Features October 2008 Issue

S/V Balaena Skipper Andy O’Grady Offers Advice on Extending the Life of Wet-Cell Batteries

Keeping batteries charged, avoiding deep discharges, and boosts from solar power and wind power are keys to long-lasting wet-cell batteries.

S/V Balaena Skipper Andy O’Grady has taken his double-ended cutter rig to every climate between the Southern Ocean and the Artic. O’Grady explains that imperative to onboard power management and extending battery life is keeping batteries charged and avoiding deep discharges. His tips for long-lasting batteries include keeping the discharge above 50 percent, tracking sulfation, and equalizing the battery bank. Equipment O’Grady uses are Trojan 6-volt T105 batteries, Xantrex XAR Smart alternator regulator, 85-amp Bosch alternator, BEP voltage sensing relay, a Solarex 55-watt solar panel, 75-watt Shell solar panel, and a Rutland wind generator.

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