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Old 12-09-2016, 19:16   #1
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Energy hog! why?

I'm new to the forum; been living on my boat for a year now, just now registered. I apologize in advance.

So, my (2) batteries charge fully everyday to about 13.80ish to flat 14 volts everyday. However, at night they drop to 12.20ish but will stay there even with fans running and lights on.

Mind you, I may only run a fan and charge my phone during the day. Even then my solar panels don't care and keep up the voltage, while the sun is out. Aside from lights, fans and my phone; I got nothing that sucks that much power. Why is this happening?

P.s my batteries are cheap refurbished 6v gulf cart flooded kind. Not even 3-4 months old.

Thanks!
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Old 12-09-2016, 19:26   #2
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Re: Energy hog!! why!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by raintoomuch View Post
I'm new to the forum; been living on my boat for a year now, just now registered. I apologize in advance.

So, my (2) batteries charge fully everyday to about 13.80ish to flat 14 volts everyday. However, at night they drop to 12.20ish but will stay there even with fans running and lights on.

Mind you, I may only run a fan and charge my phone during the day. Even then my solar panels don't care and keep up the voltage, while the sun is out. Aside from lights, fans and my phone; I got nothing that sucks that much power. Why is this happening?

P.s my batteries are cheap refurbished 6v gulf cart flooded kind. Not even 3-4 months old.

Thanks!
Hi, if your batteries are cheap refurbished 6 volt fla then they are way more than 3-4 months old.
Sadly refurbished does not equal new.
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Old 12-09-2016, 20:10   #3
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Re: Energy hog!! why!?

You need to be charging to a much higher voltage. Bulk voltage should be 14.4 to 14.8 depending on the battery specs.
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Old 12-09-2016, 20:32   #4
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Re: Energy hog!! why!?

Welcome, good username for someone from your area. I've anchored around there many nights, weeks, and months.

You didn't mention the size of your array. Maybe you don't have enough charging current to charge to the higher voltage that DeepFrz mentions in one day. Assuming your controller is set and working well.

The levels you mention are very close to what I experience with inadequate charging daily from my alternator. As I don't want to run the engine at anchor more than I do.

We both may be operating between 50 - 80 percent state of charge. And effectively working with batteries not really in top condition.

With your light loads this can continue for some time, but overall we face early battery replacement.

How much solar, 200 watts?
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Old 12-09-2016, 21:43   #5
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Re: Energy hog!! why!?

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Welcome, good username for someone from your area. I've anchored around there many nights, weeks, and months.

You didn't mention the size of your array. Maybe you don't have enough charging current to charge to the higher voltage that DeepFrz mentions in one day. Assuming your controller is set and working well.

The levels you mention are very close to what I experience with inadequate charging daily from my alternator. As I don't want to run the engine at anchor more than I do.

We both may be operating between 50 - 80 percent state of charge. And effectively working with batteries not really in top condition.

With your light loads this can continue for some time, but overall we face early battery replacement.

How much solar, 200 watts?
Actually. That's exactly what I have. Two, 100 watt panels.

So, the general consensus are just s****y batteries? I've had other people tell me it could be a number of things, including of which could be a bad fuse... Somewhere in the rats' nest of the previous owners left. Erg

The lazy part of me hopes this is basically a battery issue.
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Old 12-09-2016, 21:47   #6
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Re: Energy hog!! why!?

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Hi, if your batteries are cheap refurbished 6 volt fla then they are way more than 3-4 months old.
Sadly refurbished does not equal new.
I thought I'd be more prepared for this answer
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Old 12-09-2016, 21:55   #7
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Re: Energy hog!! why!?

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Originally Posted by raintoomuch View Post
I thought I'd be more prepared for this answer
Don't be offended, I discovered just how much better good new batteries are over supposedly good refurbished. Live and learn.
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Old 12-09-2016, 22:12   #8
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Re: Energy hog!! why!?

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Don't be offended, I discovered just how much better good new batteries are over supposedly good refurbished. Live and learn.

Lol, liveaboard life tought me alot so far. "Humbling" is the word that comes to mind when you hit your head for the 1000th time on the same spot in the companion way.
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Old 12-09-2016, 22:16   #9
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Re: Energy hog!! why!?

Not really crap batteries, just used batteries. Some life left in them.

Thing is even new batteries may be under charged with 200 watts. You may be getting around 25-30Ah daily from your array. Need to keep consumption at no more than that daily or you will step down your state of charge over time and end up where you are now sooner than ideal.
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Old 12-09-2016, 22:29   #10
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Re: Energy hog!! why!?

Couple more thoughts.

I think you have had scattered clouds most days recently, and some storms quickly rolling through. Maybe if you could suspend consumption for a couple of days you might find the voltage rising to an acceptable near full charge level. Which may indicate the batteries are better than you think currently.

And I believe I'm correct in saying that a battery that has truly reached a state of severely diminished capacity, when charged, will quickly rise in voltage level to over 14v or even 14.4v.

If your voltage rises slowly during the day, maybe there just aren't enough hours to get it done at your available charge current.
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Old 12-09-2016, 22:39   #11
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Re: Energy hog!! why!?

Agree with another that the bulk charge voltage needs to be at least 14.4 to 14.6 with absorption voltage to 14.8 to 15V. Many cheap charge controllers drop out of bulk way to fast.

I have a bypass that I use at anchor to charge direct, bypassing the charge controller and don't switch it off till the battery's are 14.8 or higher. 14.0 volts is far too low a voltage for GC2's. If you charge the batterys to 14.8V and they drop to 12.2V either the batterys are bad or the voltmeter is not correct. Testing the voltage at the battey's with a volt meter will tell you if the meter is toast.

Also if your reading the voltage with the batterys under load then the actual charge will be higher depending on current flow.
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Old 13-09-2016, 02:28   #12
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Re: Energy hog!! why!?

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Originally Posted by sailorchic34 View Post
Agree with another that the bulk charge voltage needs to be at least 14.4 to 14.6 with absorption voltage to 14.8 to 15V. Many cheap charge controllers drop out of bulk way to fast.

I have a bypass that I use at anchor to charge direct, bypassing the charge controller and don't switch it off till the battery's are 14.8 or higher. 14.0 volts is far too low a voltage for GC2's. If you charge the batterys to 14.8V and they drop to 12.2V either the batterys are bad or the voltmeter is not correct. Testing the voltage at the battey's with a volt meter will tell you if the meter is toast.

Also if your reading the voltage with the batterys under load then the actual charge will be higher depending on current flow.
I guess more content might be needed.

So, part of me learning my way with solar energy, is what you would call... sloppy. I did my homework and read as much as I could.

However with Two cabin lights, two fans and eventually some fairy lights and a Engel refrigerator (Which is a whole other can of worms and has not been plugged in since April). I digress.

2 fans (use one at a time)
2 cabin lights
Some fairy lights (use once every other month)

That's my load. I don't know the watts needed, can't be more then 20 amps.

Two 100 watt panels going into a Renogy MTTP 20 amp charge controller hooked into two (refurb) 6v gulf cart batteries in parallel.

Got all of my solar equipment brand spanking new in January. Assuming everything works, besides my batteries, do I need to change anything with my setup?Is my charge controller to big or to small? I also have a 1000 watt inverter in the mix, because w/e.

I'm starting to feel like the kindergarden kid who tried shoving a star piece into a square.

I thank everyone for their input.

P.s I was away for a weekend some time ago. Left with 13.90ish, was planning on 14+. It was 12.5 when i got back. At some point I have seen 14+
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Old 13-09-2016, 02:32   #13
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Re: Energy hog!! why!?

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Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
Don't be offended, I discovered just how much better good new batteries are over supposedly good refurbished. Live and learn.

Or how much better good batteries are than cheap completely brand new batteries. Don't ask me how I learned this please, I am still in therapy.


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Old 13-09-2016, 02:43   #14
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Re: Energy hog!! why!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by raintoomuch View Post

P.s I was away for a weekend some time ago. Left with 13.90ish, was planning on 14+. It was 12.5 when i got back. At some point I have seen 14+
With no drain on the batteries? I'd say they are definitely st*ffed.
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Old 13-09-2016, 02:54   #15
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Re: Energy hog!! why!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by raintoomuch View Post
I'm new to the forum; been living on my boat for a year now, just now registered. I apologize in advance.

So, my (2) batteries charge fully everyday to about 13.80ish to flat 14 volts everyday. However, at night they drop to 12.20ish but will stay there even with [COLOR="rgb(46, 139, 87)"]fans running [/COLOR]and lights on.

Mind you, I may only run a fan and charge my phone during the day. Even then my solar panels don't care and keep up the voltage, while the sun is out. Aside from lights, fans and my phone; I got nothing that sucks that much power. Why is this happening?

P.s my batteries are cheap refurbished 6v gulf cart flooded kind. Not even 3-4 months old.

Thanks!
I dream of 12.2 volts.......

Fans = motors = load.

If at the end of the day you turn the lights and the fans and all other loads off what do the batteries 'sit' at? In fact turn all loads off through the day.

Let the batts ' rest' for a few hours before checking the voltage...

It should be a nominal 12.8 read it at the batts..... good luck with that but let us know what you see.

Any load will pull the voltage down... it should recover when the load is removed...
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