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Old 09-06-2023, 12:38 PM   #1
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Lead acid batteries: What's old is new again

Article on how LA batteries are back in favor.

https://innovationorigins.com/en/lea...gy-revolution/
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Old 09-06-2023, 12:57 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by SageRpod View Post
Article on how LA batteries are back in favor.

https://innovationorigins.com/en/lea...gy-revolution/
Looks like a old Popular Mechanics style article. No doubt a little more efficiency can be eked out lead acid battery technology. But, they are still heavy (the article talks about using them in static installations), so don't think that means you'll be buying them for your RV anytime soon.
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Old 09-06-2023, 02:56 PM   #3
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I was hoping the article would have some ground breaking research, but it doesn't. Still can't discharge more than 50% and still heavy.
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Old 09-06-2023, 04:10 PM   #4
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I'm not holding my breath that I'll every buy another LA battery except for automotive use.

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Old 09-06-2023, 05:53 PM   #5
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I'm not holding my breath that I'll every buy another LA battery except for automotive use.

Ron

I'd love to ditch LA even for automotive. I get tired of replacing LA batteries in my car every few years. Even with recycling, it seems like a waste.
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Old 09-06-2023, 06:52 PM   #6
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LA is junk. But when the things it’s providing power for are designed around LA they still get used.

No reason to design for LA anymore.
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Old 09-06-2023, 07:03 PM   #7
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... No reason to design for LA anymore.
Can you say "Sale Price Point"?
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Old 09-06-2023, 08:03 PM   #8
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Maybe there's a way around buying a new LA battery for a vehicle. I bought one of those small lithium powered jump starters. It works amazing well even when the vehicle battery is toast.

How about installing one permanently recharged by an inverter. Maybe it could be considered a hybrid battery.

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Old 09-06-2023, 08:08 PM   #9
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Every EV I've owned (four?) still has a separate acid battery to run accessories, because those accessories are all standard automotive parts that expect that kind of battery. At least that's what I've been told; doesn't compute for me.

Tesla is an exception. I expect others will be dropping it in their next redesign and new designs.
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Old 09-06-2023, 09:52 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by splitting_lanes View Post
LA is junk. But when the things itís providing power for are designed around LA they still get used.

No reason to design for LA anymore.
I still use them in my trailer, boat, and observatory just fine. I use one with my portable telescopes and a pure sine wave inverter also. $100-$200 a pop and 6-10 years a pop depending on what Iím asking them to do. Itís also in all three of my cars and tractor. That gets me 7-10 years too.

I would say itís a far cry from junk.
For me the cost and requirements for cold weather charging have not made Lithium sense. Iím sure technology will eventually become advantageous for me to change, but thatís still a ways away.
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Old 09-07-2023, 10:51 AM   #11
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Every EV I've owned (four?) still has a separate acid battery to run accessories, because those accessories are all standard automotive parts that expect that kind of battery. At least that's what I've been told; doesn't compute for me.

Tesla is an exception. I expect others will be dropping it in their next redesign and new designs.
Yah. Tesla currently. Usually 16 volt batteries instead of 12 volt. But the cyber truck is using 48 volt accessorie batteries. My guess is they must use DC to DC converters for some things that still use 12 volts on the vehicles.
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Old 09-07-2023, 11:17 AM   #12
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I still use them in my trailer, boat, and observatory just fine.

For me the cost and requirements for cold weather charging have not made Lithium sense. Iím sure technology will eventually become advantageous for me to change, but thatís still a ways away.
LA batteries have many disadvantages that have been engineered out.

1) they offgas when charging, which is dangerous
2) they weigh 3x plus for the energy they hold, which makes them a poor choice for portability
3) lead is a known toxin
4) acid is corrosive
5) LA batteries require maintenance, adding distilled water
6) LA batteries must be used and kept upright, if they tip over they can spill, see #4
7) they have a shallow cycle, and a much reduced cycle lifespan. ( 50% max discharge without damage, a few hundred discharges)

All the disadvantages above have been engineered out of newer technology batteries, so thereís no reason to design something new around LA batteries.

But if your application has been designed for LA batteries, it can be cheaper to tolerate the limitations.
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Old 09-07-2023, 12:14 PM   #13
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Every EV I've owned (four?) still has a separate acid battery to run accessories, because those accessories are all standard automotive parts that expect that kind of battery. At least that's what I've been told; doesn't compute for me.

Tesla is an exception. I expect others will be dropping it in their next redesign and new designs.
Tesla, the brand whose doors and windows won't open if the main battery has a problem. Hmm, that extra LA batt has some merit.
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Old 09-07-2023, 12:34 PM   #14
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ď But if your application has been designed for LA batteries, it can be cheaper to tolerate the limitations.Ē

All current batteries have limitations. In the case of my boat it actually helps it weighs more. I am very well aware of different battery chemistry proís and conís. In my Escape, for my use, I have not gone to lithium because the approaches to cold weather charging are a real limitation for me. While there are cold weather charging options, none of them are yet particularly helpful for me.

If a different battery chemistry works for you, that might well be your choice. For me, in many applications, LA is still my best option.
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Old 09-07-2023, 12:46 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by splitting_lanes View Post
LA batteries have many disadvantages that have been engineered out.

1) they offgas when charging, which is dangerous
Not all lead acid batteries offgass like flooded batteries and if this was a serious problem we would hear of many explosions, but there are outliers.

2) they weigh 3x plus for the energy they hold, which makes them a poor choice for portability
With leaded batteries (pure lead acid, AGM, SiO2, etc) I don't need portability since they don't freeze in Minnesota winters.

3) lead is a known toxin
LA is enclosed in a case and is easily recycled and are much easier to recycle than lithiums. In Tucson, I was paid $32 for our two AGM's when I recycled.

4) acid is corrosive
Once I found out about sealed LA batteries this became a non-issue.

5) LA batteries require maintenance, adding distilled water
I've never had to add water to my AGM's or SiO2's.

6) LA batteries must be used and kept upright, if they tip over they can spill, see #4
Again this is not a issue for sealed LA batteries. Most lithiums cannot be set upside down or they will be damaged

7) they have a shallow cycle, and a much reduced cycle lifespan. ( 50% max discharge without damage, a few hundred discharges)
AGM's are somewhere between 25-40% SOC and SiO2's can be taken down to zero. Our friends Lifelines were replaced after 7 years and were still working, but they had the discretionary money.

All the disadvantages above have been engineered out of newer technology batteries, so thereís no reason to design something new around LA batteries.
Lithium production is extremely toxic, lithiums are rarely being recycled, and could go on and on about lithium.

But if your application has been designed for LA batteries, it can be cheaper to tolerate the limitations.
Not only cheaper, but much easier to install and without the existing BMS issues.
I suggest you get up on various forums to find out the many problems encountered with lithiums. I've already had to replace both BMS modules in our two SOK batteries purchased last January. A few years ago Will Prowse deleted a well over 200 post thread on Battleborn problems.
The above responses don't even touch on the many issues people are having with lithium batteries and DC-DC controllers.

Enjoy,

Perry
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Old 09-07-2023, 01:05 PM   #16
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Tesla, the brand whose doors and windows won't open if the main battery has a problem. Hmm, that extra LA batt has some merit.
Re doors: Doors open fine with no 12 volts. Just pull the handle instead of pushing the button.

Re power windows: Does any manufacturer have back up window cranks for opening the window if the 12 volt fails?
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Old 09-07-2023, 01:19 PM   #17
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My 1998 C2500ís windows work without a battery
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Old 09-07-2023, 01:32 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by SageRpod View Post
Article on how LA batteries are back in favor.

https://innovationorigins.com/en/lea...gy-revolution/
Not sure of the real reason you had for posting this, but . . . . .

Last November I had a pacemaker installed. A month later, while Terry and I were recovering from Covid, she said let's sell the 5.0 and buy another 25RQ Bigfoot. Since the dinette seat in the 5.0 was only 48" long I was having back issues when sitting in the dinette area, otherwise we would have kept the 5.0. I tried just about everything short of ripping out the seats and creating an area for me to sit. That 48" just was about 6" short of working.

A Bigfoot has a heavy tongue and can easily be in excess of 1,000#'s, with many closer to 1,200-1,400#'s and that's without the front storage box. We had gotten our previous 2003 Bigfoot 25RQ down to 950#'s (we own a Sherline scale) and with our F150 needed the tongue weight definitely under 1,100 #'s. Our two 100 ah SOK batteries now reside underneath the passenger dinette seat, and our tongue weight is around 950 #'s.

The jury is still out on the life of a lithium battery in the hands of a user. Reliability really didn't start until around 2020. The AGM in our Odyssey van was 8 years old when the van died, and it was taken to zero a few times. The first AGM's were dropped by the shipper and only lasted a couple of months, and the second set was fried when the WFCO decided to charge them at 20.3 volts. The 5.0's SiO2 battery installed in 2021 is still going strong, but that's only two years of use.

If I was to buy batteries again I would not get lithium, because of their many issues, especially charging.

I would either get:
  • Lifeline AGM batteries ($700) 220 ah's, a minimum of 130 usable ah's: based on others and our friends experiences.

  • SiO2 batteries ($1,100) 260 useable ah's: They easily charged as fast as lithiums, and I'm willing to spend the money.

Both AGM or SiO2 work with existing chargers, although I chose to disconnect the charger in our 5.0, and charge extremely fast with solar. We don't use a microwave, but need a toaster, and Terry has a CPAP. We reheat food using a frying pan, and Terry loves her Omnia oven. We camp without services 75% of the time and usually 7-10 days at a site. The Bigfoot's furnace is the biggest amp hog.

From our and our friends (they have 300 watts on the roof) previous experiences we could easily run a compressor fridge with our 400 watts on the roof, and I'll probably add a third 200 watt panel at some time. We don't have Johnny Hung's needs and prefer over-paneling to excess battery.

I'm really interested in the Escape 23 (LOL, it's really a 25) and that's why I started that 23 thread, in case we tire of the 25RQ and want to go back to Escape's 25 with the 60" dinette seat.

Food for thought,

Perry
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Old 09-07-2023, 01:49 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Perry Butler View Post
.... in case we tire of the 25RQ and want to go back to Escape's 25 with the 60" dinette seat.


Well, your history here suggests you're not shy about trying different batteries and trailers more frequently than some of us, to which I say: "Good For You!"

One thing for sure, it's given you basis for a lot of information and opinion sharing which I enjoy following even if I may not always agree with the latter

Wishing you the best wherever your trailering adventures may lead
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Old 09-07-2023, 02:11 PM   #20
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I think there's little doubt that lithium has big advantages. However, I can't see the auto industry transitioning away from LA for non-EV applications until the price gap between the two technologies narrows significantly. LA may no longer be the ideal option, but it does the job and cost is king!

In terms of RV applications, lithium is a no-brainer for extended off grid applications. However, I think there's still a market for LA. I know that 2 x 6V LA batteries are perfectly adequate for my purposes at present. I'll have no problem upgrading to lithium in the future once my use case changes. Hopefully prices will have decreased by then.....
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