Moving battery forward.

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Moving battery forward.

Postby captstu on Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:36 am

Hi, When my Mace 2.5 generator was out for repairs, the boat developed a slight list to starboard - expected since I removed about 160 pounds from the port side. I had previously moved two batteries from the port to starboard side to more balance the generator weight.

Well, no problem. The trim tabs were sufficient to trim the boat level at speed - but I noticed (couldn't help but noticing) that the ride had improved and the top speed went from about 15 knots to about 16.5 knots, enabling me to drop the rpm significantly to maintain my comfortable 13.5 knot desired cruising speed.

I think it is trim (forward/aft) rather than boat weight since when I carry 4 people, I can still achieve cruising speed at about the same RPM.

So, Is there any reason not to move the thruster battery forward under the bunk on the starboard side? Same total wire length with no new heavy wiring required, just relocate the switch.

I could easily used a sealed battery to control outgassing and potential spillage. Shifting 80 pounds from the port aft to the starboard forward would allow me to return the house batteries to their original location while still preserving trim.

We don't now use the space on the starboard forward for anything - hard to access under the bunk and topper.

Thanks for sharing your idea. /Stu
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Re: Moving battery forward.

Postby knotflying on Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:40 am

Before you change everything, why not disconnect your thruster battery and move it to where you want it and determine the results. I find it hard to believe that relocating the battery will make a significant difference.
“What we call reality is merely an ILLUSION we create for learning and enjoyment….”
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Re: Moving battery forward.

Postby captstu on Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:48 am

Good idea. I'll take the bunk apart and do that today. I plan to get a AGM Cranking Battery - since only the surge current is an issue with the thrusters and they are nearly always fully charged - on shore power and underway. My present 1-year Walmart battery is going strong at 2.5 years, but the thrusters aren't spinning strong as long as they did when the battery was new, so it is time.
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Re: Moving battery forward.

Postby TexasEye on Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:56 am

I would think trim lateral and longitudinal make a significant performance difference on a short fat boat...
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Re: Moving battery forward.

Postby knotflying on Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:10 am

captstu wrote:Good idea. I'll take the bunk apart and do that today. I plan to get a AGM Cranking Battery - since only the surge current is an issue with the thrusters and they are nearly always fully charged - on shore power and underway. My present 1-year Walmart battery is going strong at 2.5 years, but the thrusters aren't spinning strong as long as they did when the battery was new, so it is time.


You do realize that your charger does not differentiate between different battery types among your group. You have to go with one type throughout all batteries and set the charger accordingly. There should be settings for flooded, maintenance free and AGM. Although, The alternator has no settings so I am not sure how that theory works as it relates to the alternator.

So when all is said and done will the cost of buying an AGM and the work involved relocating the thruster battery and then perhaps the need to install a smart regulator to protect the AGM be worth it?
“What we call reality is merely an ILLUSION we create for learning and enjoyment….”
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Re: Moving battery forward.

Postby BB marine on Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:34 am

captstu wrote:Hi, When my Mace 2.5 generator was out for repairs, the boat developed a slight list to starboard - expected since I removed about 160 pounds from the port side. I had previously moved two batteries from the port to starboard side to more balance the generator weight.

Well, no problem. The trim tabs were sufficient to trim the boat level at speed - but I noticed (couldn't help but noticing) that the ride had improved and the top speed went from about 15 knots to about 16.5 knots, enabling me to drop the rpm significantly to maintain my comfortable 13.5 knot desired cruising speed.

I think it is trim (forward/aft) rather than boat weight since when I carry 4 people, I can still achieve cruising speed at about the same RPM.

So, Is there any reason not to move the thruster battery forward under the bunk on the starboard side? Same total wire length with no new heavy wiring required, just relocate the switch.

I could easily used a sealed battery to control outgassing and potential spillage. Shifting 80 pounds from the port aft to the starboard forward would allow me to return the house batteries to their original location while still preserving trim.

We don't now use the space on the starboard forward for anything - hard to access under the bunk and topper.

Thanks for sharing your idea. /Stu


I just finished moving my batteries from the port side to starboard side and thought seriously about installing thruster battery at bow also. I want to add another house battery for my inverter.My thought was to have three house batteries on the starboard engine battery on port and install the thruster battery in the compartment in the bow above the thruster. Now the logistics of this is more complicated then moving a switch. Battery charger cables need to be moved ( on board charger). The terminals are not the same as they go forward on the boat At least my boat.There is a 3/O coming off the battery going to the battery switch at the panel. There are two leads coming off switch then thru a fuse and a #1 going back to stern thruster and a fuse and 1/O going to the bow thruster. Then an additional cable should be added for the engine charging relay this requires a substantial cable for the charging system if you want the engine to charge the thruster battery. It has to be separate from the power cable for the thruster. The fuses also have to be relocated. All of this can be done but its not has simple has moving a switch. Its a great idea and I haven't given up on it. I just have to find an area that I can get the wiring up there and insure it will not get damaged. I also think it needs to be vented witch can be done thru the anchor locker. I'm running a water line to the anchor locker for raw water wash. (This is a requirement after running the Mississippi,ohio and Tennessee river this fall the anchor and chain come up with a lot of mud). When I do this I will see if I can run wires up there too. Here are a few photos of new battery installation .
ImageImageImageImage
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Re: Moving battery forward.

Postby knotflying on Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:45 am

Looks good! I joined my thruster battery to the house and put a switch between them so I can isolate them from each other. I usually keep them joined though. I get extra power when on the hook and I also get the extra amperage when using the thrusters. Kind of a win/win. Moving the thruster battery to the bow seems like a lot of work and expense.
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Re: Moving battery forward.

Postby NorthernFocus on Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:41 am

If one is determined to move batteries forward it seems like there is more weight and electrical benefit to move the house bank. Most of the house loads are powered from the buss located behind the helm so a much shorter run between batt and load. The existing supply cable could be used to carry alternator charge and supply the few misc loads that are currently connected in the battery compartment. If the thruster batt is moved forward it must still power the aft thruster via a long cable run.
Dan

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Re: Moving battery forward.

Postby BB marine on Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:16 am

knotflying wrote:Looks good! I joined my thruster battery to the house and put a switch between them so I can isolate them from each other. I usually keep them joined though. I get extra power when on the hook and I also get the extra amperage when using the thrusters. Kind of a win/win. Moving the thruster battery to the bow seems like a lot of work and expense.

I agree Knotflying, the install creates a lot more work and the weight of the extra battery adds up.Placing the battery in the bow may help in the boats attitude but I'm not sure if it is worth the efforts. I also paralleled the House bank with the Thruster bank via another battery switch. I did this for extra battery capacity while at anchor using the inverter. With engine running I keep the switch setting at house battery only. The 180 amp alternator can maintain all amperage demands for the 12v system and inverter. This also allows the Blue Sea relays to function properly too. When we anchor I switch to all and have enough battery capacity to last approximately 12 hours. Our boat is 100% electric. stove ,convection oven/microwave, refrigerator,TV, C-pap along with outlets for fans and crockpot are used.Careful power management is used. The hot water heater the Air unit is never used when at anchor. The inverter has an automatic shut down at 50% discharge approximately 11.3volts. In the morning I usually start the engine and run the engine for 10 or 15 minutes. This charges the batteries back up and warms up the hot water tank.
Brian Brown
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Re: Moving battery forward.

Postby captstu on Wed Nov 15, 2017 9:30 am

Brian,

I value your advice.

the idea of moving the battery forward came about when I had to remove the Mace generator (about 160 pounds) for repairs. I had previously moved two batteries to the starboard side to balance the generator weight better - so the temporary removal required some trim adjustment.

The result was a 1.5 knot increase in top speed or a 400 rpm reduction in the engine speed necessary to maintain my high cruise speed of 13.5 knots. There was also visible, but unmeasured improvement in the bow up angle with nearly full trim adjustment.

So, I can see fuel economy improvement, top speed improvement or some significant combination if I can get some weight forward.

Is it worth it, I am expecting about a 0.7 gallon per hour improvement - between $2 and $3/hour if I keep the same cruising speed - but that may improve further when I test to find the most efficient cruise with the new weight distribution.

I also gain very valuable storage locker space in the stern - more and bigger fenders - no weight to speak of, but lots of space.

Exclusive of a new battery - my current one is weakening and beyond the warrant date by 18 months - I expect it to cos under $20 for some hold downs and take up no space since the area under the front bunk's front access port is unusable by anything you might need without removing the front bunk.

I'll let you know how this works out. I really like the Ranger design, but improving the trim will make it even better.

Thanks for the suggestions. /Stu
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Re: Moving battery forward.

Postby BB marine on Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:09 am

I am interested in your project. Please post your results and the install requirements. Some picture would be helpful too.
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Re: Moving battery forward.

Postby Red Raven on Wed Nov 15, 2017 1:21 pm

BB marine wrote: In the morning I usually start the engine and run the engine for 10 or 15 minutes. This charges the batteries back up and warms up the hot water tank.
Brian Brown
Cutwater 26


Hi Brian,

What rpm do you run the boat to heat the hot water when at anchor? I have been unable to get the water to warm up with the engine in neutral. The engine does not get warm enough to open the thermostat.

Curt
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Re: Moving battery forward.

Postby BB marine on Wed Nov 15, 2017 5:18 pm

I run at 1000 rpm to excite the alternator and keep it there for about 15 minutes in the morning. Engine temp is usually @ 140F to 150F The thermostat doesn't start to open until around 175F and fully open around 190F. There is an uncooled bypass in the heat exchanger for circulation of antifreeze thru the system. When the thermostat opens the coolant goes thru the cooled part of the heat exchanger and the by- pass closes off. The hot water is not hot.. Hot... but it is at least warm enough for washing up and dishes.
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Re: Moving battery forward.

Postby Red Raven on Wed Nov 15, 2017 8:59 pm

Thanks Brian,

I’ll try kicking up the rpm’s a bit next season before giving up. At idle, I ran it for a half hour and never got even a little warm.

Curt
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Re: Moving battery forward.

Postby captstu on Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:18 pm

I will take some pictures. in the meantime I’ve stumped!

It looks from the wiring the winless was connected to the two terminals one the bow thruster. After I disconnected the battery I tried the winless to see if woodwork. No battery works fine. So I tried the first thruster, no battery work better with the battery was installed. Makes me curious if the boat would go faster if I took the engine out?

So I tested the battery, now sitting with no wires on it at all, and found 11.87 V. The battery had just come off charge so I obviously it has a dead cell.

The question is how did the thrusters run with those thruster battery?

The answer is both charging relays are in the closed position even though the engine is off and the batteries are idling at about 13.2 V. My guess is that 13.2 V is enough that the charging relays thought things were being charged, and they were with the solar cell and a small trickle charger.

So going further I disconnected the red sensor wire leading age of the two charging relays. The only wiring involved is the power going to the Ft fuse, line from the power leading forward to the Forward thruster and the two lines from the thruster buss to the two charging relays.

With the sensor wires disconnected I expected both relays the open. The thrusters continue to work fine. When I disconnected one after the other of the two wires from the thruster power bus to the respective relays, the thruster continue to operate as long as either wire was connected.

It’s difficult for me to believe that both charging relays failed simultaneously in the on position. Anyone have any other ideas?


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Last edited by captstu on Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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