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Old 23-07-2012, 15:53   #31
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Re: battery charge readings?

Since you have flooded batteries, you could measure the specific gravity in the cells using a hydrometer and get a definitive answer on the battery SOC. Once you know for sure what the SOC is, then you can play with charge parameters until the batteries really are getting fully charged.
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Old 23-07-2012, 15:57   #32
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Re: battery charge readings?

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Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
Picture will have to wait as I don't have the camera cable with me

So I'm on the boat. when I got her the batteries had been at rest for 23 hours after the4 engine had run the other day on the way home.

1507 SOC-100% CE (amp hrs) - 0 amps- -0.22 volts-12.71

1520 - I changed the regulator to Deep Cycle Flooded Lead Acid

1523 started engine, all loads are off

1525 from monitor SOC-100% CE-0 amps-15.9 Volts 14.21
1542 SOC-100 CE-0 amps-11.1 volts 14.24
checked voltage at battery terminal with hand held ditigal meter - both at 14.17

1553 - turned on some loads, refrig inst, nav, stero SOV 100, CE-0, amps-8.75, volts-14.06

1555 turned everything back off

1506 amps-9 volts-14.1

since the voltage is a little low I thinking of adding 0.2V to the settings

if anyone wants to ask a direct question - 603-540-2962
1616 amps-9.1 volts-14.17 (in absorption mode)

1650 screwed around with the regulator trying to add 0.2 volts to the program, its' a screwed up method using a magnetic!!!!!

1655 restrated the engine, system went into bulk mode (36 min minute time)

1707 amps 16 volts-14.58 had to rest the minitor high alarm setpoint

1731 (system in absorption mode) amps-13.7 volts-14.5

1750 amps-14.3 volts-14.5 (don't know why amps changed didn't turn anything on)
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Old 23-07-2012, 16:00   #33
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Re: battery charge readings?

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Since you have flooded batteries, you could measure the specific gravity in the cells using a hydrometer and get a definitive answer on the battery SOC. .
I stopped at 3 places I thought would have a real one on the way to boat without any luck!
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Old 23-07-2012, 18:35   #34
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Re: battery charge readings?

well got tired of sitting around the boat with the engine running

amps were about 14 when I gave up, checked the water while it was still charging and it was bubbling

voltage after turning off the engine was 13.17, but that doesn't mean much other than it is alot higher than it used to be right after stopping charging

guess I'll know once I use the boat this next week for 9 days!
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Old 24-07-2012, 05:40   #35
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Re: battery charge readings?

thanks to those with suggestions

drawing and shunt photos attached
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Old 24-07-2012, 05:48   #36
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Re: battery charge readings?

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Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
I stopped at 3 places I thought would have a real one on the way to boat without any luck!
Bummer. Auto parts shops, a hardware store, and even Walmart in their battery automotive department will usually produce an acceptable hydrometer. Anything that actually has the numeric SG values will do - not the floating balls, and preferably not just a color coded scale.

Since we are all quessing what's wrong, I'll through in my Karnac contribution.....

- I think the SG reading will show batteries that are about 50% 60% charged, not fully charged. That's based on the resting voltages you are seeing.

- I think your are chronically undercharging, as you suspected, and that the solution is to jack up the charge voltage, also as you suspected.

But...... there's one important thing to watch and deal with as you find the right charger settings. After a year of chronic undercharging your batteries will be sulphated. How much is anyone guess, but I'd suggest you go into this assuming that they are. Now here's the catch. With batteries sulphated, when you put them on a charger they will more quickly come up to voltage, and more quickly reach a low acceptance current such that they appear fully charged. You will think you have solved the problem when you haven't really, and this is why a hydrometer and SG readings are your very best friend.

After your charger thinks the batteries are charged, take an SG reading to see if they really are. Initially I'm pretty certain you will find they are not - not even close. Now you will need to do a series of equalization cycles to recover the batteries, and it might take quite a few cycles of 1-2hrs each to get them back to full charge based on the SG readings. Just keep on equalizing until they come back to full SG readings. I might take many hours (mine took 24), but as long as you don't overheat the batteries or run the electrolyte down below the plate tops, you wil only be helping the batteries.

Once you have them back to truly full charge as measured by SG, then you can tinker with your normal charge voltages to ensure they comeback to full charge after normal cycling.

All this is a PITA, but it's the only way to get things back where they should be short of just replacing your batteries again.

Oh, and have a great cruise! We might pass you along the way. We are currently in Halifax and working our way back to Gloucester.
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Old 24-07-2012, 05:56   #37
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Re: battery charge readings?

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thanks to those with suggestions

drawing and shunt photos attached
I'm a little confused by the photos.

It looks like the right side of the shunt goes to the battery Neg terminals, right? I see the yellow cable going from the right terminal on the shunt to the Neg of the left battery pair, but it doesn't look like the Neg of the right batter pair goes to the same shunt terminal? It might just be the photos.

They key is that the battery side of the shut should go directly to the Neg terminals of the two battery banks, and NOTHING else should be connected to the Neg terminals.

Please confirm - thanks
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Old 24-07-2012, 06:00   #38
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Re: battery charge readings?

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Originally Posted by cuthbert View Post
It's a pity that you don't have numbers from a year ago, because a comparison would be great to put your mind at ease.
but I do:

Battery Monitor vs Voltage

I've have this low voltage issue from day 1 with the new batteries, just that it has gotten worst
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Old 24-07-2012, 06:06   #39
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Re: battery charge readings?

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Originally Posted by twistedtree View Post
I'm a little confused by the photos.

It looks like the right side of the shunt goes to the battery Neg terminals, right? I see the yellow cable going from the right terminal on the shunt to the Neg of the left battery pair, but it doesn't look like the Neg of the right batter pair goes to the same shunt terminal? It might just be the photos.

They key is that the battery side of the shut should go directly to the Neg terminals of the two battery banks, and NOTHING else should be connected to the Neg terminals.

Please confirm - thanks
On the left side of the shunt the cable is from the ground bus, on the right are 2 cables which go to the batteries. The reason it doesn't look that way is because on the right side battery in the photo the cable from the shunt is in a black cover with the orginal cable and is then connected to the yellow cable (my new cables were not long enough).

so the the only ground connected to the battery banks are the cables from the battery side of the shunt
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Old 24-07-2012, 06:13   #40
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Re: battery charge readings?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
On the left side of the shunt the cable is from the ground bus, on the right are 2 cables which go to the batteries. The reason it doesn't look that way is because on the right side battery in the photo the cable from the shunt is in a black cover with the orginal cable and is then connected to the yellow cable (my new cables were not long enough).

so the the only ground connected to the battery banks are the cables from the battery side of the shunt
Roger-that
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Old 24-07-2012, 06:46   #41
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Re: battery charge readings?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
On the left side of the shunt the cable is from the ground bus, on the right are 2 cables which go to the batteries. The reason it doesn't look that way is because on the right side battery in the photo the cable from the shunt is in a black cover with the orginal cable and is then connected to the yellow cable (my new cables were not long enough).

so the the only ground connected to the battery banks are the cables from the battery side of the shunt
Couple of things I see.

#1 With battery switch OFF the bilge pump will take current from just one bank. This will cause monitor counting errors.. Monitor thinks you have 460Ah's when really you are taking current from a 230Ah bank. This throws the Peukert Exponent off and counting.

#2 Solar panel can not feed house bank as shown/drawn. It will not back feed through the isolator and based on earlier statements can't be read anyway because you say the start battery it is on the "battery" side of the shunt. Start battery should be on the load side. Really need to see a better drawing of solar + & - connection points.

#3 If the "F" terminal is a "alternator field disconnect" on the 1/2/BOTH GET IT OFF OFF THERE... That circuit is to interrupt the BLUE FIELD wire to the regulator and is not there for the alternator output...

Run the alt direct to the house bank or the "C" post of that switch and interrupt the field wire with the "F" terminal, if running to the "C" post. If you run direct to the house bank then you always have a load and there is no need for the AFD circuit. The AFD/"F" shuts down the regulators field a split second befre the switch "breaks" to prevent fried diodes if you pass through OFF. This circuit is meant for small loads not 100+A and is not intended for the alternator output to be connected to....

#4 Your windlass will pull current from the house bank without the monitor even seeing it. This is why the start battery neg needs to be on the load side of the shunt. That small battery will never support all the current draw and some will flow from the house bank introducing more counting errors..

You have quite a bit of potential for counting errors and that was just a quick peek.

I would suggest:

*Wire house bank in series/parallel right in the box and "cross connect" it with POS/+ off one side and NEG/- off the opposite side.. This way the bilge pump and any other "phantom loads" or parasitic loads will be equally counted with the battery switch OFF.

*Feed solar to house bank

*Run isolator middle post to house bank and let it feed the start battery directly from the house bank. Start battery should almost always be full and running the solar panel there is wasting precious Ah's of charging if the bank won't take the full output of the panel.

*Run regulator sense wire direct to house bank.

* Adjust regulator for a longer bulk than the factory preset of 36 minutes. If that reg allows for "bulk 2" or a time setting for "absorption" set it as long as you can.

*Run alt direct to house bank (with a fuse within 7") or to the "C" post of the switch.

*Move start batt neg to load side of shunt
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Old 24-07-2012, 10:40   #42
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Re: battery charge readings?

Don,

As Twisted and Main, have said all that can be said, I have 2 thoughts to add.

Since you can't get to shore power, or chose not to, for any length of time. I suspect you will never be able to properly EQ the bats with your set up. If it was me I would take the worst pair to shore and have someone whom is set up to temp compensate/EQ. And if they can't be brought into spec then it's time to replace your bats again. Which I belive will be the case.

After 1 year of chronic under charging, and leaving the bats in a partial state of charge, has most likely sulfated the bats so that they may never again be able to provide service.

Next, you need to get shrink tube on all of your cable connections, else you will be replacing all the cables in short order. Especially the cables inside the bat boxes.

Here is a link for you: Failure Modes of FLA's, and VRLA's

Lloyd
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Old 24-07-2012, 11:28   #43
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Re: battery charge readings?

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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
Couple of things I see.

#1 With battery switch OFF the bilge pump will take current from just one bank. This will cause monitor counting errors.. Monitor thinks you have 460Ah's when really you are taking current from a 230Ah bank. This throws the Peukert Exponent off and counting. True but when the selector switch is in both; both battery banks supply the bilge pump because bank 2 feeds back though the switch. The bilge pump runs probably 5 mins a week so I'm not concerned about it but again normally both banks are supplying it as I run them together. It is wired this way by the factory i think so that unless you disconnect the wiring the only way the bilge pump doesn't have power is if the #1 bank dies.

#2 Solar panel can not feed house bank as shown/drawn. It will not back feed through the isolator and based on earlier statements can't be read anyway because you say the start battery it is on the "battery" side of the shunt. Start battery should be on the load side. Really need to see a better drawing of solar + & - connection points. It is just a tiny panel and is only met to maintain a tickle charge to the start battery (it does because if I isolate everything the start battery voltage goes up). It would never supply enough to provide a charge to the house bank

#3 If the "F" terminal is a "alternator field disconnect" on the 1/2/BOTH GET IT OFF OFF THERE... That circuit is to interrupt the BLUE FIELD wire to the regulator and is not there for the alternator output...

Run the alt direct to the house bank or the "C" post of that switch and interrupt the field wire with the "F" terminal, if running to the "C" post. If you run direct to the house bank then you always have a load and there is no need for the AFD circuit. The AFD/"F" shuts down the regulators field a split second befre the switch "breaks" to prevent fried diodes if you pass through OFF. This circuit is meant for small loads not 100+A and is not intended for the alternator output to be connected to.... Probably, but it came from the factory this way and I'm not feeling the need currently to rewire the boat since I understand how it is wired and how to operate it based on what it is.

#4 Your windlass will pull current from the house bank without the monitor even seeing it. This is why the start battery neg needs to be on the load side of the shunt. That small battery will never support all the current draw and some will flow from the house bank introducing more counting errors.. I agree. I always run the engine when using the windlass.

You have quite a bit of potential for counting errors and that was just a quick peek.

I would suggest:

*Wire house bank in series/parallel right in the box and "cross connect" it with POS/+ off one side and NEG/- off the opposite side.. This way the bilge pump and any other "phantom loads" or parasitic loads will be equally counted with the battery switch OFF. It would take more than this.The inverter selector switch has nothing to do with supplying power to any load other than the inverter.

*Feed solar to house bank

*Run isolator middle post to house bank and let it feed the start battery directly from the house bank. It is on the house bank! Start battery should almost always be full and running the solar panel there is wasting precious Ah's of charging if the bank won't take the full output of the panel. Again the solar panel isn't met to charge anything, it is just to maintain the start battery. If it died I probably wouldn't replace it.

*Run regulator sense wire direct to house bank.

* Adjust regulator for a longer bulk than the factory preset of 36 minutes.The way I read the instructions is that the 36 minutes is a minimum time, the system checks the voltage after and continues the bulk phase it voltage low. If that reg allows for "bulk 2" or a time setting for "absorption" set it as long as you can. I agree, but it took so many attempts to get the damn thing to to add the 0.2V to the charge that I don't think I will try it and then had have to deal with what other things I would probably screw up in the programming. Yesterday the bulk was doing 14.6 and absorption 14.4-14.5 so I don't think it matters much, but could well be wrong!

Has to be a more user friendly to program regulator!

*Run alt direct to house bank (with a fuse within 7") or to the "C" post of the switch.

*Move start batt neg to load side of shunt
Don't take me wrong, I appreciate all the suggestions!!! I knew about a lot of these things already from when I spent time last year learning how the boat was wired.

But a lot of these are different issues than the one I'm currently trying to resolve, which is the battery capacity, charge and voltage issue.

Can I get any thoughts on whether my charges to the regulator programing were probably the source of my problem? To review I have:

1- changed the programing from the default universal to Deep Cycle FLA . Right off the bat this increased the bulk charge voltage from around 13.8-13.9 to 14.1-14.2.
2 - added 0.2V to the charge cycle voltages. So the bulk has gone to about 14.6 and absorption to 14.5. Float if I ever get there should be 13.8 because the FLA programing was 13.6.

And I bet the charge problem as always existed on the boat because this is at least the 3 set of batteries the 11 year boat has had.
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Old 24-07-2012, 11:43   #44
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Re: battery charge readings?

check fluid level in battery , attach a small solar panel www.botcwindsolar.com then see what happens
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Old 24-07-2012, 14:00   #45
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Re: battery charge readings?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Lucas View Post
#3 If the "F" terminal is a "alternator field disconnect" on the 1/2/BOTH GET IT OFF OFF THERE... That circuit is to interrupt the BLUE FIELD wire to the regulator and is not there for the alternator output...

Probably, but it came from the factory this way and I'm not feeling the need currently to rewire the boat since I understand how it is wired and how to operate it based on what it is.
Don,

I can't help you if you don't want to help yourself. I am going to be blunt here. YOU CAN NOT HAVE THE B+/ALT OUTPUT WIRE ON THE "F" TERMINAL!!!!

This circuit is meant for a max current of about 5-10A MAX ! Just because some schmuck at the factory wired your switch incorrectly does not mean you want to keep it that way.

I quote Blue Sea here:

"The AFD switch circuit should be limited to a load of 5A or less."

I could care less about the other stuff but this could potentially burn your boat up.

There is a difference between being direct wired to the bank and wired through a switch. You are wired through a switch and then through a part of the switch NEVER intended for alternator current. It should be on the "C" post if you want the alt switched and NOT the "F" terminal.

If you want AFD protection for the diodes you break the blue field wire with the AFD circuit not the alternators output.
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