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 Post subject: Re: Batteries
PostPosted: 10 Oct 2020 18:55 
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Skipper

Joined: 29 Dec 2006 09:38
Posts: 588
I am going out to my boat next week and will take a picture of the reefer gasket arrangement. I think you other ideas make good sense about the alternator. Truck alternators get doused with water and salt and mostly keep running. The bugger with our boats is heat. Heat drives down the output really fast. it is good you have a monitor.

Ray Durkee
T37 #373


 
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 Post subject: Re: Batteries
PostPosted: 11 Oct 2020 22:16 
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Skipper

Joined: 14 Jul 2012 20:36
Posts: 419
I cut the 2" semi-soft foam for the lid so it seals on the sides.

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 Post subject: Re: Batteries
PostPosted: 19 Nov 2020 11:01 
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Rail Meat

Joined: 06 Aug 2020 09:02
Posts: 16
Just posting an update on my alternator, regulator and battery situation. I initially called the local guy, Kennedy, for a recommendation. He simply pointed me to a Balmar solution. I guess I wasn't satisfied with this so after visiting the Compass Marine Services site I decided to see what Maine Sail thought. Here is what he said:

Our CMI / AMP-IT 105-ER is a 105A alternator that will drop right into that application. If you pair this with a Balmar MC-614, and dial it back using Belt Load Manager to Level 4 (for the belt), and both temp sensors you have a really nice little system for far less than a Balmar.

So, I went with his suggestion. Cost is about $800.

Provided with some small mods I can get two US Battery US 12VRX XC2 or two US AGM 12V150 into my battery tray, I will have a pretty decent solution with 300ah of capacity.

Hoping that this system will meet my needs. Still concerned about getting a full charge from the engine in a reasonable amount of time.


 
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 Post subject: Re: Batteries
PostPosted: 19 Nov 2020 14:11 
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Skipper

Joined: 29 Dec 2006 09:38
Posts: 588
I think Maine Sail gave you some good advice if a bit over the top as usual. I still think there is no better option than good old golf cart batteries for ruggedness and cost. I believe you should not have a system on your boat that you do not completely understand, because--sooner or later--you will have to fix it. But there is nothing magic about BalMar stuff despite its powder coating and breathtaking cost.

I agree you are going to have to find another way to top off your batteries because smart regulators and large capacity systems is always a recipe for chronic undercharging. You can use a smart shore charger if you are in a marina. If you are cruising or on a mooring you need a solar solution (+ or - 100 watts)array and regulator). You do not really need too much of a solar array for topping off. The acceptance rate at the end of the charge cycle is really low and it makes no sense to be collecting more amperage than you need. The problem is a need for small amperage over a longer time from your "topping off" source. A panel on the dodger should be enough. Be sure to get one that is shade tolerant.


 
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 Post subject: Re: Batteries
PostPosted: 20 Nov 2020 06:44 
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Rail Meat

Joined: 06 Aug 2020 09:02
Posts: 16
Thanks Velera. I received the following from Maine Sail in response to a question about the new system's ability to top off:

Jesse,

It will be a much better fit than what you had as internal regulators are really poor at getting the most current into the bank. That said, a typical deep-cycle flooded lead acid battery will take 6-10+ hours of charging (depends upon battery health) in order to get to a true 100% SoC. The last 4% takes longer than the first 46% if starting at 50% SoC but an external regulator will help you maximize how quickly you can get energy into the bank. What you will gain is accurate voltage sensing, which means longer bulk charging, which means more energy into the bank before the regulator becomes voltage limited. You will also gain the ability to custom set your voltages to the max allowable, to charge based on battery temperature, the ability to limit the load on the belt, the ability to not over-heat the alternator etc., etc...


Since you suggested solar, do you have any suggestions for an adequate system? FWIW, I am at a marina and I have a Statpower True Charge 20+ amp multi stage charger.


 
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 Post subject: Re: Batteries
PostPosted: 20 Nov 2020 14:22 
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Skipper

Joined: 13 Feb 2011 21:19
Posts: 237
Location: Canyon Lake, TX
I'm on the third coast and we get plenty of sunshine.

I have a WM battery charger. I think it is the 2610 so it charges both the house and start batteries at 5 amps. Mostly, tho, the breaker is turned off.

I have two 95watt panels over the helm seat of the bimini.
Attachment:
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These are attached to a Morningstar Sunsaver Duo charge controller. The output is set for 90% house and 10% start. The outputs are wired to two FLA house batteries and one FLA start battery.

AFAIK, the Morningstar only has settings for sealed and flooded batteries. I've been using this system since 2012 with no problems.

Your mileage may vary.

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Master and Commander of the Sailing Vessel Impetuous
Rider of Waleli Honda 1800 VTX
Subservient to no man except SWMBO
Any day without dock lines is a GOOD day!


 
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 Post subject: Re: Batteries
PostPosted: 26 Nov 2020 14:04 
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Skipper

Joined: 29 Dec 2006 09:38
Posts: 588
jfalsone wrote:
Thanks Velera. I received the following from Maine Sail in response to a question about the new system's ability to top off:

Jesse,

It will be a much better fit than what you had as internal regulators are really poor at getting the most current into the bank. That said, a typical deep-cycle flooded lead acid battery will take 6-10+ hours of charging (depends upon battery health) in order to get to a true 100% SoC. The last 4% takes longer than the first 46% if starting at 50% SoC but an external regulator will help you maximize how quickly you can get energy into the bank. What you will gain is accurate voltage sensing, which means longer bulk charging, which means more energy into the bank before the regulator becomes voltage limited. You will also gain the ability to custom set your voltages to the max allowable, to charge based on battery temperature, the ability to limit the load on the belt, the ability to not over-heat the alternator etc., etc...


Since you suggested solar, do you have any suggestions for an adequate system? FWIW, I am at a marina and I have a Statpower True Charge 20+ amp multi stage charger.


I am not entirely understanding what MaineSail is saying. We might have a disagreement here. His videos and comments are generally spot on, but I have had disagreements in the past and maybe this is one of them. A modern "on/off" internal regulator has the advantage of bringing your batteries up to full charge faster than most of the "smart" regulators that taper the charge as it gets closer to fully charged. The downside of internal regulators is that, when you use a lot of your battery capacity (unlike a car where you use a short blast of high amperage, but a miniscule amount of the capacity in the start and the rest of the time the charging system is being continuously supplied by the alternator) batteries that have been slowly and significantly discharged can be heated until they gas a lot and lose their solutions and the alternator can be burned up or have its life significantly shortened by heat in the tiny enclosures we put them in. So "smart" regulators only do "bulk" charging for a limited time period (often with temp sensors attached to the alternator and battery that further limit the charge they deliver) and taper, particularly, the final stages as the acceptance rate of charge goes down as the batteries approach full charge. This creates an penchant "smart" regulators to leave your batteries undercharged. The "on/off" internal regulators might be harder on your batteries and regulators if you are constantly running you batteries down 40 or 50%, but they will bring things to a full charge faster at the risks to your alternator and battery health--just in a brutal way. I am willing to be corrected if there is some Phd in electrical engineering on this matter.

I think you need nothing if you staying in a marina and topping off with a "smart" shore charger. If you were on a mooring, I get by easily with a 65w high quality (shade tolerant) solar panel that can top off my golf cart batteries in a day and keep them there. Not too hard to fit a 100w panel there to give you a cushion. Solar panels of this size need their own controller which is a $15 item. I think most folks would be better off, even in a marina, staying away from all the stray current issues from bringing AC aboard and trying to use solar to top off batteries, but that is just my opinion. Once you are hooked into shore power grounds, I think it is just about impossible to entirely prevent all traces of galvanic corrosion. Isolators help. But I have measure stray current in empty slips. It will find a ground.


 
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 Post subject: Re: Batteries
PostPosted: 27 Nov 2020 18:28 
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Rail Meat

Joined: 06 Aug 2020 09:02
Posts: 16
Velera, I was under the impression that the programmable nature of the Balmar 614 regulator would allow me some control over the extent of the bulk charging phase. I need to read more about it and ask MaineSail some pointed questions, although I was very specific with my issues and requirements before purchasing. Regardless of the ability of any alt/reg/batt combo to charge rapidly in bulk to higher SoC, it seems evident from everyone's experience that some solar topping is advisable. In terms of my planned use, I see myself off shore power for 2 weeks at a time and maybe longer. So, not at anchor indefinitely but also not sitting in the marina on 110v AC collecting barnacles. I'm wondering what type of galvanic damage people are seeing on these boats if properly isolated. Is there something specific I should be checking other than my zinks? Thanks.

PS - wondering if this article answers any questions? https://marinehowto.com/alternators-voltage-sensing/


 
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 Post subject: Re: Batteries
PostPosted: 27 Nov 2020 18:51 
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Skipper

Joined: 29 Dec 2006 09:38
Posts: 588
The galvanic corrosion is usually slow and hard to trace. I had a pinhole leak in my sink through hull fitting after 15 years. I think it had something to do with a deck pump I tee'd into the like that put a tiny current in the water through the armature of the pump motor--just a theory--have no proof. Just goes to show how difficult it can be to eliminate sources. We should not get all terribly paranoid (as I think Mainesail does from time to time) about the details and spend our lives and money on prevention. I appreciate his work in general and have seen him cruising in my neighborhood of Penobscot bay (his boat is, as you would expect, gorgeously maintained) but I still think he gets a little OCD. I think you have a good system that will serve you well. If you pay attention to your battery monitor (and if EVERYTHING) goes through the negative shunt, you will get the idea of what is going on in your boat. IMHO, no boat with an electrical system should be without some kind of battery monitor. I think that it is hard to eliminate all sources of electrical galvanic corrosion. Some years, I do not get much and others, I get a lot and that is with no significant changes in my systems. Keep track of your zincs and make sure they are hammered in place (I like the idea of putting them on before the winter storage (if you do that) and then making sure they have contact before you splash in the Spring
Ray Durkee
Velera T37 #373


 
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