Best New House Battery

Looking to replace my house battery (only battery) in a J/27. Boat is outboard auxiliary. Power draw would be nav lights(rarely), digital knot meter, sailcomp and GPS. Current battery is a interstate group 1. It's held up well. What compelling arguments if any to replace with Gel or AGM or other?

Thanks

 

warbird

Super Anarchist
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lake michigan
Did current battery give good service? If so, stick with similar. You don't buy batteries, you lease them, then you return them for a newer model.

 

Alex W

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Other advantage to AGM or Gel is being able to lay them on their side. My house batteries are AGM because it lets me tuck a battery into a central spot of the boat where a FLA battery would not fit.

 

Moonduster

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After re-reading the question, I have a slightly different answer. Non-liquid batteries do have their place in the world. However, AGMs have no real advantage when considering the other alternatives. Gelled batteries make sense because they're inexpensive. LFP batteries make sense because they are far, far lighter for their capacity. AGMs are some weird middle ground that cost too much and have too little advantage to be worthwhile, especially given their finicky charging requirements.

So AGMs, in my mind, have absolutely no redeeming qualities - whereas flooded, gel and LFP each have an interesting place to play.

 

DDW

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And gelled & LFP batteries don't have finicky charging requirements?

For a product with absolutely no redeeming qualities, there sure are a lot of them sold, so I guess that opinion is not universally held.

 

Rail Meat

Super Anarchist
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Mystic, CT
LFP have their own charging challenges and can go thermal (hello Titan]. That being said, if the Class 40 allowed them, I would buy them in a heartbeat. There is no easier way to get a bunch of weight off of a race boat.

Of the lead acid batteries, I view AGM as the best. Wet cell require more maintenence, off gas and are heavier than AHM for a given amp hour. Gel are similarly low maintenance as AGM, but are more fragile when it comes to charging and discharge. They are also heavier per amp hour of storage.

FWIW

 
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Maine Sail

Anarchist
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So AGMs, in my mind, have absolutely no redeeming qualities - whereas flooded, gel and LFP each have an interesting place to play.
For this application I see no benefit to AGM other than preamture hole in the owners wallet.. For other applications AGM's can and do make a lot of sense.

The worst thing about AGM's is that the vast majority of folks I see buy them, buy them for the wrong reasons. They also don't take advantage of their benefits, don't charge and use them correctly then complain when they are dead in two years and they have a a big fat hole where their wallet used to be.

*If you want a sealed long lasting, long cycling battery then GEL wins.

*If you want a sealed high charge acceptance medium cycle life battery then a premium AGM such as Odyssey, Lifeline or Northstar wins. (perhaps FireFly too but they are new)

*If you beat around cans and don't invest in taking care of an expensive battery, the way they should be cared for, then flooded wins.

*If you want long cycle life and don't care about high acceptance rates then deep cycle flooded, like golf cart or floor scrubber/fork truck, batteries win..

*If you have an unlimted budget, and want to out perform lead by multiple times over, LFP wins....

Theres a lot to buying batteries but for the OP I would suggest sticking with a good deep cycle flooded battery...

 

Maine Sail

Anarchist
555
4
LFP have their own charging challenges and can go thermal (hello Titan]. That being said, if the Class 40 allowed them, I would buy them in a heartbeat. There is no easier way to get a bunch of weight off of a race boat.

Of the lead acid batteries, I view AGM as the best. Wet cell require more maintenence, off gas and are heavier than AHM for a given amp hour. Gel are similarly low maintenance as AGM, but are more fragile when it comes to charging and discharge. They are also heavier per amp hour of storage.

FWIW
FWIW GEL batteries are by far the longest lasting deepest cycling battery in a lead format. Charging GEL properly simply requires proper voltages, same as flooded same as AGM. The problem with GEL is you can't "drop it in" to most applications that won't drop to 14.1V. Lots of people destroyed GEL by ignoring voltage requirements and they got an ill deserved bum rap....

Still I have multiple GEL banks out there beyond 10 years and one that broke into its 15th year a few weeks ago...

As for AGM's being lighter per Ah than flooded batteries? That's backwards..........

If we compare typical group 31 batteries

AGM:

Lifeline AGM G31T - 0.6 Pounds Per Ah

Lifeline AGM G31XT - 0.59 Pounds Per Ah

Odyssey AGM PCM2150 - 0.78 Pounds Per Ah

Nortstar AGM PL31M - 0.78 pounds Per Ah

Deka AGM G31 - 0.67 Pounds Per Ah (this is also West Marine and about a billion other brands)

Flooded:

Trojan Flooded G31/SCS-225 - 0.51 Pounds Per Ah

US Battery G31 - 0.51 Pounds Per Ah

Deka G31 - 0.56 Pounds Per Ah (this is also West Marine and about a billion other brands)

 

SySunday

Member
204
5
Netherlands
LFP is The way go IMO. Very lightweight compared to lead. Charging nog especially difficult. Prices are not that high anymore compared to the better lead batteries.

In my 22ft Marsvin I have 6 LFP's for three years now. Total 270Ah at 24 volts. Total weight 90kgs (200lbs?) Charging mainly by Solar panel and MPPT boost regulator.

 
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Ocean View

Member
383
6
Australia
One issue with flooded batteries is the risk of spilling in the event of inversion or an extended period on you ear - Hence why all cat 3 and above races require sealed batteries.

Personally I'd consider Lifep04 - I've recently heard that there are some new batteries on the market that include a built in charge controller and bms systems that makes them good drop in replacements in alternator based environments.

 
Absolutely none ...
Such a hater of AGM... :)
There is one reason: much lower self discharge rate.

Well, two actually: no green goo oozing from the terminals.
Not a hater likely. USA236 has a place and a routine for his flooded battery, I would guess. Switching battery media likely means switching the charging infastructure. KISS
Charging routine is it comes home in the winter and I I put it on a trickle charger. During the season I have a solar panel that I hook up about once a race series. It is mounted in a secured battery box, between the mast and the forward partial bulkhead that makes up the v-berth support. Ventilation, spillage or access are not an issue. I think it's just simplest to stick with what I have. My power usage is limited and my current battery is at least 5 years old.

 
So AGMs, in my mind, have absolutely no redeeming qualities - whereas flooded, gel and LFP each have an interesting place to play.
For this application I see no benefit to AGM other than preamture hole in the owners wallet.. For other applications AGM's can and do make a lot of sense.
The worst thing about AGM's is that the vast majority of folks I see buy them, buy them for the wrong reasons. They also don't take advantage of their benefits, don't charge and use them correctly then complain when they are dead in two years and they have a a big fat hole where their wallet used to be.

*If you want a sealed long lasting, long cycling battery then GEL wins.

*If you want a sealed high charge acceptance medium cycle life battery then a premium AGM such as Odyssey, Lifeline or Northstar wins. (perhaps FireFly too but they are new)

*If you beat around cans and don't invest in taking care of an expensive battery, the way they should be cared for, then flooded wins.

*If you want long cycle life and don't care about high acceptance rates then deep cycle flooded, like golf cart or floor scrubber/fork truck, batteries win..

*If you have an unlimted budget, and want to out perform lead by multiple times over, LFP wins....

Theres a lot to buying batteries but for the OP I would suggest sticking with a good deep cycle flooded battery...
THANKS FOR THE THOUGHTFUL REPLY

 

warbird

Super Anarchist
16,594
1,342
lake michigan
Absolutely none ...
Such a hater of AGM... :)
There is one reason: much lower self discharge rate.

Well, two actually: no green goo oozing from the terminals.
Not a hater likely. USA236 has a place and a routine for his flooded battery, I would guess. Switching battery media likely means switching the charging infastructure. KISS
Charging routine is it comes home in the winter and I I put it on a trickle charger. During the season I have a solar panel that I hook up about once a race series. It is mounted in a secured battery box, between the mast and the forward partial bulkhead that makes up the v-berth support. Ventilation, spillage or access are not an issue. I think it's just simplest to stick with what I have. My power usage is limited and my current battery is at least 5 years old.
There are a lot of really good options. Most of them require you change (buy) the charger and/or charge controller. So yes, keep it simple. Worry about other more important things, how to sail more, how to race better, how to get more hot chicks on the boat, whatever:)

 




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