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Old 03-14-2006, 11:08 PM   #1
lanecrampton
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Default Ele. Power

I've got a question for you cruiser out there. I'm just getting started and have a simple question for the people that have been living on the hook for a while. I'm in the procces of buying my house battiers. What I'm woundering is right now I've got 2 109amphr gel battiers. I'm wanting to add at least another 200 amphr. would I be better served to add like 2 more of the smaller 8A31 116 amphr or 1 big 8G8d or 8G4d battery to bring my house power up. For charging I've got 1 110watt solar panel and 1 35 watt panel along with a 400 watt wind gen. plus a 75 alternator. This is going on a sail boat and room for the 1 big battery or the 2 addutional smaller ones isn't an issue. Any opinions or helpful thoughts. I'd like to buy them within the next few days. Thanks
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Old 03-15-2006, 07:34 AM   #2
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Don't be too hasty to take advice. Research is worthwhile if you want trouble free performance in the future.

A good start on finding such information is at http://www.uuhome.de/william.darden/

Terry
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Old 03-15-2006, 07:16 PM   #3
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Lane:

Your question suggests there's only one dimension to it: form factor (size/shape of the added battery capacity); I think that's why Terry suggests you look into this a bit deeper. Mismatching batteries by age is not usually a good idea; also, you may find it easier to install and later replace a smaller battery (so buying 2 vs. 1 big one would seem to make sense) but it will take more effort to install solid battery boxes and cable up 2 batteries vs. 1 (which argues in the opposite direction). Gels produce varying performance on cruising boats; some last well and others die quickly, most likely due to charging regimens incompatible with the gel chemsitry. If there's a risk of an early failure, would you want it in a small/$$ battery or a larger/$$$ battery?

Take a good look at how your battery *charging* is managed as that will be key to good gel battery health. The controller for your wind gen and panels, if you have one, need to be compatible with that battery chemistry choice. Also, what about your 75 amp alternator? If it is externally regulated, you'll want to set that regulator up for gels. OTOH if it's not, the gels will never be properly charged by the main charging source on the boat, so that would be something else to consider.

Good luck on the project. For a cruising boat, this is one of those projects that is central to life afloat. You might want to read the relevant parts of Nigel Calder's _Boatowner's Mech & Elec Guide_ - it's indispensible.

Jack
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Old 03-15-2006, 09:05 PM   #4
lanecrampton
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Thanks for the following web site http://www.uuhome.de/william.darden/

it is definatly educational reading and answered a lot of my question. As for mixing aged battiers this isn't a problem the ones I have now and brand new but I never thought about the issues of mixing differant rated battiers. I'm going to go with the 2 additional smaller battiers instead of the one larger one. Plus will also look at my wind gen regulator and altenator. My solar panel regulator has a switch for lead acid or gel deep cycle on it so I don't think it will be a problem. Thanks
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