[Amel Yacht Owners] House Battery Replacement


Barry Connor
 

Hi Jamie,
I just had a similar decision to make. I was advised by Olivier to stay with the factory original and just put the lead acid batteries in.
(He said if one goes bad you can replace it anywhere in the World that you might be sailing.)
I did that and am prepared to change them in about 3 years. Total price for 13 x 105 amp was about 800 Pounds Sterling. US$1,200.
Shortly after buying May 3015 I nearly had the old ones explode. 
Best Regards

Barry and Penny Connor
"Lady Penelope II"
Amel 54.  #17
Sailing French Med.

On Jul 3, 2016, at 7:56 PM, James Wendell ms42phantom54@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 

After I lost all my existing house batteries (Intimidators) in an explosion, I am working on getting new batteries installed. I was thinking of possibly getting the Firefly Carbon AGM batteries instead of standard Lifeline AGMs. I have read Nigel Calder's reports and all seems positive.
Has anyone used them or heard anything good or bad?
Thanks,
Jamie
 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044


James Wendell <ms42phantom54@...>
 

Thanks for the tip on that - good point. $1,200 for 13 batteries seems really cheap. Even online, Lifelines would be almost $4,000. What brand did you go with?
When you say nearly explode, what happened?
 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044


On Sunday, July 3, 2016 2:09 PM, "Barry Connor connor_barry@... [amelyachtowners]" wrote:


 
Hi Jamie,
I just had a similar decision to make. I was advised by Olivier to stay with the factory original and just put the lead acid batteries in.
(He said if one goes bad you can replace it anywhere in the World that you might be sailing.)
I did that and am prepared to change them in about 3 years. Total price for 13 x 105 amp was about 800 Pounds Sterling. US$1,200.
Shortly after buying May 3015 I nearly had the old ones explode. 
Best Regards

Barry and Penny Connor
"Lady Penelope II"
Amel 54.  #17
Sailing French Med.

On Jul 3, 2016, at 7:56 PM, James Wendell ms42phantom54@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 
After I lost all my existing house batteries (Intimidators) in an explosion, I am working on getting new batteries installed. I was thinking of possibly getting the Firefly Carbon AGM batteries instead of standard Lifeline AGMs. I have read Nigel Calder's reports and all seems positive.
Has anyone used them or heard anything good or bad?
Thanks,
Jamie
 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044



Barry Connor
 

Hi Jamie,
I read how yours exploded.
When I bought the boat the surveyor Olivier from La Rochelle told me that I needed to change 2 batteries. 
At first I swapped them around and continued to charge them from the dock. I then replaced 2 and continued to charge them. That's when I smelt the gas coming off. i opened the cover and it was like a sauna inside and some of the batteries where too hot to touch. Putting 2 new ones with the old ones upset the battery bank.  I think if I was not on the boat they would have exploded. I caught them in time.
I have been going over everything on the boat and traveling to and from Marseille to UK for the past year, once a month. A good road trip, I used to do Miami to NY visiting kids a few years ago.
On line I found MegaBatteries in UK, they are also in France. I bought them and collected in UK. As I was buying so many I got them for 70 pounds each, they included the stud attachments for free, this enabled me to connect them without buying any adapters.
I wanted to get deep cycle gel batteries and was looking for these when Olivier said to not change anything as the boat was designed as it was and any changes would affect something else on the boat like the chargers. So, I went for the regular and cheapest lead acid and I think I got 115AMh not 105Amh. The size was the same. 
I know this boat very well now and can understand the design concept. I will keep everything as original as possible.
When I was changing the batteries I shorted the Mastervolt 500 inverter, no fuses on the DC cables from original. I was able to fit a larger Mastervolt 2500 inverter, now Penny can use her hair dryer. Upgraded the DC cables for this and fused both pos and neg dc cables. I am thinking of also fusing all the batteries both pos and neg after reading about your explosion.

I have just left Marseille and now giving the battery bank it's first test, so far running the batteries down to about 60% each day and then charging with the generator through the 100 amp charger for 3 hours gets them back to 90%. This is just the first few days so I will be experimenting with the generator run time. 
I want to replace my solar panels, they are old and not doing much, the previous owner fitted them in 2008 for 1,500 euros, I will not spend that much on my upgrade. I built a full bimini cover doing away with the spray hood/dodger. I can fit 4 x 100w flexi solar panels on this and I have an arch where I can put another 2 larger 250w units. I will have 3 sets through 3 controllers. At anchor, midday in full sun - 700w at 24v.
I will soon post the full design and how I made the bimini, took a bit of tweaking .
Best Regards

Barry and Penny Connor
"Lady Penelope II'
Amel 54   #17
Sailing French Med.


On Sunday, July 3, 2016 3:57 PM, "James Wendell ms42phantom54@... [amelyachtowners]" wrote:


 
Thanks for the tip on that - good point. $1,200 for 13 batteries seems really cheap. Even online, Lifelines would be almost $4,000. What brand did you go with?
When you say nearly explode, what happened?
 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044


On Sunday, July 3, 2016 2:09 PM, "Barry Connor connor_barry@... [amelyachtowners]" wrote:


 
Hi Jamie,
I just had a similar decision to make. I was advised by Olivier to stay with the factory original and just put the lead acid batteries in.
(He said if one goes bad you can replace it anywhere in the World that you might be sailing.)
I did that and am prepared to change them in about 3 years. Total price for 13 x 105 amp was about 800 Pounds Sterling. US$1,200.
Shortly after buying May 3015 I nearly had the old ones explode. 
Best Regards

Barry and Penny Connor
"Lady Penelope II"
Amel 54.  #17
Sailing French Med.

On Jul 3, 2016, at 7:56 PM, James Wendell ms42phantom54@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 
After I lost all my existing house batteries (Intimidators) in an explosion, I am working on getting new batteries installed. I was thinking of possibly getting the Firefly Carbon AGM batteries instead of standard Lifeline AGMs. I have read Nigel Calder's reports and all seems positive.
Has anyone used them or heard anything good or bad?
Thanks,
Jamie
 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044





Bill Kinney <greatketch@...>
 

In general it is a very, very bad idea to replace one (or two) batteries out of a large bank. With one new battery, charging and discharging become unbalanced, and everything can go bad in a hurry. You can use a bank equalizer, but that adds another level of complexity.

If your chargers can be programed with charge voltages, the firefly’s want an absorption voltage of 28.8 volts, and a float of 26.4 volts. Most modern lines chargers and “smart” alternator controllers can be programmed to do that without a problem.

Where we have problems with something other than flooded lead acid batteries is with the “dumb” alternator on the main engine. They run at 27 volts. That would be fine for absorption phase, if a bit slow, but for long term float those batteries want 26.4 Volts or less. If you run your engine a lot, you will slowly cook them, especially at higher temperatures.

The Firefly technology has a lot of promise, and their performance characteristics are well suited to the way most of use use our boats. But they are not a drop in replacement.

Bill Kinney
SM#160 Harmonie
Highlands, NJ

On Jul 3, 2016, at 15:57, James Wendell ms42phantom54@yahoo.com [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

Thanks for the tip on that - good point. $1,200 for 13 batteries seems really cheap. Even online, Lifelines would be almost $4,000. What brand did you go with?When you say nearly explode, what happened? s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044

On Sunday, July 3, 2016 2:09 PM, "Barry Connor connor_barry@yahoo.com [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


Hi Jamie,I just had a similar decision to make. I was advised by Olivier to stay with the factory original and just put the lead acid batteries in.(He said if one goes bad you can replace it anywhere in the World that you might be sailing.)I did that and am prepared to change them in about 3 years. Total price for 13 x 105 amp was about 800 Pounds Sterling. US$1,200.Shortly after buying May 3015 I nearly had the old ones explode. Best Regards
Barry and Penny Connor"Lady Penelope II"Amel 54. #17Sailing French Med.
Sent from my iPhone
On Jul 3, 2016, at 7:56 PM, James Wendell ms42phantom54@yahoo.com [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@yahoogroups.com> wrote:


After I lost all my existing house batteries (Intimidators) in an explosion, I am working on getting new batteries installed. I was thinking of possibly getting the Firefly Carbon AGM batteries instead of standard Lifeline AGMs. I have read Nigel Calder's reports and all seems positive.Has anyone used them or heard anything good or bad?Thanks,Jamie s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044
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Jean-Pierre Germain <jgermain@...>
 

Hi Barry,

I had flexi solar on last boat. Short lived. Would not recommend...

I know a 54 owner who installed 4 X 150 through Emek. He may not be a member here but I can perhaps reach his pers email. Will report back. 

Jean-Pierre Germain
Eleuthera SM007


On 4 Jul 2016, at 02:17, Barry Connor connor_barry@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 

Hi Jamie,
I read how yours exploded.
When I bought the boat the surveyor Olivier from La Rochelle told me that I needed to change 2 batteries. 
At first I swapped them around and continued to charge them from the dock. I then replaced 2 and continued to charge them. That's when I smelt the gas coming off. i opened the cover and it was like a sauna inside and some of the batteries where too hot to touch. Putting 2 new ones with the old ones upset the battery bank.  I think if I was not on the boat they would have exploded. I caught them in time.
I have been going over everything on the boat and traveling to and from Marseille to UK for the past year, once a month. A good road trip, I used to do Miami to NY visiting kids a few years ago.
On line I found MegaBatteries in UK, they are also in France. I bought them and collected in UK. As I was buying so many I got them for 70 pounds each, they included the stud attachments for free, this enabled me to connect them without buying any adapters.
I wanted to get deep cycle gel batteries and was looking for these when Olivier said to not change anything as the boat was designed as it was and any changes would affect something else on the boat like the chargers. So, I went for the regular and cheapest lead acid and I think I got 115AMh not 105Amh. The size was the same. 
I know this boat very well now and can understand the design concept. I will keep everything as original as possible.
When I was changing the batteries I shorted the Mastervolt 500 inverter, no fuses on the DC cables from original. I was able to fit a larger Mastervolt 2500 inverter, now Penny can use her hair dryer. Upgraded the DC cables for this and fused both pos and neg dc cables. I am thinking of also fusing all the batteries both pos and neg after reading about your explosion.

I have just left Marseille and now giving the battery bank it's first test, so far running the batteries down to about 60% each day and then charging with the generator through the 100 amp charger for 3 hours gets them back to 90%. This is just the first few days so I will be experimenting with the generator run time. 
I want to replace my solar panels, they are old and not doing much, the previous owner fitted them in 2008 for 1,500 euros, I will not spend that much on my upgrade. I built a full bimini cover doing away with the spray hood/dodger. I can fit 4 x 100w flexi solar panels on this and I have an arch where I can put another 2 larger 250w units. I will have 3 sets through 3 controllers. At anchor, midday in full sun - 700w at 24v.
I will soon post the full design and how I made the bimini, took a bit of tweaking .
Best Regards

Barry and Penny Connor
"Lady Penelope II'
Amel 54   #17
Sailing French Med.


On Sunday, July 3, 2016 3:57 PM, "James Wendell ms42phantom54@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


 
Thanks for the tip on that - good point. $1,200 for 13 batteries seems really cheap. Even online, Lifelines would be almost $4,000. What brand did you go with?
When you say nearly explode, what happened?
 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044


On Sunday, July 3, 2016 2:09 PM, "Barry Connor connor_barry@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


 
Hi Jamie,
I just had a similar decision to make. I was advised by Olivier to stay with the factory original and just put the lead acid batteries in.
(He said if one goes bad you can replace it anywhere in the World that you might be sailing.)
I did that and am prepared to change them in about 3 years. Total price for 13 x 105 amp was about 800 Pounds Sterling. US$1,200.
Shortly after buying May 3015 I nearly had the old ones explode. 
Best Regards

Barry and Penny Connor
"Lady Penelope II"
Amel 54.  #17
Sailing French Med.

On Jul 3, 2016, at 7:56 PM, James Wendell ms42phantom54@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 
After I lost all my existing house batteries (Intimidators) in an explosion, I am working on getting new batteries installed. I was thinking of possibly getting the Firefly Carbon AGM batteries instead of standard Lifeline AGMs. I have read Nigel Calder's reports and all seems positive.
Has anyone used them or heard anything good or bad?
Thanks,
Jamie
 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044