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Old 12-23-2014, 03:09 PM   #1
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'Nuther battery thread

Today I was talking with a solar dealer and happened to mention that my 4 Trojan house batts (that I installed new last January) have NEVER needed to have water added to them.

He said that this is not good, since it indicates they are being charged at to low of a voltage.

I haven't been able to see an option on the Magnum control panel to adjust this.

SO...... Need I worry about this??

Boowho??
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Old 12-23-2014, 03:16 PM   #2
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Statement from Trojan site on Battery Maint.

Deep-cycle flooded/wet batteries need to be watered periodically. The frequency depends upon battery usage and operating temperatures. Check new batteries every few weeks to determine the watering frequency for your application. It is normal for batteries to need more watering as they age.
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Old 12-23-2014, 04:16 PM   #3
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I think our inverter panel has an option of what type of battery you have and it charges them differently. I think I read here that if you set it wrong you fry the batteries. Be careful...


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Old 12-23-2014, 04:26 PM   #4
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Well, I thought the Magnum Energy Center allowed all the parameters to be programmed as you wish. Have you checked the manual?
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Old 12-23-2014, 04:35 PM   #5
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Two group 27's going on two+ years usage. Have taken them down to around 50% many times boondocking, and only had to water them once. Hydrometer test says they are still in the good range. Many times the recharging happens during flight to the next destination, which can be a few hours or more. This is a class C equipped with a 14v 220 amp alternator.

The onboard three stage converter takes over when plugged into shore power. So, that statement in boohoos post by the battery guy, may not be completely accurate regarding slow charging. Just sayin'
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Old 12-23-2014, 05:02 PM   #6
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if it ain't broke don't fix it.


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Old 12-23-2014, 05:39 PM   #7
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Boowho...I tend to agree with the guy in the shop...to a certain extent. Modern 3 stage chargers cause much less boil off than the old ones did... and if you never let your batteries get too low (i/e/ not much boondocking) ...the most they are gonna see is in the mid 13Vrange since bulk charging will not be needed. This will lead to sulfation over the longer term ESPECIALLY if you don't have a built in or manual EQUALIZATION process as part of your charger functions...since the solution will stratify and not get hit during charging with enough voltage to stir things up to keep the H2SO4 well mixed.
Suggest 2 things:
1. Check to see if you CAN equalize with your setup. If NOT...then...
2. Run down your batts to 12.2V while unplugged. Then plug in and charge. Wait about 5 minutes and measure voltage at the battery terminals...You should see something in the 14.2-14.6 range typically. If you are not seeing this then something IS wrong with your charging setup. If you do see 14+ Volts...then all is well and you should just do a similar discharge/charge every couple of weeks or at least once a month.

The other thing I might question is the size of your charger in amps. You have around a 425 amp hour bank. ... this means you should have a charger that is at LEAST 40 amps and preferably in the 80 amp range.
If you need to replace your charger for any of the above issues...suggest you get one with an EQ cycle...both Progressive and Iota make good ones with their Genius and Smart module models.
Good luck!
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Old 12-23-2014, 05:52 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camaraderie View Post
Boowho...I tend to agree with the guy in the shop...to a certain extent. Modern 3 stage chargers cause much less boil off than the old ones did... and if you never let your batteries get too low (i/e/ not much boondocking) ...the most they are gonna see is in the mid 13Vrange since bulk charging will not be needed. This will lead to sulfation over the longer term ESPECIALLY if you don't have a built in or manual EQUALIZATION process as part of your charger functions...since the solution will stratify and not get hit during charging with enough voltage to stir things up to keep the H2SO4 well mixed.
Suggest 2 things:
1. Check to see if you CAN equalize with your setup. If NOT...then...
2. Run down your batts to 12.2V while unplugged. Then plug in and charge. Wait about 5 minutes and measure voltage at the battery terminals...You should see something in the 14.2-14.6 range typically. If you are not seeing this then something IS wrong with your charging setup. If you do see 14+ Volts...then all is well and you should just do a similar discharge/charge every couple of weeks or at least once a month.

The other thing I might question is the size of your charger in amps. You have around a 425 amp hour bank. ... this means you should have a charger that is at LEAST 40 amps and preferably in the 80 amp range.
If you need to replace your charger for any of the above issues...suggest you get one with an EQ cycle...both Progressive and Iota make good ones with their Genius and Smart module models.
Good luck!

If you run the batts down to 12.2 you WILL NOT see 14.2 for quite awhile, as you will be running on the bulk charge cycle until the batts get close to 80% or so. with that large a battery bank and a small charger, that would be several to 10's of hours.

Does the OP leave the rig plugged in? If not then there is no reason they would lose much water. Plugged in all the time, then yes they should lose at least some water over time at the resting voltage of 13.2 or so.


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Old 12-23-2014, 07:44 PM   #9
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Hey, thanks all....stratification was mentioned by the solar guy as what would be happening if no water being lost.

MY Magnum IS set for flooded type batts, but i don't know if it has equalization capability built in or not.

One other thought.... the Magnum keeps track of lots of data. It shows my highest voltage since the new batts installed as 14 point something. Shows lowest down in the 11 point something range. 11 sounds like a super dead battery to me, but my BM has been showing 100% SOC almost (if not ) ALL the time since I installed them.

Magnum max charge rate is around 70 AMPS if I remember correctly.

Anyhow, thanks for all the ideas/suggestions.

Boowho??
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Old 12-23-2014, 07:57 PM   #10
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Garbonz...it actually depends on the individual charging parameter program from each mfr ... most will rise fairly rapidly to ...14.2 to 14.6 which is the nominal bulk charging voltage of most 3 or 4 stage chargers and the current will ramp up as well to full rating of the charger. This will last until absorbtion phase when the current will DROP gradually and voltage will hold till it begins to drop to the mid 13V range and then finally it will finish at float stage.

YOU and I can both be right on this one since individual mfrs. will choose their own approaches. My Xantrex (boat system) used to get to 14.6 in a few minutes and I ALWAYS ran my batteries down to 12.2 or 50% capacity based on my Victron. I checked last week minutes after plugging in to the wall with a battery at 12.35 and was at 14.2 at the battery terminals on my 2015 Georgetown.

The thing we DO agree on in any case is that resting state voltage is the same as float and is characterized by a LOW amperage in the range of 1-2% of total battery capacity..i.e. 13.2 Volts at 1-2 amps for a typical group 27 or 31. This will take a long time to boil off anything which is why the little maintenance chargers like Battery Tender operate in this range safely all winter for folks....and why leaving a coach plugged in full time stirs up very little unless it has a built in EQ cycle.

For BooHoos purposes... the important thing is that he does drop to 50% charged so that he gets a good long run (in bulk and aborption) over 14.2 volts which IS the point at which wet cells gas. Unless you get to this point or greater...you are leaving sulfate on the plates...and a well discharged battery will hold this level longer than say a 25% discharged battery.
Maybe Boohoo can tell us how long it takes his system to ramp to that voltage from startup once he has a go at it.
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