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Old 07-07-2009, 05:49 PM   #1
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AGM House Batteries

Was wondering if any of you are using the AGM (absorbed glass mat) or any Gel type house batteries? If so what are the pro's and con's of this type of battery.
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Old 07-07-2009, 11:05 PM   #2
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Hi Tom,

Do a search for ‘AGM’ and you’ll come up with around 7 pages of posts on the subject. I as well as many others am using the AGM type batteries and I believe we are all pretty pleased with their function. I like their increased number of cycles, deeper discharge without damage, maintenance free nature, and more Amp./hour per pound that they have to offer. Let us know what you decide.
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Old 07-07-2009, 11:26 PM   #3
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Great batteries. I have 2 Sears Platinums (AGMs). However, some charger/converters cannot be used with AGMs. In particular, The Intel-Power 9200 Series explicitly states that the product cannot be used to charge AGM batteries. I believe it has to with the charger's automated desulfation feature that boosts the charge rate to 14.4 volts every day for 15 minutes. AGMs don't need this feature and can be damaged by the repeated elevated voltage. Just make sure that your charger/converter lacks this feature. Other than that, AGMs are awesome batteries without much in the way of maintenance.

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Old 07-08-2009, 12:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rocket Heart View Post
Was wondering if any of you are using the AGM (absorbed glass mat) or any Gel type house batteries? If so what are the pro's and con's of this type of battery.
i am using 2 6v 300ah lifeline agm batteries in series for my coach. the biggest advantage to me is that i was able to mount them under the stairs in the original space of 2 12v batteries. the 12v batteries had 200ah capacity. i was able to mount the lifelines on their sides. they are 13.1" tall. they fit nicely and have 50% more capacity. i never have to add water either.
if i don't deep cycle them often, they have a life span of 10+ years.
i have a sears platinum agm starting battery.
i got my lifelines on line from bd batteries in denver.
the con is the price, though when prorated over 10 years it is more reasonable.
i use a schumacher portable charger designed for agm batteries to maintain my batteries when my moho is in storage. i use the moho 45 amp converter the rest of the time.
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Old 07-08-2009, 06:37 AM   #5
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We use all Optima as of about 3 years ago. The starting batteries are a dark grey with a dark blue top and are designed for marine use for starting. We have two in parallel. they are 1000 CCA each. VERY pleased with this set.

The house is 3 - 12v yellow tops. They work exactly as advertised. Absolutely no maintenance.....I like that part. The problem is that there is a total AH capacity of only 165 AH. We don't spend a lot of time dry camping so they work for us. If you spend a lot of time dry camping I don't think they would be a good set up for house batteries. In my research I think the Lifeline product is the the best for house.
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Old 07-08-2009, 08:50 AM   #6
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Many use AGM. I have two house banks (House and Inverter) the 2nd one is AGM, they are good batteries if you have any "Issues" tha tmake flooded wet cells impractical. (IE: Hard to service, or hard to properly vent, or need to mount "oddly" (not "This side up")

GEL, is about the worst possible choice, Assorted reasons

Many confuse the two since they share the "This side need not be up" characteristic, but that, and mantenance free is about it, Where as AGM's are among the most rugged (OPTIMA, a special class of AGM, is the most physically rugged, but it has other issues making it impractical for RV use) Gel's are the most delicate. AGM's some brands can be charged very fast, GEL's very slowly. That kind of thing.

But I'm very happy with my MK Agm's
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Old 07-08-2009, 03:20 PM   #7
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for a counterpoint:

yes AGM's are nice batteries, quite rugged, can be mounted upside down, and can handle large current in or out.

but

they are lead acid batteries and not that much different than any other. They suffer if deeply discharged on a regular basis like any lead acid battery. For twice the price of a wet cell, nominal lifespan is only 25% or so longer (see Az WindSun FAQ). Code still requires a proper, vented battery box for AGM's. As with any SRLA they are somewhat sensitive to overcharging. Energy capacity per pound is about the same as wet cell.

Gel Cels have gone somewhat out of favor in RV circles I think. They are a bit picky in charging and work best in float service.
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Old 07-09-2009, 06:46 PM   #8
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Thanks for all your input - appreciated.
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Old 09-16-2009, 10:25 PM   #9
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Hi Tom. So what did you decide.....? I'm kinda in the same predicament I have a house battery boiling over big time.
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Old 09-17-2009, 12:30 PM   #10
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I have an AGM system in my rig.. MK (Made by East Penn, who also make Deka)

pros:
AGM's are very rugged batteries, second only to Optima, (Which are, in fact, AGM, but a sub class of AGM)

They can be mounted in any position, ON their side, on end, upside down, at an angle, They don't care.

They are VRLA (Valve Regulated Lead Acid) so they are 1: Maintenance free, and 2: Low out-gassing, this means venting is not as important (you need to vent, but not as much)

Now, Xantrex recommends the same max-charge rate for AGM as for flooded wet cells, but Lifeline (WHo makes AGM's) recommends faster. Quite a bit faster.. This means shorter re-charge time (less generator time)


So, the short version: Very rugged, mount at odd angles, Fast recharge

The Cons:

PRICE!!!!!, and as with all "Sealed" Batteries (Some folks call them SLA, nobody, I mean NOBODY, makes a sealed lead acid battery, they are VRLA, Explained above) you can not add water.. Thus, when they finally do dry out,, they are done for. This means they do not live as long as a properly maintained Flooded wet cell. Again, this translates to COST

HOw much shorter is their life... Well with proper care, not much.
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Old 09-21-2009, 09:36 AM   #11
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Anyone know about these brands?

Anyone familiar with either one of these two batteries (for house use)?:

Kinetik High Current Power Cells

Shuriken Batteries

(The SK-BT-120 model)

They appear to be SERIOUS batteries..and as I can get a deal on them...I wonder if they'd be a good (or even great) choice.

Normally the price would speak against them...but as I said, looking at the deal I can get...maybe worth doing.

????
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Old 09-21-2009, 02:28 PM   #12
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Hi Tom: I put AGM house batteries in 3 years ago and have been very happy with them in my Adventurer 8.1 Workhorse I also replaced the engine battery this year with an AGM, you may want to look at installing a "trickle start" battery maintainer to keep your engine battery fully charged when plugged in for a long stay no ac power is needed for this it feeds off your house batteries until the engine battery is fully charged then it switches to the maintain position
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Old 09-21-2009, 03:33 PM   #13
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Hi Mr_H,

Just my opinion only. Both of these manufacturers seem to be playing to “Today’s audiophile” (kids with no electronics background). Kind of like gold plated audio cables that cost an arm and two legs. Does it make a difference? Technically, yes. Does it make a difference? Measurable, probably not. Does it make a difference? No. Put two systems together, with and without and try to tell which is which. Impossible.

The specks on these two batteries sound an awful lot like AGM starting batteries. High current available because of many thin plates but for RV deep cycle use, they probably won’t last nearly as long as say a Concord or Lifeline. If it’s the high current you’re after, then try a Lifeline starting battery and save the money. $500.00 for a Group 31 is way over the top and they probably don’t even make them, just order in large quantities with their label on them from someone like Concord. The same as most all the branded products.

If you can get one or two of these for around $200.00 and there is room for it, they may make a reasonably good starting battery for your RV. For the Coach, I would still recommend either 4ea. 6 Volt or 3ea. 12 Volt deep cycle anything, but gel.

If the makers of these products would like to comment……..
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Old 09-21-2009, 05:03 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_H View Post
Anyone familiar with either one of these two batteries (for house use)?:

Kinetik High Current Power Cells

Shuriken Batteries

(The SK-BT-120 model)

They appear to be SERIOUS batteries..and as I can get a deal on them...I wonder if they'd be a good (or even great) choice.

Normally the price would speak against them...but as I said, looking at the deal I can get...maybe worth doing.

????
from their literature, these 2 batteries do not appear to be deep cycle batteries suitable for use in house battery installations.
it looks like they would make super starting batteries.
check here for more info on deep cycle batteries: Deep Cycle Battery FAQ
i got my lifeline 6ct deep cycle batteries from bd batteries online. they are kinda unique size wise. while expensive, their price included shipping.
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