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Charging flat leisure batteries


Katie

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1 minute ago, Katie said:

Thanks guys appreciate it but admittedly All sounding a bit out of my depth at the moment to be honest. I’m not confident messing with the batteries at all was hoping hooking up to shoreline and ensuring battery charger is set to correct settings regarding type of batteries would do the job. Sounds like maybe not? 

hopefully someone at the marina can help. 
thanks though 

Which marina is it?

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3 minutes ago, Katie said:

Thanks guys appreciate it but admittedly All sounding a bit out of my depth at the moment to be honest. I’m not confident messing with the batteries at all was hoping hooking up to shoreline and ensuring battery charger is set to correct settings regarding type of batteries would do the job. Sounds like maybe not? 

hopefully someone at the marina can help. 
thanks though 

 

Don't get too worried. The idea of trying to equalise them is to make sure the charger is working and maybe wring a few more weeks/months out of them. Just set the charger to equalise (Dora says that you can) and run it for two hours or so and see hat that does. If it seems to have charged, reset the charger for (say) sealed batteries as we don't know what they are and that should do no harm even if charging takes longer for the rest of the day.

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Just a couple of points to add. Many new boaters overestimate how much power you can get out of batteries.

 

Firstly, you should not routinely discharge them beyond 50% charge. Secondly, most engine charging systems will not charge to 100% capacity and finally most batteries will only be working at a % of their original rating anyway.

 

So, say 4x 100ah = 400ah then suppose they are now at 90% of original capacity = 360ah and charged to 95% = 342ah

 

50% of this = 171ah

 

So you will be lucky to get 40% of the theoretical capacity of your batteries, and it may well be less than this.

 

Now go round your boat adding up your appliances. The fridge may be the biggest battery killer as it’s on 24hours a day and running for a good proportion of this.

 

Finally, beware the inverter. Fine for running small electronic items, laptops etc but anything with heating and motors designed for a normal home will kill your batteries in no time. Don’t even think of washing machines and dryers! ( They are a whole different subject.)

 

The whole subject of batteries is endlessly fascinating to some of us boaters and intensely boring to others! If you are in the second category then get an expert to check over your whole system. Ask them to calculate your loads as a guide and to fit some kind of monitoring system to avoid discharging your batteries too far and wrecking them in a few weeks. Our share boat has a smartgauge which is simple enough for us all to use and does the trick nicely.

 

Lastly, if Tony Brooks says different then he’s the expert so believe him rather than me!

 

 

Edited by Peter Thornton
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I agree with all that @Peter Thornton except the bit about engine alternators not charging to 100%.  They will and they will do it with less attention than a smart charger that drops into float too soon. They will as good as fully charge the bank but the owners simply do not run the engines for long enough. We could be talking 12 hours or more for lead acids. This is why monitoring tail current at around 14.2+ volts is important to ensure the bank is as fully charged as possible at least once a week. A charger or solar is likely to drop to float too soon and tail current at 13.6 volts is not very useful.

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