Battery question

N.A.

Member II
Hello folks-

I am new to boat ownership, so apologies if this is obvious. It's not to me, and thread searching turns up an immensity of boat electrical information that makes troubleshooting this appear a bit daunting:

Over the past couple of weeks, my AGM batteries have stopped charging to 100%, slipping to 75%, and now 50% (percentage based on the four bars (4 = 100% full) on my Xantrex 1000 display.

Investigating, I find Bank 1 seems to charge fine, and Bank 2 does not charge at all (zero amps go in). Best I can figure, Xantrex thinks this equates to 50%, though one of the banks has two car-sized batteries and the other a single (larger) one. All are AGM; I normally use these only to start the engine/run running lights for a sail once a week -- no heavy loads, and connected to shore power/recharge within 8 hours every time.

My question(s) are as follows:

1. Is it normal for batteries to crap out so quickly? (age is unknown; boat new to me. By quickly I mean "charging 100% less than 3 weeks ago, and now down to 50% with little use or drain") If so, I probably need to get new batteries. If not, I may need to look elsewhere -- e.g., maybe the master switch is just bad.

If I replace batteries, do I get different battery types for the start and house banks, due to their different usages? I will get AGM unless it is recommended to do otherwise.

Follow-up:

I don't really want to do any of the items below -- unless they are highly recommended. For me, it is all a much bigger job than new batteries (the electrical stuff on a boat all requires new tools I don't have, must get, and then must learn to use.)

2. New Charger? I see the negative comments re Xantrex, which in fact I have heard elsewhere too (though this is a pretty old Xantrex). Given that I have a 1998 Xantrex, before getting new batteries (assuming they are the issue -- planning to take them to a battery store to get them tested) is it highly recommended I put in a new charger? New AGM batteries are not cheap, so if a new charger is the way to protect them, then...

3. Battery switch: Is it important/normal to replace the master battery switch (this one dates to 1998) before/while doing the above? I see comments about making sure one has a make-before-break one.

4. Inverter: If replacing the charger I suspect I would need to address the inverter at the same time. Practically everything can run off of 12V these days... is there some important reason I should be planning to replace the inverter, rather than just remove it and have some portable one for those occasional times I need one (e.g. recharging some electric tool battery far from home)? I assume there must be 12V direct-connect inverters one can use in a pinch.

Thanks for any comments/suggestions-

Neil


PS: For anyone else running across this thread later, some reference are:
https://marinehowto.com/installing-a-marine-battery-charger/ (This site is really helpful, FYI, as is the proprietor)

 

Jerry VB

E32-3 / M-25XP
WRT to your charging problems, you wrote "I find Bank 1 seems to charge fine, and Bank 2 does not charge at all (zero amps go in)."
  1. What is the voltage of bank 2 when not being charged (Xantrex turned off / AC unplugged, preferably with the battery switch "off")? If it is more than ~11.8v, it is discharged but probably OK. This would indicate it isn't getting charged by the Xantrex.
  2. What is the voltage of bank 2 when the Xantrex is charging it? When the Xantrex starts charging, the battery voltage should jump up noticeably and climb to 13.8-14.1v (might take an hour or three to get to 13.8v if it was fully discharged).
My suspicion is that the wires/connections between the Xantrex and bank 2 are broken. Inspect both the power and the ground wires and connections. Unscrew any ring terminal connections and inspect for corrosion and clean them. Give a firm tug on all the crimps.
My question(s) are as follows:

1. Is it normal for batteries to crap out so quickly? (age is unknown; boat new to me. By quickly I mean "charging 100% less than 3 weeks ago, and now down to 50% with little use or drain") If so, I probably need to get new batteries. If not, I may need to look elsewhere -- e.g., maybe the master switch is just bad.
Maybe, but not usually. Batteries usually fail slowly but sometimes a plate inside the battery will detach and short out the battery internally at which time it goes totally dead. To test, disconnect the battery from the wires and measure the voltage. Zero volts is a pretty strong indicator of a bad battery (it might just be totally drained - see hint below). A 12v battery has six cells that are nominally 2v each - a shorted cell will drop the battery voltage by 2v per bad cell. If you read ~10v, ~8v, ~6v, ~4v or ~2v you probably have bad cell(s). Time for a new battery.

If the battery is 0v, most chargers won't charge them. A trick that works for me is to connect the charger and then take a 9v battery and connect it across the battery terminals. This gives the charger enough "sense" voltage for it to say "hey, there's a battery there" and start charging. If the battery charges and holds a charge, you're good (albeit fully discharging a battery is not good for it).
If I replace batteries, do I get different battery types for the start and house banks, due to their different usages? I will get AGM unless it is recommended to do otherwise.
You want to use the same type of batteries for the banks, but you usually* can use different types for different banks. It is safer to stick with one type and AGMs are better than flooded. I would not sweat getting a "starter" type battery vs. a deep discharge type battery for the starter battery - our motors (starters) are small compared to an automobile or power boat motor and draw much less current to start the motor.

* "Usually" - I'm assuming your battery charger can handle different types of batteries on the different banks. This assumption may not be a good one - you need to read the manual (an internet search on the model and keyword "manual" usually will find one).
Follow-up:

I don't really want to do any of the items below -- unless they are highly recommended. For me, it is all a much bigger job than new batteries (the electrical stuff on a boat all requires new tools I don't have, must get, and then must learn to use.)

2. New Charger? I see the negative comments re Xantrex, which in fact I have heard elsewhere too (though this is a pretty old Xantrex). Given that I have a 1998 Xantrex, before getting new batteries (assuming they are the issue -- planning to take them to a battery store to get them tested) is it highly recommended I put in a new charger? New AGM batteries are not cheap, so if a new charger is the way to protect them, then...
I would suspect an unknown age battery before the Xantrex charger. If the charger is working at all, it probably is OK. If, when it is on, the output voltage is ~13.8v (float) ~14.1v (charge), it is very likely OK. If it is over 14.1v, that is bad (will destroy the battery) or less than ~13.0v it isn't charging the battery.

Out of curiosity, what model Xantrex is it?
3. Battery switch: Is it important/normal to replace the master battery switch (this one dates to 1998) before/while doing the above? I see comments about making sure one has a make-before-break one.
I have 27 years of experience with one AB switch (40 years old) and 1 year experience with a second AB switch (30 years old). No problems. My experience is that the switches are reliable. YMMV.
4. Inverter: If replacing the charger I suspect I would need to address the inverter at the same time. Practically everything can run off of 12V these days... is there some important reason I should be planning to replace the inverter, rather than just remove it and have some portable one for those occasional times I need one (e.g. recharging some electric tool battery far from home)? I assume there must be 12V direct-connect inverters one can use in a pinch.
You can buy 200W "lighter plug" inverters readily and inexpensively. They won't power much, mostly AC charger adapters. Per your question, it should be sufficient for your tool battery charging needs (one at a time, maybe 2).
  1. If your existing inverter works, I wouldn't remove it unless you have other reasons to do so.
  2. It is better to "hardwire" even a little (200W) inverter to the battery (with proper fusing) rather than using the lighter plug. 200W / 12v = 16.7 amps which is a lot of current to push through a "lighter" plug. OTOH, lighter plugs are really convenient, especially for just occasional use.
 

jtsai

Member II
A battery analyzer can tell more about condition of batteries beyond voltage readings. This one from Harbor Freight gave me comparable result to units 2X the cost and have helped diagnosed my own and other boaters' battery issues. It measures resistance across the plates. From your description, it sounds like the battery/batteries is not holding charge.
 

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Tin Kicker

Sustaining Member
Moderator
Start simple and take the batteries out, charge them, and then almost any car parts store can test them for you.

Checking for clean and tight connections in the charging circuit comes next. Once satisfied with these basics you start to troubleshoot for specific components.
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Checking for clean and tight connections in the charging circuit comes next. Once satisfied with these basics you start to troubleshoot for specific components.
Checking all... of the battery connections, positive and negative, is probably what Mr. Occam would do
Wire brush, some sand paper, and maybe some thin grease. (12 volt power is not very energetic at jumping over a bit of corrosion or dirt at any terminal connection point.)
 
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Mblace

Member II
in addition to previous comments, how is your charging setup wired? I found this explanation of balanced charging, which both equally charges and extends battery life, during my research on using a 4-unit battery bank. AGMs should live a long happy life this way.
 

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bigd14

Sustaining Member
Blogs Author
If you end up needing to replace the charger I highly recommend the Sterling Power models that Rod at Marine How To recommends and sells. Unfortunately since his stroke he has had to close his web store until such a time as he can (hopefully) return to his business, so you would have to source them elsewhere for now.
 

N.A.

Member II
Hello folks-

Thanks so much for the various helpful suggestions! Work bushwacked me, so it took me a while to get a voltmeter and get back to the boat.

My new questions:

- When cleaning up terminals, wire brush/sandpaper, and then... I would want conductive grease to avoid corrosion, right? Is there a preferred brand of this conductive grease? I have never used any.

- Is there a preferred brand/type of battery to get these days? I would rather get reliable/long lasting, and pay a bit more, than go cheap. Definitely getting AGMs, all the same brand, at the same time.

- I will disconnect the two house batteries and measure the voltages individually (voltages seem OK with them in place and switch set to 'Off'); I now realize maybe the fact that they are in parallel is confusing the issue when I measure.

- Is it a problem that there is a 105Ah and 150Ah in parallel? Is this a problem for charging / do I need to avoid that (would be easy to replace with two 105Ah ones instead, though the extra capacity seems nice to have.)

Again, much appreciated.

Best-

Neil


PS: If you want details, below is the data I have from mucking around with the DVM plus answers to questions asked in the thread:

- The charger is a Xantrex Link 1000. It seems to be working.
- Batteries are all AGM Arine RV "Intimidator" and appear to be the same age (unknown -- not written on battery, little date circles unmarked). They are in two banks:
Bank 1: (12.84V using DVM to terminals with master switch set to 'Off') Appears to be single start battery, 105Ah. Xantrex leads are wired (only) to this one. It does not appear the Xantrex is set up to charge the banks separately, which may be why I found it could only charge one bank. (** This does not explain why it used to charge on 'both' to 100%, and now only charges to 50%)
Bank 2: (13.03V using DVM to terminals with master switch set to 'Off') Two batteries, a single 105Ah like the star tbattery, and a second larger 150Ah in parallel (circuit added later, though looks like all batteries may have been new at the same date.)

When I turn on the cabin lights and disconnect shore power,
- Light stay on with Master Switch on Bank 1, Both, or Bank 2, but go off when on 'Off' (as one would hope they would). This suggests to me that all the batteries have some decent amount of charge on them -- lights not noticeably dimmer on Bank 1 than Bank 2.
- Both banks go to 14.3V (per DVM on terminals) when I connect shore power and set switch to 'Both'. Is this terrible? Maybe I need to change charger since > 14.1V?
- Batteries still don't charge > 50% (per Xantrex) meter, which shows 2/4 bars worth of charge. Used to show 4/4 after a while of charging.)

- I agree re the Sterling Power module -- IF I replace... I have already gotten other stuff from Marine How To, which is an awesome site. I am very sorry to hear Rod had a stroke.
 

Jerry VB

E32-3 / M-25XP
[snip]

- I will disconnect the two house batteries and measure the voltages individually (voltages seem OK with them in place and switch set to 'Off'); I now realize maybe the fact that they are in parallel is confusing the issue when I measure.
Yes, that would be helpful to verify the two batteries are OK. With the batteries' "+" disconnected they should measure approximately the same voltage. If one is significantly lower, it is likely bad and will discharge the good battery.
- Is it a problem that there is a 105Ah and 150Ah in parallel? Is this a problem for charging / do I need to avoid that (would be easy to replace with two 105Ah ones instead, though the extra capacity seems nice to have.)
Same type (e.g. AGM) but different capacities is OK. According to Power Sonic, they will charge roughly proportional to their capacities which means they will be fully charged at about the same time.
PS: If you want details, below is the data I have from mucking around with the DVM plus answers to questions asked in the thread:

- The charger is a Xantrex Link 1000. It seems to be working.
The Link 1000 is a battery monitor which can also control an attached charger/inverter (manual). The charger/inverter is a separate unit (large-ish and probably buried somewhere semi-inaccessible).

The Link 1000 can display error codes - check if there have been errors.

The Link 1000 needs to be configured and calibrated for the batteries it is monitoring. It is quite possible it lost its configuration and that is causing your "half full" reading problems. See p.22 on how to set it - going to the menu entry should display what the current setting is. See also p.44 "Synchronizing the Link 1000 to the Battery" and p.42 for how to test your batteries' capacity.

Also, the Link 1000 only monitors the capacity of the house bank. There will be a 500A shunt on the "-" lead of the house bank (its pretty big). The Link 1000 will display the voltage of the starter battery bank as well as the house bank, but only monitors current into / out of the house bank and thus only keeps track of the "state of charge" of the house bank. You can estimate the state of charge of the starter battery based on the voltage.

- Batteries are all AGM Arine RV "Intimidator" and appear to be the same age (unknown -- not written on battery, little date circles unmarked). They are in two banks:
Bank 1: (12.84V using DVM to terminals with master switch set to 'Off') Appears to be single start battery, 105Ah. Xantrex leads are wired (only) to this one. It does not appear the Xantrex is set up to charge the banks separately, which may be why I found it could only charge one bank. (** This does not explain why it used to charge on 'both' to 100%, and now only charges to 50%)
OK, that indicates your Link 1000 isn't monitoring the voltage of your starter bank (nice to have, but no big deal).
Bank 2: (13.03V using DVM to terminals with master switch set to 'Off') Two batteries, a single 105Ah like the star tbattery, and a second larger 150Ah in parallel (circuit added later, though looks like all batteries may have been new at the same date.)
13v is slightly higher than expected. How accurate is your DMM?
When I turn on the cabin lights and disconnect shore power,
- Light stay on with Master Switch on Bank 1, Both, or Bank 2, but go off when on 'Off' (as one would hope they would). This suggests to me that all the batteries have some decent amount of charge on them -- lights not noticeably dimmer on Bank 1 than Bank 2.
- Both banks go to 14.3V (per DVM on terminals) when I connect shore power and set switch to 'Both'. Is this terrible? Maybe I need to change charger since > 14.1V?
14.1v is nominal. It will be higher in colder temperatures (assuming your charger compensates for temperature - very likely) and lower in warm temperatures. Also, your DMM might be reading a little high.
- Batteries still don't charge > 50% (per Xantrex) meter, which shows 2/4 bars worth of charge. Used to show 4/4 after a while of charging.)

- I agree re the Sterling Power module -- IF I replace... I have already gotten other stuff from Marine How To, which is an awesome site. I am very sorry to hear Rod had a stroke.
 

N.A.

Member II
Hello Jerry-

Many thanks!

I tried removing one of the batteries... no surprise, it is literally heavy as lead. I will need to get help to remove them, given their weight and inconvenient position. In the meantime, I am still messing around to see if only one is bad.

The difficulty (for me) of getting those batteries out is significant; if the issue is something else, I would rather find that out first. Also, removing the batteries requires depowering the Xantrex, losing all settings, which I do not know and it seems may not be possible to get all of -- looks like you can reset them, but not necessarily find out what they are.

I am inclined to get the analyzer JTsai mentions -- if that's what the store would do it I bring the batteries in, it is definitely worth $70 to me not to have to schlep them back and forth. [Thanks JTsai for the link; Harbor Freight is way cheaper than Amazon, so I appreciate the suggestion to go there too.]

I may try to run a capacity test on the batteries, per the Xantrex manual, and reset the meter, but... it is not obvious why/how it could have gotten off from its original setting, so I am cautious about this.

Additional data from today's messing about is below, including the settings you asked about from the Xantrex. Not obvious where the issue lies -- both banks crank the engine fine, etc.

Best-

Neil


New data:
- All batteries are identical Group 27 "Intimidator" 105Ah, 2x in house bank, 1x start. The 150Ah above was a mistake.
- Bank 2 (house): both batteries, when disconnected, separately measure 13.14V with a Fluke multimeter. Not NIST calibrated, but probably quite reliable meter. The Xantrex readings generally match the Fluke within 0.02 V.
- Bank 1 (start, single battery): measures 12.88V with the Fluke with the house batteries disconnected and switch set to 'Off'. I am not disconnecting the leads from the + side since that would power down the Xantrex and I'd lose all the settings in it, which I do not know and are not that easily accessible (appears easier to change them than to find out what they are...)

I tried disconnecting shore power and using each bank separately (switch set to Bank 1 or Bank 2) to start the engine. Both banks cranked it equivalently.

I tried using the engine to charge the batteries, instead of shore power. Higher current runs for longer (8.8A, dropping slowly to 0A), but still only a few minutes before it stops charging. Xantrex applies 13.96V (per Fluke) during this. Since I had just used the batteries to crank, that may account for the larger charging current (vs. when I connect shore power) initially.

The Xantrex current monitor (shunt) is on the ground for both banks -- they are all interconnected as far as I can tell. I think the Xantrex is only aware of total Ah used from any connected bank, not which it is coming from. Its voltage sensor is only on the start battery (though this is nonimally the same for all when switch is on 'Both', I think).

The Xantrex shows no error codes, and the battery history reads:
E97 CEF (charging efficiency -- appears to be 97%)
' 126 (CEF recalculations since last reset. May indicate number of recharging cycles since batteries were new? reads with a ' and not the "+I" Xantrex says will show) (would suggest batteries may not be so old?)
- 434 (deepest discharge, in Ah I think -- if so, this is more than the nominal battery capacity.) Maybe this means the abtteries were once wrecked with a 100% discharge? That would have been before I got the boat, and they have been working fine since then.
21.3 (average discharge in Ah; this would probably make sense given typical bay cruising; reads as a number, no "i" as Xantrex says will show)
F12: 21 overload/inverter power shutdowns since last reset
F13: 86 inverter low battery shutdowns since last reset.
charged voltage setting: 13.6V
current Ah level: -171.6 Ah (this is about half the nominal capacity of both banks, which matches the 2/4 bars of charge shown). It is set for 320 = max (presumably closest they could get to the 315 nominal in both banks, 3x 105Ah).
 

Jerry VB

E32-3 / M-25XP
Hi Neil,

All indications are that your batteries and charger are fine.
[snip]
I am inclined to get the analyzer JTsai mentions -- if that's what the store would do it I bring the batteries in, it is definitely worth $70 to me not to have to schlep them back and forth. [Thanks JTsai for the link; Harbor Freight is way cheaper than Amazon, so I appreciate the suggestion to go there too.]
Testing is good and the price and effort is very reasonable. If they test good, you will have another piece of evidence and a little more peace of mind.
I may try to run a capacity test on the batteries, per the Xantrex manual, and reset the meter, but... it is not obvious why/how it could have gotten off from its original setting, so I am cautious about this.
Determining the charge level of a battery is trickier than you would expect. The most definitive test is using a hydrometer, which is impossible with a sealed (AGM) battery. The "float" voltage of the battery is an indication, but is not all that accurate.

The battery monitors like your Link 1000 estimate the state of the battery by knowing when it is full and being configured how much energy the battery can hold (AH). It then continuously measures the voltage and current (watts) to keep track of how many AH have been pulled from the battery or put back into the battery. These monitors are remarkably good, but small errors can and do accumulate over time. Also, electronics can have "upsets" which can mess up the monitor's careful counting of AH.
Additional data from today's messing about is below, including the settings you asked about from the Xantrex. Not obvious where the issue lies -- both banks crank the engine fine, etc.

Best-

Neil


New data:
- All batteries are identical Group 27 "Intimidator" 105Ah, 2x in house bank, 1x start. The 150Ah above was a mistake.
- Bank 2 (house): both batteries, when disconnected, separately measure 13.14V with a Fluke multimeter. Not NIST calibrated, but probably quite reliable meter. The Xantrex readings generally match the Fluke within 0.02 V.
Fluke makes good meters. I was just checking if you were relying on a no-name meter. I trust Fluke.

My flagging of the 13+v was wrong, just over 13v would indicate a fully charged battery. Also, the battery will read higher for a while (30 min?) after being disconnected from the charger because batteries are chemical reactions that take time to settle out.
- Bank 1 (start, single battery): measures 12.88V with the Fluke with the house batteries disconnected and switch set to 'Off'. I am not disconnecting the leads from the + side since that would power down the Xantrex and I'd lose all the settings in it, which I do not know and are not that easily accessible (appears easier to change them than to find out what they are...)
12.88 still indicates full charge - estimating charge by voltage is kinda crude.
I tried disconnecting shore power and using each bank separately (switch set to Bank 1 or Bank 2) to start the engine. Both banks cranked it equivalently.
That's good, more evidence that both battery banks are fine.
I tried using the engine to charge the batteries, instead of shore power. Higher current runs for longer (8.8A, dropping slowly to 0A), but still only a few minutes before it stops charging. Xantrex applies 13.96V (per Fluke) during this. Since I had just used the batteries to crank, that may account for the larger charging current (vs. when I connect shore power) initially.
More evidence that the batteries are fully charged and working fine.
The Xantrex current monitor (shunt) is on the ground for both banks -- they are all interconnected as far as I can tell. I think the Xantrex is only aware of total Ah used from any connected bank, not which it is coming from. Its voltage sensor is only on the start battery (though this is nonimally the same for all when switch is on 'Both', I think).
If you look at the diagram in the manual on p12, the house battery "-" needs to be connected to the shunt where the orange wire is connected and the starter battery needs to be connected to the shunt where the green wire is connected. If they are both connected together (on the orange side), the monitor will be getting charge/discharge (current measurement) information from the "starter" battery mixed with the "house" bank, which will confuse its AH counting.
The Xantrex shows no error codes, and the battery history reads:
E97 CEF (charging efficiency -- appears to be 97%)
The manual says the default is 95%, its estimate is is updated over time, and 97% indicates good batteries. More evidence that your batteries are fine.
' 126 (CEF recalculations since last reset. May indicate number of recharging cycles since batteries were new? reads with a ' and not the "+I" Xantrex says will show) (would suggest batteries may not be so old?)
Those are counting discharge cycles where the discharge is 10% or more. Your batteries have not been heavily used. AGMs should be good for 500-1000 cycles, depending on how deeply they are discharged.
- 434 (deepest discharge, in Ah I think -- if so, this is more than the nominal battery capacity.) Maybe this means the abtteries were once wrecked with a 100% discharge? That would have been before I got the boat, and they have been working fine since then.
That is monitor confusion.
21.3 (average discharge in Ah; this would probably make sense given typical bay cruising; reads as a number, no "i" as Xantrex says will show)
Yup, very lightly used.
F12: 21 overload/inverter power shutdowns since last reset
F13: 86 inverter low battery shutdowns since last reset.
Those are odd.
charged voltage setting: 13.6V
current Ah level: -171.6 Ah (this is about half the nominal capacity of both banks, which matches the 2/4 bars of charge shown). It is set for 320 = max (presumably closest they could get to the 315 nominal in both banks, 3x 105Ah).
This should be the AH rating of your two house banks, i.e. 210. The Link 1000 monitor does not monitor AH of the starter battery bank if connected per the manual. You (read "previous owner") could wire the batteries with the shunt measuring the current of both banks and then always have the switch set to "BOTH." This would give you effectively one bank of 3 batteries => 315HA (nominal), but if you ever switch the 1-2-Both switch to 1 or 2, the Link 1000 monitor would get confused because its battery bank just went from 3 batteries in parallel (315AH) to 2 or 1 battery (210 or 105AH), depending on the 1-2-Both switch setting.
 

frick

Member III
I have not seen this mentioned. Lead acid batteries in a boat have a life expectancy of about 5 years. Also The battery output is not the amps hours listed on the battery. A 150 amp battery cans do the when it's new. By year two my best hours is you will only 50% of it's rating for the remainder of its life.
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
I have not seen this mentioned. Lead acid batteries in a boat have a life expectancy of about 5 years. Also The battery output is not the amps hours listed on the battery. A 150 amp battery cans do the when it's new. By year two my best hours is you will only 50% of it's rating for the remainder of its life.
Agree that a conservative approach is best. While I get about nine years out of our 'flooded' batteries, on our boat they do lead a life of slothful luxury... boat is on shore power when not under way. We never take them down below about 12.4, when out cruising, either.

We have one house bank - pair of Trojan T-145+ six volt flooded batteries (260 AH). The spare 'emergency' 12 volt spiral-cell battery gets tested several times a year, but did get us started once when the previous house bank started dying, while out weekending on the boat.

I monitor both banks with a "Smartgauge". I note that our model has been superseded now, but either way it is a very helpful instrument to have.
 
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Tin Kicker

Sustaining Member
Moderator
fwiw - I have two of these WEIZE 100AH AGM in the Transit campervan and they've been great. Working with Li-Ion as much as I do, that would've been the natural way to go, but the WEIZE occasionally go on sale and I picked up the pair last year on Amazon for $100 each. With the inverter and 260W solar, I run an induction cooktop and any combination of lights with no issues.

Have too much else needing to be done first, but been playing with the idea of ultimately mounting a set in the boat as a house bank.

 

bigd14

Sustaining Member
Blogs Author
Agree that a conservative approach is best. While I get about nine years out of our 'flooded' batteries, on our boat they do lead a life of slothful luxury... boat is on shore power when not under way. We never take them down below about 12.4, when out cruising, either.
On my previous E27 the current owners just replaced the Trojan T-105 battery bank I installed after 11 years of use. For the past 8 years the boat has been moored in an area without shore power, so the batteries were only charged by the small outboard whenever the boat was used, and a topped off a couple times a year on shore power. The batteries were often left with a partial charge for long periods of time. In short, those batteries were pretty abused, but they still lasted 11 years! Granted, the electrical requirements of that boat were pretty low.

I just replaced a similar battery bank this year in my 30+ that had at least 8 years on it, including long periods when not on shore power.

But I do think a 5-year lifespan for a quality lead acid battery as per Rick's description is probably a reasonable expectation and anything beyond that should be considered a bonus.
 

trickdhat

Member III
Blogs Author
fwiw - I have two of these WEIZE 100AH AGM in the Transit campervan and they've been great. Working with Li-Ion as much as I do, that would've been the natural way to go, but the WEIZE occasionally go on sale and I picked up the pair last year on Amazon for $100 each. With the inverter and 260W solar, I run an induction cooktop and any combination of lights with no issues.

Have too much else needing to be done first, but been playing with the idea of ultimately mounting a set in the boat as a house bank.

Bob,

What's kind of induction cook top and inverter are you running? 200ah sounds a little low with the assumption that it has 100ah of usable capacity, but if it's working for your Transit campervan maybe it's doable on our boats.
 

Tin Kicker

Sustaining Member
Moderator
The battery capacity definitely is minimal but then I seldom have the induction on full (100A / 1200W) or for very long when just on the batteries. The inverter also draws on the (3rd) start battery to a preset voltage but I don't remember what the voltage is. One of the reasons to go induction was that it can heat a kettle or pot of water really quick and that's what it us used most to do. The van does have a 15A shore plug for the few times I'm somewhere to plug in. The 260W of solar means the battery bank recharges pretty quick too.

Inverter: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08T61GTTP/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Induction plate: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08Z7DRC2R/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 

Loren Beach

O34 - Portland, OR
Senior Moderator
Blogs Author
Oops sorta true, as it's infrared and the heat is nearly instantaneous.
I just plug it in and turn the knob.
;)
I was not trying to give your a bad time, but we have used a countertop range at home with two induction burners and two thermal burners, for about a decade. We like the induction ones a lot, and with 20-20 hindsight probably should have gone with a model with all induction burners.
We especially like the cool glass top. (only the pan bottom gets hot). They are very fast to heat up the food. Very.
What I am not sure of is whether the savings in watts is all that significant, wondering if the BTU's to boil the water is that much different... ?
 
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