Gel Batteries

Submitted: Friday, May 02, 2008 at 22:17
ThreadID: 57216 Views:2322 Replies:9 FollowUps:6
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I've had a gel battery now for 7 years, how long do they last
still going strong,recharged the ipod today.any ideas on life
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Reply By: Dunaruna - Friday, May 02, 2008 at 22:41

Friday, May 02, 2008 at 22:41
Wow, 7 years! I would think that you are about 2 years past it's used by date.

Whatever it is you are doing to maintain that battery, don't stop!
AnswerID: 301775

Reply By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Friday, May 02, 2008 at 22:53

Friday, May 02, 2008 at 22:53
Properly maintained, they'll last for donkey's ages.....

I have one I got 2nd hand from the Bank where I worked in 1999 (Cooma, NSW). It had been used as a battery back-up for the alarm system for the previous 5 years and they change them at that interval. When I saw the tech mucking around in the strongroom, I asked him what he was gunna do with the old one and he said "dump it". I offered to take it off his hands and he readily agreed.

It's only a 73a/h unit and I just keep it in the shed for powering-up any 12 volt appliances on the work bench.

I give it a trickle charge with the 3 stage charger in the camper trailer every 6 months or so, but it barely drops at all anyway.

It must be about 14 years old now and still as good as new (or almost).

AnswerID: 301776

Reply By: Thermoguard Instruments - Friday, May 02, 2008 at 23:13

Friday, May 02, 2008 at 23:13
Hi Mr Burra and Mr Roach,

When we bought our first 'van in 1999, I found a pallet of ex-commercial back-up battery VRLA battries at a local (Brisbane) battery shop. I bought two 70Ah GNB "Marathon" batteries for $60 each. Now wish I'd bought the whole pallet!

We had them in our 16' Regal for several years, then transferred them to our 2002 Jayco in 2004. Had them included in the tare weight in '04 and they are still going strong.

The 'website' life of these was guaranteed (to the orgiinal puchaser) as ten years and I think our's will get there OK.

AnswerID: 301778

Follow Up By: jdwynn (Adelaide) - Saturday, May 03, 2008 at 10:29

Saturday, May 03, 2008 at 10:29
How have you maintained it Ian?
FollowupID: 567902

Follow Up By: Thermoguard Instruments - Sunday, May 04, 2008 at 08:43

Sunday, May 04, 2008 at 08:43
Hi JD,

For the first few years it they were kept charged by a little Arlec charger with a Silicon Chip/Dick Smith kit regulator circuit added. This little regulator is brilliant. It includes a temperature compensation function that almost perfectly follows the battery manufacturer's float voltage Vs temperature recommendations.

However, last year the 'American' 12V supply in our Jayco 'van blew its brains out one day (bright blue flash and a small puff of smoke). And as all electronics gurus know, if you let the factory-installed puff of smoke escape from electronic components, they don't work too well anymore.

So I decided to replace both the 'American' and the Arlec charger with a Jaycar 12V 12A two-stage switch mode battery charger. This seems to be working well but can be a bit noisy at times. It's silent in 'float' mode but as soon as you turn on a bit of load, the cooling fan starts up. It doesn't seem to be a very high quality fan as it buzzes annoyingly at times. Might see if I can replace it 'one of these days'... Or perhaps put two 12V fans in series so they run slower but still move a bit of air.

Hope this helps,
FollowupID: 568020

Reply By: Member - Reiner G (QLD) 4124 - Saturday, May 03, 2008 at 00:13

Saturday, May 03, 2008 at 00:13
When my dad came home from WW2 he had a Battery which was sitting in a tank since before the war. He gave me the battery when I was old enough to own one. This battery is now in my truck and keeping 2 freezers running for two weeks without charge. How is that possible????

AnswerID: 301783

Follow Up By: Notso - Saturday, May 03, 2008 at 07:26

Saturday, May 03, 2008 at 07:26
Must be heaps of lead in it, did you have to reinforce the chassis of the truck????

FollowupID: 567883

Follow Up By: Member - Reiner G (QLD) 4124 - Saturday, May 03, 2008 at 07:42

Saturday, May 03, 2008 at 07:42
I carry it on a special trailer with the feezers.
FollowupID: 567885

Follow Up By: guzzi - Saturday, May 03, 2008 at 13:20

Saturday, May 03, 2008 at 13:20
That would be one of the first batch of batteries they ever made.
Just before they realised that the buggers would last FOREVER and they would be out of business in 6 months.
They redesigned to second batch to the specifications we are aware of today. 12months to 4 yrs life expectancy and business is booming...
FollowupID: 567918

Reply By: Mainey (wa) - Saturday, May 03, 2008 at 01:10

Saturday, May 03, 2008 at 01:10
how do you charge this battery ???

Mainey . . .
AnswerID: 301791

Follow Up By: Member - Burra - Saturday, May 03, 2008 at 09:11

Saturday, May 03, 2008 at 09:11

It sits in our defender, moved only a couple of times a week, till school holidays when we go touring. Last year it got a bit more of a run doing the Simpson Desert, The Canning Stock route and WA travel home on the Anne Beadell. So it got a bit of a shake up still no problems.Image Could Not Be Found
FollowupID: 567892

Reply By: Redeye - Saturday, May 03, 2008 at 12:01

Saturday, May 03, 2008 at 12:01

If you keep them cool and do not charge above 13.8 volts you should get another year or two out of them.

We remove them regularly from air conditioned sites at 9 years of age, still working but not living up to the high standard required by the owner.

AnswerID: 301824

Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Saturday, May 03, 2008 at 18:08

Saturday, May 03, 2008 at 18:08
If you keep your gel battery in good order it is more a matter of discharge cycles than years. Looks like you treat your batteries well.

Retired radio and electronics technician

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AnswerID: 301862

Reply By: TD100 - Saturday, May 03, 2008 at 22:06

Saturday, May 03, 2008 at 22:06
funny you talking about gels, today i was just thinking that my 4.5 yr old 80a/hr is not holding as well as she used to,could run the fridge for 3 days with out going below 11v,now it is only just above 11v afetr the first night,even giving her a good boot with th 4 stage doesnt me thinks its time for a newy.cheers Paul
AnswerID: 301912

Reply By: MartyB - Saturday, May 03, 2008 at 22:50

Saturday, May 03, 2008 at 22:50
In 2003 I put two gel cells under the bonnet of my Disco as the second battery.
I broke every rule in the book regarding life expectancy.
Different capacity, one was 15ah the other 40 ah.
Different age, one was 1998 model, other 2002 model.
They would run my 40l engle for 24 hrs and be down to about 11v. I did this regularly to them.
I was told they would not stand up to the heat & vibrations under the bonnet of a 4wd. But they were free and I decided they would do for a while.
They lasted until late 2007, when they did die they were down to 1.3v so one probably collapsed & took the other out.
I was happy with them lasting so long so i have replaced them with similar batteries which are running fine.
Maybe I am just a cheapskate.

AnswerID: 301918

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