[Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Batteries


Danny and Yvonne SIMMS
 

Hi,

We installed new flooded lead acid batteries in July 2009. We replaced them this year just short of 8 years. I killed them then by leaving the boat for 3 weeks on the mooring with the freezer open and accidentally turned on. I believe without this incident there were some years life left.  Our usage began with 20 months of liveaboard as we sailed from USA to New Zealand. Then each year we spent 4 to 5 months aboard cruising Pacific Islands. The balance of each year was on the home mooring with intermittent usage sailing the NZ coasts. So charging was mostly solar and wind generator supplemented with the gen set and main engine alternator .Our time plugged in to marinas was a small percentage. How did we get this long life?. Using the desulphation program on the dolphin chargers, without this we may have only got 4 years. The other factor is the constant charge provided by the wind and solar generators.

Clearly with this experience we replaced them with the same.

Regards

Danny

SM 299 Ocean Pearl 

On 11 December 2017 at 05:52 "greatketch@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 

Paul,


You asked for comments on experience with Firefly batteries.  I don’t have any yet, but thought I would share our logic on our recent battery purchase.

First, I agree 100% with Bill Rouse that if your primary motivation is keeping the annual cost of batteries as low as possible, it is hard to beat flooded lead acid batteries. They do have a short lifespan, but are also really cheap, quite robust, and easy to get. Bill R’s point about making sure your charging system can match the charging curve of any kind of battery you pick is also critical.  This is a place where “close enough” is not close enough.

I do not think that Lithium batteries are quite to the point—yet—of being suitable for remote cruising.  They still seem fussy enough that I’d really want to be close to technical support if I had them. It is also likely that your engine alternator can not charge them.  Not because of voltage mismatch, but because Li batteries can accept full charging amps for almost the full charging cycle.  Very few alternators can supply their fully rated current for the time required to charge a Li battery.  The alternator will overheat and die. Alternators rated for continuous output at full rated current are rare and very expensive. Li batteries are probably the batteries of the future, whenever that gets here!

Harmonie has six year old Lifeline AGM batteries currently installed. The are just coming to the end of their useful life, with a capacity of about 60% of new.  On an annual basis, that puts them at almost exactly the same cost as flooded cells.  For those six years we have enjoyed not adding water, and a higher charge acceptance rate, so I would say the net effect is a positive, although not a huge one.

After much thinking and back and forth on the decision, we have decided to replace our aging AGMs with Firefly batteries--but not because we expect them to be cheaper than the alternatives.  My expectation is that they will last 3 to 4 times what a flooded cell bank would, so the amortized annual cost will be similar.

The reason we went with Firefly is because of their tolerance for extended periods at partial charge. They do not need to be regularly brought to 100% charge to live a long and happy life. This matters to me because my solar panels are capable of making 3.5 to 4.0 kW-hrs of power over the course of a sunny tropical day.  This should be enough to run the whole boat, but we can not currently store all that power.

We can not store that solar power because the batteries can not accept it.  We try to refill our AGM batteries as close to 100% every day possible. Once the they move out of the Bulk charge phase and into Acceptance (at about 85% Charge) the controller ramps back the power from the panels.  If we want the batteries full, we need to do the bulk charge in the morning with the generator, and let the solar system slowly top off the batteries over the course of the day. This means we only get to use only about half the power the solar panels could have produced.

With Firefly batteries we expect to run the batteries from 50% to 80% charge every (sunny) day using just the solar panels, and skip the generator--most days.  Our generator is getting old, with 7000+ hours.  If I can put off buying a new genset for a year, I will have paid back the premium price of the Firefly batteries.  My objective is to have a future owner of Harmonie be the one who has to buy her next genset.

We have a fully programable lines battery charger and solar charger, so we can get whatever charge curve we need.  The Fireflies charge at 14.4V (28.8V) which is the same as many flooded batteries, but if you are plugged in at the marina, or doing extended motoring, they want to float at 13.2V (26.4V) or LESS which is lower than other types of battery.  You need to be sure you can supply this lower voltage.

One significant drawback of the Firefly batteries is the availability is very tight.  Nobody has them in stock, and deliver schedules are spotty.  We ordered ours in August, were told that they would be available in October, and they are finally being delivered here in December.  Don't expect delivery right away.

Is my logic sound? 
Are the manufacturer claims and other testing of the Firefly batteries accurate?  
Will these batteries let me greatly reduce my generator run time without impacting battery life?  

I’ll get back to you in five years.  Or sooner if I am wrong!  

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Fort Lauderdale, FL

 


 


mfmcgovern@...
 

Danny,

8 years is an incredibly long time for any batteries to last, let alone relatively inexpensive flooded lead acid batteries.  What type and brand battery were they?  How often did you run the desulphation program?  Is it possible for you to share your entire "battery care regimen" with the forum either via a post or an uploaded file?  I would find it incredibly useful and I'm sure others would too.

Thanks,
Mark McGovern
SM#440 Cara
Deale, MD USA 


greatketch@...
 

Mark,

8 years is a great lifespan, and shows batteries being cared for very well, but look carefully at the usage. 

Being cycled 4 to 5 months out of the year changes the life cycle picture by a lot compared to 12 month a year cruising. When kept at full or nearly full charge, batteries age very slowly.  Flooded batteries can easily have a life of over ten years if they are floated at the proper voltage, kept watered, and used intermittently with good charging practices.

Another part of the puzzle that is frequently neglected in discussions of battery life is the effect of temperature on lifespan. For pretty much all kinds of lead-acid batteries, a temperature rise of 10C will cut the lifespan in half.  That can make a significant difference between boats that spend their lives in cold water compared to tropical cruisers. (And is a really good reason why batteries never belong in an engine room!)

You also have to be a bit lucky that none of the cells develop an internal short.

On my last boat, I killed a 7 year old set of flooded batteries almost exactly the same way as Danny--by accidentally leaving the boat for weeks with the charger off and the freezer on.

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Fort Lauderdale, FL


Danny and Yvonne SIMMS
 

Hi Mark,

Those batteries were 12 six volt golf cart type bought from West Marine in Newport Rhode Island. After 4 years I was on the point of replacing them when through the input of another cruiser I found my dolphin desulphation program. When sulphates build up on the plates the charge has to be "pushed" through this layer, the thicker it is the more resistance there is. What you will notice is that when charging they come up to "full " charge quickly, but then don't hold the charge. This is because the charge did not make it fully into the plates. There is nothing wrong with the plates, the charge just didn't get in there.

So how often did I desulphate? When I noticed this effect becoming prominent. 

I do believe the solar panels and the wind generator are a big part of getting a long life. I have talked to cruisers who have got 10 years plus from lead acid by using desulphation so perhaps rather than searching for the "right" battery the answer is to have chargers that provide an effective desulphation program, and apply it correctly. Maintenance. Keep them well watered all the time and keep terminals and connections clean and making good contact. 

Regards

Danny

SM 299 Ocean Pearl

On 12 December 2017 at 05:18 "mfmcgovern@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 

Danny,


8 years is an incredibly long time for any batteries to last, let alone relatively inexpensive flooded lead acid batteries.  What type and brand battery were they?  How often did you run the desulphation program?  Is it possible for you to share your entire "battery care regimen" with the forum either via a post or an uploaded file?  I would find it incredibly useful and I'm sure others would too.

Thanks,
Mark McGovern
SM#440 Cara
Deale, MD USA 

 


 


greatketch@...
 

Danny,

Which model Dolphin charger do you have?  I can't find any mention of a desulphating program on their current website.

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Fort Lauderdale, FL

---In amelyachtowners@..., <simms@...> wrote :

Hi Mark,

Those batteries were 12 six volt golf cart type bought from West Marine in Newport Rhode Island. After 4 years I was on the point of replacing them when through the input of another cruiser I found my dolphin desulphation program. When sulphates build up on the plates the charge has to be "pushed" through this layer, the thicker it is the more resistance there is. What you will notice is that when charging they come up to "full " charge quickly, but then don't hold the charge. This is because the charge did not make it fully into the plates. There is nothing wrong with the plates, the charge just didn't get in there.

So how often did I desulphate? When I noticed this effect becoming prominent. 

I do believe the solar panels and the wind generator are a big part of getting a long life. I have talked to cruisers who have got 10 years plus from lead acid by using desulphation so perhaps rather than searching for the "right" battery the answer is to have chargers that provide an effective desulphation program, and apply it correctly. Maintenance. Keep them well watered all the time and keep terminals and connections clean and making good contact. 

Regards

Danny

SM 299 Ocean Pearl



Danny and Yvonne SIMMS
 

Hi Bill,
I bought my two chargers 100 amp and 50 amp from the manufacturers in France in 2012 after my electronics were wiped put in an electrical surge in a thunder storm in Fiji We weren't hit, just a surge. They replaced those that were on board when we bought the boat in 2008. They also had the desulphation program. When I go to the boat next I will photograph the page in the handbook.
Regards
Dsnny

Sent from my Vodafone Smart

On 12 Dec 2017 08:23, "greatketch@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:
 

Danny,


Which model Dolphin charger do you have?  I can't find any mention of a desulphating program on their current website.

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Fort Lauderdale, FL

---In amelyachtowners@..., <simms@...> wrote :

Hi Mark,

Those batteries were 12 six volt golf cart type bought from West Marine in Newport Rhode Island. After 4 years I was on the point of replacing them when through the input of another cruiser I found my dolphin desulphation program. When sulphates build up on the plates the charge has to be "pushed" through this layer, the thicker it is the more resistance there is. What you will notice is that when charging they come up to "full " charge quickly, but then don't hold the charge. This is because the charge did not make it fully into the plates. There is nothing wrong with the plates, the charge just didn't get in there.

So how often did I desulphate? When I noticed this effect becoming prominent. 

I do believe the solar panels and the wind generator are a big part of getting a long life. I have talked to cruisers who have got 10 years plus from lead acid by using desulphation so perhaps rather than searching for the "right" battery the answer is to have chargers that provide an effective desulphation program, and apply it correctly. Maintenance. Keep them well watered all the time and keep terminals and connections clean and making good contact. 

Regards

Danny

SM 299 Ocean Pearl



Patrick McAneny
 

Danny, Do you use your solar panels to disulfide your batteries ? My solar reg. has that option.
Thanks,
Pat SM#123


-----Original Message-----
From: Danny and Yvonne SIMMS simms@... [amelyachtowners]
To: amelyachtowners
Sent: Mon, Dec 11, 2017 1:39 pm
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Batteries

 
Hi Mark,
Those batteries were 12 six volt golf cart type bought from West Marine in Newport Rhode Island. After 4 years I was on the point of replacing them when through the input of another cruiser I found my dolphin desulphation program. When sulphates build up on the plates the charge has to be "pushed" through this layer, the thicker it is the more resistance there is. What you will notice is that when charging they come up to "full " charge quickly, but then don't hold the charge. This is because the charge did not make it fully into the plates. There is nothing wrong with the plates, the charge just didn't get in there.
So how often did I desulphate? When I noticed this effect becoming prominent. 
I do believe the solar panels and the wind generator are a big part of getting a long life. I have talked to cruisers who have got 10 years plus from lead acid by using desulphation so perhaps rather than searching for the &# 34;right" battery the answer is to have chargers that provide an effective desulphation program, and apply it correctly. Maintenance. Keep them well watered all the time and keep terminals and connections clean and making good contact. 
Regards
Danny
SM 299 Ocean Pearl
On 12 December 2017 at 05:18 "mfmcgovern@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 
Danny,

8 years is an incredibly long time for any batteries to last, let alone relatively inexpensive flooded lead acid batteries.  What type and brand battery were they?  How often did you run the desulphation program?  Is it possible for you to share your entire "battery care regimen" with the forum either via a post or an uploaded f ile?  I would find it incredibly useful and I'm sure others would too.

Thanks,
Mark McGovern
SM#440 Cara
Deale, MD USA 
 

 


Danny and Yvonne SIMMS
 

Hi Pat, no I don't. They wouldn't have anywhere near enough grunt.
Regards
Danny
SM 299
Ocean Pearl

Sent from my Vodafone Smart

On 12 Dec 2017 11:11 a.m., "Patrick Mcaneny sailw32@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:
 

Danny, Do you use your solar panels to disulfide your batteries ? My solar reg. has that option.

Thanks,
Pat SM#123


-----Original Message-----
From: Danny and Yvonne SIMMS simms@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...>
To: amelyachtowners <amelyachtowners@...>
Sent: Mon, Dec 11, 2017 1:39 pm
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Batteries

 
Hi Mark,
Those batteries were 12 six volt golf cart type bought from West Marine in Newport Rhode Island. After 4 years I was on the point of replacing them when through the input of another cruiser I found my dolphin desulphation program. When sulphates build up on the plates the charge has to be "pushed" through this layer, the thicker it is the more resistance there is. What you will notice is that when charging they come up to "full " charge quickly, but then don't hold the charge. This is because the charge did not make it fully into the plates. There is nothing wrong with the plates, the charge just didn't get in there.
So how often did I desulphate? When I noticed this effect becoming prominent. 
I do believe the solar panels and the wind generator are a big part of getting a long life. I have talked to cruisers who have got 10 years plus from lead acid by using desulphation so perhaps rather than searching for the &# 34;right" battery the answer is to have chargers that provide an effective desulphation program, and apply it correctly. Maintenance. Keep them well watered all the time and keep terminals and connections clean and making good contact. 
Regards
Danny
SM 299 Ocean Pearl
On 12 December 2017 at 05:18 "mfmcgovern@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 
Danny,

8 years is an incredibly long time for any batteries to last, let alone relatively inexpensive flooded lead acid batteries.  What type and brand battery were they?  How often did you run the desulphation program?  Is it possible for you to share your entire "battery care regimen" with the forum either via a post or an uploaded f ile?  I would find it incredibly useful and I'm sure others would too.

Thanks,
Mark McGovern
SM#440 Cara
Deale, MD USA 
 

 


Danny and Yvonne SIMMS
 

Hi again Pat, after I get to the boat in the next few days I will post photos of the hand book and the graph of the desulphation program. Basically it is a controlled period of seriously high voltage over charging. A lot of gas given off. Caps off the batteries and the battery compartment lid closed and no naked flames any where near. Would be impossible in a boat without a closed and vented battery compartment.
Regards
Danny
SM 299
Ocean Pearl

Sent from my Vodafone Smart

On 12 Dec 2017 11:11, "Patrick Mcaneny sailw32@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:
 

Danny, Do you use your solar panels to disulfide your batteries ? My solar reg. has that option.

Thanks,
Pat SM#123


-----Original Message-----
From: Danny and Yvonne SIMMS simms@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...>
To: amelyachtowners <amelyachtowners@...>
Sent: Mon, Dec 11, 2017 1:39 pm
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Batteries

 
Hi Mark,
Those batteries were 12 six volt golf cart type bought from West Marine in Newport Rhode Island. After 4 years I was on the point of replacing them when through the input of another cruiser I found my dolphin desulphation program. When sulphates build up on the plates the charge has to be "pushed" through this layer, the thicker it is the more resistance there is. What you will notice is that when charging they come up to "full " charge quickly, but then don't hold the charge. This is because the charge did not make it fully into the plates. There is nothing wrong with the plates, the charge just didn't get in there.
So how often did I desulphate? When I noticed this effect becoming prominent. 
I do believe the solar panels and the wind generator are a big part of getting a long life. I have talked to cruisers who have got 10 years plus from lead acid by using desulphation so perhaps rather than searching for the &# 34;right" battery the answer is to have chargers that provide an effective desulphation program, and apply it correctly. Maintenance. Keep them well watered all the time and keep terminals and connections clean and making good contact. 
Regards
Danny
SM 299 Ocean Pearl
On 12 December 2017 at 05:18 "mfmcgovern@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 
Danny,

8 years is an incredibly long time for any batteries to last, let alone relatively inexpensive flooded lead acid batteries.  What type and brand battery were they?  How often did you run the desulphation program?  Is it possible for you to share your entire "battery care regimen" with the forum either via a post or an uploaded f ile?  I would find it incredibly useful and I'm sure others would too.

Thanks,
Mark McGovern
SM#440 Cara
Deale, MD USA 
 

 


greatketch@...
 

This sounds an awful lot like a standard equalization charge recommended by all flooded cell battery makers, and that most chargers can do. Does Dolphin do something special beyond that?

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Fort Lauderdale, FL


Danny and Yvonne SIMMS
 

Ok
As soon as I get to the boat.
Regards
Danny
SM 299
Ocean Pearl

Sent from my Vodafone Smart

On 12 Dec 2017 12:48, "sailor63109@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:
 

Danny,


I would be interested in the desulphation program on the Dolphin charger as well.

Thanks,
Duane 
Wanderer, SM#477


Danny and Yvonne SIMMS
 

I only know what the dolphin does, and I know the results.
Regards
Danny
SM 299
Ocean Pearl

Sent from my Vodafone Smart

On 12 Dec 2017 14:05, "greatketch@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:
 

This sounds an awful lot like a standard equalization charge recommended by all flooded cell battery makers, and that most chargers can do. Does Dolphin do something special beyond that?


Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Fort Lauderdale, FL


Patrick McAneny
 

Danny , I have been able to keep my batteries in the 85 to 100% charge zone and when on the mooring 100% for long periods. Do batteries still degrade when generally kept in the 90 to 100% range. I too have wet cell , always have for the last 35 years , and see no reason I would switch out for a more expensive / complex system.
Happy Holidays,
Pat 


-----Original Message-----
From: simms@... [amelyachtowners]
To: Patrick Mcaneny sailw32@... [amelyachtowners]
Sent: Mon, Dec 11, 2017 6:40 pm
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Batteries

 
Hi again Pat, after I get to the boat in the next few days I will post photos of the hand book and the graph of the desulphation program. Basically it is a controlled period of seriously high voltage over charging. A lot of gas given off. Caps off the batteries and the battery compartment lid closed and no naked flames any where near. Would be impossible in a boat without a closed and vented battery compartment.
Regards
Danny
SM 299
Ocean Pearl
Sent from my Vodafone Smart
On 12 Dec 2017 11:11, "Patrick Mcaneny sailw32@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:
 
Danny, Do you use your solar panels to disulfide your batteries ? My solar reg. has that option.
Thanks,
Pat SM#123


-----Original Message-----
From: Danny and Yvonne SIMMS simms@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...>
To: amelyachtowners <amelyachtowners@...>
Sent: Mon, Dec 11, 2017 1:39 pm
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Batteries

 
Hi Mark,
Those batteries were 12 six volt golf cart type bought from West Marine in Newport Rhode Island. After 4 years I was on the point of replacing them when through the input of another cruiser I found my dolphin desulphation program. When sulphates build up on the plates the charge has to be "pushed" through this layer, the thicker it is the more resistance there is. What you will notice is that when charging they come up to "full " charge quickly, but then don't hold the charge. This is because the charge did not make it fully into the plates. There is nothing wrong with the plates, the charge just didn't get in there.
So how often did I desulphate? When I noticed this effect becoming prominent. 
I do believe the solar panels and the wind generator are a big part of getting a long life. I have talked to cruisers who have got 10 years plus from lead acid by using desulphation so perhaps rather than searching for the &# 34;right" battery the answer is to have chargers that provide an effective desulphation program, and apply it correctly. Maintenance. Keep them well watered all the time and keep terminals and connections clean and making good contact. 
Regards
Danny
SM 299 Ocean Pearl
On 12 December 2017 at 05:18 "mfmcgovern@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 
Danny,

8 years is an incredibly long time for any batteries to last, let alone relatively inexpensive flooded lead acid batteries.  What type and brand battery were they?  How often did you run the desulphation program?  Is it possible for you to share your entire "battery care regimen" with the forum either via a post or an uploaded f ile?  I would find it incredibly useful and I'm sure others would too.

Thanks,
Mark McGovern
SM#440 Cara
Deale, MD USA 
 

 


Bill & Judy Rouse <yahoogroups@...>
 

All,

There are Dolphin chargers, and there are Dolphin chargers, some have variable charge parameters, some don't. 

Dolphin added adjustable charge parameters about 2003-2004 without changing model numbers. Danny's SM is older than the change date, but his Dolphin chargers are newer than the change date.

Be careful while comparing older and newer Dolphin chargers. In my experience, even Reya is confused about this.


CW Bill Rouse
Admiral, Texas Navy
Commander Emeritus
Amel School www.amelschool.com
720 Winnie St
Galveston Island, TX 77550
+1(832) 380-4970

   

On Dec 11, 2017 19:05, "greatketch@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:
 

This sounds an awful lot like a standard equalization charge recommended by all flooded cell battery makers, and that most chargers can do. Does Dolphin do something special beyond that?


Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Fort Lauderdale, FL



Marcel Krauth <marcel.krauth@...>
 

On 12/12/2017 14:56, 'Bill & Judy Rouse' yahoogroups@... [amelyachtowners] wrote:
 
All,

There are Dolphin chargers, and there are Dolphin chargers, some have variable charge parameters, some don't. 

Dolphin added adjustable charge parameters about 2003-2004 without changing model numbers. Danny's SM is older than the change date, but his Dolphin chargers are newer than the change date.

Be careful while comparing older and newer Dolphin chargers. In my experience, even Reya is confused about this.


CW Bill Rouse
Admiral, Texas Navy
Commander Emeritus
Amel School www.amelschool.com
720 Winnie St
Galveston Island, TX 77550
+1(832) 380-4970

   

On Dec 11, 2017 19:05, "greatketch@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:
 

This sounds an awful lot like a standard equalization charge recommended by all flooded cell battery makers, and that most chargers can do. Does Dolphin do something special beyond that?


Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Fort Lauderdale, FL
Hi Bill,
Nice to find you on this blog, you remember the time we met at the Yacht Hotel in Fetihye
where are you based now
Marcel




greatketch@...
 

Pat,

Batteries kept at 100% charge, or near so, by an accurate float charger do age, but very slowly.  Batteries kept this way should last a very long time.  Eight to ten years would not be at all unusual.  When I lived on a boat at the dock, with occasional day sails, battery lifespan was never an issue.  They only died when something when wrong. (Usually my fault!)

For a usage pattern that has a occasional maximum depth of discharge down to 85% followed by a quick recharge to 100% I can think of no reason for using anything other than simple flooded batteries.  They will handle that service perfectly, and have a very long--and very economical--life.  

The way batteries are used has everything to do with how long they last. 

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Fort Lauderdale, FL


---In amelyachtowners@..., <sailw32@...> wrote :

Danny , I have been able to keep my batteries in the 85 to 100% charge zone and when on the mooring 100% for long periods. Do batteries still degrade when generally kept in the 90 to 100% range. I too have wet cell , always have for the last 35 years , and see no reason I would switch out for a more expensive / complex system.
Happy Holidays,
Pat 



karkauai
 

Make sure all 24v equipment is off while you desulfate.  The high voltages will fry some electronics.

Kent
S/V Kristy
SM243


karkauai
 

My new Interstate hybrid batteries require 32 for desulfation.  That spec was very difficult to get, I had th contact the engineers at Interstate and even he had a hard time finding it.  That's higher than most batteries.  I needed a new charger anyway, but had to do some searching to find one that would do the job.  I steeled on a Victron Skylla-I 1+1 80Amp 24v charger.  So far a year later it's doing what it's supposed to do.


Kent Robertson
S/V Kristy
SM243


greatketch@...
 

32 Volts is pretty typical for equalizing/desulphating flooded cells.  

Trojan recommends 32.4, and Rolls 31.6

Others manufacturers, like East Penn (Dekka) recommend constant current charging for desulphating an aging battery. Few marine battery chargers can do a constant current charge...

Lifeline is one of very few AGM makers that recommend a desulphating regime, at 30.5 volts for 8 hours.  I have seen that do a great job at refreshing our bank.

Someday, maybe, batteries will be simple.

Bill Kinney
SM160, Harmonie
Fort Lauderdale, FL


Dan Carlson
 

Hi All,   I am still processing all of my learnings from our 1st hurricane season on the hard in Trinidad with BeBe, but I will add my specific experience with batteries as it is appropriate to this thread. 

Twelve new DECA group 31 105 amp/hr, 650CCA, "Sealed" lead acid marine batteries were installed on VBeBe in December 2016 (so only 6 months old when we hauled).  
- I checked all the batteries at the time of haul out and all checked out "ok" with full charge and over 600CCA on my battery tester. 
- The batteries were floated at 27.2v all summer, during the day, with solar panels (Victron Energy Blue Solar MPPT) - the boat minder sent photos each month of the charge level on the xantrex. 
- On return at the end of November the tester showed full charge level, but CCA's measured were in the high 400's to low 500's. Significantly worse then how I had left them.  Seven were flagged as "failing".  
- I peeled back the seals over the caps and checked the cells and the water levels were just millimeters above the plates (several cells had the very top of the plates exposed.)   I refilled the cells with distilled water to the proper fill level.  This consumed nearly 4 gallons of water for 12 batteries!! 
- Since then I have charged each morning and evening with the 100amp charger to 100%, with the solar being close to maintaining charge during the day. 
- With two refrigerators and  one freezer running, plus a few lights, sometimes a fan we will use approx 50 - 60 amp hours from 9pm until 7am.    The Xantrex shows that as approx 92% remaining charge.  The voltage (with about 4-5 amp/hr load will be at about 24.8-24.9volts at 7am.  (not sure how that compares to actually charge remaining, as it is not a 'resting' voltage measurement. 
- After two weeks of this cycling of the batteries I retested all of the "bad" batteries and the CCA had increased by more that 50, so that all are now near or above 550CCA.   

Those are the facts, here are some of my thoughts: 
1)  At first I thought that I had totally toasted my nearly new battery bank (very  depressing start to season!), but I have been very relieved with the recovery.  I'm not sure how to estimate the damage that has been done. 
2) Hindsight and research seems to confirm that 27.2 volts is to high a float voltage for the hot tropics.  There are some calculations that can be done and then I need to research how I can adjust my MPPT controller for the next summer.   Other's experience?  Float levels used in tropics for long term storage?
 I realized that although I was monitoring my batteries with the Xantrex every day (morning & evening) I was not writing anything down, and in fact I have not seen much discussion about what are the critical parameters to monitor and record to have objective data on performance.   I am now trying to record the morning levels (before sun hits the panels).  I record from the Xantrex, the voltage, the accumulated CCA (I've ended each day so far with a charge of 98-100%.  I hope that this will allow me to more accurately track the performance.   Would like to hear what others record and see any factual sharing/comparing of performance.  What guidelines do you use for sulfanation decisions, etc. 
3) Sealed, maintenance free lead acid batteries are a miss-nomer.  Watch the water level in them as well.  

I am sure that there is much more to learn in this area.  I will also share learnings in other areas (moisture  control, pest control, checklists, when I have time to process them)

Regards,  Dan &  Lori Carlson,  SM#387,  sv BeBe 




On Tuesday, December 12, 2017 7:58 AM, "Patrick Mcaneny sailw32@... [amelyachtowners]" wrote:


 
Danny , I have been able to keep my batteries in the 85 to 100% charge zone and when on the mooring 100% for long periods. Do batteries still degrade when generally kept in the 90 to 100% range. I too have wet cell , always have for the last 35 years , and see no reason I would switch out for a more expensive / complex system.
Happy Holidays,
Pat 


-----Original Message-----
From: simms@... [amelyachtowners] To: Patrick Mcaneny sailw32@... [amelyachtowners]
Sent: Mon, Dec 11, 2017 6:40 pm
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Batteries

 
Hi again Pat, after I get to the boat in the next few days I will post photos of the hand book and the graph of the desulphation program. Basically it is a controlled period of seriously high voltage over charging. A lot of gas given off. Caps off the batteries and the battery compartment lid closed and no naked flames any where near. Would be impossible in a boat without a closed and vented battery compartment.
Regards
Danny
SM 299
Ocean Pearl
Sent from my Vodafone Smart
On 12 Dec 2017 11:11, "Patrick Mcaneny sailw32@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:
 
Danny, Do you use your solar panels to disulfide your batteries ? My solar reg. has that option.
Thanks,
Pat SM#123


-----Original Message-----
From: Danny and Yvonne SIMMS simms@... [amelyachtowners] <amelyachtowners@...>
To: amelyachtowners <amelyachtowners@...>
Sent: Mon, Dec 11, 2017 1:39 pm
Subject: Re: [Amel Yacht Owners] Re: Batteries

 
Hi Mark,
Those batteries were 12 six volt golf cart type bought from West Marine in Newport Rhode Island. After 4 years I was on the point of replacing them when through the input of another cruiser I found my dolphin desulphation program. When sulphates build up on the plates the charge has to be "pushed" through this layer, the thicker it is the more resistance there is. What you will notice is that when charging they come up to "full " charge quickly, but then don't hold the charge. This is because the charge did not make it fully into the plates. There is nothing wrong with the plates, the charge just didn't get in there.
So how often did I desulphate? When I noticed this effect becoming prominent. 
I do believe the solar panels and the wind generator are a big part of getting a long life. I have talked to cruisers who have got 10 years plus from lead acid by using desulphation so perhaps rather than searching for the &# 34;right" battery the answer is to have chargers that provide an effective desulphation program, and apply it correctly. Maintenance. Keep them well watered all the time and keep terminals and connections clean and making good contact. 
Regards
Danny
SM 299 Ocean Pearl
On 12 December 2017 at 05:18 "mfmcgovern@... [amelyachtowners]" <amelyachtowners@...> wrote:

 
Danny,

8 years is an incredibly long time for any batteries to last, let alone relatively inexpensive flooded lead acid batteries.  What type and brand battery were they?  How often did you run the desulphation program?  Is it possible for you to share your entire "battery care regimen" with the forum either via a post or an uploaded f ile?  I would find it incredibly useful and I'm sure others would too.

Thanks,
Mark McGovern
SM#440 Cara
Deale, MD USA