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Old 03-02-2016, 10:56   #16
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Re: Can my batteries be saved?

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Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
Yes, exactly. That's why statements like, "I got 10 years out of my batteries" mean practically nothing. It's best to ignore them, for exactly the reason you mentioned: when batteries reach a stage of replacement varies widely from user to user. Some fanatics like me feel that 80% capacity (i.e., 20% reduction from new) is time for replacement. Others get by on much less, depending on their setup, their cruising practices (or not), and other factors.

Hey, we live every day with batteries which deteriorate right from the day they are manufactured and continue right on for years until they "quit". At, maybe, only 10-20% of their original capacity. These are CAR BATTERIES. It takes very few AH to start an engine. The normal small to medium size diesel on a boat only consumes less than 1 AH to start.

Add that to the fact that most boaters don't have a clue as to the true health of their batteries, and you can see why one needs to be very wary of statements about battery longevity on a boat.

Bill
Yup, im the president of that club! it became glaringly apparent on our boat once I put a big load (refrigeration) in. Now I taxed the battery more than ever.. if I never did that, I would probably be happy with what I have.

Now that im taking a hard look at my battery use... I have done, pretty much, everything wrong !

Hoping when I go with the firefly batteries, it can help recover from my bad battery management habits better than the flooded batteries

But I hear dock talk as well about how long xyz batteries have lasted in their boat !

If I can get roughly 75-80% capacity back I may put the batteries back in the boat. I have some time before the season starts to try and recover these
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Old 03-02-2016, 22:51   #17
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Re: Can my batteries be saved?

I am not sure where I saw it now but a couple of years ago I read an article on de-sulphating batteries by emptying out the acid, refilling the cells with distilled water and charging them up. The procedure was carried out a number of times until the SG of the distilled water ceased increasing then the battery was refilled with new acid.

I have not tested the procedure so cannot comment on it's efficacy but it appears logical that if you convert the lead sulphate back into sulphuric acid for often and long enough the sulphation will eventually disappear.
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Old 04-02-2016, 00:09   #18
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Re: Can my batteries be saved?

Interesting concept. I might have to try that with a deceased battery.... As a test

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Old 04-02-2016, 03:24   #19
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Re: Can my batteries be saved?

Why not just buy new batteries? Golf cart 6 volt batteries are less than $100 each at Sam's, Costco , etc. ? Thanks.
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Old 04-02-2016, 04:39   #20
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Re: Can my batteries be saved?

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Why not just buy new batteries? Golf cart 6 volt batteries are less than $100 each at Sam's, Costco , etc. ? Thanks.
i want marine batteries, not MLBs

The batteries i have cost about $6-700 for the pair, the ones I want are 850 for the pair. I just don't have the budget this year to do it

good reading what a real marine battery is
What Is A "Deep Cycle" Battery? Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com
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Old 04-02-2016, 04:43   #21
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Re: Can my batteries be saved?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RaymondR View Post
I am not sure where I saw it now but a couple of years ago I read an article on de-sulphating batteries by emptying out the acid, refilling the cells with distilled water and charging them up. The procedure was carried out a number of times until the SG of the distilled water ceased increasing then the battery was refilled with new acid.

I have not tested the procedure so cannot comment on it's efficacy but it appears logical that if you convert the lead sulphate back into sulphuric acid for often and long enough the sulphation will eventually disappear.
I have seen various videos on this on youtube. I just dont have the nuts to try it out.

I don't see how it would remove sulfation from the plates if you dump the water and refill it, it would still be attached to the plates. I don't think the old water would be saturated and couldn't absorb the sulfation.

maybe it works by removing the sulfation that was shed and laying at the bottom of the case shorting out the plates?
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Old 04-02-2016, 05:24   #22
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Re: Can my batteries be saved?

On the Farm, it was common to flush out batteries, what you do is turn them upside down on a rack and flush thoroughly, idea being there is "mud" on the battery bottom that has shorted the plates. It works to an extent, but as the 'mud" is obviously lead, the plates that are left have a lot less lead. But you can recover a battery enough to get another year or so out of it, but these batteries are used for starting of course, If you used a battery tester on one, the type that looks like a heater, and tested a couple of times, they voltage would drop off quickly, so they had amps, and voltage, but not much capacity.

I do not believe there really is such a thing as a "Marine" battery, Some batteries are better than others of course, but nothing special, no structural or design make one a "Marine" battery
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Old 04-02-2016, 05:30   #23
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Re: Can my batteries be saved?

Your Rolls batteries are I believe an exceptional battery, your really have to work harder to kill one of them, I believe you will recover enough capacity to keep them, and I further believe there may be years of life left too, if they are treated well, they have one of the better reps.

But having said that, don't "dis" the Golf Cart batteries, they are I believe an exceptional value
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Old 04-02-2016, 06:07   #24
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Re: Can my batteries be saved?

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Your Rolls batteries are I believe an exceptional battery, your really have to work harder to kill one of them, I believe you will recover enough capacity to keep them, and I further believe there may be years of life left too, if they are treated well, they have one of the better reps.

But having said that, don't "dis" the Golf Cart batteries, they are I believe an exceptional value
Absolutely. Thats why im going through this exercise! There is 180lbs of battery there!

Just been leaving them in a psoc over and over though the last few years, that they wouldn't even hold a charge for a week (with the boat battery switch off), so if there is anyone who can kill a battery..its me! No doubt any lesser battery would have been permanently killed off years ago

If I can recover them, and they run well this coming season, that would be great. The firefly, according to Main Sail, is likely better for me due to it not being bothered much by being left in a psoc. I will, however, run the rolls as long as they work well.

still got to rig some sort of capacity test to see where I am at, and if the therapy i am giving is working or not.
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Old 04-02-2016, 06:20   #25
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Re: Can my batteries be saved?

I suspect your batteries were either put in series out of SOC balance or have differing capacities which can lead to the SG readings you see. Despite the batteries being at differing SOC's the charger can still see 15.5V but one battery may be at 8V and the other at 7.5V not 7.75V & 7.75V for a 15.5V bank voltage.. Still, given a long enough charge they should reach 100%. I am willing to bet your WM charger is not charging them to full properly because it uses a simple "egg timer" approach to charging. With sulfated batteries egg timer chargers simply don't work well because the absorption time needs to be significantly longer...

I would suggest using a bench top power supply and charge and equalize the batteries individually as 6V batteries. Hold absorption voltage until accepted current, at absorption voltage, falls below 1% of Ah capacity then begin to equalize. You can also do this with the batteries wired in parallel for 6V but with a small power supply it would take a much longer time. If the batteries are not dropping below 1% accepted current at absorption voltage then sulfation has set in and you may need to hold absorption voltage even longer or drop to a high float for a number of days such as 13.8V - 14.0V then revert to EQ voltage...

For a DC power supply you'll want a model with 0-30V & 0-5A for a bare minimum, but preferably 0-30V (or 0-18V) & 0-10A. 0-30V models are usually priced the most reasonably, even though you won't really use anything above 16V..... These units have really come down in price over the last few years. They used run over 1K for a 5-10A model. I have four in my shop, 2 Mastech units (30A & 50A) and two BK precision units both 60A. They are in near 24/7 use...

Once equalized cycle them to 100% DOD a few times (10.5V), at the 20 hour discharge rate, and after each cycle immediately return them to 100% SOC with about 7-10+ hours held at absorption voltage (absorption time does not start until you hit the target voltage) and then finish with 1/2 hour to 1 hour of EQ. I'd be surprised if you could not recover them to be at least usable.

What color is the electrolyte?

Something like this is a decent investment but Amazon has many others too:
http://amzn.com/B009PEZ9RQ
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Old 04-02-2016, 07:04   #26
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Re: Can my batteries be saved?

Have you thought about taking them to a REAL battery shop and have them equalize them for you? RAE battery did it for me a couple of years ago, with 6 Rolls batteries. They are worth saving. I am in a similar mooring situation. My batteries are 13 years old. Do the math, probably a lot cheaper to have the better batteries than changing Walmart batteries every three years.
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Old 04-02-2016, 07:32   #27
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Re: Can my batteries be saved?

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Originally Posted by keepondancin View Post
Have you thought about taking them to a REAL battery shop and have them equalize them for you? RAE battery did it for me a couple of years ago, with 6 Rolls batteries. They are worth saving. I am in a similar mooring situation. My batteries are 13 years old. Do the math, probably a lot cheaper to have the better batteries than changing Walmart batteries every three years.
thought about it yes. the rolls dealer is not close by, also I always feel that they would rather sell a new set than service an old set.

Plus I need to learn about this. I feel sailors/skippers have to be self sufficient and know every part of their boat and how it works. I am severely lacking in the ins and outs of batteries. Once I lean I may have a shop service them, as a convenience, but I need to learn the most I can about them first
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Old 04-02-2016, 07:45   #28
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Re: Can my batteries be saved?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
I suspect your batteries were either put in series out of SOC balance or have differing capacities which can lead to the SG readings you see. Despite the batteries being at differing SOC's the charger can still see 15.5V but one battery may be at 8V and the other at 7.5V not 7.75V & 7.75V for a 15.5V bank voltage.. Still, given a long enough charge they should reach 100%. I am willing to bet your WM charger is not charging them to full properly because it uses a simple "egg timer" approach to charging. With sulfated batteries egg timer chargers simply don't work well because the absorption time needs to be significantly longer...

I would suggest using a bench top power supply and charge and equalize the batteries individually as 6V batteries. Hold absorption voltage until accepted current, at absorption voltage, falls below 1% of Ah capacity then begin to equalize. You can also do this with the batteries wired in parallel for 6V but with a small power supply it would take a much longer time. If the batteries are not dropping below 1% accepted current at absorption voltage then sulfation has set in and you may need to hold absorption voltage even longer or drop to a high float for a number of days such as 13.8V - 14.0V then revert to EQ voltage...

For a DC power supply you'll want a model with 0-30V & 0-5A for a bare minimum, but preferably 0-30V (or 0-18V) & 0-10A. 0-30V models are usually priced the most reasonably, even though you won't really use anything above 16V..... These units have really come down in price over the last few years. They used run over 1K for a 5-10A model. I have four in my shop, 2 Mastech units (30A & 50A) and two BK precision units both 60A. They are in near 24/7 use...

Once equalized cycle them to 100% DOD a few times (10.5V), at the 20 hour discharge rate, and after each cycle immediately return them to 100% SOC with about 7-10+ hours held at absorption voltage (absorption time does not start until you hit the target voltage) and then finish with 1/2 hour to 1 hour of EQ. I'd be surprised if you could not recover them to be at least usable.

What color is the electrolyte?

Something like this is a decent investment but Amazon has many others too:
http://amzn.com/B009PEZ9RQ
The electrolite is very clear, like water.

This is very helpful. that power supply is more than reasonable. Just got to learn how to use it, but it looks like a good investment

I suspect the batteries are from different batches. I got them from Rolls in Salem, MA. one has a surretts label, one has a rolls label. So it is a better than average chance they were at a different soc when new. Which could account for the so-so performance, even before the refrigeration. The batteries sure didnt like the laptop computer charger!

Can I assume this power supply would be a good 'charger' once the batteries get in the boat? Never used one before. will it shut off when its done? or does it have to be monitored ?

With all the bubbles the WM charger produced, making little scatter patterns on top of the battery, I am hesitant to aggressively charge the batteries in the boat, as it is in the cabin with fabric and varnished wood all around. Don't want to damage the interior of the boat with acid!
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Old 04-02-2016, 07:50   #29
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Re: Can my batteries be saved?

Maine Sail,
Maybe have him invest in a good, programmable charger, one that will end absorption phase when the programmed amp draw is reached?
That won't work for a 6V battery obviously, but buying a power supply doesn't solve his less than optimum battery charger situation either?
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Old 04-02-2016, 08:12   #30
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Re: Can my batteries be saved?

Bench power supplies and marine battery chargers are two different critters. They are NOT the same.

The bench supplies are great for use in the shop for a variety of purposes, including controlled equalization of batteries. I have several of them, including two Mastech's, and use them mostly for this purpose. They can also be used to maintain batteries on float, as well as a host of other electronic chores.

But....they are not appropriate for use on a boat as the main battery charger. I would certainly commend phantomracer for his efforts to restore these old Rolls/Surette batteries and, especially, to learn about battery care and maintenance. However, I second the need for a good "smart" battery charger aboard to maintain whatever battery setup is finally decided upon.

The Sterling/ProMariner Pro Charge Ultra series are serious high-quality chargers. MaineSail has an excellent tutorial on how to install them. I've installed a few of them and tested them in my shop, and like them very much.

A cheaper solution is the Iota DLS/IQ4 series. These come in various sizes from 15A to 90A and are the best bang-for-the-buck IMHO. I have two of them, one model DLS-45/IQ4 in my hamshack to maintain the two T-105 golf-cart batteries, and one model DLS-55/IQ4 on the boat to maintain the two T-105 windlass batteries. These have been perfect for many years, with the one at home running mostly 24/7. These chargers do not have an equalization cycle, though, or a repeat absorption cycle. Both of these are good for the health of the battery.

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