Articles and Guides
Articles section contains articles and guides about marine, automotive and other batteries, electric systems and parts, electronic devices, cables and other topics related to the main topic of this site - Deep Cycle Marine Battery.
With so many devices in cars or on boats and yachts requiring both 5V or 12V DC and 120V or 230V AC, many people wonder, are car or boat/yacht batteries AC or DC power sources.
After all, a single battery provides the power for both AC and DC devices, right? As usual in life, 'complicated' issues very often have rather simple answers ...
Deep cycle batteries are commonly used for running power inverters in the off-the-grid applications, in emergencies, on the boats, in cars, trucks, RVs, etc.
Knowing how fast will power inverter drain the battery is very important when planning the installations and sizing the required battery.
When being off-the-grid, and when wanting to use some of the household appliances, it is important to know how much power those appliances require in order to run them smoothly.
Also, it is very important to know the remaining power of your power source and its remaining runtime - too many times people drain their batteries and burn their fuel powering non-essential devices, leaving essential devices without the power source when most needed.
Kayak trolling motors are lightweight and compact electric trolling motors suitable for powering kayaks and similar vessels that feature limited weight, but also payload.
Depending on the required thrust, electric trolling motors are powered by 12V, 24V or 36V DC, usually supplied by the onboard batteries, rarely by the onboard power generator. Since their required thrust is usually limited to 50-60 pounds max, kayak trolling motors are almost exclusively powered by 12V DC.
Electric trolling motors are commonly used as means of propulsion not only for ocean-going fishing kayaks but also for smaller, leisure fresh-water kayaks.
Having a small trolling motor and its battery on the vessel with limited payload and limited suitable storage space may cause several issues, requiring special care when trying to find 'the best' kayak trolling motor battery.
Portable power generators are small and compact power generators which convert chemical energy of the fuel into the electric energy using small internal combustion engines. Internal combustion engines can be rather noisy, which is main concern of future owners.
But, thanks to the advanced mufflers' designs, sound insulation and new designs, portable generators can be almost 'whisper quiet', especially at lower power settings. And since they rely on chemical energy of the fuel (gas, propane, diesel), they can operate day and night, unlike solar and wind generators that depend on the sun or wind.
If you are looking for the best battery for trolling motor, it is important to know what kind of trolling motor you are going to use, how long you intend to use it and how large reserve you need, just in case.
Depending on their thrust, electric trolling motors feature maximum currents in the 30-50 Amps range, while using 12V, 24V and 36V volts.
Sealed lead-acid AGM, gel cell and lead-acid flooded cells are the most common marine batteries because of their safety, price and performances.
But, lithium batteries are slowly entering this market too, due to their lightweight design and excellent capacity-to-weight and power-to-weight ratio.
Lead-acid batteries are still the preferred choice for many marine, automotive and industrial applications, despite the presence of lightweight and powerful lithium-ion batteries on the market for quite some time.
As such, lead-acid batteries come in many sizes, forms, electrolyte types, plate alloys, intended uses etc. that sometimes finding the right battery for certain application may be a daunting task. But it shouldn't be...
100 Ah AGM batteries provide best balance between size of the battery in terms of mass, capacity, reserve capacity, cranking amps and of course, the price.
These batteries are commonly used as cranking batteries for smaller gas and diesel engines, as dual purpose batteries in electric systems where they are used as both cranking and deep cycle batteries for powering the electronics, pumps, lights and similar devices, and in the end, as deep cycle marine batteries for powering various electric and electronic devices, including electric trolling motors.
With so many battery sizes, capacities, battery types and even chemistries, many people wonder how long does it take to actually charge a car battery completely.
Car battery charging time depends on many things, with the most important being battery capacity, condition and age, current state of charge, local temperature and similar.
Units conversions like watts to amps, amps to watts, ah to watts, watts to ah and similar are very important not only when planning and dimensioning future electrical systems, but also when analyzing and testing current ones.
Although math and physics regarding these units are relatively simple and straightforward, one must be very careful - there are many opportunities for errors and these errors may be sometimes rather costly ...
Lead acid battery chargers are intelligent, microcontroller based battery chargers, being able not only to charge wet/flooded, AGM, Gel, pure lead, calcium and other lead-acid deep cycle, dual purpose or starting batteries, but also able to recover deeply discharged batteries, recondition and desulfate their cells, and to maintain the batteries charged over longer period of time.
Picking a good lead acid battery charger should not be of an issue, especially since such device can save plenty of money in the long run.
In order to start large engines of boats, yachts, trucks, etc, strong 800-1000 or even more Cold Cranking Amps (CCA) marine or automotive battery is required.
Such batteries must be reliable, vibration resistant, robust and must be able to provide plenty of power at the moment notice. Electric equipment like winches, lights, pumps, alarms and similar must operate even when the main engine is off, thus these batteries often must also be able to withstand the deep cycle operations, too.
Few years ago, lithium batteries were considered as something exotic, futuristic, but with the improvements in technology, lithium batteries more and more present in our everyday lives. Lithium trolling motor batteries initially cost several times more than the AGM SLA batteries of the same capacity, but they can save significant amount of weight and can outlast AGM batteries 5-10 times.
These are the reasons why lithium batteries are becoming more and more popular as lightweight but long lasting deep cycle trolling motor batteries.
Fish finders are often used on kayaks and small one- or two-man boats and choosing right battery with maximum performance and minimum weight at acceptable price can be confusing thing to do.
Fish finders are often key elements for having a great fishing trip or coming home empty handed. Most common fish finders don't require large currents to operate, but the power supply must be constant and reliable.
On the larger vessels, when the main engines are off, fish finders are powered via boat's onboard battery (or batteries). On smaller boats, kayaks, pontoons or even inflatables, fish finders are often powered via dedicated batteries that must supply enough power for the fish finder to operate properly during fishing.
With so many similar models on the market, it is sometimes rather hard to pick the right fishfinder GPS combined unit. There are several important features which one has to consider when buying such unit, including personal preferences and of course, the budget. Buying the most expensive one in the nearest store is rarely a proper solution ...
Marine lead acid batteries are still going strong as main boat battery, for trolling and similar, but in many circumstances they are replaced by other types of batteries.
Jump starters are devices that enable one to 'jump start' the internal combustion engine, when the main battery (or battery bank) fails.
Regardless if it is boat, car, lawn mower, forklift, truck or any similar vehicle, jump starters can be of great help.
When describing features and performances of marine and automotive batteries, cables, generators etc. many abbreviations are used commonly. Knowing these abbreviations is of ultimate importance for understanding what one unit actually can and what cannot do. Here is the list of the most common abbreviations used on our site.
With various standards around, it is important to know how to convert proper cable sizes from one standard to another. Also, voltage drop and power losses depend on the cable length, thickness and current flowing through the cable.
Warning: no math in this article, seriously :)
Electrical demands on modern boats are much higher than decade or more ago. Nearly all fishing boats have electrical devices such as lights, radios, sonars, refrigerators, laptops, electric trolling motors, electric watermakers etc.
Electric golf carts use deep cycle lead acid batteries as energy source for their motors.
Selecting the right battery can be daunting task, especially with lithium batteries being more and more present in everyday life.
Marine battery boxes, trays and mounting kits enable placing and storing of the marine battery and its use in a safe manner.
During the operation, battery or battery bank should be kept safe, with an easy access if and when required.
Marine battery monitors are simple electric and electronic devices that monitor various parameters of marine battery and display them in a simple and readable manner. Built-in alarms can warn the user that certain parameters are out of desired range and can save the day. And often much more ...
Electric trolling motors are commonly found on smaller and medium boats for propulsion during trolling. When compared with internal combustion engines, they have both pros and cons that one must be aware of.
Mains chargers allow the batteries to be charged while the boat is in the port. Also, when in use, these chargers power entire boat's electric grid - lights, electronics, refrigerators etc.
Since larger boats can operate in different areas and in various countries, it is important that these chargers accept various voltages (110V, 220V, 380V), phases (single-phase or three-phase electric power), various sockets etc.
Solar panels convert sunlight into electricity. Their power output depends on many things like sun radiation strength, angle of the solar panels, their type and age.
Unlike wind turbines, they have no moving parts, they produce no noise during operation and can be positioned more closely to the passengers and onboard equipment. They operate during the day, but during the night, they produce no electricity.
Wind turbines harness the energy of the wind. Blades are connected to the shaft that is connected either directly or over transmission box to the electric generator.
Wind turbine generators start to produce electric energy even during low wind speeds, but no wind, no electricity.
Fixed or portable diesel or gas generators are commonly found on medium or larger fishing boats when electricity is in demand.
They have low fuel consumption, relatively low noise levels, can be easily repositioned (at least portable versions), for example, on-shore when required, or transported for maintenance etc.
Manual power generators provide power to the most basic equipment in need - radios and radio beacons, cell and smartphones, navigation lights and similar.
They provide tens of watts of power and they are not suitable for charging the main boat battery - while able to provide 2-3 Amps, they would require 10 hours to charge the 12V battery with 20-30Ah.
Electric systems commonly found in fishing and recreational boats are very similar to the electric systems found in recreational vehicles (RVs). Boat and RV batteries must power various devices ranging from tablets and smartphones to refrigerators, TVs, microwave ovens, AC units, etc. when main engine(s) are powered down and not producing electric energy.
Such batteries also must supply enough energy to avoid issues with power spikes when the RVs are powered via solar panels and/or wind turbines and some larger unit is turned on.