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Old 29-01-2016, 05:09   #31
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Re: Batteries Went Dead Overnight - Beginner

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Originally Posted by Captain Dharma View Post
Hi - Not to hijack this thread, but I'm nearing the end (haha) of refitting my 1984 Present 38 trunk deck trawler. I'm at the stage where I need to build a house bank. Since I figure that my worst day usage would be about 350 ah (average daily 175-250), the goal is 750 amp hours. My mechanic and I are wondering what batteries to buy? I have a 22"L x 12"W x 10"H box under the floor boards between the engines but anything taller than 8" means I will need to reroute some hoses. I currently have 390ah in dual purpose AGMs in my starting bank, but I don't want to tap into that reserve until it comes time to recharge or start the engines. I see the Rolls , Trojans, Surrettes and all the other AGMs available. What is the cheapest option available to me to get a bank that size that a non-techie like me can live with? I'm looking at AGM 4Ds, but I'm open to suggestion. A local distributer has AC Delco 4Ds at a decent price. Should I run away? Thanks.
Hi CD

A lot of issues in your question that really need addressing. I can try to hit the high points but you probably need to start a new thread to get into the details.

1. Are you going to be at a dock or marina every night or on the hook for days at a time? If on the hook then you might need more battery capacity based on your potential usage. Unless you already plan to run a generator many hours every day you will only be able to use 25-30% of the capacity of your battery bank. Reason, if you run the batteries no lower than 50% (the recommended max) you can recharge to about 80% in reasonable amount of time. The recharge from 80-90% will take as long as the charge from 50-80% and the charge from 90-100% would take double or longer. So practically you get to use 50-80% which would mean 750 Ah of batteries if you never go beyond 250 Ah usage. If you use more you will need to run the engine or generator at least a couple of times per day to keep the batteries from discharging too low.

2. AGMs. They are good to take a charge faster than regular liquid filled batteries (FLAs) but do not like to be chronically undercharged. If you follow the routine described above IE using the batteries between 50% and 80% the AGMs will probably have a significantly shortened life span. Since they are quite expensive compared to FLAs what's the point. For house batteries for most cruisers by far the best choice (cost/value/benefit) is to buy 6V deep cycle batteries like Trojan T105s or similar. They do much, much better standing up to the abuse of off the grid cruisers and are way cheaper than AGMs. For a non-techy it's a no brainer.
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Old 29-01-2016, 06:10   #32
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Re: Batteries Went Dead Overnight - Beginner

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Originally Posted by theodyssey View Post
, but am wondering which of the above do you think contributed to this? [meaning - what lesson do I learn from this?]
They all contributed to it!

The lesson you need to learn is how to monitor your batteries (volts and amps) and maybe you should invest $130 in a battery monitor and use it. The only reason one wakes up with dead batteries, other than having a system problem, is that they weren't playing attention or understood what was going on.
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Old 29-01-2016, 06:27   #33
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Re: Batteries Went Dead Overnight - Beginner

If you want to keep this really simple:

Unless you are using the windlass, starting the motor or running a big load on an inverter the battery voltage, under your average house loads, should not be allowed to dip below 12.1V. The volt meter should be direct connected (except for a fuse and switch) to the battery bank terminals and be fairly accurate.

If you recharge when you see 12.1V - 12.2V your batteries should last a heck of a lot longer. Also sounds like you have a pretty poor charger and are not using batteries actually designed for deep cycling.
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Old 29-01-2016, 06:38   #34
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Re: Batteries Went Dead Overnight - Beginner

Wow, some misinformation on this board. first off, you need to charge to above 13 volts(get a book and learn about batteries). Second, the good old fashion lead acid batteries are cheap, reliable, and durable. Just learn how to maintain them. When they fail, they fail slowly. Lots of warning. New types fail immediately. Third, nowadays most batteries are made in China so paying for a "name" brand like Rolls makes little sense. Finally, for most folks a car battery for starting and a deep cycle battery bank for everything else is the way to go. Car batteries are designed to give a massive amount of power for starting. Deep cycle batteries are designed for long, slow draw downs. Two cheap car batteries and four deep cycle batteries will provide reliable electricity for a long time for most boats and trawlers(five years if maintained).
BTW: trickle charging is the best way to go and you can rig a solar panel and a wind generator to keep the trickle charge going on most days. That will also keep the batteries warm(which they like).
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Old 29-01-2016, 07:26   #35
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Re: Batteries Went Dead Overnight - Beginner

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Originally Posted by reed1v View Post
Wow, some misinformation on this board. first off, you need to charge to above 13 volts(get a book and learn about batteries). Second, the good old fashion lead acid batteries are cheap, reliable, and durable. Just learn how to maintain them. When they fail, they fail slowly. Lots of warning. New types fail immediately. Third, nowadays most batteries are made in China so paying for a "name" brand like Rolls makes little sense. Finally, for most folks a car battery for starting and a deep cycle battery bank for everything else is the way to go. Car batteries are designed to give a massive amount of power for starting. Deep cycle batteries are designed for long, slow draw downs. Two cheap car batteries and four deep cycle batteries will provide reliable electricity for a long time for most boats and trawlers(five years if maintained).
BTW: trickle charging is the best way to go and you can rig a solar panel and a wind generator to keep the trickle charge going on most days. That will also keep the batteries warm(which they like).
Don't know about most batteries, but there are plenty of high quality, competitively priced batteries made in the US. Trojan, Yuasa, East Penn, Crown, US Battery, Lifeline, Odyssey are a few that come to mind and I know there are more.

Also, for a typical cruiser using 100-200 amp hours per day I think more than trickle charging is needed.
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Old 29-01-2016, 08:32   #36
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Re: Batteries Went Dead Overnight - Beginner

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Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
Don't know about most batteries, but there are plenty of high quality, competitively priced batteries made in the US. Trojan, Yuasa, East Penn, Crown, US Battery, Lifeline, Odyssey are a few that come to mind and I know there are more.

Also, for a typical cruiser using 100-200 amp hours per day I think more than trickle charging is needed.
Agree, but any auto parts chain store car batteries will do. Fairly simple technology. In terms of trickle charging, I assume one has regular charging of the batteries via engine, etc. It also is a very good thing to also keep a trickle charger on the batteries 24/7 if at all possible to keep it topped up for those times when you are not charging the batteries via engine or shore power. A topped up battery is a happy battery. This is especially true when you leave the boat for any length of time.

We did have a small generator that would automatically start and bring the battery bank up to full charge(conditioned charging) if the batteries started to loose voltage. Charged to 14 volts. Seldom had to use it. Usually would come on when really draining the house batteries like raising anchors, running the microwave, or the girls using hair dryers.
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Old 29-01-2016, 21:45   #37
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Re: Batteries Went Dead Overnight - Beginner

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Originally Posted by reed1v View Post
Wow, some misinformation on this board. first off, you need to charge to above 13 volts(get a book and learn about batteries). Second, the good old fashion lead acid batteries are cheap, reliable, and durable. Just learn how to maintain them. When they fail, they fail slowly. Lots of warning. New types fail immediately. Third, nowadays most batteries are made in China so paying for a "name" brand like Rolls makes little sense. Finally, for most folks a car battery for starting and a deep cycle battery bank for everything else is the way to go. Car batteries are designed to give a massive amount of power for starting. Deep cycle batteries are designed for long, slow draw downs. Two cheap car batteries and four deep cycle batteries will provide reliable electricity for a long time for most boats and trawlers(five years if maintained).
BTW: trickle charging is the best way to go and you can rig a solar panel and a wind generator to keep the trickle charge going on most days. That will also keep the batteries warm(which they like).
Interesting...

First, you can't charge standard 12Vdc lead acid batteries to above 13 volts. You can apply a charge voltage well above 13 volts (around 14.2), which when removed and the residual charge voltage depletes, the fully charged batteries will be at 12.8 Vdc.

Second, an abused standard lead acid battery can fail very rapidly. Just get a plate short in one cell and POOF, it's toast. Very common.

Third, in North America, lead acid batteries are one of the few things that are still manufactured mostly in North America, Pennsylvania USA to be exact.

Fourth, when not murdered, a simple lead acid battery should last about 5 years of pretty constant use, a Rolls Surrette under the same conditions, should last about 12. They are superior.

Fifth, unless running resistive heating or air con off the dock, a wind generator and solar panel can do much more than "trickle charge". Instead, properly sized, a wind generator and solar charging system can handle the full vessel energy demand except rare occasions, as well as keeping the batteries topped with a float charge.

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Old 30-01-2016, 10:31   #38
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Re: Batteries Went Dead Overnight - Beginner

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Originally Posted by Captain Dharma View Post
Hi - Not to hijack this thread, but I'm nearing the end (haha) of refitting my 1984 Present 38 trunk deck trawler. I'm at the stage where I need to build a house bank. Since I figure that my worst day usage would be about 350 ah (average daily 175-250), the goal is 750 amp hours. My mechanic and I are wondering what batteries to buy? I have a 22"L x 12"W x 10"H box under the floor boards between the engines but anything taller than 8" means I will need to reroute some hoses. I currently have 390ah in dual purpose AGMs in my starting bank, but I don't want to tap into that reserve until it comes time to recharge or start the engines. I see the Rolls , Trojans, Surrettes and all the other AGMs available. What is the cheapest option available to me to get a bank that size that a non-techie like me can live with? I'm looking at AGM 4Ds, but I'm open to suggestion. A local distributer has AC Delco 4Ds at a decent price. Should I run away? Thanks.
I would avoid Delco. I've had bac luck/short life out of Delco 8D batteries. (shorted cell)
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Old 30-01-2016, 10:45   #39
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Re: Batteries Went Dead Overnight - Beginner

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Originally Posted by reed1v View Post
Agree, but any auto parts chain store car batteries will do. Fairly simple technology.
Yes the basic technology is fairly simple but there are very big differences in how that technology is applied. The devil is in the details.

The thickness of the lead plates, the gap between the plates, how they're connected and secured in the case, the quality/purity/alloy of the lead used and a dozen other factors can make a big difference in the final product.


Quote:
Originally Posted by reed1v View Post
In terms of trickle charging, I assume one has regular charging of the batteries via engine, etc. It also is a very good thing to also keep a trickle charger on the batteries 24/7 if at all possible to keep it topped up for those times when you are not charging the batteries via engine or shore power. A topped up battery is a happy battery.
Put this way I agree. Have a high amp source for bulk charging but keeping some sort of trickle on the batteries to offset the natural discharge keeps your batteries happy.
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Old 30-01-2016, 10:47   #40
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Re: Batteries Went Dead Overnight - Beginner

Couple of definition & other problems here:

1. AGMs, Gels, and Flooded batteries are ALL LEAD ACID. You need to specify which variety you're talking about.

2. The term, "trickle charge" generally means a very low amperage charge. That is NOT enough to maintain a large FLA bank (because of inherent high self-discharge rates, especially in warm weather). Constant charge to maintain 100% full batteries can be a good thing, but only with a smart charger which maintains the appropriate float voltage level. So long as you maintain the correct voltage (CVC) the battery itself will regulate the amperage it will accept.

3. Flooded batteries (FLAs) need to be charged with voltages above 14.4VDC. Trojan recommends 14.8-15.0VDC for their T-105s.

4. Indeed, many lead-acid batteries are manufactured in the U.S., in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and elsewhere.

5. Just because a battery -- or any other product for that matter - is manufactured in China doesn't mean it's garbage. ALL CHINESE MANUFACTURERS ARE NOT THE SAME. Some of them are very good, even very very good. You have to be specific, not genuflect at the word, China.

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Old 30-01-2016, 10:57   #41
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Re: Batteries Went Dead Overnight - Beginner

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5. Just because a battery -- or any other product for that matter - is manufactured in China doesn't mean it's garbage. ALL CHINESE MANUFACTURERS ARE NOT THE SAME. Some of them are very good, even very very good. You have to be specific, not genuflect at the word, China.

Bill
Could not agree more. Many people seem to have an instant, knee jerk reaction when they hear China. I have imported millions of dollars worth of products from China. Some are cheap and you get what you pay for, some set the standard for other producers to meet.
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Old 30-01-2016, 11:03   #42
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Re: Batteries Went Dead Overnight - Beginner

Because of the surfeit of extremely poor quality China-made imports, it seems only prudent to avoid them as much as possible.
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Old 30-01-2016, 11:09   #43
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Re: Batteries Went Dead Overnight - Beginner

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Because of the surfeit of extremely poor quality China-made imports, it seems only prudent to avoid them as much as possible.
I see your point, but this is a bit akin to shooting yourself in the foot, because in so doing you are foregoing some very excellent products at an affordable price.

I have a good friend who avoids all Chinese products for political reasons, not quality ones, and I respect his choice.

All it takes is a bit of Internet research to avoid some of the not-so-good cheap products and to identify others which are high(er) quality.

And, whether you're talking China or India or Japan or Taiwan or Germany or Canada or wherever, including the US, this is very good practice anyway.

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Old 30-01-2016, 11:16   #44
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Re: Batteries Went Dead Overnight - Beginner

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...All it takes is a bit of Internet research to avoid some of the not-so-good cheap products...
Actually the opposite course of action would make more sense. Seek out quality products, first, rather than looking for the cheapest way out.
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Old 30-01-2016, 11:38   #45
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Re: Batteries Went Dead Overnight - Beginner

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Uhhh what?



Mine from Walmart sucks 6 amps but will consistently cool the inside of my cooler 30 degrees below ambient.



Hardly "little actual cooling".

You actually made my point. Your cooler pulls as much if not more Amps than my fridge, but does it 24 /7 while my fridge runs depending on temp about 50% percent of the time, it's 14 cu ft with half being freezer set at around -5F.
So my freezer is way larger, but is cooled to -5 on a 90 degree day on less electricity, while a Peltier cooler will cool to 60F.
A 30 degree temperature differential is in my opinion, little cooling, I'm looking for at least three times that Delta.
60 degrees isn't cold enough to keep food, and 60 degree beer? Maybe in England
I had one of those coolers years ago, then determined a regular cooler with ice in in, actually kept things cool, while the electric Coleman didn't.


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