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S&S Swan Maintenance - Battery mix
24 November 2015 - 10:25
#1
Join Date: 01 February 2007
Posts: 234

Battery mix
I am currently installing a larger alternator as my battery bank has increased in size. I find that I have two types of batteries installed. 3 x GEL 80 amp for domestic and 1 x 110amp for engine start but this battery is sealed lead acid type.

My Victron Centaur charger has the capability to charge upto 3 separate battery banks. Do they all need to be the same type i.e. GEL? The default setting on the charger is for GEL batteries. What will be the effect of leaving the current set up or should I change the lead acid for GEL

25 November 2015 - 17:00
#2
Join Date: 02 January 2008
Posts: 1547

Dear John
This charger provides the possibility to set the charging characteristics independently for the connected battery types, and the recommendation is to use the lead acid setting for the starting battery.
Kind regards
Lars

29 November 2015 - 17:04
#3
Join Date: 01 February 2007
Posts: 234

Lars, the Victron has three settings Lead Acid, Gel & AGM

It is set to GEL which supports my domestic batteries which are GEL. As the charge goes through a split diode I am not sure if it is possible to set the Victron to charge each set/ type of batteries differently.

What would be the likely effect of charging Lead Acid batteries on a GEL battery charging regime?

John B

Swan 411 010

30 November 2015 - 10:46
#4
Join Date: 02 January 2008
Posts: 1547

Dear John
Your charger uses 0.3 V lower voltage for gel batteries, and it would then take a longer time to charge the lead acid battery. Possibly also sulfation caused. Suggest you seek the advise of the lead acid battery manufacturer.
Kind regards
Lars

01 December 2015 - 11:57
#5
Join Date: 30 January 2007
Posts: 446

John,
As you probably already know the optimal required charge voltages for different battery types are (please notice that in the technical literature you may find slightly different numbers):

Charge Float Battery type
14.8 13.6Lead flooded
14.35 13.35AGM
14 13.7Gel
Even if they do not seem large, the differences are indeed relevant for the health of the batteries because even a few tenths volt of difference may mean undercharge or overheating.
The choice is up to you but, if I decided to invest a certain sum to improve my electric system, I would try to obtain the best from it without compromises: either same type of batteries with one charger, or a proper charger for each type of battery.
Daniel, 411/004

04 December 2015 - 21:39
#6
Join Date: 01 February 2007
Posts: 234

Thanks

I think the cheapest option is too change the one Lead acid battery for gel so all are the same.

Still a big mistake as the cost is 200 for a gel battery. It just goes to show that you have to look at every small detail that so called professionals carry out on your boat.

05 December 2015 - 10:18
#7
Join Date: 30 January 2007
Posts: 446

Hi John,
this is fine; only check that the CCA of the new battery will fit your needs. Gel batteries, everything else equal, have a smaller CCA and usually are not considered as good as the flooded ones for cranking an engine.
Daniel, 411/004

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