Leisure Batteries for dummies

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  • Post by DaisyDreamer ().

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  • DD did you get a battery charger? I picked up a CTEK Multi XS 7000 for only £26 this morning at a little carboot sale. It came in a case with quick release terminals, full instruction manual, Used once, one posh female owner. Fekin bargain.


    No I haven't yet...................why do I never find anything useful like that at car boots?!!

  • not quite the same unit, its reconditioning voltage is low. Reconditioning facility in CETK is 15.7v @1.5A This is needed to deal with stratified acid (High acid weight in bottom, low on top) although aldi unit has pulse and normal charge, but some bog standard battery chargers can offer those. The CTEK really does re-vitalize old dead batteries. CTEK range from 4,6,& up to 8 stage charging. They can be left plugged in over winter, constantly monitoring batteries. CTEK can also be run in power supply mode (with no battery connected even) Don't be fooled by look a likes.

  • Bring your battery down on Friday and I'll stick it in my charger all weekend :)

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain

  • Yeah, but we'll find out if it works!

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain

  • With regards to a solar/battery system, what you have to remember sometimes is that less is more. It is no good having a big bank of batteries and then expecting the solar panels to charge them. Sometimes it pays to have a smaller bank of batteries and let the solar panels do the work during the day and the batteries during the night.


    As for the capacity of a battery, it is a little more complex than the number of amp hours available. Your actual capacity is largely dependant on how much current you are drawing from the battery. This relationship is known as Peukert's Law, for example a 100Ah battery with a Peukert constant of 1.2 being drawn at 10 ampers would be drained in 8.7 hours making the actual capacity of 87Ah.


    Furthermore, the capacity of the battery can deteriorate over a number of cycles, depending on how deep the battery becomes discharged and for how long would affect the life of the battery. Too deep a discharge for too long will cause the plates to erode and when recharged form a sludge at the bottom of the cells.

  • So would something like that revive my poorly battery?


    A good way of bringing DEAD batteries back is to connect a solar panel directly to it (i.e. with no charging gear, relays etc) then leave it outside for a couple of months (ok it takes a while but it works!). What happens is it will charge it during the day and then reverse charge it at night. This gentle charge up and charge down coaxes the little blighters back from the grave.


    As others have said i would leave the solar on with the charger over the winter to keep a bit running in :)


    Hope this helps


    Eli


  • I would strongly advise against doing this as it can damage the battery. To connect a solar panel directly to the battery does not give a gentle charge. In fact you would over charge the battery causing permanent damage. There is also the risk of overloading the cables and causing a fire, which is something I have seen the aftermath of, certainly wasn't pretty.


    The charge controller on a solar panel is their for a reason, it acts like the regulator on a car. It also looks after the battery and monitors its current charge state.


    If the electrodes are too badly damaged, then the battery is no good to anybody and would discharge rapidly if not kept on a charged state.

  • I have been reviving a old 12volt 17VA motorbike battery using a REPOW 3A/12v mini charger. The battery must have been flat for a couple of years. It took three days to get the battery voltage up to 13.97 volt. Switching charge off after approximately 8 hours charge each day (to avoid over heating). It now holds a charge at 12.67 volt constant for 3 days. Batteries are too expensive to neglect.

  • I would strongly advise against doing this as it can damage the battery. To connect a solar panel directly to the battery does not give a gentle charge. In fact you would over charge the battery causing permanent damage. There is also the risk of overloading the cables and causing a fire, which is something I have seen the aftermath of, certainly wasn't pretty.


    That would depend entirely on the size of the solar panel surely? A big panel on a very hot day might be a bad idea, but one of those small ones designed to fit on your dashboard in a normal amount of British sun would never create enough charge to fill a battery, let alone fry anything.


    Whenever I've connected solar panels directly to batteries it's always been fine, but with huge panels on very hot days I've just kept a multimeter to hand and checked on them regularly, removing the panel when it's full.

    “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” -Mark Twain

  • I would strongly advise against doing this as it can damage the battery. To connect a solar panel directly to the battery does not give a gentle charge. In fact you would over charge the battery causing permanent damage. There is also the risk of overloading the cables and causing a fire, which is something I have seen the aftermath of, certainly wasn't pretty.


    Oh yeah forgot to mention only use a small panel!! must have been a bit fried myself (its connecting up to all those solar panels :p ) This does work though i was taught this trick by an old hippy who fixes everything with anything who has been using solar since year dot. plus if its knackered anyway watch those terminals melt under the power of the big light in the sky!!


  • I have a 12v 10AH lead acid battery that was showing just 6v, I have had it connected to my little 1.5W solar panel for a couple of weeks now, it started off showing a shade over 7v charging, and is now up to about 11.3V, I reckon in a week or so it will be back up to full charge.
    Grendel

  • the system above runs on propane, I did read they were working on one using natural gas too. mind you it probably costs an arm and a leg, but you dont get the engine running you would with a generator.
    Grendel

  • the system above runs on propane, I did read they were working on one using natural gas too. mind you it probably costs an arm and a leg, but you dont get the engine running you would with a generator.
    Grendel


    Yes I went on their website. They do propane, natural gas and methane systems. Ive sent for more details. It will be beyond our budget.

  • Was looking at this charger http://www.ctekchargers.co.uk/ctek-mxs5.0.php I know it limits me to up to 110ah batteries but the next charger up is £40 more. Would the cheaper one do the trick?


    This confuses me...
    Surely the only issue with a smaller charger is that it will take longer to charge a large battery than a small one? eg a 5 amp charger will take 20 hours to fully charge a 100 ah battery from scratch or 40 hours for a 200 ah battery?

  • Hi DaisyDreamer,
    Stay positive, and forgive me for being a little negative...I have never found any system that will provide enough energy for the duration that I need, It seems that the more energy I produce the more I consume and there will never be enough...So cutting down your power consumption is as important as generating enough power. Your battery is charged by the alternator on your engine, and when your engine isn't running your battery isn't charging. So you need a solar panel, and/or wind genny and/or mains hook up.


    If you are using a battery charger, I use a permanent float one that just gives a gentle trickle charge, it will save your battery. Mine is permanently on the batteries so when I hook up it's on without even thinking about it. (I don't know if this is safe but it works.)


    I am not an expert so I'll just tell you what powers my boat. I have one 140w 12v solar panel and one small wind generator which supplies two 110ah batteries via a charge regulator, and my batteries never go flat. I do not need to run the engine at all. I have music all day long, and a fully charged phone and Ipad.


    When I lived on a bus had six leisure batteries in a line powered by the engine and solar panel, that worked well...mostly.


    Regarding, batteries...There are so many to choose from, The absolute best would be Lithium-Ion, but I cannot afford that so I would go for a Gel battery and no less than 110Ah.


    There are calculations you can do to work out the Amp Hours required, and what input you need from your power source.


    You need to add up all the wattage of everything that you might use and say for example you have one 110ah battery and may use 100 watts you might find that your batteries will power this for 3 hours...or not...I believe that there are online calculators.


    Best regards,


    Catman.

  • Here's a useful site for calculating your requirements:


    http://www.rpc.com.au/informat…lar-power-calculator.html


    And coming from the boaty fraternity a lot of us use these battery monitors, expensive but good:


    http://www.marinesuperstore.co…1-compact-battery-monitor


    I've just sold my boat, now have a van on which I've just installed 2 x 80w solar panels & 2 x 110AH batts. Should be enough to charge netbook, phone & kindle, run lights (which will be LED), waterpump & watch a bit of 12" TV..