Battery life expectancy questions

What's on your mind? Anything generic goes here.

Re: Battery life expectancy questions

Postby S@LTD on Tue Apr 16, 2019 7:21 pm

Curious if anyone has looked into the Dragonfly Foam Core AGM batteries. Definitely a speedy AGM for sure although somewhat attractive given the number of cycles and depth of charge which seems like a way to effectively double your charging capacity without the added weight? Always looking at ways to increase charging capacity for lengthy times on the hook, cloudy days and not having to fire up the engine.
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Re: Battery life expectancy questions

Postby Red Raven on Tue Apr 16, 2019 8:13 pm

Do you mean the Firefly AGM battery? Dragonfly is a Lithium battery. Different animals!

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Re: Battery life expectancy questions

Postby S@LTD on Wed Apr 17, 2019 1:12 am

Yes the Firefly AGM
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Re: Battery life expectancy questions

Postby Kaptajnen on Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:22 am

Kaptajnen wrote:One way to prolong the life of a Lead-Acid battery is to use a De-Sulfator. I used a pair of these on my previous boat which had 4 AGM batteries house batteries installed when I bought the boat. The De-sulfators kept the batteries going for the 13 rpt. 13 years before I sold the boat. I do not recall the brand, but they were made in Japan. I don’t know if there are any of these devices that are not made in China <sigh> but perhaps someone can shed some light on this.

Here is a description on how these small devices work:

A battery desulfator is also known as a battery regenerator. The second version of the name is a little misleading as it gives one the impression that a battery desulfator can regenerate just about any battery. That isn’t necessarily true. If your battery is not working as a result of internal damage or is shorted, no desulfator in the world can repair it. However, if the battery has lost a great deal of its capacity due to sulfation, then you’re in luck. Let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves, though, we were talking about battery desulfators.

A battery desulfator is a device that restores the capacity of a lead acid battery. That way, the lifespan of the battery is extended and so is its performance. These batteries are also known as pulse conditioning devices, battery reconditioners, and, of course, battery regenerators.

It all begins with the battery. If you store it in an uncharged state for too long, then lead sulfur will form little deposits on the lead plates and harden over time. How long to leave it uncharged pretty much depends on the battery, but generally involves leaving it only partially charged every time you charge it. When these lead sulfur deposits form on the lead plates, we say that the batter has been sulfated. That means it is now incapable of charging to its full capacity that you purchased it with. Keep leaving it uncharged for too long and the capacity grows smaller and smaller until it becomes practically impractical to use the battery any longer and you have to swap it out for a new one.

That is where battery desulfators come in. They send pulses of electricity throughout the batter. In some cases, those pulses of electricity will get the sulfate to come off the plates in flakes. The sulfate dissolves and your battery regains its capacity.

So you’re probably wondering why such a miracle of science and technology isn’t popular. Well, as it turns out, the battery industry, or at least the mainstream part of it, has an incentive to sell replacement batteries. In fact, most of the profit made by battery manufacturers comes from selling replacement batteries. They stand to benefit from the process of sulfation and so they don’t feel the urgent need to solve the issue in batteries. There has therefore been very little scientific research into the issue and understanding exactly what is happening under the hoods or any verification of the claims that are being made about sulfation. As a result, the market for desulfators is still very small and most battery owners don’t even know about it. That said, it is a growing market, no matter how small and we are hopeful that the setback to battery longevity caused by sulfation will soon be a matter of the past.


As a footnote, I found a small desulfator manufactured in the U.S. (Jamestown, N.C.).
Google “MAX DESULFATOR MD-12”.
Listed for less than $20 incl. shipping, I might give it a try.
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Re: Battery life expectancy questions

Postby Red Raven on Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:21 pm

S@LTD wrote:Curious if anyone has looked into the Dragonfly Foam Core AGM batteries. Definitely a speedy AGM for sure although somewhat attractive given the number of cycles and depth of charge which seems like a way to effectively double your charging capacity without the added weight? Always looking at ways to increase charging capacity for lengthy times on the hook, cloudy days and not having to fire up the engine.


Alternatively you could buy a second solar panel for the difference in cost of the batteries. The solar panel has a even better life and could allow indefinite time on the hook in all but the worst weather. Of course if you have the $$$ you could do both or even go to Lithium.

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Re: Battery life expectancy questions

Postby S@LTD on Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:35 pm

Yeah been thinking about the second panel as it is a reasonably priced upgrade. Also, Trying to look for something for those longer periods of rainy/cloudy days. We use the roof rack real estate for other things as well so was trying to strike a balance with increasing capacity without taking up added space. Not interested in Lithium for our needs or for the $$. Was just curious as to anyone’s experience with these Firefly batteries.
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Re: Battery life expectancy questions

Postby BB marine on Thu Apr 18, 2019 8:35 am

The information stated that 80% discharge is acceptable with theses batteries. (Firefly) 80%= approx. 12V. The inverter installed in my C26 shuts down at 11.6 with load so right around 12V. I have done this a number of times causing sulfation do to low percent discharge and never fully charging while traveling and anchoring. Unfortunately relying on solar and the engine doesn't always fully charge the batteries. Especially when using power while trying to replenish the batteries. If the firefly technology works as advertised a two battery bank is equivalent to a 4 battery bank. 50% or less discharge is hard on lead batteries. The ability to go to 80% without damaging increases usable capacity. That comes with a cost slightly higher then a good AGM battery. $550.00 Firefly , 300.00 Northstar. Seems like good alternative. Something to research more!
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Re: Battery life expectancy questions

Postby Cutwater28GG on Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:27 pm

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Re: Battery life expectancy questions

Postby ixlr8 on Thu Apr 18, 2019 2:57 pm

Cutwater28GG wrote:here's my math on this.

Interesting take on this, thanks. Might be interesting to plug in Lithium battery numbers.
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Re: Battery life expectancy questions

Postby Cutwater28GG on Thu Apr 18, 2019 3:11 pm

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Re: Battery life expectancy questions

Postby ixlr8 on Thu Apr 18, 2019 3:39 pm


I didn't think it would be. I found a Lithium battery that had a better rating than 100ah, but it also cost $1530 each!! Lithium is a great technology but really out of budget, at least mine. Thanks for taking the time to crunch the numbers.
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Re: Battery life expectancy questions

Postby Cutwater28GG on Fri Apr 19, 2019 3:18 pm

the only other way it could make sense is if the duty cycles of the battery are much longer. I.e. you get more than 1000 discharges. alas it doesnt look that way.

realistically therefore the only reason to go for the expense is if you want power density.

we have weight sensitive boats. with lithium I can double or more the amount of power in the same physical area and weight due to the higher amount of discharge I can get from the same battery -99% vs 50%. that does have value.

now the first upgrade should be a second solar panel and MPPT charger before doing this though as its more about replenishing what you have than just having more capacity.
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