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Flat starter battery. Solar panel doesn't appear to be maintaining battery. Leisure batteries OK. Leisure user back since before Xmas. Located Near Braunston at Dunchurch Pools. Any recommendations please.

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10 minutes ago, jddevel said:

Flat starter battery. Solar panel doesn't appear to be maintaining battery. Leisure batteries OK. Leisure user back since before Xmas. Located Near Braunston at Dunchurch Pools. Any recommendations please.

 

If you need to start the engine use a single jump lead from the leisure + to the starter + (assuming they share the same negative)

 

Once started see if the alternator can get some charge into it

 

If it has not been used for 4 months, and it was not fully charged when last used it will probably have become sulphated.

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Thanks for advice so far. Can probably get it started but undoubtedly sulphated. Because spend so much time away think either additional link to starter battery or seperate solar panel would be helpful.

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1 minute ago, jddevel said:

Thanks for advice so far. Can probably get it started but undoubtedly sulphated. Because spend so much time away think either additional link to starter battery or seperate solar panel would be helpful.

 

Starter batteries have a very easy life, only having to provide a few Ah per start with a decent engine. This seems counterintuitive to many. So you may be happily surprised if you can get that battery recharged. However, the fact it went so flat suggests there is a chance it has started to internally short, but definitely recharge it and see how it goes.

 

The problem with a simple link to the starter battery is if it starts to short, it will flatten both banks. You can use a VSR to "unjoin" the banks when no charge is present.

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Your getting technical. 🤣  Anyway not actually sure the person we had wire the boat sorted it as although a sailaway we had gs/electrics completed by canal boat "specialists" but even in early days after full days motoring monitor never showed 100% and we had to resort to the genni. Engine twin alternators 38 hp Beta 450 hours in only 6 years

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Unless set up and used properly many battery monitors just lie, that is without the possibility of incorrect wiring, however, usually they say the batteries are better charged than they really are. In any case, battery monitors usually only monitor the domestic battery bank.

 

You made a proposal to just link the two banks, most people who know feel this is a bad idea and I explained why. You don't need to understand why, just don't do it. You can link them as a TEMPORARY measure only when charging is taking place - probably solar.

 

I also gave you one way of doing it that avoided the potential difficulties, but again, any competent person you get to do such a job should know what to do.

 

My main reason for posting was to let you know that despite possibly significant sulphation the start battery may well still work well enough once recharged, so don't go buying new until you try it.

 

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Thank you Tony. I will admit to having little, actually read no real knowledge, of the science of batteries etc which is why the request for someone to review my system to ascertain whether it's just the battery or an uderlying fault. The marina state they are unable to get to it until well into May . Couple of emails and leavi g phone messages. 24 hours charging still only 9 odd volts. So bit the bullet and bought a new battery. Engine now turns over with ease. Will await further contacts to ascertain if I've a problem with the wiring set up. All good for now though.

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On 02/04/2024 at 21:13, Tony Brooks said:

You can use a VSR to "unjoin" the banks when no charge is present.

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/394959408328?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-127632-2357-0&ssspo=4xm2jzlrtpi&sssrc=4429486&ssuid=SV_sF0T7SiS&var=&widget_ver=artemis&media=COPY

 

The VSR will link the domestic and start batteries while the solar panel is charging but then it will disconnect them when the voltage drops so that you can't flatten the start battery by using the domestics.

 

There are various brands of VSRs for sale.

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31 minutes ago, jddevel said:

Thank you Tony. I will admit to having little, actually read no real knowledge, of the science of batteries etc which is why the request for someone to review my system to ascertain whether it's just the battery or an uderlying fault. The marina state they are unable to get to it until well into May . Couple of emails and leavi g phone messages. 24 hours charging still only 9 odd volts. So bit the bullet and bought a new battery. Engine now turns over with ease. Will await further contacts to ascertain if I've a problem with the wiring set up. All good for now though.

 

If you have a voltmeter, put it across the engine battery with the engine off. Then start and rev the engine. If the meter jumps up several volts, probably around 16 to 20 volts you can assume the alternator is charging and the battery, so the old battery had probably  developed an internal short circuit.

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15 minutes ago, blackrose said:

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/394959408328?mkcid=16&mkevt=1&mkrid=711-127632-2357-0&ssspo=4xm2jzlrtpi&sssrc=4429486&ssuid=SV_sF0T7SiS&var=&widget_ver=artemis&media=COPY

 

The VSR will link the domestic and start batteries while the solar panel is charging but then it will disconnect them when the voltage drops so that you can't flatten the start battery by using the domestics.

 

There are various brands of VSRs for sale.

I think from what the OP has said they would need quite a bit of help with this idea 

 

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6 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

I think from what the OP has said they would need quite a bit of help with this idea 

 

 

Yes I realised that, but it's still worth knowing what needs to be done even if one's not doing the job oneself. I was just trying to help with that. 

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10 minutes ago, ditchcrawler said:

I think from what the OP has said they would need quite a bit of help with this idea 

 

 

 Even more so because it looks like a non-bidirectional VSR so it has to be wired the right way round to do as the OP intends.

 

Also, when engine charging the VSR may well cause one alternator to shut down and unless why that is and what is going on is explained it is likely to cause the OP a lot of concern.

Edited by Tony Brooks
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Hi JDD

Oggy, oggy, oggy.

 

Chair of a nb syndicate that has been having major problems with our engine & domestic battery banks.

 

Our marina (just N of Braunston) engineers are currently on the case but we do have a marine electrician on hold who is willing to step in if needed.

 

Message me & I will pass on his details

 

Richard

St Columb Major

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