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Go Back   SailNet Community > Boat Builders Row > Pacific Seacraft > Stow location for batteries on PSC 34
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Thread: Stow location for batteries on PSC 34 Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
06-26-2014 01:46 AM
MarcHall
Re: Stow location for batteries on PSC 34

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMLipiec View Post
Keith,
I did a lot of research on this subject prior to installing our new bank. One thing to think about is how the batteries will be used. John has a good write up on AGMs and full time cruising on his website Attainable Adventure Cruising (I think you need to be a member now to see his ebook). AGMs need to regularly be fully charged which is almost impossible while living aboard at anchor. He warns, after finding out the hard way, that it will "ruin your batteries in a distressingly short time". His ebook is really informative if you are looking to go that way and may literally save you thousands of dollars by learning from his experience.

If you can regularly plug the charger into dock power then it shouldn't be a problem. In that case, AGMs are great and maintenance free. We didn't do anything with our batteries for the last 5 years and never had a problem.

But since we are going cruising, we decided to go with wet cells and chose Trojan T-105s, which have a good reputation and cost half as much as AGMs. That choice limited our placement to the cockpit locker because I couldn't find any other suitable spot for them. Plus, wet cells need regular checks/watering thus easily accessible.
A post from awhile back but we were redirected to this thread from a newer one.
I replace AGMs on Crazy Fish a long time ago with 4 T-105s basically because of the cost and the lifecycles.

The one thing I disagree with in this post is the inability to fully charge the batteries when cruising. With 1 55W and 2 75W solar panels, incandescent light loads, nightly run of incandescent anchor light, daily stereo use, daily SSB use and 12V AB refrigeration I had no issue with fully charging the batteries on most every day although travels were limited between Southern California and southern Mexico.

With all lights replaced with LEDs and with no usage of the SSB, batteries are usually fully charged by noon to 2 PM in Southern California. I normally leave the boat off the grid when at the slip nowadays.

Regards
Marc
Crazy Fish - Maintaining, Upgrading and Sailing a Crealock 37
08-16-2013 04:50 PM
DaveMancini
Re: Stow location for batteries on PSC 34

Brian,

My first cruising boat did not have an electrical wire on it. I was in bliss.

Dave
08-16-2013 04:19 PM
BMLipiec
Re: Stow location for batteries on PSC 34

Dave,
Scary stuff. Thinking of electrical fires and explosions have kept me up at night. Maybe that's why I've oversized all of my electrical wiring and sometimes redundantly fused components. Probably overkill, but at least I sleep better.

RD,
I've been stewing over the ventilation thing as well, especially since I just weatherstripped the locker lid to keep out water. I initially thought of doing exactly as you suggested with a computer fan through the coaming box, but nothing elegant yet has come to mind. That still may be the best answer though.
08-16-2013 03:42 PM
DaveMancini
Re: Stow location for batteries on PSC 34

Also, I predict you will be a much happier man with that water heater and all of its associated stuff out of there.
08-16-2013 03:41 PM
DaveMancini
Re: Stow location for batteries on PSC 34

Okay, I see. We've got AGM's so I wasn't thinking about hydrogen. Good point. I'm thinking any gas would probably still get out through the hatch cover (H2 is really thin) and the gap at the bulkhead which is at the highest point in the locker. But your idea would certainly clinch it.

Dave
08-16-2013 03:31 PM
RainDog
Re: Stow location for batteries on PSC 34

I was thinking as much of gas venting as cooling. All the original equipment in that locker (battery charger, hw heater, surge tank) are badly rusted. It is clear battery gasses are accumulating. I am not really that worried about an explosion, but the rust is kind of annoying. I am ripping all that out and putting the charger elsewhere, but I will still have metal objects in that locker.
08-16-2013 03:27 PM
DaveMancini
Re: Stow location for batteries on PSC 34

We have been okay so far with the fridge and sea water cooling the battery box from the inside and the two holes in the half lids venting the box. That's five years in the tropics including the 100º+ temps where we are at now.

Since heat rises, the hottest air in the port locker is going to layer at the top. Some can escape through the 1/2 gap between the locker's forward bulkhead and the deck into the galley sliding door locker and out. If the port locker hatch and surrounding areas are covered with a bimini or other cover, that helps. Heat from inside the locker can also better radiate off those surfaces. We also cover the space between our cockpit cover and the caprail on the sunny side of the boat. Then, we hang a cover from the caprail to about one foot off the water where the sun hits the hull covering the locker. Looks like hell.

We have never hung these last two covers until now, but we have never been in this kind of sustained heat before. As I said in a previous post, the inside of the battery box is typically staying below 80º with all of these things in play. And, we do have a temp sensor on our solar regulator and AC charger.

Having said all of this (whew!), I still think your idea, RD, is a good one, maybe even brilliant. If it accomplished the same or better cooling than the covers we've been hanging (pia), at least the boat would look better.

Dave
08-16-2013 01:20 PM
RainDog
Re: Stow location for batteries on PSC 34

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveMancini View Post
It certainly demonstrates the importance of having a temp sensor and good ventilation.
Of course we have no ventilation. Has anyone added ventilation to the port locker? If so how? I cannot imagine venting to the interior, but I also hate to create a new leak source. I have thought about a hole with a computer fan in the coaming box with a threaded opening I could screw a plate over if I was worried about it.
08-16-2013 01:01 PM
DaveMancini
Re: Stow location for batteries on PSC 34

Brian,

Just got an email from my friend with details on the battery blow up. The batteries (wet cells) were stored in a poorly ventilated area. They were drawn down very deeply each night and charged back up again during the day by a solar array. They were a few years old. The casing on the battery that blew ruptured violently. There was no temperature sensor on the charge regulator.

I am no expert, but on the surface, it sounds like a thermal runaway to me, not an external hydrogen explosion. It certainly demonstrates the importance of having a temp sensor and good ventilation.

Dave
08-15-2013 01:40 AM
DaveMancini
Re: Stow location for batteries on PSC 34

Hi Brian,

At this point, the cause is not completely clear. My friend is in Canada at the moment and the boat, which was a recent purchase, is on the hard in Mexico, but 200 miles from my location. I've only had short email exchanges with him but I know he's trying to pin down the cause. The boat was in the water and cruising when it happened.

I am not saying his battery blew up due to thermal runaway at this point, only that it is not pretty when a battery does pop. Fortunately, in this case no one was hurt. I'll try to let you know when I find out.

Dave
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