Battery Equalization - SailNet Community

   Search Sailnet:

 forums  store  


Quick Menu
Forums           
Articles          
Galleries        
Boat Reviews  
Classifieds     
Search SailNet 
Boat Search (new)

Shop the
SailNet Store
Anchor Locker
Boatbuilding & Repair
Charts
Clothing
Electrical
Electronics
Engine
Hatches and Portlights
Interior And Galley
Maintenance
Marine Electronics
Navigation
Other Items
Plumbing and Pumps
Rigging
Safety
Sailing Hardware
Trailer & Watersports
Clearance Items

Advertise Here






Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
 Not a Member? 
  #1  
Old 12-30-2008
doubleeboy's Avatar
Senior Moment
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Seattle, WA -Eugene OR
Posts: 598
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 7
doubleeboy is on a distinguished road
Battery Equalization

Hello All,

In a similar battery thread btrayfors responded:

Q: What can I do to reduce sulfation to a minimum?
A: Keep your batteries fully charged whenever possible, exercise them occasionally, and equalize them every few months.


Seems all good, except I wonder how do you equalize your batteries?

Thank you
michael
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #2  
Old 12-30-2008
erps's Avatar
the pointy end is the bow
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: La Conner, Washington
Posts: 6,153
Thanks: 2
Thanked 26 Times in 26 Posts
Rep Power: 10
erps will become famous soon enough erps will become famous soon enough
Some of the new battery chargers, especially for boats, have an equalization setting and it does it automatically.
__________________
Ray
S.V. Nikko
1983 Fraser 41
La Conner, WA


To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.


Boating for over 25 years, some of them successfully.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #3  
Old 12-30-2008
jbondy's Avatar
Senior Mumble
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 320
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 14
jbondy is on a distinguished road
What is equalization? Does it have something to do with having multiple batteries in a bank or multiple banks? We probably all have both, with unequal banks.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #4  
Old 12-30-2008
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 1,809
Thanks: 0
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Rep Power: 10
btrayfors will become famous soon enough btrayfors will become famous soon enough
The term, "equalization", when applied to storage batteries refers to a process whereby you intentially provoke an "over-voltage" charging condition for a fixed period of time. This tends to produce bubbling sufficient to stir up the electrolyte. It helps also to knock loose PbSO4 crystals off the plates, thereby increasing battery capacity previously lost. And, of course, it tends to "equalize" the specific gravity of each individual cell in the battery or battery bank. Hence, it's name.

For a 12V system, an equalization charge is about 15.5-16.0 volts for several hours. Consult your battery manufacturer for specifics. Trojan batteries have a white paper available which provides good information.

Some AGMs can be equalized, too. See the manufacturer's recommendations.

Gelled batteries are not normally equalized, since they are quite voltage sensitive, and high voltage can damage them permanently.

As the previous post said, some modern battery chargers have an equalization cycle, either manual or automatic. Also, some smart regulators, like the Balmar MC-612, have an equalization setting (manual) so you can equalize your batteries using the engine's alternator.

Batteries should be inspected carefully before equalizing to be sure their electrolyte levels are sufficient. If you have HydroCaps, these need to be removed before equalizing. WaterMiser caps can be left in place.

Sensitive electronic equipment should be turned off during the equalization phase, since voltages can be considerably higher than they were designed for.
Bill

Last edited by btrayfors; 12-30-2008 at 11:13 AM.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #5  
Old 12-30-2008
MC1 MC1 is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Lake Ontario
Posts: 277
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 7
MC1 is on a distinguished road
Bill's recommendation to see the battery manufacturer's recommendation regarding equalization is really important. Many AGM batteries also should not be equalized.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #6  
Old 12-30-2008
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 4
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 0
lcohan is on a distinguished road
My 6v golf cart batteries should not be equalized, according to the directions.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #7  
Old 12-30-2008
camaraderie's Avatar
moderate?
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: East Coast
Posts: 13,877
Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Rep Power: 15
camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough
Icohan ...welcome...are the batteries sealed? If so...they are probably AGM type 6V batteries and most AGM's are not to be equalized.
__________________
No longer posting. Reach me by PM!
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #8  
Old 12-31-2008
jbondy's Avatar
Senior Mumble
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 320
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Rep Power: 14
jbondy is on a distinguished road
The True Charge 20+ manual says that it can do equalization and apparently this should be done every couple of months with moderately used flooded batteries. The fun part seems to be that it is a manual process. The cycle should be stopped when "the specific gravity in each sell reaches 1.265 and remains constant at that level". Running the cycle too long can do permanent damage to the batteries. It doesn't say whether each battery should be done separately or if I can do my 3-battery (wired in parallel) house bank can be done as a unit.

I like maintenance as much as the next guy (well, maybe not so much), and maybe if I was a live-aboard I would do this as part of a routine, but as a mostly weekend sailor with maybe two one-week trips per season, this is not going to happen. I don't see myself hanging upside down in my locker checking the specific gravity of 18 cells (24 if I do the starter battery) repeatedly until they remain constant for some unspecified period of time. AGMs here I come.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #9  
Old 12-31-2008
camaraderie's Avatar
moderate?
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: East Coast
Posts: 13,877
Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Rep Power: 15
camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough camaraderie is a jewel in the rough
Joel...you can do the whole bank at once. Just fully charge the batteries first, then EQ them for 6-8 hours with the caps off. You don't have to be overly anal about it contrary to the instructions. Make sure you allow for some ventilation while the process is going on.
__________________
No longer posting. Reach me by PM!
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
  #10  
Old 12-31-2008
sailingdog's Avatar
Telstar 28
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 43,291
Thanks: 0
Thanked 10 Times in 10 Posts
Rep Power: 13
sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
Don't forget to check the water levels before and after equalization.
__________________
Sailingdog

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Telstar 28
New England

You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

If you're new to the Sailnet Forums... please read this
To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.
.

Still—DON'T READ THAT POST AGAIN.
Reply With Quote Share with Facebook
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools

 
Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Installing a Automatic Battery Selector Switch artbyjody Gear & Maintenance 24 07-08-2008 07:07 PM
Battery Bank Design Kevin Jeffrey Gear and Maintenance Articles 0 05-12-2003 08:00 PM
Battery Bank Design Kevin Jeffrey Cruising Articles 0 05-12-2003 08:00 PM
Installing a New Battery Bank Sue & Larry Gear and Maintenance Articles 0 09-26-2002 08:00 PM
Boat Battery Power East Penn Manufr. Gear and Maintenance Articles 0 01-18-1999 07:00 PM


All times are GMT -4. The time now is 06:47 AM.

Add to My Yahoo!         
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1
(c) Marine.com LLC 2000-2012

The SailNet.com store is owned and operated by a company independent of the SailNet.com forum. You are now leaving the SailNet forum. Click OK to continue or Cancel to return to the SailNet forum.