Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Automatic Battery Watering System

Well they got the weather forecast right.  Clear but chilly start to the day followed by higher temperatures and sunshine.  We were getting 7.4 amps out of the solar panels until 3:45pm when the heavens opened and the hail crashed down beating a fierce pattern on the roof and punching holes in the canal.  15 minutes later it was raining!  At least we are learning as this time we took Waiouru down to the water point just before lunch and filled the tank in bright sunshine!

The components for our automatic battery watering system have arrived from Brisbane, Australia.  I continue to be bemused by the fact we have now purchased two items for the boat from Australia.  If we’d realised we’d need them I’d have purchased the items before leaving and saved on postage!

There are four different components to the watering system. 

Flow meter, end connector, battery caps(12) & floats and plastic tubing

There are two lengths of different diameter tubing.  The larger diameter tubing connects the end connector to the flow meter whilst the smaller tubing links the battery caps to the flow meter. 

End connector, flow meter, battery cap

The pressure is now on to drink the last of the Somerset cider so I can convert the 1 litre plastic container to a header tank! Smile  The plan is to fit the End Connector into a hole drilled/cut in the base of the plastic container.  The Flow Meter has six small plastic beads inside it which obviously move around when distilled water is flowing to the battery caps.  The Flow Meter has two output connections, each of which feeds six battery caps.  The battery cap incorporate a float.  When the level of the electrolyte in a cell drops the float will also drop allowing more distilled water to enter the cell.  The floats are exactly the right height to ensure the electrolyte is maintained at the specified level.  The cap also includes a vent which allows any gases in the cell to escape.

Time to start fitting the system……… Maybe tomorrow if the rain stops!


Peter and Margaret said...

Hi Tom, as I said previously I am interested in this system due to poor access / old age. It appears that the supplied battery caps are of the 'half turn - click to lock' variety? I know my batteries have screw caps. Would you know if both types are available if what I see is correct?

Tom and Jan said...

Hello Peter,
I was asked whether the battery caps were screw or half turn. I assume you can purchase either. They also asked the distance between the top of the battery and the level of the electrolyte as the floats come in different lengths (to suit each type of battery).
Having looked at the caps I believe they are made by Aquapro, which is a German company. However I can't explain why it's possible to purchase the system in Oz for half the price you are likely to pay in the UK????