with a couple of Trojans. Fewer Ah, but deeper cycling capability - should even out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It depends hugely on how you will use them, and even more on how you will keep them charged and maintained.

Expensive batteries are only worth having if you will keep them fully charged with a proper marine battery charger. Otherwise, unless you are going to cruise for lots of hours every day, you'll be wasting the extra cost by destroying them by undercharging.

There are many threads on the forum about this which you would do well to search for and read to help you make a more informed choice.

Personally I wouldn't have sealed or AGM batteries unless they were very hard to access to top them up. However this reflects our specific circumstances living aboard and without a shore connection available.

For us, solar power is an invaluable aid in keeping batteries in a good state btw.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We too have 110 Ah Numax.

 

When we replace them next year, it will be with Trojan T105's - very slightly dearer, but (after considerable research) I've realised they are a much better long term unit.

 

However, like all good tools, you need to look after them

 

They are 6v though - so you'll need to buy either two, or four - but they are are a considerably better battery (Currently cheapest from Batterymegastore I believe)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can I suggest you give David Millin a call at Powercell pb batteries


He is a very helpful person who knows his subject well and is happy to talk through all kinds of solutions in a pragmatic way with you and let you make your choice.

 

We are going to buy something like this http://www.powercell.co.uk/products/forklift-batteries/2v-lead-acid-batteries.aspx

To be precise we have a spec of:

6 x 10 PZS 600 – 600 Ah @ C5 which is 714Ah @ C20. Single cell dimension 198mm wide x 191mm long x 370mm high. Single cell weight 37.80Kg. with an automatic topping and gas venting system. 5 year guarantee. We think the higher price with the longevity of the product is worth going for

 

interesting article here too

http://www.powercell.co.uk/benefits-of-deep-cycle-batteries.aspx

 


Edited by jim and pat dalton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are going to run a good charging regime then buy better batteries they will repay the extra cost in extra life years. If you are going to recharge a bit when the batteries go flat then buy the cheapest you can find, you will kill cheap or expensive batteries just as fast.

 

There is now some anecdotal suggestion that a solar charge system assists batteries to last longer as they are kept on charge.

 

Otherwise the batteries to buy are the ones that fit the space and the restraints, and have the connectors in the right place to keep using the same leads when cleaned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any sealed battery is difficult for an ordinary boater to test where as wet open cell batteries are much easier to test for both condition and gross loss of capacity. Personally I would not touch AGMs, gels, or any other sealed battery.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for you replies.

 

I suppose I should have mentioned that we live aboard continuously cruising and move every week which gives a good long charge but during the week days will turn the engine over when for hot water and charge if needed.

 

I do intend on purchasing a solar panel or two but that may have to wait as the new bank will eat away at the savings...

 

A friend pointed me to a battery shop online (http://www.tayna.co.uk) which seems quite reasonable.

Edited by swmenzies

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi

 

Always buy from genuine battery manufactures, There are so many 'sticker' battery's out there.

The AA don't make battery's and neither do Halfords, I even have my suspicions of Lucas.

My recommendations would be Trojan - US Battery's - Varta

 

Alex

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am pretty sure that Lucas batteries are just rebadged Numax sold at a premium price. Its a funny world and false memory syndrome and nostalgia can do some odd things. In their time Lucas made some spectacularly unreliable automotive electrical components. Many car enthusiasts refer to Mr Lucas as the Prince of Darkness (clever joke !). But now many people are prepared to pay a bit extra for something that bears the Lucas brand.

 

To be fair though things have moved on and in fact many other companies also made unreliable stuff in the 70's. I also think the diesel fuel injection section of Lucas did some quite good stuff.

 

..........Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi

 

Always buy from genuine battery manufactures, There are so many 'sticker' battery's out there.

The AA don't make battery's and neither do Halfords, I even have my suspicions of Lucas.

My recommendations would be Trojan - US Battery's - Varta

 

Alex

 

Take a look at Shield. UK manufacturer.

http://www.shieldbatteries.co.uk/

 

No connection other than a satisfied customer.

 

Tony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
No doubt that true deep cycle golf cart or fork lift truck batteries will withstand greater depths of discharge with regard to ageing. Having tried both these and the popular so called leisure batteries, which are closer in construction to a starter battery, I'm increasingly favouring the latter. This is my personal choice and others will no doubt argue the advantages of deep cycle, but based on the following facts and observations not necessarily in order of importance:


Leisure are cheaper sometimes as little as one third of cost of deep cycle or AGM. This means you don't need to scrimp on service bank battery capacity. In turn this means that within your usage regime the bank is less likely to be taken to low states of charge.


They are invariably 12 volt so less cabling needed than using deep cycle 6 volt ones to form a 12 volt bank.


Given their greater number of thinner plates, they can be charged at higher currents more efficiently because of advantageous surface charge/discharge effects, and by the same token can deliver higher currents effectively to run high power inverters, bowthrusters etc.


Following on from above they can be recharged quicker with a suitably engineered charging system from engine alternator(s) or sufficiently large mains charger(s). I use as much as C/3 (charge current on third of amp hour capacity of battery bank). Not an issue charging at lower currents when overnight mains charging is available for your deep cycle golf cart, fork lift batts, but definitely an issue on a cruising boat where charge time may be limited.


Poor battery charge regimes can destroy an expensive deep cycle set almost as quickly as cheaper leisure although I admit the latter will stand more depth of discharge abuse, but not necessarily sulphation when boat left unattended for long periods.


Note that all batteries age, the most noticeable effect being gradual reduction in capacity. Accepting the shorter life of leisure batteries you have the option within the same budget of replacing them more regularly so ensuring you have a full capacity set with more regular upgrade options if needed.


Given that the surface charge/discharge effect is less apparent with leisure batteries, the charge voltage can be taken quite high effectively. I have both my alternator controllers and both smart chargers set to 14.8 volts absorb voltage. Most leisure batteries nowadays are of lead/calcium construction with many open cell ones capable of accepting up to 15.1 volts in absorb phase. Their other attribute is that even with these high charge voltages the current draw drops off quite dramatically when fully charged, leaving just an amp or so flowing into the whole bank, in turn making them safer when charging unattended with reduced gassing.


My present ones are sealed lead calcium but having treated a previous set to similar charge regimes, they were still giving useful capacity after five years and only replaced because I had a cheap offer whilst in the USA.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No doubt that true deep cycle golf cart or fork lift truck batteries will withstand greater depths of discharge with regard to ageing. Having tried both these and the popular so called leisure batteries, which are closer in construction to a starter battery, I'm increasingly favouring the latter. This is my personal choice and others will no doubt argue the advantages of deep cycle, but based on the following facts and observations not necessarily in order of importance:

 

Leisure are cheaper sometimes as little as one third of cost of deep cycle or AGM. This means you don't need to scrimp on service bank battery capacity. In turn this means that within your usage regime the bank is less likely to be taken to low states of charge.

 

They are invariably 12 volt so less cabling needed than using deep cycle 6 volt ones to form a 12 volt bank.

 

Given their greater number of thinner plates, they can be charged at higher currents more efficiently because of advantageous surface charge/discharge effects, and by the same token can deliver higher currents effectively to run high power inverters, bowthrusters etc.

 

Following on from above they can be recharged quicker with a suitably engineered charging system from engine alternator(s) or sufficiently large mains charger(s). I use as much as C/3 (charge current on third of amp hour capacity of battery bank). Not an issue charging at lower currents when overnight mains charging is available for your deep cycle golf cart, fork lift batts, but definitely an issue on a cruising boat where charge time may be limited.

 

Poor battery charge regimes can destroy an expensive deep cycle set almost as quickly as cheaper leisure although I admit the latter will stand more depth of discharge abuse, but not necessarily sulphation when boat left unattended for long periods.

 

Note that all batteries age, the most noticeable effect being gradual reduction in capacity. Accepting the shorter life of leisure batteries you have the option within the same budget of replacing them more regularly so ensuring you have a full capacity set with more regular upgrade options if needed.

 

Given that the surface charge/discharge effect is less apparent with leisure batteries, the charge voltage can be taken quite high effectively. I have both my alternator controllers and both smart chargers set to 14.8 volts absorb voltage. Most leisure batteries nowadays are of lead/calcium construction with many open cell ones capable of accepting up to 15.1 volts in absorb phase. Their other attribute is that even with these high charge voltages the current draw drops off quite dramatically when fully charged, leaving just an amp or so flowing into the whole bank, in turn making them safer when charging unattended with reduced gassing.

 

My present ones are sealed lead calcium but having treated a previous set to similar charge regimes, they were still giving useful capacity after five years and only replaced because I had a cheap offer whilst in the USA.

That's an interesting take because I have just gone the other way. With Trojan T105s at just over £100, vs leisure batteries at around £70 there is not that much of a price differential. Whilst I have noticed more reluctance for the Trojans to pump out 200A into the inverter, I haven't noticed more reluctance to accept high charge currents.

 

Just one correction though, the number of interconnects doesn't change since each 6v battery is roughly twice the AH of the 12v ones. So I replaced 4 leisure 110AH with 4 Trojans giving much the same total AH. The interconnects may of course need adjusting length - wise, and one should of course check that Trojans would fit since they are a slightly different shape.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's an interesting take because I have just gone the other way. With Trojan T105s at just over £100, vs leisure batteries at around £70 there is not that much of a price differential. Whilst I have noticed more reluctance for the Trojans to pump out 200A into the inverter, I haven't noticed more reluctance to accept high charge currents.

 

Just one correction though, the number of interconnects doesn't change since each 6v battery is roughly twice the AH of the 12v ones. So I replaced 4 leisure 110AH with 4 Trojans giving much the same total AH. The interconnects may of course need adjusting length - wise, and one should of course check that Trojans would fit since they are a slightly different shape.

 

I reckon you are wrong here Nick, the number of interconnects on a Trojan bank is actually LESS than on a 12v leisure bank!!!!!

 

I make it 6 for 4 leisures but only 4 on a set of 4 Trojans.

 

..............Dave

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's an interesting take because I have just gone the other way. With Trojan T105s at just over £100, vs leisure batteries at around £70 there is not that much of a price differential. Whilst I have noticed more reluctance for the Trojans to pump out 200A into the inverter, I haven't noticed more reluctance to accept high charge currents.

 

Just one correction though, the number of interconnects doesn't change since each 6v battery is roughly twice the AH of the 12v ones. So I replaced 4 leisure 110AH with 4 Trojans giving much the same total AH. The interconnects may of course need adjusting length - wise, and one should of course check that Trojans would fit since they are a slightly different shape.

 

You're the second person to mention the 6V T105s. Can I ask why you have picked these?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

No doubt that true deep cycle golf cart or fork lift truck batteries will withstand greater depths of discharge with regard to ageing. Having tried both these and the popular so called leisure batteries, which are closer in construction to a starter battery, I'm increasingly favouring the latter. This is my personal choice and others will no doubt argue the advantages of deep cycle, but based on the following facts and observations not necessarily in order of importance:
Leisure are cheaper sometimes as little as one third of cost of deep cycle or AGM. This means you don't need to scrimp on service bank battery capacity. In turn this means that within your usage regime the bank is less likely to be taken to low states of charge.
They are invariably 12 volt so less cabling needed than using deep cycle 6 volt ones to form a 12 volt bank.
Given their greater number of thinner plates, they can be charged at higher currents more efficiently because of advantageous surface charge/discharge effects, and by the same token can deliver higher currents effectively to run high power inverters, bowthrusters etc.
Following on from above they can be recharged quicker with a suitably engineered charging system from engine alternator(s) or sufficiently large mains charger(s). I use as much as C/3 (charge current on third of amp hour capacity of battery bank). Not an issue charging at lower currents when overnight mains charging is available for your deep cycle golf cart, fork lift batts, but definitely an issue on a cruising boat where charge time may be limited.
Poor battery charge regimes can destroy an expensive deep cycle set almost as quickly as cheaper leisure although I admit the latter will stand more depth of discharge abuse, but not necessarily sulphation when boat left unattended for long periods.
Note that all batteries age, the most noticeable effect being gradual reduction in capacity. Accepting the shorter life of leisure batteries you have the option within the same budget of replacing them more regularly so ensuring you have a full capacity set with more regular upgrade options if needed.
Given that the surface charge/discharge effect is less apparent with leisure batteries, the charge voltage can be taken quite high effectively. I have both my alternator controllers and both smart chargers set to 14.8 volts absorb voltage. Most leisure batteries nowadays are of lead/calcium construction with many open cell ones capable of accepting up to 15.1 volts in absorb phase. Their other attribute is that even with these high charge voltages the current draw drops off quite dramatically when fully charged, leaving just an amp or so flowing into the whole bank, in turn making them safer when charging unattended with reduced gassing.
My present ones are sealed lead calcium but having treated a previous set to similar charge regimes, they were still giving useful capacity after five years and only replaced because I had a cheap offer whilst in the USA.

 

This is a misconception. 6 volt requires less cabling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I reckon you are wrong here Nick, the number of interconnects on a Trojan bank is actually LESS than on a 12v leisure bank!!!!!

 

I make it 6 for 4 leisures but only 4 on a set of 4 Trojans.

 

..............Dave

Yes, you're right, only 4 vs 6. Or you would have been right if you had said FEWER rather than LESS!

You're the second person to mention the 6V T105s. Can I ask why you have picked these?

Because they are semi - traction batteries, designed for deepish cycling, as opposed to leisure batteries which are really re-labelled starter batteries, and yet the price is pretty good due to their usage as golf cart batteries.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, you're right, only 4 vs 6. Or you would have been right if you had said FEWER rather than LESS!

 

Because they are semi - traction batteries, designed for deepish cycling, as opposed to leisure batteries which are really re-labelled starter batteries, and yet the price is pretty good due to their usage as golf cart batteries.

 

So if they fit, four of them @ £99 each could be a good solution

Edited by swmenzies

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a misconception. 6 volt requires less cabling

 

Apologies, you are correct of course, although only one of the points I made.

 

I was commenting on the basis of a requirement for 12 volts. Two 6 volt T105 batteries in series would require an interconnect, an equivalent capacity 12 volt one (if available) wouldn't.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So if they fit, four of them @ £99 each could be a good solution

Yes, I would say so. Of course you have to add delivery to that price, unless you are collecting them. I used Tayna and found them very good. Since Trojans use lead-antimony plates rather than lead - calcium, they may gas more and thus need more frequent topping up, but of course there are 1/2 as many cells plus the caps are bayonet action and so very quick to take off and re-fit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

and if really rich, an automatic filler could be obtained.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

They have a smaller footprint though, so handy if floor space is lacking.

Got space for four leisure batteries (330L x 172W x 242H)

 

and if really rich, an automatic filler could be obtained.

 

The HydroLink would solve the height issue and straddling the engine (Cruiser stern!), though I couldn't find anywhere in the UK that sells it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Surely the relevant statistic is price / (capacity x (100 - suggested limit of discharge) ) ie price per amount of usable energy stored. To make it more complicated, you could multiply by number of discharge cycles the battery is suggested to last.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.