Online Book:

Battery Installation & Maintenance

Includes FREE Introductory Chapter (scroll down)

This Online Book started as a project to solve problems that John and Phyllis had been having with premature failure of the house batteries on Morgan’s Cloud and morphed into the development of a complete, but relatively simple, protocol to get the very best life out of lead acid batteries, whether they be liquid filled, gel, or AGM. John is an electronics technician by trade and has spent some twenty years living on boats with batteries, so this is real practical information that works.

Table of Contents:

Fundamentals Of Battery Care

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All lead-acid batteries, regardless of type, fail eventually, mostly due to sulphation. In this chapter we look at the cost per discharge cycle of various care scenarios.

One Simple Law That Makes Electrical Systems Easy to Understand

Main 12 volt bus wiring on "Morgan's Cloud".

Electricity, batteries and how to charge them are the source of more confusion in the cruising world than just about anything I can think of. But suppose you could really understand electricity? Now you can, and it's not hard. Read on. This post will be complimentary for two days only.

10 Tips To Buy And Install A Liveaboard’s Alternator

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On a cruising sailboat the batteries will likely be charged most often by an alternator on the main engine, particularly if the boat does not have a generator. And if you live aboard, the alternator that came with the engine is simply not going to cut it. In this chapter we share how to buy and install a real cruiser's alternator.

Installing And Programing The Right Alternator Regulator

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Even if you have the biggest and best alternator in the world, if you don't have a good regulator and, in most cases, reprogram it from the factory default settings, your batteries are not going to get the full charge they so desperately need. In this chapter we share how to buy and reprogram a regulator.

Equalizing Batteries, The Reality

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Fully charging your batteries after each discharge on a live-aboard cruising sailboat is simply not practical. Instead, most of us will cycle our batteries between 50 and 80% of their capacity. The bad news is that this will ruin your lead-acid batteries (regardless of type) in a distressingly short time due to sulfation. However, there is a solution: equalization. In this chapter we cover what it is and how to do it.

11 Steps To Better Battery Life

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We have written about battery charging in mind numbing detail in this Online Book. Now we will give you the summary, together with a couple of new tips not yet revealed.

Inverters And Chargers

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Combined inverters and chargers have become pretty much standard on cruising sailboats but, in fact, that's a really bad idea. In this chapter we will share why and what to do about it.

Lithium Ion Batteries

The lithium polymer battery pack of an ISF 5000 class solar car I worked on in undergrad. This suitcase-sized 35 kilogram pack, with a usable capacity of 5 kWh, is equal to four 8D lead-acids weighing nearly 300 kg.

There's a good chance that you are currently sharing the room with a half-dozen or more lithium ion batteries. The computer in front of you has one, your camera has one, your phone has one, the R/C car your kid is racing around your ankles has one. Lithium battery technology is almost everywhere. And, soon, [...]