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post #71 of 271 Old 01-08-2019
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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

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Originally Posted by mbianka View Post
Wonder if this applies to the most positive battery in a 48 volt series string too. I replaced my 4 AGM's two years ago after eight years of excellent service powering my EP system. Actually only one of the batteries needed to be replaced but, I decided because of their years of service I did not want to mix the ages. So I bought 4 new ones for the system. Two of the new batteries arrived physical damaged on the pallet so they sent two new ones. Last year one of the batteries was not holding up as well as the other three. I'm suspecting it was damaged internally in the same shipment. In hindsight I should have rejected the whole shipment.) Though it was the most positive in the string too. I'll do some load testing in the spring just to make sure it's not my monitoring connections. Since my first battery bank held up eight years. The new battery packing it in after just two is certainly an anomaly.
You guys are scaring me.

The current through all batteries in series is identical.

The only possible way to wire a series bank is with the positive lead on the most positive end and the negative lead on the most negative end.
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post #72 of 271 Old 01-08-2019
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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

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Originally Posted by boatsurgeon View Post
You guys are scaring me.

The current through all batteries in series is identical.

The only possible way to wire a series bank is with the positive lead on the most positive end and the negative lead on the most negative end.
Of course that's the way it is wired. My issue was with battery that was connected to the positive lead I'm able to monitor the voltage of each individual battery in the string at the helm. The one most positive in the string which is connected to the positive lead to the controller. It started dropping fast as I drew more current while the other three batteries showed pretty much the same voltage. The most positive battery quickly dropped to 12+ down to 11.8 and beyond. I had to start the generator and electro sail because of it instead of operating on battery alone. I think it might have some internal damage that shows up when higher amps are drawn from the battery bank.

Mike
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post #73 of 271 Old 01-08-2019
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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

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Originally Posted by boatsurgeon View Post
Ummm, a 30 A shore power connection cable should be 10/3 (normally).

Kluge shore power system is a big no no; boat could end up going to the bottom, or worse, electrocuting someone.

And as soon as you modify the shore power system it is supposed to be brought up to current ABYC standards, which is very specific, and will include a double pole 30 A breaker with ELCI and reverse polarity detection, and then branch breakers to suit each independent circuit.
And a GFCI on any branch circuit installed in a head, galley, machinery space, or on a weather deck. (In other words, pretty much all of them on a 29 foot boat) I'm putting an isolation transformer in my boat after the shore power ELCI (and another ELCI after the iso.. and then there's the inverter..) as well, since my gal really likes floating at our freshwater dock in spite of my strong recommendations against it. I can't protect her from the other boats, but I can at least put my points in the black box box... black box theory here John Vigor's Blog: The Black Box Theory

Quote:

If I were you, I would study (not just read) and ensure you fully understand ABYC E10 and E11 standards BEFORE you start the design stage.

Even at that, my usual recommendation is that reading some books or watching some videos, does not make one a qualified marine electrician.

Do yourself a really big favour, and no matter how much you think you understand the requirements, have a fully qualified "sparky" review your design drawings, material list, and final installation.

Even if it costs you a bit up front, I'll bet it actually saves you more in the long run, and will be inherently safer.
I'll be honest, I think most sparky's are overpaid. However -- qualified marine sparkies -- i have a lot of respect for. They have to know their sh*t.

Last edited by texlan; 01-08-2019 at 07:24 AM.
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post #74 of 271 Old 01-08-2019
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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

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Originally Posted by mbianka View Post
Of course that's the way it is wired. My issue was with battery that was connected to the positive lead I'm able to monitor the voltage of each individual battery in the string at the helm. The one most positive in the string which is connected to the positive lead to the controller. It started dropping fast as I drew more current while the other three batteries showed pretty much the same voltage. The most positive battery quickly dropped to 12+ down to 11.8 and beyond. I had to start the generator and electro sail because of it instead of operating on battery alone. I think it might have some internal damage that shows up when higher amps are drawn from the battery bank.
I'm traveling on business so not a lot of time to post, but a quick note Mike -- The reason why parallel wired batteries can suffer charge/draw asymmetries is because each battery is connected to the loads by a different length of wire. Due to that, the voltage drop/resistance of the lengths of wire connecting them are different. The shortest-wired-battery is effectively on the least-resistance-path and gets the most charge (and discharge) current.

When wired in series, current through each battery is identical and has no other path, right up to and including when a weak/damaged battery becomes completely discharged and the other batteries in the string drive it into negative voltage (this is one way to set Lithium Ion chemestry batteries on fire (does not apply to LiFePO4, but you still perm damage LiFePO4 cells in this situation))

I think your particular circumstance was due to manufacturing defect or shipping damage to the bad battery.

Sean
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Last edited by texlan; 01-08-2019 at 11:44 PM.
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post #75 of 271 Old 01-08-2019
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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

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Originally Posted by texlan View Post
100.24.90.65

When wired in series, current through each battery is identical and has no other path, right up to and including when a weak/damaged battery becomes completely discharged and the other batteries in the string drive it into negative voltage (this is one way to set Lithium Ion chemestry batteries on fire (does not apply to LiFePO4, but you still perm damage LiFePO4 cells in this situation))

I think your particular circumstance was due to manufacturing defect or shipping damage to the bad battery.

Sean
Yeah I think so too. Which is why I'm glad I have meters on each battery in the string as well the overall voltage. It was a yikes moment when I noticed the battery all of a sudden reading 9.5 volts. Thanks for the info on current behavior in the string too. I'm still sticking with AGM's since they meet my needs electrically and financially. But if Lithium costs come down I'd switch but, I said the same thing ten years ago when I first installed the EP system.

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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

Update, 1/8/19.

Dekluged the boat (somewhat). Shorepower now goes through the old 30A breaker to a GFCI outlet, into which the charger is plugged. Charger clamps are on the big connectors, mains to the DC panel are on the others, secured with butterfly nuts. Not an ideal solution, but it will do for now, and the boat probably won't sink or catch on fire. Oh, and the 120V panel is completely disconnected, and will remain so until I figure out how I'm going to integrate it into the new setup.

I went to the local marine technical contractor today. I'm going to rent their most knowledgeable certified ABYC specialist to sit with me in my boat and go over potential issues. He's apparently done a couple of electric boat installs and a few lithium house battery upgrades. I'm looking forward to getting his advice while specifically looking at my boat. I think it will be money well spent. I can always call on them again if I hit a snag I can't overcome.
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post #77 of 271 Old 01-09-2019
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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

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Originally Posted by Captain Canuck View Post
Update, 1/8/19.

Dekluged the boat (somewhat). Shorepower now goes through the old 30A breaker to a GFCI outlet, into which the charger is plugged. Charger clamps are on the big connectors, mains to the DC panel are on the others, secured with butterfly nuts. Not an ideal solution, but it will do for now, and the boat probably won't sink or catch on fire. Oh, and the 120V panel is completely disconnected, and will remain so until I figure out how I'm going to integrate it into the new setup.

I went to the local marine technical contractor today. I'm going to rent their most knowledgeable certified ABYC specialist to sit with me in my boat and go over potential issues. He's apparently done a couple of electric boat installs and a few lithium house battery upgrades. I'm looking forward to getting his advice while specifically looking at my boat. I think it will be money well spent. I can always call on them again if I hit a snag I can't overcome.
Excellent move.

While I personally have no skin in the game, I find in many cases, DIYers over-estimate their capabilities.

The following is a bit of a public service announcement. It cost me time and effort and lost business opportunity to write and I likely stand to gain nothing other than the knowledge I may have helped someone.

Having a pro (someone properly educated, trained, and experienced) consult and/or inspect this type of work, generally saves money rather than costs.

It can also save your life. (This is not fear mongering; there is a natural cause and effect to everything we do or don't do.)

Here is some additional advice that I hope can help you and others:

1. An automotive type charger, even if the brand name sounds nautical, with spring clamps, is not ABYC compliant for use on a boat (but OK on land in a an adequately ventilated area).

This type of charger is not usually IP (ignition proof) rated, and can cause sparks, igniting the hydrogen gas (or other flammable combustible) present above the battery.

2. Wing nuts are not compliant on battery cables 6 gauge or less. It is very difficult to make these tight enough without tools, but because of their design, most people just finger tighten. This can lead to a loose, high impedance connection, that can cause sparks or extreme heat, especially when high current loads are present (hence the wire gauge limitation).

3. Ensure any service provider you hire is duly qualified IN THAT FIELD.

Few "mechanics" are truly "certified" by any recognized association or manufacturer.

Many "certified mechanics" (who are truly certified), could not wire a boat compliant to ABYC standards if their lives depended on it.

Not because they are not smart enough or capable, they are just not educated, trained, and sufficiently experienced in this field, as their continuing education is related to mechanical not electrical work.

Ask to see their "certification". If they really are, they should have a cert in their wallet, and will be happy to show it because they have heavily invested in it. If they don't, they will likely try to come up with some excuse.

My policy - no training cert, no boarding my boat.

4. Ensure any service provider you hire is insured FOR THAT TYPE OF WORK.

Ask to see their commercial liability cert.

They have paid handsomely for this piece of paper, and will gladly present it to separate themselves from boat bums who claim to be "professional".

If an insured contractor's actions burn down your boat, others around you, and the marina, the repairs will come out of their insurance, and their premiums will skyrocket, likely putting them out of business if they try to continue to carry insurance.

Hint - having insurance, is a good indication a service provider has not had a previous claim, and knowing the cost to livelihood if they ever do, provides extra incentive to do it right, every time.

My policy - no relevant manufacturers or association cert., no boarding my boat.

In closing, some people are surprised that they have to perform their own due diligence to ensure the people they hire to work on their boat are duly qualified.

Interestingly, some of those same people go to great lengths in time and expense to screen the people hired for positions in their company.

Go figure.

Unlike your house, you can't step off your boat, dial 911, and have emergency services there in 90 seconds.

Do everything you can to make sure the people working on your boat (including yourself) do not cause you to have to call a Mayday (and to ensure the radio works when you need it to.)

Hope this helps.

Last edited by boatsurgeon; 01-09-2019 at 04:39 PM.
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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

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Originally Posted by mbianka View Post
Of course that's the way it is wired. My issue was with battery that was connected to the positive lead I'm able to monitor the voltage of each individual battery in the string at the helm. The one most positive in the string which is connected to the positive lead to the controller. It started dropping fast as I drew more current while the other three batteries showed pretty much the same voltage. The most positive battery quickly dropped to 12+ down to 11.8 and beyond. I had to start the generator and electro sail because of it instead of operating on battery alone. I think it might have some internal damage that shows up when higher amps are drawn from the battery bank.
I apologise if you found my response offensive. It was not intended to be so.

Based on your prior post, it sounded like you were questioning if the first battery in a series string could suffer the same "over-worked" condition as an improperly wired first battery in a parallel string.
My answer was in response to that.

Anyone understanding basic electrical principles should know that it does not.

Whether a temporary lapse or lack of understanding in general, it frightens me when I see posts offering electrical advice or recommendations.
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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

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Here's a great article that explains not only how, but why you wire parallel batteries a certain way.

SmartGauge Electronics - Interconnecting multiple batteries to form one larger bank
FYI, no doubt the wiring recommendations in this article are best practice.

It is relatively rare to see the common power post method (illustration # 3).

I don't recommend illustration # 4, as it needlessly places more terminals per post (risk of poor connection), and in practice is likely to result in a spaghetti breakfast of wiring.

Interestingly, some marine batteries are supplied with very short battery terminals, that in practice, will not support illustration # 4.

While the article touches on it, the consequences of wiring illustration # 1, are not as dire as indicated.

Illustration # 2 is definitely better practice, but if wired as indicated in illustration # 1, in time the internal resistance of each battery will increase, proportionally with it's proximity to the load connection, so that eventually the load per battery pretty much equalizes.

So in other words, the capacity of the nearest battery is relatively reduced, while the capacity of the furthest battery is relatively saved.

As a system, the resultant change in life expectancy will likely only be marginal if measurable at all.

This doesn't change that illustration # 2 is better practice and should be done this way if practicable.

When I encounter wiring per illustration # 1, I advise the owner that the wiring is suboptimal, but rarely will they pay to have it re-wired (if cables will not support illustration # 2 as is), unless planning a complete rewire for other reasons.

The worst I have had is a power boat I was called to because the electrical system was amuck. The series/parallel batteries were wired by the PO in a bowl of spaghetti fashion, which resulted in the new owner reconnecting batteries incorrectly in the spring, which had trashed the reverse connected battery before I arrived on scene.

After I diagnosed and corrected the specific wiring error (I had to draw myself a diagram to review the "as found" wiring and confirm the "as left" wiring), I quoted a reasonable fee (by local industry standards) to replace the batteries, correct the battery sequence and wiring routing, label it, and provide a proper wiring diagram for future reference and to help avoid recurrence.

Owner declined.

I had to leave knowing the boat, the owner, and his family were at risk of having a dead bank shortly after disconnecting charging sources, but there was absolutely nothing I could do about it.

(Addendum - I did offer the option of isolating the series pair that included the reverse polarity damaged battery, basically no charge, but that was declined also.)

Last edited by boatsurgeon; 01-09-2019 at 03:42 PM.
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post #80 of 271 Old 01-09-2019
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Re: Electric Conversion log for Kahleesea

Captain Canuck,
While I'm still reading the last pages of posts, I am wondering why you don't have a diver take your prop off now while you're still waiting for space on the hard?
I'm a working diver, so with my Elec. Conv. I'll just pull my prop soon so I can get to working up the specs for that.
I probably won't be hauling this boat out until late Spring or early Summer this year.
.
My boat is a Hunter 28.5.
The PO removed the diesel and purchased the Thunderstruck 10kW kit but never installed... I'm working on that now.
This boat will be primarily a bay sailer... Humboldt Bay California.
Motoring around here is primarily leaving and returning to one's slip... aside from grounding and trying to back off.. hahaha
.
Great thread here. I'll keep watching and reading... not sure how much I can contribute though... so many of you are way more adept at the technical aspects of this than I am.
.
Heck... I'm still mulling over my motor mount so I can get it installed and lined up properly!
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