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Very well done Allan, it must have been as exhausting for you as it was exhilarating and I for one think that you are doing a fantastic job in increasing battery awareness.


I know Allan would never ask but all this effort must be leaving him out of pocket and although I am no longer a motor caravanner, and having bought or inherited a number of useless batteries over the years, so essential do I see this research that I would be happy to contribute towards funding his research and efforts to stop the lies.


Does anyone else feel similarly?


Maybe there is a bank account we could transfer a small donation into, after all every little helps.


Superb effort Allan.

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plwsm2000 - 2018-06-15 8:37 AM



Do they have a standard test plan for each battery or do the battery manufactures specify their own?






Thank you everyone.



Great idea Tracker, donations over £1,000,000 only to Barclays............

I would have happily paid lots more to have seen and learnt what I did yesterday.



Phil, Sadly, it is confusing. While there are BS (European ratified) standards for Deep Cycle style batteries, the standard is aimed at UPS battery Backup systems which are very expensive and quite different in construction and use.


There is the 'BS' industry standard for Car Starter batteries. In many ways, this is actually suited to the majority of Motorhome batteries and the way they are used and it is the one normally applied in the UK and Europe.


My very capable guide yesterday was instrumental in formulating a specific Leisure/Marine BS standard test which has been submitted for approval to the countries that make up the approval team. That was two years ago so don't hold your breath on that one.


But the Starter/Automotive test is quite appropriate, It is more the area of Marine use that needs change.

I would like to see a 'high' temperature test, like you feel in Spain in Summer, test added to standard as I think this is a prime reason why AGM's are failing early, but I know that won't happen.



I learned yesterday that the NCC initially devised their own test. Don't laugh, because I use a light bulb. :$



The test laboratory team didn't think that was very professional or repeatable. In the end a compromise was reached, apparently after much hard bargaining, where they would carry out a test of just 6 cycles, to get a 'projection' of the durability of a battery.

I don't remember much after that bit, I think I must have fainted with the shock of such an astonishingly accurate and perfectly acceptable test. Oh, sorry was that just a little bit too sarcastic?


I think I must have a mental block when it comes to this Verified Battery scheme, as I am sure that hasn't been thrown up before.

I have just looked again at the description of the scheme, and can't find anywhere that it states the cyclic ability of a battery is going to be determined by Witch craft and guess work.

is it just me? 6 cycles?


I can't tell you how disappointed I was with some of what I heard, which bears absolutely no representation to the way the NCC portrays the scheme.




One of the things that has come out recently is the way some other parts of the World do their testing.

It has apparently been an issue for sometime that Starter batteries from 'the other side of the World' fail to meet the cranking amps capability when tested to European standards.


As someone said, " they seem to be missing out the 'Freezer' test, maybe they don't know what -18 degrees is".

The Trading standards organisation have set up a special 'Senior Prosecutor' Jaye Martin Libeccio, to target the sales of missold Leisure batteries, with some success. Hooray, at last!!


They have already shutdown an operation on the web where Starter batteries were being sold as Leisure Deep Cyclers and seized Pallets of the stuff at the docks.


It is because of these scams that something like the Verified scheme was rightly given so much attention when it launched. But I think many people who were initially disappointed, thought it would develop and become something truly fabulous.


Instead it has actually become secret and inaccurate. Derek, did you see that there? How I didn't push the boundaries?

You were right, keep it within limits is the way to go. But I get so wound up sometimes, so apologies when I do.



Can I ask all for feedback on a question please?


If I buy a battery based on the NCC schemes cyclic figure and it is shown to have less than a third of that figure, who has missold the battery to me?

Is it the Battery Retailer I bought it from?

Is it the Battery manufacturer who may have exaggerated the data in their technical document?

Or is it the NCC?


Isn't the NCC ultimately responsible for the accuracy of the data, having stated openly their aims of 'verification', to do so diligently?



I was thinking last night that the NCC threatened me with legal action, it's time to get them to remove misleading battery data from their lists or else change the text to reflect what the scheme actually does.

If they don't, we present our pretty damming evidence to Mr Jaye Libeccio

Just the documents we have would be enough.

In fact just one of the documents would be enough, I showed it around yesterday at the lab, and it was read by the experts with total astonishment.



I have tried to talk to Jaye today, but the number I have is invalid, so will have to do a search.



But Phil, yes you are right there are different kinds of use of Leisure batteries, a Caravan/Motorhome always on EHU will never cycle the battery so can get away with the lightest, cheapest duty battery.

That was what Category C, the lowest capability batteries, was designed to achieve.

No point spending £200 if a £40 Starter battery will do.


So why is the legendary, ultra heavy duty £180 Exide G80/ES900 Gel battery sitting in Cat C, not category A where it deserves to be?



It's bonkers.



I am doing my best to wake them up and improve things.

If you are reading NCC, I won't stop either. You had better hope the Big C gets me first, because I am not backing down.


Who said Rottweiler then?





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Wasn’t your enquiry adequately dealt with in these earlier discussions?






In the more recent link (6 June) you seemed to be suggesting installing two Varta LFD90 batteries to replace your present pair of (unspecified make) leisure batteries. I would have thought that 2 x LFD90s would be the forum’s ‘received wisdom’ approach, though Allan (aandncaravan) might offer a better option.

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Have you checked the price of the Exide gel battery? If you are going to continue to replace your leisure batteries after 4 years, it would be an expensive approach to take.


(There is a Sonnenschein-branded equivalent to the Exide battery, but it still ain’t cheap.)

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Welted, Because you have so much Solar power it is unlikely that the batteries ever get really discharged in Summer so shallow cycling batteries would be adequate.

However, if you 'off grid' quite a lot in Winter that might be different and might require.a battery that copes well when it gets discharged more deeply, like the Exide ES900 at £180.


But I think from previous posts and the comment above about holidaying in warm environments, like in temperatures of 28 degrees C, the use of Exide Gel's at these sorts of temperatures may drastically reduce an Exide Gel's cycle life. Gel's are slower charging, about half the rate of an Varta LFD 90 and you have just gone to the trouble of faster charging your batteries using the Inverter set-up mentioned in one of the threads that Derek has posted above..


I can't tell you by how much the cycle life will be affected, but Victron quote a 50% loss of cycles for their Gel/AGM batteries at these temperatures.



I haven't been able to find out anything about the Banner I saw on the 'secret' graph, but the Yuasa battery from the graph I mention above that out performed the Varta LFD90, is the Yuasa L36-EFB Dual purpose Leisure/Starter battery. It seems to be designed to go head to head with the Varta LFD.


Yuasa only quote 200 cycles for this battery, but I saw nearly 230 on the graph and it has larger capacity at 100Ah with 900CCA.

I would suggest that Yuasa are being cautious about the specifications in case some trouble maker comes along and puts the battery through a BS test!!!! Who would do that I wonder? :$


The Yuasa L36-EFB is the Motorhome 'standard' size, same as the LFD90 that also fits into the Starter battery space on most Motorhomes. You can see it's Starter Battery CCA also outperforms the LFD90 as well.


So on paper it outperforms the LFD90 as a deeper cycler and greater capacity, but until we have seen inside one I obviously can't tell you it is better.

However, I would assume that using higher capability EFB technology it would outperform the LFD by quite a margin in real use,

The Varta LFD90/Bosch L5 was introduced in 2013 so maybe this battery has the benefit of the newest advances?

I was also surprised it is only £93 at Tayna batteries, maybe a 'low introductory price' because it is a new range?


Can I make the point again that I am not saying this is a better battery than our old 'Best Budget Buy' LFD/L5 until we can evaluate it properly.



Welted, you are obviously into innovation with your clever Alternator/Inverter setup to run the Fridge on 230v while on the move and fast charging system, so maybe you would consider giving them a try? Yuasa have a fantastic reputation and the paper spec suggests it won't be any worse.

The EFB technology should see it perform well at higher temperatures, but that is only a guess?



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Well done Allan...


I had hoped that the NCC scheme would have been the holy grail for battery selection, essentially rendering inferior products unsalable - my own experiences over 10 years and 800 odd nights, off-grid and as a 'heavy' 12V user tells me that the NCC scheme is basically fiction.


My exide's ER650's have now done 2.5 years under the same use-pattern that saw my 2x 110AH Banners die after 6 months.


Once you are done with this, maybe you can take on the total nonsense that is 'Grade 3 heating and insulation'. Simply put an un-insulated workmans van with a fan heater and a jerry can with a tap atop a stool can achieve 'Grade 3 heating and insulation'!


No point in having standards if they are total nonsense.



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Quote “The Varta LFD90/Bosch L5 was introduced in 2013 so maybe this battery has the benefit of the newest advances? ‘



I purchased a Varta LFD90 in late 2011 so the technology is actually a bit older than you quoted.


PS It is still going strong but only sees light duty and has never been allowed to go flat.



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Veletron, thank you that means a lot.



Thank you Keith, I hadn't realised the Powerframe version was that old, but all the more reason that Exide and Yuasa should catch up then?


The Varta LFD90 Powerframes are great batteries, having truly competing batteries will create more competition in the market place, hopefully making sure that prices stay competitive.



I need to find out what Banner battery was on that graph, maybe a late night tonight?



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Many thanks again Alan, re the batteries Yusas show two types


Yuasa L36-EFB Active 100A, CCA 850A, 353x175x190. 24kg. £127.14


Yuasa L36-100A Leisure 100A, CCA 700A, 353x175x190. 22.5kg £93.22


I presume the former is the one but can't find a stockist.


Re replacing batteries at four years. Average 100+ nights away a year, majority during winter months low sun etc. Although my two 90 watt panels are able to pivot to increase charging input, the three 40 watts are fixed, we still manage to wild camp most of the time. Having efficient battery capacity against cost of campsite or Aires for ehu means the replacement of the batteries is cheaper and our old batteries which still give good service and are donated to help in the care of animals. We still make a point of shopping and eating local wherever we are when wild camping to put something back in the local economy and use some of the saving to provide medicine for the many stray dogs we come across.


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Welted, yes it is the L36-EFB battery and you are right apart from the Yuasa website (which incidentally lists it as having Zero fluid loss) no one else is selling it yet.


I rang Tayna who said they had no plans to stock it but could offer me a better battery, their Enduroline EXV115 at 'just' £120..

Knowing it was a very poor quality battery, I asked how many cycles the Enduroline did and he didn't know.

I asked what technology it used for the Positive grid and he didn't know.

I asked what type of material was used for the Active mass, and he clearly didn't understand the question.


I asked how the Enduroline technology compared to a Varta LFD90.



We have seen inside the Enduroline, they use Starter battery optimised paste, no deep cycling capability, not worth £70 let alone £120!!


Sorry that is off the subject a bit. Just trying to say be cautious when ringing around and taking advice from a battery retailer. Most don't have any in depth knowledge about the products they sell.

As per almost all Battery retailer sales desks, they are going to be focused on selling the battery with the highest profit margin and selling a battery that brings you back to buy another in as short a time as possible.



I phoned Battery Megastore and they can get them to order and will be keeping them in stock. They didn't try and get me to buy a different battery.



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If you're interested in trying to find stockists and prices my local 'battery specialist' is BJ Banning and they list Yuasa in their line up so possibly worth a call. Note they will be collection only though.


PS I bought my Varta from them in 2011 but I believe they have 'fallen out' with Varta since and may no longer stock them.



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Keith, thank you Tayna are Yuasa suppliers but don't intend to stock the L36-EFB for some reason?



In trying to find the Banner battery that was on the 'secret' graph I saw in the battery test laboratory I have been trawling the web to find it. Still have not tracked it down because Banner have so many new batteries.

It was a REALLY new battery so maybe like the Yuasa L36-EFB isn't 'surfacing' yet?



However, if you go on the Banner site it lists EFB battery after EFB. I can't find any Banner AGM batteries, even the old, and rubbish, AGM Running Bull range is now EFB.


The website specifically mentions the 'current trend' is EFB, it states -


"Running Bull EFB Current trends: Start/Stop EFB technology in the passenger car sector"


For the company that brought motorhomes their first AGM's amid a fanfare they were the future, it is fantastic they have gone back to the Wet acid technology that all motorhome charging systems support.

The new range looks very modern, using modern technology, at last.

No wonder the new Banner, whichever one it was, made the Varta LFD/Bosch L5 look 'poor performing' by comparison on that 'secret' graph.



I am talking to quite a lot of different people in the battery industry at the moment and it is definitely acknowledged that AGM didn't deliver their promise with huge numbers of premature failures.

So if you have suffered AGM failure, even in the distant past, I would go back to your retailer on the grounds that history has shown they were not fit for purpose.


Obviously, if you have bought an ultra expensive, 'ultra long life' AGM battery on the recommendations of the NCC/MCC and it has only lasted 5 minutes, give them hell as well so that others don't suffer.





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I think I have found the Banner battery that did very well according to the graph I saw.


This isn't confirmed, but I think it is the Banner Energy Bull 957 51.



4 x the cyclic ability of a Starter Battery. That means 8 x that of a budget then?


Banner also make the point -

"The suitability of any standard charger makes charging straightforward".


It is also specifically listed as being manufacturer suitable for long term Solar charging, the first we have seen That is opposed to the retailer saying it is ideal for Solar which most are not.


One thing that will appeal to many who tried in vain to maintain the old Energy Bull -

"MIN/MAX markings on the transparent battery casing and easy opening make the battery maintenance-friendly"


353 x 190 x 175 so a Fiat/Pug/Renault/Merc suitable Starter battery.


At last.a modern Banner wet acid battery battery, I can see why it would do well in the tests.



Have a look at the Banner web site, they mean business : https://www.bannerbatterien.com/en-gb/Products/Starter-Batteries/Energy-Bull/226-957-51





The AGM range is still there but not easy to find, very much background.




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Scrap what I said on the Banner above it isn't EFB,

I thought that model was the L5 sized version of the EFB 580 II, but it isn't it is the older version. Maybe the L5 EFB version hasn't been released yet?


I will ask Banner directly.

I had previously written to Banner, as per all the big battery manufacturers and Banner have replied positively -


"Hello Allan Many thanks for your email.

You addressed it to Lee Williams who actually left Banner 3 years ago, but you had the correct contact as he was our leisure battery supremo at the time.

Lee Quinney is the Country Manager of Banner GB now, and I’m sure he would like to discuss this with you".



Maybe when we talk more with Lee, I can find out about the new Leisure range, including more about it's "Zero Fluid loss" as the old battery was known for liking a drink or two.



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