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RichardtheGardener

Batteries

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1 minute ago, Dr Bob said:

My strategy for avoiding low SoC and low voltage is to have more capacity. With 6*110Ahr cheapo's, and using at most 120Ahr overnight (and usually 80Ahr) in non camping mode, we very very rarely get down to less than 80% SoC although half the time in winter we are on shore power. We dont need a starter battery but I will replace my 10 year old one this winter just in case.

Very sensible. My cheapos do very well as I reckon it's cos I don't cane them. Missus is vacuuming as we speak and washing machine is on all being done thro travel power whilst other two alternators charge battery bank so when batts charged switch off, tank of hot water and batteries will run lights telly etc until tomoz

  • Greenie 1

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3 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

 My experience of leisure lead calcium batteries is that they sulphate very easily even when fully charged regularly at typical alternator voltages of 14.4v. They really need 14.8v or so to keep sulphation at bay - and then of course they start to use water!

 

?

3 of my cheapo's (so I assume lead calcium) are 2 years old and 3 are 18 months old. In April they still had 95% of full capacity and I am guessing they have not deteriorated much since then ........as I cant see a rested  or near rested voltage during the summer as cant be bothered to get up before the sun does......  I very rarely see more than 14.4V charging from the alternator or the battery charger so they never get up to that 14.8v, but they do get up to fully charged most days.......today being an exception as we are not budging and it will be pouring down all day and I wont run the engine more than 2 hours...........but as per my previous post, we dont usually go below 80%.

Perhaps your comments are right if the batteries are taken down to 50% etc and it is the more inaccessible sites that are sulphating.

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10 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

I think it is because of the popularity of lead calcium plates these days, instead of the lead antimony plates of old (and of present day Trojans).

 

The calcium is added in part to reduce gassing and hence reduce or eliminate the need to add water - maintenance free etc. My experience of leisure lead calcium batteries is that they sulphate very easily even when fully charged regularly at typical alternator voltages of 14.4v. They really need 14.8v or so to keep sulphation at bay - and then of course they start to use water!

 

Did i mention that I like my lead-antimony Trojans even though I have to add water 2 or 3 times a year??

 

Ah so there IS a structural/chemical difference between Trojans and Ordinary Batteries. 

 

I wonder if my Trojanoids are lead-antimony or lead-calcium... or something else.

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21 minutes ago, Dr Bob said:

3 of my cheapo's (so I assume lead calcium) are 2 years old and 3 are 18 months old. In April they still had 95% of full capacity and I am guessing they have not deteriorated much since then ........as I cant see a rested  or near rested voltage during the summer as cant be bothered to get up before the sun does......  I very rarely see more than 14.4V charging from the alternator or the battery charger so they never get up to that 14.8v, but they do get up to fully charged most days.......today being an exception as we are not budging and it will be pouring down all day and I wont run the engine more than 2 hours...........but as per my previous post, we dont usually go below 80%.

Perhaps your comments are right if the batteries are taken down to 50% etc and it is the more inaccessible sites that are sulphating.

We too decided yesterday after seeing weather forecast that we would be staying put, it's unusual for us at present not to move daily or near as damn it. It's absolutely peeing it down and we've had webasto heating on for an hour ? Soon be winter yippee stove lit ? Lots of H and H boaters going past at present soaking wet bless em.

  • Horror 1

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32 minutes ago, mrsmelly said:

I've been on the ops boat he has a gas stove so would never use an electric kettle straight from the batteries through an inverter! Isn't that a bit like smacking your head on a brick wall and wondering why it hurts?

Not at all. What is the point of having all that stored energy if you are afraid to use it? We typically run the electric kettle when cruising (Travelpower) but may use it when we stop for lunch ie from the batteries, but then we go cruising for several more hours to recharge (although the batteries will be recharged within about 30 mins). Boiling an electric kettle filled with hot water from the calorifier takes less than 5% capacity.

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2 hours ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

Probably right, but my perception is that modern el cheapos sulphate a lot more easily and quickly than those car batteries we were using 40 years ago. 

 

My perception is exactly the opposite. 40 years ago I was forever suffering cold start problems with cars and having to recharge them frequently.

 

These days I never have to use an external charger. However I think this is more to do with the better alternators today (particularly higher charging voltages), rather than the batteries of today being better than those of 40 years ago.

Edited by cuthound
To remove a duplicate post.

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7 minutes ago, cuthound said:

 

My perception is exactly the opposite. 40 years ago I was forever suffering cold start problems with cars and having to recharge them frequently.

 

These days I never have to use an external charger. However I think this is more to do with the better alternators today (particularly higher charging voltages), rather than the batteries of today being better than those of 40 years ago.

Its Defoe the charging that's better not the batteries. We were still using dynamos back then on some cars and the alternators in the main were quite puny.

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19 minutes ago, cuthound said:

 

My perception is exactly the opposite. 40 years ago I was forever suffering cold start problems with cars and having to recharge them frequently.

 

These days I never have to use an external charger. However I think this is more to do with the better alternators today (particularly higher charging voltages), rather than the batteries of today being better than those of 40 years ago.

... and also cars start better, with their electronic ignition, HT coils located in the cylinder head/no HT leads, fuel injection computer controlled mixture etc. No more guessing how much choke to use, whether to press the throttle or not.

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2 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

... and also cars start better, with their electronic ignition, HT coils located in the cylinder head/no HT leads, fuel injection computer controlled mixture etc. No more guessing how much choke to use, whether to press the throttle or not.

 

Indeed, and they were designed to be worked on, unlike more modern cars.

 

Of course my view is not at all coloured by just having replaced the leaky coolant header tank on youngest sons Ford Fiesta, which first necessities dropping the front bumper in order to be able to remove the headlight, so that you could finally undo the hose and remove the coolant header tank. ?

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8 minutes ago, cuthound said:

 

Indeed, and they were designed to be worked on, unlike more modern cars.

 

Of course my view is not at all coloured by just having replaced the leaky coolant header tank on youngest sons Ford Fiesta, which first necessities dropping the front bumper in order to be able to remove the headlight, so that you could finally undo the hose and remove the coolant header tank. ?

Yes but on the other hand, modern cars don’t require anything like as much maintenance as they used to. Just charge oil and filters every 10-15k miles. Maybe something else like spark plugs, fuel filters at 60,000 miles or whatever. 

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3 minutes ago, nicknorman said:

Yes but on the other hand, modern cars don’t require anything like as much maintenance as they used to. Just charge oil and filters every 10-15k miles. Maybe something else like spark plugs, fuel filters at 60,000 miles or whatever. 

 

True, but I think it is wrong to have to drop a bumper and remove a headlight just to change a bulb, which is not uncommon on cars these days.

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If you had a starting handle you could get away with a dodgy battery for quite some time. You could even put the car in gear and wind it along with the starting handle, a good get you home wheeze if you'd broken down or run out of petrol. In the film ''Ice cold in Alex'' John Mills and Co wound a Red Cross ambulance up to the top of a sand dune with the starting handle, someone let go of it and it rolled back down, so they had to start all over again, they got it to the top though.   Three service men, an English man, a Sotsman and an Irish man were stranded in the desert during ww2, dying of thirst. They came accross an old abandoned army truck. Ah!! this will quench our thirst they said. The englishman took the radiator which was full of water. The Scotsman took the bonnet to shield him from the blazing sun and the Irishman took a door off because he said,''if I get too hot I can always wind the window down''.

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11 hours ago, mrsmelly said:

Are you going to chop those trees down at your mooring old sport before you fit the solar? ?

If only! Hopefully, we can move up to a more sunny spot soon. If you are back down our way soon, come and explain this battery stuff to me as its gone straight over my head ;)

11 hours ago, Mike the Boilerman said:

 

And another point, I wouldn't bother getting solar until next spring now, rather than shelling out for it next month. God turns the solar electricity OFF in the winter months so yours will just sit there doing nothing.

 

People say it just drops off a bit in winter but no this is not in my experience. My 560W of solar is brilliant in summer but delivers negligible charge in the four shortest months of the year. 

I took advice last year like this and spent the money before spring. This way, I know its bought and installed and ready for spring! 

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