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|Leisure Batteries - Very High Performance Galax-E||
Quote of the moment: "no hesitation in using your company again & recommending to friends." PW
More usable amp-hours + longer battery life + very
high resistance to deep discharge damage.
This is a very long and wordy page - no apologies - we hope you find all the information useful.
Galax-E Batteries for Leisure: 'The World's Finest Leisure Battery'
Our supplier* says "GALAX-E batteries are the finest lead-based leisure batteries available today with 3-4 times the cycle life of traditional flooded or even Gel or AGM batteries. They are derived from very high quality industrial batteries not simply modified car types. What’s more, if you accidentally leave them discharged for even weeks on end, they can be recovered easily since they do not sulphate even when flattened. The run times are exceptional with very little voltage drop and there are no worries about spilt acid as the dry powder electrolyte cannot escape - and in fact, is not a strong acid so much better for you and the environment too. With a 4 year guarantee, you can rest assured, you’ve made the right decision. As near ‘fit and forget’ as found in a leisure battery".
Great value overall despite a higher initial price - 'much more lifetime-bang for your buck' and for much, much longer when very deep discharge occurs. Their near dry construction and different electrolyte means they don't sulphate like ordinary wet batteries and this is what sets them apart, you can abuse them (most of us do even if accidentally) and they don't then sulphate and subsequently fail quickly like normal wet lead acid batteries. Could be a superb choice for use with motor movers too.
* Elfa and Elfa-UK in association with Powalite, member of NCC (UK National Caravan Council) who have already issue a verification certificate for the GLX-D. No fly-by-nights these!
Before describing GALAX-E Batteries in more detail let's ask - What is the best Leisure Battery? A Tricky question because there are several different types to choose from and not all motorhome leisure batteries are made equal! Also the extra question - for what? The main criteria used in making a choice are - price - capacity - size & weight - depth of discharge (DOD) - total life - and each depends on the other.
Broadly speaking the cheapest is a straightforward 'flooded lead-acid' type, these require a straightforward charging regime and come in top-up and maintenance free versions - beware though of the term 'sealed', in budget batteries it often means no-maintenance rather than fully sealed. Various brands and warranties are available at a number of price points, the well respected brands might be expected to last a good bit longer than their warranty as long as well looked after. This type should only be discharged to a modest level - probably only 20-40% DOD i.e. to 60%-80% of capacity (So in practice that 100AHr battery really only gives out a usable 20-40 AHrs on any sort of regular basis). Discharging deeper than this damages the battery and shortens its life - the deeper it is discharged the more damage is done - total life can easily can drop from 100s of cycles to just 10s of cycles following deep discharge - even if accidental.
Next up are AGM and GEL batteries often sold specifically as 'Leisure Batteries' and where the battery acid is held against the plates in a glass-mat or in a gel form. These are usually made for higher performance and so are likely to contain more lead in thicker plates (heavy is good!) and so offer a deeper discharge tolerance, maybe 40-60% DOD depending on the brand, spec and price **. Sealed construction is also common which is ideal for motorhomes where the batteries are within the habitation zone with little possibility to vent to the exterior. Remaining life cycles after a deeper discharge is also higher with AGM & GEL as you'd hope and expect. Our own experience in motorhomes suggest that the often variable and intermittent use there doesn't suit GEL too well but AGM do seem to perform much as expected and have been our favourite up until now.
** An example using a quote about the well respected Banner batteries: "A Banner Energy Bull battery is a semi-traction type and has a cycle life of approximately 400 - 500 charging cycles when discharged to a maximum of 50% state of charge. If it’s discharged to 25% state of charge, the cycle life will be reduced and, if discharged to only 75% state of charge, it will be increased". I know that these percentages relating variously to depth of discharge and state of charge can be confusing but in essence they are saying - drain it more and loose life and for maximum life you must barely discharge it at all!
More exotic lithium based batteries, especially lithium-iron, offer some very interesting properties and catch the headlines - but at a very great cost and requiring special and especially expensive chargers to operate. There are some doubts over safety too, there have been notable fires in everything from phones to aircraft.
The Galax-E batteries on this page are a very interesting development with a novel dry construction delivering really exceptional deep discharge characteristics even at/up to 100% when the total life is still maintained at an exceptional 600 cycles approx. This dry technology is related to the Lead Crystal batteries used in industry and by emergency/support services. Compare with normal wet batteries that sulphate readily if over-discharged and then fail very quickly after an accidental flattening or two. The Galax-E total life is also truly exceptional at normal discharge levels with thousands of charge cycles each giving near constant voltage for longer but also with very low self discharge so they are truly excellent for periods of storage. With semi-traction characteristics as a bonus maybe is this the new definitive motor-mover battery too? In any case it is a truly remarkable product for motorhomes - much more affordable than lithium but offering many similar benefits and that ever so important resistance to very deep discharge damage. Tremendous value over time with a low 'lifetime cost'. Originally developed by the military and then smaller ones were used extensively in China for electric bikes until being replaced by lithium - which offers weight savings that are far more important on a bicycle than in a 3½ tonne motorhome given the cost of bigger versions of those batteries - quotes of £1,000-£3,000 for a decent leisure version are normal! They are still sold in high numbers for industrial use where the longer term value plus exceptional reliability in difficult circumstances are highly valued. Our new favourite battery!
Dry Crystal Technology for High Discharge Tolerance and Total Capacity: Thousands of cycles at minimal discharge when almost constantly topped up like a starter battery. A superb 1500/1600 cycles life at 80% discharge (i.e. down to 20%) plus very high resistance to long term damage even at 100% discharge when a life of 600+cycles can still be expected - double that of most AGM & GEL at normal discharge levels! Such a usable discharge of 80% or even 100% gives some very real benefits too, not only does it give much greater protection against accidental damage but also effectively gives you a bigger battery. How so? Simple a 100AHr conventional leisure battery held to the recommended 50% yields just 50 Ahrs of usable power but these batteries yields 80Ahrs or more of usable power! Even a smaller 78Ahr Lead Crystal held to 80% discharge yields more than 60Ahrs of usable power - so a nominally smaller battery actually offers significantly more usable power, who'd have thought it possible?! However you look at it, this is a huge gain in performance - along with an extended and protected life after really deep discharge. Yes they are twice the price of ordinary batteries but have four times the life when used normally and ten times that life if abused - e.g. repeatedly down to 'flat as a pancake' - takes all the worry out of batteries. Quite amazing!
We've mentioned the now hugely popular caravan motor movers and should explain why. When used to position a caravan they can be discharged quite heavily, very heavily if the conditions are difficult, and are then stored for days or weeks or months in that partially discharged state. This is about the worst thing you can do to a conventional lead-acid battery, it leads to sulphating, loss of performance, and an early death. Galax-E offers a very long life even at very high DOD and in longer term storage - ideal motor-moving! Too good to be true? The MD of our supplier flattened a Galax-E completely, stored it for a year like that and then recharged it, it took a couple of charge cycles but came back to normal as predicted, quite amazing!
Charging: Ideal charging conditions are on the data sheets and displayed on the batteries too. Typically 14.4-14.8v followed by 13.5-13.8v float at room temperature. The data is a bit technical but the supplier says "As long as the motorhome/caravan has an AGM setting which provides 14.4 volts in the initial charge (most AGM chargers have 3 stages including this), then this will be OK". GEL charging is similar. They will take fast charging too so particularly good with high amperage devices like battery-to-battery chargers but they also accept modest charging of perhaps 5 or 10 amps, it just takes longer than say 25 amp charging. Unfortunately there has been a lot of tosh posted on the web about charging Lead Crystal batteries so let's clarify - they can take very high charge currents but (unlike in the posts) this isn't actually necessary, the AGM compatibility is required to get the right voltages, but lower charging amps are just fine.
The Galax-E batteries are an alternative electrolyte battery with special qualities and patented innovations:
• Dry Crystal batteries are effectively sealed and maintenance free • The batteries are not classified as ‘hazardous goods’ and may even be transported by air • The battery uses a recombination method to prevent the emission of hydrogen and oxygen, which is something that can happen with a conventional lead-acid battery • The battery is almost completely dry and for that reason, it can be built into almost any situation or orientation, on its side e.g. (but upside-down is not recommended • Lead-acid batteries for cyclic use can be replaced by Lead Crystal batteries. • A higher purchase price will be compensated generously by the very long service life and significantly better performance • Exceptional life-span, A lead-acid battery has can handle an average of 300 to 500 charge cycles. At 25˚C, a Lead Crystal battery can handle well over 6000 charge/discharge cycles at 20% DOD and typically 1500 cycles at 80% and an incredible 600 cycles at 100%. • With normal float charging a life span of 18 years is possible • Lead Crystal batteries have an extremely low self-discharge. The batteries will keep 95% of the nominal capacity at up to 24 months (maximum) of storage, without affecting the battery’s life span • Lead Crystal batteries can operate in a wide temperature range, from -40 °C to +65 °C, and has 85% of the rated capacity at even at -10 °C. At -40 °C , the battery still has 45% capacity • Lead Crystal batteries can be discharged very quickly (max 10C) and charged quickly too (2x faster than many other batteries) without any problem. • 100% discharging is possible, without causing any damage to the battery and still retaining 100s of cycles of useful life • This battery is greener than any other type. After all, it is up to 99% recyclable, hardly contains any acid, very little liquids and no cadmium • No memory effect.
Picture left illustrates the 72Ah GLX-G. The points to note on this particular battery are the L0/T11 layout with the rarer RH +ve, (the one above right is pictured with the more common LH +ve), the 65Ah marking on here is the 10-hour rate which is 72Ah at 20 hours and 78Ah at 120 hours, we mostly quote the C20 figure for comparison purposes to reflect the now higher power usage in modern 'vans. Ideal charging conditions are also displayed (but AGM compatible chargers are fine). The terminals (without bolts or adapters) sit lower than the overall case on this example battery leading to our height descriptions of 175/160mm being H-top/H-term. Post adapters to convert to the round tapered automotive post are listed below.
Technical Data Sheets are available but also straightforward and technical advice by - email
Comparison table - against conventional Lead Acid & Lithium:
The World's Best Performing Lead
claims are something different: GALAX-E batteries are the best
performing lead-based batteries in the world. And we can prove that. In
fact, we can even say that these batteries are always the best solution if
we take the total cost of ownership into account. And if you want to see
performance in all dimensions, it’s good to know that these dry crystal
batteries are also the best performing batteries in terms of durability. At
least 99% of the battery can be recycled, and it will not emit any hazardous
corrosive vapours in normal operation (research from the Dutch
Technical University of Eindhoven). These batteries are highly
reliable, hugely flexible and outperform any other type of battery. The
batteries are designed for deep / very deep discharge, have a long service life and can
be deeply discharged over and over again. They keep performing, even at
extreme temperatures. And every time, the battery recovers to its full rated
Most are in stock, most of the time; Battery pic above shown without adapters fitted. Most motorhome applications are using the 60-132AH units but all have applications from 24-220AH. NB: Don't be afraid of going down a little in AH rating to get the best physical size for your caravan or motorhome - the extra performance of these will usually more than compensate!
Layouts? We can supply round posts to go with these.
New AHr Ratings C20: A note about published battery capacities. Standards for testing battery capacity were revised recently and we are all encouraged to quote C20hr values rather than the C100 or C120 values previously preferred by the manufacturers. Some high performance batteries like these are sometimes quoted with C5hr or C10hr rates but for general comparison C20 is preferred. Don't forget to check out our note about available capacity above though - our 78AH Lead Crystal out performs a normal 100AH!
Venting - A word of caution: Because leisure batteries situated in the living areas of motorhomes are in an enclosed space, and because under some circumstances escaping charge gasses can explode, all camper batteries should be totally sealed or be vented to the outside or have special flame arresting vents. This is one of the reasons that GEL are favoured by manufacturers because most are properly and totally sealed as are our Lead Crystal, you can even use them on their sides. Installing into tight sealed spaces is not recommended though.
Unfortunately the term 'sealed' doesn't always mean what we think it means; persistent enquiries about several budget 'sealed' batteries on the internet produced responses along the lines of "Thank you for your enquiry. It is sealed only in the sense that the battery cannot be topped up ... this battery must be fitted in a vented space". Anyway beware, not everyone really knows what their 'sealed' means but we do!
Lead Crystal would be well off these charts for both Cycle life and Lifetime!
How long will it last? As with all vehicle batteries the life
is really the number of discharge cycles rather than years. Also a
slight discharge followed by top-up only counts as a fraction of a full
cycle whereas a deep discharge to near-flat counts as an aggressively
full cycle and shortens battery life as per the charts***. This is why a
starter battery and a lightly used leisure battery lasts for maybe twice
its warranty or even longer while a heavily used and/or
under-specified leisure battery fails at roughly its warranty life. If
you want best life, buy well, have ample capacity, and don't run it/them
down too far. Using low power gadgets like LED lights help too, big
discharges via large inverters really don't help unless you have
Carriage? ALL battery prices below are Delivered
to mainland UK excluding Highlands zone.
Ireland & Islands? Sorry no, the cost to ship batteries offshore & Ireland (N&S) can be eye-watering!
All max sizes are overall boxed sizes - at H2 height This data subject to change without notice
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Special offer - Std PP Over £100 FREE : £4.95 & £5.95 to £100. Oversize/weight charges still apply
OK I want to buy but what do I have to do and what can I expect? - What Next? VAT? Carriage?
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