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Old 30-05-2014, 09:37   #31
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Re: If you were me, and all else was equal(ized)

This last weekend I installed 6 lifeline 2volt agm batteries on Mulligan. This banks rated capasity is 900 AH and fits in the same footprint of our old house bank of 3x 4ds that had a max AH rating of 630. We were constantly having to recharge the 4ds because of our power hungry ways. So far we havent even come close to 50 percent discharge over the course of 3 days running the refrigerator 24/7 a water maker about 20 hours so far, a tv set for several hours a night plus all of the other electric gizmos it takes to keep this ship running. I will add that its getting warm down here and we have run the genset for AC in the evenings while cooking for about 2 hours and that has been more than sufficient to keep everything toped off. In addidition to that we have a solar panel bank of 240 watts and a 600 watt wind generator as well. All of this adds up to a very robust system and hopefully in the long run much less time charging with diesel.
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Old 30-05-2014, 10:59   #32
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Re: If you were me, and all else was equal(ized)

Since it seems like you're looking for a robust solution, why not LiFePO4 batteries? A 700AH LiFePO4 bank would provide a lot more useable capacity than an 1100AH lead-acid bank. If your charging sources never exceed 14.0V, then LiFePO4 might provide decades of trouble-free service.
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Old 30-05-2014, 12:00   #33
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Re: If you were me, and all else was equal(ized)

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Originally Posted by S/V Alchemy View Post
as I will also have two Honda 2000s, a lessy "lossy" choice for, say, ten minutes of paint spraying or the use of a drill. That's the game plan, anyway. It only sounds complicated.
Why two Honda's? I ask as I have two, but wonder why others do.
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Old 30-05-2014, 20:35   #34
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Re: If you were me, and all else was equal(ized)

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If you put that much energy into a girlfriend instead, you'd have way better stories to tell on here
..what are girls?
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Old 01-06-2014, 10:52   #35
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Re: If you were me, and all else was equal(ized)

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The MorningStar Pro has an auto-equalization setting in software when set to the "Flooded Cell" setting. It's timer based and performs this automatically once a month (I think) based on a timer and when the panels are at full output.
I discovered this by accident when I was working on the boat one day and I heard the batteries gurgling. I ran to the battery monitor to notice that the voltage was way higher than I'd like for float or even absorb charging. After verifying this with a multimeter I disconnected the MorningStar thinking it was broken.
After researching "Morningstar failure modes" online looking for evidence of a foolish power design where the FETs and/or TVSs would short during failure, permitting full panel voltage through to the batteries, to my surprise I discovered that it was meant to do this as part of an equalization program!
I bashfully reconnected the MorningStar with a quiet look of being admonished on my face (well I am English so that's how I look anyway) vowing to read the manual next time!

Apparently, if you switch the unit from "Flooded" to "Sealed" the only difference is that it doesn't automatically run an equalization program.
Good to know, and another reason to get Hydrocaps or whatever those one-way cell caps that allow hydrogen to off-gas are called.

English or not, we've all been in the place where our gear, could it do so, would be right to chastise us for our ignorance!
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Old 01-06-2014, 10:54   #36
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Re: If you were me, and all else was equal(ized)

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ProStar ยป Morningstar Corporation



Click manual (top right): go to page 12. Auto-equalization run for 1 hour every 25 calendar days.
Yes, that would do it nicely. A lot of people opt to do this at dock with shore power, but I would prefer to be as autonomous from the shore as possible, which is another reason I want a fairly capacious house bank. Given the LEDs and other low-draw things I'm installing, the fridge, the SSB and the RADAR will be the biggest consuming items. I plan to only make water when we are motoring.
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:06   #37
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Re: If you were me, and all else was equal(ized)

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How about the best of both worlds? The robust construction of single cell and bank redundancy, with the added benefit of not being back breaking 120 lb cells.

Put together (2) strings of 2 volt cells in series and hook up through an A, B, Both battery switch. Leave it on Both, but if you should lose a cell, switch to the other bank.

each cell 70 lbs 648 ahr, so 1296 ahr, a bit over the capacity you want but close.
Concorde Sun-Xtender VRLA Sealed AGM Batteries
Hmm...something to ponder. "A bit over" is clearly not something I would object to. Thanks for yet another option...it's the trade-offs I am finding a little difficult. But that set up does address the concern of six L16 2V batteries have one of six die, at which point you've got a semi-useless 11 volt bank! In your scenario, as I am seeing it, you get a malfunctioning cell, and you are at 50% capacity until you can get a fresh cell.

The only fly in the ointment is that I don't like AGMs for a house bank as I have both access and the skills to maintain a flooded bank, which will be continuously cycled due to multiple charge sources. I do like AGMs and their comparatively low discharge rates for seldom-used functions, like a windlass battery forward charged via EchoCharge or ACR of some sort.

As you might suspect, my belt and suspenders approach to equipping our cruiser is to have the two 12V batteries (start and windlass) be able to run the boat as a rigged up house bank should the entire house bank cack out.
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:08   #38
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Re: If you were me, and all else was equal(ized)

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Did not finish writing.... 4 batteries for a 1100 AH bank, charged mainly with auxiliar alternators, 2 x 110 amps.
Hard to beat hindsight....or maybe it was good luck but seems to work OK for me.
Fair enough. We've got ambitions to run the diesel just for propulsion, although I would shunt the alt output to watermaking or bank charging as required. What I wish to avoid entirely, unless it's some sort of emergency, is the running of the engine just to make amps.

Thanks for the on Rolls batteries.
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:12   #39
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Re: If you were me, and all else was equal(ized)

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Originally Posted by ontherocks83
also if I am reading this correctly if one of your 2v's craps out you just lost your entire bank where like you said if one 6v dies you can re-wire it to just have a smaller bank.



Actually, thats not true that you have lost your entire bank with 2v cells.
Disconnect the faulty 2v cell.
You have a perfectly usable good bank for an emergency and it is running at 10v.
Start your engine and bring it up to 12, all will work as before with the same number of amps.

2v cells are actually the perfect solution for a dropped battery situation.

We are talking an emergency here, so you have to run your alternator more... be sure to monitor and not go over 13v and no damage will be done.

as soon as possible buy another 2v cell.
If you have five of six fully charged 2v cells, I believe they are actually at 2.2, and therefore make one 11VDC cell in series. Six equal 13.2 VDC. Whether the fridge will kick at 11 VDC is unknown to me; I know the LED lighting will be largely untroubled, including the nav lights...only a few lumens lost.

That's my understanding.
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:15   #40
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Re: If you were me, and all else was equal(ized)

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This last weekend I installed 6 lifeline 2volt agm batteries on Mulligan. This banks rated capasity is 900 AH and fits in the same footprint of our old house bank of 3x 4ds that had a max AH rating of 630. We were constantly having to recharge the 4ds because of our power hungry ways. So far we havent even come close to 50 percent discharge over the course of 3 days running the refrigerator 24/7 a water maker about 20 hours so far, a tv set for several hours a night plus all of the other electric gizmos it takes to keep this ship running. I will add that its getting warm down here and we have run the genset for AC in the evenings while cooking for about 2 hours and that has been more than sufficient to keep everything toped off. In addidition to that we have a solar panel bank of 240 watts and a 600 watt wind generator as well. All of this adds up to a very robust system and hopefully in the long run much less time charging with diesel.
Thanks for the field report. My unusual circumstances in having both a steel boat and few qualms about taking a Sawzall to things means I don't need to consider AGMs, but I certainly consider them to have plenty of advantages for those who need them, and Lifeline is what I would choose, based on mostly positive things said by other cruisers.
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:16   #41
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Re: If you were me, and all else was equal(ized)

I have 3 pairs of 6v gels and had a pair fail last year. It was great that I could disconnect that pair and continue operation and then patiently shop for a purchase the optimal replacements. I wouldn't do it any other way, but your priorities may be different.
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:20   #42
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Re: If you were me, and all else was equal(ized)

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Since it seems like you're looking for a robust solution, why not LiFePO4 batteries? A 700AH LiFePO4 bank would provide a lot more useable capacity than an 1100AH lead-acid bank. If your charging sources never exceed 14.0V, then LiFePO4 might provide decades of trouble-free service.
I'm cheap and where I'm going there won't be West Marines, and I'll probably be my own shipper in some cases. So while I concede your points and like what I've read about that formulation, I'm sticking with "what can be found in a tractor shop in the Solomons" options.

That might change, of course, as we'll be out for five years. But I have to make purchases on what I know today, not what may be the case down the road. Hell, it could be safe to run the Red Sea in three years, which would change our assumptions a great deal (my kid and wife want to see Turkey and Greece, but I don't want to sail the length of the Med from Gilbraltar to do that, preferring to go from Maldives to Madasgascar and then around South Africa).
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:28   #43
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Re: If you were me, and all else was equal(ized)

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Why two Honda's? I ask as I have two, but wonder why others do.
I'm in Canada and Honda never bothered to have their "Companion" models certified for here, so I just have the one Honda 2000. I use it frequently for power tools (except it dies when I use my 10 amp Makita circular saw and hit a knot...). I also use it to lay a charge on my boat that overwinters in an unpowered yard. I am very pleased with it...it will keep a small chest freezer and a fridge going in a blackout.

But the "real deal" for me is the Honda "Companion" model plus an American-sourced "regular" Honda 2000 are able to sync up their outputs to provide 3200 watts continuously and 4000 watts at surge, so read 23-30 amps of 120VAC. That's enough to run my 12000 BTU heat pump, which has a 17 amp "kick" on the March pump. That's enough to charge my banks should my alternators fail. That's enough (and you may see where I'm going here) to power my welder (it's a steel boat).

So if I can get a pair for, say, $1,400 U.S., I have a portable 3.2 kW gen set I can take ashore to build the native chief a house and never lack for taro and roast pig again!
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:29   #44
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Re: If you were me, and all else was equal(ized)

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..what are girls?
They are like boys, only with more pronounced tumblehome.
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Old 01-06-2014, 11:30   #45
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Re: If you were me, and all else was equal(ized)

If you go with the 2V cells what about buying one extra as a spare? If you keep it dry (no acid) it should last essentially forever.
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