sv Elysium

Cruising thrugh Life




I've had an interesting time with AGM's also. I put in 8 Trojan 6volt wired series parallel to give me an 800 amp bank for the house. I also put in 2 big blue top optimas split with a Balmar duo charge for the engine start and 4.5 kw ac generator. These are behind a two position selector switch to isolate them from the house bank.
All batteries are cabled with 4/o marine cable and short runs.( I realize this is overkill but I'm an Edison troubleman by profession and I really like my power supply to be bullet proof)
For charging I have two 130 amp panels and two 85 amp panels fed through a blue sky mppt tracking regulator; A duo gen wind generator with a 125 controller; a prosign 2000 charger inverter(3 stage) for the house bank; a cristec 3 stage charger for the start gen bank; and a link 20 moniter amps /volts/etc.
After a year or so I had lost capacity such that 80 amp hours would knock me down to about 10.5 volts. There were never any large loads more than lets say 20 amps or so on the system.
I was meticulous in my care of charging and keeping my batteries topped up . No overvoltages or undervoltages on charging, and no rundowns below 80%.
I took the batteries out and brought them to my local dealer who tested them bad( this is at 15 months). They told me they were three months out of warrenty so I was out of luck.
I then went to the master dealer who said they would give me $85 credit per battery ( batteries listed at the time for $365 retail. I bought them at $225 per battery.) This was their prorate and they were doing me a favor.
Still not satisfied I had them take and test the batteries. They said they tested good. I was a non believer.
I then went to Trojan corporate in Santa Fe Springs , CA. --got a hold of their lead engineer (Craig Quinten) and had the batteries taken to his lab to be cut up and see what went wrong. I also verified all the charging settings with him as to my set up and everything checked good. He told me to charge at 14.5 and 13.5 rather than the lower voltages stated on their website (14.2 and 13.2 I believe).
After a couple weeks testing Craig informed me that on the initial test the batteries looked good , but on the second test they all failed. He also said that two were much worse than the others so they may have been the cause of the draw down and ruination of the entire bank.
Craig then warrenteed the bank and sent me 8 new batteries.
Without his help I would have been SOL and out a lot of money. He still couldn't give me an exact cause or good guess as to why this happened. I'm just glad he cared enough to sort it out for me. I'm going to make sure and pull the batteries before their 12 month warrenty period and have them thoroughly tested this time so I don't run into the same problem.
Trojan Battery company is #1 in my mind for doing this, but I'm starting to rethink the AGM thing and my go back to the old t-105 golf carts. They are pretty bulletproof and have been around for many years.
I hope this in depth discussion has helped anyone who is on the fence or encountering battery AGM problems. John
s/v michaela