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Old 04-15-2019, 02:49 PM   #1
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Flooded cell or AGM

Been using flooded cell batteries and the old Univolt. I changed the converter last year to a new 4 stage one. Now I need new batteries. Which should I get, AGM or flooded cell? I can get group 27 into the battery boxes. No, I am not going to lithium batteries.
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Old 04-15-2019, 02:56 PM   #2
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I'm getting ready to buy my battery too. I'll be following along.
No lithium here either.
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:05 PM   #3
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My 6V flooded golf cart batteries work perfectly for me. They have 230AH and can be cycled deeply to 80% DOD with fewer number of cycles but equal total amp hours of life. The only reason I would change to AGMs is for 1) no maintenance or 2) no gassing which allows you to place them inside the Airstream.

-Stick with flooded batteries IF you are good with 230AH located on the tongue.
-Buy AGMs if you want 400AH located inside the Airstream.
-Buy 200AH or more of Lithiums if you want to use a 2000W inverter or other high amp draws (over 80A).

That's my reader's digest version of this debate.
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Old 04-15-2019, 03:41 PM   #4
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It's a cost thing - low cost wet cell - medium cost AGM - high cost lithium.

My approach has been to use wet cells unless otherwise justified; AGMs would be used if the location needed to be moved inside the coach; lithium would be used if low tongue weight was required and one battery would support the needed capacity or if the cells needed to be moved inside and much greater capacity was required. The punt is the 6 volt solution, either wet or AGM.

Given the recomendations of others, AGMs pay for themselves over time. That is not everyone's experience, hence my wet cell use. Pat
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Old 04-15-2019, 04:22 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill M. View Post
Been using flooded cell batteries and the old Univolt. I changed the converter last year to a new 4 stage one. Now I need new batteries. Which should I get, AGM or flooded cell? I can get group 27 into the battery boxes. No, I am not going to lithium batteries.
Our 2 Lifeline AGM's lasted 11 Seasons are now powering our emergency sump pump.👍

Bob
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:26 PM   #6
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I'm with AirMiles. He laid it out succinctly.

In my humble, but very technically informed basis of opinion...

Value and capacity wise, 6Vs absolutely take the cake. With the different ways one can kill a battery, one will generally never see the expected marginal additional longevity of an AGM, over a 6V golf cart battery. The 6Vs will cost less than half of AGMs, to procure or replace.

Skip the 12V flooded and AGM.
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Old 04-15-2019, 08:47 PM   #7
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Make sure your charger is suited for an AGM if you go that route. We replaced our flooded and didn't know why we weren't getting a full charge. AGM batteries charge at 14.5 volts (don't quote me on exact voltage range) Turned out my old charger wasn't putting out a high enough voltage. I purchased a CTek 6 amp charger/maintainer that works awesome, is made for AGM , and can be left on for months with it's maintaining capabilities. While we're in shore power I usually have the battery isolated, running my 12v systems off the sperate converter.
It's not the more sophisticated setup like the newer multiple stage charger/converters but it works great.
Lithium should have a charger suited for that battery type as well
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Old 04-16-2019, 06:48 AM   #8
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I operate my 2000 inverter with 4 EGC2 golf cart batteries. 460 total AH at 12 volts. Cost $440. The inter-connecting cables were about $5 each, made up of marine wire with heavy duty lugs.
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Old 04-16-2019, 07:30 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Zil View Post
I operate my 2000 inverter with 4 EGC2 golf cart batteries. 460 total AH at 12 volts. Cost $440. The inter-connecting cables were about $5 each, made up of marine wire with heavy duty lugs.
https://battlebornbatteries.com/comp...teries-series/

Golf Cart batteries are great for 10A loads and will actually outperform Lithiums at that load. See the above linked article. But, a 2000W inverter can draw 2000/12=166.7 amps. That is equivalent to an 83A load on a set of four golf cart batteries. Again, from the above article, we see that even at a 50A load, four golf cart batteries would be below 50% state of charge in 45 minutes. Your 460AH battery bank running a 100A load will only last 45 minutes and therefore will only provide 75AH of usable capacity. AGM batteries perform very similarly. Lead Acid batteries (both wet cell and AGM) are great for low amp draws (10-20A) but "Peukert's law" makes them a poor choice for high amp loads.

On the other hand, Lithium batteries hold up well to high amp draws. Again as demonstrated in the above linked article, a 100A Lithium battery will provide nearly 100AH of power at both a 10A load and a 50A load. With Lithiums, amps in equals amps out. So a 200AH bank of Lithium batteries would probably power a microwave for over an hour where a 230AH bank of lead acid batteries would probably only power a microwave for 15 minutes.

I run my microwave on generator power while dry camping. If I wanted to run it from my battery bank, I would install at least 200AH of Lithium batteries so that I would not completely deplete my batteries with a few minutes of microwave use. My golf cart batteries work perfectly for all my use except for the microwave and hairdryer which are best used while running my generator.
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Old 04-16-2019, 08:41 PM   #10
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Hi,

Is there a particular brand of AGM you recommend? We are going to be on our 3rd soon (luckily we purchased extended warranty). Works well for one Summer but doesn't make it through the Winter. My partner bought it, so I don't have details on our current brand/model.

Pam
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Old 04-16-2019, 09:39 PM   #11
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Pam - you are discharging the battery to below 50% of it's charge. That is below 12.2 volts. Measure the voltage after the battery has rested with no load for 10-20 minutes. Often coaches have parasitic load that kills the battery while in storage. Disconnect the cables if you are not going to use the coach for a month or more. There are several good brands. Search the battery threads for the experience of others. Blue box at upper right. Pat
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Old 04-19-2019, 01:52 PM   #12
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Hi

Lithium's are actually the lowest cost option *if* you look at how long they will last. Wet cell / golf cart / 6V batteries are rated in the 800 cycles range. On a similar basis Lithium's are rated out around 5,000 cycles. If you get 10 years out of wet cells, Lithium's should last you for > 60 years . Lithium's with built in BMS setups are "self protected" so you can't destroy them anywhere near as easily as a wet cell.

======

To get the full capacity out of something like a Trojan 6V T-105 you need an "interesting" charger. Take a look at Trojan's spec sheet for all the details. They charge them a bit harder ( = higher voltages) than a conventional / stock charger will run to. If you put them on a conventional charger, the result will be less than a full ( = their specified max) charge.

That's not in any way a knock on the T-105's. They are fine batteries and Trojan is a great company. It's simply that you need to customize your charger to get full performance out of them. It's a rare forum member who runs capacity tests on batteries so .... who knows what this or that person is getting for capacity. Is it 220 AH or 230 or 210 or 200 or .... If it's 200, then you didn't beat AGM's ....

Bob
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Old 04-19-2019, 02:28 PM   #13
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Hi

Lithium's are actually the lowest cost option *if* you look at how long they will last. Wet cell / golf cart / 6V batteries are rated in the 800 cycles range. On a similar basis Lithium's are rated out around 5,000 cycles. If you get 10 years out of wet cells, Lithium's should last you for > 60 years . Lithium's with built in BMS setups are "self protected" so you can't destroy them anywhere near as easily as a wet cell.

======

To get the full capacity out of something like a Trojan 6V T-105 you need an "interesting" charger. Take a look at Trojan's spec sheet for all the details. They charge them a bit harder ( = higher voltages) than a conventional / stock charger will run to. If you put them on a conventional charger, the result will be less than a full ( = their specified max) charge.

That's not in any way a knock on the T-105's. They are fine batteries and Trojan is a great company. It's simply that you need to customize your charger to get full performance out of them. It's a rare forum member who runs capacity tests on batteries so .... who knows what this or that person is getting for capacity. Is it 220 AH or 230 or 210 or 200 or .... If it's 200, then you didn't beat AGM's ....

Bob
"IF" That's the problem I have with Lithiums . . . no one has gotten 60 years out of a set yet, but I know that some have ruined them in short order by charging them incorrectly.

I agree with what Bob said about golf cart wet cells. Most RV chargers are not designed to charge at the higher voltages required by golf cart wet cells and it will hurt their performance. I only charge my golf cart wet cells from solar with a custom charge profile programmed to exactly meet the battery manufacturer's specification.

My experience with many sets of golf cart batteries is that they can take massive abuse and still perform well. I don't think they are easy to damage at all. I frequently discharged multiple sets of golf cart wet cells until the golf cart stop moving and would just charge it back up and go over-and-over again. I bought a golf cart that was ten years old with the original batteries that sat uncharged for years. I just charged them up and continuously ran that cart until dead for a couple of more years. Golf cart wet cells are tough and can be discharged to 80% without damage.

Let me explain the 80% discharge. My 230AH batteries are rated for 1000 cycles to 50% and 700 cycles to 80%. http://www.eastpennmanufacturing.com...lyer-0919B.pdf At 50% cycles you get 1000 cycles at 115AH totaling 115,000AH of life. At 80% cycles you get 700 cycles at 184AH totaling 128,800AH of life. You actually get more amp hours out of a set of these batteries with 80% discharge cycles. Plus, when you deep cycle to 80%, your charger stays in the most efficient fast charging Bulk stage longer.

I too am not dissing any type of batteries. Each has benefits and therefore the choice is up to what is important to you.

Golf carts: Cheap, 230AH possible, 80% discharges, heavy, need watering, can't be installed inside Airstream, inefficient at high amp draws.

AGM: Pricey, 400AH possible, 50% discharges, heavy, no watering, can be installed inside, inefficient at high amp draws.

Lithium: Expensive, 600AH possible, 80% discharges, light, no watering, can be installed inside, efficient at high amp draws.

If I wanted to run a high amp draw microwave, I'd buy Lithium's. If I had to put the batteries inside on a budget, I'd buy AGM's. If I just need a cheap pair of batteries with 184AH usable power, I'd buy a pair of golf cart batteries. Each battery has its place. Choose the one that meets your needs and budget.
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Old 04-19-2019, 03:16 PM   #14
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🤓

With BMS built in how would you charge 'improperly?'
I don't see ruin, the only result of a wrong charging profile, reduced performance...or not?🤔

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Old 04-19-2019, 03:36 PM   #15
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"Is there a particular brand of AGM you recommend?"

Concorde Lifeline is the AGM brand used by most RVers I know. Treated properly, a set should last at least 5-7 years. Proper treatment means scrupulously following the manufacturer's charging voltage recommendations, and recharging the batteries to 100% as often as possible--at least several times a week. See the Lifeline battery technical manual for details.
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Old 04-19-2019, 05:02 PM   #16
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With BMS built in how would you charge 'improperly?'
I don't see ruin, the only result of a wrong charging profile, reduced performance...or not?��

Bob
����
I would recommend reading this article from a battery expert: https://marinehowto.com/lifepo4-batteries-on-boats/ where he states, "Since opening this article to the public I have now had what I consider a rather high number of LiFePO4 owners contact me who’ve ruined LiFePo4 batteries"
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Old 04-19-2019, 05:31 PM   #17
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Up to date?

"I do not believe LiFePO4 is ready for mass DIY prime time builds.

Sounds a little 'dated'...not ready for DIY, really?
It's a battery for peets sake...🤓



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Old 04-19-2019, 05:46 PM   #18
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Bob, you had a problem with the word "ruin". So I give you the source. Then you say its "dated". Well, here's what he has to say about that: "The base of this article was written a number of years ago but this does not mean the information here is outdated. I have been keeping it updated and have added to it when ever I have time." He has updated the article recently for Trojan Trillium batteries.

We could keep this up all night as you keep moving the goalpost. Everyone interested in lithium should take the time to read the linked article, written by a battery expert.

Another quote from the author: "I am also an ABYC electrical systems specialist, a manufacturer of marine products and components such as alternators, and I specialize & focus on energy management systems for both design/engineering and installation. I am also an active member of the ABYC committee that is working on the safety standards for high capacity batteries. Beyond all that we’ve had a 400Ah LiFePo4 bank on our own boat since 2011. I am a huge fan of LFP banks, for many reasons, but I can not act as a “fan boy” for the technology."
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Old 04-19-2019, 06:28 PM   #19
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I did the Univolt replacement/AGM Group 27 a couple of years ago — great so far!
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Old 04-19-2019, 07:10 PM   #20
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My case: Switched from Group 24 flooded to 2 x 6V Lifeline (and new converter) to A. get about 30-40% more capacity B. Slower discharge rate in storage w/5W maintainer. C. Don’t have to access battery levels (under cables) D. Decent converter match with PD4655VL ....capacity was main value with only 120W solar gives us some margin as our solar/demand use nets out about the same ie. 35 Ah/day.
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