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Old 09-05-2015, 17:31   #16
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Re: How to store Trojan batteries for summer in the tropics

When we install one of our remote off-grid surveillance towers that uses solar and flooded lead acid batteries, we also include a desulfator which seems to prolong battery life. The desulfator device hits the batteries with intermittent high voltage pulses (well, higher than charge voltage) which is supposed to either eliminate or greatly reduce the culfation process. These installations are primarily in Texas, so the batteries are subjected to some hellish temperatures and the solar is hit and miss (clouds, etc) and our experience is that the batteries last longer with desulfators than without. They are certainly cheap enough to try.

One model (for instance):
http://www.amazon.com/Wizbang-Batter...N%3DB006RJW538
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Old 28-05-2015, 13:27   #17
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Re: How to store Trojan batteries for summer in the tropics

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Hi Debby and Larry,

We replaced our house bank with Trojan T-105's last year, so my information is pretty fresh.

First, keep them all on a float charge. Follow the recommendations on the Trojan Data Sheet for T-105's [Basically float at 13.2 volts minus .028 volts for every 10 degrees above 77F]

RE: Watering: We had the same difficult access issue so I installed the Trojan HydroLynk self watering system. If you have time, order and get it installed before you leave... or bring it back with you. [Available via Amazon, etc.] It greatly simplifies watering. We plan to put a remote pump on a timer to water every few weeks next time we have to leave the boat... [The HydroLynk system prevents overwatering...]

If you want more details and specifics you will find them on my blog post about that project.

Have fun!
This is an update to my thinking in the original post (above) regarding "We plan to put a remote pump on a timer to water every few weeks next time we have to leave the boat... [The HydroLynk system prevents overwatering...]"

In hindsight, I suspect we can set up for siphon flow if we set the distilled water jug higher than the battery bank and pump the line full of water before we leave the boat unattended.

I will attempt to confirm this works by marking the fluid level in the bottle when I depart, and sealing the bottle against [major] evaporation but leaving enough air leakage so the siphon will work...

I will try to remember to report back once I make a determination. If this works, it couldn't be simpler to maintain FLA battery water level in our absence...

Stay tuned...
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Old 28-05-2015, 14:03   #18
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Re: How to store Trojan batteries for summer in the tropics

Would all of this advice be the same if the boat is going to be on the hard for four months?

We have similar setup, four 6 volt batteries in two banks. But we have 800 watts of solar through two MTTPs. We won't have any drain on the batteries at all for four months. Should I just disconnect the charging, or follow same recommendations for altering voltage?
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Old 28-05-2015, 14:34   #19
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Re: How to store Trojan batteries for summer in the tropics

Canibul-
Part of your setup would be checking what the specific float voltage of your controllers is, and what the optimum and acceptable float voltages are for your batteries. Sometimes, the controller simply has not been programmed to match the specific battery, and it can be tweaked. Whether you have temperature compensation on the controllers (if not, add it) matters.
If they are matched well, and compensated, it might be enough to simply add a *little* extra water at the start, relying on it to cook down to normal by the end.
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Old 28-05-2015, 14:36   #20
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Re: How to store Trojan batteries for summer in the tropics

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Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
You cannot leave them sitting for six months in the tropics. Flooded LA batteries have a very high self-discharge rate, and it gets worse with high temperatures. It's a sure way to kill the battery capacity thru sulfation.
Bill
+1. I have seen several new boats with Trojan flooded batteries that were sulfated beyond repair when the owner took delivery of the boat, because the builder did not maintain them while they were in their stock. Even 4 months will do serious damage.
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Old 28-05-2015, 15:37   #21
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Re: How to store Trojan batteries for summer in the tropics

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Canibul-
Part of your setup would be checking what the specific float voltage of your controllers is, and what the optimum and acceptable float voltages are for your batteries. Sometimes, the controller simply has not been programmed to match the specific battery, and it can be tweaked. Whether you have temperature compensation on the controllers (if not, add it) matters.
If they are matched well, and compensated, it might be enough to simply add a *little* extra water at the start, relying on it to cook down to normal by the end.
Thanks. It's an Outback mppt, their model FM60 says it's fully controllable. so with beaucoup solar and no draw, could I just set this on some minimal number to keep the batteries topped up without boiling away? I have never changed anything on it, it seemed to work right out of the box and I did cycle through the menu options but I didn't change any values or parameters.
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Old 28-05-2015, 19:01   #22
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Re: How to store Trojan batteries for summer in the tropics

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Originally Posted by Canibul View Post
Would all of this advice be the same if the boat is going to be on the hard for four months?

We have similar setup, four 6 volt batteries in two banks. But we have 800 watts of solar through two MTTPs. We won't have any drain on the batteries at all for four months. Should I just disconnect the charging, or follow same recommendations for altering voltage?
Canibul,

The same information applies no matter where or how we store our batteries...

FLA batteries self-discharge, so at a minimum the vendor suggested float voltage needs to be maintained if you desire to maximize the usable lifespan of your batteries.
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