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Old 03-02-2015, 12:52 AM   #1
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Solar Battery Controller Settings

I`m after the correct settings for Bulk Charge and Float voltage for flooded lead acid batts. The charge is via a controller for PVs.
The instruction manual says for flooded lead acid: Bulk 14.8v; Float 13.5v. (For sealed gel type lead/acid it says 14.3 and 13.5 respectively.)
If a wet lead acid is normally fully charged at 12.6+(Ed Sherman), those values seem too high, suggesting the charger would be "boiling" the batteries. So I set Bulk at 13.6v and Float 13.2v, but it`s easy to reset them.
While on the subject, the controller has an equalization phase. I turned it off, my understanding is it kicks sulphation off the plates back into solution and that sulphation is caused by chronic undercharging, which the panels effectively prevent.
Thoughts?
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Old 03-02-2015, 07:35 AM   #2
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The settings will vary depending on weather the boat is being operated.

The higher Voltages suggested are perfect for cruising , where you are exercising the batts daily and they will spend considerable time at less than FULL 100% charge.

Water consumption is expected when operating , and recharging from a modest discharge..

For the times when the vessel is NOT being operated .

Dockside for storage or on the hard all winter the voltages can be lowered .

We bulk charge to 14v , but put the Float down to 13.2 or even just 13v when storing , unattended in Fl at our dock.

Slightly overfilling before departure and a friend at the 3 month period keeps the set from running dry ., and will still power the bilge pump as required.

Batterys in use need more charging that those on standby.
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Old 03-02-2015, 08:36 AM   #3
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The voltages in your manual are good for a multi-stage charger. The difference between the 14.8 bulk charge voltage and the 12.6 full charge voltage is the difference between a battery under charge and one that's sitting at rest (no load and no charge).
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Old 03-03-2015, 07:37 PM   #4
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Thanks, I will fine tune when next on the boat. Pretty sure I helped ruin one of the 2 8Ds by somehow setting float too high, but it is 5yrs old, the other is 4yrs. Just bought a new flooded one to fit (ugh), specs of the one delivered exceed those advertised, CCA 1100>1280;Amp 200>225, looks like I scored an upgrade. IG design is one batt serves each engine for start and house, they get auto combined for starting, I can select either or both on the main switch for house. No dedicated house and start has never been an issue except just after purchase when I discovered how bad the batts were, the genset and charger were my friend.
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