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Author Topic:   Using Only Sealed Batteries in Center Console
PeteB88 posted 10-22-2010 01:50 PM ET (US)   Profile for PeteB88   Send Email to PeteB88  
Should I use a sealed battery only in center console installation? Just replaced mine in a hurry with conventional, brand-new, Interstate from marine supplier.
fishgutz posted 10-22-2010 02:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for fishgutz  Send Email to fishgutz     
I have two sealed, maintenance-free batteries in my center console. It's just too hard to get in there to maintain them. The place I bought mine from supplies all the commercial fishermen around here and all the golf courses. He told me he doesn't see any of them come back. No problems.
PeteB88 posted 10-22-2010 05:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
fish - agree, I might use this one on the 13 and get a sealed for the Outrage. But I still want to know if there is a safety [concern] [with] the [flooded cell lead-acid] type when located in the console. I think they vent [hydrogen] gas.
jimh posted 10-23-2010 11:57 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
All lead-acid batteries produce hydrogen gas when over-charged. A flooded cell battery is vented and the hydrogen gas escapes. A "maintenance-free" battery is typically a sealed valve-regulated lead-acid (SVRLA) battery that will try to contain the hydrogen gas, until the pressure exceeds the regulating valve limit; then the gas is released, just as in a flooded-cell battery.

If the over-charging is limited, the SVRLA battery may be able to contain the hydrogen gas inside the battery case. A SVRLA battery usually contains some structure or chemistry that tries to return the hydrogen from a gaseous state and get it back into the battery electrolyte. This is why an SVRLA battery case is typically larger than a conventional battery of the same rating, or, if the cases are the same size, the SVRLA battery is often of a lower rating.

Overcharging should be avoided in any situation, but especially for a SVRLA battery. When it finally opens and vents the hydrogen gas, there is no mechanism to replace it. This accounts for the typically shorter useful service life of SVRLA batteries.

jimh posted 10-23-2010 12:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Most center consoles on small boats are open to the atmosphere via vents in the walls of the center console provided by louvers in doors or by air gaps at the base. I do not recall any report of a center console boat experiencing an explosion of hydrogen gas from a battery in the center console.

Flooded cell batteries may require periodic service such as adding water to the electrolyte. Such service can be awkward to perform if access to the filler caps of the battery is hindered.

Center consoles on small boats are often the only area of weather protected storage. Many people use this space to store gear. No matter what type of battery is used in a center console, it is very important to protect the battery terminals from accidental contact with other conductors.

PeteB88 posted 10-23-2010 01:46 PM ET (US)     Profile for PeteB88  Send Email to PeteB88     
Thanks for the explanation. My center console has no louvers and is heavily used by passengers even though I carry two or three dry bags for stuffing gear, wallets/keys/phones/cameras, and junk. Terminals are covered.

I still might put the new one in the 13 and get a sealed for the 17.

SJUAE posted 10-23-2010 03:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for SJUAE  Send Email to SJUAE     

There are vents sometimes hidden by the windscreen and the rigging tunnel to the hull.

Given also most mount the battery inside a box also shows this is not a major concern

May be if you left the battery on over charge for a long period there would be higher concentrations but this would soon be disapated simply on opening the door.

Have a look where some battery banks are kept on the larger whalers (ie at the head of the under berths etc)


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