Catalina 34    Message and Discussion
Join the C34 Association Today!
    [C34 Home] [C34Tech Notes] [C34 Tech Wiki] [C34 Cruising Wiki] [Store] [Join C34IA]
September 02, 2014, 05:12:38 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Take advantage of the new theme, update your forum profile.
 
   Home   Help Search Login Register  
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: "Breaking In" New Wet Cell Batteries  (Read 7787 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Stu Jackson
C34IA - Secretary
Forum - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
********

Karma: 51
Boat Name / Hull Number: Aquavite #224 1986 SR/FK, M25, NZ Rocna 10 (22#)
Home Port: Alameda, CA
Posts: 5448



View Profile
« on: May 21, 2011, 10:12:04 AM »

I have often suggested that folks read the "Ample Power Primer" (www.amplepower.com, download from the tech tab and also find and download the wiring diagrams, too).

One often missed little gem in the Primer is a section entitled "Breaking In New Batteries."  http://www.amplepower.com/primer/break-in/index.html

Essentially it recommends deliberately discharging new wet cell batteries to etch the plates and provide more surface area for the charge.

I didn't do it when we last bought a set of house bank batteries in 2006.  Those batteries lasted just five years, partially because I did them an injustice by undercharging them over the years (see the "Gotcha Algorithm" topic: http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,4922.0.html) and leaving them disconnected for altogether too long when I had my skiing accident in early 2009 (not plugged in, solar panel not connected - I really did plan to connect it when I returned from that ski trip, but the hospital got in the way!  Very Happy).

Two weeks ago we replaced those batteries with a brand new set of three 130 AH American Battery batteries.  When I first used them on an overnight anchor-out trip last weekend, these "brand spankin' new" batteries wouldn't even run our fridge overnight!  Holy cow, bad new batteries?  NOPE.  They just hadn't been broken in.

So I spent a few days earlier this week doing just that.

The result?

The fridge worked all night last night and is still going strong, the battery voltage remains high, and things work.

So, before you think your new batteries aren't working and there's something amiss with your electrical system or your fridge, break in those new batteries.  They'll work better and last longer.

Always somethin' new... Thumb's Up

This BTW, is VERY consistent with the "Old School" method of "just use 'em a few times and they'll work better" method.  It's exactly the Same Thing, only under a controlled environment.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2011, 01:07:26 PM by Stu Jackson » Logged

Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  San Francisco Bay, SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

"There is no problem so great that it can't be solved."
Jack Hutteball
Forum - Petty Officer 1st Class
*****

Karma: 3
Posts: 319



View Profile
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2011, 01:01:45 PM »

Timely report Stu.  I just finished installing my 4 6 volts house bank plus a 12 volt reserve.  Went down to the boat yesterday and the charger had turned itself off so I assumed batteries are full.  Left the frig running all night and will go se how it is doing soon.  Thanks for the heads up.  We are headed for 3 nights on the hook this weekend, so I expect all to go well.
Jack
Logged

Jack and Ruth Hutteball
Mariah lll, #1555, 2001
Anacortes, Washington
David Comando
Forum - Seaman
**

Karma: 1
Boat Name / Hull Number: Kindred Spirit/Hull #55
Model Year: 1987
Home Port: Cutchogue, NY
Posts: 48


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2011, 01:23:11 PM »

Thanks Stu! Same here. Just replaced the house bank on Kindred Spirit. I went 6 seasons on the old bank. I guess the PO Captain Al broke them in correctly. Now if the oil pan doesn't leak...the water pump doesn't weep...the alternator bracket doesn't break...the PYI fitting seals... Clapping
Logged

David Comando, 1987 Kindred Spirit, Hull# 55 sailing the waters of Eastern Long Island, and to other points in the Northeast.
Roc
Forum - Chief Petty Officer
******

Karma: 3
Posts: 659


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: May 24, 2011, 06:56:33 AM »

Jack,
Curious to know how you ended up hooking up your new house bank and reserve battery.  Hope the project went well.
Logged

Roc - "Sea Life" 2000 MKII #1477
Jack Hutteball
Forum - Petty Officer 1st Class
*****

Karma: 3
Posts: 319



View Profile
« Reply #4 on: May 24, 2011, 12:03:23 PM »

Roc,
I currently have one lead from the charger hooked to the house bank and one to reserve for now, but I think I will go your route in the future.  The project went very well once I had all the parts rounded up.  I did have to cut the battery boxes in half and fiberglass them back together to get the 6 volts to fit.  I had seen others that had to do that so I was not surprised, just hoped they would squeeze in... nope! The new batteries, cables, buss bars, etc turned out to be a few more $ than I thought.

Jack
Logged

Jack and Ruth Hutteball
Mariah lll, #1555, 2001
Anacortes, Washington
Stu Jackson
C34IA - Secretary
Forum - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
********

Karma: 51
Boat Name / Hull Number: Aquavite #224 1986 SR/FK, M25, NZ Rocna 10 (22#)
Home Port: Alameda, CA
Posts: 5448



View Profile
« Reply #5 on: May 24, 2011, 12:40:56 PM »

Jack, did you do a wiring diagram?  Might be neat to start collecting them and make a wiki out of it with links to earlier wiring diagrams.
Logged

Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  San Francisco Bay, SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

"There is no problem so great that it can't be solved."
Roc
Forum - Chief Petty Officer
******

Karma: 3
Posts: 659


View Profile
« Reply #6 on: May 25, 2011, 01:00:55 PM »

Stu,
I'll try to put together my battery set up in a diagram.  I'm not an EE, so it may be rough, but will try to describe the set-up.

Thanks,
Roc-
« Last Edit: May 25, 2011, 01:01:20 PM by Roc » Logged

Roc - "Sea Life" 2000 MKII #1477
Stu Jackson
C34IA - Secretary
Forum - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
********

Karma: 51
Boat Name / Hull Number: Aquavite #224 1986 SR/FK, M25, NZ Rocna 10 (22#)
Home Port: Alameda, CA
Posts: 5448



View Profile
« Reply #7 on: May 25, 2011, 02:08:26 PM »

There are basically two ways to draw wiring diagrams:

1.  An "electrical" approach, showing how things are connected, like Dave's diagram (http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,4949.0.html), Reply #12

2.  A "physical relationship" diagram like Reply #23 here: http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,4623.15.html, and like John Gardiner's in the Tech wiki.

Sometimes it's easier to draw things the way they are located on your boat and then connect the wires.  Other times, like Dave's it sure clears things up about basic relationships.

My suggestion has always been to Keep It Simple for starters (pun intended?!?), so show the switch, the batteries and the alternator first.  Forget about the shorepower charger at the beginning.  Once you've got the basics, then add to it.

There are a few great wiring diagrams in the wiki that you can use as a basis for your work.

As for "what do I use to draw the diagrams?" I'd start out with a pencil and a clean piece of paper.  Then translate it to the program of your choice (see: Drawing Wiring Diagrams - http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,4821.0.html)
« Last Edit: May 25, 2011, 02:09:11 PM by Stu Jackson » Logged

Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  San Francisco Bay, SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

"There is no problem so great that it can't be solved."
David Comando
Forum - Seaman
**

Karma: 1
Boat Name / Hull Number: Kindred Spirit/Hull #55
Model Year: 1987
Home Port: Cutchogue, NY
Posts: 48


View Profile
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2011, 10:21:59 AM »

When I first purchased KS, I could last 3 days on a hook and have ample battery power in the house bank. After I installed the Frigoboat refrigeration, three days was pushing it but it was worth it. With the new house bank batteries that I just installed, the conditioning indicates that I have a 3 day maximum on power. How does this rate among others who have the 4 six volt golf cart battery house bank?
Logged

David Comando, 1987 Kindred Spirit, Hull# 55 sailing the waters of Eastern Long Island, and to other points in the Northeast.
Stu Jackson
C34IA - Secretary
Forum - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
********

Karma: 51
Boat Name / Hull Number: Aquavite #224 1986 SR/FK, M25, NZ Rocna 10 (22#)
Home Port: Alameda, CA
Posts: 5448



View Profile
« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2011, 11:03:36 AM »

450 ah house bank, 225 "useable" at 60 ah / day for the fridge plus other items, say 100 ah per day unless you have LED lighting, 225 divided by 100 is 2.25 days.  A battery monitor helps.  I was out for 24 hours yesterday, but had the laptop plugged into the inverter  for 6 hours or so (movies) and used 91 ah for the 24 hour period, fridge running, a few lights.

This also confirms the Energy Budget of 100ah for a 24 hours period with a fridge.  See:  http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,3976.0.html The spreadsheet showed 73 AH for an overnight but I noticed it didn't include the stereo or the inverter I used for laptop (1.3 A for a few hours at night and in the morning).  That old spreadsheet didn't include the inverter, since I made up the spreadsheet well before I recently bought a new laptop.

100 ah is a very good starting point for an overnight 24 hour use budget with a fridge.  You'll note that Ron says he used up 35 ah for a 12 hour period.  Pretty consistent.

The picture is our Link 2000.  Shows 100.1 AH down.  This is after anchoring at 1530 the day before, and was taken the following day at 1630 (the Link was at -5 ah when I shut the engine down on the first day).

That's about as CLOSE to 100 ah PER DAY that I can exhibit.


* HC2n 009 (Small).jpg (41.35 KB, 640x427 - viewed 2105 times.)
« Last Edit: March 20, 2014, 09:25:56 PM by Stu Jackson » Logged

Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  San Francisco Bay, SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

"There is no problem so great that it can't be solved."
Hawk
Forum - Petty Officer 1st Class
*****

Karma: 4
Boat Name / Hull Number: Tiny Dancer/1094
Model Year: 1990
Home Port: West Vancouver, BC. Canada
Posts: 282


View Profile
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2011, 10:34:22 AM »

Stu,

I replaced all my batteries in the fall. No one at either of two battery shops suggested a break in process. Ample Power recommends it and says it can be done on older batteries. They say to load them (I suppose fridge and lights) until the batteries are reading 10.5. They then say.......

With a now depleted battery, recharge using a current of about 10-20% of Amp-hour capacity. Avoid high rate charging during the break-in period.

My Truecharge 40 is a three stage charger that I recall would initially charge at a high rate. Any thoughts?

Thanks
Hawk
Logged

Tom Hawkins - 1990 Fin Keel - #1094 - M35
Stu Jackson
C34IA - Secretary
Forum - Master Chief Petty Officer of the Navy
********

Karma: 51
Boat Name / Hull Number: Aquavite #224 1986 SR/FK, M25, NZ Rocna 10 (22#)
Home Port: Alameda, CA
Posts: 5448



View Profile
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2011, 01:31:43 PM »

Hawk, to answer we need to know your house bank capacity.  For "doing the math" that is.  Very Happy  20% of a 400 AH house bank is 80 amps, 10% is 40 amps.  So doing the math backwards says if you have a 40 amp charger you will be able to deal with a 200 ah to 400 ah bank.

I, too, asked my battery guy about "breaking them in" and he, too, had no clue.

Since the original post describes what I did, and the fact that it worked, I'd place more credence in the Ample Power Primer than I would in the battery guys.

In order to get the load up, I used the fridge (which turned itself off after the voltage got low enough for it to turn itself off) and all the lights.  I took the lenses off the saloon lights.  Don't use the fluorescents, they don't have much of a load and I burned the lamp out on the galley fixture (easy to replace at ACE Hardware).

When I returned the next day, the system voltage was only down to 11.5 V.  I recharged overnight, then did it all over again the next two days.

While I didn't get down to 10.5 V, those two cycles worked for me.  After a full recharge, I then also equalized the house bank after those two discharge cycles.  Ample says do the discharge cycles more than twice, and I eventually will do so.

I have three 130 ah 12V standard wet deep cycle batteries for our house bank.  My charger is a Freedom 15 combined inverter/charger that is rated at 75A for charging but the battery acceptance limits it to 70 or less amps for even a fully discharged house bank, but that tapered off quite quickly once recharge began.

Your charger seems "perfect" for doing this for your house bank assuming you have more than one tiny house battery.

You also make a very good point that this can be done on older batteries and give them "a new life."
« Last Edit: June 19, 2011, 01:56:13 PM by Stu Jackson » Logged

Stu Jackson, C34 IA Secretary, #224 1986, "Aquavite"  San Francisco Bay, SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)

"There is no problem so great that it can't be solved."
Hawk
Forum - Petty Officer 1st Class
*****

Karma: 4
Boat Name / Hull Number: Tiny Dancer/1094
Model Year: 1990
Home Port: West Vancouver, BC. Canada
Posts: 282


View Profile
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2011, 01:23:12 AM »

Thanks Stu,

I've got 3 new Trojan 12 v deep cycles as the house and a big 4 D reserve/start.
I'll do just what you did leaving fridge/lights on overnight and see what the voltage gets down to. Assuming it all looks good and I still have bulbs that aren't burned out I'll do it twice or thrice.

Hawk
Logged

Tom Hawkins - 1990 Fin Keel - #1094 - M35
Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!


Google visited last this page August 23, 2014, 07:20:42 AM