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Importance of Remote Battery Switches

A common conundrum with battery banks and their main disconnect switch is that batteries are often located in the engine room space. The cable to disconnect switch for the battery should be as short as possible and by commonly accepted standards, within 72” from the battery terminal post. The problem arises that in the situation of a catastrophic event, like a battery exploding, it should be possible to easily access and disconnect the battery without entering the space in which the battery is contained.

Shore Power Connections

With the coming of fall and cooler weather, there will inevitably be some concerned boat owners having a closer look at their shore power connections. Many boats will soon, if they are not already, be tied to the dock for the duration of the ‘off-season’ with the exception of possibly a couple of forays on spectacular or special days. Most people will leave their AC electrical system connected to the shore side utility to run the battery charger and maintain the batteries

Firefly Oasis: A Comparison with Lead-Acid and AGM Batteries

Lead/acid batteries are by far the most prevalent form of stored power, even though battery technology is constantly developing newer formats and improving the current on the formats that are already on the market. The reason that lead/acid batteries still prevail are that the dollar per power ratio is very favorable. The energy density of...

Battery Voltage vs Battery Capacity

The best way to determine remaining battery capacity is by using a self-learning battery monitor with a percentage state of charge function (SOC). However, not every boat is equipped with that type of device nor does every boat owner have such a device in their budget. If the only means of estimating remaining battery capacity is a voltage meter, then a reasonable approximation can be made based on an accurate digital voltage measurement with a battery utilizing lead/acid chemistry.

Advantages of External Alternator Regulation

Alternator regulators were traditionally built into or attached to the back of the alternator and were functionally either producing power or were not producing power. This approach is fine for many applications, particularly with power boats that run their engine, and therefore the alternator for long periods of time. For other vessel operators the engine run times maybe shorter.

Direct Methanol Fuel Cell

You can never have too many options for alternative energy charging choices for the DC system on a boat. Direct Methanol Fuel Cells are an interesting alternative that is worth considering.

Peukert’s Law

It is important when managing a battery bank that you know the bank’s capacity. Batteries and battery bank capacities are usually determined from information provided by the battery manufacturer. A common rating for storage batteries is 20 hour rate.

Battery Bank Capacity vs Charge Rate

By far the most prevalent battery type commonly used by boat electrical system designers remains lead/acid chemistry based. The chemical reaction, lead sulphate being converted into lead and lead oxide, takes place on the surface of the plates. The amount of exposed surface area, diffusion rates, and the time required for the reaction to complete form the basis for the internal resistance (IR) of the battery, or battery bank.

Battery Bank Capacity Calculation

Batteries are available in many voltages, types, and sizes. It is common to cable batteries together to make a bank of batteries of a different voltage or amperage capacity. Lead/acid batteries are most commonly available as 6V or 12V varieties, but, you can find and pay a premium price for, 2V, 8V, or 24V batteries.

Battery Monitors

A boat’s battery bank is at the heart of its DC electrical system and the banks state of charge (SOC) is critical information. Not only is it important to know how much energy remains stored so you do not deplete the bank and no longer have the power needed to run boat’s services, but it is also necessary information to maintain the batteries in good health to maximize the number of cycles possible from the bank.

Page 1 of 17    Total Results: 165