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Old 22-04-2011, 21:41   #16
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Re: Nigel Calder: Battery Book

Bill that makes sense and thanks for correction on battery types. I have bought all my batteries at Napa to date, but with more charge capacity and a sophisticated controller I think I'll replace the worn out Gels on my boat with AGM's. Our power needs are modest and with the additional start battery I can count on drawing 100 Ah from the two Grp 31's before charging.

The "on or off" approach will be appealing to my wife, who gets overwhelmed with all the details on the boat. Now I just have to make sure to wire it correctly so I don't burn down the boat. Saving my $$ now for new batteries, limping along with one good working Grp 29 gel and another dead one that will run a cabin light for about an hour. Should I get the lifeline AGM's or just go with some of the other brands such as from Defender or W Marine?

Chase
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Old 22-04-2011, 22:01   #17
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Re: Nigel Calder: Battery Book

Whether or not a flooded battery is acceptable in an occupied space due to practice, code or whatever may be out of this scope of my question. I can get around that. Let me re-direct.

As I think about long-term plans for a pleasure craft to a crusing craft, I think about Solar, Wind, Generator (battery charger), Alternator and all the other possibilities. I either envision a bank of solenoids or a multi-port .7 volt diode drop isolator. I must not have read that chapter yet. Is there like a a device I can feed all these inputs into and will smartly conditon the power to the batteries?

What direction should I be looking? This will be done in stages. I want to do a little, see the result, then more, etc. I.e., do I really want all these devices with smart eletronics all feeding into the battery, or my eggs in one or two smart baskets?
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Old 22-04-2011, 22:18   #18
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Re: Nigel Calder: Battery Book

Chase,

I don't know the capacity of (2) group 31's, but you will want to do a load calculation for draw and make sure you only draw 50% at most (less is better) and your charging mechanisim can replace it to 100%. That's what burnt my ass is discharging my batteries too deep. I was replacing (2) 4D flooded every 1-2 years. Now I know.

Mark
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Old 23-04-2011, 01:51   #19
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Re: Nigel Calder: Battery Book

" multi-port .7 volt diode drop isolator " ... not necessary

If your reg sense wire goes the + pole of your house bank the alternator will compensate for that 0.7 volt drop...

BUT

Vetus and Victron have available FET isolators that have a volt drop of < 0.1 Volt


Less energy wasted....

I have 4 x 105Ah AGMs house and 1 x 105Ah AGM start separated by a Vetus isolator, charged with a 110A alternator with a Next Step 2 reg....it works brilliantly... has done for 3 years now...
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Old 24-04-2011, 19:24   #20
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Re: Nigel Calder: Battery Book

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Vetus and Victron have available FET isolators that have a volt drop of < 0.1 Volt
I like that! I'll look into it. Thanks! Mark
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Old 29-04-2011, 19:05   #21
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Re: Nigel Calder: Battery Book

Bill,
Thanks for the "long winded" response on 4/22. I can only say that you would feel right a home in the reliability engineering department of an aerospace company.
Bill R.
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Old 30-04-2011, 03:52   #22
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Re: Nigel Calder: Battery Book

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Bill,
Thanks for the "long winded" response on 4/22. I can only say that you would feel right a home in the reliability engineering department of an aerospace company.
Bill R.
Apart from the fact that modern aerospace does exactly the opposite of what Bill suggests - the single screen presentation of data is king and for good reason - when my radar is overlaid with my AIS on my chart plotter, if any one of them has a discrepancy it is much easier to see. Having the radar return for a ship a few cm away from the AIS return warns me that something is wrong and I should investigate. The displays can be switched to show any of the input sources individually when required.

The redundancy is in having multiple output devices that can use the various sources of information.
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Old 30-04-2011, 11:04   #23
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Re: Nigel Calder: Battery Book

Quote:
A prudent mariner will have thought about many of the possibilities of electronic gear failure and how they might be mitigated, just as he/she would plan for mechanical and other failures on the boat.

There will always be unforeseens which will test your preparedness. After all, Murphy still lurks aboard somewhere, ready to pounce when you least expect it :-)
Bill- I am of the same mind!! I too do not see the necessity of being able to operate the vessel from the comfort of an easy chair in the salon while monitoring the vessels' navigation picture on an iPad and viewing the surroundings via a CCTV on the 52" HDTV that slips noiselessly up from its hiding place behind the wet bar.

Not to hijack this thread, but...

Begin rant:
Twenty years ago, I divided the boating public into three groups:
Mariners Component seaman, conservative in every action taken aboard from navigation to system and equipment installation, most likely had a 100 ton Masters license. Understood the inherent danger and responsibility involved with going to sea in a small craft. About 15% of the boating public.
Boaters Pretty good seaman, had taken some Power Squadron or USCG Auxiliary courses, thinking about getting their Master's ticket, understanding that they are in an experience building phase in their boating life. Learning how to be self sufficient. About 70% of the boating public.
Boat Owners Usually benign in their operation and maintenance philosophy but could turn downright dangerous when stressed, not interested in really learning about boats, spent more on golf lessons than on aspiring to become a Boater. About 15% of the boating public.

In my opinion, advances in technology have made boat operation seductively easy to those that just don't know any better. After all, the little boat graphic will just track nicely down the course that you laid out on the chartplotter, regardless of any obstacles!

Extreme marketing pressure has pushed this technology on to the boating public.

Because of the technology advances and the ensuing marketing pressure, there has been a significant shift between the, somewhat arbitrary classes above. The boating public is now comprised of many, many, many more Boat Owners, far fewer Boaters, and Mariners are almost extinct.

Thankfully, almost all of the participants in this sub-forum are Boaters or Mariners and there are very, very few Boat Owners here.

End rant.
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Old 01-05-2011, 13:59   #24
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Re: Nigel Calder: Battery Book

CharlieJ,

Good post! I agree with your categories and with the trend characterization.

In the past 20 years the percentages in each of the three categories have changed, as you imply. Partly, though not entirely, this can often be traced directly to "advances" in technology which put very smart devices in the hands of not-very-smart users.

As one of my Maine-based friends noted during a cruise way Down East to Canada, "Used to be when you got east of Mt. Dessert Island you didn't see many cruising boats...actually VERY few....now there are a lot more. It's the Garmin's!"

Cheers,

Bill
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Old 01-05-2011, 14:10   #25
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Re: Nigel Calder: Battery Book

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Originally Posted by pteron View Post
Apart from the fact that modern aerospace does exactly the opposite of what Bill suggests - the single screen presentation of data is king and for good reason - when my radar is overlaid with my AIS on my chart plotter, if any one of them has a discrepancy it is much easier to see. Having the radar return for a ship a few cm away from the AIS return warns me that something is wrong and I should investigate. The displays can be switched to show any of the input sources individually when required.

The redundancy is in having multiple output devices that can use the various sources of information.
pteron,

You certainly have a point! And a point of view :-)

The multi-function single-screen layout indeed has been standard in aviation for some years now, allowing presentation of many types of data. However, any one of these data streams, or any combination, can be switched off whenever the pilot(s) wish to see a single display, i.e., an "uncluttered" or "unadulterated" presentation of data from a single device, like a radar.

In part, this this may be due to limited cockpit space. Space on a cruising boat isn't quite so precious.

With a non-networked standalone system, such as I favor, you can see all the "virgin" data displays simultaneously, without having to switch from one to the other. You can see the knotmeter, the compass, the wind instruments, the inclinometer, the GPS, the chartplotter, the radar screen, the fathometer, the AIS, and other onboard devices, each reporting its own measurements.

When motoring you always check the cooling water from the exhaust, either with your eyes or your ears to listen for a wet exhaust. You also check the tachometer, the oil pressure, and the engine temp frequently. You remain alert for the smell of anything burning, or the sound of anything unusual.

For me, the important "integrator" is not the network computer and single-screen presentation of data. Rather, it's the human brain, coupled to the Mark I eyeball, the nose, the ears, and tactile senses.

Bill
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Old 01-05-2011, 15:18   #26
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Re: Nigel Calder: Battery Book

Bill,

I largely agree with you - the trained and experienced human brain is indeed a remarkable integrator. But it suffers from inattention due to sleep deprivation, it is easily distracted, and can suffer from information overload, especially during panic. These are the reasons we develop intelligent systems and they are as important during sailing as they are in a cockpit. These developments have allowed airlines to replace the third member of the team and in time will no doubt allow single pilot operation. The old school lament the loss of the flight engineer, but the safety stats speak for themselves.

I don't suggest removing the individual instruments, but enable the networking so that an integrated display is possible - this for me has the best of both worlds. With my approach, the computer can be automatically updating polars as it sees the information from the wind instruments and the log. It can highlight tidal set and drift. It can warn that the compass is not correct. It is permanently on guard, your backup, your number 1.

The development of modern systems has enabled many more people to sail in safety and long may it continue!

Andy
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