Which house battery?

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Roamnz
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Re: Which house battery?

Postby Roamnz » Mon Oct 05, 2015 8:21 am

Steve, I find many of your statements condescending [Edited by Mark - as a result of complaint about respect]. Many of us here have been motorhoming successfully for a long time and have been high power users both summer and winter, with AGM batteries and a solar array that don't match the theories you are now proclaiming are the only way to go. Technology will always be evolving, but statements such as a life of 3 to 4 years for AGM batteries are mischievous, when from personal experience many have got much more than that even with full time use, can only be confusing to people new to motorhoming and caravanning. Many of them do not have the dollars to buy the most expensive but not as yet proven as the best out there, therefore the tried and tested and AFFORDABLE, may suit them just fine.

If starting off again and knowing what we know how I would be taking onboard comments from people who have 'been there -done that' rather than a salesman regularly touting the latest and the greatest and who immediately puts the tried the tested into the 'it is all so inferior' basket.

It is important that we have access to all the new technology that is evolving but this can be discussed and reported without the regular dose of comments degrading older technology, products and theories.
Smillie H

Desultory

Re: Which house battery?

Postby Desultory » Mon Oct 05, 2015 9:26 am

Hi RoamNZ,

Actually I never once tried to "Sell" anything to anybody on here with this forum actually, so please get that straight first off.
If you can show me a thread where I was offering any item to anybody on here for any xxx $$ price, then please let me know and I'll be shocked, because it doesn't exist, I simply offer advise from expertise of being in the industry.

Secondly having sold and supplied literally THOUSANDS of AGM batteries, usually more than 400+ batteries per year, in addition to Gel, Deep Cycle Flooded and other types I feel that I'm indeed in a good position to be able to comment (based on our own experiences with all these technologies).

The reality is that RV owners get told to buy an AGM battery, thinking and assuming (usually wrongly) that it is a DEEP CYCLE battery.

Edited by Mark as bagging competitive brands and suppliers

When I say that most of these only last 3-4 years I'm basing this on how frequently the people we deal with end up having to replace them. Of course if someone was only using their RV for example 10 times in a year for day trips (rather than living in it for a week) or if they were plugging into power at a camp ground at night then the batteries are going to stay at a high level of charge and you'd get a good long life out of them.

The problem however comes when relying on the solar / battery system 100% during winter months when the batteries then often sit at a low state of charge for days or sometimes weeks on end. I don't know about you but I see this occurring alot to be honest.

Even if you look at an average 12v 7ah or 12v 9ah battery just as a smaller scaled version of the larger 12v 100Ah AGM batteries, these batteries which are often used by guys with kontikis and alarms and UPS systems (for computers etc) often only get 2-3 years out of them and then the battery fails a load test and it's due for replacement, hence why they're such large volume selling batteries to be honest as they're replaced so frequently.

Furthermore we've done alot of testing on batteries, such as cutting them open and actually looking into WHY batteries fail, and what causes the failures, and even testing many "claimed" desulphation units / chargers and other additives to try and find ways of extending life of all these batteries etc. Of course this taught us many things along the way and hence I now have a very good understanding of how all these battery technologies work, therefore again my comments are based upon findings I've seen and experienced myself.

The 2 main things that give an AGM battery a short / early life are Sulphation and also over-charging which causes excess gassing (which then releases through the safety valve) and once that water / moisture inside the AGM battery sponge is lost then there's no easy way of replacing it. Once the AGM battery is dried out then it's capacity is drastically reduced and it usually doesn't have too much life left in it.

If you don't believe me you are welcome to pop over and I'll give you at least 6-8 AGM batteries I have here that are exactly in this situation for you to open up and actually see for yourself "WHY" they failed and you'll see that they're all less than 4 years of age also.

So please excuse me for being honest, but I'd rather be upfront with people than have others try and sell many AGM batteries as a "TRUE DEEP CYCLE BATTERY" when in 90% of cases they're actually not really well suited for this purpose. A Gel battery on the other hand is well suited for True Deep Cycle Applications, so I have no problems with people recommending those, and sadly yes 99% of people just assume that an AGM and a GEL battery are the same thing (through not knowing any better), but actually they're not and they have different life spans & cycle count ability as a result. Again there are some "TRUE DEEP CYCLE AGM Batteries" out there also, so not all AGM's fall into this category, however how many RV owners actually bother to read the cycle count and check the data sheets before buying? Likely not too many from what I've seen with my own eyes.

Edited by Mark as bagging alternate brand

You'll also notice in the bottom left Graph that it actually says "Life characteristics of Standby Use", nowhere in their data sheet does it say that it's a True Deep Cycle Battery, and their low cycle count actually tells the story clearly that in reality it's actually not, yet there are plenty of battery companies on TM selling and promoting these as a "Deep Cycle Battery" which is just lies I'm sorry to say, as 500 cycles at 50% DOD is NOT going to give an RV owner a long happy life for their battery (unless they only took their van out 10-20 days in the year or left it plugged into a camp ground site via a 230v AC lead).


Regards
Steve

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Re: Which house battery?

Postby Karmann57 » Mon Oct 05, 2015 10:58 am

Steve, I have to agree with RoamNZ on this subject. I don't recall seeing any reputable battery shop selling "Lead Carbon SuperCapacitor" so perhaps your information would be more useful if you told us where these batteries are available for sale and the likely cost, so we can compare sausages with filet steak.
Terry and Elaine
NZMCA #49610
2006 VW LT35 (Coach craft). 160W Portable solar thru Votronic MPPT controller. 1957 VW Karmann Ghia

Desultory

Re: Which house battery?

Postby Desultory » Mon Oct 05, 2015 11:14 am

Hi Karmann,

Under the rules on this forum I'm not allowed to promote or advertise / sell any particular products on here, as that is frowned upon and upsets users, therefore I can only give general advise without mentioning names etc.

You can perform a simple Trademe search and Im sure you'll find your answer thanks.

At the end of the day I'm here to simple help advise and inform people about what options available.
Regards
Steve

Teardrop

Re: Which house battery?

Postby Teardrop » Mon Oct 05, 2015 12:13 pm

I'm sorry Steve that you have to put up with some of these comments. As someone in the business, you obviously are dealing with these products (and customers) on a day to day basis, and that is invaluable experience that I do not think others on this Forum have. The cynical may say you are promoting your own. Others (like myself) will listen to what you say and add them to the knowledge base for comparison with other opinions. I admit I have wondered why there has been such a slow uptake of Lithium batteries and why many retailers still do not stock them. One obvious reason may be cost, but I also cannot help feeling that a battery or any new technology that potentially lasts many times longer is not a good option for a retailer, and I wonder whether that is also a factor.

Dene

Desultory

Re: Which house battery?

Postby Desultory » Mon Oct 05, 2015 1:12 pm

Hi Karmann,

You are welcome to source "Lead Carbon SuperCapacitor Batteries" where ever you like, I only suggestion one option of searching for them, however you are welcome to use Google or any other search engine of your choice.

Regards
Steve

Desultory

Re: Which house battery?

Postby Desultory » Mon Oct 05, 2015 3:56 pm

Teardrop wrote:I'm sorry Steve that you have to put up with some of these comments. As someone in the business, you obviously are dealing with these products (and customers) on a day to day basis, and that is invaluable experience that I do not think others on this Forum have. The cynical may say you are promoting your own. Others (like myself) will listen to what you say and add them to the knowledge base for comparison with other opinions. I admit I have wondered why there has been such a slow uptake of Lithium batteries and why many retailers still do not stock them. One obvious reason may be cost, but I also cannot help feeling that a battery or any new technology that potentially lasts many times longer is not a good option for a retailer, and I wonder whether that is also a factor.

Dene



Hey Dene,

No problem mate, I'm glad to at least have a few people like yourself and muzzanic who genuinely appreciate listening to my advise and what I have to say / recommend to people. I know my advise often may upset a few on here who don't want to hear it, but hopefully it's for the better good for the masses, not just a few people.

The average person doesn't really have a CLUE about Lithium battery technology, or the dangers involved with this, nor what is needed to make it safe. To do lithium battery setups properly you need a proper purpose built lithium BMS system and also chargers / controllers that are specifically built for lithium battery setups. Of course this adds on extra cost to the price of the system and some people don't want to pay for this but then in turn they risk their own safety and that of others if they run lithium setups without these correct items.

There has been a company in Auckland selling lithium batteries and NOT recommending or bundling them with a proper correct BMS setup and in my opinion that's just an accident waiting to happen and goes against what all the top lithium battery companies recommend.

So because of the expense and safety aspects most companies have just stayed clear away from lithium except for small items such as laptops, phones, computers, tablets etc. If you look at it on a cost per kW basis then Lead Carbon vs Lithium is typically around half the price per kW hour (especially once you also factor in the installed / up and running cost with all equipment needed). The main best advantage lithium setups have is their weight advantage, but right now while it's still about twice the price per kWh then these other technologies are still winning the popularity market share, however over the next few years that will slowely change.

However something to keep in mind, just as the Solar PV laws / regulations have stiffened up drastically here in NZ this year, the same will happen next year for the battery regulations, and it will specifically target and include lithium batteries being used in ANY / ALL setups even RVs / Motorhomes etc, this will likely make it illegal to use a lithium battery setup without the correct NZ approved BMS and without the correct charger / charge controller that is made for use with that spec lithium battery etc. Just like it happened this year with solar, these new regulations once they come in will further clear out the lower quality stuff from the NZ market and leave the higher spec items that meet the standards and requirement available for people to purchase. Long term it's a good thing as the safety and quality ends up increasing so then everyone is a winner, but of course right now there will always be people that want to pay the cheapest price for whatever quality and don't really care about the safety side, and while our laws allow them to do this then people will do it as it's just human nuture (I see it every week).

So keep that in mind about new regulations coming in next year regarding battery storage anyhow, so hopefully it won't come as a shock for you guys like it did with the solar regulations being updated this year.

Regards
Steve

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Re: Which house battery?

Postby scubadoo » Mon Oct 05, 2015 6:56 pm

Steve

You certainly know how to invoke antagonism with some of the wording in your posts.

Since you dragged lithium into the ring.
I have way too many disagreements in your last post to even know what is worth querying and where to start.

I am a recent convert to a 300Ah 4 cell Lithium Iron Phosphate battery pack possibly purchased from:

Desultory wrote: There has been a company in Auckland selling lithium batteries and NOT recommending or bundling them with a proper correct BMS setup and in my opinion that's just an accident waiting to happen and goes against what all the top lithium battery companies recommend.

Again your are knocking others. Perhaps you should name the company to give them the opportunity to respond.

Please inform us all what damage could, may, will or might be caused by a Lithium Iron Phosphate battery pack without a "proper correct BMS setup" to people or property if these are permanently connected to a correctly operating vehicle alternator charging system and or a "standard" battery charger set to say a "Gel battery" charging mode.
I say none!
It may eventually destroy the batteries but that is not a safety issue.


Desultory wrote: The average person doesn't really have a CLUE about Lithium battery technology...

Absolutely correct but you have just informed us all that is also true for AGM battery users.

Desultory wrote: So because of the expense and safety aspects most companies have just stayed clear away from lithium except for small items such as laptops, phones, computers, tablets etc.

You do understand that all those use a very different chemical structure in their makeup to the "Lithium battery technology" we are using in our RVs?

PS. I use a home brew BMS system to monitor cell voltages and take the appropriate actions as required.
That includes auto disconnect at preset high and low voltages, auto charge disconnect from the solar regulator and vehicle alternator when the battery pack is full. Auto disconnect at a preset DOD level.

None of this is designed with your "accident waiting to happen" in mind and its sole purpose it protect my expensive battery pack from a premature death.

I could continue but it is all a little OT and would probably bore Megan to an early grave.
Neville
Mitsi Fuso CI Ultimate 6.8m 3.9 T/D. 180l fresh/grey. Single 300Ah LiFePO4 for truck/house.
800W solar. Victron 50A MPPT. 6kW Webasto diesel water/air heater.
255l Samsung 230VAC digital inverter fridge/freezer.Gas cooking/oven.


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