Time to change batteries

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  • softdown
    softdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,825 ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2019 #62
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    mvas said:

    softdown said:
    The fact that many manufacturers have changed their mind so many times gives some pause for reflection. It would be of some interest if a clear battery case was possible. 
    All deep cycle Lead Acid batteries, have always required equalization - even AGM batteries.
    This has never been refuted, by any AGM battery manufacturer.

    The problem is  ... the "maintenance-free" battery was originally designed for the brain-dead consumer
    The catch-22 is ... equalizing an AGM battery, to maximize its cycles / life, requires skill / knowledge

    No two batteries are identical
    No two battery chargers are identical
    No two discharging applications are identical

    Lead Acid battery technology is evolving.

    Given these facts ...
    It is irrational for you to assume that - one generic set of charging parameters is best for everyone and should never change.
    Life Line has helped owners design a custom set of bulk / absorb / equalize / float parameters, optimized for their environment.
    Wow - (note really necessary. -Bill the moderator) Then we have Mark K who recently stated that Fullriver does not recommend equalizing their batteries. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • mvas
    mvas Registered Users Posts: 395 ✭✭✭
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    If you can see, or can enlarge the photo, These CSB AGM's recommend a cycle duty charge voltage of up to 15 volts. Are they getting better at recombining the hydrogen gas? Stronger vent valves?


    The CSB data sheet states, "Equalization Charging Volts = 14.4 ~ 15.0 Volts @ 77F"
    but they do not tell us, how and when to use 15.0 volts = useless information.

    15.0 volts is nothing to get excited about, because the Life Line AGM states ...
    "Conditioning Charge = 15.48 volts @ 77F for 4 hours, once every 3 weeks" 

    Life Line provides very clear charging information to use as a baseline.
  • papab
    papab Registered Users Posts: 66 ✭✭
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    I'm still curious what the battery experts here think that coachdad may have done wrong to get such short life out of his batteries.   We learn from failures like this.
  • softdown
    softdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,825 ✭✭✭✭
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    He said it was a "no no" to mix old and new batteries - which kind of indicates that one or two batteries failed prematurely. Some think the charging regimen was not correct. Plenty of possibilities - interesting that it happened twice. Thinking he replaced them in Julyish. 

    I'd be on my sixth string, or so, if I did not mix old and new batteries. Mixing them is technically less than ideal but realistically done all the time. A number here sell more batteries than they buy which is surely a mere coincidence. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • KenMorgan
    KenMorgan Registered Users Posts: 92 ✭✭
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    papab said:
    Can you review CoachDads post and comment on what he may have done wrong?
    Are your charging voltages temperature compensated?
    What 'low end' batteries are you using that you've had good luck with?



    sorry I missed this question at me.  I am using twelve 12 volt 200A/H AGM generic batteries I bought directly from china for my primary bank,(48VDC 600 A/H)  I used 5/16" x 1" copper bussbars to tie the batteries in and guarentee absolute same lengths for all interconnects.  These batteries use a 8mm threaded bolt into the battery vice a post. 

    My camper used two of the same batteries in a  12VDC 400 A/H RV system.   I bought them via Rakuten here in japan for entirely too much cash (embarrassed to say how badly I got bent over price wise on those first ones.)  After using them for about 5 years I started planning my system for the cabin, the two I originally bought were still kicking and could still put out full capacity though they cost so much that I decided to try and track down the actual Mfr. to see if I could get them cheaper if i imported them myself.  

    So I  started looking closely at them and found the Mfr by contacting Chinese companies via ali baba and backtracking who they had sold to in japan. I did not tell them what I was looking for, just who they had sold to so I could contact them,for references on their quality and ability to ship on time (all BS fluff to find who was who in the Zoo)  or to possibly buy locally. (yeah right).  Once I found out who was selling batteries to Rakuten i just ordered directly for about 185 USD per battery shipped to yokohama japan.  They are marketed on ali baba as "TR-200 12 VDC VLRM AGM Batteries", by ******** ******* Industry (name removed to protect our gracious sponsors)  . They weigh in at 145 lbs apiece and to tell the truth, I have no clue as too what they are called in the states IRT size... L8?  L16?  .  I measured the cases and they are an odd size i think, who knows?  I am not that well versed as too what is available there as I have done all my research for what was available here. 

    Just remember the guys selling batteries in the states that ARE NOT a Major maker like Rolls Surrete or concorde, Trojan etc. etc. are buying these same generic batteries having their logo put on and selling them for a grip in the states.  You take your pick...and your chances YMMV.  Somebody before me (a large japanese company) researched these guys, and then was buying them and selling them here locally for over 1k a piece I just snooped behind them and bought the same model with the same options minus that companies logo on the side.

    as far as charging goes I had the Factory send me their charging specs for max amps for bulk along with the voltage setting for bulk, absorb and float, temp differential etc. and set the charge controller accordingly.  I also EQ them once every three months or so but being AGM's its more like a leveling charge than anything else.




    70kw LiFePo4 battery bank, 18 JA solar 200 watt panels, 20 sharp 200 watt panels,  morningstar controller(s) and a magnum 4448 inverter with all the usual junk that goes with it.