Posted: September 1, 2012 | Tag: Generators/Inverters/Batteries
If you changed to valve-regulated lead-acid (VRLA) batteries such as gel or AGM, I would feel better than I would about batteries that can release fumes into the cabin. However, even VRLAs can gas. Flooded lead-acid batteries release gas when charging and also when equalizing to “clean” the plates. If you need to replace water in the cells, it is because they are gassing. That is normal and, again, not good in a cabin space. Older AGMs can benefit from equalizing, and even they can gas.
Before moving any batteries into an area that vents into the cabin space, I would suggest contacting a battery expert who will survey your specific application, or have a surveyor approve the installation for safety and adherence to Coast Guard regulations.
Instead of moving the batteries to get them closer to the inverter and power distribution, do it “virtually” by increasing the battery cable size. If it is a weight-distribution issue for performance, this is a complicated evaluation. If you are not certain about whether weight distribution will truly help performance, consider just emptying the water or fuel tanks aft and putting weight forward temporarily (or just move those batteries temporarily on the floor for a test), and check performance changes before doing anything else.