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post #131 of 281 Old 04-05-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: New Balmar SmartGuage experience

I think weíre on to something here. I ran my batteries down to 12.3 volts, under load. The Smartguage said 50% of capacity.

I set the charger to Absorb for 10 hours and turned it on. It went into Bulk at 82 amps for 5-10 mins, then dropped to Absorb. Hereís the Absorb progression.

Hours - Amps from charger - Smartguage reading

0 - 63a
1 - 36a - 64%
2 - 24a - 74%
3 - 21a - 81%
4 - 21a - 86%
5 - 18a - 91%
6 - 18a - 95%
7 - 18a - 99%

If I assume some minor loads on the system (fridges and lights) this amount of output would seem about right to put ~200 Ahrs back into the bank.

Unfortunately, I canít get it to stop Aborb and force to Float. It wants to finish. I hope the 10 hrs doesnít hurt anything.

Iím hittitng the sack. Weíll see what it says in the morning.


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post #132 of 281 Old 04-06-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: New Balmar SmartGuage experience

I got up randomly in the middle of the night, at hour 11 of charging. The charger was on Float, but it said 0 amps. I interpret that to suggest it was less than 1amp, since the Magnum charger reads in whole digits and, if it were truly zero, it would have read full. When I woke up at hour 16 of charging, the charger was on Full and 0 amps with 13.1 volts. The Smartguage now reads 100%!!

I canít tell exactly when it dropped from the 18 amps of charge in Absorb to just a few amps. Somewhere between hours 7 and 10. I was asleep.

Any reason not to just leave Absorb time at 10 hours? Would it hurt anything?

Looks like I might not need to return the Smartguage to @Maine Sail after all, but was a victim of premature floatulation.


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Re: New Balmar SmartGuage experience

p.s. Iíve ordered the Magnum battery monitor, with a shunt. It plugs directly into the charger and will read on the remote. Perhaps it monitors charge state better and this Absorb time thing isnít relevant. I canít find where it says thatís the case, but itís boating. If something is a problem, throw money at it.


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post #134 of 281 Old 04-06-2018
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Re: New Balmar SmartGuage experience

I've never seen 0 amps on my battery monitor with the battery on float. Isn't your charger reading in total amps supplied? If so wasn't the refrigerator or something running?

Regardless glad you got charged. There probably isn't anything wrong with leaving your charger in absorption for 10 hours, but I don't think I would do so if my system. I would be more inclined to put it in 4 hours and let the batteries be at 99% and then every once in a while, say every couple weeks, run it longer. I have no experience with gel batteries, but think there's a bigger concern with over charging them than open cell FLA. Either way I would made changes slowly so I knew the amps and knew when the change over should be.

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Re: New Balmar SmartGuage experience

Good stuff.

I generally don't trust charge source readouts, but Magnum's got a great rep. Fact they only do whole numbers is odd but perhaps just honest.

I have to believe that BM is a good one, and will at least integrate with the Magnum mains charger to control Absorb-Float transition based on some endAmps, hopefully you can custom set it to 2A.

You should definitely be mindful with GEL to not be overcharging i.e. too long HAT, more than a few hours a few times per week.

The BM will have you covered for shore charging.

If there is an extra relay on the BM, perhaps it can also be triggered by the same setpoint? Then the Victron SC can be left at a **very** long Absorb time setting, but the BM opens the connection between the panels and the SC.

Otherwise once the BM is in place, just keep tweaking the Victron max HAT setting until you see it's hitting 2A endAmps before dropping to Float at least a couple / few cycles per week.

When cycling solar only as above there really isn't that much danger of too much overcharging given that sunset comes daily. But still keep an eye on things, and if the Victron's dynamic algorithm seems too strong when the boat's not in use, definitely dial the HAT back until you getback in cycling mode.

If you care for maximum accuracy put an accurate ammeter on the bank next cycle and give SmartGauge that 100% Full reset right at the point when trailing amps hits 2A.

If you don't have a decent ammeter I guess tgat can wait for the BM, but then SG may need to start its learning curve all over again. NBD really lon as you're aware.

Great progress, congrats!
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post #136 of 281 Old 04-06-2018
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Re: New Balmar SmartGuage experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don0190 View Post
There probably isn't anything wrong with leaving your charger in absorption for 10 hours
There isn't, even with GEL, when it's just a few testing or maintenance cycles under manual observation.

Wouldn't leave an automated setup there unless endAmps shows it's needed, big enough bank low enough charge source like solar-only, it could be required, maybe still not Full by sunset is pretty common.

And a sign to start Bulk charging from dino juice in the mornings.


> I would be more inclined to put it in 4 hours and let the batteries be at 99% and then every once in a while, say every couple weeks, run it longer

No, for longevity getting to Full 100% should be at least twice a week, more frequently is better.

For that purpose there is a big difference chemically between 100% as per endAmps, and even 98-99% SoC.

Going a bit too long on hold time is not really risky with GEL, it's too high a Voltage where you get into actual damage.
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Re: New Balmar SmartGuage experience

OP, are you planning on charging your GELs from Alt?

Since we now know your bank is Deka, I'd try to get their detailed spec sheets for their GEL lines even if they don't publish for the Ultrapowers specifically.

Pretty sure 14.2V is at the **high** end of where you want to go.

Deka/East Penn (888) 844-7704
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Re: New Balmar SmartGuage experience

Thanks for all the input!!

This last cycle was likely from as low as could be anticipated. I changed Absorb time to 7 hours and will see what the next cycle looks like. If I was certain that a longer Absorb time wonít hurt the batteries, I would leave it at 10 hours. From my amateur understanding, the Banta will just take lower and lower amps, so Iím not sure the downside.

The Magnum said 14.3 volts in Absorb, but it adjusts for cold temps and has a temp sensor on the bank. It shows the bank at 62 degrees, which pushes the voltage up from the standard 14.1 volts in Absorb.


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Re: New Balmar SmartGuage experience

FWIW - I'm ain't no expert and never claimed to be. I'm a practical cruiser engineer type and am not interested in little petty corrections to practical useful answers/info into being the correct "technical" answer. In my years of naval ship operations, application engineering, and sailboat ownership I've yet to discover the correct technical answer to be of more use than the practical application use. I definitely have not found a boat that seems able to read and okey manuals, including nuclear subs! As such it is a waste of time to quote me and make minor petty useless "someone is wrong on the internet " corrections!

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post #140 of 281 Old 04-07-2018 Thread Starter
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Re: New Balmar SmartGuage experience

I went through the day yesterday, in normal fashion. I left her plugged in, charger on and used 12v appliance as usual: lights, stereo, etc. As stated, I woke up, with the charger on Full, zero amp output, batteries at 13.1v and the SG said 100%! Overnight, the only thing that would have drawn 12v would be the fridges, but it was cold and doubt they cycled much.

As the morning wore on, the charger remained on Full, while voltage began to drop slowly to 12.9, then 12.8. At some point, not long after 12.8v, the charger comes back on in Float mode? It stays on for a couple of hours and returns to Full. The Smartguage now reads 91%.

My head is spinning.


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