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Old 06-27-2013, 10:26 AM   #21
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OK, so how about some practical, meaningful , easy to do real world flooded lead acid battery checking you can do on your boat.

This is going to sound over simplified to some, but alas things do not need to be overly complicated to be useful.

Its easy.
  • With the shore power on, assuming it has been on and your batteries are charged, read the voltage. It should be something around 13.25 to 13.5 volts. If its much lower your batteries are not getting a full charge. If its too much higher, your batteries are getting overcharged.
  • Turn off your shore power. Leave things running just like if you were on the hook.
  • Wait a few hours.
  • Assuming you have 6 volt batteries, measure each of them with a voltmeter.
  • Compare those numbers with each other. If they are much different, then you have a problem. Time for a replacement.
  • Turn back on your battery charger.
  • After a few minutes feel for heat. Just touch each connection, and the top of each battery.
  • If a connection feels warmer than others, take it apart, clean and re-assemble.
  • If a battery feels warm, then you have a problem. Replace it
Other than that, enjoy your boat. Keep your batteries topped off with distilled water and think about the nice sunset, or the fish, or contemplate life on your boat.

Oh, and if you have the inclination, install a battery monitor. I use the Xantrex Link units and love them. Would not have a boat without one.
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Old 06-27-2013, 10:39 AM   #22
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Remote monitoring

Quote:
Originally Posted by ksanders View Post
OK, so how about some practical, meaningful , easy to do real world flooded lead acid battery checking you can do on your boat.

This is going to sound over simplified to some, but alas things do not need to be overly complicated to be useful.

Its easy.
  • With the shore power on, assuming it has been on and your batteries are charged, read the voltage. It should be something around 13.25 to 13.5 volts. If its much lower your batteries are not getting a full charge. If its too much higher, your batteries are getting overcharged.
  • Turn off your shore power. Leave things running just like if you were on the hook.
  • Wait a few hours.
  • Assuming you have 6 volt batteries, measure each of them with a voltmeter.
  • Compare those numbers with each other. If they are much different, then you have a problem. Time for a replacement.
  • Turn back on your battery charger.
  • After a few minutes feel for heat. Just touch each connection, and the top of each battery.
  • If a connection feels warmer than others, take it apart, clean and re-assemble.
  • If a battery feels warm, then you have a problem. Replace it
Other than that, enjoy your boat. Keep your batteries topped off with distilled water and think about the nice sunset, or the fish, or contemplate life on your boat.

Oh, and if you have the inclination, install a battery monitor. I use the Xantrex Link units and love them. Would not have a boat without one.
Thanks Kevin,

Your posts are always interesting and informative.

I just recently added a Victron BMV 600 battery monitor for my house bank (980 amp hours). Love it.

Also, I would love to be able to monitor the boat remotely, but have no wifi or internet connection on boat. I have to use my verizon hotspot for wireless for my computer.

Any suggestions? It would have to run through a cell phone??
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:21 AM   #23
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Thanks Kevin,

Your posts are always interesting and informative.

I just recently added a Victron BMV 600 battery monitor for my house bank (980 amp hours). Love it.

Also, I would love to be able to monitor the boat remotely, but have no wifi or internet connection on boat. I have to use my verizon hotspot for wireless for my computer.

Any suggestions? It would have to run through a cell phone??
980 amp hour bank??? Cool! what batteries are you running?

We are running L16HC batteries at 420AH per cell for a total of 840 AH of capacity.

For remote monitoring you could use a mifi usb modem plugged into a cradlepoint router www.cradlepoint.com
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:17 PM   #24
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980 amp hour bank??? Cool! what batteries are you running?

We are running L16HC batteries at 420AH per cell for a total of 840 AH of capacity.
4 8-Ds AGM for House and bow thruster
Grp 27 for starter
Grp 24 (I think) for Gen

PO had two banks of 2 each 8-Ds for house and starter. I didn't like that setup as it had the dual disadvantages of being able to totally drain start batteries and at same time, run the house batteries lower than good for them.

Now I can go about 24 hours on hook, with no gen.
My goal is to not have to use gen, and if I do, it means it's time to move on.
Also have changed all interior, anchor and spreader lights to LEDs and will change running lights also.

Richard
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:34 PM   #25
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My goal is to not have to use gen,
Richard
For most of us, the cheapest and most reliable source of power we have is a well maintained genset. For us power boaters, I've never understood the fascination for spending 1000 of dollars on the latest (iffy and unreliable at times) technoloy and gizmos for solar, wind, Li batteris etc. A nice simple inverter/charger, adequate sized house bank and good genset is pretty hard to beat providing safety and comfort for thousands of boaters in the past, present and future.
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Old 06-27-2013, 08:56 PM   #26
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Now I can go about 24 hours on hook, with no gen.
My goal is to not have to use gen, and if I do, it means it's time to move on.Richard
Add some solar, you`ll need quite a lot with your battery capacity, and you may be moving less.
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:00 AM   #27
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While I have a gen set, for me it's simply a matter of intrinsic value.
1. I can't see the point of running an auxiliary engine, when my main engine can move me from A to B and charge batteries for virtually nothing.
2. For us, a big reason to have a boat, is to get off the grid and do so in the least intrusive manner.

Ricahrd
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Old 06-28-2013, 02:16 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by Wxx3 View Post
4 8-Ds AGM for House and bow thruster
Grp 27 for starter
Grp 24 (I think) for Gen

PO had two banks of 2 each 8-Ds for house and starter. I didn't like that setup as it had the dual disadvantages of being able to totally drain start batteries and at same time, run the house batteries lower than good for them.

Now I can go about 24 hours on hook, with no gen.
My goal is to not have to use gen, and if I do, it means it's time to move on.
Also have changed all interior, anchor and spreader lights to LEDs and will change running lights also.

Richard
Very nice!

Wer wentwi th LEDs as well. Bought 70 of them on ebay and have maybe 5 left over. The difference in our current draw is incredible.
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Old 06-28-2013, 05:54 AM   #29
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For us, a big reason to have a boat, is to get off the grid and do so in the least intrusive manner.

The usual choice then is not a noisemaker or a ton of lead .

A propane reefer , range and HW heater does the job in silence , silent endurance measured in weeks or months , not hours.
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Old 06-28-2013, 10:08 AM   #30
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For most of us, the cheapest and most reliable source of power we have is a well maintained genset. For us power boaters, I've never understood the fascination for spending 1000 of dollars on the latest (iffy and unreliable at times) technoloy and gizmos for solar, wind, Li batteris etc. A nice simple inverter/charger, adequate sized house bank and good genset is pretty hard to beat providing safety and comfort for thousands of boaters in the past, present and future.
Very well said.

For our boat the 840 AH bank is just about right. Our generator at 9KW is just the right size and very quiet.

Right now I am sitting on the boat, in the salon, having a cup of coffee and the generator is running. I can hear it in the background, but it is very quiet. My Iphone app shows the sound level at 62db.

We have a high capacity alternator on one of the engines, and consider it, the generator, the house bank, and the 3KW inverter/charger all to be parts of a logicaly laid out power system.
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Old 06-28-2013, 01:50 PM   #31
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Very well said.

For our boat the 840 AH bank is just about right. Our generator at 9KW is just the right size and very quiet.

Right now I am sitting on the boat, in the salon, having a cup of coffee and the generator is running. I can hear it in the background, but it is very quiet. My Iphone app shows the sound level at 62db.

We have a high capacity alternator on one of the engines, and consider it, the generator, the house bank, and the 3KW inverter/charger all to be parts of a logicaly laid out power system.
An important concept.

Last year after Hurricane Sandy, we had no idea what we might come back to just 2 days after the storm in terms of marina facilities or even total grid utilities...water, sewage, power, etc....

Having multiple power systems that could last for days or weeks no matter what the climate threw at us was very important.

Boaters sometimes think of only lazy cruisin' days...yet sometimes the boat needs to be more capable than that. Granted I live aboard..but for many dirt dwellers here, if their boat was better set up for independence, they could have stayed aboard till their houses became liveable again.
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Old 06-28-2013, 03:07 PM   #32
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Kevin, How big is your high amperage alternator?
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Old 06-28-2013, 05:09 PM   #33
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Kevin, How big is your high amperage alternator?
I think it's 150 amp, but it was installed by the PO so I'm not sure exactly.

I have seen my battery monitor showing in the 120 amp range charge current plus house loads so 150 is a Good guess.
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