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Old 26-07-2005, 11:20   #1
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Batteries & etc ...

Some viewpoints from SAILjazz:

A Better Battery System ~ by George Allred
Its when were away from the dock that the boats electrical system either proves itself, or proves itself in need of upgrading ...

Batteries and Electrical Systems Strategies, Part One ~ by Norm Bernstein
Im often asked technical questions about batteries and electrical systems, and I thought I'd spend a bit of time and share what I've learned over the years about this topic, both from my 20 years of sailing, as well as my 30+ years as a professional electrical engineer ...

Batteries and Electrical Systems Strategies, Part Two ~ by Norm Bernstein
... Running a battery bank in parallel is possibly the most controversial topic on sailboat e-mail lists! I think it's a bad idea, both from a technical, as well as a strategic point of view. Certainly, two brand new batteries of identical type and capacity can be operated in parallel, and the nominal capacity of the 'bank' will indeed be twice the capacity of each battery. For some period of time, they will continue to operate in this fashion; during recharge, each battery will draw the same current, and their electrochemical conditions will be identical. However, as the batteries age due to manufacturing tolerances and so forth, their electrochemical condition may differ ...
Gord May
"If you didn't have the time or money to do it right in the first place, when will you get the time/$ to fix it?"

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Old 26-07-2005, 19:19   #2
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Batteries & owners needs

Great articles and the onboard electrical system and the owners needs are always a popular topic of conversation.

In 'Batteries and Electrical Systems Strategies, Part Two ~ by Norm Bernstein ' Norm assumes that his cruising pattern is typical and his is a better strategy. His suggestion is good if it fits your needs and the power configuration is the same. I have yet to see a battery than can support an overnight sail with the refrig, freezer, plotter, radar, radios, and lights and stil not draw 50% of the total of the battery.

I believe there are many good strategies but the system has to be designed and built to meet your ships needs. Each cruiser/sailor needs to determine total use, then design they system to meet the needs. The strategy and system that is matched to your needs will reduce the overall charge time, system maintanence, and improve longevity.

Another point, my understanding that the faster you draw power from the total amps avalaible the less overall amps you get out of a battery. ie if you are drawing 10 amps from a battery bank of 200 amps you will drain the battery faster than if you draw from a 680 amp bank. Battries are not 1 for 1 in the amps department. It also means deep cycling the batteries which also shortens the life.

We love our toys, TV, DVD and enjoy SSB use along with a refrig and seperate freezer. All power eaters. When cruising we may not start our engines for weeks at a time except to anchor. We don't use our engine as a primary recharge source. It is hard on the engines and in the windwards, @ $3-4 per gallon, very expensive! Our strategy requires more power. Not everyone wants to travel and live like the Pardeys. I repect them, but after 7,000 miles give me more power.

PS I am watching TV on my panorama wide screen LCD TV and typing on my laptop that has a wireless connection. Cruising can be tough.
Captain Bil formerly of sv Makai -- KI4TMM
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