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Old 03-04-2014, 09:02   #16
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Re: Dead Batteries: Rechargeable w/ Solar or wind?

Whoa! Thanks for all the feedback!

I did take the batts out and hooked to the trickle charger (1.5AH), but it'll take a while to get up to workable charge. Charging in a parallel config.

I'll keep researching on the best way to restore them. Any further advice on electrical maintenance & safety welcome.

Hope to (eventually) be of likewise assistance.

Thanks again!
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:01   #17
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Re: Dead Batteries: Rechargeable w/ Solar or wind?

Before you try to charge the batteries, you can check the state of charge with a hydrometer. I like the Dorman brand. Or, you can use a sensitive volt meter to read the voltage if no attempt has been made to charge the battery in the last 8 hours. The voltage should be 12.66 for 100% charge, 12.35 for 75%, 12.19 for 50%, 11.95 for 25% and 11.70 for 0% charge. If the state of charge is 50% or less, it is unlikely you can charge back to 100% if the batteries have been discharged for more than a few months. Also, charging at higher than 14.4 volts will cause breakdown of water in to hydrogen and oxygen, so be SURE TO UNPLUG battery charger from wall socket before disconnecting the charger from the battery as the spark could cause an explosion with sulfuric acid in your face. The 14.4 volts or more is what is needed for bringing back a battery that has sat for a while. This is also what is called an equalization voltage. A manual charger of one or two amps works for equalization.
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:19   #18
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Re: Dead Batteries: Rechargeable w/ Solar or wind?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Not saying that, but a generator whether a "true" 800W or not for $90 is a heck of a deal, unlikely to be the normal everyday price, but if it is, I want one

Just go get one. Just about every Harbor Freight ad in a magazine has a coupon for one. It is probably "junk" but mine has worked 2 years and it worked just fine to take out to the boat and charge the batteries fully and do an equalize (back before I got solar) and was a lot better option than running the engine. And it was less cost than 1 day in a slip to do the same. Afterwards I took it home and it has been enough to run the refrigerator and some lights during winter power outages.

Not a long term solution and it is pretty loud. But if it only lasts 2 years for the $90 I don't care and will just get rid of it.
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:21   #19
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Re: Dead Batteries: Rechargeable w/ Solar or wind?

Why not have a honda forever?
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:44   #20
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Re: Dead Batteries: Rechargeable w/ Solar or wind?

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Why not have a honda forever?
Well lets see:

$90 for a junk unit from Harbor Freight to use 1x/year that already has lasted 2 years
$1000 for a Honda to use 1x/year

I'm going to have to sleep on it a while.

No I got enough sleep last night and if all one needs is to charge the batteries real good once in a while the $90 unit wins!
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:20   #21
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Re: Dead Batteries: Rechargeable w/ Solar or wind?

If you keep your boat at least 1/2 mile form any other boats that may be occupied, I am with you. But if there are any inside that radius, you will VERY VERY quickly make people very, very unhappy with you. There is nothing that ruins the peacefulness of boating like an air cooled generator running on deck.

You will need to run it for hours to equalize. We once anchored near a boat that had on open frame genset on deck in Elizabeth Harbour. They ran the thing at SUNSET!!! There was a whole lot of clapping and hooting from surrounding boats when they finally shut if off. I don't think they ran it again there at that time of the day.


Chris

Quote:
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Well lets see:

$90 for a junk unit from Harbor Freight to use 1x/year that already has lasted 2 years
$1000 for a Honda to use 1x/year

I'm going to have to sleep on it a while.

No I got enough sleep last night and if all one needs is to charge the batteries real good once in a while the $90 unit wins!
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:43   #22
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Re: Dead Batteries: Rechargeable w/ Solar or wind?

Why would you use it only one year? If you had any plans to cruise ever the honda would be a huge asset.
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:46   #23
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Re: Dead Batteries: Rechargeable w/ Solar or wind?

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If you keep your boat at least 1/2 mile form any other boats that may be occupied, I am with you.

No one around in the afternoon in the middle of the week in the mooring field. Besides it is nothing compared to the boats out there that can not secure their halyards that bang all year long.

Besides if they can not handle it 1 afternoon a year for a couple of hours screw them!

This thread is about an easy way to charge your batteries. Not about the pros/cons of various little generators.
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:55   #24
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Re: Dead Batteries: Rechargeable w/ Solar or wind?

Simply trying to inform any possible readers that what your recommending is not good advice, a waste of money, and has no place on a cruising boat.
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Old 03-04-2014, 12:14   #25
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Re: Dead Batteries: Rechargeable w/ Solar or wind?

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Simply trying to inform any possible readers that what your recommending is not good advice, a waste of money, and has no place on a cruising boat.
well thanks for YOUR suggestion that I'm some type of idiot

BTW the generator I'm talking hasn't been on the boat for 1.5 years! But it accomplished the goal of charging and equalizing the batteries for less than going to a slip PLUS became a useful piece of equipment at home!

Maybe you should learn to read instead of trying to win an internet question by turning it into something that it wasn't?
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Old 03-04-2014, 12:41   #26
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Re: Dead Batteries: Rechargeable w/ Solar or wind?

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Simply trying to inform any possible readers that what your recommending is not good advice, a waste of money, and has no place on a cruising boat.
My "junk" $100 generator from fred meyer has worked perfect for 4 years now. Starts on the first pull.
And i think any gen running mid day is fine with me i dont own the air and cant police the sounds at anchorage, and the wind and or rain is WAY louder than my gen. Any gen running in the evening is rude even if its the "quiet" honda. Like people blasting music. Just rude.

Andy

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Old 03-04-2014, 12:57   #27
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Re: Dead Batteries: Rechargeable w/ Solar or wind?

At risk of being redundant, cruisers really love the Honda eu2000. I wouldn't be surprised if some of them used them to charge batteries. What a crazy far out idea, quiet too.
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Old 03-04-2014, 13:25   #28
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Re: Dead Batteries: Rechargeable w/ Solar or wind?

Horror,
Actually I have two, one companion and one not that couple together, often two running at half throttle is quieter than one busting a gut and I hope will last longer too.. But hey a less than $100 dollar generator would be something I'd like to see, and honestly I can see the use, not everyone can afford a Honda, or even has the need. I can see having a cheap one as an emergency back-up or maybe when you don't want your Honda to grow legs.
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Old 04-04-2014, 00:22   #29
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Re: Dead Batteries: Rechargeable w/ Solar or wind?

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....you can use a sensitive voltmeter to read the voltage ......
You don't mean sensitive you mean accurate - even cheap digital ones are OK. As you point out the difference between being 100% charged and 50% is less than 0.6 volts - this depends on the type of battery.

Quote:
Originally Posted by westwinds View Post
If the state of charge is 50% or less, it is unlikely you can charge back to 100% if the batteries have been discharged for more than a few months....
You're confusing State of Charge (SoC) with Battery Capacity. You can get the battery back to 100% SoC but the actual Ah capacity may be a lot less than when the battery was new because of Sulfation caused by being left uncharged for too long.

Quote:
Originally Posted by westwinds View Post
The 14.4 volts or more is what is needed for bringing back a battery that has sat for a while. This is also what is called an equalization voltage.
14.4v is a typical charging voltage, many batteries want a lot more, but an "Equalizing Voltage" is very different - about 15.5v - this may dissolve some of the sulfation and increase the battery's Ah capacity. Most "Sealed" batteries can't be equalized unless they can cope with the water loss from excessive gassing.


A general comment on generators:

A Generator will only charge to about 85% SoC unless left on for 12-24 hours depending on the battery size, so solar is the only way to keep the batteries charged.
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