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ContinuousWave: Small Boat Electrical
Best Battery for Hot Climate
|Author||Topic: Best Battery for Hot Climate|
posted 04-17-2008 02:26 AM ET (US)
I am ready to buy a couple Gel Batteries. The batteries are in the console, and always I worry that with a console cover and boat cover, they aren't doing so good in the hot sunshine. Are there batteries out there that hold up better in a hot storage area?
posted 04-17-2008 08:00 AM ET (US)
I got three years service from four Interstate brand [flooded cell] lead acid batteries in a very hot climate. After three years they were still servicable but I killed one of them by negligently letting it run low on water. It is better to replace all the batteries at once. Keys to long life are properly set voltage regulator, frequent water level checks and additions, not running the house batteries down all the way, removal of batteries and proper storage and rechargings when boat is out of the water.
I would check the water level even in gel batteries if they are used in a hot climate. The tops can be popped off with a screwdriver.
The Optima AGM batteries in my diesel Excursion failed prematurely after three and s half years. Not sure if this had anything to do with hot climate or was due to the heavy current requirements of the diesel engine. I have blue top Optima's in my Airstream travel trailer. They are going on three years and I have my fingers crossed. The AGM's offer convenience of not have to check the water but not longer life and in my opinion do not justify the increased cost unless the battery is in a position that it is very difficult to check fluid.
posted 04-17-2008 09:12 AM ET (US)
If you want the longest service life from a battery the classic flooded cell battery is your best choice. Yes, it may lose some electrolyte in a hot climate due to evaporation, but then on the other hand you can easily replace lost electrolyte.
Sealed batteries may offer less maintenance--in automobile applications they call them "Maintenance-Free" batteries.
I question the statement that you can replace the electrolyte in a gelled electrolyte battery. Perhaps what was meant was that you can replace the electrolyte in a conventional lead-acid battery with a valve-regulated sealed design if it has provisions for allowing it.
But gelled electrolyte batteries or absorbent glass mat valve regulated lead-acid batteries generally cannot have their electrolyte replaced.
What kills most batteries is improper charging. The actual chemistry of the battery and its ability to deliver stored energy is better in a warmer climate than in a freezing climate.
posted 04-18-2008 12:57 AM ET (US)
You should not use a "Gel" electrolyte battery because they have a low maximum charging voltage that is unlikely to be compatible with you motors charging system "AGM" batteries should be OK.
I like the convenience of using a sealed AGM battery because I do not want to have to check the electrolyte level. Access in the console to remove the battery box cover is a pain in the neck. An AGM batteries can also go for extended periods of time between charging whereas a flooded cell battery should be charged at lease monthly to keep it "fresh".
Take a look at combination starting/deep cycle batteries for the most robust construction. Just make sure they have the marine cranking amp rating required for your motor.
posted 04-18-2008 01:01 AM ET (US)
It is getting late, sorry about the spelling errors and the non functional link. Hopefully this one will work better for you.
http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/product/standard-item. jsp?_DARGS=/cabelas/en/common/catalog/item-link.jsp_A& _DAV=MainCatcat21276-cat601333-cat350007&id=0023033016446a&navCount=6& podId=0023033&parentId=cat350007&masterpathid=&navAction=push& catalogCode=IJ&rid=&parentType=index&indexId=cat350007&hasJS=true
posted 04-18-2008 02:15 AM ET (US)
Thanks guys! This has sure made a differnce in my thinking towards batteries.
For your info, the engine is a new 150 E-tec.
I am about ready to put all the instruments and electronics into the console.
Have a super console out of a 22 Guardian. Redid the console.
Am using an ACR and the whole nine yards. Will send an up date and pictures of progress later.
I've spent months designing the electrical set up for this 18' Guardian. Then got together with a Marine Specialist, (which are few and hard to find on the Big Isle). Paid him for an hour of consulting. Best $100 I've ever spent!
He didn't change much, but added a few tricks from his many years of experience.
Another step foward.
posted 04-18-2008 09:56 AM ET (US)
There is some school of thought that says that flooded cell batteries should only be topped up with distilled water, which of course makes their maintenance a little more complicated. I've always used tap water and have had excellent results with marine battery life, but it may depend on what's in your local tap water - some well water, for example, is very high in mineral content.
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