By Charlie Wing

This ebook isn't for the rank newbie, but when you've got handed that level and feature a uncomplicated figuring out of electrical energy and also you are looking to raise that figuring out, evaluation and evaluation your current installations, set up new gear adequately, and maintain your boat electrics secure, it's going to be aboard your boat. I frequently suggest it to my extra technically-capable clients.

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Xcept for the diesel engine, the greatest mystery to most boaters is the black box called the ship’s battery. What is a battery? Exactly what is going on inside that black box? In this chapter, you will find the simple answers and a few messy details as well. Although it is more complex than simple conductors and resistors, it is useful to have an electrical model of the battery. Monitoring batteries is the key to their performance. Monitoring the discharge/charge cycle requires an understanding of discharge characteristics, battery discharge ratings, and charging characteristics.

16 Expected Charge/Discharge Cycles Best wet cells 6K Golf cart (6V) Typical AGM 4K Charging Cutoff Typical gelled 2K 0K 0 20 40 60 Depth of Discharge, % 80 100 A boat is not an ideal environment, so you should count on getting about half of the cycles shown. Thus, instead of 3,000 discharges to 50% for the best wet-acid battery, you might assume 1,500 cycles. Alternating banks daily, and recharging the banks in parallel, you can project 1,500 recharges × 2 days = 3,000 days, or 8 years. With the same 50% discharge and 2-day cycle, golf cart batteries should last about 5 years, AGMs 4 years, and gelled electrolyte batteries 2 to 3 years.

Rising gas bubbles then mix the electrolyte, and acceptance increases. • Gelled-electrolyte batteries capture the electrolyte in a gel, preventing stratification and increasing initial charge acceptance. “Starved electrolyte batteries” accomplish the same goal by limiting the electrolyte to just enough to saturate the porous separators. • Most serious is the phenomenon of sulfation. , with much of its electrodes in the form of PbSO4), the initially fine, soft deposits grow into larger, harder crystals that clog the holes of the sponged electrodes.

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