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Old 19-07-2014, 10:11   #91
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Re: Solar and AGM'S

A constant current supplied at the end of an absorption cycle is not a float voltage (the primary reason it is named "current" and not "voltage"), it is more similar to an equalization mode where a low current is applied while the voltage is allowed to increase (to a higher set point).

You point to Morganscloud and their direct work with Justin Godber from Lifeline, where they do the experiments proving that AGM's are fragile when not regularly fully charged and periodically equalized, you then agree with their assessment and use Mainesail's postings to support this - then tell me it is only my interpretation?

While all LA batteries suffer from undercharging, FLA's are by far more forgivable and recoverable than AGM's in this regard. AGM charging needs are much different that FLA's - your own reference postings above point to this, and you keep harping on about the need for high C charging with AGM's.

You really are lost a bit here.

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Old 19-07-2014, 15:11   #92
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Re: Solar and AGM'S

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Originally Posted by Wotname View Post
Yes...

That's certainly unusual.

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Old 19-07-2014, 15:14   #93
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Re: Solar and AGM'S

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Me too...

I can't believe all the cruisers have forgotten what it is to be a weekend warrior? Did you all get "born" living on a boat in the Carribean? - LOL...

Do I try to sail every week? - heck yeah. Do I get to? Heck no!

I can go 6 weeks off the boat if work and life get in the way. I may leave the charger (when I get one) plugged in weekend to weekend. But more likely the solar is going to keep things up to scratch for me. I would never feel comfortable with A/C power on the boat and me out of country or gone for 4+ weeks.

If I end the weekend with a 150 amp deficit I am OK letting the system take care of it self.

Then you don't need AGMs. You DO have a charge source , ie solar

It's only if you have no charge source whatsoever for long periods ie weeks and all loads disconnected That the self discharge characteristics of AGM may , I stress may , be useful. Very few boaters are in this situation.

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Old 19-07-2014, 15:21   #94
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Re: Solar and AGM'S

Dave, check out his post where he describes having to take out 400 screws and promise a small monkey unnatural things just to access his batteries. I don't think self-discharge is his problem. Gel or AGM will work better for him than FLA's in this space.

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Old 19-07-2014, 16:49   #95
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Re: Solar and AGM'S

Impi,
Could you post the report you had done on the batteries by the electrician? and maybe a reply from lifeline to your performance report?

Sounds like you had all your charging voltages adjusted up from gel to agm, so I would love to see the measured report for my education. also if lifeline supplied a bad batch of batteries they should be called on it

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Old 19-07-2014, 17:36   #96
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Re: Solar and AGM'S

This is a connect the dots interpretation from me.

Pretty much all batteries are designed for the automotive market - let's put aside 6V golf cart batteries for a moment.

Cars discharge 1% and charge - repeatedly. RV and boat use is different, we all agree (I think?)

So getting FLA out of the car is a good thing - no more rusted battery boxes etc.

Then there is FLA designed for deep cycle - Anyone arguing this is not a better solution for deep cycling repeatedly is off the mark.

So one can debate and sweat the issues when deep cycling AGM batteries - Bottom line is they don't do it "well." And deep cycles are way harder on a battery than shallow cycles.

So for me one strategy I like to keep in mind is have enough continual power (Solar and wind e.g.) to try and keep up with the usage and avoid deep cycles if at all possible.

The weekend warrior is gonna put 30-40 deep cycles a year on his batteries. The solar charges them up all week. If you arrive at the boat on Friday and the batteries are down, you need to fix that.

To Sailorboy's point. Yest, battery costs are gonna be higher - $100/yr? Who knows. There is a trade off.

Absorption and float charging batteries with any kind of alternator doesn't seem to make sense from an efficiency standpoint to me - Solar or wind is the go here IMO -but I am willing to be corrected...
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Old 19-07-2014, 17:45   #97
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Re: Solar and AGM'S

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
That's certainly unusual.

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Yes but it isn't the only thing unusual 'bout me or the boat
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Old 08-08-2014, 04:01   #98
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Re: Solar and AGM'S

I've had a Steca 20/20 20amp controller arrive. The Instrument has the three cable connections of solar, batteries and 'load'. Does anyone know if I have to put a load directly on to the controller or can I just ignore this one?

The Manuel also advises to put a fuse in the battery connection line. I'm presuming this is with an inline fuse in the positive to the battery? What size fuse should it be?
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Old 08-08-2014, 04:54   #99
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Re: Solar and AGM'S

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Originally Posted by tedsherrin View Post
I've had a Steca 20/20 20amp controller arrive. The Instrument has the three cable connections of solar, batteries and 'load'. Does anyone know if I have to put a load directly on to the controller or can I just ignore this one?

Short version... Yes you can ignore it, but it can be handy to run it though the regulator.

I ran my BP GCR 1000M which I think is exactly the same as the 10 amp Stecca, with the load running through it. This way it could track the amps out accurately, as well as amps in through the panel. And it's low voltage protection worked. I ran an override switch incase the low voltage protection killed power at a critical time.

I couldn't use the SOC display due to my engine charge not being run through the regulator, so I used in in voltage mode, which suited me as I was happy to monitor the volts, and with my low draw system it worked fine.

Watch the automatic equalisation charge, I think it cooked a set of cheap speakers I had running off 12v, they didn't like the 14.7 volts it pumped in.

All in all a great unit, for me it combined battery monitor and regulator.

If you choose not to run the load through it and install a more advanced monitor that can take the engine amps through a shunt, then take advantage of the load circuit by hooking up an anchor light through it and setting the night light feature on. It will then automatically turn the light on as night falls, and off in the day.

Just make sure all connections are tight and solid. I cooked mine this way, but managed to repair it. Details here

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Old 08-08-2014, 06:36   #100
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Re: Solar and AGM'S

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowpetrel View Post

Short version... Yes you can ignore it, but it can be handy to run it though the regulator.

I ran my BP GCR 1000M which I think is exactly the same as the 10 amp Stecca, with the load running through it. This way it could track the amps out accurately, as well as amps in through the panel. And it's low voltage protection worked. I ran an override switch incase the low voltage protection killed power at a critical time.

I couldn't use the SOC display due to my engine charge not being run through the regulator, so I used in in voltage mode, which suited me as I was happy to monitor the volts, and with my low draw system it worked fine.

Watch the automatic equalisation charge, I think it cooked a set of cheap speakers I had running off 12v, they didn't like the 14.7 volts it pumped in.

All in all a great unit, for me it combined battery monitor and regulator.

If you choose not to run the load through it and install a more advanced monitor that can take the engine amps through a shunt, then take advantage of the load circuit by hooking up an anchor light through it and setting the night light feature on. It will then automatically turn the light on as night falls, and off in the day.

Just make sure all connections are tight and solid. I cooked mine this way, but managed to repair it. Details here

Cheers
Thank you. I've also got a nasa battery monitor. So I'll be connecting that up too, through a shunt.
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Old 08-08-2014, 08:10   #101
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Re: Solar and AGM'S

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Originally Posted by tedsherrin View Post
I've had a Steca 20/20 20amp controller arrive. The Instrument has the three cable connections of solar, batteries and 'load'. Does anyone know if I have to put a load directly on to the controller or can I just ignore this one?

The Manuel also advises to put a fuse in the battery connection line. I'm presuming this is with an inline fuse in the positive to the battery? What size fuse should it be?
You need to size the wire for the run @ 20 amps and then protect the wire size with a fuse. You are protecting the wire.

I would fuse at the battery end as if ever the controller is off the supply side (potential) is the battery.
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Old 08-08-2014, 08:25   #102
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Re: Solar and AGM'S

Quote:
Originally Posted by tedsherrin View Post
I've had a Steca 20/20 20amp controller arrive. The Instrument has the three cable connections of solar, batteries and 'load'. Does anyone know if I have to put a load directly on to the controller or can I just ignore this one?

The Manuel also advises to put a fuse in the battery connection line. I'm presuming this is with an inline fuse in the positive to the battery? What size fuse should it be?
I would install the controller close to the batteries and use large wire to eliminate voltage drop. Ideally you do not want any drop in charging circuits. Fuse size should be the largest possible for the wire size. Smaller fuses have more voltage drop. Fuse should be close to the battery in the positive lead.

I would ignore the load connections entirely.
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Old 09-08-2014, 13:29   #103
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Re: Solar and AGM'S

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Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
I would install the controller close to the batteries and use large wire to eliminate voltage drop. Ideally you do not want any drop in charging circuits. Fuse size should be the largest possible for the wire size. Smaller fuses have more voltage drop. Fuse should be close to the battery in the positive lead.

I would ignore the load connections entirely.
I would not worry about the voltage drop difference between a small fuse and large fuse. While I haven't checked the numbers, I'm pretty sure the difference would be meaningless.
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Old 09-08-2014, 20:05   #104
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Re: Solar and AGM'S

There should not be any voltage drop in a charging circuit.

If a controller is set at 14.4 you want all of that voltage to get to the battery post. Mainesail posted the numbers once concerning this, not sure where though.

I wouldn't install a fuse larger than the wire's ampacity but if the controller puts out 10 amps I certainly wouldn't fuse at 10. For 10 awg wire - it has an ampacity of 51 in engine spaces - I would use a 40 amp fuse.
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Old 10-08-2014, 00:04   #105
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Re: Solar and AGM'S

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Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
There should not be any voltage drop in a charging circuit.

If a controller is set at 14.4 you want all of that voltage to get to the battery post. Mainesail posted the numbers once concerning this, not sure where though.

I wouldn't install a fuse larger than the wire's ampacity but if the controller puts out 10 amps I certainly wouldn't fuse at 10. For 10 awg wire - it has an ampacity of 51 in engine spaces - I would use a 40 amp fuse.
In this instance, why fuse it at all.

The maximum current won't exceed 10 (or so) amps - as limited by the controller. The wire can handle 50 amps so no problem. Even with a dead short on the distant end, the current will limited to ~ 10 amps.
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