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Old 07-31-2016, 08:34 PM   #1
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Lowest Battery Voltage

What is the lowest Battery Voltage I can have before needing to start the generator?

Thanks LeeB
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Old 07-31-2016, 08:47 PM   #2
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Many answers to your 12 volt questions are on this site.

The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)
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Old 07-31-2016, 09:00 PM   #3
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Many answers to your 12 volt questions are on this site.

The 12volt Side of Life (Part 1)
Thanks
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Old 07-31-2016, 09:10 PM   #4
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Old 08-01-2016, 12:12 PM   #5
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TLDR version:

If you want your batteries to last a really long time, don't let them get below 12.3v. If you want to prevent doing real damage to the batteries, never let them get below 12.1v. Using them below 12v can seriously reduce their service life.

Don't forget to check the water levels if you don't have sealed batteries.
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Old 08-08-2016, 01:15 PM   #6
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Much will depend on the quality of batteries you buy. True deep cycle 6v batteries can take a bit more abuse than cheaper or lesser quality batteries. I've taken mine down to 12v many times, once down to 11.6v. After nearly 4 years of use I can't tell any difference in drain/charge. I get the same length of time out of them and they test out great. I do try to charge at about 12.2 or 12.3v just to be on the safe side. I have wet cell Crown 6v batteries. Maintenance is minimal and I love em.
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Old 08-08-2016, 02:04 PM   #7
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12.1 will not hurt a thing if your looking at them with any load at all on them. If they've been disconnected and rested for 2 hours they will read true-and likely higher. Google the 12 volt side of life for good info.


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Old 08-08-2016, 02:23 PM   #8
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12.1 will not hurt a thing if your looking at them with any load at all on them. If they've been disconnected and rested for 2 hours they will read true-and likely higher. Google the 12 volt side of life for good info.


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Good point. Resting voltage is what is important.
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Old 09-21-2016, 01:49 PM   #9
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Thanks
If you know the manufacturer and model of your batteries, it is best to use the information they provide rather than generic information. For example, I have Trojan T-1275 batteries, and the open-circuit voltage vs. charge table is considerably different than the generic table...
http://www.trojanbattery.com/pdf/dat...ata_Sheets.pdf

The less you discharge the batteries before recharging, the longer the batteries will last. You have to choose, based on what is practical. Here is the Trojan table relating lifetime vs. depth of discharge:
http://cd8ba0b44a15c10065fd-24461f39.../8254/4742.jpg
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Old 09-21-2016, 02:50 PM   #10
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Old 09-21-2016, 03:49 PM   #11
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Interesting read about those voltage discharge charts: State of Charge: Your Camper/RV May Be Killing Your Battery Bank | PopUpBackpacker.com
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Old 09-21-2016, 11:41 PM   #12
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Nice to see an empirically determined charge vs. capacity table. I will have to replicate it to fully believe it, a task for this fall for sure. My new Trojan batteries are regularly holding a 12.9 volt charge and although I had determined that it is real electrochemical energy, not capacitive charge, I thought it was just an artifact of the new batteries. But no, it is an product of my new smart chargers! The specific gravity of my electrolyte seems to exceed the Trojan spec too, although I have much less confidence in my $6 hydrometer than I do in my $150 volt meter.
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Old 09-25-2016, 01:43 PM   #13
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Although used frequently, there are much better ways to know the State of Charge of a battery than Voltage. Amps in and amps out is more accurate. But this requires a shunt and upgraded equipment. The issue with Voltage is surface charges. Which to eliminate requires the battery to be at rest. That is no charge going in, or amps going out for several hours.
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Old 09-25-2016, 03:13 PM   #14
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FWIW if there is not enough battery power to start the generator then start the main engine. Give the system a few minutes of run time and you will probably have enough of a quick boost to do it while the engine is running. The issue is to then charge the engine back up from the generator via the house system. Some units do it automatically, some of us carry a regular battery charger and plug it into the AC from the generator, YMMV.
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