15 Year Old Exide Gel Batteries Still Going Strong ! (1 Viewer)

scotjimland

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Jul 25, 2007
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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..
 
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Jim

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Jul 19, 2007
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I decided to use AGM as the location they are in I did not want any gassing at all.

AGM batteries have several advantages over both gelled and flooded, at about the same cost as gelled:
Since all the electrolyte (acid) is contained in the glass mats, they cannot spill, even if broken. This also means that since they are non-hazardous, the shipping costs are lower. In addition, since there is no liquid to freeze and expand, they are practically immune from freezing damage.

Nearly all AGM batteries are "recombinant" - what that means is that the Oxygen and Hydrogen recombine INSIDE the battery. These use gas phase transfer of oxygen to the negative plates to recombine them back into water while charging and prevent the loss of water through electrolysis. The recombining is typically 99+% efficient, so almost no water is lost.

The charging voltages are the same as for any standard battery - no need for any special adjustments or problems with incompatible chargers or charge controls. And, since the internal resistance is extremely low, there is almost no heating of the battery even under heavy charge and discharge currents. The Concorde (and most AGM) batteries have no charge or discharge current limits.

AGM's have a very low self-discharge - from 1% to 3% per month is usual. This means that they can sit in storage for much longer periods without charging than standard batteries. The Concorde batteries can be almost fully recharged (95% or better) even after 30 days of being totally discharged.

AGM's do not have any liquid to spill, and even under severe overcharge conditions hydrogen emission is far below the 4% max specified for aircraft and enclosed spaces. The plates in AGM's are tightly packed and rigidly mounted, and will withstand shock and vibration better than any standard battery.

Even with all the advantages listed above, there is still a place for the standard flooded deep cycle battery. AGM's will cost about 1.5 to 2 times as much as flooded batteries of the same capacity. In many installations, where the batteries are set in an area where you don't have to worry about fumes or leakage, a standard or industrial deep cycle is a better economic choice. AGM batteries main advantages are no maintenance, completely sealed against fumes, Hydrogen, or leakage, non-spilling even if they are broken, and can survive most freezes. Not everyone needs these features.
 

funflair

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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.
 

JeanLuc

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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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scotjimland

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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
 
Dec 10, 2013
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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.
 

Tootles

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Was a newbie, now a Middie.
but never imagined they were the original GELs fitted when the van was built in 2001
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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Dec 10, 2013
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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
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)
 

Lenny HB

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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.
 

JeanLuc

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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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GJH

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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.
 
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scotjimland

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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).

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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funflair

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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.

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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Lenny HB

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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).
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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scotjimland

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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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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.
Fortunately, as you no doubt discovered, leaning them forward against the dash means you don't have to lift them off. You're correct - they are heavy!

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