Amphi's new Battery

mike_israel

Amphicar Forum Admin
Staff member
Hi All,

After 10+ years of service, the Optima batery in my Amphi finally gave up the ghost.

I was going to buy anther one but hear that quality has deteriorated since they got bought by another big company. However, I really like having an AGM battery in the Amphi as they will NEVER leak acid into the hull, they can sit for a very long time without draining, etc. (they also work fully submerged!).

After doing lots of research I went with the battery which the latest Consumer Reports happened to rate tops in every category. As it is a larger group size 65 it also gives me more cca and reserve time. And yes, it is an AGM battery, in this case the Sears DieHard Platinum.

DieHard Automotive Battery, Platinum P-2 - Group Size 65 - Model P-2 at Sears.com

The Diehard Platinums are essentially relabels from a Odessy, an extremely well respected manufacturer of AGM batteries for the military etc. The Platinums are said to be far better in construction and performance than the Optima. They are not inexpensive but if this one also lasts me ten years I have no complaints.

In any event, given the damage that battery acid can do to Amphi's hull, this is one area where it does not make sense to save a few bucks by going to WalMart.
 

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Canadian four amphs

Amphicar Expert
I have been using the AC DELCO battery in all my Amphicars
Todays batterys are made better thasn the 60,s as far as acid leak
as long as your charging system is not overcharging this should not be a problem any more,
water leak or splash over and in the lovers will cause more rust today,
I use the 51 series battery and post can be got eather way for pos or neg ground.
I have also had custom made up exact copys of the original battey tray, box and holders in heavey guage steel these are aval as a set of 3 for $110.00 or individual parts.@ $50 for tray or box and $30 for hold down bracket.
I have had my batterys in Original steel boxes since I got my parts in Oct. 2001 and are still shinny black!I was going to download a photo but cant find just this min.(note I said shinny not glossy.. boxes came with a porrus flat black paint job.to keep to original they should be a flat black but I prefere a glass black 2 part epoxy paint as it keeps the bad away from the metal better,)
GORD SOUTER
 

webtoes64

Member
I'd like to echo Mike's comments on AGM batteries.

Both Optima batteries I have had each lasted 10 years as well.
The second one went late last fall as Amphi was heading to winter dry dock.

Thanks for your research Mike.
I also looked at the Diehard Platinum over the winter but hadn't picked anything up yet.

One thing I have noticed with the new improved conventional batteries is that they can still develop corrosion on the terminals. With AGM there is no corrosion... my battery cables are as clean as the day I installed them many years ago.

I have had horrible experience with walmart batteries in the very recent past in my daily driver... one failed and left me stranded out of town with no warning at all... and it was only half way through it's warranty. When I went for replacement I was informed the new ones only have a 12 month warranty. What did they do to their batteries that they only trust them for 12 months now?
I found a stronger battery elsewhere for less $ and it had a 72 month warranty. walmart is NOT always cheaper.

Steve
 

mike_israel

Amphicar Forum Admin
Staff member
Gord,

Given your enthusiasm for upgrading Amphicars with modern technology (Hummer brake pads, fiberglass panels, glue in place of welding, etc.) i figured you would be the first to adopt AGM batteries! :dft012:

In any case, the advantages are numerous:

Gel and Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) batteries can dispense charge at a higher rate than flooded cells due to their lower Peukerts exponent. Deep-cycle Flooded Cells cannot deliver more than 25% of their rated amp-hour capacity in amps without plummeting Available Capacity.
    • Deep-Cycle Flooded cell battery manufacturers recommend a 4 to 1 ratio between battery bank size and the largest load encountered on board.
    • AGM and Gel cell manufacturers recommend a ratio of at least 3 to 1, a significant difference for loads such as the engine starter or windlass.
  • Virtually no gassing under normal operating conditions: Unlike flooded cells, gel cells and AGMs are hermetically sealed and operate under pressure to recombine the oxygen and hydrogen produced during the charge process back into water. You find VRLAs in the bilges of high end yachts such as Hinckley, Hans Christian, Island Packet, etc.. Every boat benefits from a low center of gravity over the keel (good for righting purposes) and the minimal venting requirements make it possible.
  • The ability to put VRLAs in the bilges (they can operate under water should you hole yourself) also lengthens their lives: For every additional 15 degrees of heat over 77 deg F, lead acid battery life (regardless of type) is cut in half (batteries self-destruct with time, you can only slow that process). Chances are, the bilges are the coldest place on board (outside the freezer) and the keel provides protection.
  • VRLAs can operate in any orientation (although you may lose some capacity that way) and even if a container is broken, a VRLA will not leak. This is a feature particularly important to blue water sailors who may encounter survival storms - you don't want to coat the inside of your boat with sulfuric acid if you ever get rolled. Proper (heavy duty) battery restraints are a must, regardless of battery type.
  • Gel cells and AGMs require no maintenance once the charging system has been properly set up. No equalization charges (usually), no electrolyte to replenish, no specific gravity checks, no additional safety gear to carry on board in order to protect yourself. If you want to be anal retentive about VRLAs you can load test them. However, proper charge control and protection is much more important with VRLAs because once fried it is impossible to revive them.
  • The higher charge efficiency of AGMs allows you to recharge with less energy: Flooded cells convert 15-20% of the electrical energy into heat instead of potential power. Gel-cells lose 10-16% but AGMs as little as 4%. The higher charge efficiency of AGMs can contribute to significant savings when it comes to the use of expensive renewable energy sources (wind generators, solar panels, etc.) as your charging system can be 15% smaller (or just charge faster).
  • While flooded cells lose up to 1% per day due to self-discharge, VRLAs lose 1-3% per month. Why employ a solar charger to trickle-charge your battery banks if you don't have to?
  • High vibration resistance: The construction of AGMs allows them to be used in environments where other batteries would literally fall to pieces. This is another reason why AGMs see broad use in the aviation and the RV industry.
 

Canadian four amphs

Amphicar Expert
I used this type of battery in my Airplane.
I had just bought a new one about a week before the crash
It is still in perfect condition but is Lawn mover size so no good for Amphi,
The battery was located Under my seat so with plane upside down was a good thing it was of no leak design.
GORD
 

Bilgemaster

Member
Like I've always said, if you're having a bad day, just say "Peukerts
exponent" three times fast.

Actually, doesn't "Peukerts exponent" kinda sound like what you might
see on the floor of a particularly nauseating carnival ride? Or maybe
the unit of measurement of the effect of my generic aftershave
("Hmmghhpf! for Men") on my fellow bus riders over downwind distance?

Regards,
Bilgey

On Wed, 27 May 2009 3:07 pm, mike_israel wrote:

> Gord,
>
> Given your enthusiasm for upgrading Amphicars with modern technology
> (Hummer brake pads, fiberglass panels, glue in place of welding, etc.)
> i figured you would be the first to adopt AGM batteries!
>
> In any case, the advantages are numerous:
>
> Gel and Absorbed Glass Mat (AGM) batteries can dispense charge at a
> higher rate than flooded cells due to their lower Peukerts exponent.
> Deep-cycle Flooded Cells cannot deliver more than 25% of their rated
> amp-hour capacity in amps without plummeting Available Capacity.
>
> Deep-Cycle Flooded cell battery manufacturers recommend a 4 to 1 ratio
> between battery bank size and the largest load encountered on board.
>
> AGM and Gel cell manufacturers recommend a ratio of at least 3 to 1, a
> significant difference for loads such as the engine starter or
> windlass.
>
> Virtually no gassing under normal operating conditions: Unlike flooded
> cells, gel cells and AGMs are hermetically sealed and operate under
> pressure to recombine the oxygen and hydrogen produced during the
> charge process back into water. You find VRLAs in the bilges of high
> end yachts such as Hinckley, Hans Christian, Island Packet, etc.. Every
> boat benefits from a low center of gravity over the keel (good for
> righting purposes) and the minimal venting requirements make it
> possible.
> The ability to put VRLAs in the bilges (they can operate under water
> should you hole yourself) also lengthens their lives: For every
> additional 15 degrees of heat over 77 deg F, lead acid battery life
> (regardless of type) is cut in half (batteries self-destruct with time,
> you can only slow that process). Chances are, the bilges are the
> coldest place on board (outside the freezer) and the keel provides
> protection.
> VRLAs can operate in any orientation (although you may lose some
> capacity that way) and even if a container is broken, a VRLA will not
> leak. This is a feature particularly important to blue water sailors
> who may encounter survival storms - you don't want to coat the inside
> of your boat with sulfuric acid if you ever get rolled. Proper (heavy
> duty) battery restraints are a must, regardless of battery type.
> Gel cells and AGMs require no maintenance once the charging system has
> been properly set up. No equalization charges (usually), no electrolyte
> to replenish, no specific gravity checks, no additional safety gear to
> carry on board in order to protect yourself. If you want to be anal
> retentive about VRLAs you can load test them. However, proper charge
> control and protection is much more important with VRLAs because once
> fried it is impossible to revive them.
> The higher charge efficiency of AGMs allows you to recharge with less
> energy: Flooded cells convert 15-20% of the electrical energy into heat
> instead of potential power. Gel-cells lose 10-16% but AGMs as little as
> 4%. The higher charge efficiency of AGMs can contribute to significant
> savings when it comes to the use of expensive renewable energy sources
> (wind generators, solar panels, etc.) as your charging system can be
> 15% smaller (or just charge faster).
> While flooded cells lose up to 1% per day due to self-discharge, VRLAs
> lose 1-3% per month. Why employ a solar charger to trickle-charge your
> battery banks if you don't have to?
> High vibration resistance: The construction of AGMs allows them to be
> used in environments where other batteries would literally fall to
> pieces. This is another reason why AGMs see broad use in the aviation
> and the RV industry.
>
>
 
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