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Old 02-27-2016, 07:16 PM   #101
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I didn't notice that but good to hear. The Trojans seem to be the standard of excellent from what people say but no dealers around here and I wasn't really wanting to pay that kind of premium for them. I think these will be find. The visual quality seems excellent and I check all the cells with a hydrometer before putting them on charge and they all looked good.
Yes, the factory converter. WMCO. I know there is a lot of negative stuff on the factory converters but maybe the newer ones may be better. I've measured over 10 amps charging from the converter with it. I'm going to stay with it for now. I know a lot of forum members have complained that they only are for trickle charging and maintaining a fully charged battery.
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Old 02-27-2016, 07:19 PM   #102
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The WFCO in mine is a three stage converter so I think it's better than the older stuff. I'm assuming yours is the same as mine.
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Old 02-27-2016, 08:27 PM   #103
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yea, WFCO sorry. And yes, it is a three stage with bulk mode so I don't see any need to upgrade for now.
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Old 02-27-2016, 08:32 PM   #104
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I ordered the Duracells. I'm not sure if my store had them in stock because it said "call store" for availability. Even if I have to wait for a shipment I'm in no hurry. There was a disclaimer after checkout saying to bring my old batteries. We'll see how that goes.
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Old 02-27-2016, 09:56 PM   #105
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I think I'll stick with the Trojans, I have a dealer close by. The Duracell seems like a good deal, I have just been with Trojans a long time.


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Old 02-27-2016, 10:21 PM   #106
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What gauge of cable should you use between the two 6 volt batteries?
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Old 02-27-2016, 10:24 PM   #107
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What gauge of cable should you use between the two 6 volt batteries?

2ga would work, as long as the batts are beside each other.
Just be sure the cables are exactly the same length c


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Old 02-27-2016, 10:40 PM   #108
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If your planning on using your 3 stage WFCO, be advised that Trojan recommends 14.4 for bulk charge and 15.5 for equalization. If you cant get them hot enough (using 15.5 amps) I would guess the difference might be something like, they last 4 or 5 years instead of 8 - 10 years. BTW the size of cable depends on how far they have to carry the power. If you only have 2 ft. from the battery to the controller or inverter, you might use 6ga. if you have to go 20 ft. you need a thicker wire. In any case 10 amps will put a top charge on a bettery, but wont completely charge or equalize it.
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Old 02-27-2016, 11:57 PM   #109
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What is going to be your plan for charging them? Through the factory converter?
That's just what you do. Once you series them up they're nothing more than a regular 12V far as the converter or battery charger is concerned. Now, it will take longer to charge, but that's only because it takes longer to fill a bigger bucket through the same hose.
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Old 02-28-2016, 02:08 AM   #110
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If your planning on using your 3 stage WFCO, be advised that Trojan recommends 14.4 for bulk charge and 15.5 for equalization. If you cant get them hot enough (using 15.5 amps) I would guess the difference might be something like, they last 4 or 5 years instead of 8 - 10 years. BTW the size of cable depends on how far they have to carry the power. If you only have 2 ft. from the battery to the controller or inverter, you might use 6ga. if you have to go 20 ft. you need a thicker wire. In any case 10 amps will put a top charge on a bettery, but wont completely charge or equalize it.
It'll go to 14.4 in bulk mode but only for 1 hour, then it goes back to 13.6 v. That may not be long enough? Your thoughts? Is the equalizing voltage for desufation? How often do you do that?

Also, how do you tell when they are fully charged? Are you using the converter or portable charger?

thanks in advance. I'm a novice to the 6 volt thing. When I got the two 6 volts home and connected them in series, I put my trickle charge on and its been pumping out 1 amp for 12 hrs and the voltage is only up to 13.1 v. I'm not used to working with so much amp/ hrs. I put my portable charger on them for a couple of minutes and it was charging at about 6 amps and 14.5 volts. So I'm assuming I've still got a ways to go at 1 amp.

Sorry for all the questions but much appreciate your knowledge.
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Old 02-28-2016, 02:43 AM   #111
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It'll go to 14.4 in bulk mode but only for 1 hour, then it goes back to 13.6 v. That may not be long enough? Your thoughts? Is the equalizing voltage for desufation? How often do you do that?

Also, how do you tell when they are fully charged? Are you using the converter or portable charger?

thanks in advance. I'm a novice to the 6 volt thing. When I got the two 6 volts home and connected them in series, I put my trickle charge on and its been pumping out 1 amp for 12 hrs and the voltage is only up to 13.1 v. I'm not used to working with so much amp/ hrs. I put my portable charger on them for a couple of minutes and it was charging at about 6 amps and 14.5 volts. So I'm assuming I've still got a ways to go at 1 amp.

Sorry for all the questions but much appreciate your knowledge.
Yes, equalizing is for sulfation, some manufacturers recommend once a month, Trojan recommends "as needed". Meaning you need to use your hydrometer to measure for specific gravity. Write down the readings for each cell every hour. When all cells read the same for 2 readings, there is no need to charge them any longer. I use my Trimetric 2030 battery monitor. I have had my batteries out of my TT for the last 3 months (winter). I use my multi meter to read the batteries voltage. I run my battery charger overnight and turn it off when I get up. I let it sit for 8 to 10 hours and read the volts. I get 12.84. I don't have any draw, so the batteries sit in the back bedroom. I check them weekly. Today I measured them after almost 3 weeks of just sitting and they read 12.70. When I get to 12.6, I put on the charger, but hopefully, I'll be installing them before I need too many chargers.
The first time, I charged the batteries, I just plugged in my TT and used shore power (my garage) my converter. I wanted to see how long it would take and what they would read. I had a 30 amp WACO (3-stage) but it took 12 hours and I had no way of knowing exactly how much was in my tank so to speak. After hours of reading, talking with tech help, emailing questions and then buying some equipment (external charger and T2030) I now am at least giving myself the best chance of extending the life of my bank.
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Old 02-28-2016, 07:11 AM   #112
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So what charger are you guys using to get the 15.5v for equalization? There are so many chargers out there that it gets confusing.
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Old 02-28-2016, 08:24 AM   #113
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Yes, equalizing is for sulfation, some manufacturers recommend once a month, Trojan recommends "as needed"....
Warning...long post ahead!


Let me put the bottom line at the top.


Keep your batteries watered and charged and if stored without use for a long period of time, discharge them a little and hit them with a boost charge level for a while to re-mix the electrolyte. Under charging is worse than over charging. If they need water frequently...SOMETHING IS WRONG!



Real equalization has a very specific purpose and de-sulfation is somewhat different. Each charger or converter vendor likes to mix the terms and refer to their "special sauce" in whatever way they want.

We all benefit from the growth in alternative energy here. That is where all these fancy microprocessor controlled converters and chargers come from. Sure we might have 2, 4 or 6 batteries, but solar and wind installations could have tens or even hundreds of units...and they never get jostled by bumps moving down the road!

There are really only a few things that we can do to manage and keep flooded lead acid batteries at their peak.

1) Check the electrolyte level and CHARGE THEM. This is by far the most important thing to do. Try not to use more than 50% of their rated capacity and if you go beyond that, get them charged back as quickly as possible. In the normal discharge cycle, sulfate will form on the lead plates and re-charging removes it. Deeper discharge will form actual sulfate crystals which are harder to dissolve with recharge. Remaining sulfate will permanently remove some of the battery's storage capacity.

2) The acid in the cells of fully charged batteries that sit for a period of time can "stratify" with higher specific gravity solution migrating to the bottom of the cell and lower specific gravity electrolyte forming at the top of the cell. This stratification can be worse when the cells are not used and the battery is totally stationary (like in solar and wind systems.) A stratified battery will show a high charge since the acid is even more concentrated at the bottom of the cells, but be unable to supply current for a long period since the top of the cells is really in water. Mixing the electrolyte is simple, just hit the cells with enough current to form hydrogen bubbles and the bubbles rising to the top will re-mix everything. Progressive Dynamics and others provide this function by going back to 14.5 volts every once in a while, even if the battery is fully charged. PD does it every 21 hours when the unit is in storage mode (13.2 volts.) Solar charge controllers tend to do this every 15 minutes or so for a much shorter time since, obviously, in 21 hours the sun may no longer be shining! The de-stratification cycle is short enough that it doesn't boil electrolyte but re-mixes the acid solution. Some vendors throw the "equalization" label on this function (along with de-stratification and de-sulfation) but it is too low a voltage and too short a time to actually be called equalization. This will no more cure the need for equalization than the 2 hour recharge cycle the last time you used significant battery capacity. But then...you may never need equalization anyway!

3) True equalization is called for "as needed," and is designed to get all cells to exactly the same state of charge. If you need it, it is indicated by measuring the specific gravity of each separate cell and comparing them all. Equalization hits cells with a very significant over voltage (Trojan recommends 15.5 volts) for a long enough time so that all cells equally charged and brought to the exactly the same specific gravity. Equalization is a tough process and most vendors do not quote a frequency. In fact, Trojan indicates to only do it on an "as needed" basis and as a manual process. Banks with parallel current paths will be more susceptible since some cells may be starved for discharge/charge cycles by alternate current paths of lower resistance. Some banks never need it and if they do it is a once or twice a year kind of thing.

Most modern battery chargers have 3 output levels, the highest to boost the battery back from discharge (14.3 to 14.6), a lower one to finish the charge and supply the 12 volt loads that are also attached(13.6 or so) (after all these are converters and not just chargers! and a low trickle level to keep everything up and overcome storage loss in the batteries (13.2.) Vendors will talk about de-sufation, equalization, de-stratification and bulk charge in a variety of ways. Automatic equalization (15.5 volts) for any significant length of time is not recommended as it boils away too much electrolyte.
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Old 02-28-2016, 08:32 AM   #114
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So what gets you the 15.5 volts for equalization? Obviously not the campers converter. I understand it's not needed often but it sounds like sooner or later it will be.
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Old 02-28-2016, 09:01 AM   #115
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So what gets you the 15.5 volts for equalization? Obviously not the campers converter. I understand it's not needed often but it sounds like sooner or later it will be.
So far the only thing that I have seen that can do it that with "stock" is a Bogart Engineering SC-2030 solar charge controller. It can go up to 15.7 volts if set for flooded cells and hits this level periodically, but uses battery temperature and limits charge current when in this mode. While this is not a true "as needed"equalization it may suffice.

Otherwise I have found no converter that has a true battery equalize option.
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Old 02-28-2016, 09:03 AM   #116
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Is there a stand alone charger that can do it? Like a Schumacher for example? I'm fine with being able to do it in my yard when I get home from a trip.
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Old 02-28-2016, 09:38 AM   #117
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Is there a stand alone charger that can do it? Like a Schumacher for example? I'm fine with being able to do it in my yard when I get home from a trip.
That is a really interesting question. From what I can tell, there is not, perhaps since most users would do a lot of damage with one. Anyone who really does equalization seems to use bench power supplies like 30V 10A Regulated Switching DC Power Supply HY3010EX Over Voltage Protection - Best Deals on Mastech Variable DC Power Supply

But...they disconnect the batteries from all external loads, remove the caps and watch them like a hawk, dialing the current down just until the voltage starts to drop off of the 15.5 volt level. Clearly not for the average guy. Most seem to indicate that RV batteries really never need equalization.
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Old 02-28-2016, 11:41 AM   #118
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Awesome post Scott,
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Old 02-28-2016, 11:54 AM   #119
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Is there a stand alone charger that can do it? Like a Schumacher for example? I'm fine with being able to do it in my yard when I get home from a trip.
Schumacher PSC-12500A

The de-sulf works excellent with this charger.

Schumacher Battery Charger PSC-12500A User Guide | ManualsOnline.com
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Old 02-28-2016, 12:11 PM   #120
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This is the only place around here that sales trojan batteries, they will probably be pretty pricey since they have no competition

www.batterysystems.net
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