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Old 30-09-2013, 21:39   #1
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New Batteries: Best Practices

Hi,

Are there any best practices for breaking in new batteries?

I have four new Trojan T-145 Plus batteries but Trojan doesn't seem to provide any guidance on ensuring you get the most longevity from your battery bank.

- z
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:09   #2
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Re: New Batteries: Best Practices

Never heard of no break-in for batteries
Once in a while you need to equalize 'em, and never go below 50% capacity in normal use.
(I have been using 70% and got 6.5 years)
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:23   #3
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Re: New Batteries: Best Practices

Yes, as above, get a good multi stage charger to bring them up to 100% with the equalization stage as often as practical. Hopefully, if you do this regularly, you won't have to rely on the reconditioning phase. It is also worth doing this when you first get the battery.
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:39   #4
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The Trojan dealer who sold them to me recommended that I cycle them regularly year round (between 70% and 100%). Ie, do not leave them idle (even if fully charged) for a long period of time, for eg in the winter. If at quay, unplug your charger for a couple of days or more just to ensure this regular cycle
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Old 01-10-2013, 06:57   #5
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Re: New Batteries: Best Practices

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Originally Posted by zboss View Post
Hi,

Are there any best practices for breaking in new batteries?

I have four new Trojan T-145 Plus batteries but Trojan doesn't seem to provide any guidance on ensuring you get the most longevity from your battery bank.

- z

I do what I call a commissioning charge and it was passed on to me by the one of the engineers at US Battery..

This means I charge to full at 14.8V (Trojan's) then bump them to 15.5V for two hours. I deem full when the current is no longer diminishing and has stabilized at absorption voltage.

Here is a reference for "full" at 14.4V with two L-16's in parallel. They are accepting approx 0.1A of charge current or just 0.39% of capacity..


If these are going to be series wired batteries I first wire them in parallel and let them self balance for a day or two. I then charge them in parallel at half the voltages listed above or 7.75V for equalization charge and 7.4v for absorption.. This ensures balanced 6V cells before series wiring. I do this because many owners never push the voltages as they should to ensure a full charge. If using 2V cells I do the same but at 1/6th...

Break in requires some cycles before you will fully see the batteries support the voltages you expect. Some batteries seem to take 20 cycles to 50% and some take considerably more. Don't be shy about cycling them to 50% initially. You will eventually see your voltages stay higher under load and this is an indication they are finally broken in.....

You may also consider hydro-caps or similar..
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:42   #6
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Re: New Batteries: Best Practices

Thanks.

The installer had not updated the default charger setting from 14.4 volts to the 14.8 volts recommended by Trojan. I can also set the bulk charging amperage on the charger but Trojan does not specify what that should be; same for the recommended length for the bulk and absorption phases, which I can also set.

I am looking at hydrocaps. The boat show is in two weeks so I am hoping to find a vendor that has a deal on them.


- z
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Old 01-10-2013, 19:00   #7
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Re: New Batteries: Best Practices

You might also want to look at Water Miser Battery Safety Caps. I'm using an older model that doesn't have the flip top feature. I wish I had a personal testimonial on how well they worked over standard caps but I have no data pro or con.
Water Miser Battery Caps

The hydrocaps have gotten mixed reviews and the solar company I usually buy from no longer sells them due to "excessively long lead times and poor delivery".
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Old 01-10-2013, 19:25   #8
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Re: New Batteries: Best Practices

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Originally Posted by kentobin View Post
You might also want to look at Water Miser Battery Safety Caps. I'm using an older model that doesn't have the flip top feature. I wish I had a personal testimonial on how well they worked over standard caps but I have no data pro or con.
Water Miser Battery Caps

The hydrocaps have gotten mixed reviews and the solar company I usually buy from no longer sells them due to "excessively long lead times and poor delivery".
We have those caps, and have had them through two sets of house banks. I have done comparisons of them and the standard Trojan caps by keeping one of three battery pairs on standard caps and moving them around in the system.

On the first set of Trojans (bought in 2006), the WaterMiser caps worked much better than the standard Trojan caps in keeping water loss minimal.

On the second set of Trojans (bought in 2011) the WaterMiser caps are working no better than the standard Trojan caps.

The Trojan caps on the 2011 batteries are much different than those on the 2006 batteries. Maybe that is the difference in performance vs WaterMiser. It could also be that the WaterMiser caps have a limited performance lifespan and we have exceeded it.

Sorry, can't be more definitive than that.

One problem with hydrocaps is that they are toast if you get electrolyte into them. So they need to be removed for equalization, but even a bit of active boiling from an over-aggressive charge profile could also do that.

Mark
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