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Old 25-09-2016, 19:10   #31
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Re: So, what battery if you live largely on the hook?

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Originally Posted by Mike Banks View Post
Nothing flattens a battery faster than a RADAR and if you are thinking of using one you need a generator. With the engine running they suck up just about all of the alternator output--so they are only an emergency resort. To give an example--mine is 3.5 kva. That equates to a battery draw of over one hundred and fifty amps--about what it would take to wind the starter motor continuously.
Incorrect.

You are apparently confusing Peak Power Output (frequently in the 3-4kW range) with power consumption (more like 40-60W).

5 Amps is a reasonable planning figure for most cruising boat radar installations.
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Old 25-09-2016, 19:58   #32
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Re: So, what battery if you live largely on the hook?

Mike might be running an old NORAD site set.
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Old 25-09-2016, 20:15   #33
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Re: So, what battery if you live largely on the hook?

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Originally Posted by Mike Banks View Post
Nothing flattens a battery faster than a RADAR and if you are thinking of using one you need a generator. With the engine running they suck up just about all of the alternator output--so they are only an emergency resort. To give an example--mine is 3.5 kva. That equates to a battery draw of over one hundred and fifty amps--about what it would take to wind the starter motor continuously.

Modern RADAR sets draw less, but most draw close to 100 amps. No battery system can stand that sort of draw for more than minutes--so cost a 4 or 5 kva diesel gen-set along with the RADAR if you are sailing in places that make a RADAR watch essential.
About PAR with some of the advice around here.
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Old 25-09-2016, 21:38   #34
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Re: So, what battery if you live largely on the hook?

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Originally Posted by Franziska View Post
. . . I probably undercharged most of the time.
Not good, but I hate the damned genset running.
. . .
Do you think I need to add a second charger? Or can I put two batteries on each connector set of the Waeco?
. . .
If you are undercharging then you need to add more charging capacity and or/change some habits.

If the generator will supply enough wattage then a second charger might help.

Personally I would rather use the money for a second charger to instead buy more solar panels.

What kind of a regulator are you using for the solar panels you have already?

Habits you can change right now:
1] Always run the genset first thing in the morning. When the batteries are at their most discharged state is when they can accept the most current. That is the most advantageous time to use a "high" current charger whether powered by the engine's alternator, a genset or shore power. Once the batteries get to about 75% full they become voltage limited and charging current tapers off. If you spend all day letting the solar panel charge from 50%-75% then give it a blast from the charger, but the batteries are already tapering off so the 1hour from the genset gets you from 75% to 80% or so. If you use the genset first thing the genset gets you from 50% to 70-75% which is when current tapers off anyway and the lower current solar panels can push the batteries all the way to 95% or 100%

2] Charge the phone mid afternoon and then take it off the charger. Charging the house bank uses more energy than you get out. Converting 12v to AC involves further power loss, the the phone charger also involves inefficiencies. Late in the afternoon, as the batteries approach full charge their acceptace rate will taper off so the panels will be producing more power than the batteries use. That is the time to charge the phone.
-Also charge it when the genset is running.
-This assumes that you aren't using your phone a lot and need to charge is constantly.

3] Similar with the computer. If you are using the computer constantly for navigation you will obviously need to charge it more than once or twice a day like you can get away with a phone. What I would do is fully charge it on the genset first thing in the morning. When genset goes off so does charging. Midafternoon start charging again from solar to it is at 100% by dark. Leave it plugged in and operating on house power until midnight or so then unplug it and let it run on it's internal battery. You will want to time it so that it is down to 20-25% when you normally start the generator. Running the battery all the way down is not good for it and 20-25% gives you a cushion if there is a problem with the genset. I assume you dim the screen as much as possible at night.

I forget what your other uses were, I should have multi-quoted.

Somebody asked why golf-cart batteries? It's a labeling thing.

My experience is that golf-cart batteries are real deep cycle batteries. A lot of other "deep cycle" batteries especially those labelled 'marine' and/or 'RV' are really hybrid batteries, batteries that can be cycled deeper than a normal starting battery but can also produce enough current for starting so you can have a single bank with no separate starting battery and still start your engine. These hybrid batteries don't last nearly as long as real deep cycle batteries when used as a house bank that doesn't have engine charging or outside hookup regularly.
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Old 26-09-2016, 16:37   #35
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Re: So, what battery if you live largely on the hook?

I agree that your 35a alternator is a serious weak link. You should be able to easily up-grade to 90a alt. And, by the way, even a 90a alt will only pump 45-70a for a short while (10 minutes!) into lead acid battery. Your 35a alt may actually only be charging your batteries at 10-12amps after that so in an hour of engine run time you may have only added 12 amp-hours... that's only enough to run your listed nighttime navigation/ auto-pilot and down below gadgets for a few hours!

This is why Gels are sooooo much better than lead acid batteries. Lead acid batteries have fairly high internal resistance. Resistance + high charging (/discharge amps) = HEAT. As lead acid batteries heat up... more resistance/ more heat. This resistance and internal heat build up is one of the prime reasons the charge rate falls way off from your alternator's stared amperage output. Gels have extremely low internal resistance, little heat build up. This very low internal resistance is what allows Gels to be able to take... and keep taking... and keep taking ... a very high rate of charge... near the rated output of the alternator. So with lead acid batteries you are 'wasting' a lot of gasoline or diesel by having to run the engine (4-7x) longer to get a 80-90% charge! (80-90% charge is the sweet spot between capacity, battery life, & fuel/ engine wear & tear.)

I have 1000ah gel capacity with 90 amp alt and my gel batteries that were purchased 7 years ago before cruising around Caribbean and we're still heavily sailing up here in Chesapeake Bay. Batteries still at 90%!

I'm not comfortable with Lion for boat batteries yet. You need only see what is happening with the Lion powered skateboards fires, Samsung Lion phones to understand what can go wrong if your charger is not installed/ programmed, operating correctly... or an extra heavy discharge rate develops. Most cruisers do not have the technical background or test/ monitoring equipment to ensure they are not about to have an exploding/ fireball Lion battery... that could burn all the through the bottom of the boat. (FYI- A Lion battery on a private jet (that gets a lot more TLC/ monitoring than our boats, melted its way through the aluminum storage area!)

Back to Gels, or lead acid batteries, if you/ your wallet prefers... it can't be stressed enough, if you want long battery life, lowest cost over the long term, no surprise dead batteries when you go to start your engine... install a battery monitoring system and learn how to use it! I'd give up a lot of other 'necessary' things on our boat before I'd give up our battery monitor!

It tells you how many amp hours your batteries are down and therefore how many amp-hours you need to put back in/ recharge. With a battery monitor you can see the actual amp rate going into the batteries as you charge, regardless if by engine alternator, solar, or wind... or any combination of them. Cruising without a battery monitor is like filling a gas or diesel tank without a fuel gauge. And, if you don't like all the technical mumbo-jumbo terms of amps, volts, ohms... most battery monitors today have a 'fuel gauge' mode that just displays a simple % of charge (as well as the audible alarm should you go below the 50% charge state.). Enjoy your cruising g life!


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Old 26-09-2016, 17:32   #36
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Re: So, what battery if you live largely on the hook?

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Originally Posted by W3GAC View Post

This is why Gels are sooooo much better than lead acid batteries.


I'm not comfortable with Lion for boat batteries yet. You need only see what is happening with the Lion powered skateboards fires, Samsung Lion phones to understand what can go wrong if your charger is not installed/ programmed, operating correctly... or an extra heavy discharge rate develops. Most cruisers do not have the technical background or test/ monitoring equipment to ensure they are not about to have an exploding/ fireball Lion battery... that could burn all the through the bottom of the boat. (FYI- A Lion battery on a private jet (that gets a lot more TLC/ monitoring than our boats, melted its way through the aluminum storage area!)
1 Gel-cells are lead acid batteries. The acid is in jelly form, that's all.

2 LiFEPO4 batteries have different chemistry from the Lithium batteries in skateboards and phones. LiFEPO4's are in fact less likely to explode than lead acid batteries are. (Which does happen)
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Old 26-09-2016, 17:34   #37
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Re: So, what battery if you live largely on the hook?

Quote:
Originally Posted by W3GAC View Post
I agree that your 35a alternator is a serious weak link. You should be able to easily up-grade to 90a alt. And, by the way, even a 90a alt will only pump 45-70a for a short while (10 minutes!) into lead acid battery. Your 35a alt may actually only be charging your batteries at 10-12amps after that so in an hour of engine run time you may have only added 12 amp-hours... that's only enough to run your listed nighttime navigation/ auto-pilot and down below gadgets for a few hours!

If the batteries start at 50% full a 180amp-hour bank of FLA or Gels should be able to charge at 24-45amp until they approach 75% full when they start to be voltage limited and current tapers off. 1 hour of a 35amp charger should be able to put in 30-35 amp-hours unless there is overheating of the batteries, degraded capacity of the batteries or degraded performance of the charger. It sounds like her batteries are getting a little long in the tooth which means impaired capacity and slower bulk charging. She should replace the batteries as planned then see whether she needs to upsize the genset charger. Even with a larger battery bank as long as her usage does not increase it is arguable whether an upsized charger would be an economic benefit.
If the batteries were AGMs then there would be a good arguement for an upsized charger. AGMs should be charged at 0.2C minimum and can be charged at 0.4C max (that's 36-72 amps for a 180a-hr bank).

For brand new FLAs and Gels recharging at "best" rate (without doing a "fast charge") should take about 7 hours of which about 5 hours is absorption charging which is voltage limited and current is tapering. Fast charging will shave 30-45min off of this at the expense of some battery longevity.
For brand new AGMs charging is about 6 hr of which about 5 hours is absorption charging. The advantage AGMs have is in bulk charging where it can charge at a much higher rate. Once the AGMs reach absorption, they charge at the same tapering rate as FLAs and Gels. For various reason's AGMs do not tend to have the life expectancy of FLAs or Gels.


This is why Gels are sooooo much better than lead acid batteries. Lead acid batteries have fairly high internal resistance. Resistance + high charging (/discharge amps) = HEAT. As lead acid batteries heat up... more resistance/ more heat. This resistance and internal heat build up is one of the prime reasons the charge rate falls way off from your alternator's stared amperage output. Gels have extremely low internal resistance, little heat build up. This very low internal resistance is what allows Gels to be able to take... and keep taking... and keep taking ... a very high rate of charge... near the rated output of the alternator. So with lead acid batteries you are 'wasting' a lot of gasoline or diesel by having to run the engine (4-7x) longer to get a 80-90% charge! (80-90% charge is the sweet spot between capacity, battery life, & fuel/ engine wear & tear.)


I'm not comfortable with Lion for boat batteries yet. You need only see what is happening with the Lion powered skateboards fires, Samsung Lion phones to understand what can go wrong if your charger is not installed/ programmed, operating correctly... or an extra heavy discharge rate develops. Most cruisers do not have the technical background or test/ monitoring equipment to ensure they are not about to have an exploding/ fireball Lion battery... that could burn all the through the bottom of the boat. (FYI- A Lion battery on a private jet (that gets a lot more TLC/ monitoring than our boats, melted its way through the aluminum storage area!)

The LIon batteries you are referencing in skateboards, phones and aircraft are a different chemistry (LICoO2) than the ones that are generally used in electric cars and marine applications (LIFePo) and they have increased safety issues in exchange for the increased energy density. LIFePo is still not an economic choice.

Back to Gels, or lead acid batteries, if you/ your wallet prefers... it can't be stressed enough, if you want long battery life, lowest cost over the long term, no surprise dead batteries when you go to start your engine... install a battery monitoring system and learn how to use it! I'd give up a lot of other 'necessary' things on our boat before I'd give up our battery monitor!

It tells you how many amp hours your batteries are down and therefore how many amp-hours you need to put back in/ recharge. With a battery monitor you can see the actual amp rate going into the batteries as you charge, regardless if by engine alternator, solar, or wind... or any combination of them. Cruising without a battery monitor is like filling a gas or diesel tank without a fuel gauge. And, if you don't like all the technical mumbo-jumbo terms of amps, volts, ohms... most battery monitors today have a 'fuel gauge' mode that just displays a simple % of charge (as well as the audible alarm should you go below the 50% charge state.). Enjoy your cruising g life!


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With Gels and AGMs a battery monitor is the only way to know the state of charge of a battery. With FLAs one may also check specific gravity but a battery monitor is by far and away more convenient.
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Old 26-09-2016, 17:38   #38
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Re: So, what battery if you live largely on the hook?

Imho good gels are very fine stuff. I would stick with gels.

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Old 26-09-2016, 18:35   #39
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Re: So, what battery if you live largely on the hook?

Gels are great if you need what they give you: High charge acceptance rates, lots of mounting options, and no maintenance.

There terrible in situations that you can't get them to full every day or pretty close to it because that kills em. And they're more $$$$.

I dunno about in France, but here I can get around 440 AH of capacity in 4 golf car batteries for less than $400. And they're much less sensitive to charge regimen. They want to be full too, but partial charge isn't as bad as for gels. Yup, ya gotta water em from time to time. Think of what these things are made for - to power a little cart around a golf course every day. Day after day. And courses often discharge em to dead dead dead - I've played enough twilite golf where I walked the last few holes to know. If there was a more cost-effective route battery AH capacity, golf courses would switch quickly.

Li-Fe is fantastic. Expensive. Need a properly programmed charger.

I don't know enough about the carbon foam batts to speak much, they look like a great product though.

For the OP - 1 big house bank. Keep the start bank (and it doesn't take much to start a 9.9). Keep the old charger and use it all for the house. Buy more solar. Run the gen as soon in the day as possible.
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Old 27-09-2016, 15:35   #40
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Re: So, what battery if you live largely on the hook?

Many years ago I had a similar problem. Somewhere I read about a brand named Trojan. Then I goggled and found that I could bye it in Malmö, 25 km from where I live. The problem was solved. You may find a golf resort and ask them where they bye the batteries to there golf cars.

To make it simple, I call a bunch of cells that gives 12 volt for a battery. I could be one unit of 12 V, or two units of 6 V, or six units of 2 V, I call them all for one (1) battery.
If one battery have the capacity of 200 Ah, then will to parallel batteries have 400 Ah.
Of practical maintenance reason it is better to have two or more batteries than one.

It is always good to have many different ways to charge the batteries. You have solar and a generator but a wind generator would be good complement. Regarding wind generators, every manufactory tells how much the generator will give at max. They do also tell at what wind speed it will give that. I wary between manufactories. But it is very rarely they tell what the generator will give if it blows I little bit more. The most of theme will not give any power at all, one exception is Superwind.

It is seldom to use a radar when on the hook, but only for give you some realistic energy use I can tell abut may radar. It’s a JRC 1500 with a transmition power of 2000 W. In energy save mode it takes an average of 0.33 A. For a whole day that will be 0.33 A times 24 h or 8.0 Ah.
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Old 27-09-2016, 19:06   #41
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Re: So, what battery if you live largely on the hook?

About wind generators -

KISS is now manufactured in the US and the previous US distributor, who bought out the Trinidad-based manufacturer shortly before he died, has made many improvements.

The point, however, is that he provides you real-world examples of what you can expect at what wind velocities; he tests them in a special truck-mounted rig and records the output at various speeds.

It WILL shut down if it overheats, but that doesn't happen, usually, until you're above a continuous 45 knots - which you can compensate for by cocking the unit 45 degrees to the wind with the tether to the tail (wrap it around the pole/mount; it's designed to keep the older ones from winding up the power cable, but the new designs use slip rings, so the tether would be needed for cocking only).

We love ours, even though it's one of the older ones with less output; the new blades (different in several ways) we just installed are nearly inaudible; instead of a whiiiiisssssshhhh like we used to get, it's next to nothing; if I put my ear against the arch (I don't have a pole as such), I can hear it humming like a generator should, but nothing else).

YMMV but I like it also for the entirely user-serviceable nature.
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Old 28-09-2016, 08:28   #42
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Re: So, what battery if you live largely on the hook?

Quite correct--disregard post I made earlier.
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