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Tom and Bex

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About Tom and Bex

  • Birthday 10/31/1975

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  • Occupation
    Emergency Care Assistant
  • Boat Name
    Diesel & Dust
  • Boat Location

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  1. That's definitely our experience, although charging at a much higher voltage (15v) does seem to mitigate that to some degree. We only got just over a year out of our last set, hence the decision to go lithium. There is plenty of real life experience of these batteries in sea going boats in the states, and experience points to life expectancy of 10yrs plus and 5000+ cycles in low charge and discharge usage. I agree they're not for everyone though and over charge or discharge will kill them quicker than lead acid! Not sure on make - just an old 10a car charger with transformer and no fancy controls! Voltage keeps rising slowly as current falls so ideal for equalization etc.
  2. We found our knackered sealed batteries regained some capacity and we got another winter out of them by charging to 16.5v using an old style car charger, and upping our regular charging voltage to 15v (+temp compensation). You could hear the batteries bubbling at 16.5v (unsurprisingly!) but not when charged at 15v. I strongly believe that for our usage, the added calcium in modern batteries, makes sealed batteries have a very short life if using recommended charging voltages. They certainly appear to work better charged at much higher voltages, and when I removed the cover on one before scraping it I found the level to be absolutely fine.
  3. Huge thanks to Richard and Sue for taking on the organising and for getting the results out so fast. I know it was hard for them not to be taking part this year Very pleased with our 3rd place considering the only planning I did was Thursday night! I was thinking 6th would have been a good result. Highlights of the challenge for us were the many positive comments we recieved on the Walsall Canal with several locals thinking we were lost as they never see any boats! We felt the Walsall canal was better this year than previously, yes it is shallow and lots of rubbish, but generally felt the rubbish was less than previous years. Nice to meet other participants again and Lily particularly liked playing with Bob at the pub until she finally ran out of energy!
  4. We have some if you still need when we get there. Should be at the finish in about 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Just back from Ma Pardoes and takeaway? Guess it's time to get some sleep before the big day? Good luck to all the participants and hope to see you around over the weekend.
  6. All out now, fire brigade just clearing up.
  7. Having overnighted in Birmingham centre, we're off to hawne basin to fill up with diesel and gas before heading to our start location. If you pass us having run out of diesel before hawne basin please take pity on us and don't laugh too much!
  8. Thanks for the info and pics. Great to see Firepool lock getting some use! Pass on my best wishes to them. Looks like it's worth a visit when next in Somerset. Have many happy memories of boating on the B&T in various forms of boat, and have done the full length many times. Grew up in Creech St. Michael and helped crew the various IWA boats before full opening, and again at Maunsel lock for a while.
  9. Shouldn't those responsibilities have been clearly defined at the point of transfer? Do CRT have right of free use of the water, or do they pay for the water they take from there? If free then surely there is no incentive on Staffordshire council to repair the valve!
  10. Out of interest, why is there no supply from Chasewater? I know they sold it several years back, and remember it being drained for work to the dam, but thought CRT kept the rights to water from there? If so why can't they exercise that right now instead of relying on a single pump to maintain levels? Either way let's hope the pump installation goes well, and they soon get Bradley back up to full capacity!
  11. I had no idea this was there! When did they open? About time there were these facilities to promote use of a very underused canal. I wish them well and hope they make the business a great success.
  12. The alarm on ours works well. Not the loudest, but definitely audible. Not upgraded any firmware though, and not sure what version it's running? I can confirm that the internal alarm buzzer on ours sounds when the display shows alarm status.
  13. I think the time and research involved in the design stage is worth it in the end. I certainly spent a long time reading up and researching the different options before deciding the route I went down. Pleased I did as now they're installed they just sit there and work! Occasionally glance at the BMV to see if I need to charge or not. Definitely less monitoring and much easier to look after than lead acid. Getting very good results from solar at the moment, much better than expected based on last years performance. Might need to keep eye on charging and voltages as solar input increases to check I've got the optimum settings for the solar controller. Once set up they really are fit and forget though. As I mentioned previously, we charge to 100% to synchronise the BMV every 4-6 weeks or so, generally to coincide with a cruise to pump out. We find generally the BMV remains fairly accurate now we've tweaked the settings though. It's interesting to see the data from other installs, particularly how much the charge rate affects SOC as various voltage points are reached during charging. One of our alternators has developed a fault and consequently the batteries are now at much higher SOC by the time 14.0v is reached, although it is obviously taking a lot longer. Max charge at present is 65-70a compared to 100a with both alternators working well. We tend to leave everything switched on when leaving the boat now, it doesn't matter if they sit for a week or more at partial SOC. I figure the low voltage cut out on the fridge will stop the batteries getting excessively drained, and solar (even in winter) will keep up with minor power usage (WiFi router etc). I notice peterboat and me just enjoy using the batteries now they've been installed for a while, enjoying their benefits and superiority over lead acid, and basically ignore them! Hopefully MP and Dr Bob will have the same benefits when their installs settle in and any teething problems are sorted out. It's been interesting reading the different routes that have people have taken to hopefully get the same end result. I think the 4 installs on this thread have taken 4 quite different routes, so will be interesting to follow how these different methods compare and hold up over time.
  14. No problem at all. It is very quiet though.
  15. I think voltage settings very much depend on charge rate. Charging a 480ah bank with a 30A charger then not really surprising you are getting to higher state of charge at lower voltage. We charge our 320ah bank at 90-100A+ and that gets them to 80% charged by the time the voltage climbs to 14v. The cells certainly stay very well balanced up to the very end stages of charging to 100% when they can start to drift if pushed too hard. Don't know if this would occur if only charging at 13 8v or not, suspect it would if charging was continued. By only charging at 30a you're missing out on one of the big advantages of lithium and that is their ability to accept high charge rates - up to 240A with your setup! Agree about learning the correct voltage settings to use with experience. We had to vary ours a few times from my initial settings to get the best compromise between looking after the cells and avoiding false alarms. If only cycling them from 20-80% then from what I've read they should be good for 10000 cycles plus! I guess only (a very long!) time will tell how likely it is to get close to that figure. We do take ours to 100% every few weeks though to sync the BMV, but so far it seems to be staying in sync remarkably well. That's where I do like MP's setup with his arduino based BMS as I think he said it keeps track of any drift and self corrects.
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