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post #15 of Old 07-21-2015
Maine Sail
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Re: Not getting enough charge voltage.

Originally Posted by msogin View Post
Thank you for your response - Which Balmar 614 factory program should I use for the Odyssey batteries or do I need a completely customized program?
You need a custom promgram if you want any sort of longevity and performance out of the system. Every single external regulator I install uses custom programming.

Originally Posted by msogin View Post
The Balmar 614 originally was set to gel cell but we never saw more than 13.9 volts.

GEL is the absolute wrong setting for TPPL AGM batteries...

Originally Posted by msogin View Post
Odyssey recommended in their newer literature using AGM and ideally 14.7 volts.
Odyssey recommends 14.7V as the optimal absorption voltage for the longest cycle life.. If you want to use a factory pre-set, you will not be optimally charging the Odyssey bank unless it is set precisely for Odyssey batteries, which none that I know of are.

Originally Posted by msogin View Post
I changed the Balmar 614 to AGM and that produced 14.3 volts but only after having been on the 120 volt charger.
If this is absorption voltage on Odyssey batteries is is far too low. The difference in lab tested cycle life between Odyssey batteries charged at 14.2V and the same batteries charged at 14.7V is in excess of 300 cycles. This is HUGE!!!! Charging these batteries at the optimal voltage is critical..

Originally Posted by msogin View Post
It does not approach that value during the 20-30 minutes of using the motor after sailing all day.
In 20-30 minutes you SHOULD NOT be getting to absorption voltage with a 100A alternator on a 400Ah bank. If you are getting to absorption voltage in 20-30 minutes your batteries are likely scrap lead / junk..

Again PLEASE read and comprehend what I wrote above. Charge sources do not magically "put out a voltage", as I hear repeated so often, they supply constant current then when the battery voltage has gradually RISEN to the absorption level the regulator holds the voltage steady and current begins to decline.

To get from 50% SOC to absorption voltage (14.7V) using a 100A alternator on a 400Ah bank of Odyssey TPPL AGM's should take in excess of TWO HOURS to attain 14.7V....

Originally Posted by msogin View Post
I could revert to the gel cell program and alter the max charging voltage to 14.7 volts but am not sure that is the proper course of action. Also, I do not think the batteries are damaged - they were properly tested with good metrics in June and during the three years of their life they have mostly been charged by the boats 120 volt charger. I wish we had not agreed to install Odyssey batteries but I'm reluctant to discard them if in fact they are still functional.

Odyssey AGM's are some of the best AGM batteries out there. Your problems are simply a lack of understanding of how battery charging works, perhaps incorrect wiring of the system and incorrect programming of your charge sources.

Unless your batteries underwent a 20 hour capacity test the "metrics" testing is pretty much meaningless in terms of state of health without an as new baseline...

Set your charge sources to the proper float (13.6V) and absorption voltage (14.7V) and absorption time of at least 4 hours but preferably 6-8 hours. All charge sources should be temp compensated...

Check your voltage sensing circuitry and use battery and alternator temp compensation.

-Maine Sail / CS-36T

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Last edited by Maine Sail; 07-21-2015 at 08:41 AM.
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