Gel Cell Failure

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Re: Gel Cell Failure

Postby LAdamo on Mon Jun 15, 2009 10:40 pm

On the venting, I'm not sure how far to take it. The roughly rectangular, under bunk battery compartment has the hull on the outside, another under bunk compartment forward, an engine room bulkhead inboard, and a cockpit locker bulkhead aft. There is a 4" cable hole in the engine room bulkhead and a much smaller one to the forward compartment. I was thinking about putting a duct through the aft bulkhead into the cockpit locker and venting it to the outside via the cockpit combing compartment. Should I put a low draw DC fan in to push air up or do you think convection is enough? Is the goal of the venting to allow positive pressure to escape or to provide circulation? If I vent it this way, the source air will come from the engine room. I could also cut a second hole in the aft bulkhead so the source air could come from inside the cockpit locker. This would probably be cooler air than the engine room.
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Re: Gel Cell Failure

Postby Coulomb on Wed Jun 17, 2009 10:10 am

Hydrogen rises so the objective it to let it rise and not capture it in a pocket. You'll have to decide what the best way to let it escape the boat is best.

Then you need to have an alarm that detects run-away charging that breaks the seal on the gel batteries, which is typically 1-2 PSI.
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Re: Gel Cell Failure

Postby LAdamo on Wed Jun 17, 2009 6:27 pm

Understood on the venting.

Can you offer any guidance on this alarm? Is this an electrical alarm or a pressure alarm?
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Re: Gel Cell Failure

Postby Coulomb on Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:34 am

Voltage alarm.

There's a section in "Living on 12 Volts with Ample Power" regarding battery management that explains what you need to know.
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Re: Gel Cell Failure

Postby LAdamo on Sat Aug 15, 2009 7:06 pm

After a hiatus from thinking about this Valiant system redesign, I'm back. On my last boat, an Ericson 35, I had gotten as far as a Smart Regulator, Ample Power Alternator, and Isolator Eliminator along with a complete re-wire to your recommendations. On the Valiant, I have a single start battery, one house bank, a generator, and a main engine, and I was thinking I would do similar thing except that I would go all the way with an EMON II and use your Dual Alternator Controller to handle the two alternators. However, I am gathering from your website that you are advocating the parallel solenoid approach instead of the Isolator Eliminator and that you no longer sell the EMON. Although the Enermatic Controller looks like an awesome device for automatic generator control in remote places like your buoy project, it seems pretty expensive for my situation. I also like the idea of a display like the EMON that is easy to monitor.

Comments?

Thanks,

Louis
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Re: Gel Cell Failure

Postby Coulomb on Mon Aug 17, 2009 7:02 pm

The Eliminator was a great device, and extremely reliable. But it's hard to sell a functional product when the value of it isn't generally understood, and a less expensive product apparently does the same thing.

A parallel solenoid can be effective in the right circumstance. A house bank made up of good gel batteries with a starter battery that takes a higher charge voltage works. For the starter battery use a liquid unit with lead-calcium plates, or and AGM battery such as the Optima.

A new monitor is in the works.
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Re: Gel Cell Failure

Postby LAdamo on Tue Aug 18, 2009 8:48 am

The boat has a Xantrex Echo-charge which must be what you are talking about. I suppose I can continue to use it until I get the bigger parts in place as long as the start battery is the same type as the house bank type. If fact, the way the boat is currently wired using the traditional 1-both-2 switch, the start bank isn't a start bank at all, merely a small second bank that can be switched to for starting when the house bank is too weak to start. I will be transforming the system.

I'm glad to hear a new monitor is in the works. Can you give any indication of when it might be ready? 6 months? 2 years?
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Re: Gel Cell Failure

Postby Coulomb on Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:32 pm

Six months.
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Re: Gel Cell Failure

Postby LAdamo on Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:36 pm

Hi,

How's that new monitor coming along?

Also, I found a used Isolator Eliminator. Do you still service them if necessary? Is it possible to buy the temperature sensor if it doesn't have it?
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Re: Gel Cell Failure

Postby Coulomb on Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:40 am

There's no new information about the monitor.

We can still service Eliminators as long as the PCB is OK.
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