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Old 03-01-2017, 10:49   #16
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Re: Battery Woes update...

I do honestly believe that your fridge "ate" your batteries. I said that partly in jest, but I think that is what happened
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Old 03-01-2017, 11:13   #17
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Re: Battery Woes update...

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Originally Posted by leftbrainstuff View Post
This is sounding way too complicated. If you're undercharging that will be obvious from checking specific gravity or even voltage under load especially if you have logged this data.

What is your SG before and after charging? Let the batts settle before checking.

I don't subscribe to the equalize often advice. It's tough on the batteries and consumes useful life.

We have our 6 Trojans in parallel and paired to isolation switches. It's simple to run the whole bank or each of the three. If you see any significant variation then you might consider equalizing but on a matched system (charging versus consumption of not more than 30% of rated capacity) it's rarely needed.

Our Trojans are 10 years old in 2017. They're still going strong but they do use more water now. I havent equalized them ever.

Keep them wet, keep them charged and don't drain them below 50% and your FLA batts should last 5 - 7 years or longer.
I think I have two of the three covered - but not the 'keep them charged', apparently.

I had thought were were being anal, even, given that the usual life cycle in cruising is mostly in the 50-80% range; ours was nearly always in the (what we thought was!) 70-100% range.

Between normal aging reducing the AH available, and having what likely was some misinformation (based on that as we didn't alter the settings) from the Tri-Metric, I'm pretty sure we didn't adequately charge.

As to SGRs before and after, I don't really have that, other than the first and second readings in this process, where the second battery (2xL16) appears to have been - in one of the early 'charge and equalize' cycles - first at 1.220 for 5 and the other cell at 1.258, and then, at all 319 except (a different cell higher) the other at 1.334; all before watering (splash each cell), where the bank with the bulge was at, respectively, 1.225 (all cells but one at 1.230) to all at 1.258 with (again, different cells) two at 1.263.

So, letting them rest, at shore charge plus whatever the solar and wind could add, for several days, and add equalization cycles initially many hours apart, and then 3 times in a row, yielded better results.

If it weren't for the bulged battery, I might have succeeded in swapping a pair in each of the batteries (2x L16), and revived them. But the bulge is a killer for me in the deal.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Copacabana View Post
Skip, what is your average AH consumption per day? How many more watts of solar do you figure you'd need to keep up with your consumption?
Our AH consumption is a moving target, and by far the largest is the reefer. That's the subject of several other threads here in CF, so I won't expand other than to say it's voracious. We're fiddling with it, hoping to improve matters, but in a tropical environment, with no wind or sun, overnight we usually average(d - work in progress) ~10A. E.g., daily load from the reefer ~250AH. Other loads probably add about 50 or so in total.

In the right conditions (full sun in the summer, and a steady 15-20 knots), our Tri-Metric thinks we're fully charged, and we venture into positive territory in the cumulative AH section occasionally. So, with any luck, if we were to go from 370w 15%-ish, 11 year old panels to 20+% new 690A, we'd get another 30-50AH/day, I suspect. The wind could easily double that if all were right - but it's rarely so, and, of course, the same is true of the solar.

So, realistically I don't expect that we could literally keep up with solar alone, unless I had massively more of it - and i don't have any more places to put it without considerable expense; we'd actively considered a hard top bimini, which would allow a LOT of solar - but at tremendous cost.

Thanks for the commentary and questions...

L8R

Skip
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Old 03-01-2017, 11:15   #18
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Re: Battery Woes update...

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
I do honestly believe that your fridge "ate" your batteries. I said that partly in jest, but I think that is what happened
Your comment came in just about when I was saying something to that effect in my last
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Old 03-01-2017, 12:12   #19
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Re: Battery Woes update...

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipgundlach View Post
I think I have two of the three covered - but not the 'keep them charged', apparently.

I had thought were were being anal, even, given that the usual life cycle in cruising is mostly in the 50-80% range; ours was nearly always in the (what we thought was!) 70-100% range.

Between normal aging reducing the AH available, and having what likely was some misinformation (based on that as we didn't alter the settings) from the Tri-Metric, I'm pretty sure we didn't adequately charge.

As to SGRs before and after, I don't really have that, other than the first and second readings in this process, where the second battery (2xL16) appears to have been - in one of the early 'charge and equalize' cycles - first at 1.220 for 5 and the other cell at 1.258, and then, at all 319 except (a different cell higher) the other at 1.334; all before watering (splash each cell), where the bank with the bulge was at, respectively, 1.225 (all cells but one at 1.230) to all at 1.258 with (again, different cells) two at 1.263.

So, letting them rest, at shore charge plus whatever the solar and wind could add, for several days, and add equalization cycles initially many hours apart, and then 3 times in a row, yielded better results.

If it weren't for the bulged battery, I might have succeeded in swapping a pair in each of the batteries (2x L16), and revived them. But the bulge is a killer for me in the deal.



Our AH consumption is a moving target, and by far the largest is the reefer. That's the subject of several other threads here in CF, so I won't expand other than to say it's voracious. We're fiddling with it, hoping to improve matters, but in a tropical environment, with no wind or sun, overnight we usually average(d - work in progress) ~10A. E.g., daily load from the reefer ~250AH. Other loads probably add about 50 or so in total.

In the right conditions (full sun in the summer, and a steady 15-20 knots), our Tri-Metric thinks we're fully charged, and we venture into positive territory in the cumulative AH section occasionally. So, with any luck, if we were to go from 370w 15%-ish, 11 year old panels to 20+% new 690A, we'd get another 30-50AH/day, I suspect. The wind could easily double that if all were right - but it's rarely so, and, of course, the same is true of the solar.

So, realistically I don't expect that we could literally keep up with solar alone, unless I had massively more of it - and i don't have any more places to put it without considerable expense; we'd actively considered a hard top bimini, which would allow a LOT of solar - but at tremendous cost.

Thanks for the commentary and questions...

L8R

Skip
While the battery monitoring devices are convenient I always calibrate them using the basics. SG for FLA and voltage drop under load. SG is a pain but house voltage is visible every time I walk the main passageway.

We log extensively including calculated Ahr consumption. I review the logged data every month. It's the trending data that is most useful. Not individual data points.

For example I can see that some of our Trojans are thirstier.
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