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Leoch Batteries ???


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I have no personal experience with them but looking at the specs I note that their cycle life isn't terribly good at a quoted 500 cycles at 50%. Better AGMs (at far higher cost of course) will give double that or more. 

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I am not well up on the specifics of different types of batteries but now I have 6 newish flooded lead acids, I am looking at what to get next time. I am trying to work out what to look for - so a chance here to get more info from you lot!

These Leogh AGMs seem very cheap and especially if Rusty got them for £85 - almost as cheap as the cheap flooded one. The cycles at 50% is actually 600 rather than 500. I have done  a bit of searching and seem to be coming out with 300 cycles being 'average' for 50% DOD on cheap flooded ones - is this typical? It would be useful to see a graph of cycles vs DOD as then you can see if it worth doubling the size of the bank and halving the DOD. Is this graphical data normally available?  I am finding a lot of sites dont show it. Maybe I am looking in the wrong place.

Even ignoring the cycles are double that of cheapo LA's, would these Leogh's be better bet as I think I read here you can charge them at a higher voltage hence a shorter time to 100% SOC which has to be worth a few squid more for each battery.

The info I am not finding much info on- what is the effect on lifetime of intermittent 'heavy' discharge - ie the 5 mins of 80A out when running the coffee machine or instant pot via the inverter. Whilst I keep my SOC always over 80% (managed that to date) - the batteries do get this short lived 'hammer' every day - most of the time without the engine running (poor planing by SWMBO). Does the plate design on these AGM's or even on more expensive flooded LA's stand up more to these heavy discharges. For example the link to the Leogh site says "Power demand level of intended application: Medium (casual to regular usage)". I havent a clue what that really means. I am sure cycles to end of life is not the only measure of how long the batteries will last - so what's the comparison like of a battery that is subjected to these 80A/5mins discharges but has the same SoC profile on a daily basis to a battery that doesnt have these 80A experiences. We didnt have a big inverter on our lumpy water boat and the cheapo LA's lasted 5 years plus.

My (rather uninformed) vision at the moment is to have cheap LA's so my overnight discharge of 60-100Ahrs is only 15% or so of the battery capacity (from new) and replace when necessary - even 2 years would be good, rather then spend say 5 times more on expensive AGMs with 5 times the life- as cost wise (when including Discounted cash flow!!!!) over 10 years the LAs win. Also with electric cars now taking off, between now and 2027, there will be a huge breakthrough in battery technology and I would like to switch to that rather than be left mid term with half used AGM's. These Leogh's however seem to be a reasonable bet based on the specs (if I am reading them right?) and not much more than the cheapo batteries.

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Some comments that may not help much.

1. An 80 amp discharge across 4 batteries is 20 amps per battery as long as the interlinks are properly specced. A car starter will pull well over 200 amps for a very short time and then drop to maybe 60 to 100 amps and the batteries cope. If leisure batteries are starter batteries with handles they shoudl be more that able to cope with a  20 amp discharge.

2. AGM batteries probably resists plate shedding better than cheap flooded cells because the glass wadding will tend to keep the material against the plates rather than let it build up in the bottom of the battery and short the cell. I do not see why an AGM battery will resist sulphation any better than a flooded cell. hence, I suspect, why a certain supplier demands a 14.8 volt charging voltage.

3. Any lead calcium battery be it AGM or flooded cell  can be charged at a higher voltage than lead antinomy. Say up to 14.7 but if gassing does occur so the AGM vents it can not be topped up, flooded open cells can and what's more if your equipment allows it can be charged for an hour or so at 15 to 15.5 volts as long a s you watch the temperature and keep them topped up.

4. Can your charging equipment be set for a higher voltage?

I drives me nuts that so many battery suppliers will not supply the info a user needs to make informed decisions about purchase and then look after the batteries. I think you will find the expensive makes are better than cheap ones.

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The problem is that even with the same manufacturer and type of battery, everyone has a different usage pattern for them,  making comparison difficult.

Generally AGM's are better at handling short heavy discharges (and charges)  because the plates are held in place by a fibreglass mat, whereas flooded cells use tubular seperators to hold the plates apart, which give more scope for movement and plate distortion. 

At that price I would buy a set and report your findings on here when they fail, bit bear in mind that with batteries you get what you pay for,

 

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6 minutes ago, Tony Brooks said:

I do not see why an AGM battery will resist sulphation any better than a flooded cell. hence, I suspect, why a certain supplier demands a 14.8 volt charging voltage.

Well, yes. The higher charge voltages tend to shift it. There's not anything inherently special about an AGM that resists it otherwise to the best of my knowledge. 

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1 hour ago, cuthound said:

The problem is that even with the same manufacturer and type of battery, everyone has a different usage pattern for them,  making comparison difficult.

Generally AGM's are better at handling short heavy discharges (and charges)  because the plates are held in place by a fibreglass mat, whereas flooded cells use tubular seperators to hold the plates apart, which give more scope for movement and plate distortion. 

At that price I would buy a set and report your findings on here when they fail, bit bear in mind that with batteries you get what you pay for,

 

When I was re-plating and building batteries the separators were flat sheets of microporus plastic material with vertical ribs about an inch apart on each side. Some makes put the plates in glass fibre pockets as well as using separators and I think the same applies today. Actually the separator material was also used for uppers in cheap shoes but without the ribs.

A battery with pocketed plates is likely to have a better cyclic life than ones without and I think the better open cell batteries use pocketed plates but at a higher price.

Further comments - I agree with Cuthound, must be worth a punt to see how they hold up - as long as I am not paying.

It sounds to me as if  Dr Bob's batteries get a fairly easy life so suspect that whatever he buys will have a better than average life as long as he very frequently gets them close to 100% charged. Stop worrying, go boating!

 

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2 hours ago, Tony Brooks said:

It sounds to me as if  Dr Bob's batteries get a fairly easy life so suspect that whatever he buys will have a better than average life as long as he very frequently gets them close to 100% charged. Stop worrying, go boating!

 

....but we are boating. Up the Hatton flight yesterday. Now parked outside the Black Boy waiting 'till SWMBO says its time to go get a drink. Really horrible day, Grey, wind blowing, rain - but lit the stove for the first time (SWMBO is now happy) so just whiling away the hours contemplating doing some rope splicing in the 'now warm' cratch and thinking how difficult its going to be gettting to 100% with no Solar (like today).

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Note I did not say every day. I just said frequently. Many people get by on going to about 80% during the week and 100% at weekends. None of these battery rules are written in stone, they are just guidance for optimum life.

Right or wrong I run m,y engine every day to ensure the batteries are reasonably fully charged and on a sunless day spent moored up I may run in excess of two hours. at between 1000 and 1500 rpm in neutral. So far without any discernible detriment, but the engine was very well run in years before I got the boat.

Its sounds like you both know how to look after batteries and do you best to do so, I don't think you need worry about them.

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  • 3 years later...

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