Lead Crystal Batteries

Submitted: Monday, Oct 08, 2018 at 19:03
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These are an option on a new caravan the son inlaw is looking at. His budget doesn't stretch to the Lithium battery option. Does anyone have any experience with them...good or bad?
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Reply By: Kenell - Tuesday, Oct 09, 2018 at 06:52

Tuesday, Oct 09, 2018 at 06:52
Thread 135895 in Nov last year has some info.
Apparently it is a marketing ploy for a brand of AGM batteries.
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Reply By: Member - John - Tuesday, Oct 09, 2018 at 08:55

Tuesday, Oct 09, 2018 at 08:55
a bit of information on LCB's. Not just an AGM by another name. https://trailercamperaustralia.com.au/electrical/12v-batteries/lead-crystal-batteries.html

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Follow Up By: RMD - Tuesday, Oct 09, 2018 at 10:52

Tuesday, Oct 09, 2018 at 10:52
The trailercamperaustralia article is an adverstisment for the batteries, ie, what they want you to know, not an assessment from a outside source.
BETTA is a word to convey a concept but it doesn't mean "BETTER".

The electrolyte is effectively based on crushed/oxidized quartz, SiO2 is silicon dioxide.
They mention the electrolyte eventually solidifies, not sure why you would want that to happen even if is does have some sulphuric acid as the electrolyte active component.
Quote "This eventually results in a safer, high performing and environmentally friendlier battery". How long do you have to wait for it to become Safer, Higher performing and and more environmentally friendly? Don't you want it to be higher performing from the outset? That is presumably what you are buying it for.

Where is the evidence of an 18 year old Lead crysal battery which has just become useless. They only give a 3 year warrnanty on a battery claim to last 18 years. Hmmmm.

A 120AH LCB is more than twice the price of a good quality AGM, which if used properly will give a longlife. Having to replace the AGM after it expires will be similar cost to the LCB unit for a similar length of service life.Unless you are going to often flog them down to low voltage, is there a monetary advantage?

They say more "bang for your buck". Not a nice thought, no one wants their battery to have any bang at at all.
They mention decreasing amounts of life relative to the depth of discharge, but then go to say they can be discharged to 0v frequently. No figures on the life expectancy there!

It is hard to judge if they are BETTA or BETTER.
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Follow Up By: qldcamper - Tuesday, Oct 09, 2018 at 12:02

Tuesday, Oct 09, 2018 at 12:02
I believe the technology has been around since soon after WW2 but the military abandoned it because they couldnt get it useable for mobile equipment. Some company has developed it now, but it has a lot more to compete with now.

AGM have some good qualities, i use them, but dont overlook a good quality sealed calcium battery if not doing much rough terrain work.
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Reply By: Member - Tony H (touring oz) - Tuesday, Oct 09, 2018 at 12:20

Tuesday, Oct 09, 2018 at 12:20
As Kennell says above.......
"it is a marketing ploy for a brand of AGM batteries"
They are still AGM batteries!
If these are a no cost option go for it.....if at a cost what is the cost and what is the standard 'fit'?
Insanity doesnt run in my family.... it gallops!

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Reply By: Rangiephil - Tuesday, Oct 09, 2018 at 16:27

Tuesday, Oct 09, 2018 at 16:27
I think the main threat to them is that LifePo4 batteries are at last coming down in price, by 20% so far as I can see.

I bought a 22AH one for my wife's golf buggy and she raves about it every day.for it's light weight and power which doesn't taper off. And that replaced a Sonnenshine that was still in good nick but weighed about 13Kg vs about 2 for the Lithium..

There are some good Youtube videos on lead crystal batteries where a bloke continually discharges one to zero and it comes back time and again. Try that with an AGM.

I think they have a place but are going to be challenged by Lithium
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Reply By: Keith B2 - Tuesday, Oct 09, 2018 at 16:31

Tuesday, Oct 09, 2018 at 16:31
I think the comparative cycle lives between Lithium Iron Phosphate batteries and Lead Crystal in the link mentioned earlier are a bit spurious.
On my sums, LiPo4 batteries are actually cheaper over their life that lead acid and AGMs. But they are lot more expensive upfront. I can't comment on lead crystal but do note they that are not in mainstream use.

This link may be of interest.
Lithium conversion for Kimberley
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Follow Up By: Gerard S - Tuesday, Oct 09, 2018 at 19:08

Tuesday, Oct 09, 2018 at 19:08
I have Lithium in our caravan and after 2 years of full time use they are showing no signs of any deterioration. Very satisfied with their performance and my investment.
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Follow Up By: Gronk - Tuesday, Oct 09, 2018 at 21:37

Tuesday, Oct 09, 2018 at 21:37
I had AGM's in my caravan for 4 yrs without any signs of deterioration. Now after 6 yrs they are getting low in A/H capacity.
People say the lithiums have a better lifespan, but don't know of anyone who has had them long enough to prove it ?
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Follow Up By: Keith B2 - Tuesday, Oct 09, 2018 at 23:09

Tuesday, Oct 09, 2018 at 23:09
Gronk have you ever had occasion to run them down very low?
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Reply By: Ron N - Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018 at 00:57

Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018 at 00:57
I've never seen any Lead Crystal batteries in use anywhere - let alone used one myself.

I'm wary of lots of "superiority", and "exceptionally long life", claims about new products - unless they're backed by independent verifiable testing, over a wide range of typical use scenarios.

Most of the stated Lead-Crystal claims are merely marketing BS. How they can claim an 18 yr life, when the battery has only been on the market for a couple of years, beats me.

The lead-acid battery manufacturers are fighting back against Lithium - but it's been a losing battle for them.
Lead-acid batteries have remained very little different in their principle of operation, from the first lead-acid battery in 1859.

However, one Lead-acid manufacturer has developed an interesting new design of Lead-acid battery - and that manufacturer is Firefly, with their Carbon-Graphite Oasis Foam Cell battery.
Firefly was spun off from efforts by Caterpillar to develop a vastly superior battery with no exotic materials in its construction.

Firefly didn't achieve everything that Caterpillar sought - but they have made a quantum leap in Lead-acid battery design.
The Firefly Carbon-Foam Cell battery comes very close to Lithiums performance as far as repeated and deep cycling, with little damage - but without Lithiums massive charging demands problems.

The problem is that the Firefly batteries are in short supply, with Firefly proposing total production of 200,000 Firefly Carbon-Foam batteries for 2018.
The Americans alone use multiple millions of batteries annually, so it's going to take a while for Firefly batteries to gain traction, and up production sufficiently to meet worldwide demand.

Fortunately, the Firefly battery is easily built on existing Lead-acid battery production lines, so that makes scaling up production a lot easier.

Meantimes, I'd be very wary of the claims and the whole-of-life, value-for-money, of Lead-Crystal batteries, at their present pricing levels.

Firefly Carbon-Foam cell battery - White Paper

Cheers, Ron.
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Reply By: Member - Boobook - Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018 at 06:57

Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018 at 06:57
There are a lot of opinions from people who have never had any experience at all in these.

I have a friend who owns a large battery importing business. Selling to Telcos, RV industry, Solar and recreational. he competes with Betta Lead Crystal but looked into them in detail. There is one other brand apparently.

He did tests on them and said that are different, and can withstand higher discharge values with a longer life. He siad the list price is too high though. You can get htem for a 10% premium over normal AGM if you shop hard.

His conclusion. They are different in that they can withstand discharge down to around 25%. He'd sell them but the Australian distribution is locked up for a few years.

I bought one on this basis a year and a half ago. I guess the jury is out for another 18 months. The best I ever got from an Optima was about 2 - 3 years and 4 years from a Century. Optima are the worst Aux battery solution I have ever had. When I complained Optima said they are not for Aux applications. Go figure.

We'll see.
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Reply By: Batt's - Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018 at 14:03

Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018 at 14:03
I was watching a Netflix show a while ago and lithium plate will be the next big thing which has more storage capacity than lithium ion and extremely safe. From memory he's a professor who's been working on it for around 5yrs he has cracked the code shall we say where others have failed but he was still doing more testing over the next couple of yrs to make sure it is as reliable and as good as it can be before it's released. Good to see he's not rushing into it and putting an unreliable and dangerous product on the market which you have to give him credit for. Apparently he was looking for a big investor to help with manufacturing etc. It's worth watching if your interested in that sort of thing.

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Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018 at 23:41

Wednesday, Oct 10, 2018 at 23:41
A link would be nice, please Batt's

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Follow Up By: Batt's - Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 21:47

Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 21:47
This what I found see if it works if not go to YouTube type in Nova lithium documentary it runs for 1:16:59
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 22:43

Thursday, Oct 11, 2018 at 22:43
I think Batt's may be referring to Professor Mike Zimmermans battery.

The Netflix link is here. The part in question starts at 30:48.

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