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Old 25-06-2014, 12:50   #61
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Re: Lead acids dying. What to replace with?

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I think it's all about the lead plate thickness and spacing. The rest is marketing.
Thicker plates absolutely mean a "tougher" battery, more plates will raise the batteries capacity, but if you go with more, thinner plates to raise capacity, the thinner plates won't last as long and are more prone to damage from vibration etc..
But these raise the batteries weight due to having more lead.
I believe you actually can get a good idea of the quality of a battery by weighing it, better batteries do weigh more.

But I've seen what I believe to be the same battery, in the same case, and the same weight have different claims to capacity, significant differences.

Just wonder how much "truth" there is to battery capacity claims, I know they are priced according to capacity, especially starting batteries
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Old 25-06-2014, 12:53   #62
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Re: Lead acids dying. What to replace with?

And with those numbers, there's really no way in hell for the average guy to know what he's buying, or if it meets it's own spec. I mean, how many of us are going to go out and charge a battery on a day when it's zero degrees out, and then stand there with a stopwatch while cranking, and then measure each cell? Every day.
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Old 25-06-2014, 13:01   #63
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A hydrometer is good way of finding your state of charge but its a big hassle. And load testing will tell you how good your battery is. But using solar for a long time, voltage can tell you a lot about the state of charge. Depending on what time of day my batteries hit certain voltages I know roughly their state of charge. Not everyone wants to spend the money for an amphour meter. But I think it's the best way of determining your state of charge
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Old 25-06-2014, 13:33   #64
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Re: Lead acids dying. What to replace with?

I have a Victron. It didn't give me any indication of a problem until after the problem was over and the battery was toast. The voltage looked fine one day. Next morning, parboiled plates. Lead linguine. Recharge refritas. Deader than Dillinger's....well you get the idea.
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Old 25-06-2014, 13:58   #65
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Even a victron can't tell you when a cell is going to go bad. I know of a good soothsayer I can put you in touch with if you're interested
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Old 25-06-2014, 17:07   #66
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Re: Lead acids dying. What to replace with?

The problem with SOC in percent is you must know your batteries capacity. The only "real" way to find that is a controlled 20 hour discharge test.

Voltage will tell you if the battery can accept any more charge or not - i.e. it's full.

Imagine your fuel tanks sheds internal wall thickness over time reducing it's capacity. You fill it. The fuel gauge says Full - You still don't know how much fuel you have.
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Old 25-06-2014, 19:18   #67
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Re: Lead acids dying. What to replace with?

Well I wrestled them babies into the boat this afternoon. Also took a good look at the wind generator, after reading the manual. It's not behaving right. It should stop when the batteries are full. The solar keeps the batteries full, and yet the wind gen keeps spinning. I'll bet the regulator on it is not regulating. I'll be taking that apart shortly.
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Old 27-06-2014, 04:56   #68
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Re: Lead acids dying. What to replace with?

I got the first two six volt GCs in last night. Had to raise all of the switches and connections a few inches, which meant I had to cut a piece of plywood, paint it, install it, and then move all the wiring to it. But it's done. First thing I noticed, my new Victron battery monitor is toast I guess. Blank display.

I'm not spending that kind of money for another one.
What do you guys use to monitor your battery voltage and where do you hook it up?

I was mentally tracing the system in the engine room last night, and realized that I didn't really know where a good spot to measure battery voltage would be. You're not really monitoring the battery voltage, in use, are you. You're monintoring system voltage, which includes the battery bank, active charging going on, and the drain of anything running on the boat. Which is a lot.

So, in order to get a battery voltage reading that's accurate, do you disconnect your battery bank from the house and the chargers and measure it with no load? Because I don't see any way of comparing apples to apples under the house load. Too many variables.
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Old 27-06-2014, 05:24   #69
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They have amp,ahr.- volt meters on eBay for $30-$50 depending on maximum amperage. It would be great if someone could do a review on them. As far as using voltage to indicate state-of-charge if you're using solar to charge your batteries the time of day that your controller goes into absorption mode is a good indicator. And if your voltage doesn't hit that level you know you need to conserve. And almost forgot third way is to turn a high load on and check the voltage then
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Old 27-06-2014, 05:53   #70
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Re: Lead acids dying. What to replace with?

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You're not really monitoring the battery voltage, in use, are you. You're monintoring system voltage, which includes the battery bank, active charging going on, and the drain of anything running on the boat. Which is a lot.

So, in order to get a battery voltage reading that's accurate, do you disconnect your battery bank from the house and the chargers and measure it with no load? Because I don't see any way of comparing apples to apples under the house load. Too many variables.
I believe you can get a decent idea of SOC by monitoring voltage under load, as stated earlier if you do it this way, your always conservative and won't hurt anything. ALL the hybrid cars determine SOC when the battery is both under load and being charged.
Drawback is you won't be getting the most out of your batteries if your plan is to discharge to 50% before recharging, you'll most likely be at 60% or something when you re-charge.
But, I believe that within reason the shallower you discharge a battery before re-charging it, the longer it's life will be, that if graphed, the life / percent discharge would be a slope, not a step and that 50% is just a generally recognized number where that slope begins to get steep on the life end.

It may even be possible that if you take that money spent in fancy monitoring systems and put it in more batteries that you may enjoy a longer bank life. I know that statement is controversial, but so be it.
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Old 27-06-2014, 07:51   #71
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Re: Lead acids dying. What to replace with?

i was just thinking the same thing. For what it would cost me to replace the Victron, I could get two more batteries. Hmmm. closely followed by "duh".

I'm back on the boat now (starting to appreciate this little iPad I inherited) and just checked the Victron. fuse good, and I have voltage at the shunt wire and the shunt is not open. So it's likely a failure of a component on a board. Dang it. I guess I was under the mistaken impression that the shunt would act as a fuse with a direct short. Not in this case.
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Old 27-06-2014, 08:55   #72
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Re: Lead acids dying. What to replace with?

Keep looking at the Victron wiring that you changed. The display is powered by one of the voltage leads and a ground wire.
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Old 27-06-2014, 11:02   #73
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Keep looking at the Victron wiring that you changed. The display is powered by one of the voltage leads and a ground wire.
+1 if it was working before you moved it chances are you did something wrong when you moved it
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Old 27-06-2014, 15:33   #74
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Re: Lead acids dying. What to replace with?

Well, I spent most of the day installing the other two batteries and rewiring the solar and wind circuits. To be more accurate, I took the Air X completely out of it.

I did spend a little more time with the Victron, double checked the installation, and it's identical to what it was before. I just moved the shunt up about three inches. There's voltage on the + wire at the shunt, and the electrical system is up and running fine. Everything is functional except the Victron has no display. Tomorrow I'll put a DVM on the top connector up at the display, to be sure I have power up there. Should be SOME kind of display, even if it's wrong.
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Old 28-06-2014, 14:38   #75
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Re: Lead acids dying. What to replace with?

Well I checked cable continuity from end to end and that's okay. Took the PCB off of the shunt and made sure it's all connected okay. Found my system voltage (13.7 at the time) at the top connector so I know it's getting power to he monitor. This thing is only two months old. I'm not very impressed.
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