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  1. #1
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Deep cycle battery to replace car battery?

    If one had a car battery that needed replacement, would there be any negative consequences to using a good deep cycle lead acid? A Trojan battery would be the first choice.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member bobbyahines's Avatar
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    It's all about the cranking amps. You want a starting battery to have a high level of cranking amps. The real caveat of deep cycle is where you buy it. It's hard to tell if you're getting solid lead plates when you buy deep cycle from a discount store. Look for Concorde brand, they're a high quality deep cycle. Why would you want a deep cycle in particular (for a car)?
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  3. #3
    The Wheel is Turning The Figment's Avatar
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    Deep Cycle batteries last longest when run thru their cycle (Fully Charged-Almost Dead) they wont have as long a life span if used for starting (As in a Car)...Try a Optima Gel

  4. #4
    Fun in the tub, no ring! mrbubl's Avatar
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    +1 on Optima Gel, both cars (Van & Car) have them now

  5. #5
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    I want to experiment a bit and see how far I get with the alternator disconnected, and my electrical needs (which are generally minimal) running off the deep cycle. If a good lead acid setup can power an electric car to drive 75 miles, it should be able to handle my radio, headlights, and power windows.
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  6. #6
    Señor Member
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    Like bobbyahines said, it's all about the cranking amps. If your battery's peak output isn't enough to start the engine, then you won't be going anywhere. Sorry I don't have any specific brand recommendations, but you'll have to do some research for this one.

    If, as you mention, your car is all-electric, then you can safely disregard the battery's peak output. You mention an alternator - does an electric car have an alternator? I'm curious, I don't know.

    There are several sites around the internet that describe how to convert a compact car to electric with a bank of batteries in the trunk. You might want to google around and see what they're using.

  7. #7
    Tom (ex)Builder twahl's Avatar
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    I can't imagine why you'd want to experiment with running with the alternator disconnected, but it should suffice for your experiment. You're just going to have to recharge it frequently. The battery may very well run your accessories, but it's not going to be long before it doesn't have the amps needed to start the car again.
    Tom

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  8. #8
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Uh... disconnecting the alternator's cable will certainly fry the voltage-regulator and stators in short order on a lot of cars. If you want to disconnect it, also disconnect the belt as well.

  9. #9
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
    Uh... disconnecting the alternator's cable will certainly fry the voltage-regulator and stators in short order on a lot of cars. If you want to disconnect it, also disconnect the belt as well.
    The plan was to simply disconnect the belt and see how far I get.

    Electric car's use deep cycle batteries because they don't require such a large surge to get going. An electric car basically has to have power for one thing:
    Electric motor, consisting of one moving part (excluding bearings).

    Initially, an electric motor will draw a huge amount of current, but your controller should have a "soft start" in there.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    What would be the advantage of installing a deep-cycle battery in a car that doesn't deep-cycle them?

  11. #11
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
    What would be the advantage of installing a deep-cycle battery in a car that doesn't deep-cycle them?
    I don't know yet, it's an experiment.
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  12. #12
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Although I've heard reports that fuel economy can increase by a few percentiles without the alternator load present, so I am going to test that out.
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  13. #13
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Check out this article PC2

    http://www.outyourbackdoor.com/article.php?id=623

    Seems you could get a lot better mileage leaving your engine/battery/exhaust alone and concentrating on aerodynamics.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  14. #14
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  15. #15
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    Check out this article PC2

    http://www.outyourbackdoor.com/article.php?id=623

    Seems you could get a lot better mileage leaving your engine/battery/exhaust alone and concentrating on aerodynamics.
    You're absolutely correct. BUt there's only so far I am willing to go when it comes to aero mods. I see some of these cars on gassavers.org getting 70+mpg....with duct tape and card board all over. Card board wheel skirts, grill blocks, air dams, etc. I don't think I am bring myself to make my car look like that.

    I am however considering blocking my grill in the most discrete manner and see how engine temperature reacts. I am also considering an under carriage pan. I may, if I can get it appropriately priced, get smooth hub caps. If I could get acrylic wheel skirts, I would consider that as well. As long as it can't be easily noticed.

    I think the honda insight looks just fabulous, very 21st century. But the body compliments having the rear wheel covered, where my car clearly does not!
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  16. #16
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    I've done all that, I am seeking more. I'm already ~60% above EPA estimates for this car. I want 40mpg minimum, and I know it is achievable.
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  17. #17
    Cosmic American
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    Maybe you could try something similar to the clutch on the air conditioner pulley. Flip a switch and the alternator turns on or off.
    “I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag.” - Molly Ivins

  18. #18
    Senior Citizen lyeinyoureye's Avatar
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    Yeah, putting a switch on the exciter wire's neat. Then you can turn it on when decelerating in gear in order to charge up. Poor man's regenerative braking. BMW has a system that essentially does the same thing, and they reported something like a 5% increase in mileage. That being said, a sure 5-10% increase in mileage will come from using no fossil fuel -> electricity in a small car.

  19. #19
    Ho-Jahm Hocam's Avatar
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    Any way to go back to the ole' crank starters? Batteries are too fancy for me.

    Oh wait, so are cars.
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  20. #20
    Senior Citizen lyeinyoureye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hocam View Post
    Any way to go back to the ole' crank starters? Batteries are too fancy for me.

    Oh wait, so are cars.
    Considering you probably spent more on your bike's seat than I did on my last car, you definitely have a unique version of fancy.

  21. #21
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lyeinyoureye View Post
    Yeah, putting a switch on the exciter wire's neat. Then you can turn it on when decelerating in gear in order to charge up. Poor man's regenerative braking. BMW has a system that essentially does the same thing, and they reported something like a 5% increase in mileage. That being said, a sure 5-10% increase in mileage will come from using no fossil fuel -> electricity in a small car.
    Yeah, I suspect the regenerative brakes are what allows the Prius to get close to identical gas-mileage in the city vs. highway driving. My dad's been averaging 48mpg on his on both city & highway driving.

  22. #22
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2 View Post
    I don't know yet, it's an experiment.
    You should have the parameters of the experiment defined first. Then set up the test procedure to prove or disprove the hypothesis. I used a motorcycle battery in my car for about a year, saved 30-lbs. I was never able to quantify any economy or performance advantage to that. Most likely due to the car weighing in at around 3000 lbs. However, stripping the interior, getting rid of AC/heater saved about 250 lbs and laptimes did improve. Although some of that weight-savings came back with the rollcage.

    The thing about the alternator is that it's a variable load based upon current demands. With minimal needs, it presents minimal load. However, if you've got gigawatt stereos blasting along with electric superchargers, you may be imposing maximum loads on the alternator. Cranking out 100amps may suck up 5-7hp and reduce gas-mileage.

    Interesting thing I've noticed is the change in gas-mileage with AC on or off on domestic autos vs. imports... interesting experiment if you want to test this.

  23. #23
    Cosmic American
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
    Interesting thing I've noticed is the change in gas-mileage with AC on or off on domestic autos vs. imports... interesting experiment if you want to test this.
    Which one had the biggest change in gas mileage?
    “I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps themselves up in the Constitution over someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps themselves up in the flag.” - Molly Ivins

  24. #24
    You Know!? For Kids! jsharr's Avatar
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    According to the test that I linked to by Edmunds, they found no difference with A/C on and windows up and A/C off and windows down.
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorider View Post
    Phobias are for irrational fears. Fear of junk ripping badgers is perfectly rational. Those things are nasty.

  25. #25
    Senior Citizen lyeinyoureye's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
    Yeah, I suspect the regenerative brakes are what allows the Prius to get close to identical gas-mileage in the city vs. highway driving. My dad's been averaging 48mpg on his on both city & highway driving.
    IMO regen braking is *nice, but even w/o it the Prius would only loose about 5mpg city. It's the engine stop/start and the use of the battery pack as an energy storage device for the engine that gives it the bulk of the mileage increase. I mean, most cars in the city end up idling a ton, and even when not idling are usually throttled a ton, so BSFC is generally around the ~500g/kWh area. The Prius engine always operates at ~230g/kWh no matter what, either directly driving the wheels or charging the pack. The fact that the Prius doesn't see a 100% improvement compared to a comparable car is because it has to go mechanical->electricity->chemical->electricity->mechanical a lot in the city, w/ a ~35% loss IIRC. But, even w/ 35% down the tubes it's still better than a normal car at ~50mpg. And, if we really wanna go all out, we can get it up to ~70mpg by controlling engine operation, or even near ~100mpg if we drive efficiently as well.

    *More for not having to do brakes than the small mileage increase. Laziness FTW!

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