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Old 29-04-2014, 07:19   #16
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Re: Fried battery question

Another pilot. You still current? I often think about dusting off my logbook and getting back into it. Then sanity prevails. But it would sure be sweet to be able to fly that 600 miles up to Florida for a weekend now and again.

We plan to be pretty much local for the rest of this year. I'm getting the boat appraised this morning, a value for customs. IF it comes in cheap enough that we can import it, we'll be sailing it locally for the rest of this year, planning on heading seriously southwest ( Roatan) next year. We've got other trips in the wings, too, basically everything between Florida and Columbia, including going up to check out the Abacos. So I appreciate the advice to buy new batts as the others fail. Keep in mind that a $200 battery in the US will cost $400 here. Would probably be worth it for us to sail down to the Dominican Republic or over to Puerto Rico to buy a set. Eventually, I hope.

I'll pull that battery out this morning. I had turned off the PV inputs yesterday when I discovered it sizzling away down there. Was that hydrogen gas filling the engine room? very distinctive odor I had not smelled before. Similar to hydrogen sulfide swamp gas, but not exactly. There's another component in it, probably lead?
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Old 29-04-2014, 09:15   #17
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Re: Fried battery question

Okay am on board now. Don't ya just love iPads? Pulled the fryer. Can see no liquid down in the sight glass and it measures 9.39 volts no load.

Can this be saved with Epsom salts?
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Old 29-04-2014, 09:27   #18
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Re: Fried battery question

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Originally Posted by Canibul View Post

Can this be saved with Epsom salts?
Nope, not even KY Jelly will save it.
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Old 29-04-2014, 09:34   #19
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Re: Fried battery question

I have had three shorted batteries in the past. Two of the three were not very old. Every time... they were very hot compared with the others after charging. Disconnect the hot one and check the voltage after it sits for several hours or overnight. If the voltage is back down it's shorted.
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Old 29-04-2014, 09:34   #20
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Re: Fried battery question

The comments above are very good. Usually change the whole bank........

One note for everyone though: Thermal runaway. A very real problem but not common. It happens when charging a bad battery. Of course, millions of bad batteries have been charged with no problems. Rarely though (I have seen it myself only one time) a chemical reaction starts in a bad battery which is exothermic - generates heat. This is more than the normal warming when charging batteries. When overcharging a bad battery, sometimes, it gets too hot. The heat starts a reaction that feeds on itself. The chemical reaction creates heat and the heat speeds up the reaction. The result, if unchecked, is a very dangerous (capital D dangerous) situation. The battery can literally explode spewing hot acid and material a great distance.

The one time it happened to me and the electrician training me, we turned off the charger which did not stop the reaction. We got a dock cart full of ice and packed the battery down with it. We were playing with fire but were trying to save the situation and all the damage it would cause. It was a judgement call and it worked out but could have turned out very bad. So if you ever charge a suspected bad battery, open everything up and ensure good air flow around the batts. Make sure it has the correct fluid level and then monitor the heat - by touch or a battery heat sensor (not common). If it gets too hot to touch you are right on the edge.

This is also a good reason to not closely pack batteries (extremely common) without good air flow (extremely common). We routinely cut holes in battery boxes (tops and sides) and added louvered vents under salon seats etc. Batteries should have airspace between them. We used strips of UHDM (e.g. Starboard), or in a pinch hard wood as spacers. Especially important if batteries are in engine rooms where it is hot anyway. Some inverter/chargers and alternator regulators have battery temp sensors to monitor heat and cut back on the charging if the batts get too hot. I had them but found they didn't work very well. At least keep good airspace and flow around the batts. FWIW
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Old 29-04-2014, 10:36   #21
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Re: Fried battery question

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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Nope, not even KY Jelly will save it.

You're one o' them gel cell guys I've heard about, I bet.



I did have a temp sensor on it. The one from the Outback mppt, in fact. I've now wired the single back in, removed the post toastie, and re-set the battery monitor to a total 315 ah bank.

By the way, looking at the battery monitor did show me some problems. It normally tells me the %charge and the time to drain at current load. Neither of these had any values when the bad boy battery boiled belligerously below. Voltage for the bank was 12 point something.

Now after the exorcism, the Vectron 602S is all happy again. Nice tool, that. Now I need to train myself on how to use it a little better.
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Old 29-04-2014, 11:15   #22
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Re: Fried battery question

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Another pilot. You still current?
Yes, I still make something of a living doing it, at least for a few more years anyway.

And I think it was exactly Hydrogen Sulfide gas, smelled like rotten eggs, right?
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Old 30-04-2014, 14:59   #23
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Re: Fried Battery Question

yeah, it did smell like rotten eggs, with another component in it, too. This battery was boiled dry.
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Old 30-04-2014, 18:50   #24
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You're one o' them gel cell guys I've heard about, I bet.



I did have a temp sensor on it. The one from the Outback mppt, in fact. I've now wired the single back in, removed the post toastie, and re-set the battery monitor to a total 315 ah bank.

By the way, looking at the battery monitor did show me some problems. It normally tells me the %charge and the time to drain at current load. Neither of these had any values when the bad boy battery boiled belligerously below. Voltage for the bank was 12 point something.

Now after the exorcism, the Vectron 602S is all happy again. Nice tool, that. Now I need to train myself on how to use it a little better.
Just installed two Victron 702 monitors with midpoint monitoring.

Banks are 4 batteries of 6v each in series. Monitor point is in the middle. Two strings so two monitors.

The monitor will display percent imbalance all the time on each string independently.

I am currently running a 5 year old wet golf cart bank. I just installed a victron 8kva inverter, 100 amp charger from victron and an isolation transformer.

Planning to track the bank to failure and replace.

One string has a specific gravity that is flat to 0.005 across all cells. Voltage is within 0.2 % between top and bottom half all the way down to 10.5 volts (test point).

The other bank had one cell which was 0.055 lower than the average. Voltage deviation became pronounced with batteries at 5.4v each except the low battery which went to 4.8v this is a .25 C load. Deviation was almost 4%!

After equalization the one cell is 0.025 low. Deviation is less than 0.4% now.

Really like these Victron 702 monitors!
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Old 30-04-2014, 19:24   #25
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Re: Fried battery question

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canibul View Post
Okay am on board now. Don't ya just love iPads? Pulled the fryer. Can see no liquid down in the sight glass and it measures 9.39 volts no load.

Can this be saved with Epsom salts?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Nope, not even KY Jelly will save it.
Try aspirin.
This won't help the dud battery but it may ease your pain
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Old 30-04-2014, 20:23   #26
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Re: Fried Battery Question

"Boat was hit by lightning "

Bear in mind that could have put a zillion volts and amps through every part of the boat, and that includes the insides of the batteries, which are nice soft melty lead. So, yes, the inside of ALL FOUR may have been damaged and physically distorted by the zillion volts and amps.

Mark is spot on, the practical solution is to either run on three or just buy the closest thing you can for the fourth. But I wouldn't spend a penny until all the other three were examined and tested to see if there's any other sign of internal damage.

If you can run satisfactorily with three...considering their age that's what I'd opt for. Give them some time, another month or two, and see if anything else shakes loose in any of them. And if it does--then scrap them all. If you had any insurance coverage on the lightning damage, see if you can scrap all four now anyway, since internal battery damage could be a fire hazard and you've already got proof of one battery having a (perhaps coincidental) problem.
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Old 30-04-2014, 21:40   #27
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Re: Fried Battery Question

These are sealed batteries so low maintenance. My experience is this type of battery does not last as long, and at 4 years, I would just replace. If money is short, you could try resting voltage test with each battery disconnected, no discharge or charge for at least six hours, put a sensitive volt meter on each and see what you get. If you do this, check back and we can look up what the voltages mean. Also, temperature where the batteries reside would give a more exact assessment.
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Old 01-05-2014, 06:22   #28
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Re: Fried battery question

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Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
Try aspirin.
This won't help the dud battery but it may ease your pain
Have you guys seen the videos etc. about reclaiming bad batteries using Epsom Salt? there are quite a few of them.

I've now watched the bank for a day, and it's looking okay. 13.2 volts, roughly. Batt monitor says it's 100% charged. I think I will just choogle around with the three battery bank for a while, see if anything else fails. We have tons of solar so I'm not that worried about running out of juice, as long as I can isolate one battery and get an engine started. I've already gone through this once, after the lightning strike. I started an engine with one battery and a screwdriver across the solenoid.

I put the insurance claim in over a year ago. The batteries had not failed, so they were not included. Too late for that. If the batteries catch fire at this point, it would be a new, separate claim. By the way, after one lightning damage claim, my insurance company informed me that my premiums were going up and that I was no longer covered for lightning damage. Nice.
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:10   #29
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Re: Fried battery question

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By the way, after one lightning damage claim, my insurance company informed me that my premiums were going up and that I was no longer covered for lightning damage. Nice.
Less coverage for more money, time to start shopping!
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:11   #30
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Re: Fried Battery Question

Which insurance company?

Ours (Commandeur, now called Marine Insurance International) did not raise our rates or exclude lightning after we were hit and made a substantial claim.

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