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Thread: Battery/alternator\regulator questions a2324

  1. #1

    Battery/alternator\regulator questions a2324

    Went out to my a2324 the other day after not flying for 10 days to find
    a no start condition due to a dead /low battery I charged the battery
    and tested the specific gravity and the battery looks to be in good
    condition( its also a year oldgill 35)After starting it I was amazed at
    how fast the prop spun and how quick it started/. I then checked the
    voltage at the cig lighter plug andit shows I am getting 13.4 volts
    with all electric items on . My VR is an adjustable type Is 13.4 a
    good voltage? What is s.o.p . for keeping a plane battery in top
    condition .I believe Gill batteries recommends frequent charging at
    low amperage. Thanks all Chas

  2. #2
    If you literally mean 'everything electric on' (heated Pitot, every single light, all avionics, and a transmitting transponder and comm), 13.4V ought to be OK. You did not mention the RPM when the reading was taken. If it wasn't at least 2,000 RPM, you can't rely on the reading. With everything turned off, and the engine at 1,500 RPM or higher, you should see about 14.0 V to 14.2 V. Slightly lower in Summer, slightly higher in Winter, if you live in an area with large temperature swings.

    In addition to a good, working charging system, the absolute best thing you can to to keep a battery in top condition is to keep a smart-charger connected when parked; one that has a de-sulphating capability over a period of months. See the following Topic thread:

    Congratulations on having the wisdom not to just jump off the plane and go flying. Doing that puts the alternator and regulator at high risk of failure (or shortened life), as well as risking a complete in-flight electrical failure.

  3. #3
    Good BAT shoudn't go flat in~10 days, just from non use; 'specially only 1 year young..

    Sounds like something is going on..

    Charging system seems good..

    Anyone have any luck with a solar (maintenance) charger?

  4. #4

    13.4 is about right for the alternator running and all accessories on. It might go to 13.8 with a light load without problem.
    Willis, A23


    Right after starting the battery will be a bit low. With the engine
    turning at least 1500 RPM, the charging system should show a steady 13.8-14.2V.

    The Voltage Regulators don't usually change their set point, you may have a
    wiring issue or possibly even a weak alternator (bad diode or high
    resistance in the field circuit will cause it to put out less).

    You can review my treatise on Charging Systems at the Bondline site to help
    you troubleshoot the cause of your suspected low charging voltage.

    Bob Steward, A&P IA
    Birmingham, AL

  5. #5

    Battery/alternator\regulator questions a2324

    --- In, "chas6652" <vavso@...> wrote:
    >> voltage at the cig lighter plug andit shows I am getting 13.4
    > with all electric items on .

    *** How cold was it outside? I find that it varies with temperature.
    In my Sundowner ( with a new Plane Power alternator and a 1 y/o
    Gill G35 battery ) I get up to 14.2 volts on a cross country in
    hot weather. In the dead of winter, I see maybe 13.8 volts. I have
    a nifty digital voltmeter plugged into the cigarette lighter. It's
    always there, I scan it with the rest of the instruments. Gives me
    a good feel for what's normal.

    My VR is an adjustable type Is 13.4 a
    > good voltage?
    *** I think it's a bit low, unless it was really cold out.

    What is s.o.p . for keeping a plane battery in top
    > condition .

    *** Now that's a BIG question. Entire books have been written
    on the subject. Basically, keep it charged. Keep it topped up
    with distilled water. Fly often. Flooded lead acid batteries
    are said to lose about 1% of their charge a day, just sitting on
    the ramp. If you don't replace that charge, the battery will
    sulfate up, rendering it useless. Sulfation is a normal part
    of battery function. When the sulfate layer is young and delicate,
    it's easy to burn off by charging the battery. But as the battery
    sits in a discharged state, the sulfate layer gets harder and harder.

    This year I was lucky enough to do a lot of flying. So I expect
    the battery to last maybe two years. An airplane that mostly sits
    on the ramp is lucky to get a year out of the thing.

    I have a couple of airport cars that mostly sit. On each car,
    I have a solar cell keeping the battery topped up. Such a cell is
    $20 at Harbor Freight, often on sale for $10. In the cars, I just
    ran a lead through the firewall to the fuse box and hooked it up to
    an always-on fuse. I have a diode in line to prevent current from
    back-leaking during the night. My airport cars always start.

    I figure the "float" requirement like this: If you have a 35Amp-
    Hour battery that looses 1% a day, that's .35A-H per day, or 350 mA-
    Hours. Given 10 hours of sunlight, you need to put 35mA into that
    battery to replace the loss. Wait, charging is only 50% efficient,
    so you really need 70mA. The Harbor Freight cells are rated 150
    mA, which is a bit much for a airplane battery, but just right for
    my 70 Amp-Hour car battery ( they're diesel cars, they have BIG
    batteries ). By taking good care of my car batteries, I expect them
    to last 5 years.

    Unfortunately, there's no way to get the power to the aircraft
    battery without modifying the airplane.

    - Jerry Kaidor

  6. #6
    I bet it varies a bit too on whether you are looking at the right part of the circuit. Voltage can vary if you are "downstream" from a load and measuring against ground. In my plane there is a difference between the voltage shown on my Stormscope Batt page and the voltage shown on my JPI monitor that is consistently abou 3/4 volt higher. I don't know where the cig lighter is in the circuit, own circuit? After something else?

  7. #7

    Posted: Dec 09, 2006 - 07:48 AM

    And my story is that I bought a dry cell which stopped
    working within the first 30 days . Bought the standard
    one , which stopped 12 months later. Have the new 35
    AMP top of the line now for 2 weeks. Let's see how
    long that one will hold up.


    Sierra MC360 1975

  8. #8
    I just replaced my Gill AGMs with new ones. After 5 years of working well they seemed to be getting a little weak. I put the old ones on a battery Minder a few weeks ago (12 volt in parrallel) and plan on checking in a few months to see if the are good for a start boost etc.
    Maybe these gadgets really work. But would I reinstall an old battery after desulfating a few months? I don't know.

  9. #9
    I would not reinstall a de-sulphated battery, unless it passed a new-battery load test with flying colors. And sometimes they will, if they have been fully de-sulphated over a long period of time. But prevention is the real key.

    The great benefit of the BatteryMINDer is that, when kept connected, it will not only keep the battery charged, but will very slowly undo pre-existing sulphation. The battery will typically regain lost capacity over a period of many months. It is obviously far easier to keep it connected, when you have AC power and an external power port on the plane. The 24V planes add some complications, due to the power set-up, as well as requiring the more costly 24V charger.

  10. #10
    Does anybody have a good way to keep a 24v battery minder hooked up? It sems that the external power plug would not work due to the need to keep battery switch on ( if I read the information right on the plane elect system) The best way would seem to be to use the quick disconnect cable that comes with the battery minder attached directly to the batteries and leave the pigtail accessable. But legal questions here.
    Any body having success using the external plug? Maybe with Bill Manheim's great adapter?

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