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Old 07-12-2022, 08:28   #1
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How do you keep batteries from overheating in Florida climate?

I have installed new Solar Charge Controllers which can measure temperature in the battery compartment and was shocked yesterday to see temperatures in the mid to upper 90s Fahrenheit (35-38C) and its not even summer here where air temp can climb up to mid-90s or more, and close to 100 % humidity, The outside air temp yesterday was only 85F.

This is something I have not given any consideration to earlier. My bad.

Any suggestions on how to remedy without installing air-conditioner? Will installing fans pushing or pulling air (which is also warm) over the batteries help somewhat?

Or should I just accept that very little can be done and start saving up money to buy new batteries in a few years?

Four new FLA batteries, three Group 31 house bank and one Group 24 starter batt.

How do other sailors cope with this problem? Appreciate hearing from you.
Thank you.
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Old 07-12-2022, 08:40   #2
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Re: How do you keep batteries from overheating in Florida climate?

My Trojan 105 batteries have a stated operating temperature range from -20°C to +45°C (-4°F to +113°F). Have you checked yours?

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Old 07-12-2022, 09:30   #3
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Re: How do you keep batteries from overheating in Florida climate?

Good point.
Here is what i have found. The house batteries i have are Deka DC31DT.
It appears to me that Self discharge rate start at 77F.



Recommended storage temperature is 50°F (10°C) to
77°F (25°C). Acceptable storage temperature is 0°F
(-18°C) to 90°F (32°C).


TEMPERATURE SELF-DISCHARGE RATE
100ºF (38ºC) . . . . . .3 Pts. Specific Gravity per day
80ºF (27ºC) . . . . . .2 Pts. Specific Gravity per day
50ºF (10ºC) . . . . . .1/2 Pt. Specific Gravity per day
30ºF (–1ºC) . . . . . .1/10 Pt. Specific Gravity per
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Old 07-12-2022, 10:21   #4
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Re: How do you keep batteries from overheating in Florida climate?

If the ambient air outside is 85 I'm not surprised the battery compartment is in the 90's at all. I wouldn't worry much. But if you can add a flexible vent tube up to a coaming or something like that, the "chimney effect" will draw hot air out well provided you also have an air inlet down low. 3 feet of rise will create a surprising amount of flow.
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Old 07-12-2022, 14:10   #5
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Re: How do you keep batteries from overheating in Florida climate?

Maybe a small fan with an inlet and outlet so as to move air through the battery compartment,

Fair winds <
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Old 07-12-2022, 14:21   #6
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Re: How do you keep batteries from overheating in Florida climate?

My batteries are down under the sole and I doubt they get too hot there. My solar controller is mounted in an open and every nce in a while it gets hot enough for the fan to come for a few minutes and scare the hell out of me.
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Old 07-12-2022, 19:09   #7
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Re: How do you keep batteries from overheating in Florida climate?

Cheechako.
Hmmmm……The “chimney effect” sounds interesting. Will have to give that some thought. That may also be a good way to ensure gases from batteries do not accumulate inside the battery compartment.
Thanks.
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Old 07-12-2022, 21:09   #8
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Re: How do you keep batteries from overheating in Florida climate?

Don"t worry about it:
It is a non-issue.
In the summer it may get hot, just add distilled water every 2-3 weeks if you are running lead acid batteries.
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Old 07-12-2022, 22:03   #9
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Re: How do you keep batteries from overheating in Florida climate?

Quote:
Originally Posted by VIKINGBEAR View Post
Cheechako.
Hmmmm……The “chimney effect” sounds interesting. Will have to give that some thought. That may also be a good way to ensure gases from batteries do not accumulate inside the battery compartment.
Thanks.
and it's a long standing requirement to meet
ABYC E-10, Storage Batteries
"10.7.9 A vent system or other means shall be provided to permit the discharge from the boat of hydrogen gas released by the battery."
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Old 08-12-2022, 00:50   #10
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Re: How do you keep batteries from overheating in Florida climate?

Hang on, which solar controllers are you using and is the temperature reading the MPPTs or the actual batteries? Victron do a battery widget at £38 which attaches to the battery so gives accurate readings. There could be a difference between MPPT and the batteries.

Out of curiosity what is the water temperature?
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Old 08-12-2022, 05:46   #11
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Re: How do you keep batteries from overheating in Florida climate?

Don"t worry about it:
It is a non-issue.
In the summer it may get hot, just add distilled water every 2-3 weeks if you are running lead acid batteries.


Good point. Thanks.


Hang on, which solar controllers are you using and is the temperature reading the MPPTs or the actual batteries? Victron do a battery widget at £38 which attaches to the battery so gives accurate readings. There could be a difference between MPPT and the batteries.

Out of curiosity what is the water temperature?


I have two Solar Panels each hooked up to its own 20 Amp Renogy Rover MPPT Charge Controller with temperature sensors placed by the batteries.


The water temperature as from a nearby National Data Buoy is reported as 75F (24C) but may be slightly higher in the Marina.
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Old 08-12-2022, 06:03   #12
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Re: How do you keep batteries from overheating in Florida climate?

I kept my boat in Florida for ten years, I fitted inlet and outlet fans, insulated the cabin soles and fitted two Ac units, but still went through two sets of eight golf cart batteries.
You can read the story of fitting the fans here: EXTRACTOR FANS (schooner-britannia.com) and the insulation of the floors here: SOUND DEADENING (schooner-britannia.com)
It all helped to keep the batteries cooler, but there is only one answer to the oppressive heat and humidity of Florida, which wrecks everything, not just batteries, and including skin—get the hell out of the place!!
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Old 08-12-2022, 11:21   #13
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Re: How do you keep batteries from overheating in Florida climate?

We had overheating batteries. It is often over voltage charging that leads to it. Here is what helped.
First, choose a primary charging system that will be responsible for three-stage charging. Set the charging voltages for that system to what the manufacturer recommends for your batteries at the expected ambient temperature.
Second, for all the other charging sources, set the maximum voltage to the float voltage recommended by the battery manufacturer at the expected ambient temperature. For example:
-Change out the alternator internal rectifier to say a 13.7V rectifier. If you end up motoring for long periods, the batteries will not be overcharged and may not overheat, even within the engine compartment.
-Look into a wind generator charge controller that can stop the blade rotation or waste the energy once the float voltage is achieved. We used the Kiss Extractor™ wind generator charge controller that stops the blades automatically for 3-phase alternators.
-If solar is not your primary charging system, set the maximum charge voltage on the solar controller to the float voltage.

Keep in mind that say, lead acid batteries are fully charged at 12.8V. They will still accept charging at higher voltages, but you won't get much more energy stored in them. The higher voltage just leads to waste heat. Your primary charging system will take care of other battery needs, like stirring up the electrolyte.
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Old 08-12-2022, 12:00   #14
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Re: How do you keep batteries from overheating in Florida climate?

Keeping lead acid batteries cooler does make a significant difference to their life.

This table from HOPPECKE gives some quantification of the effect:
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Old 08-12-2022, 14:49   #15
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Re: How do you keep batteries from overheating in Florida climate?

Locquatious


We had overheating batteries. It is often over voltage charging that leads to it. Here is what helped.
First, choose a primary charging system that will be responsible for three-stage charging.

The Renogy Charge controlles are 3 stage.

Set the charging voltages for that system to what the manufacturer recommends for your batteries at the expected ambient temperature.

I have set the charging voltage according to Deka spec, however they state that volt limits shown are based on 77F (25C) For temperatures above 77/25 subtract temperature coefficient value. The temp coefficient value for 2 cell flooded is -6mV/Cell/C. I have three 12V batteries in parallel. Do I use 18 or 6 cells? Not sure how to do this or if it makes any difference?


Second, for all the other charging sources, set the maximum voltage to the float voltage recommended by the battery manufacturer at the expected ambient temperature. For example:
-Change out the alternator internal rectifier to say a 13.7V rectifier. If you end up motoring for long periods, the batteries will not be overcharged and may not overheat, even within the engine compartment.

Alternator internal rectifier to say a 13.7V rectifier. Sorry but This is all Greek to me.

-Look into a wind generator charge controller that can stop the blade rotation or waste the energy once the float voltage is achieved. We used the Kiss Extractor™ wind generator charge controller that stops the blades automatically for 3-phase alternators.
-If solar is not your primary charging system, set the maximum charge voltage on the solar controller to the float voltage.

Solar is my main charging source. Do not have wind generator. I run engine only if I have to, about 100 hours per year. Do not plug in at the Marina.

Keep in mind that say, lead acid batteries are fully charged at 12.8V. They will still accept charging at higher voltages, but you won't get much more energy stored in them. The higher voltage just leads to waste heat. Your primary charging system will take care of other battery needs, like stirring up the electrolyte.

Noted. Thank you very much for taking the time to explain. Much appreciated.
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