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Old 07-19-2010, 11:01 PM   #1
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Hopefully this isn’t too daft a question, and someone will be able to help me. The question is about type of battery, rather than quantum of battery. My boat is just about to come out of charter in the Whitsundays (Queensland, Australia), and I am getting it organised for my wife and I to use, initially for coastal cruising, possibly being more adventurous later on, with the shakedown cruise being a slow journey down the East Coast to bring the boat back to Sydney next month. I have to replace the house batteries. Currently it has 4 x 140AH 12 volt batteries which have never been particularly good, mainly because they have a very hard life in the charter operation. With only an 80 amp alternator I don’t think they get charged adequately, and have been pretty hopeless the last few years. Nevertheless, the operator was happy enough, so I haven’t replaced them. I have a KISS wind generator ready to install when I take the boat over next month, but will not (initially anyway) install solar, as there is little convenient space to put them on without putting a frame up over the stern, and I can do without that expense just at the moment. I am thinking of using 4 x 6v Crown CR225’s (225 AH at C100), which are golf buggy batteries. My reasoning is that 450 AH should be enough. Our land house is totally solar 12 volt, and only has 465 AH (at C120), with about 380 watts of panel which is enough for us. I only have to use the generator to pump water up the hill to the header tank, otherwise we use solar only (including hot water), cooking is gas though. The fridge has the same compressor as on the boat (Danfoss 35 watt). By my calculation on the boat we should only use a maximum of 200AH per day, including instruments and autopilot – we don’t intend to do extended night passages yet. My question is – is it OK to use golf buggy batteries? I used to use them in the house, and they were very good, and very cost effective. I recently replaced them with proper sealed Solar batteries (6 x 2v), but they are very heavy, very expensive, but maintenance free. I know that buggy batteries are not maintenance free, but for the cost at the moment, I am prepared to live with that. The batteries live under the aft bunks, along with the fuel tank. The area they live in is vented.
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Old 07-19-2010, 11:22 PM   #2
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Golf Cart batteries are certainly deep cycle - so from that requirement OK.

What voltage are the systems on the boat - what voltage is the present engine battery. It is good practice to have a dedicated battery for the engine - in which case will just 2 x 6volts do for the boats other requirements?
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Old 07-19-2010, 11:29 PM   #3
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The 6V golf cart batteries are very popular. Big benefit is that you can pick up replacements anywhere in the world. If the size format works for you, go for it. We wanted to use golf cart batteries but we ended up purchasing two L-16 6V batteries (you find them rated at between 390 and 530 amp hrs depending on mfr/and 20 vs 100 hr rating) because the physical configuration works better for us than anything else. They are very tall batteries and we will be able to place up to 4 of them in a vented battery cabinet under the main saloon table (around the base of the main mast at the boat's CG). We only got two for now but will likely eventually have 4 for our house bank. I think the ones we got were rated at 420 ah so that's what we're working with. Likely we'll want the second set to get us to 840 ah so that while doing long passages we won't have to be constantly charging. We have a couple different chargers, the highest capacity one being only capable of 50 amp so our bottle neck on charging is the charger itself. I'm keeping an eye out for a higher capacity charger or charger/inverter since we'll likely want it.
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Old 07-19-2010, 11:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMNETSEA' date='20 July 2010 - 10:16 AM View Post

Golf Cart batteries are certainly deep cycle - so from that requirement OK.

What voltage are the systems on the boat - what voltage is the present engine battery. It is good practice to have a dedicated battery for the engine - in which case will just 2 x 6volts do for the boats other requirements?
The engine / cranking battery is separate, and housed in the engine compartment. I think it's still in good condition. System on the boat is 12 volt, so seems like my plan of 4 x 6volt @ 225 AH should do the job for house batteries (2 sets of 2 in series in parallel = 450AH).

Thanks for your help.

Cheers

Mike
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Old 07-20-2010, 04:57 AM   #5
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I second the choice of golf cart batteries. But if you expect to use 200 AH per day you should go with more. Your 450 AH bank only gives you 225 AH usable and that will only last a day plus a bit based on your projected usage.
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Old 07-20-2010, 07:30 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by tiempo' date='20 July 2010 - 03:51 PM View Post

I second the choice of golf cart batteries. But if you expect to use 200 AH per day you should go with more. Your 450 AH bank only gives you 225 AH usable and that will only last a day plus a bit based on your projected usage.
I agree that it's possibly a bit on the light side, but I think it's also a trade off between the amount of stored power and the ability to fully charge the batteries - full charging being necessary for longer life. If I find it is too little I will add another couple of batteries. Cash is getting a bit tight as I've laid out a fair bit already getting it ready for life outside the charter fleet, and still have a few things to go!

Thanks again.

Cheers

Mike
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Old 07-20-2010, 03:37 PM   #7
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I understand. The problem is with your current predicted daily AH usage you have to charge daily. Assuming draw to 50% SOC and a windless day with no output worth mentioning from the KISS any engine charging will only restore them to 80% SOC without hours (many hours) of engine run time. 80% SOC is 360 AH, leaving only 135 AH available. It really doesn't work unless everything is perfect.
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