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Old 06-05-2015, 12:48   #1
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How to store Trojan batteries for summer in the tropics

Hello all,
We are storing our boat for the summer/fall in the tropics and want to know the best way to store our Trojan golf-cart 6v lead-acid batteries. We have two banks, of two six-volt batteries each. We can leave a solar panel feeding one bank and have someone coming to water it once a month. Because the other bank is so hard to get to, we would like to disconnect it and just leave it.
Will the other bank be dead and unusable when we come back in six months? Any tips on how to store it? The temperature here (in Curacao) is almost 90 degrees F every day. Should we just fill both banks with water, keep them on our solar panels (the regulator dumps power at about 13.5 v), and hope for the best?
We need to keep the batteries in use and at least one bank needs to be connected for our automatic bilge pump.
Thanks,
Debby and Larry
s/v Debonair
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Old 06-05-2015, 13:02   #2
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re: How to store Trojan batteries for summer in the tropics

Never store Trojans in your wallet…

When we have to leave our T105's for a length of time (while keeping the fridge and bilge pumps running), I just make sure they are topped with water and adjust the solar controller absorption voltage to 13.8V for 2hrs and float at 13.2V - all temperature compensated. This allows them to stay fully charged while running the reefer, but never hit gassing voltages. When we return, they seem just fine with no water loss. A couple of full cycles back at 14.8 absorption voltage seems to remove whatever sulphation has occurred.

If yours are just backing up the bilge pump, I would set the controller for 13.2V and give them an equalization when you return if the specific gravity was low or varied across cells.

I doubt they will need watering, but it is great that you have someone who will check that.

Mark
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Old 06-05-2015, 13:07   #3
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re: How to store Trojan batteries for summer in the tropics

Here is a link to a Trojan T105 storage pdf. I hope it helps. Self discharge rate depends a lot on temp.
http://www.google.ca/url?sa=t&rct=j&...92291466,d.aWw
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Old 06-05-2015, 14:55   #4
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re: How to store Trojan batteries for summer in the tropics

It would really be a crap shoot with poor odds if a battery just left would still be good after that long.

You might think about getting a remote watering system for both of your banks. There are a couple of makers out there. They let you water the batteries using a squeeze bulb through a tube in a convenient location. No need to mess with getting at or moving the batteries to water them.

Also, there are water saver battery caps. They cut down on water loss but aren't a cure all. They cut down the need to check the water in batteries but were too successful. Got out of the habit checking the batteries and ran them down far enough to ruin them.
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Old 06-05-2015, 15:17   #5
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re: How to store Trojan batteries for summer in the tropics

I feel your pain, having had to leave my boat periodically in the Virgin Islands for months at a time. I went thru T-105s like a sharp knife thru butter....I won an award from Trojan for single-handedly keeping them in business for 11 years :-)

Since then, I've studied, experimented, tested, written, and learned a lot about batteries. Particularly about Trojans.

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.

Since you have solar panels and, I presume, a decent controller, I'd hook 'em all up as a single bank, make sure they are well watered (a bit higher than you'd normally water them), and fitted with Water Miser caps to reduce water loss through evaporation.

The advice to set the float to 13.2 VDC is good, given the high temps they'll be experiencing. They'll still sulfate a bit at this voltage, with some loss of capacity, but an equalizing charge and exercise when you get back to them should help ensure they'll be OK for the next season.

You might get a total of 5-6 years from T-105s treated in this way.

Bill
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Old 06-05-2015, 15:23   #6
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re: How to store Trojan batteries for summer in the tropics

Quote:
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.

Since you have solar panels and, I presume, a decent controller, I'd hook 'em all up as a single bank, make sure they are well watered (a bit higher than you'd normally water them), and fitted with Water Miser caps to reduce water loss through evaporation
what he said. they will be low on water after 6 months .. the question is how low.
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Old 06-05-2015, 15:23   #7
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re: How to store Trojan batteries for summer in the tropics

Quote:
Originally Posted by roverhi View Post
It would really be a crap shoot with poor odds if a battery just left would still be good after that long.

You might think about getting a remote watering system for both of your banks. There are a couple of makers out there. They let you water the batteries using a squeeze bulb through a tube in a convenient location. No need to mess with getting at or moving the batteries to water them.

Also, there are water saver battery caps. They cut down on water loss but aren't a cure all. They cut down the need to check the water in batteries but were too successful. Got out of the habit checking the batteries and ran them down far enough to ruin them.
Agree. 6 months is too long.

We have 6 Trojan T105s that are nearly 8 years old and still going strong.

We just fitted the Trojan self water caps. I currently use a syringe and flexi pvc tube to top them off. At this age they consume more water than when new.

We have our solar keep them topped off. I like the suggestion to adjust your controller voltage to below the gassing threshold. Haven't tried that but it sounds logical.

I wouldn't bother with the cheap water saver caps. They rarely seem to work on house batteries.

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Old 06-05-2015, 15:48   #8
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re: How to store Trojan batteries for summer in the tropics

If the batteries are topped up before storage and the solar panel is on a controller and not overcharging them...shouldn't need much water, if any. I would put a solar panel on the second battery to keep it topped up, even if that is a smaller "charge maintainer" not a full solar charging system.


Any wet lead battery that is not being trickle charged, will form insoluble sulfates after as little as 30 days from normal self-discharge, and somewhere between 30-90 days, depending on whose opinion you listen to, the battery takes a permanent loss of capacity and some damage from that. With all the different opinions, NO ONE will tell you that a proper trickle charge, or float charge, or solar maintainer, is going to cause damage by preventing the self-discharge.


So...One way you gamble the other way you don't.


And I'd leave a couple of gallon bottles of distilled water there for the battery checker, just to make sure they have the right stuff AT HAND so it is more certain to be used.
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Old 06-05-2015, 15:50   #9
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re: How to store Trojan batteries for summer in the tropics

I have twice left my Trojans for over 4 months with no ill effects. I overfilled them a bit, did not fiddle with the charger and when I got back the water was still over the tops of the plates. If leaving them for 6 months I would do as Mark advises above to help with water loss.
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Old 07-05-2015, 09:45   #10
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re: How to store Trojan batteries for summer in the tropics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Debonair123 View Post
Hello all,
We are storing our boat for the summer/fall in the tropics and want to know the best way to store our Trojan golf-cart 6v lead-acid batteries. We have two banks, of two six-volt batteries each. We can leave a solar panel feeding one bank and have someone coming to water it once a month. Because the other bank is so hard to get to, we would like to disconnect it and just leave it.
Will the other bank be dead and unusable when we come back in six months? Any tips on how to store it? The temperature here (in Curacao) is almost 90 degrees F every day. Should we just fill both banks with water, keep them on our solar panels (the regulator dumps power at about 13.5 v), and hope for the best?
We need to keep the batteries in use and at least one bank needs to be connected for our automatic bilge pump.
Thanks,
Debby and Larry
s/v Debonair
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!
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Old 07-05-2015, 12:41   #11
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re: How to store Trojan batteries for summer in the tropics

Quote:
Originally Posted by Debonair123 View Post
Hello all,
We are storing our boat for the summer/fall in the tropics and want to know the best way to store our Trojan golf-cart 6v lead-acid batteries. We have two banks, of two six-volt batteries each. We can leave a solar panel feeding one bank and have someone coming to water it once a month. Because the other bank is so hard to get to, we would like to disconnect it and just leave it.
Will the other bank be dead and unusable when we come back in six months? Any tips on how to store it? The temperature here (in Curacao) is almost 90 degrees F every day. Should we just fill both banks with water, keep them on our solar panels (the regulator dumps power at about 13.5 v), and hope for the best?
We need to keep the batteries in use and at least one bank needs to be connected for our automatic bilge pump.
Thanks,
Debby and Larry
s/v Debonair
I installed a QWIK-FILL Onboard Battery Watering System for the difficult to reach batteries. Works a Charm~~ http://www.flow-rite.com
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Old 07-05-2015, 12:46   #12
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re: How to store Trojan batteries for summer in the tropics

Quote:
Originally Posted by wrwakefield View Post
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!
I purchased first from Amazon and they sent the wrong Units and I had to pay return postage. Order from the Manufacturer.
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Old 08-05-2015, 07:53   #13
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re: How to store Trojan batteries for summer in the tropics

Hello all,
Thanks for all the responses! Here's what we've decided to do:
- Cover half of our solar panels (we have two 85-watt panels) to lessen the amount of power coming in.
- Overfill both banks of batteries before we go.
- Turn down the regulator from about 13.5 volts to 13.0 or 13.1 (it's just a tiny dial, hard to get an exact measurement).
- Get both banks to be accessible for someone to come in at 2-3 months and check and fill with water.
- We'll fit a HydroLink or other fill system, they look like the final answer to flooded cells.
I'll report back about how they look in the fall when we return. Thanks again to all who gave their opinions.
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Old 08-05-2015, 08:07   #14
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re: How to store Trojan batteries for summer in the tropics

Before you order the Hydrolink system be sure that you do not have the Trojan T-105 plus batteries as it will not fit. Don't ask how I know.
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Old 08-05-2015, 10:27   #15
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Re: How to store Trojan batteries for summer in the tropics

Good point on the T-105 Plus batteries not being comparable with the remote watering systems.

I replaced T-105 Plus bank with T-105 (nonplussed?)

You can tell if you have Plus T-105s at a glance: the battery caps run diagonally instead of down the centerline of the length.

Cheers!


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