[Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion


Danny and Yvonne SIMMS
 

Hi James, how horrible. We all feel for you. You say the battery compartment is sealed apart from the vent. On our SM 299 there are five vents at floor level in the bottom of the battery compartment to allow air to enter. Does the 54 not have these vents.
Regards
Danny
SM 299 Ocean Pearl



From: "James Wendell ms42phantom54@yahoo..com [amelyachtowners]"
To: "amelyachtowners@..."
Sent: Friday, 24 June 2016 12:30 PM
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion

 
I am not sure if anyone has ever experienced what just happened to me, but I think it is important info for everyone out there. My battery compartment exploded early yesterday morning. No one is certain exactly what happened, and no one who has investigated the accident has ever seen this occur. I am still up on the hard in Annapolis trying to get my new engine installation completed - that was a subject of a previous thread, and I will update everyone who followed that thread separately once I get my new engine running.

The explosion was quite severe and apparently set off my smoke detector which everyone in the yard heard. There was no fire. Oddly no one claims they heard the explosion itself, as it may have happened before the contractors started to come in for work. It blew the lid completely off of the passageway berth and into the ceiling, jamming it between the wall of the aft closet and the wall near the nav station closet. Fortunately no one was on the boat at the time, but if someone had been in the passageway between the main saloon and the aft cabin, they would have been seriously injured or even killed. I do not want to even speculate what would have happened if someone had been sleeping on the berth. I had some parts and tools sitting on the berth cushion and they were either shredded, melted, or survived depending on the material. It was a scary situation.

I am working with my insurance company and they hired a local surveyor to assess the situation. They, as I do, want to know the reason for the explosion. Beyond the damage to the compartment lid/berth and the surrounding woodwork, here are the facts:

  • At least 2 of the AGM batteries had been breached with cracks in the tops. None of the VRLA valves had popped.
  • A few of the batteries were bulged out at the sides. Not clear if that happened initially or as a result of the explosion. Ultimately about half of the 12 on the 24-volt side were "bad."
  • My shore power connections were off. The only charging source would have been wind and solar. Both of those systems have been working correctly for a long time, and early in the morning there was no wind and not much sun. We do not think it was an overcharge issue. I have multiple monitoring systems including the Xantrex that came with the boat, plus a Maretron monitor and Blue Sea meters. All were nominal when I left the boat before the explosion. Voltage was about 27.5 and there was a small load of maybe 3 or 4 amps DC, easily absorbed with the solar panels.
  • The batteries are a little over 4 years old and came with the boat. I have never had a problem with them, and the charging systems have never pushed above 28 volts.
  • The battery setup was reworked last winter by a very good contractor here in the yard. They added fuses to all the loads, and it has worked very well for months now. I find it hard to believe that there was no primary battery fusing on the boat at all, but that is still another topic for review. However, the explosion would not have been related to current flow and hence the fusing was not an issue one way or the other.
  • I have 12 Intimidator AGM batteries in the battery area with a 12V starting battery.
  • Testing them after the accident revealed about half of them to be unserviceable (either electrically or physically).

It is clear to the investigators that the explosion was the result of hydrogen gas buildup in the battery compartment. The problem they observed is that (while there is a vent at the forward part of the battery compartment, Amel seals the compartment completely). Normally the vent is OK, as any residual hydrogen will escape out the vent.. But the Amel setup prevents any makeup air from entering the compartment. Normally AGM batteries do not vent externally, as the hydrogen sulfide normally released in a flooded battery is actually recombined in an AGM setup. There are valves in a VRLA battery, which are supposed to open if the internal pressure gets too high. However, if the casing is breached, gasses will release immediately, which is what happened here. What no one knows yet is why the batteries cracked open. The bottom line is that the vent could not release the gas fast enough, and the hydrogen gas exploded as it built up in the sealed compartment.

I am going to modify the configuration by adding ventilation to the front of the battery compartment. I am also going to install 13 new Lifeline batteries (12 31-XT and 1 31T battery for starting). Good quality batteries with a modified install should prevent a recurrence. What a mess.................

All I can say is thank goodness no one was hurt.

Jamie Wendell
 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044



Jean-Pierre Germain <jgermain@...>
 

Hello James,

Your AMEL ownership has been marred by unusual problems; mine has also not been a bed of roses but for different reasons. 

I had a NICAD battery runaway once. At High altitude, The events take a different dimension. 

Persevere, these are good boats and you will be well rewarded eventually

GL

Jean-Pierre Germain
Eleuthera, SM007 



On 24 Jun 2016, at 08:10, Danny and Yvonne SIMMS simms@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 

Hi James, how horrible. We all feel for you. You say the battery compartment is sealed apart from the vent. On our SM 299 there are five vents at floor level in the bottom of the battery compartment to allow air to enter. Does the 54 not have these vents.
Regards
Danny
SM 299 Ocean Pearl



From: "James Wendell ms42phantom54@yahoo..com [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...>
To: "amelyachtowners@..." <amelyachtowners@...>
Sent: Friday, 24 June 2016 12:30 PM
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion

 
I am not sure if anyone has ever experienced what just happened to me, but I think it is important info for everyone out there. My battery compartment exploded early yesterday morning. No one is certain exactly what happened, and no one who has investigated the accident has ever seen this occur. I am still up on the hard in Annapolis trying to get my new engine installation completed - that was a subject of a previous thread, and I will update everyone who followed that thread separately once I get my new engine running.

The explosion was quite severe and apparently set off my smoke detector which everyone in the yard heard. There was no fire. Oddly no one claims they heard the explosion itself, as it may have happened before the contractors started to come in for work. It blew the lid completely off of the passageway berth and into the ceiling, jamming it between the wall of the aft closet and the wall near the nav station closet. Fortunately no one was on the boat at the time, but if someone had been in the passageway between the main saloon and the aft cabin, they would have been seriously injured or even killed. I do not want to even speculate what would have happened if someone had been sleeping on the berth. I had some parts and tools sitting on the berth cushion and they were either shredded, melted, or survived depending on the material. It was a scary situation.

I am working with my insurance company and they hired a local surveyor to assess the situation. They, as I do, want to know the reason for the explosion. Beyond the damage to the compartment lid/berth and the surrounding woodwork, here are the facts:

  • At least 2 of the AGM batteries had been breached with cracks in the tops. None of the VRLA valves had popped.
  • A few of the batteries were bulged out at the sides. Not clear if that happened initially or as a result of the explosion. Ultimately about half of the 12 on the 24-volt side were "bad."
  • My shore power connections were off. The only charging source would have been wind and solar. Both of those systems have been working correctly for a long time, and early in the morning there was no wind and not much sun. We do not think it was an overcharge issue. I have multiple monitoring systems including the Xantrex that came with the boat, plus a Maretron monitor and Blue Sea meters. All were nominal when I left the boat before the explosion. Voltage was about 27.5 and there was a small load of maybe 3 or 4 amps DC, easily absorbed with the solar panels.
  • The batteries are a little over 4 years old and came with the boat. I have never had a problem with them, and the charging systems have never pushed above 28 volts.
  • The battery setup was reworked last winter by a very good contractor here in the yard. They added fuses to all the loads, and it has worked very well for months now. I find it hard to believe that there was no primary battery fusing on the boat at all, but that is still another topic for review. However, the explosion would not have been related to current flow and hence the fusing was not an issue one way or the other.
  • I have 12 Intimidator AGM batteries in the battery area with a 12V starting battery.
  • Testing them after the accident revealed about half of them to be unserviceable (either electrically or physically).

It is clear to the investigators that the explosion was the result of hydrogen gas buildup in the battery compartment. The problem they observed is that (while there is a vent at the forward part of the battery compartment, Amel seals the compartment completely). Normally the vent is OK, as any residual hydrogen will escape out the vent.. But the Amel setup prevents any makeup air from entering the compartment. Normally AGM batteries do not vent externally, as the hydrogen sulfide normally released in a flooded battery is actually recombined in an AGM setup. There are valves in a VRLA battery, which are supposed to open if the internal pressure gets too high. However, if the casing is breached, gasses will release immediately, which is what happened here. What no one knows yet is why the batteries cracked open. The bottom line is that the vent could not release the gas fast enough, and the hydrogen gas exploded as it built up in the sealed compartment.

I am going to modify the configuration by adding ventilation to the front of the battery compartment. I am also going to install 13 new Lifeline batteries (12 31-XT and 1 31T battery for starting). Good quality batteries with a modified install should prevent a recurrence. What a mess.................

All I can say is thank goodness no one was hurt.

Jamie Wendell
 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044



James Wendell <ms42phantom54@...>
 

I hear from Danny that the SM has battery compartment venting at the bottom that allows air to move up through the battery compartment. That is the way to do it, as it allows make-up air to enter and go out the exhaust and therefore vent any hydrogen sulfide if it is released. While wet cells will release small amounts of H2S in operation, normally, AGM batteries do not release gas, as it is recombined internally. Vents at the bottom would also prevent any gasses from leaking into the boat itself.

The 54 does not have any ingress, only egress through the vent. It is sealed tight. That is what caused the build-up of hydrogen gas. The batteries themselves did not explode - 2 of them cracked a bit at the top, which is what caused the gas to release. The others were damaged as a result of the explosion.

I am sorry to disagree with other opinions, but air circulation is needed. Yes hydrogen sulfide is a toxic agent, but after my experience, it would be far better to let a little bit of it vent into the boat in an emergency situation, versus contain it in an enclosure that is essentially a bomb when the battery vents faster than the passive vent can exhaust it outside. In reality, it would not vent into the boat if the air intake is lower than the exhaust. H2S is lighter than air and will rise naturally.

Just for clarification, there was no essentially no charging occurring here; while no one has definitively identified the culprit, the accepted conclusion at this point is that one or two of the batteries suffered an internal short and breached on their own - likely because they were nearing the end of life at 4 years, but they came with the boat and I have no record of their service history. There was a slight solar power charge coming in, but it was early in the morning and little sun would have been illuminating the panels. There IS temperature compensation, and the solar charger is a nearly new 45-amp Morningstar MPPT controller. While it certainly could have failed, it was operating fine just before the event.

I will report more if my insurance surveyor or the electrical experts here in the yard are able to offer additional inputs.

Just as a side note, I know Amels are good boats, and I see that. They are well built. However, I have noted some less-than-stellar design decisions that likely are more the result of EU regulations rather than Amel philosophy.

I have owned the boat now for just over a year. I have only sailed/motored it for 4 days last June. Immediately after that initial delivery the engine failed. I am not going to repeat that story, but the final analysis proved that during my 4-day motor from FL to MD, saltwater had migrated into the exhaust manifold and up into the head - not because of cranking. When the water evaporated a week after arrival in MD, salt crystals remained in the engine and pitted the valves and valve seats. That seriously compromised the engine and the only good solution was a new engine. Yes, I could have rebuilt it for about half the cost - not worth it as there was a fair amount of external corrosion on the starboard aft side of the engine. The second design flaw is that there are NO fuses in any of the primary DC feeders from the batteries. That is a serious issue, as any short-to-ground or system overloads would have overheated the circuit and caused the affected wire to melt or catch on fire. Fuses are needed to protect the wires at the battery. I changed all of that and now have an array of fuses in the compartment adjacent to the batteries. And now the sealed battery compartment issue.

Perhaps I am venting now, but as others have noted, I will persevere and resolve all of these issues. I do appreciate the quality that goes into these yachts.

Thanks for the support - that is what this group is all about.
Jamie Wendell


 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044


On Friday, June 24, 2016 3:28 AM, "Jean-Pierre Germain jgermain@... [amelyachtowners]" wrote:


 
Hello James,

Your AMEL ownership has been marred by unusual problems; mine has also not been a bed of roses but for different reasons. 

I had a NICAD battery runaway once. At High altitude, The events take a different dimension. 

Persevere, these are good boats and you will be well rewarded eventually

GL

Jean-Pierre Germain
Eleuthera, SM007 



On 24 Jun 2016, at 08:10, Danny and Yvonne SIMMS simms@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 
Hi James, how horrible. We all feel for you. You say the battery compartment is sealed apart from the vent. On our SM 299 there are five vents at floor level in the bottom of the battery compartment to allow air to enter. Does the 54 not have these vents.
Regards
Danny
SM 299 Ocean Pearl



From: "James Wendell ms42phantom54@yahoo..com [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...>
To: "amelyachtowners@..." <amelyachtowners@...>
Sent: Friday, 24 June 2016 12:30 PM
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion

 
I am not sure if anyone has ever experienced what just happened to me, but I think it is important info for everyone out there. My battery compartment exploded early yesterday morning. No one is certain exactly what happened, and no one who has investigated the accident has ever seen this occur. I am still up on the hard in Annapolis trying to get my new engine installation completed - that was a subject of a previous thread, and I will update everyone who followed that thread separately once I get my new engine running.

The explosion was quite severe and apparently set off my smoke detector which everyone in the yard heard. There was no fire. Oddly no one claims they heard the explosion itself, as it may have happened before the contractors started to come in for work. It blew the lid completely off of the passageway berth and into the ceiling, jamming it between the wall of the aft closet and the wall near the nav station closet. Fortunately no one was on the boat at the time, but if someone had been in the passageway between the main saloon and the aft cabin, they would have been seriously injured or even killed. I do not want to even speculate what would have happened if someone had been sleeping on the berth. I had some parts and tools sitting on the berth cushion and they were either shredded, melted, or survived depending on the material. It was a scary situation.

I am working with my insurance company and they hired a local surveyor to assess the situation. They, as I do, want to know the reason for the explosion. Beyond the damage to the compartment lid/berth and the surrounding woodwork, here are the facts:

  • At least 2 of the AGM batteries had been breached with cracks in the tops. None of the VRLA valves had popped.
  • A few of the batteries were bulged out at the sides. Not clear if that happened initially or as a result of the explosion. Ultimately about half of the 12 on the 24-volt side were "bad."
  • My shore power connections were off. The only charging source would have been wind and solar. Both of those systems have been working correctly for a long time, and early in the morning there was no wind and not much sun. We do not think it was an overcharge issue. I have multiple monitoring systems including the Xantrex that came with the boat, plus a Maretron monitor and Blue Sea meters. All were nominal when I left the boat before the explosion. Voltage was about 27.5 and there was a small load of maybe 3 or 4 amps DC, easily absorbed with the solar panels.
  • The batteries are a little over 4 years old and came with the boat. I have never had a problem with them, and the charging systems have never pushed above 28 volts.
  • The battery setup was reworked last winter by a very good contractor here in the yard. They added fuses to all the loads, and it has worked very well for months now. I find it hard to believe that there was no primary battery fusing on the boat at all, but that is still another topic for review. However, the explosion would not have been related to current flow and hence the fusing was not an issue one way or the other.
  • I have 12 Intimidator AGM batteries in the battery area with a 12V starting battery.
  • Testing them after the accident revealed about half of them to be unserviceable (either electrically or physically).

It is clear to the investigators that the explosion was the result of hydrogen gas buildup in the battery compartment. The problem they observed is that (while there is a vent at the forward part of the battery compartment, Amel seals the compartment completely). Normally the vent is OK, as any residual hydrogen will escape out the vent.. But the Amel setup prevents any makeup air from entering the compartment. Normally AGM batteries do not vent externally, as the hydrogen sulfide normally released in a flooded battery is actually recombined in an AGM setup. There are valves in a VRLA battery, which are supposed to open if the internal pressure gets too high. However, if the casing is breached, gasses will release immediately, which is what happened here. What no one knows yet is why the batteries cracked open. The bottom line is that the vent could not release the gas fast enough, and the hydrogen gas exploded as it built up in the sealed compartment.

I am going to modify the configuration by adding ventilation to the front of the battery compartment. I am also going to install 13 new Lifeline batteries (12 31-XT and 1 31T battery for starting). Good quality batteries with a modified install should prevent a recurrence. What a mess.................

All I can say is thank goodness no one was hurt.

Jamie Wendell
 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044





VLADIMIR SONSEV
 

Hi James,

I am very sorry for your troubles.
Do you need any help? Call me if you want me to come and help. You have my phone.

Vladimir

SM 345
S/V Life is Good.

On Jun 24, 2016 6:19 AM, "James Wendell ms42phantom54@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:
 

I hear from Danny that the SM has battery compartment venting at the bottom that allows air to move up through the battery compartment. That is the way to do it, as it allows make-up air to enter and go out the exhaust and therefore vent any hydrogen sulfide if it is released. While wet cells will release small amounts of H2S in operation, normally, AGM batteries do not release gas, as it is recombined internally. Vents at the bottom would also prevent any gasses from leaking into the boat itself.

The 54 does not have any ingress, only egress through the vent. It is sealed tight. That is what caused the build-up of hydrogen gas. The batteries themselves did not explode - 2 of them cracked a bit at the top, which is what caused the gas to release. The others were damaged as a result of the explosion.

I am sorry to disagree with other opinions, but air circulation is needed. Yes hydrogen sulfide is a toxic agent, but after my experience, it would be far better to let a little bit of it vent into the boat in an emergency situation, versus contain it in an enclosure that is essentially a bomb when the battery vents faster than the passive vent can exhaust it outside. In reality, it would not vent into the boat if the air intake is lower than the exhaust. H2S is lighter than air and will rise naturally.

Just for clarification, there was no essentially no charging occurring here; while no one has definitively identified the culprit, the accepted conclusion at this point is that one or two of the batteries suffered an internal short and breached on their own - likely because they were nearing the end of life at 4 years, but they came with the boat and I have no record of their service history. There was a slight solar power charge coming in, but it was early in the morning and little sun would have been illuminating the panels. There IS temperature compensation, and the solar charger is a nearly new 45-amp Morningstar MPPT controller. While it certainly could have failed, it was operating fine just before the event.

I will report more if my insurance surveyor or the electrical experts here in the yard are able to offer additional inputs.

Just as a side note, I know Amels are good boats, and I see that. They are well built. However, I have noted some less-than-stellar design decisions that likely are more the result of EU regulations rather than Amel philosophy.

I have owned the boat now for just over a year. I have only sailed/motored it for 4 days last June. Immediately after that initial delivery the engine failed. I am not going to repeat that story, but the final analysis proved that during my 4-day motor from FL to MD, saltwater had migrated into the exhaust manifold and up into the head - not because of cranking. When the water evaporated a week after arrival in MD, salt crystals remained in the engine and pitted the valves and valve seats. That seriously compromised the engine and the only good solution was a new engine. Yes, I could have rebuilt it for about half the cost - not worth it as there was a fair amount of external corrosion on the starboard aft side of the engine. The second design flaw is that there are NO fuses in any of the primary DC feeders from the batteries. That is a serious issue, as any short-to-ground or system overloads would have overheated the circuit and caused the affected wire to melt or catch on fire. Fuses are needed to protect the wires at the battery. I changed all of that and now have an array of fuses in the compartment adjacent to the batteries. And now the sealed battery compartment issue.

Perhaps I am venting now, but as others have noted, I will persevere and resolve all of these issues. I do appreciate the quality that goes into these yachts.

Thanks for the support - that is what this group is all about.
Jamie Wendell


 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044


On Friday, June 24, 2016 3:28 AM, "Jean-Pierre Germain jgermain@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


 
Hello James,

Your AMEL ownership has been marred by unusual problems; mine has also not been a bed of roses but for different reasons. 

I had a NICAD battery runaway once. At High altitude, The events take a different dimension. 

Persevere, these are good boats and you will be well rewarded eventually

GL

Jean-Pierre Germain
Eleuthera, SM007 



On 24 Jun 2016, at 08:10, Danny and Yvonne SIMMS simms@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 
Hi James, how horrible. We all feel for you. You say the battery compartment is sealed apart from the vent. On our SM 299 there are five vents at floor level in the bottom of the battery compartment to allow air to enter. Does the 54 not have these vents.
Regards
Danny
SM 299 Ocean Pearl



From: "James Wendell ms42phantom54@yahoo..com [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...>
To: "amelyachtowners@..." <amelyachtowners@...>
Sent: Friday, 24 June 2016 12:30 PM
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion

 
I am not sure if anyone has ever experienced what just happened to me, but I think it is important info for everyone out there. My battery compartment exploded early yesterday morning. No one is certain exactly what happened, and no one who has investigated the accident has ever seen this occur. I am still up on the hard in Annapolis trying to get my new engine installation completed - that was a subject of a previous thread, and I will update everyone who followed that thread separately once I get my new engine running.

The explosion was quite severe and apparently set off my smoke detector which everyone in the yard heard. There was no fire. Oddly no one claims they heard the explosion itself, as it may have happened before the contractors started to come in for work. It blew the lid completely off of the passageway berth and into the ceiling, jamming it between the wall of the aft closet and the wall near the nav station closet. Fortunately no one was on the boat at the time, but if someone had been in the passageway between the main saloon and the aft cabin, they would have been seriously injured or even killed. I do not want to even speculate what would have happened if someone had been sleeping on the berth. I had some parts and tools sitting on the berth cushion and they were either shredded, melted, or survived depending on the material. It was a scary situation.

I am working with my insurance company and they hired a local surveyor to assess the situation. They, as I do, want to know the reason for the explosion. Beyond the damage to the compartment lid/berth and the surrounding woodwork, here are the facts:

  • At least 2 of the AGM batteries had been breached with cracks in the tops. None of the VRLA valves had popped.
  • A few of the batteries were bulged out at the sides. Not clear if that happened initially or as a result of the explosion. Ultimately about half of the 12 on the 24-volt side were "bad."
  • My shore power connections were off. The only charging source would have been wind and solar. Both of those systems have been working correctly for a long time, and early in the morning there was no wind and not much sun. We do not think it was an overcharge issue. I have multiple monitoring systems including the Xantrex that came with the boat, plus a Maretron monitor and Blue Sea meters. All were nominal when I left the boat before the explosion. Voltage was about 27.5 and there was a small load of maybe 3 or 4 amps DC, easily absorbed with the solar panels.
  • The batteries are a little over 4 years old and came with the boat. I have never had a problem with them, and the charging systems have never pushed above 28 volts.
  • The battery setup was reworked last winter by a very good contractor here in the yard. They added fuses to all the loads, and it has worked very well for months now. I find it hard to believe that there was no primary battery fusing on the boat at all, but that is still another topic for review. However, the explosion would not have been related to current flow and hence the fusing was not an issue one way or the other.
  • I have 12 Intimidator AGM batteries in the battery area with a 12V starting battery.
  • Testing them after the accident revealed about half of them to be unserviceable (either electrically or physically).

It is clear to the investigators that the explosion was the result of hydrogen gas buildup in the battery compartment. The problem they observed is that (while there is a vent at the forward part of the battery compartment, Amel seals the compartment completely). Normally the vent is OK, as any residual hydrogen will escape out the vent.. But the Amel setup prevents any makeup air from entering the compartment. Normally AGM batteries do not vent externally, as the hydrogen sulfide normally released in a flooded battery is actually recombined in an AGM setup. There are valves in a VRLA battery, which are supposed to open if the internal pressure gets too high. However, if the casing is breached, gasses will release immediately, which is what happened here. What no one knows yet is why the batteries cracked open. The bottom line is that the vent could not release the gas fast enough, and the hydrogen gas exploded as it built up in the sealed compartment.

I am going to modify the configuration by adding ventilation to the front of the battery compartment. I am also going to install 13 new Lifeline batteries (12 31-XT and 1 31T battery for starting). Good quality batteries with a modified install should prevent a recurrence. What a mess.................

All I can say is thank goodness no one was hurt.

Jamie Wendell
 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044





James Wendell <ms42phantom54@...>
 

Vladimir many thanks for the offer. I am OK. We are working to fix.
 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044


On Friday, June 24, 2016 8:07 AM, "Vladimir Sonsev sonsev52@... [amelyachtowners]" wrote:


 
Hi James,
I am very sorry for your troubles.
Do you need any help? Call me if you want me to come and help. You have my phone.
Vladimir
SM 345
S/V Life is Good.
On Jun 24, 2016 6:19 AM, "James Wendell ms42phantom54@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:
 
I hear from Danny that the SM has battery compartment venting at the bottom that allows air to move up through the battery compartment. That is the way to do it, as it allows make-up air to enter and go out the exhaust and therefore vent any hydrogen sulfide if it is released. While wet cells will release small amounts of H2S in operation, normally, AGM batteries do not release gas, as it is recombined internally. Vents at the bottom would also prevent any gasses from leaking into the boat itself.

The 54 does not have any ingress, only egress through the vent. It is sealed tight. That is what caused the build-up of hydrogen gas. The batteries themselves did not explode - 2 of them cracked a bit at the top, which is what caused the gas to release. The others were damaged as a result of the explosion.

I am sorry to disagree with other opinions, but air circulation is needed. Yes hydrogen sulfide is a toxic agent, but after my experience, it would be far better to let a little bit of it vent into the boat in an emergency situation, versus contain it in an enclosure that is essentially a bomb when the battery vents faster than the passive vent can exhaust it outside. In reality, it would not vent into the boat if the air intake is lower than the exhaust. H2S is lighter than air and will rise naturally.

Just for clarification, there was no essentially no charging occurring here; while no one has definitively identified the culprit, the accepted conclusion at this point is that one or two of the batteries suffered an internal short and breached on their own - likely because they were nearing the end of life at 4 years, but they came with the boat and I have no record of their service history. There was a slight solar power charge coming in, but it was early in the morning and little sun would have been illuminating the panels. There IS temperature compensation, and the solar charger is a nearly new 45-amp Morningstar MPPT controller. While it certainly could have failed, it was operating fine just before the event.

I will report more if my insurance surveyor or the electrical experts here in the yard are able to offer additional inputs.

Just as a side note, I know Amels are good boats, and I see that. They are well built. However, I have noted some less-than-stellar design decisions that likely are more the result of EU regulations rather than Amel philosophy.

I have owned the boat now for just over a year. I have only sailed/motored it for 4 days last June. Immediately after that initial delivery the engine failed. I am not going to repeat that story, but the final analysis proved that during my 4-day motor from FL to MD, saltwater had migrated into the exhaust manifold and up into the head - not because of cranking. When the water evaporated a week after arrival in MD, salt crystals remained in the engine and pitted the valves and valve seats. That seriously compromised the engine and the only good solution was a new engine. Yes, I could have rebuilt it for about half the cost - not worth it as there was a fair amount of external corrosion on the starboard aft side of the engine. The second design flaw is that there are NO fuses in any of the primary DC feeders from the batteries. That is a serious issue, as any short-to-ground or system overloads would have overheated the circuit and caused the affected wire to melt or catch on fire. Fuses are needed to protect the wires at the battery. I changed all of that and now have an array of fuses in the compartment adjacent to the batteries. And now the sealed battery compartment issue.

Perhaps I am venting now, but as others have noted, I will persevere and resolve all of these issues. I do appreciate the quality that goes into these yachts.

Thanks for the support - that is what this group is all about.
Jamie Wendell


 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044


On Friday, June 24, 2016 3:28 AM, "Jean-Pierre Germain jgermain@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


 
Hello James,

Your AMEL ownership has been marred by unusual problems; mine has also not been a bed of roses but for different reasons. 

I had a NICAD battery runaway once. At High altitude, The events take a different dimension. 

Persevere, these are good boats and you will be well rewarded eventually

GL

Jean-Pierre Germain
Eleuthera, SM007 



On 24 Jun 2016, at 08:10, Danny and Yvonne SIMMS simms@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 
Hi James, how horrible. We all feel for you. You say the battery compartment is sealed apart from the vent. On our SM 299 there are five vents at floor level in the bottom of the battery compartment to allow air to enter. Does the 54 not have these vents.
Regards
Danny
SM 299 Ocean Pearl



From: "James Wendell ms42phantom54@yahoo..com [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...>
To: "amelyachtowners@..." <amelyachtowners@...>
Sent: Friday, 24 June 2016 12:30 PM
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion

 
I am not sure if anyone has ever experienced what just happened to me, but I think it is important info for everyone out there. My battery compartment exploded early yesterday morning. No one is certain exactly what happened, and no one who has investigated the accident has ever seen this occur. I am still up on the hard in Annapolis trying to get my new engine installation completed - that was a subject of a previous thread, and I will update everyone who followed that thread separately once I get my new engine running.

The explosion was quite severe and apparently set off my smoke detector which everyone in the yard heard. There was no fire. Oddly no one claims they heard the explosion itself, as it may have happened before the contractors started to come in for work. It blew the lid completely off of the passageway berth and into the ceiling, jamming it between the wall of the aft closet and the wall near the nav station closet. Fortunately no one was on the boat at the time, but if someone had been in the passageway between the main saloon and the aft cabin, they would have been seriously injured or even killed. I do not want to even speculate what would have happened if someone had been sleeping on the berth. I had some parts and tools sitting on the berth cushion and they were either shredded, melted, or survived depending on the material. It was a scary situation.

I am working with my insurance company and they hired a local surveyor to assess the situation. They, as I do, want to know the reason for the explosion. Beyond the damage to the compartment lid/berth and the surrounding woodwork, here are the facts:

  • At least 2 of the AGM batteries had been breached with cracks in the tops. None of the VRLA valves had popped.
  • A few of the batteries were bulged out at the sides. Not clear if that happened initially or as a result of the explosion. Ultimately about half of the 12 on the 24-volt side were "bad."
  • My shore power connections were off. The only charging source would have been wind and solar. Both of those systems have been working correctly for a long time, and early in the morning there was no wind and not much sun. We do not think it was an overcharge issue. I have multiple monitoring systems including the Xantrex that came with the boat, plus a Maretron monitor and Blue Sea meters. All were nominal when I left the boat before the explosion. Voltage was about 27.5 and there was a small load of maybe 3 or 4 amps DC, easily absorbed with the solar panels.
  • The batteries are a little over 4 years old and came with the boat. I have never had a problem with them, and the charging systems have never pushed above 28 volts.
  • The battery setup was reworked last winter by a very good contractor here in the yard. They added fuses to all the loads, and it has worked very well for months now. I find it hard to believe that there was no primary battery fusing on the boat at all, but that is still another topic for review. However, the explosion would not have been related to current flow and hence the fusing was not an issue one way or the other.
  • I have 12 Intimidator AGM batteries in the battery area with a 12V starting battery.
  • Testing them after the accident revealed about half of them to be unserviceable (either electrically or physically).

It is clear to the investigators that the explosion was the result of hydrogen gas buildup in the battery compartment. The problem they observed is that (while there is a vent at the forward part of the battery compartment, Amel seals the compartment completely). Normally the vent is OK, as any residual hydrogen will escape out the vent.. But the Amel setup prevents any makeup air from entering the compartment. Normally AGM batteries do not vent externally, as the hydrogen sulfide normally released in a flooded battery is actually recombined in an AGM setup. There are valves in a VRLA battery, which are supposed to open if the internal pressure gets too high. However, if the casing is breached, gasses will release immediately, which is what happened here. What no one knows yet is why the batteries cracked open. The bottom line is that the vent could not release the gas fast enough, and the hydrogen gas exploded as it built up in the sealed compartment.

I am going to modify the configuration by adding ventilation to the front of the battery compartment. I am also going to install 13 new Lifeline batteries (12 31-XT and 1 31T battery for starting). Good quality batteries with a modified install should prevent a recurrence. What a mess.................

All I can say is thank goodness no one was hurt.

Jamie Wendell
 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044







Patrick McAneny
 

James, I am sorry to read about your problem. I have owned my boat for about ten years , and have felt fortunate that I have not had to deal with some of the problems others have had , until this past Tuesday. For the past 40 years of owning boats , I have had my fingers crossed every time an electrical storm moved through my area , my luck ran out Tuesday. While I see know physical damage to the boat , most of my electrical instruments have been damaged. James if you or anyone have found someone well versed in the electrical side of the Amel in the northern end of the Chesapeake Bay I would appreciate their name. James , best of luck to you and I hope you only have smooth seas ahead , you deserve it.

Pat
SM Shenanigans
Sassafras River , Md.


-----Original Message-----
From: James Wendell ms42phantom54@... [amelyachtowners]
To: amelyachtowners <amelyachtowners@...>
Sent: Fri, Jun 24, 2016 6:49 am
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion

 
I hear from Danny that the SM has battery compartment venting at the bottom that allows air to move up through the battery compartment. That is the way to do it, as it allows make-up air to enter and go out the exhaust and therefore vent any hydrogen sulfide if it is released. While wet cells will release small amounts of H2S in operation, normally, AGM batteries do not release gas, as it is recombined internally. Vents at the bottom would also prevent any gasses from leaking into the boat itself.

The 54 does not have any ingress, only egress through the vent. It is sealed tight. That is what caused the build-up of hydrogen gas. The batteries themselves did not explode - 2 of them cracked a bit at the top, which is what caused the gas to release. The others were damaged as a result of the explosion.

I am sorry to disagree with other opinions, but air circulation is needed. Yes hydrogen sulfide is a toxic agent, but after my experience, it would be far better to let a little bit of it vent into the boat in an emergency situation, versus contain it in an enclosure that is essentially a bomb when the battery vents faster than the passive vent can exhaust it outside. In reality, it would not vent into the boat if the air intake is lower than the exhaust. H2 S is lighter than air and will rise naturally.

Just for clarification, there was no essentially no charging occurring here; while no one has definitively identified the culprit, the accepted conclusion at this point is that one or two of the batteries suffered an internal short and breached on their own - likely because they were nearing the end of life at 4 years, but they came with the boat and I have no record of their service history. There was a slight solar power charge coming in, but it was early in the morning and little sun would have been illuminating the panels. There IS temperature compensation, and the solar charger is a nearly new 45-amp Morningstar MPPT controller. While it certainly could have failed, it was operating fine just before the event.

I will report more if my insurance surveyor or the electrical experts here in the yard are able to offer additional inputs.

Just as a side note, I know Amels are good boats, and I see that. They are well built. However, I have noted some less-than-stellar design decisions that likely are more the result of EU regulations rather than Amel philosophy.

I have owned the boat now for just over a year. I have only sailed/motored it for 4 days last June. Imme diately after that initial delivery the engine failed. I am not going to repeat that story, but the final analysis proved that during my 4-day motor from FL to MD, saltwater had migrated into the exhaust manifold and up into the head - not because of cranking. When the water evaporated a week after arrival in MD, salt crystals remained in the engine and pitted the valves and valve seats. That seriously compromised the engine and the only good solution was a new engine. Yes, I could have rebuilt it for about half the cost - not worth it as there was a fair amount of external corrosion on the starboard aft side of the engine. The second design flaw is that there are NO fuses in any of the primary DC feeders from the batteries. That is a serious issue, as any short-to-ground or system overloads would have overheated the circuit and caused the affected wire to melt or catch on fire. Fuses are needed to protect the wires at the battery. I changed all of that and now have an array of fuses in the compartment adjacent to the batteries. And now the sealed battery compartment issue.

Perhaps I am venting now, but as others have noted, I will persevere and resolve all of these issues. I do appreciate the quality that goes into these yachts.

Thanks for the support - that is what this group is all about.
Jamie Wendell


 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044


On Friday, June 24, 2016 3:28 AM, "Jean-Pierre Germain jgermain@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


 
Hello James,

Your AMEL ownership has been marred by unusual problems; mine has also not been a bed of roses but for different reasons. 

I had a NICAD battery runaway once. At High altitude, The events take a different dimension. 

Persevere, these are good boats and you will be well rewarded eventually

GL

Jean-Pierre Germain
Eleuthera, SM007 



On 24 Jun 2016, at 08:10, Danny and Yvonne SIMMS simms@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 
Hi James, how horrible. We all feel for you. You say the battery compartment is sealed apart from the vent. On our SM 299 there are five vents at floor level in the bottom of the battery compartment to allow air to enter. Does the 54 not have these vents.
Regards
Danny
SM 299 Ocean Pearl



From: "James Wendell ms42phantom54@yahoo..com [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...>
To: "amelyachtowners@..." <amelyachtowners@...>
Sent: Friday, 24 June 2016 12:30 PM
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion

 
I am not sure if anyone has ever experienced what just happened to me, but I think it is important info for everyone out there. My battery compartment exploded early yesterday morning. No one is certain exactly what happened, and no one who has investigated the accident has ever seen this occur. I am still up on the hard in Annapolis trying to get my new engine installation completed - that was a subject of a previous thread, and I will update everyone who followed that thread separately once I get my new engine running.

The explosion was quite severe and apparently set off my smoke detector which everyone in the yard heard. There was no fire. Oddly no one claims they heard the explosion itself, as it may have happened before the contractors started to come in for work. It blew the lid completely off of the passageway berth and into the ceiling, jamming it between the wall of the aft closet and the wall near the nav station closet. Fortunately no one was on the boat at the time, but if someone had been in the passageway between the main saloon and the aft cabin, they would have been seriously injured or even killed. I do not want to even speculate what would have happened if someone had been sleeping on the berth. I had some parts and tools sitting on the berth cushion and they were either shredded, melted, or survived depending on the material. It was a scary situation.

I am working with my insurance company and they hired a local surveyor to assess the situation. They, as I do, want to know the reason for the explosion. Beyond the damage to the compartment lid/berth and the surrounding woodwork, here are the facts:

  • At least 2 of the AGM batteries had been breached with cracks in the tops. None of the VRLA valves had popped.
  • A few of the batteries were b ulged out at the sides. Not clear if that happened initially or as a result of the explosion. Ultimately about half of the 12 on the 24-volt side were "bad."
  • My shore power connections were off. The only charging source would have been wind and solar. Both of those systems have been working correctly for a long time, and early in the morning there was no wind and not much sun. We do not think it was an overcharge issue. I have multiple monitoring systems including the Xantrex that came with the boat, plus a Maretron monitor and Blue Sea meters. All were nominal when I left the boat before the explosion. Voltage was about 27.5 and there was a small load of maybe 3 or 4 amps DC, easily absorbed with the solar panels.
  • The batteries are a little over 4 years old and came with the boat. I have never had a problem with them , and the charging systems have never pushed above 28 volts.
  • The battery setup was reworked last winter by a very good contractor here in the yard. They added fuses to all the loads, and it has worked very well for months now. I find it hard to believe that there was no primary battery fusing on the boat at all, but that is still another topic for review. However, the explosion would not have been related to current flow and hence the fusing was not an issue one way or the other.
  • I have 12 Intimidator AGM batteries in the battery area with a 12V starting battery.
  • Testing them after the accident revealed about half of them to be unserviceable (either electrically or physically).

It is clear to the investigators that the explosion was the result of hydrogen gas buildup in the battery compartment. The problem they observed is that (while there is a vent at the forward part of the battery compartment, Amel seals the compartment completely). Normally the vent is OK, as any residual hydrogen will escape out the vent.. But the Amel setup prevents any makeup air from entering the compartment. Normally AGM batteries do not vent externally, as the hydrogen sulfide normally released in a flooded battery is actually recombined in an AGM setup. There are valves in a VRLA battery, which are supposed to open if the internal pressure gets too high. However, if the casing is breached, gasses will release immediately, which is what happened here. What no one knows yet is why the batteries cracked open. The bottom line is that the vent could not release the gas fast enough, and the hydrogen gas exploded as it built up in the sealed compartment.

I am going to modify the configuration by adding ventilation to the front of the battery compartment. I am also going to install 13 new Lifeline batteries (12 31-XT and 1 31T battery for starting). Good quality batteries with a modified install should prevent a recurrence. What a mess.................

All I can say is thank goodness no one was hurt.

< div dir="ltr" id="yiv8910840589yui_3_16_0_ym19_1_1466724755081_7177">Jamie Wendell
 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044





seafeverofcuan@...
 

Dear Jamie,
                  I had thermal runaway on a set of Vetus wet cell batteries that were eighteen months old.
The incident happened at the top of the Sea of Cortez under sail, there was no explosion, I was alerted to it by the smell.
The battery box was hot to touch and I was terrified to open it. The inside was covered in battery acid, all the cables were destroyed, four batteries were cracked, eight batteries had buckled cases.
Four were serviceable which I hooked together to allow me to return to Mazatlan for repairs.
It was a harrowing experience as the temperatures of each battery kept rising for hours as they sat overnight on a dock.
I have met a number of people with variations of the same theme.
Good luck with your new engine.
Fair Winds
Trevor Lusty
Former owner of Seafever
SM 425
Ireland


Danny and Yvonne SIMMS
 

Hi James, I agree completely with your analysis of the venting and airflow. Just for everyones info we never get battery gas smell in the inside of the boat, even when undertaking the controlled overcharge during desulphation.
If there is hydrogen gas built up an ignition source such as a spark could set off an explosion. However in a charge situation with lead acid batteries (james I know yours were not) inadequate venting from the individual batteries can cause a battery to explode. At normal charge rates the built in vents are adequate. At boost charging rapidly the battery caps should be removed, the lid on the battery chamber left closed (on the SM) and the gas vents externally. I would not desulphate with a closed battery box as the 54 has.
Regards
Danny
SM 299 Ocean Pearl



From: "James Wendell ms42phantom54@... [amelyachtowners]"
To: "amelyachtowners@..."
Sent: Friday, 24 June 2016 10:45 PM
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion

 
I hear from Danny that the SM has battery compartment venting at the bottom that allows air to move up through the battery compartment. That is the way to do it, as it allows make-up air to enter and go out the exhaust and therefore vent any hydrogen sulfide if it is released. While wet cells will release small amounts of H2S in operation, normally, AGM batteries do not release gas, as it is recombined internally.. Vents at the bottom would also prevent any gasses from leaking into the boat itself.

The 54 does not have any ingress, only egress through the vent. It is sealed tight. That is what caused the build-up of hydrogen gas. The batteries themselves did not explode - 2 of them cracked a bit at the top, which is what caused the gas to release. The others were damaged as a result of the explosion.

I am sorry to disagree with other opinions, but air circulation is needed. Yes hydrogen sulfide is a toxic agent, but after my experience, it would be far better to let a little bit of it vent into the boat in an emergency situation, versus contain it in an enclosure that is essentially a bomb when the battery vents faster than the passive vent can exhaust it outside.. In reality, it would not vent into the boat if the air intake is lower than the exhaust. H2S is lighter than air and will rise naturally.

Just for clarification, there was no essentially no charging occurring here; while no one has definitively identified the culprit, the accepted conclusion at this point is that one or two of the batteries suffered an internal short and breached on their own - likely because they were nearing the end of life at 4 years, but they came with the boat and I have no record of their service history. There was a slight solar power charge coming in, but it was early in the morning and little sun would have been illuminating the panels. There IS temperature compensation, and the solar charger is a nearly new 45-amp Morningstar MPPT controller. While it certainly could have failed, it was operating fine just before the event.

I will report more if my insurance surveyor or the electrical experts here in the yard are able to offer additional inputs.

Just as a side note, I know Amels are good boats, and I see that. They are well built. However, I have noted some less-than-stellar design decisions that likely are more the result of EU regulations rather than Amel philosophy.

I have owned the boat now for just over a year. I have only sailed/motored it for 4 days last June. Immediately after that initial delivery the engine failed. I am not going to repeat that story, but the final analysis proved that during my 4-day motor from FL to MD, saltwater had migrated into the exhaust manifold and up into the head - not because of cranking. When the water evaporated a week after arrival in MD, salt crystals remained in the engine and pitted the valves and valve seats. That seriously compromised the engine and the only good solution was a new engine. Yes, I could have rebuilt it for about half the cost - not worth it as there was a fair amount of external corrosion on the starboard aft side of the engine. The second design flaw is that there are NO fuses in any of the primary DC feeders from the batteries. That is a serious issue, as any short-to-ground or system overloads would have overheated the circuit and caused the affected wire to melt or catch on fire. Fuses are needed to protect the wires at the battery. I changed all of that and now have an array of fuses in the compartment adjacent to the batteries. And now the sealed battery compartment issue.

Perhaps I am venting now, but as others have noted, I will persevere and resolve all of these issues. I do appreciate the quality that goes into these yachts.

Thanks for the support - that is what this group is all about.
Jamie Wendell


 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044


On Friday, June 24, 2016 3:28 AM, "Jean-Pierre Germain jgermain@... [amelyachtowners]" wrote:


 
Hello James,

Your AMEL ownership has been marred by unusual problems; mine has also not been a bed of roses but for different reasons. 

I had a NICAD battery runaway once. At High altitude, The events take a different dimension. 

Persevere, these are good boats and you will be well rewarded eventually

GL

Jean-Pierre Germain
Eleuthera, SM007 



On 24 Jun 2016, at 08:10, Danny and Yvonne SIMMS simms@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 
Hi James, how horrible. We all feel for you. You say the battery compartment is sealed apart from the vent. On our SM 299 there are five vents at floor level in the bottom of the battery compartment to allow air to enter. Does the 54 not have these vents.
Regards
Danny
SM 299 Ocean Pearl



From: "James Wendell ms42phantom54@yahoo..com [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...>
To: "amelyachtowners@..." <amelyachtowners@...>
Sent: Friday, 24 June 2016 12:30 PM
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion

 
I am not sure if anyone has ever experienced what just happened to me, but I think it is important info for everyone out there. My battery compartment exploded early yesterday morning. No one is certain exactly what happened, and no one who has investigated the accident has ever seen this occur. I am still up on the hard in Annapolis trying to get my new engine installation completed - that was a subject of a previous thread, and I will update everyone who followed that thread separately once I get my new engine running.

The explosion was quite severe and apparently set off my smoke detector which everyone in the yard heard. There was no fire. Oddly no one claims they heard the explosion itself, as it may have happened before the contractors started to come in for work. It blew the lid completely off of the passageway berth and into the ceiling, jamming it between the wall of the aft closet and the wall near the nav station closet. Fortunately no one was on the boat at the time, but if someone had been in the passageway between the main saloon and the aft cabin, they would have been seriously injured or even killed. I do not want to even speculate what would have happened if someone had been sleeping on the berth. I had some parts and tools sitting on the berth cushion and they were either shredded, melted, or survived depending on the material. It was a scary situation.

I am working with my insurance company and they hired a local surveyor to assess the situation. They, as I do, want to know the reason for the explosion. Beyond the damage to the compartment lid/berth and the surrounding woodwork, here are the facts:

  • At least 2 of the AGM batteries had been breached with cracks in the tops. None of the VRLA valves had popped.
  • A few of the batteries were bulged out at the sides. Not clear if that happened initially or as a result of the explosion. Ultimately about half of the 12 on the 24-volt side were "bad."
  • My shore power connections were off. The only charging source would have been wind and solar. Both of those systems have been working correctly for a long time, and early in the morning there was no wind and not much sun. We do not think it was an overcharge issue. I have multiple monitoring systems including the Xantrex that came with the boat, plus a Maretron monitor and Blue Sea meters. All were nominal when I left the boat before the explosion. Voltage was about 27.5 and there was a small load of maybe 3 or 4 amps DC, easily absorbed with the solar panels.
  • The batteries are a little over 4 years old and came with the boat. I have never had a problem with them, and the charging systems have never pushed above 28 volts.
  • The battery setup was reworked last winter by a very good contractor here in the yard. They added fuses to all the loads, and it has worked very well for months now. I find it hard to believe that there was no primary battery fusing on the boat at all, but that is still another topic for review. However, the explosion would not have been related to current flow and hence the fusing was not an issue one way or the other.
  • I have 12 Intimidator AGM batteries in the battery area with a 12V starting battery.
  • Testing them after the accident revealed about half of them to be unserviceable (either electrically or physically).

It is clear to the investigators that the explosion was the result of hydrogen gas buildup in the battery compartment. The problem they observed is that (while there is a vent at the forward part of the battery compartment, Amel seals the compartment completely). Normally the vent is OK, as any residual hydrogen will escape out the vent.. But the Amel setup prevents any makeup air from entering the compartment. Normally AGM batteries do not vent externally, as the hydrogen sulfide normally released in a flooded battery is actually recombined in an AGM setup. There are valves in a VRLA battery, which are supposed to open if the internal pressure gets too high. However, if the casing is breached, gasses will release immediately, which is what happened here. What no one knows yet is why the batteries cracked open. The bottom line is that the vent could not release the gas fast enough, and the hydrogen gas exploded as it built up in the sealed compartment.

I am going to modify the configuration by adding ventilation to the front of the battery compartment. I am also going to install 13 new Lifeline batteries (12 31-XT and 1 31T battery for starting). Good quality batteries with a modified install should prevent a recurrence. What a mess.................

All I can say is thank goodness no one was hurt.

Jamie Wendell
 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044







James Alton
 

This has been an interesting thread to read.   I only thought that I would add that while all lead acid batteries produce hydrogen, there are low gassing batteries using different chemistries that produce a lot less and this is a consideration for me when making a choice.  I understand the attraction of the AGMs due to the slightly higher initial stats they have over other battery types, but I have had more trouble with AGM’s with cases splitting, leaking electrolyte, case swelling and a shorter useable life expectancy than the  premium flooded or gel batteries.  I might add that while all of the electrolytes are corrosive, the AGM electrolyte seems to be the worst by far.  

Best,

James

On Jun 24, 2016, at 4:39 PM, Danny and Yvonne SIMMS simms@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


Hi James, I agree completely with your analysis of the venting and airflow. Just for everyones info we never get battery gas smell in the inside of the boat, even when undertaking the controlled overcharge during desulphation. 
If there is hydrogen gas built up an ignition source such as a spark could set off an explosion. However in a charge situation with lead acid batteries (james I know yours were not) inadequate venting from the individual batteries can cause a battery to explode. At normal charge rates the built in vents are adequate. At boost charging rapidly the battery caps should be removed, the lid on the battery chamber left closed (o n the SM) and the gas vents externally. I would not desulphate with a closed battery box as the 54 has.
Regards
Danny
SM 299 Ocean Pearl



From: "James Wendell ms42phantom54@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...>
To: "amelyachtowners@..."  
Sent: Friday, 24 June 2016 10:45 PM
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion

 
I hear from Danny that the SM has battery compartment venting at the bottom that allows air to move up through the battery compartment. That is the way to do it, as it allows make-up air to enter and go out the exhaust and therefore vent any hydrogen sulfide if it is released. While wet cells will release small amounts of H2S in operation, normally, AGM batteries do not release gas, as it is recombined internally.. Vents at the bottom would also prevent any gasses from leaking into the boat itself.

The 54 does not have any ingress, only egress through the vent. It is sealed tight. That is what caused the build-up of hydrogen gas. The batteries themselves did not explode - 2 of them cracked a bit at the top, which is what caused the gas to release. The others were damaged as a result of the explosion.

I am sorry to disagree with other opinions, but air circulation is needed. Yes hydrogen sulfide is a toxic agent, but after my experience, it would be far better to let a little bit of it vent into the boat in an emergency situation, versus contain it in an enclosure that is essentia lly a bomb when the battery vents faster than the passive vent can exhaust it outside.. In reality, it would not vent into the boat if the air intake is lower than the exhaust. H2S is lighter than air and will rise naturally.

Just for clarification, there was no essentially no charging occurring here; while no one has definitively identified the culprit, the accepted conclusion at this point is that one or two of the batteries suffered an internal short and breached on their own - likely because they were nearing the end of life at 4 years, but they came with the boat and I have no record of their service history. There was a slight solar power charge coming in, but it was early in the morning and little sun would have been illuminating the panels. T here IS temperature compensation, and the solar charger is a nearly new 45-amp Morningstar MPPT controller. While it certainly could have failed, it was operating fine just before the event.

I will report more if my insurance surveyor or the electrical experts here in the yard are able to offer additional inputs.

Just as a side note, I know Amels are good boats, and I see that. They are well built. However, I have noted some less-than-stellar design decisions that likely are more the result of EU regulations rather than Amel philosophy.

I have owned the boat now for just over a year. I have only sailed/motored it for 4 days last June. Immediately after that initial delivery the engine failed. I am not going to repeat that story, but the final analysis proved that during my 4-day motor from FL to MD, saltwater had migrated into the exhaust manifold and up into the head - not because of cranking. When the water evaporated a week after arrival in MD, salt crystals remained in the engine and pitted the valves and valve seats. That seriously compromised the engine and the only good solution was a new engine. Yes, I could have rebuilt it for about half the cost - not worth it as there was a fair amount of external corrosion on the star board aft side of the engine. The second design flaw is that there are NO fuses in any of the primary DC feeders from the batteries. That is a serious issue, as any short-to-ground or system overloads would have overheated the circuit and caused the affected wire to melt or catch on fire. Fuses are needed to protect the wires at the battery. I changed all of that and now have an array of fuses in the compartment adjacent to the batteries. And now the sealed battery compartment issue.

Perhaps I am venting now, but as others have noted, I will persevere and resolve all of these issues. I do appreciate the quality that goes into these yachts.

Thank s for the support - that is what this group is all about.
Jamie Wendell


 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044


On Friday, June 24, 2016 3:28 AM, "Jean-Pierre Germain jgermain@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


 
Hello James,

Your AMEL ownership has been marred by unusual problems; mine has also not been a bed of roses but for different reasons. 

I had a NICAD battery runaway once. At High altitude, The events take a different dimension. 

Persevere, these are good boats and you will be well rewarded eventually

GL

Jean-Pierre Germain
Eleuthera, SM007 



On 24 Jun 2016, at 08:10, Danny and Yvonne SIMMS simms@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 
Hi James, how horrible. We all feel for you. You say the battery compartment is sealed apart from the vent. On our SM 299 there are five vents at floor level in the bottom of the battery compartment to allow air to enter. Does the 54 not have these vents.
Regards
Danny
SM 299 Ocean Pearl



From: "James Wendell ms42phantom54@yahoo..com [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...>
To: "amelyachtowners@..." <amelyachtowners@...> 
Sent: Friday, 24 June 2016 12:30 PM
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion

 
I am not sure if anyone has ever experienced what just happened to me, but I think it is important info for everyone out there. My battery compartment exploded early yesterday morning. No one is certain exactly what happened, and no one who has investigated the accident has ever seen this occur. I am still up on the hard in Annapolis trying to get my new engine installation completed - that was a subject of a previous thread, and I will update everyone who followed that thread separately once I get my new engine running.

The explosion was quite severe and apparently set off my smoke detector which everyone in the yard heard. There was no fire. Oddly no one claims they heard the explosion itself, as it may have happened before the contractors started to come in for work. It blew the lid completely off of the passageway berth and into the ceiling, jamming it between the wall of the aft closet and the wall near the nav station closet. Fortunately no one was on the boat at the time, but if someone had been in the passageway between the main saloon and the aft cabin, they would have been seriously injured or even killed. I do not want to even speculate what would have happened if someone had been sleeping on the berth. I had some parts and tools sitting on the berth cushion and they were either shredded, melted, or survived depending on the material. It was a scary situation.

I am working with my insurance company and they hired a local surveyor to assess the situation. They, as I do, want to know the reason for the explosion. Beyond the damage to the compartment lid/berth and the surrounding woodwork, here are the facts:

  • At least 2 of the AGM batteries had been breached with cracks in the tops. None of the VRLA valves had popped.
  • A few of the batteries we re bulged out at the sides. Not clear if that happened initially or as a result of the explosion. Ultimately about half of the 12 on the 24-volt side were "bad."
  • My shore power connections were off. The only charging source would have been wind and solar. Both of those systems have been working correctly for a long time, and early in the morning there was no wind and not much sun. We do not think it was an overcharge issue. I have multiple monitoring systems including the Xantrex that came with the boat, plus a Maretron monitor and Blue Sea meters. All were nominal when I left the boat before the explosion. Voltage was about 27.5 and there was a small load of maybe 3 or 4 amps DC, easily absorbed with the solar panels.
  • The batteries are a little over 4 years old and came with the boat. I have never had a problem with them, and the charging systems have never pushed above 28 volts.
  • The battery setup was reworked last winter by a very good contractor here in the yard. They added fuses to all the loads, and it has worked very well for months now. I find it hard to believe that there was no primary battery fusing on the boat at all, but that is still another topic for review. However, the explosion would not have been related to current flow and hence the fusing was not an issue one way or the other.
  • I have 12 Intimidator AGM batteries in the battery area with a 12V starting battery.
  • Testing them after the accident revealed about half of them to be unserviceable (either electrically or physically).

It is clear to the investigators that the explosion was the result of hydrogen gas buildup in the battery compartment. The problem they observed is that (while there is a vent at the forward part of the battery compartment, Amel seals the compartment completely). Normally the vent is OK, as any residual hydrogen will escape out the vent.. But the Amel setup prevents any makeup air from entering the compartment. Normally AGM batteries do not vent externally, as the hydrogen sulfide normally released in a flooded battery is actually recombined in an AGM setup. There are valves in a VRLA battery, which are supposed to open if the internal pressure gets too high. However, if the casing is breached, gasses will release immediately, which is what happened here. What no one knows yet is why the batteries cracked open. The bottom line is that the vent could not release the gas fast enough, and the hydrogen gas exploded as it built up in the sealed compartment.

I am going to modify the configuration by adding ventilation to the front of the battery compartment. I am also going to install 13 new Lifeline batteries (12 31-XT and 1 31T battery for starting). Good quality batteries with a modified install should prevent a recurrence. What a mess.................

All I can say is thank goodness no one was hurt.

Jamie Wendell
 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044









Barry Connor
 

Hi Jamie,
Thank's for the information. We bought AMEL 54 #17 last year,the survey indicated 2 suspect batteries. A month later we noticed that they were getting hot when being charged, sweated and we had gas and moisture in the battery compartment. Changed all 12 and start battery, now no more problems. When they were being changed everything was turned off, we touched 2 cables and shorted the batteries. No fuses, the Mastervolt 500 Inverter  
got zapped. Replaced it with a Mastervolt 2500 which just fitted, cables upgraded and fuses then put on both + and -. I like your idea of putting fuses on all the individual batteries, that's for that.

Barry and Penny Connor
AMEL 54 # 17
"Lady Penelope II"
Marseille


On Jun 24, 2016, at 12:45 PM, James Wendell ms42phantom54@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 

I hear from Danny that the SM has battery compartment venting at the bottom that allows air to move up through the battery compartment. That is the way to do it, as it allows make-up air to enter and go out the exhaust and therefore vent any hydrogen sulfide if it is released. While wet cells will release small amounts of H2S in operation, normally, AGM batteries do not release gas, as it is recombined internally. Vents at the bottom would also prevent any gasses from leaking into the boat itself.

The 54 does not have any ingress, only egress through the vent. It is sealed tight. That is what caused the build-up of hydrogen gas. The batteries themselves did not explode - 2 of them cracked a bit at the top, which is what caused the gas to release. The others were damaged as a result of the explosion.

I am sorry to disagree with other opinions, but air circulation is needed. Yes hydrogen sulfide is a toxic agent, but after my experience, it would be far better to let a little bit of it vent into the boat in an emergency situation, versus contain it in an enclosure that is essentially a bomb when the battery vents faster than the passive vent can exhaust it outside. In reality, it would not vent into the boat if the air intake is lower than the exhaust. H2S is lighter than air and will rise naturally.

Just for clarification, there was no essentially no charging occurring here; while no one has definitively identified the culprit, the accepted conclusion at this point is that one or two of the batteries suffered an internal short and breached on their own - likely because they were nearing the end of life at 4 years, but they came with the boat and I have no record of their service history. There was a slight solar power charge coming in, but it was early in the morning and little sun would have been illuminating the panels. There IS temperature compensation, and the solar charger is a nearly new 45-amp Morningstar MPPT controller. While it certainly could have failed, it was operating fine just before the event.

I will report more if my insurance surveyor or the electrical experts here in the yard are able to offer additional inputs.

Just as a side note, I know Amels are good boats, and I see that. They are well built. However, I have noted some less-than-stellar design decisions that likely are more the result of EU regulations rather than Amel philosophy.

I have owned the boat now for just over a year. I have only sailed/motored it for 4 days last June. Immediately after that initial delivery the engine failed. I am not going to repeat that story, but the final analysis proved that during my 4-day motor from FL to MD, saltwater had migrated into the exhaust manifold and up into the head - not because of cranking. When the water evaporated a week after arrival in MD, salt crystals remained in the engine and pitted the valves and valve seats. That seriously compromised the engine and the only good solution was a new engine. Yes, I could have rebuilt it for about half the cost - not worth it as there was a fair amount of external corrosion on the starboard aft side of the engine. The second design flaw is that there are NO fuses in any of the primary DC feeders from the batteries. That is a serious issue, as any short-to-ground or system overloads would have overheated the circuit and caused the affected wire to melt or catch on fire. Fuses are needed to protect the wires at the battery. I changed all of that and now have an array of fuses in the compartment adjacent to the batteries. And now the sealed battery compartment issue.

Perhaps I am venting now, but as others have noted, I will persevere and resolve all of these issues. I do appreciate the quality that goes into these yachts.

Thanks for the support - that is what this group is all about.
Jamie Wendell


 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044


On Friday, June 24, 2016 3:28 AM, "Jean-Pierre Germain jgermain@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


 
Hello James,

Your AMEL ownership has been marred by unusual problems; mine has also not been a bed of roses but for different reasons. 

I had a NICAD battery runaway once. At High altitude, The events take a different dimension. 

Persevere, these are good boats and you will be well rewarded eventually

GL

Jean-Pierre Germain
Eleuthera, SM007 



On 24 Jun 2016, at 08:10, Danny and Yvonne SIMMS simms@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 
Hi James, how horrible. We all feel for you. You say the battery compartment is sealed apart from the vent. On our SM 299 there are five vents at floor level in the bottom of the battery compartment to allow air to enter. Does the 54 not have these vents.
Regards
Danny
SM 299 Ocean Pearl



From: "James Wendell ms42phantom54@yahoo..com [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...>
To: "amelyachtowners@..." <amelyachtowners@...>
Sent: Friday, 24 June 2016 12:30 PM
Subject: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion

 
I am not sure if anyone has ever experienced what just happened to me, but I think it is important info for everyone out there. My battery compartment exploded early yesterday morning. No one is certain exactly what happened, and no one who has investigated the accident has ever seen this occur. I am still up on the hard in Annapolis trying to get my new engine installation completed - that was a subject of a previous thread, and I will update everyone who followed that thread separately once I get my new engine running.

The explosion was quite severe and apparently set off my smoke detector which everyone in the yard heard. There was no fire. Oddly no one claims they heard the explosion itself, as it may have happened before the contractors started to come in for work. It blew the lid completely off of the passageway berth and into the ceiling, jamming it between the wall of the aft closet and the wall near the nav station closet. Fortunately no one was on the boat at the time, but if someone had been in the passageway between the main saloon and the aft cabin, they would have been seriously injured or even killed. I do not want to even speculate what would have happened if someone had been sleeping on the berth. I had some parts and tools sitting on the berth cushion and they were either shredded, melted, or survived depending on the material. It was a scary situation.

I am working with my insurance company and they hired a local surveyor to assess the situation. They, as I do, want to know the reason for the explosion. Beyond the damage to the compartment lid/berth and the surrounding woodwork, here are the facts:

  • At least 2 of the AGM batteries had been breached with cracks in the tops. None of the VRLA valves had popped.
  • A few of the batteries were bulged out at the sides. Not clear if that happened initially or as a result of the explosion. Ultimately about half of the 12 on the 24-volt side were "bad."
  • My shore power connections were off. The only charging source would have been wind and solar. Both of those systems have been working correctly for a long time, and early in the morning there was no wind and not much sun. We do not think it was an overcharge issue. I have multiple monitoring systems including the Xantrex that came with the boat, plus a Maretron monitor and Blue Sea meters. All were nominal when I left the boat before the explosion. Voltage was about 27.5 and there was a small load of maybe 3 or 4 amps DC, easily absorbed with the solar panels.
  • The batteries are a little over 4 years old and came with the boat. I have never had a problem with them, and the charging systems have never pushed above 28 volts.
  • The battery setup was reworked last winter by a very good contractor here in the yard. They added fuses to all the loads, and it has worked very well for months now. I find it hard to believe that there was no primary battery fusing on the boat at all, but that is still another topic for review. However, the explosion would not have been related to current flow and hence the fusing was not an issue one way or the other.
  • I have 12 Intimidator AGM batteries in the battery area with a 12V starting battery.
  • Testing them after the accident revealed about half of them to be unserviceable (either electrically or physically).

It is clear to the investigators that the explosion was the result of hydrogen gas buildup in the battery compartment. The problem they observed is that (while there is a vent at the forward part of the battery compartment, Amel seals the compartment completely). Normally the vent is OK, as any residual hydrogen will escape out the vent.. But the Amel setup prevents any makeup air from entering the compartment. Normally AGM batteries do not vent externally, as the hydrogen sulfide normally released in a flooded battery is actually recombined in an AGM setup. There are valves in a VRLA battery, which are supposed to open if the internal pressure gets too high. However, if the casing is breached, gasses will release immediately, which is what happened here. What no one knows yet is why the batteries cracked open. The bottom line is that the vent could not release the gas fast enough, and the hydrogen gas exploded as it built up in the sealed compartment.

I am going to modify the configuration by adding ventilation to the front of the battery compartment. I am also going to install 13 new Lifeline batteries (12 31-XT and 1 31T battery for starting). Good quality batteries with a modified install should prevent a recurrence. What a mess.................

All I can say is thank goodness no one was hurt.

Jamie Wendell
 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044





James Wendell <ms42phantom54@...>
 

Thanks everyone for the support and suggestions. We are cleaning things up and it may not be as bad as I originally thought. Somehow one or two of the batteries failed and caused the explosion. I guess my lessons learned is to suspect batteries when they get close to the end of life. I did not know that.
Jamie
 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044


On Friday, June 24, 2016 5:18 PM, "seafeverofcuan@... [amelyachtowners]" wrote:


 
Dear Jamie,
                  I had thermal runaway on a set of Vetus wet cell batteries that were eighteen months old.
The incident happened at the top of the Sea of Cortez under sail, there was no explosion, I was alerted to it by the smell.
The battery box was hot to touch and I was terrified to open it. The inside was covered in battery acid, all the cables were destroyed, four batteries were cracked, eight batteries had buckled cases.
Four were serviceable which I hooked together to allow me to return to Mazatlan for repairs.
It was a harrowing experience as the temperatures of each battery kept rising for hours as they sat overnight on a dock.
I have met a number of people with variations of the same theme.
Good luck with your new engine.
Fair Winds
Trevor Lusty
Former owner of Seafever
SM 425
Ireland




James Alton
 

I had a customer that was leaving on a Circumnavigation and was concerned about the age (7+ years old at the time) of his perfectly performing Sonnechien Dry Fit German Gel batteries,  5- x 8D so a big bank.  He installed 5 x 8D Lifeline AGM’s and experienced numerous battery failures on the trip starting only 6 months out in the Pacific after departure requiring very expensive air shipments.  I am still using the 5 Sonneschien Dry Fit batteries removed from the boat, 0 failures so far.  We reinstalled the same upon his return to the US and had no further problems up until the time he sold the boat about 8 years later which puts my batteries over 20 years old.  Fort Lauderdale Battery used to sell the Sonneschien and still had some good specimens of this same type the last time that I talked to them which had lasted as long plus a lot more experience than I if you want to inquire. ( I have no connection with this firm other than battery purchases)   The dry fit batteries have been replaced by an Exide "Traction” Gel Battery which has the same case and supposed to be essentially the same battery.  No problems so far but my experience so far is limited to 3 years with these batteries as they are relatively new.   The Dry Fits were touted as being having very low gassing btw.  Despite some abuse, I have never seen any of these swell, crack or ever leak anything.

Glad to hear that the damage is less than you originally thought.  Best of luck in making a good decision with preventing future problems

James

SV Sueno Amel Maramu 220

On Jun 25, 2016, at 12:24 PM, James Wendell ms42phantom54@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


Thanks everyone for the support and suggestions. We are cleaning things up and it may not be as bad as I originally thought. Somehow one or two of the batteries failed and caused the explosion. I guess my lessons learned is to suspect batteries when they get close to the end of life. I did not know that.
Jamie
 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044


On Friday, June 24, 2016 5:18 PM, "seafeverofcuan@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


 
Dear Jamie,
                  I had thermal runaway on a set of Vetus wet cell batteries that were eighteen months old.
The incident happened at the top of the Sea of Cortez under sail, there was no explosion, I was alerted to it by the smell.
The battery box was hot to touch and I was terrified to open it. The inside was covered in battery acid, all the cables were destroyed, four batteries were cracked, eight batteries had buckled cases.
Four were serviceable which I hooked together to allow me to return to Mazatlan for repairs.
It was a harrowing experience as the temperatures of each battery kept rising for hours as they sat overnight on a dock.
I have met a number of people with variations of the same theme.
Good luck with your new engine.
Fair Winds
Trevor Lusty
Former owner of Seafever
SM 425
Ire land






James Wendell <ms42phantom54@...>
 

James, I am surprised that your customer experienced failures with his new Lifeline batteries. I was told they were the best by some of the electrical guys here in Annapolis, but now I am questioning that recommendation. I think maybe I will check out your suggestions. Do you know what model Lifeline went bad?
Wow, yours are 20 years old and my Initimidators failed at 4 years. I would have thought I would get at least 5 or 6, but I do not know the history of my batteries, as they came with the boat.
Thanks for the advice.
Jamie
 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044


On Sunday, June 26, 2016 12:45 AM, "James Alton lokiyawl2@... [amelyachtowners]" wrote:


 
I had a customer that was leaving on a Circumnavigation and was concerned about the age (7+ years old at the time) of his perfectly performing Sonnechien Dry Fit German Gel batteries,  5- x 8D so a big bank.  He installed 5 x 8D Lifeline AGM’s and experienced numerous battery failures on the trip starting only 6 months out in the Pacific after departure requiring very expensive air shipments.  I am still using the 5 Sonneschien Dry Fit batteries removed from the boat, 0 failures so far.  We reinstalled the same upon his return to the US and had no further problems up until the time he sold the boat about 8 years later which puts my batteries over 20 years old.  Fort Lauderdale Battery used to sell the Sonneschien and still had some good specimens of this same type the last time that I talked to them which had lasted as long plus a lot more experience than I if you want to inquire. ( I have no connection with this firm other than battery purchases)   The dry fit batteries have been replaced by an Exide "Traction” Gel Battery which has the same case and supposed to be essentially the same battery.  No problems so far but my experience so far is limited to 3 years with these batteries as they are relatively new.   The Dry Fits were touted as being having very low gassing btw.  Despite some abuse, I have never seen any of these swell, crack or ever leak anything.

Glad to hear that the damage is less than you originally thought.  Best of luck in making a good decision with preventing future problems

James

SV Sueno Amel Maramu 220
On Jun 25, 2016, at 12:24 PM, James Wendell ms42phantom54@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


Thanks everyone for the support and suggestions. We are cleaning things up and it may not be as bad as I originally thought. Somehow one or two of the batteries failed and caused the explosion. I guess my lessons learned is to suspect batteries when they get close to the end of life. I did not know that.
Jamie
 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044


On Friday, June 24, 2016 5:18 PM, "seafeverofcuan@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


 
Dear Jamie,
                  I had thermal runaway on a set of Vetus wet cell batteries that were eighteen months old.
The incident happened at the top of the Sea of Cortez under sail, there was no explosion, I was alerted to it by the smell.
The battery box was hot to touch and I was terrified to open it. The inside was covered in battery acid, all the cables were destroyed, four batteries were cracked, eight batteries had buckled cases.
Four were serviceable which I hooked together to allow me to return to Mazatlan for repairs.
It was a harrowing experience as the temperatures of each battery kept rising for hours as they sat overnight on a dock.
I have met a number of people with variations of the same theme.
Good luck with your new engine.
Fair Winds
Trevor Lusty
Former owner of Seafever
SM 425
Ire land








Bill & Judy Rouse <yahoogroups@...>
 

Batteries, anchors, and other boat stuff that we all have firm options on...but for this posting I will stick to batteries.

In my experience one person's experience with a single product, is only misleading and proves nothing, especially batteries where there are at least 10 variables in addition to make and model.

For instance, I met a British guy in Turkey at a marina who was changing out his batteries. He had 14 years on them. He bought these batteries when he bought his boat, which was a Beneteau coming out of charter in Greece. He sailed to Marmaris Turkey where he lived aboard for 14 years. At least once a year, he would unplug and motor somewhere for the day.

I think that regardless what brand battery you buy, the most you can hope for is 4 years, if you actually are cruising.

BTW, the absolute worst brand that I bought was Varta  freedom style calcium batteries. I bought 13 in Greece. They started failing 3 months later with internal shorts. They failed one at a time. Had I not supervised them, I had about 8 opportunities for a major problem like Phantom's battery problem. Those 13 batteries were each discarded in 12 months. Johnson Controls UK, the company that manufactures Varta chose to do nothing, telling me to take up the issue with the Greek who also chose to do nothing. At the time that I bought Varta I was told that Varta bought the Delphi Battery plant in France where the original Amel batteries were made. My single experience shouldn't eliminate Varta from your choices, but it does for me. In my experience the best performing batteries have been the original Amel-installed Delphi Freedom batteries and the same battery made by the Delphi licensee in Istanbul, Turkey. Sadly, I do not believe those are available in Turkey anymore, and Delphi France is just a brand made by someone else since the GM liquidation of Delphi.

Be sure to load test and test for shorts any new batteries when they are delivered. The battery supplier should do this while you watch and should give you a printout for each battery. Or buy the digital battery tester and do it yourself, as I do. Out of 12 delivered, I had 2 batteries fail the internal short test.

Bill Rouse
BeBe Amel 53 #387
Sent from my tablet
+1832-380-4970 USA Voice Mail


James Alton
 

Jamie,
   The Lifeline batteries referred to in my previous post were installed just before the Millenium Odyssey so it could be that the bugs have been worked out by now, I have not kept up with.  I can tell you that on the course of the two year Circumnavigation that most or all of the Lifelines failed.  My customer was a bit hard on them with lots of 50 percent discharges..sometimes lower.  But he also did the same with the Sonennchein Prevailers and they survived.  I don't have the numbers in front of me but I seem to recall that the amp hours were about 10 percent less for the gels at the time. With the lack of self discharge and from them being more tolerant of deep discharges I think that the amp gap even when new is not that great in practice.  I did an amp draw down test on the removed gels after 7 plus years and they were still within 5 percent of rated.  I should do another somtime to how much is left at 20 years but I can tell you that I am still using one of these batteries in my Loki and it seems pretty healthy. These batteries were being used a lot in solar applications due to the long life.  I am not a battery expert but there seems to be a relationship between battery chemistries in that reduced gassing and low self discharge rates lead to lower capacity but long life and good reliability.  I know that these gels use a different electrolyte than regular wet cell and AGM's.  

Best,
James

Sent from Samsung Mobile



-------- Original message --------
From: "James Wendell ms42phantom54@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...>
Date: 06-26-2016 8:57 AM (GMT-04:00)
To: amelyachtowners@...
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion


 

James, I am surprised that your customer experienced failures with his new Lifeline batteries. I was told they were the best by some of the electrical guys here in Annapolis, but now I am questioning that recommendation. I think maybe I will check out your suggestions. Do you know what model Lifeline went bad?
Wow, yours are 20 years old and my Initimidators failed at 4 years. I would have thought I would get at least 5 or 6, but I do not know the history of my batteries, as they came with the boat.
Thanks for the advice.
Jamie
 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044


On Sunday, June 26, 2016 12:45 AM, "James Alton lokiyawl2@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


 
I had a customer that was leaving on a Circumnavigation and was concerned about the age (7+ years old at the time) of his perfectly performing Sonnechien Dry Fit German Gel batteries,  5- x 8D so a big bank.  He installed 5 x 8D Lifeline AGM’s and experienced numerous battery failures on the trip starting only 6 months out in the Pacific after departure requiring very expensive air shipments.  I am still using the 5 Sonneschien Dry Fit batteries removed from the boat, 0 failures so far.  We reinstalled the same upon his return to the US and had no further problems up until the time he sold the boat about 8 years later which puts my batteries over 20 years old.  Fort Lauderdale Battery used to sell the Sonneschien and still had some good specimens of this same type the last time that I talked to them which had lasted as long plus a lot more experience than I if you want to inquire. ( I have no connection with this firm other than battery purchases)   The dry fit batteries have been replaced by an Exide "Traction” Gel Battery which has the same case and supposed to be essentially the same battery.  No problems so far but my experience so far is limited to 3 years with these batteries as they are relatively new.   The Dry Fits were touted as being having very low gassing btw.  Despite some abuse, I have never seen any of these swell, crack or ever leak anything.

Glad to hear that the damage is less than you originally thought.  Best of luck in making a good decision with preventing future problems

James

SV Sueno Amel Maramu 220
On Jun 25, 2016, at 12:24 PM, James Wendell ms42phantom54@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


Thanks everyone for the support and suggestions. We are cleaning things up and it may not be as bad as I originally thought. Somehow one or two of the batteries failed and caused the explosion. I guess my lessons learned is to suspect batteries when they get close to the end of life. I did not know that.
Jamie
 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044


On Friday, June 24, 2016 5:18 PM, "seafeverofcuan@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


 
Dear Jamie,
                  I had thermal runaway on a set of Vetus wet cell batteries that were eighteen months old.
The incident happened at the top of the Sea of Cortez under sail, there was no explosion, I was alerted to it by the smell.
The battery box was hot to touch and I was terrified to open it. The inside was covered in battery acid, all the cables were destroyed, four batteries were cracked, eight batteries had buckled cases.
Four were serviceable which I hooked together to allow me to return to Mazatlan for repairs.
It was a harrowing experience as the temperatures of each battery kept rising for hours as they sat overnight on a dock.
I have met a number of people with variations of the same theme.
Good luck with your new engine.
Fair Winds
Trevor Lusty
Former owner of Seafever
SM 425
Ire land








James Alton
 

Bill,
  How does one test for internal shorts by doing a load test?  Good information.
James


Sent from Samsung Mobile



-------- Original message --------
From: "'Bill & Judy Rouse' yahoogroups@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...>
Date: 06-26-2016 9:31 AM (GMT-04:00)
To: amelyachtowners@...
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion


 

Batteries, anchors, and other boat stuff that we all have firm options on...but for this posting I will stick to batteries.

In my experience one person's experience with a single product, is only misleading and proves nothing, especially batteries where there are at least 10 variables in addition to make and model.

For instance, I met a British guy in Turkey at a marina who was changing out his batteries. He had 14 years on them. He bought these batteries when he bought his boat, which was a Beneteau coming out of charter in Greece. He sailed to Marmaris Turkey where he lived aboard for 14 years. At least once a year, he would unplug and motor somewhere for the day.

I think that regardless what brand battery you buy, the most you can hope for is 4 years, if you actually are cruising.

BTW, the absolute worst brand that I bought was Varta  freedom style calcium batteries. I bought 13 in Greece. They started failing 3 months later with internal shorts. They failed one at a time. Had I not supervised them, I had about 8 opportunities for a major problem like Phantom's battery problem. Those 13 batteries were each discarded in 12 months. Johnson Controls UK, the company that manufactures Varta chose to do nothing, telling me to take up the issue with the Greek who also chose to do nothing. At the time that I bought Varta I was told that Varta bought the Delphi Battery plant in France where the original Amel batteries were made. My single experience shouldn't eliminate Varta from your choices, but it does for me. In my experience the best performing batteries have been the original Amel-installed Delphi Freedom batteries and the same battery made by the Delphi licensee in Istanbul, Turkey. Sadly, I do not believe those are available in Turkey anymore, and Delphi France is just a brand made by someone else since the GM liquidation of Delphi.

Be sure to load test and test for shorts any new batteries when they are delivered. The battery supplier should do this while you watch and should give you a printout for each battery. Or buy the digital battery tester and do it yourself, as I do. Out of 12 delivered, I had 2 batteries fail the internal short test.

Bill Rouse
BeBe Amel 53 #387
Sent from my tablet
+1832-380-4970 USA Voice Mail


James Wendell <ms42phantom54@...>
 

Thanks James, I suspect you are right about the bugs getting worked out of new brands. I believe Lifelines are made by the Concorde Battery Co, who as I understand makes batteries for the solar power industry. I think I will go with new Lifeline 31-XTs.
I think Bill said it best - when you are cruising 4 years or so is probably a good age to seriously think of replacing. I just cannot imagine what I would have done if my batteries had failed in the middle of the ocean - not to mention the cost of replacing in some remote port. Not that replacing my 13 batteries is going to be cheap!
Jamie
 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044


On Sunday, June 26, 2016 8:40 AM, "Lokiyawl2 lokiyawl2@... [amelyachtowners]" wrote:


 
Jamie,
   The Lifeline batteries referred to in my previous post were installed just before the Millenium Odyssey so it could be that the bugs have been worked out by now, I have not kept up with.  I can tell you that on the course of the two year Circumnavigation that most or all of the Lifelines failed.  My customer was a bit hard on them with lots of 50 percent discharges..sometimes lower.  But he also did the same with the Sonennchein Prevailers and they survived.  I don't have the numbers in front of me but I seem to recall that the amp hours were about 10 percent less for the gels at the time. With the lack of self discharge and from them being more tolerant of deep discharges I think that the amp gap even when new is not that great in practice.  I did an amp draw down test on the removed gels after 7 plus years and they were still within 5 percent of rated.  I should do another somtime to how much is left at 20 years but I can tell you that I am still using one of these batteries in my Loki and it seems pretty healthy. These batteries were being used a lot in solar applications due to the long life.  I am not a battery expert but there seems to be a relationship between battery chemistries in that reduced gassing and low self discharge rates lead to lower capacity but long life and good reliability.  I know that these gels use a different electrolyte than regular wet cell and AGM's.  

Best,
James

Sent from Samsung Mobile



-------- Original message --------
From: "James Wendell ms42phantom54@... [amelyachtowners]"
Date: 06-26-2016 8:57 AM (GMT-04:00)
To: amelyachtowners@...
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion


 
James, I am surprised that your customer experienced failures with his new Lifeline batteries. I was told they were the best by some of the electrical guys here in Annapolis, but now I am questioning that recommendation. I think maybe I will check out your suggestions. Do you know what model Lifeline went bad?
Wow, yours are 20 years old and my Initimidators failed at 4 years. I would have thought I would get at least 5 or 6, but I do not know the history of my batteries, as they came with the boat.
Thanks for the advice.
Jamie
 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044


On Sunday, June 26, 2016 12:45 AM, "James Alton lokiyawl2@... [amelyachtowners]" wrote:


 
I had a customer that was leaving on a Circumnavigation and was concerned about the age (7+ years old at the time) of his perfectly performing Sonnechien Dry Fit German Gel batteries,  5- x 8D so a big bank.  He installed 5 x 8D Lifeline AGM’s and experienced numerous battery failures on the trip starting only 6 months out in the Pacific after departure requiring very expensive air shipments.  I am still using the 5 Sonneschien Dry Fit batteries removed from the boat, 0 failures so far.  We reinstalled the same upon his return to the US and had no further problems up until the time he sold the boat about 8 years later which puts my batteries over 20 years old.  Fort Lauderdale Battery used to sell the Sonneschien and still had some good specimens of this same type the last time that I talked to them which had lasted as long plus a lot more experience than I if you want to inquire. ( I have no connection with this firm other than battery purchases)   The dry fit batteries have been replaced by an Exide "Traction” Gel Battery which has the same case and supposed to be essentially the same battery.  No problems so far but my experience so far is limited to 3 years with these batteries as they are relatively new.   The Dry Fits were touted as being having very low gassing btw.  Despite some abuse, I have never seen any of these swell, crack or ever leak anything.

Glad to hear that the damage is less than you originally thought.  Best of luck in making a good decision with preventing future problems

James

SV Sueno Amel Maramu 220
On Jun 25, 2016, at 12:24 PM, James Wendell ms42phantom54@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


Thanks everyone for the support and suggestions. We are cleaning things up and it may not be as bad as I originally thought. Somehow one or two of the batteries failed and caused the explosion. I guess my lessons learned is to suspect batteries when they get close to the end of life. I did not know that.
Jamie
 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044


On Friday, June 24, 2016 5:18 PM, "seafeverofcuan@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


 
Dear Jamie,
                  I had thermal runaway on a set of Vetus wet cell batteries that were eighteen months old.
The incident happened at the top of the Sea of Cortez under sail, there was no explosion, I was alerted to it by the smell.
The battery box was hot to touch and I was terrified to open it. The inside was covered in battery acid, all the cables were destroyed, four batteries were cracked, eight batteries had buckled cases.
Four were serviceable which I hooked together to allow me to return to Mazatlan for repairs.
It was a harrowing experience as the temperatures of each battery kept rising for hours as they sat overnight on a dock.
I have met a number of people with variations of the same theme.
Good luck with your new engine.
Fair Winds
Trevor Lusty
Former owner of Seafever
SM 425
Ire land










Bill & Judy Rouse <yahoogroups@...>
 

James,

Buy a digital battery tester like the one any battery supplier has and most automotive shops have that test and printout the status, testing volts, charge state, current CCA, and test for internal shorts.

Or if you don't need a printout, buy the Solar brand Chinese knock-off. That is what I have and I test all batteries about every 3 months.

https://www.amazon.com/BA9-40-1200-Digital-Battery-System/dp/B00IZFNJ6Y

Bill Rouse
BeBe Amel 53 #387
Sent from my tablet
+1832-380-4970 USA Voice Mail

On Jun 26, 2016 8:43 AM, "Lokiyawl2 lokiyawl2@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:
 

Bill,
  How does one test for internal shorts by doing a load test?  Good information.
James


Sent from Samsung Mobile



-------- Original message --------
From: "'Bill Judy Rouse' yahoogroups@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...>
Date: 06-26-2016 9:31 AM (GMT-04:00)
To: amelyachtowners@...
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion


 

Batteries, anchors, and other boat stuff that we all have firm options on...but for this posting I will stick to batteries.

In my experience one person's experience with a single product, is only misleading and proves nothing, especially batteries where there are at least 10 variables in addition to make and model.

For instance, I met a British guy in Turkey at a marina who was changing out his batteries. He had 14 years on them. He bought these batteries when he bought his boat, which was a Beneteau coming out of charter in Greece. He sailed to Marmaris Turkey where he lived aboard for 14 years. At least once a year, he would unplug and motor somewhere for the day.

I think that regardless what brand battery you buy, the most you can hope for is 4 years, if you actually are cruising.

BTW, the absolute worst brand that I bought was Varta  freedom style calcium batteries. I bought 13 in Greece. They started failing 3 months later with internal shorts. They failed one at a time. Had I not supervised them, I had about 8 opportunities for a major problem like Phantom's battery problem. Those 13 batteries were each discarded in 12 months. Johnson Controls UK, the company that manufactures Varta chose to do nothing, telling me to take up the issue with the Greek who also chose to do nothing. At the time that I bought Varta I was told that Varta bought the Delphi Battery plant in France where the original Amel batteries were made. My single experience shouldn't eliminate Varta from your choices, but it does for me. In my experience the best performing batteries have been the original Amel-installed Delphi Freedom batteries and the same battery made by the Delphi licensee in Istanbul, Turkey. Sadly, I do not believe those are available in Turkey anymore, and Delphi France is just a brand made by someone else since the GM liquidation of Delphi.

Be sure to load test and test for shorts any new batteries when they are delivered. The battery supplier should do this while you watch and should give you a printout for each battery. Or buy the digital battery tester and do it yourself, as I do. Out of 12 delivered, I had 2 batteries fail the internal short test.

Bill Rouse
BeBe Amel 53 #387
Sent from my tablet
+1832-380-4970 USA Voice Mail


Bill & Judy Rouse <yahoogroups@...>
 

Jamie,

If you load-test (current CCA) and test for internal shorts before a passage, you should not worry about a major failure as you had. I have been testing batteries about every 3 months for at least 6 years. They fail one at a time. I did have the crappy Varta batteries fail one after another totaling 6 in two months before I could replace them. All you have to do is rearrange and disconnect the failing batteries from the bank in pairs. They are wired in series in pairs to the bank terminals. What this will cause you to do is charge more often. And if you want your battery monitor to report the correct state of remaining power, you have to change the total amps which is programmed into that monitor.

The only thing(s) that you need to do is monitor for too many amps going into the battery bank for too long (using your battery monitor), or monitor for battery compartment temperature...or both. I do both. I installed a simple two zone digital temperature device with an alarm. I think it cost me $15 in eBay. If I was doing it over, I might buy a better one, but this cheap China made device has worked flawlessly for at least three years.

After a little time you will love the simple genius of the Amel SM2k and 54 battery bank design.

Bill Rouse
BeBe Amel 53 #387
Sent from my tablet
+1832-380-4970 USA Voice Mail

On Jun 26, 2016 8:53 AM, "James Wendell ms42phantom54@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:
 

Thanks James, I suspect you are right about the bugs getting worked out of new brands. I believe Lifelines are made by the Concorde Battery Co, who as I understand makes batteries for the solar power industry. I think I will go with new Lifeline 31-XTs.
I think Bill said it best - when you are cruising 4 years or so is probably a good age to seriously think of replacing. I just cannot imagine what I would have done if my batteries had failed in the middle of the ocean - not to mention the cost of replacing in some remote port. Not that replacing my 13 batteries is going to be cheap!
Jamie
 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044


On Sunday, June 26, 2016 8:40 AM, "Lokiyawl2 lokiyawl2@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


 
Jamie,
   The Lifeline batteries referred to in my previous post were installed just before the Millenium Odyssey so it could be that the bugs have been worked out by now, I have not kept up with.  I can tell you that on the course of the two year Circumnavigation that most or all of the Lifelines failed.  My customer was a bit hard on them with lots of 50 percent discharges..sometimes lower.  But he also did the same with the Sonennchein Prevailers and they survived.  I don't have the numbers in front of me but I seem to recall that the amp hours were about 10 percent less for the gels at the time. With the lack of self discharge and from them being more tolerant of deep discharges I think that the amp gap even when new is not that great in practice.  I did an amp draw down test on the removed gels after 7 plus years and they were still within 5 percent of rated.  I should do another somtime to how much is left at 20 years but I can tell you that I am still using one of these batteries in my Loki and it seems pretty healthy. These batteries were being used a lot in solar applications due to the long life.  I am not a battery expert but there seems to be a relationship between battery chemistries in that reduced gassing and low self discharge rates lead to lower capacity but long life and good reliability.  I know that these gels use a different electrolyte than regular wet cell and AGM's.  

Best,
James

Sent from Samsung Mobile



-------- Original message --------
From: "James Wendell ms42phantom54@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...>
Date: 06-26-2016 8:57 AM (GMT-04:00)
To: amelyachtowners@...
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion


 
James, I am surprised that your customer experienced failures with his new Lifeline batteries. I was told they were the best by some of the electrical guys here in Annapolis, but now I am questioning that recommendation. I think maybe I will check out your suggestions. Do you know what model Lifeline went bad?
Wow, yours are 20 years old and my Initimidators failed at 4 years. I would have thought I would get at least 5 or 6, but I do not know the history of my batteries, as they came with the boat.
Thanks for the advice.
Jamie
 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044


On Sunday, June 26, 2016 12:45 AM, "James Alton lokiyawl2@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


 
I had a customer that was leaving on a Circumnavigation and was concerned about the age (7+ years old at the time) of his perfectly performing Sonnechien Dry Fit German Gel batteries,  5- x 8D so a big bank.  He installed 5 x 8D Lifeline AGM’s and experienced numerous battery failures on the trip starting only 6 months out in the Pacific after departure requiring very expensive air shipments.  I am still using the 5 Sonneschien Dry Fit batteries removed from the boat, 0 failures so far.  We reinstalled the same upon his return to the US and had no further problems up until the time he sold the boat about 8 years later which puts my batteries over 20 years old.  Fort Lauderdale Battery used to sell the Sonneschien and still had some good specimens of this same type the last time that I talked to them which had lasted as long plus a lot more experience than I if you want to inquire. ( I have no connection with this firm other than battery purchases)   The dry fit batteries have been replaced by an Exide "Traction” Gel Battery which has the same case and supposed to be essentially the same battery.  No problems so far but my experience so far is limited to 3 years with these batteries as they are relatively new.   The Dry Fits were touted as being having very low gassing btw.  Despite some abuse, I have never seen any of these swell, crack or ever leak anything.

Glad to hear that the damage is less than you originally thought.  Best of luck in making a good decision with preventing future problems

James

SV Sueno Amel Maramu 220
On Jun 25, 2016, at 12:24 PM, James Wendell ms42phantom54@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


Thanks everyone for the support and suggestions. We are cleaning things up and it may not be as bad as I originally thought. Somehow one or two of the batteries failed and caused the explosion. I guess my lessons learned is to suspect batteries when they get close to the end of life. I did not know that.
Jamie
 
s/v Phantom Amel 54 #044


On Friday, June 24, 2016 5:18 PM, "seafeverofcuan@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:


 
Dear Jamie,
                  I had thermal runaway on a set of Vetus wet cell batteries that were eighteen months old.
The incident happened at the top of the Sea of Cortez under sail, there was no explosion, I was alerted to it by the smell.
The battery box was hot to touch and I was terrified to open it. The inside was covered in battery acid, all the cables were destroyed, four batteries were cracked, eight batteries had buckled cases.
Four were serviceable which I hooked together to allow me to return to Mazatlan for repairs.
It was a harrowing experience as the temperatures of each battery kept rising for hours as they sat overnight on a dock.
I have met a number of people with variations of the same theme.
Good luck with your new engine.
Fair Winds
Trevor Lusty
Former owner of Seafever
SM 425
Ire land










Mark Erdos
 

I second Bill’s recommendation for this item and regular testing of the batteries. Because of his suggestion, I purchased a tester prior to departing on our cruise adventure. In the Bahamas a couple of months ago, I identified two bad batteries in our group of eight and was able to disconnect them. I re-arranged the 4 pairs of two to 3 pairs of two and reprogrammed the battery monitor for the 25% reduction of amp-hours. We continued our season the remaining 6 batteries. Now that we are back in an area of plenty, we can replace the bad batteries. Had I not checked or had the means to check, the bad batteries would certainly have damaged the remaining batteries in the group and caused us an unplanned expense, or worse.

 

With best regards,

 

Mark

 

Super Maramu 2000

Hull #275

www.creampuff.us

Currently cruising:  Tampa Bay for hurricane season

 

From: amelyachtowners@... [mailto:amelyachtowners@...]
Sent: Sunday, June 26, 2016 8:53 AM
To: amelyachtowners@...
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion

 

 

James,

Buy a digital battery tester like the one any battery supplier has and most automotive shops have that test and printout the status, testing volts, charge state, current CCA, and test for internal shorts.

Or if you don't need a printout, buy the Solar brand Chinese knock-off. That is what I have and I test all batteries about every 3 months.

https://www.amazon.com/BA9-40-1200-Digital-Battery-System/dp/B00IZFNJ6Y

Bill Rouse
BeBe Amel 53 #387
Sent from my tablet
+1832-380-4970 USA Voice Mail

On Jun 26, 2016 8:43 AM, "Lokiyawl2 lokiyawl2@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 

Bill,

  How does one test for internal shorts by doing a load test?  Good information.

James

 

 

Sent from Samsung Mobile




-------- Original message --------

From: "'Bill Judy Rouse' yahoogroups@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...>
Date: 06-26-2016 9:31 AM (GMT-04:00)
To: amelyachtowners@...
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Battery Compartment Explosion


 

Batteries, anchors, and other boat stuff that we all have firm options on...but for this posting I will stick to batteries.

In my experience one person's experience with a single product, is only misleading and proves nothing, especially batteries where there are at least 10 variables in addition to make and model.

For instance, I met a British guy in Turkey at a marina who was changing out his batteries. He had 14 years on them. He bought these batteries when he bought his boat, which was a Beneteau coming out of charter in Greece. He sailed to Marmaris Turkey where he lived aboard for 14 years. At least once a year, he would unplug and motor somewhere for the day.

I think that regardless what brand battery you buy, the most you can hope for is 4 years, if you actually are cruising.

BTW, the absolute worst brand that I bought was Varta  freedom style calcium batteries. I bought 13 in Greece. They started failing 3 months later with internal shorts. They failed one at a time. Had I not supervised them, I had about 8 opportunities for a major problem like Phantom's battery problem. Those 13 batteries were each discarded in 12 months. Johnson Controls UK, the company that manufactures Varta chose to do nothing, telling me to take up the issue with the Greek who also chose to do nothing. At the time that I bought Varta I was told that Varta bought the Delphi Battery plant in France where the original Amel batteries were made. My single experience shouldn't eliminate Varta from your choices, but it does for me. In my experience the best performing batteries have been the original Amel-installed Delphi Freedom batteries and the same battery made by the Delphi licensee in Istanbul, Turkey. Sadly, I do not believe those are available in Turkey anymore, and Delphi France is just a brand made by someone else since the GM liquidation of Delphi.

Be sure to load test and test for shorts any new batteries when they are delivered. The battery supplier should do this while you watch and should give you a printout for each battery. Or buy the digital battery tester and do it yourself, as I do. Out of 12 delivered, I had 2 batteries fail the internal short test.

Bill Rouse
BeBe Amel 53 #387
Sent from my tablet
+1832-380-4970 USA Voice Mail