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 Post subject: Batteries
PostPosted: 05 Sep 2018 18:29 
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Tactictian

Joined: 25 Apr 2016 10:25
Posts: 110
I'm about to pull the trigger on some new batteries since my house bank took a dive along with the starter battery. They came with the boat when I purchased it 2 years ago so it's not super surprising they have gone bad. I started seeing my electric bill at the Marina increase so I believe that the bad batteries pulled down the rest of the bank since I was charging them on the "Both" setting on my battery switch.

Current Setup:
I have 2 group 27 house batteries installed under the seat in the Nav station and then a starter battery in the port quarter berth locker.

Plans:
I believe I can fit 2 x 6V Crown FLA batteries in the Nav Seat as they are just under 11 inches tall and are smaller than the group 27 batteries (length and Width - not height) in there currently.
That gives me a little over an inch to play with to fill the batteries, but I think it should be okay because the top of the seat is removable.

I was going to build out the shelf in the port quarter berth that the starter battery fits on so I can fit another 2 batteries there as well to wire in parallel with the 2 in the Nav seat. This would give me 4 6V batteries using the CR235's so 470aH of total capacity. Our plan is to go cruising in Mexico in the Sea Of Cortez for about a year so I think this bank size would be sufficient. We are going to primarily charge via solar and the alternator.

I'm also debating on whether it makes more sense to relocate the starter battery to under the Nav seat then locate all 4 x 6V batteries in the quarter berth. This might be tight due to the slope of the floor and I want to make sure I can install them with the correct orientation so it doesn't leak fluid on a particular tack or expose the plates.

I'm also planning on replacing my battery charger since the one I have is very old and am debating on what current output level to purchase. I was looking at one of the Sterling Pro battery chargers as a potential replacement. Our current charger says it outputs 30A so I was wondering if this would be sufficient since the bank is much larger. Since we'll be cruising the primary charging sources will be solar and the alternator and not as frequently from the shore powered battery charger.

Any thoughts or guidance from the group?


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 Post subject: Re: Batteries
PostPosted: 05 Sep 2018 20:12 
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Skipper

Joined: 14 Jul 2012 20:36
Posts: 411
If you want a quick fix. Replace the Group 27, with two 12V Golf Cart batteries. They give you 155 AH each, for 310 AH bank. They have the same footprint as a Group 31, just taller. They fit with a squeeze and you use existing cabling. That's what we use and does us fine. We have 200 amp solar, no wind. Never run the motor for charging.

The 30 amp charger would be fine for them, getting on the light side for a 400-500ahr

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Hull #208, Puff Card
Southern Chesapeake Bay


 
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 Post subject: Re: Batteries
PostPosted: 06 Sep 2018 02:25 
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Tactictian

Joined: 25 Apr 2016 10:25
Posts: 110
puffcard wrote:
If you want a quick fix. Replace the Group 27, with two 12V Golf Cart batteries. They give you 155 AH each, for 310 AH bank. They have the same footprint as a Group 31, just taller. They fit with a squeeze and you use existing cabling. That's what we use and does us fine. We have 200 amp solar, no wind. Never run the motor for charging.

The 30 amp charger would be fine for them, getting on the light side for a 400-500ahr



Interesting Idea. That is a smaller bank than what I was thinking, but the simplicity of it is nice and it's a better use of space under the nav station seat because a group 31 battery is wider than the GC2 6 volt batteries. We don't have a ton of loads on the boat, but I'm primarily concerned regarding refrigeration, and we are looking at a DC powered water maker from Rainman, but that wouldn't get run every day. However, if you ran the motor or made water while the engine was running along with solar, it would probably be okay.

I tried to find the 155AH batteries and I could only find either the Trojan T1275 or the Crown CR-GC150 both of which are only 150AH. Is there a different battery you are thinking of or are these the right ones? I also like the idea that I could easily add a 3rd battery to get the bank up to ~450AH without needing to make huge modifications to the locker.

I'm still trying to finalize on Flooded Lead Acid vs AGM's, but I think the flooded ones are winning at this point. Thought about Lithium, but the amount of upgrades and cost of the batteries was over the top and would basically almost pay for a watermaker.

I'm also planning to supplement the battery bank, with a portable power packs from Suoaki to charge laptops etc.


 
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 Post subject: Re: Batteries
PostPosted: 06 Sep 2018 06:49 
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Skipper

Joined: 04 Aug 2013 13:33
Posts: 294
A G27 starter battery will fit under the sink in the back corner close to the starter. There is room for 4 G27s under the Nav seat with slight mod.

I changed to AGM because the it was difficult to remove caps to check water without pulling the batteries. I have the same Raritan/Crown charger as yours. I tweaked the max voltage down to the max float voltage for AGM; the solar panel regulator had a battery-type option. No more running batteries dry and shortening their life. If you go with flooded batteries, make sure you can see / add water easily.

On the wish list for the future is Magnum Hybrid Inverter / Charger with the optional control panel / battery monitor. The 'hybrid' model senses a primary source for A/C and goes into charging mode, but if a load is too great it will use batteries to supplement the generator.
This makes it possible to run the central A/C (18.5K BTU) off a Honda 2000 generator. It can run it now but once in a while it will trip on start-up especially if there are other loads. Ocean Breeze does offer a soft-start option now, which would help too. Air conditioning is rather opulent, but it would be a pleasurable option under the right conditions and is always nice when plugged in. Its always handy to have A/C from the inverter available for tools and appliances.

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Dave Lorick
Lunacy #198
Tampa, FL


 
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 Post subject: Re: Batteries
PostPosted: 06 Sep 2018 08:34 
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Skipper

Joined: 14 Jul 2012 20:36
Posts: 411
Look at US Battery, high quality at a very competitive price.

http://usbattery.com/products/12-volt-b ... s-12v-xc2/

We have a AB frig, lights and watch movies every night. Plenty of bank.

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Hull #208, Puff Card
Southern Chesapeake Bay


 
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 Post subject: Re: Batteries
PostPosted: 06 Sep 2018 09:59 
Offline
Tactictian

Joined: 25 Apr 2016 10:25
Posts: 110
puffcard wrote:
Look at US Battery, high quality at a very competitive price.

http://usbattery.com/products/12-volt-b ... s-12v-xc2/

We have a AB frig, lights and watch movies every night. Plenty of bank.


Thanks. Do you have two of these installed under the nav seat? Is it possible to add water to both batteries or is one covered up by the top piece of wood on the nav seat?


 
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 Post subject: Re: Batteries
PostPosted: 06 Sep 2018 10:14 
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Tactictian

Joined: 25 Apr 2016 10:25
Posts: 110
Lunacy 198 wrote:
A G27 starter battery will fit under the sink in the back corner close to the starter. There is room for 4 G27s under the Nav seat with slight mod.

I changed to AGM because the it was difficult to remove caps to check water without pulling the batteries. I have the same Raritan/Crown charger as yours. I tweaked the max voltage down to the max float voltage for AGM; the solar panel regulator had a battery-type option. No more running batteries dry and shortening their life. If you go with flooded batteries, make sure you can see / add water easily.

On the wish list for the future is Magnum Hybrid Inverter / Charger with the optional control panel / battery monitor. The 'hybrid' model senses a primary source for A/C and goes into charging mode, but if a load is too great it will use batteries to supplement the generator.
This makes it possible to run the central A/C (18.5K BTU) off a Honda 2000 generator. It can run it now but once in a while it will trip on start-up especially if there are other loads. Ocean Breeze does offer a soft-start option now, which would help too. Air conditioning is rather opulent, but it would be a pleasurable option under the right conditions and is always nice when plugged in. Its always handy to have A/C from the inverter available for tools and appliances.


What size battery bank do you currently have and which batteries are you using?

If I go the Group 31 12V flooded route, is it possible to water the batteries in the nav seat?

For under the Nav seat with 4 group 27's do you have any pictures or description of what the modifications would look like. I can figure out how 3 could possibly fit, but I'm not understanding how 4 would look. e.g. do you need to cut something out of the back etc. Is this your battery bank?

With regards to modifying the Crown/Raritan charger. I looked at the Installation manual and it appears it's "Finishing Voltage" is 13.6V and doesn't say anything about Maximum voltage applied etc. I'm assuming you just turned the potentiometer to adjust the output which would lower the Finishing voltage as well.

https://raritaneng.com/pdf_files/chargers/L46v1295%20B%20Series%20Manual.pdf

Also if you have AGM's did you do anything to the alternator or are you using the internally regulated one for charging? Would this put it outside the voltage spec for the AGM's so if you have a long motoring day, you could potentially apply too high of a voltage?

I appreciate all the help. Since everything is dead at this point, I'm trying to make the best decision on what to move forward with. Do it right the first time Smile


 
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 Post subject: Re: Batteries
PostPosted: 06 Sep 2018 15:23 
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Skipper

Joined: 14 Jul 2012 20:36
Posts: 411
felizcortez wrote:
puffcard wrote:
Look at US Battery, high quality at a very competitive price.

http://usbattery.com/products/12-volt-b ... s-12v-xc2/

We have a AB frig, lights and watch movies every night. Plenty of bank.


Thanks. Do you have two of these installed under the nav seat? Is it possible to add water to both batteries or is one covered up by the top piece of wood on the nav seat?


We have two under the nav seat. Think I made a mod to the bottom area to keep the battery flat. Very accessible for maintenance. I'm going to use a Optima for the start battery. Just pulled one out of my car that was 10 years old and still started the car.

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Hull #208, Puff Card
Southern Chesapeake Bay


 
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 Post subject: Re: Batteries
PostPosted: 07 Sep 2018 06:32 
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Skipper

Joined: 04 Aug 2013 13:33
Posts: 294
You are correct, the max float is the finishing voltage referred to in the manual, not the maximum voltage overall the AGMs would see from the unit. I was mainly concerned about the float voltage since the solar panels keep the batteries pretty topped up most of the time.
RE: alternator, I put a 100 amp unit with an external regulator on, but that's about to be replaced by the one on the Beta 38 that should arrive soon. Not sure of options if any to limit the max voltage on it.

RE: Mod to battery area under the nav seat, the batteries sit in a pan that appears to be held in place by screws. If the forward and aft lip of the pan is replaced by an extension, both batteries can be rotated 90 degrees to create the space needed to add another battery next to each.

Attached is rough sketch that might make it more clear. Four of the G27 Lifeline AGMs would fit in there with the mod. What I haven't allowed for is room for a traditional battery box (which isn't there now either). Straps can be accommodated, but I'll have to see what battery enclosure is required by ABYC to know if this can be done correctly.


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Dave Lorick
Lunacy #198
Tampa, FL
 
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 Post subject: Re: Batteries
PostPosted: 07 Sep 2018 07:17 
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Skipper

Joined: 21 Jan 2010 12:57
Posts: 168
I utilized the space under the athwartship section of the port settee (immediatly forward of the nav table) to install two six volt deep cycle house batteries. Getting the weight closer to midship and inboard was central to the decision. It's worked out well.


 
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