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Batteries - which are the good ones!


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Are you going to be Marina based if so I'd hardwire a 20 or preferably 30amp battery charger like the 30amp electroquest one. The 30 amp one has 2 outputs, one to charge the domestics and one the engine starter battery. I would install 4 Trojan t105's. I would also have a 100 watt solar panel.

 

I'm Marina based with mains power and have 2x T105's powering my 12 volt fridge and pump/lights etc and a few months ago installed 280 watts of solar panels. My battery charger only runs at night. I would like another pair of T105'S.

Wiring like this: http://www.trojanbattery.com/Tech-Support/TechologyLibrary/ConnectionsDiagram.aspx

 

I have had my T105's for over 2 years so far and still seem good. I would like to buy a smartguage as this tells you the AH used the % left etc so can monitor the state, and then you can charge your batteries as required.

 

Jamescheers.gif

Edited by canals are us?
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Batteries are very simple. You always need twice as much amp hours as you think you might and they only every last half as long as you want them to.

 

The best domestic boat batteries I ever had were some gell types that were secondhand from a racing yacht - they replaced them every season. The second best were some semi-traction batteries, good but expensive. Both lasted twice / three times as long as so called "leisure" batteries. You need a versatile battery area and connection system to take different sizes to take advantage of opportunities.

 

These days I would invest in as much solar panel as I could reasonably tolerate on my roof, reduce my consumption as much as possible with LED lighting etc (and other use reduction tips in other threads on this forum and others) and use leisure batteries because they are cheap.

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You need to consider the charging regime. A short time at 14.7v will charge batteries quickly but holding batteries at 14.7v for ever will also harm them. for permanent float use something more like 13.8 is a good voltage.

 

With a boat (hence battery) that is only used occasionally it's good to have a well controlled solar array putting in enough to keep the batteries full but not fried. Usually it's possible to get the peak summer three months of free electricity with no need to use engine generated power, but for the other months only frugal use will come from a 1000w panel array without diesel powered charging.

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Whilst on the subject of batteries, has anyone had experience of these offered by the Battery Megastore for a very resonable price given their 125 Ah capacity claim. I noticed that the description and reference indicate deep cycle, especially as no CCA is mentioned. I'm sceptical enough to accept they are not true deep cycle and that their weight suggests little more lead content than similar sized leisure batteries, although probably having a lesser number of thicker plates.

 

Given the price I'm tempted to think they might be a suitable replacement for the five leisure batteries forming my present domestic bank, given they would be a straight swap having the same dual connection terminals.

 

Hi,

 

I have viewed the Battery Megastore site and thought the batteries you highlighted looked good.

 

HanKooks products would not have been considered by me - except my car has just covered 30000 miles (front wheels) on a set of Hankooks, Bridgestones lasted 15000 miles.

 

I would probably go for these batteries (5 needed) when the time comes, free delivery from Tewkesbury looks good as well.

 

Only problem as I see it are the batteries are sealed.

 

No connection with firm.

 

L

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I have been running sealed lead/calcium batteries for 3 years now.

http://www.alpha-batteries.co.uk/leisure-batteries/125-ah-xplorer-leisure-battery/

One thing to be aware of is charge voltage it should be no more than 14.4v so I had to adjust my alternator and charger down to 14.4V. Alternator is variable between 13.8 and 15.5 ;)

Edited by Loddon
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Thanks Leo. I'm concerned about the dodgy brand name as well although I understand there is some badge engineering to better known brands from the Korean manufacturers. Sealed yes but lead calcium as well so would treat them as my present set of leisure ones.

 

Suffice to say I would be going into the deal with my eyes open.

 

On replacement at the beginning of next season intend to hack open the old leisure ones and see for myself the electrolyte situation - maybe put to sleep some myths in the process.

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They seem very lightweight (Hankook) and no mention of at what rate the amp.hr is, for instance Loddon link the actual spec. is 110 amp.hr @ 20 hour rate.

 

Although the 125 amp.hr is written big.

 

My original 'leisure' batteries weighed 28Kg each, my latest AGM deep cycle weigh 33Kg each both were/are rated at 110 amp.hr @ 20hour rate.

 

Not teaching any one to suck eggs but make sure you compare like with like.

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I think, but am not 100% sure, that within the last year or so the EU required all types of batteries that we are talking about to be quoted at the 20 hour rate although lesser hours are allowed as long as the 20 hour rate is quoted. CCA etc are also permitted ratings on the relevant battery types.

Edited by Tony Brooks
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Thanks Leo. I'm concerned about the dodgy brand name as well although I understand there is some badge engineering to better known brands from the Korean manufacturers. Sealed yes but lead calcium as well so would treat them as my present set of leisure ones.

 

Suffice to say I would be going into the deal with my eyes open.

 

On replacement at the beginning of next season intend to hack open the old leisure ones and see for myself the electrolyte situation - maybe put to sleep some myths in the process.

 

Have a read of this topic if you like, YMMV:

 

http://www.canalworld.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=68885&page=1

 

cheers, Pete.

~smpt~

Edited by smileypete
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HanKooks products would not have been considered by me - except my car has just covered 30000 miles (front wheels) on a set of Hankooks, Bridgestones lasted 15000 miles.

 

L

Longevity of a manufacturer's tyres doesn't really have a read across to the quality of their batteries. Bridgestone (who were once known for their "Japanese instant skid" tyres that lasted forever) may have only given you 15k, but they'll likely have given you the compromise of more grip across a wider range of surfaces and conditions at the expense of greater wear, where Hankook have chosen a different balance.

 

Batteries will also be a compromise on Price V Longevity as well as other factors, and that's clear here from the ticket prices on Hankook, Varta, Trojans, Rolls, etc.

 

Point is: compare batteries with batteries and factor in your usage and charging ability/regimen - as is writ large through all of these threads.

 

Incidentally, I have 4 very ordinary sealed for life 110Ah leisure batteries now 7 years old and still doing well. I put that down to the Mastervolt Combi charger, 175a domestic alternator, a regime of not taking them below 60% and cruising sufficiently to get them back to 100% every day or two. Being an engineer, I was possibly able to sort out for myself what was the really good advice given on here and elsewhere, but there's probably a big dollop of luck in there too! ;)

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I'm about to fit new leisure batteries and I'm told that Trojan batteries are the best to buy. I'd be interested in other folks' view on this though.

 

I've also been told that you shouldn't use a drop tester on leisure batteries and I'd be interested on comments about this too.

 

That is quite possibily because they have the best advertising publicity campaign, which (in the US) includes rubbishing their competitor's products.

 

We have a pair of 6v 242Ah US125 deep cycle batteries on Helvetia which after ten years, are still giving good service.

Edited by David Schweizer
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I think, but am not 100% sure, that within the last year or so the EU required all types of batteries that we are talking about to be quoted at the 20 hour rate although lesser hours are allowed as long as the 20 hour rate is quoted. CCA etc are also permitted ratings on the relevant battery types.

 

Well maybe I'm being naive but as I see it the supplier Battery Megastore in this case, offer a range of batteries including leisure, all from the same manufacturer on which they quote varying Ah capacities and CCA where relevant. The ones I was looking at are claimed to be deep cycle, no CCA is quoted going a little way to support this, and even if capacity isn't truly 125 Ah at the 20 hr rate, surely have more capacity than those they claim lesser capacity for. I agree they appear to be a little on the light side (read not enough lead) though.

 

Interesting to note they also sell Trojan's but only offer a two year guarantee on them compared with four for the Hankook's. The cynic in me expects this to be probably worthless but I find it hard to completely ignore the implications.

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I might consider the Hankooks, I do consider Hankook to be a good brand, I use Hankook tyres on my truck and they seem a good tyre. I know tyres and batteries aren't the same thing but I don't imagine any leading manufacturer would compromise its brand integrity by appending its name to sub-standard products. IIRC, Hankook tyres are standard fitment on new Toyotas.

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I will keep off the subject of domestic banks as I have my own preferences but I am certainly no expert

 

BUT......Your engine starter battery does not need to be an expensive leisure or semi traction battery.

All you need for a starter battery is a common or garden car/van battery with sufficient cranking amps for the starter fitted.

It doesn't (or shouldn't) be supplying anything apart from the engine and it's ancillaries .

The best design of battery for doing that is an automotive type, you are just wasting money on buying one with a more expensive construction. Buy good quality by all means but still just an automotive type.

 

eta......the alternator should be the only charging system needed and possibly a mains charger occasionally if the engine is not run for a long time.

Edited by John V
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I will keep off the subject of domestic banks as I have my own preferences but I am certainly no expert

 

BUT......Your engine starter battery does not need to be an expensive leisure or semi traction battery.

All you need for a starter battery is a common or garden car/van battery with sufficient cranking amps for the starter fitted.

It doesn't (or shouldn't) be supplying anything apart from the engine and it's ancillaries .

The best design of battery for doing that is an automotive type, you are just wasting money on buying one with a more expensive construction. Buy good quality by all means but still just an automotive type.

 

eta......the alternator should be the only charging system needed and possibly a mains charger occasionally if the engine is not run for a long time.

 

Last paragraph:- I hope John forgot to add "for the engine battery".

 

I think the vast majority if boats tend to undercharge the domestic set to some degree causing sulphation..

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Last paragraph:- I hope John forgot to add "for the engine battery".

 

I think the vast majority if boats tend to undercharge the domestic set to some degree causing sulphation..

 

Yup......exactly (trouble when you add an edit, the position doesn't give the context)

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If you want to use a NON lead battery then you will need a reprogrammed charger system and may need a voltage controller on the output All of this goes away from the ease of buying regular car parts as a cheap supply to buying expensive specials that no-one else understands.

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I'm about to fit new leisure batteries and I'm told that Trojan batteries are the best to buy. I'd be interested in other folks' view on this though.

 

I've also been told that you shouldn't use a drop tester on leisure batteries and I'd be interested on comments about this too.

Many battery specialists are of the opinion that (unless you pay a LOT of money for real "deep cycle" or "traction" batteries) there is little or no difference between engine starter batteries and "leisure" batteries.

 

From an old post by Gibbo:

 

""Leisure" on the side of a battery really does mean "We put some handles on an engine start battery". Internally they are identical and it is all a big scam. The price is usually about 10 quid more than an engine start battery. *True* deep cycle batteries start at about 3 times the price."

 

http://www.canalworld.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=8041http://www.canalworld.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=8041

 

Post #6.

 

And Charles Sterling:

 

http://sterling-power.eu/support-faq-2.htm

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Don't forget that you can ruin expensive batteries just as quickly as cheap batteries.

 

 

 

 

I'm inclined to disagree with that from personal experience.

 

My pair of 'Freedom' sealed batteries (bought second hand from Vince on here back in the day) took me about five years to ruin from repeated abuse (i.e. discharging to about 9v many, many times!)

 

The pair of cheap and cheerful "MonBat 110-LM" leisure batteries I purchased from Wharf House Chandlery at Braunston to replace them, succumbed to similar treatment in less than two years.

Edited by Mike the Boilerman
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