What Does Battery Group Size Mean
In searching for the right size of battery, it will all have to go down to identifying the right group size of marine battery. Considered as one of the specifications of marine battery that you have to look for. It simply indicates the dimensions of the power cell housings that the Battery Council International set. It is the standard sizing of marine batteries where it indicates the length, width, and height of the housings of the batteries. To guide you in your search for the right size of battery for your boat below is a chart of the common group size of marine batteries that you can consult.
A Size Chart of the Most Common Size of Marine Batteries in the Market Today!
What Do Batteries Want
If you dont happen to have an abundance of smarts when it comes to understanding your boat’s batteries in terms of their chemistry and charging needs, it helps to have a system with the smarts built-in.;Fortunately, modern smart charging options are available to make proper care of batteries almost goof-proof.
We have onboard battery chargers, portable battery chargers and combination inverter/battery chargers for any size or style of boat. To find out more about chargers that are combined with a power inverter, see our West Advisor, Do-it-Yourself: Selecting an Inverter or Inverter/Charger.
This makes it difficult to recommend precise charging voltages, since they vary according to the temperature of the battery. Most of us generally operate our boats in temperatures between 50°F and 90°F, and the values used in our West Advisors reflect that. Higher temperatures require lower voltages, and lower temperatures require higher voltages. Note: In the following section, we define the capacity of the battery bank as C.
Different Types Of Battery Chemistry
Now that you are familiar with the different types of batteries available in the market, this is the time to learn about the different types of battery chemistry. Which is another crucial aspect in choosing the right type of battery that can keep with the needs of your boat. To be familiar with this different battery chemistry, refer to the list below:
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The Gel Cell Boat Battery Explained:
A modern;Gel cell;boat battery uses similar principles to the flooded battery. How it is differs is the gel cell is a sealed battery. Also, it has its electrolyte fluid gelled with a thickening agent. Since these batteries are seal units, they are spill proof and leak proof if cracked or broken.
The formulation of todays Gel cells is from Otto Jaches and Heinz Schroeders;U.S. Patent 4,414,302.
What Can My Battery Hold
Before diving into the list of common issues found with drained batteries, it is important to understand what a battery holds and how long it can last. The reality is that your battery only has so much charge capacity, and this amount gets lowered every day, month, and year.;
If you have a brand new, fully-charged battery that did not discharge there would be plenty of space to run many of these list items without worry for over a year. That being said, this is simply not how batteries work. It is important to recognize how they do so that you can be more in control of your batterys life.
The average battery will both lose capacity and will self-discharge on a regular basis. When considering the batterys capacity, you can expect almost a 10% decrease in capacity each year for a standard battery. As for the topic of self-discharge, this number ranges anywhere from 2% all the way to 10% drainage per month.;
Unfortunately for summer-loving boat enthusiasts, warm weather is one of the causes of faster discharge. So, if you find that your battery has unexpectedly drained after a hot day, this could also be a possible cause.
Now that you understand that batteries are losing their charge and capacity on a regular basis, you will understand why things that may seem like microscopic, parasitic loads on the surface can actually be causing your battery to die.;
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Odyssey 34m Trolling Marine Dual
Our penultimate entry is the Odyssey 34M Dual Purpose Marine Battery. This best marine battery works as both a starting battery and a deep cycle battery so you can count on it to start your boat engine and run your onboard appliances. The Odyssey is an AGM battery and uses pure lead as its plate materials. Lead has a very high conductance and makes a battery that lasts a long time.
The Odyssey is a sealed lead-acid battery which means there is no need to refill the water tanks. In fact, its basically maintenance-free as long as you keep the leads clean and clear. The construction is robust and can withstand a lot of vibration. WE honestly bet you could smash it with a hammer and leave minimal damage .
The Odyssey has a wide range of operational temperatures and can put out optimal capacity between 0 degrees and 170 degrees Fahrenheit. It has a nominal voltage of 12V and a 5-second current up to 1500 amps. It has a pretty impressive 135 reserve battery capacity which translates to just over two hours of trolling operation.
The Odyssey has a better long-term performance than most other batteries in its league though it is a bit more expensive. This is not unexpected as dual-purpose batteries are usually on the more expensive side of the scale. Overall though, the extra price is worth the top-tier performance. The manufacturer claims that the battery can be stored for up to 2 years on an open circuit without needing to recharge.
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Best Marine Battery Reviews
Odyssey might be a relatively new energy solutions company, but it has established itself as a force to reckon with when it comes to rugged, long-lasting equipment. There is a reason the Odyssey 31-PC2150S battery is called an extreme battery. Thats because it is specifically designed to meet the demands of heavy-duty vehicles from farming equipment, tractor-trailers, boats, and more.
This battery has enough power to start many powerboats without breaking a sweat, and its rugged construction protects it against vibration and impacts that can easily damage other batteries. It is fitted with pure virgin lead plates for maximum conductivity and power. The brass terminals are tin-plated and corrosion-resistant.
Specs and Features
- Retains stable voltage for long periods
- 70% longer cycler life compared to many traditional deep cycle batteries
- Fast recharge
- Non-spillable design for flexible mount
- Vibration resistance
- 40oF to 113oF operating temperatures
- 4-year full replacement warranty, 3-year limited warranty
Banshee did not exaggerate when it described this Lithium-ion LifePo4 battery as a super lightweight and long-lasting model. The deep cycle battery weighs 60% less than any typical lead battery and lasts up to three times longer than most SLA or AGM batteries.
Specs and Features:
Specs and Features
Specs and Features
Thin Plate Pure Lead And Lithium Batteries
New technologies will require new ways of thinking about your boat’s battery system. NorthStar TPPL batteries are among the most advanced AGM batteries in the world. They’re made from 99.99% pure lead that’s rolled into thin plates. Combining the pure lead’s low electrical resistance and greater surface area from more and thinner lead plates, they can accept much higher charging amperage than typical AGM batteries. Not only do they charge incredibly quickly, but they’re capable of 400 charge/discharge cycles with an amazing 80% depth of discharge.
These batteries add intriguing options for long distance cruisers. Instead of installing a 1000Ah battery bank and running your diesel for six hours, you can install a 500Ah TPPL bank and charge more frequently, but faster. Or you can forego a genset and install one or more very high-output alternatorsturning your propulsion engine into a high-output charging machine. Your diesel will run for short periods but with a high load .
Lithium/nickel/cobalt/manganese batteries, like those used in Torqeedo electric outboards, weigh less than lead acid batteries, can be discharged 800 times to 100% depth of discharge, and can be recharged in a little over an hour. They excel as battery banks in electric boats, as well as for other high-performance battery tasks.
Think About The Design And Upkeep
Another important aspect that you have to consider in picking a marine battery is the design and maintenance demand of the power cell. Ideally, you want to go for the maintenance-free batteries with durable design. They are more convenient to use, and they will also help you save a lot of money in the long run by reducing the maintenance expenses and by providing longer service life. Considering the design of the power cell will also make it easier for you to install the battery itself.
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How To Rapidly Kill A Battery
Undercharging: Consistently failing to fully recharge batteries leaves them with lead sulfate that hardens on their platesthey become sulfatedand gradually lose their ability to perform. Increased resistance when charging causes falsely elevated voltage readings, essentially fooling the battery charger, leading to further undercharging, in a downward spiral. Beyond a certain point, a sulfated battery cannot be returned to a healthy state, and you need a replacement. Keep your batteries charged, and equalize your wet cell batteries every six to eight weeks in temperate climates, and more frequently in the tropics.
Overcharging: Especially fatal to Gel and AGM batteries, consistent overcharging boils the electrolyte out of the cells, and can even lead to thermal runaway, with the battery becoming hotter and hotter. One of our writers experienced thermal runaway on his liveaboard Catalina 30, caused by a ferroresonant dumb charger, with nearly catastrophic results.
Excessive deep discharge: Dont completely discharge a deep cycle battery if it can be avoided. The deeper the discharge the less life you will get from the battery. The ideal method is to charge and discharge the batteries through the middle range of their capacity and, if they are flooded batteries, to equalize them periodically. Leaving the battery in a fully-discharged state, for example during winter storage, causes it to become sulfated.
Cranking Or Starting Batteries
These are designed specifically to start your main engine. They are made with thinner and more numerous lead plates inside, allowing for more surface area and thereby providing the quick and massive amounts of energy required for tough starting jobs. While the motor is running, the alternator inside will easily and quickly replenish the used energy.
If your boat is powered by a newer model outboard with sophisticated computers, pumps and sensors, you definitely want to make certain you have enough starting power. It’s a good idea to check your owner’s manual for the recommended MCA rating before shopping for a battery; always choose one with a rating equal to or greater than the recommended value.
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Install Terminal Block As Breakout Point
If you get your boats switch panel fully wired , then youll have an easy to install wiring harness coming off pre-installed with heat shrink labels, and ring terminals.; This is meant to land on a terminal block like this one.
Each switch output gets its own gang on the terminal block, and with the labels right there it makes a handy breakout point for troubleshooting or adding items down the road.; These are the positives of course the switch legs and all thats needed is to crimp a #8 ring terminal on the positive load wiring that runs out around your boat to the various loads.
Were showing one output from the terminal block here for the manual bilge pump switch. ;Its shown in parallel with the float switch, so either switch can turn the pump on .
This is how one of our fully wired switch panels would interface with a terminal block. ;With our heat shrink labels its easy to hook up your load wiring and troubleshoot.
How To Hook Up Dual Batteries In A Boat
Sometimes, there is such a huge power requirement on your boat that you simply cannot fulfill it with just one battery. You have to connect two or more batteries instead to sufficiently power the boat. You usually come across this issue with bigger boats that have more than one engine or lots of electronics.
Connecting two or more batteries to your boat engine is simpler than it sounds. The procedure is the same for connecting two batteries, or three, or more. You just have to follow these simple steps.
- Secure all batteries on your boat.
- Take a heavy gauge wire like a 4 or 2 GA, and bridge all of the negative terminals of the batteries together.
- Install the switch in a suitable location, and then connect each positive terminals of the batteries to the switch. One positive to terminal 1 and one positive to terminal 2. Make sure that the switch is in the off position.
- Take a wire, and connect the output of the switch to the positive terminal of your engine.
- Use another wire to connect the negative terminal of your engine to the negative terminal of any of the batteries. .
There, you are done! It is really just as simple as that.
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Choose A Location & Dc Wire Sizing
The location your charger is mounted in plays a critical role in its life span & longevity. Care should be taken to follow your manufacturers instructions of orientation, access to air, moisture or battery gas exposure.
1- Mount the charger in a location were it can run cool and air can move around it. An engine space is often a poor location because the engines, and engine bay, remain warm long after the engine has been shut down. Many also have water heaters that can keep the temps in these small areas higher than average. While on many vessels you dont have a choice in this matter, due to space constraints, always look for a location outside the engine space before installing there. If the charger has a fan be sure to mount the inlet and outlet in areas where they will have unobstructed air flow. If necessary, or prudent for your charger, you can cut ventilation holes in lockers, and then cover the holes with pre-made ventilation grills to allow air flow. Ventilation for your charger does not have to look bad. There are many grill options available from teak to stainless steel.
5- Try to mount the charger as close to the battery bank/banks as possible without mounting in the battery or engine compartment. Shorter wire runs mean less installation cost, less voltage drop can make for better charger performance over the long haul.
Determine The Needs Of Your Boat
If you are trying to find the right suitable power cell for your boat, you first have to determine the entire electrical load of your boat and the current that it needs to start its engine. As we mentioned above, your marine battery will have to handle two tasks. Starting your boats engine and running its entire electrical grid. If you have an estimated value of these two things, then you will have an idea of what kind of battery you need to handle these two crucial tasks.
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What Battery Ratings To Look For
Starting functions: the amount of power available for cranking a starter is measured several ways.
CCA vs. MCA: The two common power measurements are CCA and MCA . The reason that MCA are 2025% higher than the CCA is because batteries work better at higher temperatures.
Reserve Minutes indicate how long a battery can sustain a load of 25 amps before it drops to 10.5 volts. A battery rated at 150 minutes can operate a 25A load for 2 1/2 hours . Starting batteries aren’t used to handle loads for long periods, so reserve minutes are less critical.
Size: Engine size, type, and ambient temperature determine what size cranking battery you need. High cranking power is required for cold temperatures, diesel engines, or large and high compression gas engines. The first sizing criteria is to meet the minimum CCA stated by the engine or boat manufacturer. If a Group 24, 550 CCA battery worked well for five years, we’d recommend replacing it with a similar model. If, however, it cranked too slowly or failed after a season or two, we’d suggest that you look for a battery with a higher CCA or MCA rating.
How Long Does It Take To Charge
If you operate your house bank between a 50 percent and 85 percent state of charge, as many experts recommend, and charge once daily, you should be able to return the 35 percent of battery capacity by operating a properly-sized alternator for slightly over an hour. More deeply discharged batteries, or smaller alternators, will require more time. Surprisingly, using a massive charger or monster alternator to pour on the current can be counterproductive, and can shorten your battery life.; Excessive current makes batteries heat up and gas excessively . Soon the voltage limit is reached, causing a downshift from the Bulk to Acceptance Phase. Adding more battery capacity is a better solution, and may even decrease the needed recharging time. Bigger battery banks can accept more charging amps, so they replenish more quickly and you dont need to run your engine as long.
Balmar’s Max Charge MC-612 Regulator has seven charging programs for your externally-regulated alternator.
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