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Old 11-03-2008, 12:48 AM   #15
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For those that want to learn all about batteries, here are some links you will find useful. I like what one manufacturer says, "Batteries don't die, they are murdered".

http://www.usbattery.com/care.htm
http://www.dcbattery.com/faq.html#1
http://www.windsun.com/Batteries/Bat...ery%20Charging
http://www.rvsolarelectric.com/sources.htm
http://www.batteryfaq.org
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Old 11-03-2008, 09:28 AM   #16
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Sealed batteries are not recommended in desert conditions. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
I have not seen this before. Any reason?

The only issue I have seen on sealed vs non sealed has to do with internal discharge rate and I can't relate that to desert conditions. (talking wet cell with the difference being antimony for regular vs calcium for sealed plate doping)

I do know that all batteries suffer when exposed to excess heat like you'd find in desert conditions.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">The added weight is in the plates, they are thicker and have less surface area, giving more AH of storage. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
This is a bit of a confusion as it is the surface area of the plates that determines capacity. You can't react lead inside of a plate with the electrolyte which is why thicker plates do not contribute to energy capacity. Thicker plates used to be the way to gain strength and durability as well as to allow more 'wear' as the plate sulfated and that material sloughed off to eventually short a cell if it filled the area below the plate. Modern materials and techniques have minimized the need for plate thickness as a solution to these problems.

These issues get rather esoteric. It is indeed true (as anyone can see by inspecting spec sheets) that energy capacity is related to weight. This is because, for typical RV batteries, capacity is optimized for the materials in the battery. It is this optimization of materials for capacity in a battery that has also narrowed the current draw differences between batteries intended for different types of service.

I do note from the data I have seen that Trojan batteries offer no advantages from other brands in terms of either capacity nor realized lifespan. All brands will die when murdered by common user techniques as described in a previous link.
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Old 11-03-2008, 11:25 AM   #17
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"This is a bit of a confusion as it is the surface area of the plates that determines capacity. You can't react lead inside of a plate with the electrolyte which is why thicker plates do not contribute to energy capacity."

WRONG -surface area determines rate of the reaction not capacity. Capacity is determined by the thickness of the plates. Basic chemistry 101.
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Old 11-04-2008, 10:48 AM   #18
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">WRONG -surface area determines rate of the reaction not capacity. Capacity is determined by the thickness of the plates. Basic chemistry 101. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
wow. strong statement! I like that appeal to authority with implied assertion of ignorance, too =&gt; Wonderful way to keep the discussion civil ;-)

I'd like to see how a chemical reaction can occur on other than the surface of a material. Definitely something to think about. For a thought experiment: coat all the plates with some plastic and then consider the capacity of the battery. Then think about if you replaced that plastic coating with lead sulfate and consider the difference.

This particular issue has a lot to do with why a battery will often gain capacity after being cycled a few times (etches the plates which creates more surface area) or why battery plates are designed the way they are in modern batteries (rather than as solid plates of lead).

It's fun stuff getting into the physical chemistry and engineering of lead acid batteries and how modern battery design can optimize capacity, minimize impedance, inhibit aging and sulfation, and survive abuse. Then look at the Caterpillar Company's firefly project and what they did to try to get a battery that will actually be a deep cycle battery.

more fun for some, I guess to shout and assert ignorance ...

oh well. I think I'd rather explore concepts and the why behind ideas.
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Old 11-04-2008, 04:17 PM   #19
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Take a 5 lb package of flour and light it with a torch, capacity or AH. Take that same 5 pound package of flour and toss it up in the air to form a huge cloud of flour - explosion i.e. increased rate of reaction due to increased surface area = CCA.

Take a chunk of pure sodium and toss it in a river bang bang forever - capacity but shed it and toss explosion.

My minor for my BA was chemistry and my minor for my MS was physical chemistry. You are/were wrong.

The answer to your question is within your own words.
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Old 11-05-2008, 12:15 AM   #20
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Ok guys, I think we can agree to disagree and move on without further arguement. Your debate, though I find intresting, does not help the average coach owner and may turn them off from reading this particular posted topic. Thank you.
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Old 11-05-2008, 01:32 PM   #21
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I have 2 170 amp hour gel batteries that are about 3 year old and have been heavily used. They are starting to not hold a charge. I see now that charging them on the coach from my Winnie charger might have caused them to have "bubbles". I have been thinking of replacing them with AGM batteries. What can I do to salvage these expensive gel batteries and get some more usage from them.
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Old 11-05-2008, 02:52 PM   #22
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Lindsay Richards:
What can I do to salvage these expensive gel batteries and get some more usage from them. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

You need to consider replacing the Winnie charger/converter. Click HERE to find great useful info.
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Old 11-05-2008, 11:20 PM   #23
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lindsay...
i use a schumacher battery charger. it has a equalizing charge for gel and agm batteries.

that may help in your situation. i got mine several years ago from schucks auto supply.
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Old 11-06-2008, 11:30 AM   #24
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Your debate, though I find intresting, does not help the average coach owner and may turn them off from reading this particular posted topic. Thank you. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Two points to note. One is that it is not the subject that should be at issue but rather the behavior. The other is that this topic is subject to many myths and misunderstandings and bad information that often lead the "average coach owner" into poor and costly decision making.

If there is a "disagreement" about some facet of RV batteries, then readers need to be able to to figure out how important it is to them, how to go about obtaining their own informed opinion, and how to understand the issue's implications in their overall understanding that they use to guide their decisions. That can only take place after an appropriate discussion.

When you look at the causes for failures of RV batteries, the need for getting past the myths and misunderstandings and obtaining a good conceptual understanding of what is important and why is underlined.

It is up to all of us to keep the conversation civil and on track else we have censorship that makes it ever more difficult to learn what we really need to know - because the target all too often is the subject and not the behavior.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">What can I do to salvage these expensive gel batteries </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
If they do not have a shorted cell or physical damage and are 'just' suffering reduced capacity and poor performance, you might try the desulfation technique first described in Home Power magazine about ten years ago and implemented by some battery chargers or the BatteryMinder(tm) device (see desulfation and the homebrew desulfator for some good background.
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Old 11-08-2008, 06:00 PM   #25
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For those readers who wish too you may find this information helpful in choosing your next battery.

"CYCLE DEPTH: Fully discharging a battery often destroys the battery or, at a minimum, dramatically shortens its life. Deep-cycle lead-acid batteries can be routinely discharged down to 15-20% of its capacity - this represents a depth of discharge (DOD) of 85 to 80%. These deep-cycle batteries are constructed with thick plates for the cathodes and anodes in order to resist warping whereas in a conventional lead-acid batteries the plates are paper-thin. Regardless of whether or not the battery is deep-cycle or not, deep discharges shorten the life of a battery. A deep-cycle battery that can last 300 discharge-recharge cycles of 80% DOD (depth of discharge) may last 600 cycles at 50% DOD."


ENERGY DENSITY/SPECIFIC ENERGY: Energy density is a measure of how much energy can be extracted from a battery per unit of battery weight or volume. By default, deep-cycle batteries provide the potential for higher energy densities than non-deep-cycle varieties since more of the energy in the battery can be extracted (e.g. larger acceptable DOD).

From this website:
http://www.thermoanalytics.com/suppo...ytypesdoc.html

Chemistry is wonderful.
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Old 12-22-2008, 11:03 AM   #26
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I use gulf cart batteries purchased at Sams club they go for about $80 bucks each; I dry camp about half the time (about 6 weeks a year), last set of batteries lasted me 6 years.
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