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Old 03-31-2016, 07:59 AM   #15
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First determine your use.

Full timing off grid or vacations off grid.

Many folks claim never discharge below 50% and they may be correct for their battery system...not going to start any arguments there.

But if you select a true deep cycle battery and use it correctly yiu should be able to fully discharge every time.

There are some general rules and understandings though.

Charging and discharging a battery does induce wear, although no moving parts to wear out the chemistry does get tired so to speak.

In general, most general STORAGE VRLA (type of battery my past life responsible for) are rated for 1000 cycles.

There is much argument and they are valid ones as to what defines a cycle meaning if discharged 50% is 1/2 cycle and those are best left to the data sheet for the specific battery as they all are different.

You also need to properly charge them meaning do not rapid charge any amount more than the data sheet.

Now assuming yiu have a 1000 cycle battery and you are properly using them to get that 1000 cycles and we will allow partial discharges as a partial cycle meaning a 50% discharge is 1/2 a cycle, how do you plan to use them?

If you are just a vacationer then consider full discharge every day you use them then how many days will you use it?

1000 days is almost 3 years continuous duty.

So review your needs and build as needed.

If the battery does not last the night then not suitable for the need.

Either too small for the load or defective.

Load may be too large as well.

Review what many folks have posted regarding power management to determine how to address your situation.

Tony & Lori
1989 Country Coach Savannah SE
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Old 03-31-2016, 09:48 AM   #16
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Posts: 11,704
Here is some deep cycle info.

In actual, use I calculated 1300, 30% to 40% cycles over a 5 year period while full timing at anchor. I did not skimp on power use.

I replaced the 8, Sam's Club, GC2s when the capacity was depleted to about half of new.

This is copied from a deep cycle battery website.

Deep cycle*batteries are designed to be discharged down as much as 80% time after time, and have much thicker plates. The major difference between a true deep cycle battery and others is that the plates are SOLID Lead plates - not sponge. This gives less surface area, thus less "instant" power like starting batteries need.*Although these can be cycled down to 20% charge, the best lifespan vs cost method is to keep the average cycle at about 50% discharge.

Battery life is directly related to how*deepthe battery is cycled each time. If a battery is discharged to 50% every day, it will last about twice as long as if it is cycled to 80% DOD. If cycled only 10% DOD, it will last about 5 times as long as one cycled to 50%. Obviously, there are some practical limitations on this - you don't usually want to have a 5 ton pile of batteries sitting there just to reduce the DOD. The most practical number to use is 50% DOD on a regular basis. This does NOT mean you cannot go to 80% once in a while. It's just that when designing a system when you have some idea of the loads, you should figure on an*average*DOD of around 50% for the best storage vs cost factor. The graph below shows how lifespan is affected by depth of discharge. The chart is for a Concorde Lifeline battery, but all lead-acid batteries will be similar in the shape of the curve, although the number of cycles will vary.
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Old 03-31-2016, 02:20 PM   #17
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The above is great information.

It relates depth of use to wear on their batteries.

If one is full timing off grid they need to consider many things as power needs critical as well as carried weight.

Then for the weekender who may have 50 to 100 cycles a year the battery will likely age out before it is worn out if properly cared for.

The weekender may be able to get by with a much smaller installed battery that may need replacement a bit sooner than a much larger battery plant but the larger plant has cost of mass and size that if not needed can be avoided.
Tony & Lori
1989 Country Coach Savannah SE
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Old 04-01-2016, 02:29 PM   #18
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Location: Detroit, MI
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Interesting! Does that meter have to be placed at the battery or anywhere in the circuit?

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battery, camping

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