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How many cycles should a marine/RV-deep cycle battery produce in it's life?
Battery cycle life is hard to determine or calculate because batteries are used in various applications and the cycle life expectation is dependant on many variables. Some of the variables include: recharging habits, battery temperature, cycling use, vibration and overall care and consideration.
Two of the most important factors are the number of deep cycles and the amount (%) of discharge level per cycle (known as DOD or Depth of Discharge). As the amount of DOD is increased per cycle, there is a decrease in the amount of total cycle life and available performance retention. It is an extremely complex process, but as an example: If a battery is discharged consistently to a 100% DOD, the battery's total cycle life could be less than one half of a battery discharged to only 50%. To optimize performance of a marine/RV-deep cycle battery, it is recommended that the consistent discharge level not fall below 50%.
Utilizing the proper charger and proper charging methods is one of the primary keys to enhancing battery service life and performance. Always choose a charger specifically designed (voltage and current) to match the charging requirements of the battery or battery pack. If the charger unit is an on-board charger unit (i.e. alternator, generator, converter), check to insure that it is compatible and is operating correctly prior to (or immediately after) installation of a new battery. Never allow a battery to become overcharged or overheated. If the battery becomes "hot to the touch" on the outside casing, disconnect the charger and allow the battery to cool down before continuing.
General Charger Information
There are various types of chargers which may be used on marine/RV-deep cycle batteries. Most chargers, both on-board and external, are parallel-type chargers which have the capacity of reducing or tapering the current (in amps) while regulating voltage.
Although almost any type of charger will recharge a marine/RV-deep cycle battery to some degree, short-term performance and long-term service life are directly proportionate to proper recharging.
CHARGING TIP: Do not delay charging your batteries after use. Recharge as soon as possible after one day's use. Allowing the battery to sit discharged for several days may hamper its recharge acceptance and ultimately its performance.
Trickle Charging is a generic term describing the use of a low-current charger. Trickle-type chargers often lack the sophisticated electronic integrated circuitry to properly regulate current and/or voltage. A charger which lacks accurate voltage and/or current regulation should not be used for prolonged battery charging or battery damage will occur.
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How Do I Hook Up Multiple Batteries?
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