Electrical Problems

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Electrical Problems

Postby Anonymous » Fri Dec 31, 2004 1:30 am

Robert, <BR> <BR>I have comments that may help (or not...), but no solution. <BR> <BR>I don't think your charger was drawing 60 amps. Does your shore power really supply over 30? (Oh, I see in re-reading your post that you have 30 amp service.) <BR> <BR>I may be that it was charging the batteries at 60 amps (DC). That you turned off everything on the panel with no effect and then turned off the house bank and stopped the 60 amp indication seems to support my theory. <BR> <BR>The house bank should show 13.8 (after a charge from discharge) or about 13.2 (if it's been changed for awhile as is in "float charge") after immediately being removed from the charger. <BR> <BR>I wonder if your house bank has a bad cell that is keeping it from charging completely (reaching the desired voltage) and making the charger think it needs to keep charging? <BR> <BR>If the house bank is more than one battery they must both be identical in type, size and age. If they are then it is possible that one has a bad cell. In either case (one or more than one) a single bad cell will discharge the other goods cells into it. <BR> <BR>If these are liquid electrolyte batteries then check them with a hydrometer (which you should have aboard if you have "servicable" batteries. This will tell you if you have a bad cell. <BR> <BR>Then I would start a process of ellimination. If both the start battery and the house battery are being charged by the Heart, then you might consider swaping them and see if the problem follows the battery or stays in the "same place". <BR> <BR>If you're house bank is more than one battery. then make your house bank one battery, and try each one separately. <BR> <BR>You may think of other things to try. <BR> <BR>Readers? <BR> <BR>Best, Steve <BR> <BR>P.S. What model Heart? I've been living with an EMS 1800 for about 15 years.
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Electrical Problems

Postby norberto » Fri Dec 31, 2004 4:14 am

Robert, <BR> <BR>You may be right about just needing to reset the system, but I would agree with what's been said above about a bit over 12 volts being low for a fully charged battery bank. The only sure way to tell is to check the specific gravity as Steve suggested, but as a general rule of thumb, 12.2 volts is about 40 to 50 % discharged. I suspect a bad cell too. <BR> <BR>Ken
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Electrical Problems

Postby courage » Fri Dec 31, 2004 7:06 pm

Robert, <BR> <BR>I had a similar thing happen not too long ago. We had a bank of 8ea. 6V lead acid’s wired in series // that were about 5 years old. Over the last few months I noticed they had a hard time holding a charge. However, as long as we kept them charged they were OK for now. <BR> <BR>Now here's when the problem started. The power cord had been disconnected for four days thanks to our marina guys (that's a whole other story) draining our batt's almost completely. I topped off all the cells and reconnected the power and the charger began doing its thing. We made the serious mistake of leaving the boat for 48hrs. We returned to the boat just in time before we had a major meltdown. What had happened was the charger sensed the batt's were seriously low and started cranking out max charging current. It was reading over 100 amps causing the batt's to completely boil over and kept going and going....Needless to say things got really HOT!! I don't even want to think what could have happened if we didn't return. <BR> <BR>In short it looks the major culprit was a shorted cell that triggered what was described to me as a “runaway current”. <BR> <BR>We just replaced all the batt's w/ 8 ea. 200 Ahr AGM's (Absorbed Glass Mat). They seem to be working well. Plus I like the idea that the out gassing is significantly less. <BR>BTW, if you do end up replacing your batt's with something other that liquid cell's, you'll need to change the charging parameters on the Interface to reflect the type batt's you have. <BR> <BR>Just a thought! <BR> <BR>Happy New Year!!
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Electrical Problems

Postby Anonymous » Sat Jan 01, 2005 10:36 pm

Robert following the process you have so far to repair the problem with your electrical system I would ask how long can you continue to consume two pints of Guinnes to keep it running correctly? <BR> Seriously I`d check the specific gravity of each cell after charging and letting the batteries set uncharged for awhile.If they are ok perhaps the Heart Interphase just needed resetting as others have suggested. <BR> Scott
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Electrical Problems

Postby Anonymous » Sun Jan 02, 2005 3:55 pm

Robert, <BR> <BR>I really like the Guinnes solution! <IMG SRC="http://hanschristian.org/discus/clipart/happy.gif" ALT=":-)" BORDER=0> <BR> <BR>Comments: <i>"I can't think of anything off the top of my head that is wired directly to the battery without passing through the control panel...though this is certainly possible with the boat having at least 3 previous owners."</i> <BR>Radios are sometimes wired directly to the batteries in order to make them more reliable in an emergency situation (not effected be an electrical fire associated with the distribution oanel). Though this seems to be less common and has nothing to do with you situation IMHO. <BR> <BR><i>"The house batteries (when disconnected from the charger) are showing a bit above 12 volts. I consider these to be normal, based on previous experience with the same set of batteries."</i> <BR>I think something is wrong here. That just isn't the voltage of a fully charged battery. Given their age and the number of them, I still suspect you got a bad cell somewhere. If these are liquid electrolyte batteries then get yourself a $5 hydrometer from the local auto parts store and test each cell. If one is bad they all have to go (though the others may have enough life for another application). If they are GEL or AGM they will have to be "rested" (not charged or discharged) for 48 hours, then tested individually for voltage. This means they will need to be disconnected from each other during the "rest" phase. <BR> <BR><i>"So, now what? Do you think it was just a fluke that needed a good reset by turning everything off (disconnecting everything) for a while?"</i> <BR>It's possible. <BR> <BR><b>Adrian writes:</b> <i>"Just thought of something else - the Heart, if set correctly, will automatically equalize batteries if it detects that it needs to be done. That would show the kind of readings you saw during the equalization. Contact Heart and get the proper manuals for your Freedom 10 and remote control panels."</i> <BR>It's possible that you got into an over-temp situation due to an auto-equalize cycle (though I'm not familiar with your model Heart, my older EMS 1800 does not auto-equalize). Of course if you have a bad cell and the Heart attempted to equalize GEL or AGM batteries, ouch! <BR> <BR>- Steve
Anonymous
 

Electrical Problems

Postby Anonymous » Tue Jan 04, 2005 7:13 pm

Robert, <BR> <BR>I would add to the general feeling that you have a shorted Cell(s) in your batteries. When we came back from Norway 2 years ago we had a similar problem when motoring. My wife went below off watch only to return immediately to be sick in the cockpit which is unusual for her. I went below & immediately smelt the hydrogen generated by over charging batteries. I checked the charge rate which was showing 65 amps, I put on all the heavy laods I could but the rate stayed the same. Checking the domsetic bank one battery was HOT!!! I couldn't bear my hand on it, I disconnected it & insulated the wire terminals, immediately the charge dropped to 2.5A. Half an hour later the same occurred on another battery which I also disconnected leaving 2 still on line. This solved the problem. On our return to the UK I did a drop test on the batteries & found them to be faulty - I guess it was my own fault for not replacing them sooner their date of supply made them 13 years old!!! They'd obviously done good service but motoring for 40 hours giving them an extended charge had probably done for them. since fitting new batteries we've had no further problems. <BR> <BR>I would guess you've had an intermittent short in a cell which when cooled cleared its self. <BR> <BR>Mike Coates.
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Electrical Problems

Postby Anonymous » Sun Jan 09, 2005 6:18 pm

Mike and Robert, <BR> <BR>"<i>I would guess you've had an intermittent short in a cell which when cooled cleared its self. </i>" <BR>Yes. This happens when the batteries are sloshed around when not completely charged (not uncommon in a sailboat). If the plates are sulphated (the discharged state) then when the batteries are moved the sulphated lead can get washed to the bottom of the cell. Eventually it reaches a point (thinkness) where it contacts the bottom of the plates and shorts them out. This is the common death of a battery. <BR> <BR>We used to perform several magic tricks when I was a "motor head". One was to take someones "dead" battery and place it on the concrete garage floor and shuffle it around and thereby leveling the eroded lead sulfate. We'd tell the owner that the spell was of short duration (which it was). <BR> <BR>It could be that your problem is difficult because it is intermittant; the eroded lead sulphate is moving about a little as the boat moves. As it does the battery(s) go into and out of service... <BR> <BR>Best, Steve
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Electrical Problems

Postby Anonymous » Tue Dec 13, 2005 2:02 pm

Hi, <BR>I used to have the freedom 10 and remote int on my narrowboat, had many years of service and was still working well when I sold her. <BR>The freeedom 10 has a bank of switches which can force it too do an overcharge to clean the battery plates off. I no longer have the info regarding the switches but info would certainly be available on the web.
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