Deap Cycle Batteries

Submitted: Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 22:42
ThreadID: 29675 Views:4115 Replies:8 FollowUps:10
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Hi. Can anybody advise me if those little Honda/alternator type I believe that they are called Christy are suitable for quick charging a wet cell (Trojan) deep cycle battery?
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Reply By: Member - Geoff M (Newcastle) - Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 22:50

Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 22:50
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Reply By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 22:58

Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 22:58
We get back into the whole basic argument about D/Cycle batteries. My understnding (which I admit, could be wrong), is that these batteries were designed for wheel chairs, golf buggies etc and need to be TRICKLE charged over a lengthy period of time; like 8 to 10 hours or more (overnight).
They don't accept rapid charge well and although this type of charging will work okay in the short term, I believe it will shorten the life of the battery considerably.
Just my opinion....others may differ
AnswerID: 148446

Follow Up By: mowing - Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 23:16

Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 23:16
Roachie, From past posts, you are on the money (no pun intended!)


FollowupID: 401700

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 23:19

Friday, Jan 13, 2006 at 23:19
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Reply By: Topcat (WA) - Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 00:24

Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 00:24
Hi Roachie, to help clarify:-
The term "deep cycle" refers to batteries in which the cycle is from full charge to 80% discharge. A cycle for an automotive battery is about 5% - consequently a start battery if used for what it was designed for should never be discharged more then 5% of its total capacity before re-charging. Deep cycle batteries are used as I have mentioned in previous posts to discharge at a constant current over a long period & then be able to be recharged back to full capacity over & over again. The normal automotive battery cannot cycle as much as the 'deep cycle' battery because they are designed to produce a "High Current" discharge over a short period, hense the 5% discharge.
To achieve a long life out of deep cycle batteries it is 'recommended' by the most of the manufactures, that they be recharged at a low charge current rate (usually around 5amps), hense the long recharge period depending on the amount the battery has discharged . As you mentioned commonly known as 'Trickle Charging'. When a high rate of charge is put into a deep cycle battery, the cells can be damaged because of the rapid chemical reaction taking place between the cells & this is what shortens the life of a deep cycle battery. Also to achieve long life it is recommended that they do not be discharged more then 50% which also shortens the re-charge time rate. 75% is ideal if you have a battery(ies) of sufficient capacity for your needs before recharging.
My deep cycle battery capacity is 200amps which I rarely discharge below 75% capacity which gives me a very short recharge time - usually 2 - 3 hours depending on daylight conditions using solar energy and this is why I get long life out of them. It may seem like an overkill as to the high capacity when I usually only use approx. 20 amps/day running my fridge & lights, but it also gives longer period of energy use.
I hope this helps explain the 'basic' difference between a deep cycle & normal start battery with regard to re-charging principles.
AnswerID: 148466

Reply By: StephenF10 - Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 09:24

Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 09:24
From Christies website:

"Note, some wet cell deep cycle batteries will not accept a fast charge & may require trickle charging for a long period of time. For an efficient system with faster recharge times AGM or cranking batteries can be used."

AnswerID: 148487

Reply By: Mike DiD - Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 09:29

Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 09:29
The Christie Generator is a generator, which provides constant voltage output - it is not a battery charger. The 55 amps will never over-charge a 200amphour battery - for a smaller battery it can exceed the Stage 1 limit (less than 25% of C)

This works in many cases, after all an Alternator is also just a constant voltage output and car batteries usually last for 3 or 4 years - but they are only discharged to 5% normally.

But for maximum battery life for a battery that will be discharged more than 5%, you need to control charging current. That's why Three Stage Chargers are made.

You MAY be better off with a 240volt Generator and a Three Stage Charger - the Jaycar 12 amp Three Stage charger is only $99 (when they fix the current leakage problem in exsting units !)

AnswerID: 148488

Reply By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 11:46

Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 11:46
If I can just put a little spanner in the works......

Wet cell deepcycles vary a lot, and the majority for automotive and marine use are not true deep cycle. The battery manufacturers are not dumb. They figure that a true deep cycle is not worth squat under the bonnet of a 4wd. So most of these deep cycles are a hybrid.

I tested some N70 batteries at home:
A Yuasa Overlander 700cca starting battery,
A 3 year old Exide Endurance wet cell deep cycle 75Ah and
A normal factory LandCruiser starting battery.

All three started the 6 cylinder turbodiesel in my LandCruiser very well.
All three would easily accept 20+amps from my big mother of apower supply when half discharged.

If I was blinded, I'd swear they were all the same.

I know all the battery theory, but my point is that the battery manufacturers often produce a product that we "need" rather than one that is by the book.

My personal preference is to simply buy a decent wet cell cranking battery - I don't mind deep cycling them on the few occasions I stay put for more than one night.

AnswerID: 148509

Follow Up By: Flash - Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 12:58

Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 12:58
You are in many respects correct, ie: nobody uses a true "deep cycle" battery for mobile applications in 4WDs and caravans etc. They're simply too big and heavy. (Have a look at a serious solar installation in a house etc.)
A "deep cycle" battery in a normal N70 case etc is NOT a true deep cycle battery.
What one should use though, is a "compromise" ie: semi-deep cycle, with plates designed for deepER cycling than a starting battery. Some manufacturers DO make these in the familiar N70 or similar size, example Trojan, Full River etc
If you want the fastest charge rate possible go for an AGM battery (AbsorbedGlassMat, such as FullRiver HGL or the slightly deepercycle DC series, but you still need to have a suitable voltage regulator. These batteries can be overcharged and damaged. However they are rugged, no liquid to spill, don't get knocked aroung too much by reasonable deep cycle use (ideally no more than 50%) and yet especially the HGL series will pump out plenty of current to start your 4WD if/when your normal starting battery unexpectedly dies.
I prefer the HGL for that reason, plus it's lighter and cheaper than the DC battery yet still has pretty good life when cycled. (The website quotes 500 cycles to 50% with a usefull capacity then of 60% of original- which is way betterthan you'd achieve with a nomal starting battery.)

Full River
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Follow Up By: joc45 - Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 14:35

Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 14:35
I'm beginning to go along with you. From previous experience, I've had good runs out of "hybrid" batteries like Exide's ED5 and similar, and a bad run out of an expensive deep-cycle Trojan. With the exception of the Trojan, my premature failures have been due to external causes (read: idiot intervention by a third party).
Given that a lot of the time, the aux battery will be charged from the vehicle's alternator, one does not have much control over the charge rate unless one has a fairly sophisticated battery combiner, so keeping charge to about 5 amps or so can be difficult if the battery has been significantly discharged. This is where the "hybrid" battery doesn't mind a heavy charge current.
My research indicates that while most lead acid batteries do not like heat, the AGM and other sealed/recombinant batteries enjoy heat even less, making them a lesser choice if the battery must be installed in the engine bay. (I have a box surrounding mine, with a thermostatically- controlled fan shifting cool air thru)
At the end of the day, one only needs one killer discharge (for what ever reason) to ruin a cheap hybrid battery or an expensive deep cycle.
just my 2 bob's worth
FollowupID: 401774

Follow Up By: Topcat (WA) - Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 19:32

Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 19:32
I hate to disagree with you Flash but my deepcycle battery setup is genuine & I will to a certain extent agree with you as to the size being big. How I get away with it is to run 2 x 6volt 200amp Magnum (American manufacture) deep cycle batteries connected in series to give 12 volts. They are the size of 2 x N70 batteries which don't take up all that much space in the back of my Troopy. Cheers.
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Follow Up By: Mike DiD - Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 18:27

Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 18:27
"All three started the 6 cylinder turbodiesel in my LandCruiser very well.
- all this shows is that these batteries will SURVIVE after starting a car ONCE - you can't see how much the plates have warped or and the active material is falling off the plates. You really need to check whether the battery is rated to have a long life with this level of discharge current.

You need to be careful not to interpret this test result as showing that the batteries are equal in other ways.

It's like doing a few 100% discharges of a battery and concluding "this has no effect on battery life". (In a fact if a battery is brand new the first few full discharges may even result in an INCREASE in available capacity).

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Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 22:58

Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 22:58
Hi Mike,

Nice to have the good healthy discussion.

The reasons I tested mine was NOT about how long the battery would survive. I simply wanted to know that if my cranking battery failed out in the bush, whether a deep cycle battery that was 3 years old was capable of starting a diesel LandCruiser which has a preheat system and a big mother of a starter motor working against a high compression.

As most deep cycle battery manufacturers don't quote CCA for the deep cycle batteries, the only way I can check that they can start a LandCruiser is to try it. And I was surprised it did it well, given all the blurb and theory you can read on the net.

In October we were out in the desert - three vehicles and had a heat wave with 45 degree heat. Two of the vehicles had batteries go fubar (Truckster talk) thru either the heat or the bad corrugations, so I figured it was best to check how mine were.

FollowupID: 401998

Reply By: dags666 - Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 19:42

Saturday, Jan 14, 2006 at 19:42
mate ive had a honda battery charger for 4 years now i carry 280 amp hours of batteries in the camper and campsite to power various fridges lights ect when we go camping for weeks at a time. charge the batteries in the morning after putting a multimetre on them and also just before dark ,working up to solar next but an absolute ball biter. never had an ounce of trouble with it mind you the digital displays dont last long but still works like a charm good camping. dags
AnswerID: 148570

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 18:18

Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 18:18

They must have heard you because I just noticed on their site they offer the Christies Generators without the digital stuff now.

FollowupID: 401951

Follow Up By: Mike DiD - Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 18:30

Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 18:30
The 55 amps of a Christie is only 0.2C of your 280 Amphour batteries.

You shouldn't conclude from this that it will not shorten the life of much smaller batteries by exceeding the recommended Stage 1 current - 0.25C (where C=AmpHours of the Battery).

FollowupID: 401956

Follow Up By: Member - Phil G (SA) - Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 23:10

Sunday, Jan 15, 2006 at 23:10
Hi Mike,

I charge batteries up on a power supply which I can vary the voltage up to 15volts and 25 amps, so its interesting to see what amps are accepted by batteries at different times. Most N70 cranking batteries will take well over 20 amps when they are in good nick, but within 5-10 minutes are likely to be at 15 amps or lower when 14.2 volts is delivered.

My son has an Optima 55Ah Marine gel cell battery he uses for charging remote control cars and planes, and when we slip that on the power supply, it certainly accepts a lot more amps.

So, like Dags has said, a 55amp Christies generator should charge up a bank of batteries OK.

FollowupID: 402002

Reply By: dags666 - Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 08:46

Monday, Jan 16, 2006 at 08:46
Just a thought the Honda battery charger has a low and a high input rate if the batteries are low on charge and you try to charge on high input the motor will stall .so at first you may have to charge on slow until batteries build up then you charge at a faster rate. As the batteries become fully charged the alternator slows the charge down the same as a car so you can not over charge them. all I know I have a bank of batteries and it works, and the batteries are 8 years old when I finish camping I charge them back up on a car charger and then leave them till I go camping again sometimes 4 months sometime 6 months touch them up again and away we go. I must just be lucky dags
AnswerID: 148859

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