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Battery life

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Battery life

Postby Dave Mickelson » Tue Sep 18, 2018 4:45 pm

New to this plane. But it has a history of needing a new battery about every 15 months. Is this the norm?
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Re: Battery life

Postby Steevo » Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:08 pm

Certainly from my experience that is not normal. Just had to change the battery on my J160 and that was 9 years old. The SPL-450 I share has had 3 batteries in it’s lifetime before it was changed to Lipo battery and that is 17 years old. The last battery was still good, just swapped out for a Lipo.

I would expect a few years at least out of a battery.

But certain things can affect battery life including:

Lack of use
Stored in very cold conditions
A bad regulator
Letting it run down very low before charging
Heavy amperage pull (such as multiple, sustained start attempts)

All the above can rapidly shorten the life of the battery.
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Re: Battery life

Postby PKnight » Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:10 am

I agree with Steevo. Battery should be good for several years, usually at least 5 or more.

Are you sure your problem is with the battery?

After a full charge the standard Jabiru battery should hold a voltage of about 12.85 (ish) volts for several months if left open circuit . Depending on how the aircraft is wired up there can be a slow trickle discharge through the regulator of a milliamp or more and over a period of a couple of weeks this can cause the battery to slightly discharge if the aircraft is not used. Symptoms are poor starting in first snap of cold weather. Cold weather starting is not one of the Jabiru's strong points anyway.

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Re: Battery life

Postby skyjeep » Fri Sep 21, 2018 10:37 pm

regulator drain is typically 15mA for the original kubota part.
so the aircraft needs to be flown every week or 2 to avoid the battery getting too low.
options are:
disconnect the battery after flight
Leave on trickle charge - I use a small solar panel to do this
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