Battery blues

Place for all of the tips, hints, and facts around the electrical and electronic stuff found around Trailer Sailers, Trailers, and associated vehicles.
Post Reply
Castle 610
Yachtmaster
Posts: 2096
Joined: Oct 26th, '06, 20:20

Battery blues

Post by Castle 610 » Sep 19th, '17, 20:18

My 50 ah AGM battery charges ok on either the solar or mains charger but as soon as it is asked to supply a load (e.g the VHF) it quickly (almost instantly) drops to 30% .

Also it was showing 30% on Sunday after being fully charged on Sat and doing nothing overnight.

All this battery ever does is run a few LED lights sometimes and the VHF. It gets charged by a regulated solar panel and spends most its time on float.

I thinks its stuffed but would be interested in the correct term.

My best guess would be a dead cell or internal shorting of some sort.
Stephen
Castle 650 'Mad Mouse'
Sabre 1205 'Wasp'
Nacra 14sq 'Vamoose'

User avatar
bachus
Yachtmaster
Posts: 2127
Joined: Jan 24th, '13, 20:43
Location: Bayside, Melbourne

Re: Battery blues

Post by bachus » Sep 19th, '17, 20:36

Stephen,

Do you have something like a CTEK intelligent charger that has a recondition mode. If not - do not buy - I can lend you one. Worth seeing if it will recover the battery. Yes I should have brought it Sunday.

How old is the battery now btw - I think you told me but cannot remember.

As to why, long term float is very bad for a wet cell / AGM or otherwise lead based battery - ideally needs a boost charge every 2 weeks to stir the pot so to speak - to stop sulphating / stratification in the battery - one exception though - lead crystal batteries can take indefinite float.

Jim
Jim
Castle 650 #96. Mystic.
Tow hack: Ford Territory TX SZ MkII Auto AWD

User avatar
az100
Able Skipper
Posts: 612
Joined: Oct 29th, '06, 02:32
Location: WA

Re: Battery blues

Post by az100 » Sep 19th, '17, 20:56

Have you got a decent battery charger? 10-20Amps at least, mains powered?

Take your battery out of the boat and give it a bench workout. I'd use a 100W spotlight or something like it.
Assuming the battery is 'fully' charged run it down with that load to 12V terminal Volts.
Charge up, do above again.
See if there is any improvement after a few cycles, it should power the light longer and take longer to charge after a bit of that treatment.
If not it might be sulfated but that mainly occurs with long no charging times. Does your solar panel charge the battery *every* day?

I had a problem with my (bigger) AGM batteries when tree shade minimised solar charging in Winter. I connected my desulfator and also gave the battery some work and it came good.

Of course, you could just have a bad connection in your boat wiring somewhere. How did you measure the % charge? Since you mentioned AGM battery you could not have used a hydrometer, the only true charge indicator for wet cells. For a true measurement on your battery you need a coulomb meter that computes charge in and out and gives a true reading after a few charge/ discharge cycles.
Using the terminal voltage and associated charge ccurrent to indicate the battery charge level is very iffy.

If you are unfamiliar with desulfators google: Infinitum battery life span maximiser. I got one, its small and it can be left connected to the battery as long as it gets charger daily. The gadget turns itself off if the battery gets too low.
AZ100

User avatar
bachus
Yachtmaster
Posts: 2127
Joined: Jan 24th, '13, 20:43
Location: Bayside, Melbourne

Re: Battery blues

Post by bachus » Sep 19th, '17, 21:23

How the desulphator works and why the battery probably died: http://www.impactbattery.com/blog/2013/ ... they-work/
Jim
Castle 650 #96. Mystic.
Tow hack: Ford Territory TX SZ MkII Auto AWD

Castle 610
Yachtmaster
Posts: 2096
Joined: Oct 26th, '06, 20:20

Re: Battery blues

Post by Castle 610 » Sep 19th, '17, 22:03

Thanks for the replies.
The battery is about 5 years old.
Over winter the solar panel does get shaded a bit.

I am going off the reading on the little regulator which basically has three lights. Plus my multometer over the terminals of the battery itself reading 11.7 volts last night when the regulator said the battery was dead. So that aligns pretty well with the theory that the battery is flat. I realise that isnt the most scientific but it seems pretty clear to me.

Sounds like sulphation has got it.

Bachus do you reckon your ctek will desulphate it?

A new battery is about $120 but it would be nice to fix this one.
Stephen
Castle 650 'Mad Mouse'
Sabre 1205 'Wasp'
Nacra 14sq 'Vamoose'

User avatar
bachus
Yachtmaster
Posts: 2127
Joined: Jan 24th, '13, 20:43
Location: Bayside, Melbourne

Re: Battery blues

Post by bachus » Sep 19th, '17, 22:34

Should do. I will PM.

Those things AZ100 mentioned do sound interesting . . still researching them. Might be better option - do not throw out the current battery.
Jim
Castle 650 #96. Mystic.
Tow hack: Ford Territory TX SZ MkII Auto AWD

User avatar
Pancho 43
Inshore Skipper
Posts: 185
Joined: Jan 31st, '12, 16:11
Location: Brunswick Heads

Re: Battery blues

Post by Pancho 43 » Sep 20th, '17, 14:02

I have about ---15? maybe more of those Infinitum desulphators in use. I have them on every battery in use. Two on the car two on the boat and on all the ride-on mowers and the rest on thrown-out batteries from other people. Haven't bought a battery for about eight years. They will not bring a battery back to new condition but as long as the cells aren't shorted or corroded through between cells, they will come back to usefullness to some degree. Great little gadgets.
When I first started buying them I paid about $55.00 each and then asked for a deal for ten. I paid $320.00 for the ten. Sold a few to mates and bought another ten. still got some unused. Price has come down since then i think.
I've only had two fail, one due to salt water ingress. They claim to be fully epoxy sealed inside but the one that first failed wasn't fully sealed on inspection. If used on a boat I recommend sealing around the edges, wires and indicators.
Cheers, Pete.
Farr 6000 "Just Farr Me"

Castle 610
Yachtmaster
Posts: 2096
Joined: Oct 26th, '06, 20:20

Re: Battery blues

Post by Castle 610 » Sep 20th, '17, 17:23

Pete. Any particular brand? Infinitum? Do you have a link?
Stephen
Castle 650 'Mad Mouse'
Sabre 1205 'Wasp'
Nacra 14sq 'Vamoose'

User avatar
bachus
Yachtmaster
Posts: 2127
Joined: Jan 24th, '13, 20:43
Location: Bayside, Melbourne

Re: Battery blues

Post by bachus » Sep 20th, '17, 20:16

Can try this: http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/12V-Marine-B ... 0005.m1851
Not sure what the difference is between automobile and marine models.

Or direct from Infinitum website - buy two get 4 day shipping free (and a set of steak knives - no not really). http://www.infinitumstore.com/store/c1/ ... ducts.html

The original inventors of this high frequency pulsing process are Pulsetech: https://www.pulsetech.net/store/battery ... ystem.html
Jim
Castle 650 #96. Mystic.
Tow hack: Ford Territory TX SZ MkII Auto AWD

User avatar
Furstin
Yachtmaster
Posts: 4716
Joined: Oct 17th, '06, 09:26
Location: Sydney

Re: Battery blues

Post by Furstin » Sep 20th, '17, 21:00

A solar regulator I had on the spacey had a weekly disulfide pulse option.

Tapatalk
Borrman 38.

sailboatmike
Admiral
Posts: 5003
Joined: Apr 2nd, '13, 08:34
Location: Cranbourne Victoria
Contact:

Re: Battery blues

Post by sailboatmike » Sep 21st, '17, 08:04

Plenty of info on desulfurizers and how / if they work on Youtube, you can pick them up on Ebay for $6ea from china or make up a kit yourself for a few dollars.

The opinion on Youtube was that the cheap ones work better than the ones that are expensive when they did the testing for various reasons, some of the expensive ones the pulse or spike created by the capacitor was so minor it was just expensive voodoo.

Do some research before committing your hard earned
Cheers Mike
Macgregor 26X SeaYaLater
Hastings Yacht Club
Warneet Motor Yacht Club
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClULxh ... a5w/videos

User avatar
Tinggu
Able Skipper
Posts: 770
Joined: Jun 25th, '13, 08:59
Location: Toolondo, Vic

Re: Battery blues

Post by Tinggu » Sep 21st, '17, 11:03

sailboatmike wrote:Plenty of info on desulfurizers and how / if they work on Youtube, you can pick them up on Ebay for $6ea from china or make up a kit yourself for a few dollars.

The opinion on Youtube was that the cheap ones work better than the ones that are expensive when they did the testing for various reasons, some of the expensive ones the pulse or spike created by the capacitor was so minor it was just expensive voodoo.

Do some research before committing your hard earned
Thanks for the info. I've had a bit of a hunt around on eBay and ordered the best price I can find (A$ 15.45) One seller had the following info additional to the repetitive cut and paste that most sellers incorporate:
"This small-weather proof product can supplement your existing charging system and can be powered in two different ways. When the battery is being charged either by an onboard charger or a separate charging system, it will use the charging current as a power source. The rest of the time PowerPulse uses a small portion of the battery’s own energy so it is working 24-hours a day so you don’t need an electrical outlet. Accordingly, it should only be used on vehicles or equipment that is regularly used and frequently charged."
This seems to suggest that if the gizmo is left on an unattended battery, such as my boat between visits, that it would operate 24 hours a day and run the battery down. Since delfulfation occurs badly on a battery left on constant float, ie with solar panels connected, (if without a weekly timer), am I right in thinking that with solar panels and the gizmo connected the battery will be eventually be reconditioned without the need to cycle it once a week?
If so it sounds like a brilliant solution.
With my spare battery at home I can charge and cycle at will. Should I leave it on continual charge with the gizmo, rather than charge and cycle periodically? My 30W panel should be sufficient to run the device and maintain the float charge?
Thanks Mike, I am very intrigued with this and had not heard of it before.
Cheers,
Pete
SC23/Northwind 7 "Isabella Jane"
and a canoe

User avatar
bachus
Yachtmaster
Posts: 2127
Joined: Jan 24th, '13, 20:43
Location: Bayside, Melbourne

Re: Battery blues

Post by bachus » Sep 21st, '17, 14:19

As mentioned above by AZ100, the Infinitum does not work below 12.5volt - it cuts off - so it is only working when the battery is being charged i.e. via solar or otherwise. This caused a lot of customer complaint reading up on this. Many youtube video show peoples having the desulphator sitting on a battery that is not being charged - this result in this comment "The Infinitum desulfator was designed with an auto shut-off feature to prevent unnecessary battery power drain (The power usage is at a low 0.1W). The auto shut off feature kicks in at about 12.5V for the 12V model. All 12V car batteries are charged at 13 to 14V and will rest at 12V when not charged. New batteries will tend to hold its voltage above 12.5V longer than older batteries, which is perfectly normal. If a car though installed with a desulfator is not driven frequently (driven every other day or more) and if the battery is aged, the voltage will fall below 12.5V and the desulfator will shut off. So there is a possibility in such a case, that the battery sulfates more than the desulfator has time to remove the sulfate formation. In hot tropical climate batteries above 25 Celsius will double in its rate of self-discharge with every 10 degrees Celsius (18F).
Of course other devices may operate all the time. For cars, maybe operation all the time it ok, for boats I think only when the battery is being charged is desirable - this may explain the different between an Infinitum device for "marine" and for "car"
Jim
Castle 650 #96. Mystic.
Tow hack: Ford Territory TX SZ MkII Auto AWD

Post Reply

Return to “ELECTRICKERY (Electrical and Electronic Stuff)”