Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 11-03-2018, 22:46   #1
lifestyle captain

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Auckland, NZ
Boat: 94' Ex Navy Ship
Posts: 28
Boiling and gassing batteries (with video)

Hello everyone,

I recently installed a new 24 volt battery bank. (when I say I, I mean I paid for the electricians to install it).

It is 24 volt, and 240 volt when used in conjunction with my victron inverters and 400 volt. (3 x victron inverters).

When at idle, the batteries behave well. When we start the boat, the inverters are switched on and the generator is always running when underway.

The batteries gas and they bubble. If the boat without the engines running, the boat inverters do eventually get into float mode. Otherwise, they sit in absorption mode (which is between 28.8 and 29.3 volts) for the battery bank.

I have 12 x 2 volt cells. They are heavy duty fork hoist batteries with around 1040 amp hours capacity.

I have had 2 engineering firms look at it and am now on my 3rd. Any advice on why these batteries are working so hard and steps you would take to diagnose and resolve this issue once and for all.

(the original batteries were replaced because of this issue as someone said faulty batteries may be the cause).

The inverters have been checked and are programmed correctly for the manufacturers specifications of the batteries.

I guess it's easiest to ask some questions:

1. Is it normal for these batteries to gas and bubble.
2. What could be done to stop this?
3. Steps to troubleshoot?

I have spent nearly $20,000 trying to get to the bottom of this and its beginning to do my head in.

__________________

sleaper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2018, 09:49   #2
Moderator
 
sailorchic34's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: SF Bay Area
Boat: Islander 34
Posts: 5,042
Re: Boiling and gassing batteries (with video)

Myself, the first thing I would do is verify that each batteries polarity is as indicated on the case. It seems like a cover installed backwards (during manufacturing) with one cell wired reverse, might do it.

Then check your charger bulk and absorption settings.
__________________

sailorchic34 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2018, 10:43   #3
Registered User
 
S/V Illusion's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Lakewood Ranch, FLORIDA
Boat: Alden 50, Sarasota, Florida
Posts: 1,745
Re: Boiling and gassing batteries (with video)

The most common cause of boiling is over-voltage due to increased resistance or other problems.

The easiest first step is simply to check charge voltage readings with a voltmeter at the terminals.
S/V Illusion is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2018, 11:25   #4
֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 13,876
Re: Boiling and gassing batteries (with video)

I'm with the chorus. You've got major overcharging happening. A laser is nice but you want a multimeter to pin it down.

Shut everything down, check the polarity and voltage of each battery. Look for any anomalies. If they are all OK, disconnect the charging sources. Test each of them for voltage (check for AC and DC!) and then hook up only ONE at a time and see what the charging current and voltage are, under load. Do this dockside with all major ship's systems off.

If I had to make a WAG I would think at least one, and probably only one, charger is not working properly. Either a jumper was set to the wrong voltage, or the batteries were installed in the wrong voltage configuration, or some other basic gross error was made. Or, something is just not regulating properly.

I wouldn't want to hear that boiling noise in my batteries. I'd be worried about a hydrogen explosion, as well as the battery damage.

In the US, some 10,000 people make emergency room visits each year due to car batteries exploding while being jump started or charged. TAKE CARE. Eye googles might not be such a bad idea, even if they don't protect the rest of you.
hellosailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2018, 11:42   #5
Marine Service Provider
 
Maine Sail's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Maine
Boat: CS-36T - Cupecoy
Posts: 3,131
Re: Boiling and gassing batteries (with video)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sleaper View Post
1. Is it normal for these batteries to gas and bubble.
During the absorption stage, or equalization stage this is absolutely normal..

Quote:
Originally Posted by sleaper View Post
2. What could be done to stop this?
You could charge at a lower voltage and then wind up suffering from chronic undercharging and the effects of sulfation. 29.3V is 2.44V per cell or the equivalent of 14.65V for a 12V battery which is well within the safe range for 2V cells. Some 2V cells like an even higher voltage, such as 2.46V per cell.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sleaper View Post
3. Steps to troubleshoot?
#1 Let the batteries rest at lest 24 hours and measure each cells resting voltage & SG they should all be near identical. If not they'll need to be balanced or equalized.

#2 If the cells are well balanced measure voltage at the battery terminals during charging to ensure the correct target voltage is being achieved (temp compensated of course). If this voltage is correct the batteries are being charged properly.

#3 Were these cells parallel balanced before installation thus bringing them all to the same SOC before being wired in series? Are they are all gassing evenly you're fine. Does the gassing begin at the same time for all cells in the string...? If not see #1


Quote:
I have spent nearly $20,000 trying to get to the bottom of this and its beginning to do my head in.
Gassing is normal and a healthy part of the charging process for flooded cells.
__________________
Marine How To Articles
Maine Sail is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2018, 11:47   #6
Registered User
 
ka4wja's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Location: Florida
Boat: Catalina 470
Posts: 2,101
Re: Boiling and gassing batteries (with video)

EDIT:
I just saw Maine's posting...sorry, I should've seen it earlier!!


Sleaper,
1) First of, yes....it is normal for real, true, deep-cycle batteries (such as industrial / traction batteries) to out-gas more, use more water, and bubble...
This is because of the plate chemistry....especially the high-antimony content in the lead-antimony positive plates...

So, while it is possible that you have a problem, it is unlikely...

Here is what I wrote in 2011, quoting from a battery engineering website:
Quote:
"Most industrial (fork lift) deep-cycle batteries use Lead-Antimony plates rather than the Lead-Calcium used in AGM or gelled deep-cycle batteries and in automotive starting batteries. The Antimony increases plate life and strength, but increases gassing and water loss. This is why most industrial batteries have to be checked often for water level if you do not have Hydrocaps."
And, yes in my personal experience using large Rolls/Surettes 2-volt deep-cycle cells on my own boat, they do bubble and out-gas a lot more than even "normal" Rolls deep-cycle batteries...which is why I have HydroCaps!!



2) BUT...
But, there are many caveats here...
a) Not the least of which is, what has the battery manufacture said about this?? (this is NOT the same thing as "what did the 'engineering firms' tell you....but when you personally called the battery manufacturer, what did they say???)

b) 28.8 to 29.3vdc is comparable to 14.4 to 14.65vdc for a "12vdc system", and this sounds good for heavy, thick plate traction batteries....but, what does your battery manufacturer recommend???

c) And, you didn't mention any voltages, during discharging??

d) Nor what your nominal draw/discharge currents and nominal charge currents are, when this out-gassing / bubbling is occurring???

e) Nor have you mentioned the brand name, nor model name of the batteries??, their actual chemistry??

f) Nor have you mentioned the exact cell A/H (at the standard 20-hour rate), but I can assume that they are 1040 A/H cells???
{mine are only 375 A/H cells, but I have 18 of them, 3 groups in parallel of 6 each in series...giving me 1125 A/H at 12vdc}

g) have you looked for high-resistance connections??


Now, I don't think you have anything wrong at all....and the answers to these questions might be moot....just adding them for clarification..


I'm not saying that if I had that info, I would have an definitive answer for you (maybe I could offer a more precise answer, but I'm not there, and I'm not the guy you've paid your money to), but fact is if these "engineering firms" haven't given you this info, and you haven't talked to the battery manufacturer, then these things need to be done, before you pay any money to anyone!!

BTW, I'm assuming this is some sort of electric propulsion system???



3) If you've had "engineering firm(s)" working on this, and they do not know about battery chemistry, lead-antimony plate peculiarities, out-gassing, etc....(and it's obvious that they don't...because you do not have any water-recombinant / HydroCaps / etc.??? and the fact that nobody has mentioned anything about battery chemistry, etc.....makes me wonder where these folks got their engineering degrees???)

I cannot imagine anyone charging $20,000 for 1040 A/H of traction batteries??? (maybe they've changed from lead to gold? )
So, I'd darn certain be on the phone with someone every friggin day until they got me the answers!!

And, as for "troubleshooting advice"....there's is probably nothing at all wrong with your batteries!!
BUT...

But, I'd fire or sue these "engineering firms", and recommend you talk directly to the battery manufacture....and have a volt meter and a separate clamp-on DC amp meter, both at the ready....and you should be good to go!




Hope this helps.

John
__________________
John, KA4WJA
s/v Annie Laurie, WDB6927
MMSI# 366933110
ka4wja is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2018, 13:21   #7
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Santa Cruz
Boat: Boatless Again
Posts: 4,521
Re: Boiling and gassing batteries (with video)

Hello Sleaper, and welcome to cruiser's forum. We love challenges like this.

Firstly, it is normal for the batteries to gas during the final stages of charging. There is a tradeoff between charging times and water loss.

https://na.bhs1.com/why-forklift-bat...your-facility/

Secondly, if the infra red gun is reading C, the batteries in the video are too warm (50+) to charge without damage. If they are reading 50F that's OK.


You are starting to confuse me a bit with the 'when at idle, the batteries behave well'. Are there alternators on the main engines, or is all the 24V charging power coming from the dock or the genset?
donradcliffe is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2018, 14:11   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: East Coast USA
Boat: Catalina 400
Posts: 213
Re: Boiling and gassing batteries (with video)

If the temperature reading is in C the batteries are being overcharged at 28.8 to 29.3. Absorption voltage should be reduced by -0.003v for every degree above 25C.

In a 12 unit series set up like yours the quality of the interconnections is extremely important to keep the cells in balance (read SmartGauge Electronics - Interconnecting multiple batteries to form one larger bank). Follow Maine Sails advice, disconnect them, let them rest and take voltage readings with a quality voltmeter.
kenbo is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2018, 14:51   #9
Marine Service Provider
 
Maine Sail's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Maine
Boat: CS-36T - Cupecoy
Posts: 3,131
Re: Boiling and gassing batteries (with video)

Quote:
Originally Posted by kenbo View Post
If the temperature reading is in C the batteries are being overcharged at 28.8 to 29.3. Absorption voltage should be reduced by -0.003v for every degree above 25C.
Bingo!! At first view I incorrectly assumed the temp was in F but I clicked on the video and it is in C. Good catch...!

Those batteries should not even be charging at that temp, approx 125F + let alone at 28.8V - 29.3V. A typical temp compensated charge voltage reduction is .005V per cell, per degree C rise above 25C.

For example a 12 cell bank would be .005 X 12 = -0.06V per degree C rise above 25C.

If the bank charges at 29.3V at 25C it can only charge at 28.86V at 32C or just 28.29V at 43C.

Most battery makers suggest stopping all charging when the battery temp exceeds 120F (48.9C) to 125F (51.7C)..

If your batteries are routinely getting that warm cycle-life will be quite reduced..
__________________
Marine How To Articles
Maine Sail is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2018, 15:05   #10
lifestyle captain

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Auckland, NZ
Boat: 94' Ex Navy Ship
Posts: 28
Re: Boiling and gassing batteries (with video)

Hello everyone and firstly thank you for being so welcoming.

Couple of questions answered to better paint the picture.

1. This is my house battery bank - It is used with 3 victron inverters/chargers to provide 24 through to 400 volts (3 phase)
2. It is charged using a 10KVA northen lights genset / which also tops up the power when 400 volts is required (3 phase)
3. The batteries are manufactured by Hawker. If anyone is interested, this is their service manual which I have digested slowely.
http://www.industrialpowerproducts.c...e%20Manual.pdf
4. Yes, I have contacted the manufacturer, who have specified that the batteries are using the correct charge voltages for the absorbtion and float stages.
5. Yes, the batteries were balanced correctly by the supplier and manufacturer before delivery.
6. We have not altered the battery charging voltages to take into account the temperature.
7. bonus note, the first few charges saw battery temp readings of up to 60 degrees C. The manufacturer was happy with that and not the least concerned.

Maine Sail:

1. I have an electrical engineer visiting today and I will go through and complete the steps you have suggested to report back with some data.

ka4wja:

You will have to excuse me if I sound too noob when answering your questions; I'm quickly learning but I am slowly getting up to speed with electrical issues.

1. I will dial in and check the voltages for absorption and float and make adjustments now that we have a month of temp readings.

2. The system draws about 60 amps when underway and voltages drop only ever to about 24.8 before charging resumes.

3. The batteries are deep cycle wet lead acid batteries. I'll sit down and work out the details of the total amphours etc. I know the bank total is 1040a/h.

4. My reference to this does not happen when we are not underway refers to not having the engines running. So, being at anchor with the genset running but not "ship systems".

I will spend sometime today working on these things. I think the general consensus is that we have a perfectly working set of batteries that simply might need to be checked and then managed properly.

N/B - These batteries do not get used for starting at all.

I will post some details about my vessel soon. In essence it's a 94 foot ex navy ship that has been converted into a cruising yacht which I live aboard full time.
sleaper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2018, 15:08   #11
lifestyle captain

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Auckland, NZ
Boat: 94' Ex Navy Ship
Posts: 28
Re: Boiling and gassing batteries (with video)

The battery temp was like that - but has not stabilized to around 38 degrees C
sleaper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2018, 17:07   #12
Registered User
 
transmitterdan's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2011
Boat: Valiant 42
Posts: 4,367
Re: Boiling and gassing batteries (with video)

Is there a temp sensor on the batteries telling the charger the actual temp? That is pretty much mandatory for big batteries with big chargers. The charger should regulate the voltage back if the batteries are hot. There should be one or more sensors attached to the battery bank (either the case or the negative terminal). All the batteries should be about the same temp. If there is ventilation cooling of the compartment that needs to be pretty equal across all the batts because it is important that all the cells stay at nearly the same temperature.
transmitterdan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-03-2018, 08:28   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: Montreal, Canada
Boat: S2 9.2C
Posts: 2
Re: Boiling and gassing batteries (with video)

Check out Pacific Yacht Systems
RMatichak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-03-2018, 08:45   #14
Registered User
 
Privilege's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Bermuda
Boat: Privilege 435
Posts: 408
Images: 12
Re: Boiling and gassing batteries (with video)

A simple question that no-one else has asked - Does the power from the alternators run through a charge controller? If it doesn't, it could be providing too many charging volts.
Privilege is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13-03-2018, 10:07   #15
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Santa Cruz
Boat: Boatless Again
Posts: 4,521
Re: Boiling and gassing batteries (with video)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Privilege View Post
A simple question that no-one else has asked - Does the power from the alternators run through a charge controller? If it doesn't, it could be providing too many charging volts.
See my post #7, which did not get answered, but I think that the only charging sources are coming from the genset.
__________________

donradcliffe is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
oil

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Boiling the Batteries? Myknjul Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 6 20-06-2016 20:13
Boiling Batteries Dockhead Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 30 23-08-2015 02:59
Boiling Batteries -- Shorted Cell ? Dockhead Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 15 10-01-2012 03:26
Batteries Boiling Over Charlie Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 8 30-07-2010 18:21
Should My Batteries Be Gassing?? ssullivan Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 23 20-11-2008 17:53



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:29.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.