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Fish

House Battery Issue

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Is a 'last thermometer' an auto correct / typo, or some kind of really technical thermometer?

There is a digital thermometer probe taped onto one of the batteries, but its job is temp compensation from the solar controller. I am interested in differential temps across the cells. I have an IR thermometer on board, that would be suitable wouldn't it? if I point it down the hole onto the fluid (of course, the IR thermometer is onboard, and the batteries are at home in the shed now... arghhh)

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Its actually very rare on a balmar, and this issue (Aleana's) to me sounds like it might not be the real story. Belt rubber is, well, rubber - it insulates. It can cause overheating, and I guess if there was enough of it could cause the brushes to make poor/intermittent contact, which may explain it. BUT that much belt dust would be a sign of a poorly aligned install, unstable brackets, or the wrong belt/s.

 

Fish, old wiring itself can be the issue. Ok till you moved it, now some cable damage, a bad crimp or dodgy terminal can be the cause. It is likely not to be visible. I'll find a basic diagram and post it.

 

14.4v - I know this is what many internally regulated alts are set to. Its fine for most weekend sailors, but think about this. The batteries are spec'd to have a float voltage (usually, read the batts PDS!) of 13.5-13.7v. If you do lots of motoring on fully charged batts, 14.4v is sufficient to boil the batts. Most people don't motor long enough for this to be an issue, but it can be.

 

 

 

Agree with you the belt dust should not create a short etc.

My initial current is 100A+ and don't get much dust with a single green stripe.

 

You would have come across far more Balmars than me so I would have to acquiesce on that one.

I see much better value from a high end automotive alternator (used) with the IR removed and a 

cheap smart or adjustable external regulator. A few skills required but do-able for most.

Hey, but enjoy your Balmar at 10x the price if it gives the service for your kind of use.

 

I'm still smarting from the Balmar SG200 debacle.

 

Smart/configurable external regulators are the way to go for a boat alternator, IMO.

The Yanmar factory alt was, not fit for purpose.

 

Mine setup I turn the ignition key off for 10sec and back on and it gives me another 60mins at

14.7V then back to  13.7. Temp cutouts etc. $140US.

 

 I have the similar setup as you Fish,  from rebuild, DIY wire.

Except 4x 6V. In series then parallel.

Endurant R232's.

All good after 4yrs of partial state of charging :wtf: . Solar not on yet. Equalize 1/yr. Not at 6v.

 

It would be interesting to see if you equalized that battery on its own with  6v charger (7.75V) for 4hrs if it would

come back to rested spec.

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For what its worth we occasionally have a similar thing happen in our off the grid set up of 15 years . typically we run two sets of 4 6v lead acid 220ah batteries  in series (24v system) with the two sets paralleled. last summer 3 of the batteries (in one bank) started needing frequent top ups but the system seemed normal in everything else.early one morning before the sun came up i noticed amongst all the 6.2s and 6.3s i had a 5.8v on one battery (less than two years old) - changed it with a new one and all is well again... By any chance Fish have you compared the resting voltage of them? I know you have a couple of guru's onto it but i thought i'd put in 5c worth anyway...

So have checked he resting voltage after about 18 hrs rest.

The good one is 6.55, the one that is miss behaving is 6.54v, nothing in it really. No obvious problem there. We are still taking them back to the supplier for a warranty check, so we'll see what comes of that. Anyone know what / how the supplier would check them? I'm assuming they'd do a full equalisation charge, then a load test (24 hrs?) and monitor all of the vitals through that process. The retailer has a tool for checking the CCA, but that is clearly not appropriate for house batteries.

 

I'm guessing if its not a battery fault, then its an over charging issue with the internally regulated alternator. Our start battery is AGM, and also has its own (much smaller) solar trickle charger. What happens to an AGM if you over charge it? not being FLA, I can't see if its boiling water off etc.

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"The good one is 6.55, the one that is miss behaving is 6.54v,"

 

Then the volt drop test in IT's initial  post would be first on my list.

Are the SG's the same? As in there maybe a chemical imbalance.

I don't understand with equal current in both batteries on charge that one can boil more than another

unless there is a chemical/plate problem with one.

Perhaps understandable, depleted,  with one battery lower potential than the other. But not at 6.55/6.54v.

Unless partial plate short?

 

Buying an IR gun as  of now.

Its an ill wind that blow no-one.........

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Ok, it's very unlikely that its a battery problem then, but to be sure a voltage drop under load test is required. CCA test is a waste of time on a house bank, it must be load tested. Load testing is putting a constant load on the battery, (usually for 20 hours), and seeing how long it takes to get to 10.5v (5.25 for six volt batts). I have a rig that does this for 12v batts, but not 6v.

 

An example would be a 100 amp hour batt, at the 20hr rate. So this battery should drop to 10.5v after 20 hours with a 5a load. if it reaches 10.5v in 10 hours, then its actual capacity is 50 amp hours. Most batteries need a few cycles before reaching their rated capacity.

 

A SG of each cell would be interesting. Maybe one has been topped up with contaminated water??

 

Make certain your supplier can properly load test - ask them what the actual capacity was when they measured it.

 

We'll see what happens once tested.

 

Then I'd still be looking at voltage drop between the charge source and both the batts. If you don't know how to do a proper voltage drop test, then get someone who does to do it, and watch. Its not hard, is quick, but it MUST be done under load.

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My initial guess would be the linking cable between the 2 batteries.  If that is broken/underspec/undone/too long I think that could produce the symptoms you see?  It is the battery on the charging side that is heating?

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My initial guess would be the linking cable between the 2 batteries.  If that is broken/underspec/undone/too long I think that could produce the symptoms you see?  It is the battery on the charging side that is heating?

Hmm,

yes it is.

The linking cable was brand new at the same time as the batteries. But it was from Super Cheap Auto. Its maybe 40mm too long (surely that wouldn't make a difference?) and has a U in it. Goes onto threaded studs on both sides, surely I couldn't screw up putting a nut on a threaded stud?

 

Edit - photo of set up

 

20190815_165640.jpg

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