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Battery Charging Routine Basics

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Points taken! :lol:

 

I'll try and maintain 12.1 to 12.5 (60-80%)

 

And a weekly blast back up to 12.7 at some higher input than 13.2v, preferably 14.4v. Somehow. (by regular you mean weekly, right, or can I get away with every two weeks? - I'm planning on doing a days cruising every one - two weeks anyway)

 

You may get away with 2 weeks, I wouldn't go any longer. After a nominal full charge we do a 6-8hr absorption every 1-2 weeks @ 28.8v (AGMs) if we had ordinary wet cells we would give it 29.6v (halve that lot for 12v batts). Using this regime our batts seem to maintain a steady voltage.

 

Agree with Gibbo, you have to measure diesel consumption against battery life, bit of a guess really, but don't fall in love with your batts, they will die on you eventually. :lol:

Edited by nb Innisfree

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snipped

When idleing the volts don't change (they were around 12 whith everything off). Tickover was the same. When I gave it a bit of wellie for a second or two it jumped up to 13 or so, and 13.2 with everything off. Whats more, the voltage has stayed there now that I'm idling again.

 

 

I've not seen a warning light. There's certainly not one on the engine panel.

snipped

 

Picking up on these two statements, and from my experience in the automotive field, doesn't this suggest that the alternator lacks excitation via a charge light? Revving to get the volts to 'jump up' but OK when back on idle. No charge light visible. Just worries me a bit and I would have thought it would have been worth checking for a charge light excitation feed somewhere to help the alternator to kick in earlier without having to remember to rev it to achieve self-excitation.

Roger

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Picking up on these two statements, and from my experience in the automotive field, doesn't this suggest that the alternator lacks excitation via a charge light? Revving to get the volts to 'jump up' but OK when back on idle. No charge light visible. Just worries me a bit and I would have thought it would have been worth checking for a charge light excitation feed somewhere to help the alternator to kick in earlier without having to remember to rev it to achieve self-excitation.

Roger

 

Well spotted Roger.

 

I would agree it certanly sounds like it needs a charge warning light fitting to stop this problem.

 

Gibbo

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... sounds like it needs a charge warning light fitting...

 

Or the blown bulb replacing perhaps?

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where can I find this mythical warning light?

 

It could be absolutely anywhere though most likely on the engine panel.

 

On the back of the alternatro will be another terminal (another in addition to the main output) which will possibly marked "D+" or "Ind". That should have a wire going to a small lamp, then continuing on from the other side of the lamp to the ignition switch.

 

If there is no wire on it, then you clearly don't have the charge warning light (which also excites the alternatto to fire it up).

 

Gibbo

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I've known that many times but generally it's because the strip and reassemble has re-made an undetected dodgy connection. Clean is nice tho'.

 

Its also good to clean any moisture from ontop of the batteries should you by any chance spill water when topping up the battery

 

Also can you not just use your travel power to charge the batteries via a mains charging unit. This is how I do it and it seems very efficient. I am not sure if that is becuase I have a mass 12/80 mastervolt charger though.

 

I have not heard of many people with the same set up as me so any feedback or thoughts would be appreciated.

 

Tim

Edited by Tim Doran

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It could be absolutely anywhere though most likely on the engine panel.

 

On the back of the alternatro will be another terminal (another in addition to the main output) which will possibly marked "D+" or "Ind". That should have a wire going to a small lamp, then continuing on from the other side of the lamp to the ignition switch.

 

If there is no wire on it, then you clearly don't have the charge warning light (which also excites the alternatto to fire it up).

 

Gibbo

 

Cheers. I'll check it tonight.

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where can I find this mythical warning light?

 

Well, it's not exactly mythical, it should be there (or something to replicate it) to help the excitation of the alternator. Basically it feeds a small excitation current to the alternator though a bulb when the ignition is switched on. When the alternator starts self-exciting a 12V (ish) feed becomes available on the excitation line and thus, having 12V (ish) on either side of the bulb means zero volt drop across it and the bulb goes out. You really should have one to help your alternator. Don't listen to me though, go with Gibbo et al. :lol:

Roger

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Don't listen to me though...

 

But you're the hero, Roger - you're the one who did the Holmes-style deduction :lol:

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If there is no wire on it, then you clearly don't have the charge warning light (which also excites the alternatto to fire it up).

 

Gibbo

 

How do you know it's Italian?

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How do you know it's Italian?

 

Because many "boat owner wired" boats look like spaghetti.

 

Gibbo

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Because many "boat owner wired" boats look like spaghetti.

 

Gibbo

 

Well done Gibbo.

To paraphrase Baldrick, "You're as sharp as a very sharp, sharp thingy" :lol:

That was an excellent reply and so true too.

Roger

Edited by Albion

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Woa! again. The absence of a warning light will retard the cut in of most alternators but once it has cut in the charge light or lack of it is irrelevant, and yours is cutting in. Also you have a 110A alternator which whispers "Made in USA" in my ear and if that is so many American alternators do not require a charge lamp. Let's identify the unit.

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Woa! again. The absence of a warning light will retard the cut in of most alternators but once it has cut in the charge light or lack of it is irrelevant, and yours is cutting in. Also you have a 110A alternator which whispers "Made in USA" in my ear and if that is so many American alternators do not require a charge lamp. Let's identify the unit.

 

Nobody said any different. It cannot be desirable to have to remember to rev the engine significantly just to get the alternator to cut in if all it lacks is an ignition excitation circuit surely? Nobody has suggested that it is the cause or likely cure for the original problem but it can't do anything but good to have it fixed surely, if it is fixable and isn't one of your suggested American no-charge-lamp versions?

Roger

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Because many "boat owner wired" boats look like spaghetti.

 

Gibbo

 

And many "boat yard wired" boats. :lol:

 

Iain

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Ok, so the situation is improved (cos I know how to kickstart my alternator) but I'd like to sort it out so I don't have to.

 

I've had a look round the engine and alternator and there's no sign of a light on any of them. I did however find what looks like a lead a light could be plugged into. It's a couple of wires ending in a little white two pin plug thing about a cm across and two cm long. No photos as my camera is broken, but could this be where the light should be going? If so what kind of light do I need to put in?

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Ok, so the situation is improved (cos I know how to kickstart my alternator) but I'd like to sort it out so I don't have to.

 

I've had a look round the engine and alternator and there's no sign of a light on any of them. I did however find what looks like a lead a light could be plugged into. It's a couple of wires ending in a little white two pin plug thing about a cm across and two cm long. No photos as my camera is broken, but could this be where the light should be going? If so what kind of light do I need to put in?

 

 

What do the two wires connect to?

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What do the two wires connect to?

 

Some bit of the alternator. Couldn't see any markings.

 

Oh, and when I said plug, I meant socket. There's a little socket on the end.

Edited by deletedaccount

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Some bit of the alternator. Couldn't see any markings.

 

Oh, and when I said plug, I meant socket. There's a little socket on the end.

 

 

I think we need a photo.

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Short version:

How long will I have to run the engine to fully replenish a nearly depleted 600ah bank whilst also running the fridge, water pump and lights?

 

Long version

I'm not sure how long it should take to re-charge a almost completely depleted battery bank. I've read back through a bunch of alternator/charing/battery threads but they're all a bit over my head tbh.

 

My setup is barus shire 45 with domestic alternator (not sure of size right now - guess it's the 'default' one), starter altenator and travel power. I've got a 600ah battery bank (I think) that's about 2 years old but has only been used attached to shore power until I bought it a month ago. It's got a powermaster 1500 inverter charger that manages charging from the shore power (which I don't have)

 

It all seemed fine when I was cruising down from reading. Doing 8 hours a day left my batteries fully charged at 12.8 or so. Last week I left the boat and they were reading 12.2v according to the powermaster. I left the fridge on and a week later they were 11.8 but amazingly still powering the fridge.

 

So on saturday I moved it for three hours or so and left the engine idling for another two. Yesterday I moved it for another hour and left it idling for at least 6 (albeit with the travel power on and powering my stereo). I made it all the way back up to the heady heights of 12.2 again last night only to find it drained to 11.8 again before bed. All I'd been running was the 12v fridge, 12v lights and the laptop for an hour. Is this normal? Have I damaged my batteries by letting them get so low? Do I need to stick water in the top of them or something? Should my inverter measure the voltage as > 13 when the alternator is on (it's not) and the actual voltage when off?

 

How long should I expect to charge my bank given 12v fridge, 12v lights, pump and 1 hour laptop per day. I was guessing a couple hours a day max but I may be wrong here. How do I measure my usage?

 

Hi There

 

Have a look at this thread ---- http://www.canalworld.net/forums/index.php...&hl=ammeter

 

Alex

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