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Old 05-08-2016, 08:20 PM   #1
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Replacing 4 12 Volt batteries with 6 volt batteries

Hi,

I'm looking at replacing the cheap 12 volt dual purpose wet cell batteries with 4 six volt AGM high AH rated Lifeline batteries.

My batteries are all four on a single sliding tray, and the existing cables just jump from each neg/positive post in a parallel configuration. Pretty standard I imagine.

I'm trying to decide how I want to wire the new 6 volt batteries. My options are:

1. Series - Parallel configuration. Wire the two outer and the two inner batteries in series using some of the existing cables, and then get two new longer cables to parallel the two banks together.

I'm not sure what size cabling to purchase for this option. I'm guessing I should match the cable sizing that exists for paralleling the existing 12 volt batteries.

2. Parallel Series configuration. Wire the two outer and the two inner batteries in parallel and then buy ONE new cable to interconnect the two banks in series.

Again, I'm not sure what size cabling to purchase, but probably same as the existing cables to/from the battery bank.

Thoughts?

I will be installing 4 300 AH Lifeline 6 volt batteries (600 AH total).

Thanks in advance!

Wes
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Old 05-08-2016, 09:32 PM   #2
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Standard practice is to use the same gauge cables, as the highest draw cable needed, to create 2 series sets with 2 same gauge jumpers and then parallel them.

If you run an inverter that would usually be the largest cable in the system. Otherwise the boost cable would be the largest.

Draw and charge positive off one bank and negative off the other.

There are pictures on battery sites showing this.

Although the other way will work, I have looked and have not seen it suggested or done that way.
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Old 05-08-2016, 10:11 PM   #3
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Wes-

About halfway down this Web page is a drawing that shows a suggested hookup pattern.

This is the same pattern found in Figure 5-3 (page 15) of the "Technical Manual for Lifeline Batteries," found at this link.
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Old 05-08-2016, 10:30 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wesslvm View Post
Hi,

I'm looking at replacing the cheap 12 volt dual purpose wet cell batteries with 4 six volt AGM high AH rated Lifeline batteries.

My batteries are all four on a single sliding tray, and the existing cables just jump from each neg/positive post in a parallel configuration. Pretty standard I imagine.

I'm trying to decide how I want to wire the new 6 volt batteries. My options are:

1. Series - Parallel configuration. Wire the two outer and the two inner batteries in series using some of the existing cables, and then get two new longer cables to parallel the two banks together.

I'm not sure what size cabling to purchase for this option. I'm guessing I should match the cable sizing that exists for paralleling the existing 12 volt batteries.

2. Parallel Series configuration. Wire the two outer and the two inner batteries in parallel and then buy ONE new cable to interconnect the two banks in series.

Again, I'm not sure what size cabling to purchase, but probably same as the existing cables to/from the battery bank.

Thoughts?

I will be installing 4 300 AH Lifeline 6 volt batteries (600 AH total).

Thanks in advance!

Wes
Excellent Choice. If I had the height required, I would have done the same thing. I had to go with 8 6V to get the same Ah as 6 GPL-6. It really boils down to; every pair becomes a 12V battery via the series cable. Then you just need to connect each 12V pair in parallel. It really doesn't matter how you choose to do so, as long as you follow that basic principle. Use whatever size cable that goes to you inverter, for all the cables.
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Old 05-09-2016, 07:11 PM   #5
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I'm planning to use the existin cables plus two 18" 2 ga cables to parallel the two pairs.


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Old 05-10-2016, 06:35 AM   #6
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I'm planning to use the existin cables plus two 18" 2 ga cables to parallel the two pairs.


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No. 2 or 2/0? How large is the largest cable, probably the one going to the inverter?
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Old 05-10-2016, 05:24 PM   #7
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No. 2, awg


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Old 05-11-2016, 07:06 PM   #8
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No 2 seems very small to me. Do you have or are you planning to have a decent size inverter (2000W) for a residential fridge. Most big Ah battery banks have at least 2/0 cables connecting them. Mainly because they are running inverters off of them to provide 120V power to part of the coach. I suppose if you are only running the 12V system (lights, water pump, etc.), it wouldn't be necessary.
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Old 05-11-2016, 08:37 PM   #9
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Replacing 4 12 Volt batteries with 6 volt batteries

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottybdivin View Post
No 2 seems very small to me. Do you have or are you planning to have a decent size inverter (2000W) for a residential fridge. Most big Ah battery banks have at least 2/0 cables connecting them. Mainly because they are running inverters off of them to provide 120V power to part of the coach. I suppose if you are only running the 12V system (lights, water pump, etc.), it wouldn't be necessary.

You could be right. I have two 1000w inverters, one for small reefer, and one for TVs. Each inverter has its own separate DC cables. When I get the new batteries, I'll remove the existing batteries and better inspect the existing cables. I don't think any of my existing cables are larger than 2 awg.

My high amp hr battery bank is all about capacity for boon docking and eventual solar setup. I am not adding any large DC loads.

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Old 05-12-2016, 07:44 AM   #10
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Remember that even though your loads may be light, you still have to charge the batteries (shore power, generator, or chassis alternator when driving). This may be at a higher amperage rate than when you are normally powering your loads. Make sure the wire size is good for both.
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Old 05-12-2016, 08:17 AM   #11
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As far as charging, 2 gauge is more then enough. Cars start on 2 gauge cables.

While using 2 gauge to parallel the banks, except with a failure, they each will only be carrying 1/2 the total amps, being pulled from the bank.
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Old 06-01-2016, 12:27 PM   #12
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Picked up new batteries today!


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