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Old 18-12-2017, 06:27   #1
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Have I been charging my batteries wrong

I have 12 6 volt Interstate golf cart batteries. 215 amp
they are being charged buy solar, or running a generator through a 110 charger inverter. I've always had the charger set for 100% , now I've read a few articles about charge efficiency should i d rate my charge settings. I do have to put water in the batteries more often then I thought I should
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Old 18-12-2017, 08:47   #2
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Re: Have I been charging my batteries wrong

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I have 12 6 volt Interstate golf cart batteries. 215 amp
they are being charged buy solar, or running a generator through a 110 charger inverter. I've always had the charger set for 100% , now I've read a few articles about charge efficiency should i d rate my charge settings. I do have to put water in the batteries more often then I thought I should
Is each 12V bank 215Ah, or is the total bank of 12 batteries (wired series/parallel) for a total bank of 215Ah, or did you leave out the "V" after the 12 and you only have two 6V batteries wired in series for a single 215Ah battery bank?

Since you are talking about adding water, I am going to figure they are lead acid batteries.

Deep cycle lead acid batteries should have a charging voltage of 14.6V~, and a float/maintenance voltage of 13.5V~.

The amperage allowed is controlled by the batteries themselves. So you could have a 1000A charging source for a 215Ah bank, and it will not matter, other than you wasted money on the charger.

What is important is the charging and float voltage of your regulators, then making sure you get the batteries fully charged on a regular basis - charge regulators go into float mode.

"Charge efficiency" is talking about loss due to charging and discharging. A battery that discharges 100Ah will require 120Ah~ to be fully charged. In inverter/battery charger will lose 2%-20%~ from heat during a charging cycle. Theoretically, and usually in real world practice, a battery that has discharged 100Ah could require as much as 140Ah to replace and be fully charged.

So if are using "d rate" to mean reduce charge amperage, then no, do not do that. If you were talking about Voltage, see above and get the settings correct for proper charge Voltage.

You need to add water as the batteries require. That varies based on the batteries, location, heat/cold, ventilation, battery cap type, charge voltages, etc., etc., etc. Check monthly until you get a handle on it.
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Old 18-12-2017, 09:04   #3
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Re: Have I been charging my batteries wrong

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Originally Posted by motion30 View Post
I have 12 6 volt Interstate golf cart batteries. 215 amp
they are being charged buy solar, or running a generator through a 110 charger inverter. I've always had the charger set for 100% , now I've read a few articles about charge efficiency should i d rate my charge settings. I do have to put water in the batteries more often then I thought I should
Its somewhat of a tradeoff between quickly and fully charging your wetcell batteries and them consuming some water. You can cut water loss with recombiner caps. To tell you more, I'd have to know a bit more.

What charging capacity does your 110 vac inverter charger have, and what are its acceptance and float voltage setpoints?

What is the wattage of your solar bank, what kind of controller do you have, and what are its voltage setpoints??

Do you motor a lot, what kind of alternator regulator do you have, and what are its voltage setpoints?

What percentage of time are you away from dock power?
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Old 18-12-2017, 09:07   #4
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Re: Have I been charging my batteries wrong

I assume that your solar feeds the battery through a controller? If not, the batteries are likely getting too many volts and this will cause damage and a loss of water.
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Old 18-12-2017, 11:09   #5
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Re: Have I been charging my batteries wrong

215 6= 1290 amps. Charged by a magnum 110 amp charger. 14.6 volt absorption charge. 13.3 volt float. Full time livaboard on the hook. 4 275watt solar tru a outback controller
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Old 18-12-2017, 11:29   #6
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Re: Have I been charging my batteries wrong

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215 6= 1290 amps. Charged by a magnum 110 amp charger. 14.6 volt absorption charge. 13.3 volt float. Full time livaboard on the hook. 4 275watt solar tru a outback controller
First off bank capacity is AH not amps.

Second 2x 6V to make 12V batts does not increase AH, so 215AH * 3 is your bank capacity.

Finally no, make all the amps you like available, a HO alt at 400A does no harm. The battery resistance and SoC determines bank acceptance, self-limiting.

If yours is FLA, will be around 80-90A max and only for a short time when depleted.

Adding water is normal and healthy.

Just make sure to follow mfg charge specs, each model can be different.

AGM requires much higher than FLA for longevity, over say 300A just watch out for heat issues, good charge sources have a temp sensor.
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Old 18-12-2017, 12:12   #7
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Re: Have I been charging my batteries wrong

John OP said 12 x 6 volt so that would mean 6x12 colts would it not.
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Old 18-12-2017, 12:39   #8
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Re: Have I been charging my batteries wrong

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John OP said 12 x 6 volt so that would mean 6x12 colts would it not.
Had to double check but I'm guessing the OP meant 12 batteries that are 6 volts each. That's a lot of batteries and would add up to 1,290 amp hours.

If so, it would take a lot of charger or solar to overcharge that much battery but if the voltage is set too high it could happen.
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Old 18-12-2017, 12:48   #9
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Re: Have I been charging my batteries wrong

Yes sorry if six pairs I misread then AH IS 1290.

If so then double, bank may accept 160A at low SoC.

Best would be charge bank to 85% off the genny or alt early AM, give the solar rest of the day to try to get to 100% as per trailing amps.
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Old 18-12-2017, 14:21   #10
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Re: Have I been charging my batteries wrong

As usual, insufficient information and incorrect use of units is leading to confusion

We need the OP to tell us what he actually has.

My best guess is that he has 12 x 6V, 215Ah batteries set up as a 12V 1290Ah bank based on the fact that he has 1100W of solar through an Outback controller. .
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Old 18-12-2017, 15:28   #11
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Re: Have I been charging my batteries wrong

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As usual, insufficient information and incorrect use of units is leading to confusion

We need the OP to tell us what he actually has.

My best guess is that he has 12 x 6V, 215Ah batteries set up as a 12V 1290Ah bank based on the fact that he has 1100W of solar through an Outback controller. .
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Yes you are correct. I just replace the batteries because I had for that had visibly worked place when you remove the caps and looked at them. The specific gravity readings were all good but the capacity seem to be diminished. And loudly they seem like they charged up more rapidly then they did when they were healthy. Just do not want to damage anything again
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Old 18-12-2017, 16:48   #12
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Re: Have I been charging my batteries wrong

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First off bank capacity is AH not amps.

Second 2x 6V to make 12V batts does not increase AH, so 215AH * 3 is your bank capacity.

Finally no, make all the amps you like available, a HO alt at 400A does no harm. The battery resistance and SoC determines bank acceptance, self-limiting.

If yours is FLA, will be around 80-90A max and only for a short time when depleted.

Adding water is normal and healthy.

Just make sure to follow mfg charge specs, each model can be different.

AGM requires much higher than FLA for longevity, over say 300A just watch out for heat issues, good charge sources have a temp sensor.

Your math theory is correct, but you're only accounting for 6 out of the 12 batteries the OP has. if they have 12 6vbatteries then the math is 2 x6v x 6 pairs or 6 x 215 which the OP was correct in the total AH amount being 1290
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Old 18-12-2017, 17:05   #13
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Re: Have I been charging my batteries wrong

Yes I apologized for that mistake when it was pointed out before
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Old 19-12-2017, 06:22   #14
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Re: Have I been charging my batteries wrong

Old batteries will use more water than new batteries with all things being equal. As posted above, be sure the charging parameters are set for the right voltages for your brand of battery. I also recommend chargers that monitor battery temperature, and adjust voltages accordingly.
Just want to point out John's mistake.
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Old 19-12-2017, 10:24   #15
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Re: Have I been charging my batteries wrong

12 6v Batt X 215 amps = 2580 amp hr @ 6 volts. /2 = 1290 amp hours @ 12 volts. Since you never want to deplete flooded batteries less than 50%, you have a useful capacity of 645 amp hours. Don't deplete them more than 50%. Do not allow the plates to be exposed, keep water level up to cover the plates at all times, and aging and sulfating will be minimal. Charge them at 13.8. Get a smart charger which will give you the right bulk, absorption and float voltage. Do you have an equalization mode on your charger? Equalize at 14.5 for 4 hours every 6 months to reverse sulfating. Be aware, they produce hydrogen, they should be in a vented box. AGM's require different treatment. Flooded give you more amp hours and longer life, AGM's are more forgiving and don't require a box or venting. Buy a copy of Nigel Calder's "Boat Owner's Electrical and Mechanical Manual". It's all in there as well as everything else you will ever need to know.
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