Batteries (2)

31st January 2009

Batteries (2)

Initial Report

Report Text:

Maritime Feedback No 20 includes details of an explosion on a yacht due to battery gas exploding and causing extensive damage.  Similar explosions have started fires which have burnt boats to the waterline. Lead-acid batteries can give off a highly explosive hydrogen-oxygen mixture if they are over-charged, eg due to a regulator failing (that’s happened to me).

It should be more widely known that a standard gas detector will detect hydrogen well before the danger level is reached.  If you are fitting a gas detector, consider fitting a dual head, with one head sited at the top of the compartment as hydrogen rises).  Also consider fitting forced ventilation: a 12v computer fan, switched on when the batteries are charging (from the alternator or shore power) as it is easy to install and may save your life and your boat.

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