15 Year Old Exide Gel Batteries Still Going Strong !

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by scotjimland, May 8, 2015.

  1. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    I decided to remove the seats to inspect the batteries and as I suspected they were a fair age... but never imagined they were the original GELs fitted when the van was built in 2001 .. the date label indicates manufacture in 2000 .. !

    I have never been an advocate of GEls for motorhomes, if you read any of my previous posts I have always been a fan of Flooded Lead Acid, (FLAs) . but this discover has been an eye opener.

    I decided it would be prudent to replace before we go to France.. and as they are under the seats don't want FLAs .. and if the GELs last 12 years.. why not ? Removing seats to check FLAs is also too much hassle, so GELS seem the best bet ..

    I decided against AGM as the charger has only two setting .. GEL or FLA .. as I understand it, AGM have a different charge regime from GELs and FLAs .. so ruled them out.

    They originals are Exide Dryfit Sportline 80ah.. they had a 12 year service life.. so lasting almost 15 years have done sterling service.. when I searched for replacements discovered they are no longer made, but found an almost identical sized Victron GEL available from Energy Solutions in Kent.. at £156.63 each +vat

    http://www.es-store.co.uk/product_details.php?product=BAT-VIC-GEL-090

    I know Vicron make top notch chargers/inverters but didn't know they supplied GEL batteries..

    If anyone knows a supplier where I can get them or similar cheaper, please shout out as as am on the verge of ordering this morning..
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2015
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  2. gillnphil

    gillnphil Funster

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    I dont know where you can get them cheaper, but our exide G 80 s are still going strong into their 9th year.
    Phil
     
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  3. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Mere youngsters.. :LOL:

    I doubt I'll get a better price , just thought it worth asking .. :)
     
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  4. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    I decided to use AGM as the location they are in I did not want any gassing at all.

     
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  5. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    I have said here a few times that I rate GEL's highly.

    I was going to change our GEL's a couple of years ago as they were then over 7 years old, fitted 2 110ah Elecsol's and they crashed down to 11 volts as soon as the inverter was switched on so It was back to the old G80 GEL's and they are still going strong and still running the inverter.

    You can still get the EXIDE G80 but sometimes it is called ES900.
     
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  6. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    SJ - the EBL in your Hymer (probably EBL99) does not, as you say, have a programme for AGM. It was made before AGMs became popular. The EBL charging regime does not reach a high enough voltage for optimal AGM charging so you may never get the full benefit. It is most suited to Gel although there is a perfectly good wet lead-acid programme too.
    As another comment on the gels, my Hymer had the original Exide gels when we bought it at 4 years old. Two years on, one of the gels failed and the van was filled with hydrogen sulphide - the batteries were not vented. I replaced them with 2 x 110Ah Elecsols and had them vented through the floor in case of a cell failure in future. I have just replaced these (after 6 years) with 2 x 90Ah Varta LFD90 sealed lead-acid.
    The exide batterey is still made I think, but it's pricey - https://www.tayna.co.uk/Exide-G80-Gel-Battery-for-Hymer-Motorhomes-P7893.html
     
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  7. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    @JeanLuc
    thanks... will have a look at Exide .. they are cheaper than the Victrons.. but only one year warranty ..

    2 Exide = £300
    2 Victron £429

    delivered prices
     
  8. daveandsan

    daveandsan Funster

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    I replaced our 5 year old Exide G80 gel battery in January, not because their was anything wrong with it but I was fitting 2 new ones to increase my capacity. It is sitting in our garage fully charged, I just don't have the heart to throw it away.
     
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  9. Tootles

    Tootles Funster

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    I fitted two gel's on our narrowboat in 1998, as remote's to power the fridge on start-up. The problem with long boats, (ours being a case in point), is that the fridge lives 30' away from the main battery bank. Even using heavy cables, the voltage drop is enough to stop the fridge starting up during the night. Both gel batteries are located close to the fridge, in a locker, which can be done because gels don't vent as lead acid batteries do. This means that they can charge safely, but because of the voltage drop, cannot return their power to the main battery bank in reverse.
    I tested both batteries last week, and both are as new, Remarkable. 17 years, and still going strong. Not cheap at the time, (or even now), but well worth the outlay (y)
     
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  10. daveandsan

    daveandsan Funster

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    Try Alpha batteries, I emailed them asking what their best price was for 2 Exide G80 and got them for £340, slightly more expensive than some places but with a 4 year warranty and free delivery.(y)
     
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  11. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    I'm a big fan of Gel's as well, the Exide G80's in my last Hymer were nearly 6 years old and performance was still the same as new batteries.
    Tanya Batteries do the Exide G80 for £149.90 inc vat & the Sonnenschein SL75 for £146.17 inc. vat, they are the same battery Sonnenschein are part of the Exide group and they make the Exide Gels, the capacity is stated at 75 A/H rather than 80 this is down to the way they quote the specification.
     
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  12. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Thanks for all the advice and help..

    decision made .. have ordered a pair of G80's from Tanya

    cheers :)
     
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  13. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    I realise you have made your decision Jim, but one of the reasons I have stuck with sealed lead-acid (apart from price) is that the gels take much longer to charge. This swayed me given that we tend not to stay on sites for long but move about frequently, using camperstops abroad.
    For interest and possible future reference, here is the charging regime for an EBL99/100 (I have had this confirmed by Udo Lang at Schaudt).
     

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  14. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Size restriction is the most important consideration as far as our leisure battery goes. It is under the passenger seat and can't be any taller than 190mm including the terminals (max length is 350mm and max width is 178mm).

    I have no idea of the age of the Banner 95601 (Length 278 mm, Width 175 mm, Height inc. terms 190 mm) which was in the van when we bought it over 3 years ago but it is still going strong so will hopefully last for some time to come. I shall have a restricted choice when I do come to replace it though (Tayna list only the Enduroline EXV100 and Varta LFD75 as alternatives).

    We have an EBL99, so could use gel batteries, but I didn't find any that would fit the size restrictions when I looked previously.
     
  15. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    same size limitations as mine..
    The G8o fit this space..

    Length 353 mm
    Width 175 mm
    Height inc. terms 190 mm
     
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  16. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    double post deleted
     
  17. GJH

    GJH Funster Life Member

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    Thanks Jim. I'll have to measure again as I think the absolute maximum length I can fit is 350mm, so 353 would be just too much.
     
  18. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    You might squeeze it in as there are a few mm of plastic for holding down at the ends, and ours certainly only uses the side fixing.

    image.jpg
     
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  19. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    I never found the longer charging time for Gel's a problem, my last Hymer had Gel's and we never use sites. The longer charging time of Gel's is offset by the higher DOD, a Gel can be taken down to 80% DOD where as a Wet Lead Acid shouldn't be taken below 50% DOD.
     
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  20. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Fast service from Tanya, ordered 2 x G80s Friday,.. delivered this AM.. now installed and charging .. ready for the off .. next trip Thetford Bash :)

    While I had the seats off, I took the opertunity to hard wire the 200 watt Sterling inverter, fed direct from the battery via a 30A automotive relay, operated by an illuminated 'missile' style toggle switch.. supply to relay and switch both protected by in-line fuses. ..

    The seats are actually very easy to remove.. if a tad heavy, just 2 x 10 mm studs at the front, facing the windscreen, and a pair of countersunk Allen head screws at the rear.
     
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