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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems
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  #1  
Old 07-30-2013
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understand 12v electrical

I am trying to setup our 1986 Catalina 30 TRBS with a good electrical system. But the more technology I throw at it the more I seem to get confused.

The first ting I did was get a clipper br-1 battery monitor. The then got 2 6volt 232 amp hour batteries. I spend 99% of my time on a mooring so solar is how I decided to keep them charged.

The first thing I noticed was my batteries were not getting above 85% charge or that is what the battery monitor told me. I have 2 30 watt solar panels conceited to a cheap charge regulator. After doing sum research I determined my charge regulator was a shunting one and the y take forever to charge to 100% if they ever do. So I now have a mppt charge controller on the way. A bit overkill for 60w panels but I may add more in the future.


Now here is where my question starts. I put my boat on the dock to charge it from shore power to se if I can get close to 100%. I changed the battery with Noco Genius g7200 smart battery charger that is rated for 230 amp hours.

When I went the next morning I reset by battery monitor and put a 5 amp load on the system. The battery monitor quickly went to 100% the dropped 1% every ten seconds until it steady off at 85% and 12.7 ish volts. So I charge the battery's again. When I get back same thing 100% on my battery monitor charger isn't charging any more. 5 amp load and it drops to 85%.


So my question is why cant I get my batteries closer to 100% or is my battery monitor or charger the problem. Could my 6 volts that are new not be holding a charge? Do I have a charger that just isn't very good and cant get it to 100%?
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Old 07-30-2013
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Re: understand 12v electrical

Trojan Battery User's Guide: http://www.trojanbattery.com/pdf/trj...usersguide.pdf

What type of batteries? If wet cell did you do a specific gravity test?
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Old 07-30-2013
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Re: understand 12v electrical

Quote:
Originally Posted by kentobin View Post
Trojan Battery User's Guide: http://www.trojanbattery.com/pdf/trj...usersguide.pdf

What type of batteries? If wet cell did you do a specific gravity test?
I will have to check the brand but they were 2 6 volt from a local rv dealer. Going to do the Specific Gravity test tomorrow. I am wondering if it is my battery monitor as 12.7 volts is full isn't it?
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Old 08-04-2013
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Re: understand 12v electrical

sounds like you're doing the right stuff. If you're a sub sailor recall battery gravitates tell the story. Voltage is only an indicator. You can pull the batteries and have them checked out at a battery shop. Could be the voltage regulator on your solar panels. The mfgr ought to have the info you need on line.
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Old 08-04-2013
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Re: understand 12v electrical

I have the same battery monitor and it does the same thing on my installation.

I am "playing with" the settings (look in the little green manual that came with the system) to make sure I have them set right. I'll let you know if I have a breakthrough and please let me know if you have one.

I have 2-6V EGC2s in series as a house bank and a thirty watt solar panel hooked through a cheap shunt controller and it's more than enough to keep the system fully charged - it's always charged when I get to the boat - but after a half hour or so of running a couple of Caframo fans and charging my iphone through a small inverter the voltage is down to 12.7 from the 12.9V it was at my arrival on the boat and the capacity bar graph indicates 85 percent. The load on the bank is about 1.5 to 2.5A discharge depending on the solar panel output so I've only used about 1 A-H max out of the 100 that I have told the system that comprises 100 percent (50 percent discharged) of available by the time it indicates 85%.

I'm thinking that the Clipper BM-1 is perhaps too cheap/simple a system to give accurate indications.

I am going to load up the system at maximum discharge rate (everything on except A/P and transmitting on the VHF radio) and plotting a test discharge - voltage and current vs time (and taking sp. gr. periodically) as well as BM-1 voltage and discharge rate and capacity vs time and compare them.

Going to take a while since - using LEDs - I have got my total hotel load (excluding A/P and VHF-transmit) down to less than 10A with EVERYTHING on including nav and anchor and spreader and all cabin lights/Furuno GPS/sounder/fans/computer inverter so it's going to take 10-12 hours to do the discharge. Stereo/radio/weather instruments/backup electronics are all portable and dry cell powered.

I'll post the results later in the week.
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Old 08-05-2013
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Re: understand 12v electrical

I'd suspect the monitor and it's set up. I'm assuming you set the capacity to 232ah.
After the initial install did you allow it to 'sit' and learn your batteries without a charge as the manual undoubtedly says you should?

When it was showing a state of charge of 85 % what was it showing as AH remaining?

You may need to just unplug it and start from scratch, but be assured your 60w of panels and a mppt will and should bring it up to full charge and keep it there if the boat is used as a weekend cruiser and you don't moor the boat with under 60%.
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Old 08-05-2013
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Re: understand 12v electrical

Quote:
Originally Posted by chucklesR View Post
I'd suspect the monitor and it's set up. I'm assuming you set the capacity to 232ah.
After the initial install did you allow it to 'sit' and learn your batteries without a charge as the manual undoubtedly says you should?

When it was showing a state of charge of 85 % what was it showing as AH remaining?

You may need to just unplug it and start from scratch, but be assured your 60w of panels and a mppt will and should bring it up to full charge and keep it there if the boat is used as a weekend cruiser and you don't moor the boat with under 60%.
One thing I didn't find was how to reset it. So you may be corect as when it was first bulged in the batteries were new and not fulley charged. I don't recall how long untill I started charging. My mppt charger arrived and has been running for 5 or so days. I will unplug the bm-1 and recaliberate that way.
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Re: understand 12v electrical

Quote:
Originally Posted by fryewe View Post
I have the same battery monitor and it does the same thing on my installation.

I am "playing with" the settings (look in the little green manual that came with the system) to make sure I have them set right. I'll let you know if I have a breakthrough and please let me know if you have one.

I have 2-6V EGC2s in series as a house bank and a thirty watt solar panel hooked through a cheap shunt controller and it's more than enough to keep the system fully charged - it's always charged when I get to the boat - but after a half hour or so of running a couple of Caframo fans and charging my iphone through a small inverter the voltage is down to 12.7 from the 12.9V it was at my arrival on the boat and the capacity bar graph indicates 85 percent. The load on the bank is about 1.5 to 2.5A discharge depending on the solar panel output so I've only used about 1 A-H max out of the 100 that I have told the system that comprises 100 percent (50 percent discharged) of available by the time it indicates 85%.

I'm thinking that the Clipper BM-1 is perhaps too cheap/simple a system to give accurate indications.

I am going to load up the system at maximum discharge rate (everything on except A/P and transmitting on the VHF radio) and plotting a test discharge - voltage and current vs time (and taking sp. gr. periodically) as well as BM-1 voltage and discharge rate and capacity vs time and compare them.

Going to take a while since - using LEDs - I have got my total hotel load (excluding A/P and VHF-transmit) down to less than 10A with EVERYTHING on including nav and anchor and spreader and all cabin lights/Furuno GPS/sounder/fans/computer inverter so it's going to take 10-12 hours to do the discharge. Stereo/radio/weather instruments/backup electronics are all portable and dry cell powered.

I'll post the results later in the week.
Our setups sound very similar. Good to know I am not alone on this problem. I will report back with the results of my power down of my bm-1.
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Old 08-05-2013
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Re: understand 12v electrical

Odds are it is just an issue with setting up the batteyr monitor, but you might also want to look for the manufacutring date on the batteries. If there is no date code embossed or stamped someplace (usually on a side, near the top. sometimes on the top, and often intentionally hidden under the edge of a label) to see how long the batteries were sitting at the dealer. If they were more than 90 days old, it is also possible they lost some capacity due to sulphating while sitting around. One never knows without taking a look.
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Old 08-06-2013
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Re: understand 12v electrical

Many battery monitors only work after the first SIX cycles. RTFM, please.
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