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Amp hours and voltage

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Rubato View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rubato Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 July 2018 at 17:17
Jeremy, that battery rejuvenation stuff is BS unfortunately.
Have you double checked your shore charger (and smart charger off the alternator if you have one) to make sure they are properly set for AGM? That can toast the batteries pretty quick if not set properly.

On our 400 the fridge is the big culprit. We find a capacity a challenge if we anchor early in the day (say 1 or 2pm) and are running the stereo, some electronics, the fridge, the stove (gas valve), etc. for the rest of the day. We shut it all down when going to bed, except the fridge and the LED anchor light, then there will be not much capacity left in the morning - battery sitting very close to 12V (50%). Note that the voltage is to be measured with little to no load. For example, it will read even lower when the fridge is on.

If I do anchor early, I try to run the engine for 20-30 minutes to add a bit of charge in so there is more capacity left in the morning, works like a charm.


Edited by Rubato - 03 July 2018 at 17:18
Steve

Hanse 400e, #168
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Jeremy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jeremy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 July 2018 at 21:35
Thanks for that! Id assume the charger is set for AGM, as I haven't had a problem until now and the batteries have been in the boat since new (2014). But this is worth checking.
We had an incident some weeks back. The Sterling VSR negative terminal came loose so it never measured a voltage from the batteries therefore when we started the engine the batteries didnt start charging. We sailed to our destination, started the motor the next day and pretty soon I realized the house voltage had suddenly dropped to 10.5V on starting nav, engine blower etc. I shut everything down and continued to sail and worked through the problem. Solar slowly brought power back up. But the damage may have been done.

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charentebob View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote charentebob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 July 2018 at 12:43
I can recommend the Smartgauge. Fitted one for the Bow Thruster battery when it seemed to being overcharged by the B/B charger. I spoke to Sterling Power about this & they recommended setting the charger to the lowest output. Then I installed a switch in the charging line so that I could isolate the charger from the BT battery. I monitor this metre and throw the switch when it indicates 100% charge. I decided that this was a cheaper option to changing the B/B charger if there is a fault in itís ability to cut-out when the battery is full.

Nigel
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote spam Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 July 2018 at 04:19
For those using the Balmer Smartgauge,  what battery type do you have it set to?   I love the Smartguage for its simple install (no shunt, just two small wires, no calibration) and operation (one button with SOC), but the one thing that has never been really clear to me is what battery type to set it to (the only setting required).   AGM seems to be the logical choice but I actually set it to #1 (wet cell) after reading the manual:

NOTE There are actually two very distinct types of AGM batteries with very different operational characteristics. In one type the only real difference is that the electrolyte is held in a glass matt. This type usually have charge voltages very similar to flooded wet cell batteries. The off load terminal voltages will also be very similar to flooded wet cell batteries. If your AGM batteries are of this type then SmartGauge should be set to battery type 1 The other type of AGM has additional chemicals in the battery (similar to gel cell batteries) and this type usually require lower charge voltages and the off load terminal voltages will be similar to gel cells. This type require SmartGauge to be set to battery type 3

I have the standard 2 * 165 Ah Victron AGM set up and based on what I can tell from the Vitron website, the terminal voltage are more similar to flooded wet cell batteries so I set is to BT1, however I am still not completely sure this is the correct setting.  Does anyone know the real answer to this?  Has anyone checked with Victron?  What have other set the smartgauge to?
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charentebob View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote charentebob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 July 2018 at 07:50
The Smartguage i have is connected to a Optima Bluetop Spiral-wound AGM. To be frank I canít remember which setting I used. I think I might need to ask the supplier again to ensure itís right.
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Black Diamond View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Black Diamond Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 July 2018 at 12:31
A lot of good information in this thread.   One point of disagreement, however.   A few have talked about ONLY using voltage and an external multimeter to determine state of charge.    I've seen too many batteries go from 12.5 volts down to 10.8 volts in a few minutes because of bad cells, sulfation, or other issues.  A real monitor, counting amps and other factors like temp seems the only way to go.

FWIW
Rick
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Hanse 575 Build #192, Hull# 161
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charentebob View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote charentebob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 July 2018 at 14:49
I agree. Volts only tells part of the story. I installed a Victron Energy Digital amp meter linked to a Colour Display. This shows the state of the House batteries, output of inverter, shore power and solar output. Absolutely great. Itís alerted me to the fact that the solar is producing a lot less than it did & so I am now investigating why. Would not know otherwise.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Black Diamond Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 17 July 2018 at 18:18
Monitoring makes it far easier to work with your batteries and energy producing devices (Solar, alternator, generator, shore power charger), and a decent monitoring system is a must for a sailboat. I have the SIMARINE boat monitoring system.  It handles both producing and consuming device monitoring as well as tanks and temperatures.

Its a pretty extensible system,  similar to the Philippi system, but with a bit newer technology...

See pictures...











Rick
S/V Black Diamond
Hanse 575 Build #192, Hull# 161
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote StavrosNZ Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 July 2018 at 00:35
Hi Jeremy sounds like your batteries are on the way out, short life considering the age of your boat so check that your shore power charger is set for AGM profile charging and that your solar panel regulator profiles are correct.

On Villanelle i upgraded to high output alternator (140 amp) and serpentine belt and pulleys, after a night at anchor which normally consumes 55amps or thereabouts i am fully recharged in 20 minutes of motoring. High output alternator is by far best return in terms of money you can sped to get amps you need. Solar great for topping up but not replacing large charge amounts.
Stephen
2010 H400 #691, Auckland, New Zealand
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Jeremy View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jeremy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 July 2018 at 08:02
Thanks Stephen. Ive just replaced the batteries. Gone to 444 amp hours. One of the old batteries had a capacity of 35ah and the other 41ah, so they were well gone. Still not sure why. I checked the charger. Its set to AGM. For now I've disconnected the solar panels. Yes I guess your right. 20min of diesel is nothing for a full charge! Did you have to change belts / pulleys? Why couldn't you just bolt on a bigger alternator? Where did you get it?
I had a phantom amp draw too of around 0.3a +. Ive determined the cause of most of that, just 0.12 amps unaccounted for.
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