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Shipleyman
Shipleyman

Posted: Sat Nov 26, 2011 8:37pm

Post Subject: Battery level

Hi hope you can help with this. Today i checked my sons battery levels on his battery bank. The starter battery level was ok. But some of the others had really low levels, Some took a fairly large amount of water. But half were okay. He has a continious charger, should tyhis be on all the time and could this have dried out the batteries

Tony-B
Tony-B

Posted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 8:41am

Post Subject: Battery level

First the loss of electrolyte. Normally a bank of batteries in good condition would deplete the cells to a similar degree. Yours are not doing this so, depending upon how the batteries are connected and the position of the drier cells the problem could be faulty cells or incorrect bank wiring. Without more information I can not say which is the more likely. Try looking at the ends of the batteries and the more swollen they are the more likely it is to be a cell problem. If, as I suspect from your previous questions, this is a recently purchased boat I would again suspect cells before wiring, but the wiring mays till be somewhat lacking. Now the charging. The biggest destroyer of batteries on boats is never fully charging them and leaving them partially discharged for periods. This causes a chemical change in the battery called sulphation, which gradually reduces the batteries' capacity. Batteries also self discharge to a significant extent so it is normally advise that batteries are left on charge providing the charger is a multi-stage one. These chargers drop the voltage to about 13.7 volts when they think the battery is fully charged. This should be low enough to not cause gassing in a serviceable cell but high enough to overcome self discharge. If the voltage is higher (as it will be if using an old car type charger) then the cells will gas, as they will if faulty. There is a caveat to this and it is that a faulty cell that is gassing may become so depleted of water that it sparks internally and ignites the hydrogen produced by gassing. This is rare and should never happen on well maintained batteries that are in good condition. Tony Brooks

Shipleyman
Shipleyman

Posted: Sun Nov 27, 2011 5:34pm

Post Subject: Battery level

Thanks for that

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