Malua has more than enough amp hours of battery to maintain the systems and I invested in the very best batteries available at the time. I started six Sonnenschein 6 volt 200Ah connected in parallel and series. There is also a 12 volt 85Ah Sonnenschein starter battery - now changed. They are both gel construction which will work underwater and require no distilled water or maintenance. The one bank works flawlessley however after 12 years of almost continious use it was time to replace the other bank before setting off on a long cruise back to Australia. I had organised in Deltaville USA to have six 6 volt replacements and paid the money. When I arrived back in the USA the money had gone and there were no batteries so I set about sourceing identical ones. The importer unfortunatly only had four so not wanting to wait four months I took them.
OK six large
heavy batteries out from under the bunk up the conpanionway steps over
the side and down to the freezing ground below. A block and
tackle and a power winch did the trick then up the new ones come.
Did they fit... yes exactly so connect them up and then look around for
240 volt AC to charge them because as you know the USA is 110
volt. No luck so I had to wait till I got the generator
working to charge the new bank. That now gives me 800 amp hour of house battery.
In Panama the
starter battery deceided that it would not put enough power into the
starter to reliably start the Yanmar so that I dumped and I set about
getting a new battery. Unfortunatly that was not as good as my
Sonnenshein and in November 2015 I replaced that with a new
Optima gel battery. We will see how that goes.
That battery did not last as long as i should have and was replaced in 2020 with another new Gel battery. This proved to be one of the keys to starting the generator.
After the COVID lockdown and the lack of use of Malue something had to give and the batteries installed in the USA would not hold a charge. The idea of a set of six 6 volt means that if one fails you have 5 or in fact 4 left to keep going. It was quite easy to establish which battery had faild so I just isolated that and one we sailed.
The major cause
of the failure is I think that the solar panels keep both banks charged
at a 13.8 volt but it is very superficial change and when a good load
is placed on the battery it cant take it. I think there is a way
to charge the bank at a high voltage over time but I did not wish to
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