New Balmar SmartGuage experience - Page 23 - SailNet Community
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post #221 of 272 Old 2 Weeks Ago Thread Starter
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Re: New Balmar SmartGuage experience

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Originally Posted by SanderO View Post
Minni you clearly have a lot of electric devices so you are placing a lot of demands on your bank. While your box may be too small... AGMs for example can be placed in any orientation and it seems that in a boat of your volume you can find a location for more and larger batteries. That you can't seems odd.
I can find room, for sure. However, the battery compartment is fully contained in cabinetry under the nav station and can't be made bigger. It would require surgery through some cabinetry and a bunch of cabling to get to nearby space. It could be done, but I'd sooner spend the money on upgrading to lithium. I'd rather not do the modifications and spend the money on expanding the bank, when it isn't the long term goal.

Nevertheless, the SG simply doesn't read correctly and that's the purpose of this thread.


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Re: New Balmar SmartGuage experience

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I can find room, for sure. However, the battery compartment is fully contained in cabinetry under the nav station and can't be made bigger. It would require surgery through some cabinetry and a bunch of cabling to get to nearby space. It could be done, but I'd sooner spend the money on upgrading to lithium. I'd rather not do the modifications and spend the money on expanding the bank, when it isn't the long term goal.

Nevertheless, the SG simply doesn't read correctly and that's the purpose of this thread.
Minni.. regardless.. maybe you should consider a new location... larger size.. not so accessible required for maintenance free batteries. for your new battery bank. Use the old location for.. regulators, or storage of tools or similar.

pay attention... someone's life depends on it
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Re: New Balmar SmartGuage experience

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Has me wondering if I have a slow learner.
Certainly possible it's faulty, but I'd put the odds on another cause and would just plod on with the process myself.

Excuse my faulty memory, but is it you that found a cause before and thought everything was OK, at least for a time?

If you did ever want to give up, it would be interesting to run it in parallel with the new SG-200 8-)
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Re: New Balmar SmartGuage experience

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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
....Excuse my faulty memory, but is it you that found a cause before and thought everything was OK, at least for a time?....
I thought I had (for one cycle). The latest was that I found the Magnum charger would automatically shut off, after 4 hours in Float, and not come back on to Float, until voltage declined to 12.6v. It's a factory set voltage trigger that can't be changed. When I'd return, after a few days away, to find the SG showed SOC in the 80s, it may have been correct. Float alone would not recover from the drain down to 12.6v.

I was able to turn that feature off altogether, so it remains in Float permanently, while at the slip. I checked with East Penn, who said this was fine, as long as I was going off the shore power periodically, which I obviously do. On my first full cycle, off shore power, drawn down to 12.3v, and then fully recharged, it read 99%. Thought we had it. Then, after a couple of more cycles of "learning", it now only reads in the mid 80s SOC, immediately after clearly reaching a Full charge.

I say clearly Full, as acceptance amps are flipping between 0.0 and 0.2 amps at Float voltage, on a 400 ahr bank. Is there any way they could not be Full, with this charge condition?

I'm off the boat for a couple of days. It will be interesting to see if the 100% SOC I set manually is still the case, when I get back. Then I'll unplug and run another cycle or two. We'll see.

I still question whether it can handle being plugged in several days per week and if it does well will Gel technology.


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Re: New Balmar SmartGuage experience

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
Float alone would not recover from the drain down to 12.6v.
...
I say clearly Full, as acceptance amps are flipping between 0.0 and 0.2 amps at Float voltage, on a 400 ahr bank. Is there any way they could not be Full, with this charge condition?

I still question whether it can handle being plugged in several days per week and if it does well will Gel technology.
Yes, 100% Full is benchmark ed by holding **Absorb** until endAmps.

That Magnum "feature" I think for current purposes, you need to override by rebooting, force a return to the Absorb V Deka gave you, maybe also kludge a long enough AHT if needed.

With Gel being more sensitive to overcharge do ensure you are there - ideally with a known good separate ammeter - to terminate at endAmps and reset the SG to 100%.

Those Magnum "features" are bizarre!

Manually cycle I think, as I said deep enough for a good dozen for purpose of testing SG.

Returning at 12.6V should be with full Absorb voltage.

BTW what specs did Deka give you for Gel, Absorb and endAmps?

Since Magnum is in effect not supporting Floating - which is supposed to only be used to maintain 100% Full

maybe California compliance?

I would try setting Float V to =Absorb

make sure the automated termination whatever you use

maybe reset back to endAmps based?

does not allow overcharging the Gel, use an additional ammeter to verify stopping on time, default to a little earlier (higher endAmps) rather than allowing occasional too-long (lower endAmps) as is fine for FLA.

If they give a range for Absorb V, maybe also use the low end.

But the ideal for all lead is staying Full, letting Float carry loads, even if it means isolating the Gel bank, one way or another I'd try to get back to that no matter what CA or Magnum say.

But all that is not relevant to the testing SG phase.
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Re: New Balmar SmartGuage experience

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When I'd return, after a few days away, to find the SG showed SOC in the 80s, it may have been correct. Float alone would not recover from the drain down to 12.6v.
That is possible

> Then, after a couple of more cycles of "learning", it now only reads in the mid 80s SOC, immediately after clearly reaching a Full charge.

Since we now see that is actually not Full, if only at Float V, the SG may indeed be correct.

I'm thinking different ways of compensating for the non-optimal Magnum behaviour, but will stop for now let you come up with what you think best for your setup, I think you have all the info you need just a question of priorities, simplicity vs automation.

But keeping the Gel online while at the dock is certainly not necessary, since they're not getting Floated properly by Magnum anyway.
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Re: New Balmar SmartGuage experience

John, I think you missed that Magnum does have a setting to allow for permanent Float, which I've now selected. The default it comes with has Float shut off, after 4 hours. I'm told it is an environmental setting that I've now overrode.

I really don't think it's a good idea to set Float Voltage = Absorb voltage. I assume you were trying to think of a way to get to proper end amps, but Magnum has a setting for it and I've already done that. I have endAmps set to 0.005C (2 amps on a 400 amp bank) and have witnessed it holding Absorb until then and then dropping to Float for the remainder. It then takes hours for acceptance amps to drop from 2 to 0, in Float voltage, but the bank should be damn near Full at 2 amps anyway.

It's at this stage of charging (Float voltage, accepting <0.0005c) that I believe I "know" the bank is Full, but the SG still says mid 80s. SOC.

My question..... is there any way a bank could be less than Full, if it's accepting <0.005c in Float voltage. The SG thinks so. I don't.


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Re: New Balmar SmartGuage experience

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Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
John, I think you missed that Magnum does have a setting to allow for permanent Float, which I've now selected.
No, I did note that, and that is great for **after** your bank is Full.

> The default it comes with has Float shut off, after 4 hours. I'm told it is an environmental setting that I've now overrode.

Yes, that's the California Energy Compliance reg, see MS' video on how Sterling handled it, falsely named "power supply mode".

> I really don't think it's a good idea to set Float Voltage = Absorb voltage. I assume you were trying to think of a way to get to proper end amps, but Magnum has a setting for it and I've already done that. I have endAmps set to 0.005C (2 amps on a 400 amp bank) and have witnessed it holding Absorb until then and then dropping to Float for the remainder. It then takes hours for acceptance amps to drop from 2 to 0, in Float voltage, but the bank should be damn near Full at 2 amps anyway.

I was only talking about for the SG calibration, where precision is needed.

The whole point of a source using endAmps is to hold **Absorb** voltage until that point. Going to Float means (should mean) charging is finished.

> My question..... is there any way a bank could be less than Full, if it's accepting <0.005c in Float voltage. The SG thinks so. I don't.

The purpose of Float is **only** to counter self-discharge in storage, and to carry loads so as to keep the bank from unnecessarily using up limited cycling.

So there is no point to measuring amps acceptance while at Float voltage, charging at Absorb should have already got to endAmps, whatever current happens to be at Float is meaningless wrt measuring SoC.
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Re: New Balmar SmartGuage experience

Sterling Power ProCharge Ultra - BC & PS Modes

https://youtu.be/9wvpdp9UEfQ

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/...ml#post2847732
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Re: New Balmar SmartGuage experience

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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
.....So there is no point to measuring amps acceptance while at Float voltage, charging at Absorb should have already got to endAmps, whatever current happens to be at Float is meaningless wrt measuring SoC.
Gotcha. Absorb is held until 0.005C, so that should mean Full. Nevertheless, it does decline to even less, over time, when in Float voltage

Stating my question differently, is there any condition in which a Bank is not Full, when accepting 0.005C at Absorb voltage? I think not. The SG thinks so.


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