Author Topic: Battery Power Problems  (Read 3695 times)

Offline Rolcar52

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Re: Battery Power Problems
« Reply #45 on: November 12, 2018, 09:40:39 PM »
Hi Harry,
Are your batteries AGM's or Lead Crystal. if they are lead Crystal  apparently they go to sleep when charged the same as AGM's , and require full discharge then charged @ 30% of capacity, ie 90 AMP/Hr battery needs to be charged at 30 Amp.  We took our new Topaz Savanah Scout  on its maiden voyage recently and found that the 25 amp projecta AC/DC charger took a long time to charge batteries, we were though using 3 fridges. 

Regards Rolf. 
Rolf & Irene
Pakenham  Victoria
2014 Tvan Murranji with lots / Sold . 2018 Savanah Scout Topaz
2011 Hilux 3ltr Diesel Dual Cab

Offline Jenny

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Re: Battery Power Problems
« Reply #46 on: December 26, 2018, 08:23:19 AM »
Harry, I would check the breakers /12 volt there are 4, sounds like you are drawing to many amps .
What they do is cut out when hot and restart the fridge to which does draw more amp off Battery
Also check the solar panel is not breaking down when hot and only allowing 1 to 2 amp input
Use a amp reader on the lead when charging to check input on solar a volt metre, will show full charge off battery / 13.2 volts
So if the breakers are the problem replace them to a 60amp breaker. The ones we had in we’re 20 and 40 amp. I changed the fridge out to a Isotherm and a trail blazer, this is when we found the problem. How much solar have you. Input should be minimum 11amps to keep batteries charged.

Offline Jenny

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Re: Battery Power Problems
« Reply #47 on: December 26, 2018, 08:25:49 AM »
Also you need to upgrade your projector to a minimum 40amp to recover your batteries in a 8 hour charge when on power.

Offline Harry Lissimore

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Re: Battery Power Problems
« Reply #48 on: December 31, 2018, 10:50:51 AM »
Jenny, I have the rooftop 120W Solar panel, plus 2 x 120 W portables.  I usually would only put one out.

The Vitron Meter tells me that everything is charging properly, I can predict how much the fridges will draw overnight and my predictions are pretty much on the mark for the % the batteries are down overnight.  When they charge, I see the voltage is around 13 volts and can max to 14.3 before the charger switches to maintenance and stays at about 13.7 with ample sunlight.

On 240V charge, 13.7 volts is stable.

Heat fuses - my understanding is that there are 3 large blade fuses for major DC power in and out and then a heat circuit breaker that takes power to about 8 heat power breakers and these breakers supply power to all peripheral devices - lights, fridges etc.  If the main heat circuit breaker tripped, all power would go out, and if an individual one tripped, I think I would notice the power going on and off, so I can't see how that would get passed me.  Also, if these heat breakers were triggering, the power used would be measured by the Vitron and as I said, the Vitron gives predictable power useage overnight.

I'll see what happens with these new batteries.  I won't leave them charging when at home, I'll just top them up every month for a couple of hours.
Formerly 2002 TVAN, now a 2015 Topaz Savannah and 2014 Isuzu MU-X LST

Offline Harry Lissimore

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Re: Battery Power Problems
« Reply #49 on: December 31, 2018, 11:03:47 AM »
Rolcar52,

I have Fullriver AGMs.  I did not know that AGMs go to sleep, but one thing I will be doing is take them down to about 50%charge every 3 months and then charge them up to 100% just to show them who's boss, and also to test whether they still have the capacity (as seen by the voltage dropping too low under load) to run my 2 fridges  at that level of discharge. I can only charge at maximum 25A though with the Projecta.

However, that Vitron measures all power in and out as I understand it,  whether the AGMs have gone to sleep or not and the Vitron says the AGMs are at 100% charge and the resting voltage is around 13.0 V.  They can't to my knowledge (and it is limited) be not fully charged at night before the fridges draw down overnight.  Its as if the defective 105AH AGMs were really only 30A AGMs. Take 15A out of each of them and the voltage under load is about 11V ie FLAT!

Harry
Formerly 2002 TVAN, now a 2015 Topaz Savannah and 2014 Isuzu MU-X LST

Offline Greyghoster

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Re: Battery Power Problems
« Reply #50 on: March 28, 2019, 06:42:45 PM »
I had 2 105AH Fullriver's fail similar to the what was described in the first post and they have been replaced. I was quite surprised when I was looking at the Projecta display, after my new batteries were installed and about to go out on their 2nd run, which showed the Projecta was reconditioning the new batteries! At this stage the batteries were at 100% and the 2 fridges were on and cooling furiously. I had the Topaz connected to the mains and I turned the fridges on, obviously not expecting anything unusual to occur. I got the Projecta manual out it seems that if the Projecta can't get the battery to full charge it goes into recondition mode, which could happen quite a bit if running fridges while on mains. There is a power-supply mode on the Projecta (about 13.9V) which I now use when in those circumstances where I have the Topaz on mains and running fridges and turn the fridges off if I need to charge in AGM mode.

Offline Harry Lissimore

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Re: Battery Power Problems
« Reply #51 on: March 28, 2019, 10:55:59 PM »
The Projecta manual does say that if you're running fridges, it should be in power supply mode. In AGM mode, the projecta looks for decreasing voltage on the battery which can happen if fridges are running, so then thinks that the batteries are dying, so goes into recondition mode.

I now (after replacing 2 x 105 Fullriver batteries twice in 4 years) don't charge the batteries continuously while the Topaz is idle at home, don't charge them through the anderson plug while driving if the rooftop solar is keeping up, and often let them get down to about 65-70% charge when camping (turn the projecta 240v charger off) just to modify the charging.  In the past I tried to make sure that the batteries were at max charge all the time and that seemed to fail the batteries.

H
Formerly 2002 TVAN, now a 2015 Topaz Savannah and 2014 Isuzu MU-X LST

Offline AMW

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Re: Battery Power Problems
« Reply #52 on: April 17, 2019, 10:09:51 PM »
Thanks everyone for your posts in this topic. 

We recently bought a Series 2 Topaz and have had to do a bit of work with the batteries - after a couple of weeks with close monitoring of the battery levels using an app on our ipad, with the expertise shared here, plenty of nutting out and the help of an autoelectrician, we now have  replaced with 2 new AGM batteries, an isolator switch that we put int the bottom of the wardrobe and a separate switch to turn the fridge off.   So we can now choose to trickle charge using the solar panels that came with the Topaz which  we have  placed on the roof of our car port or can choose to close down the Topaz with no power leakage.  When out and about we like to use our  folding primus solar panel.   Feeling a bit more confident now that we will have the power that we need when enjoying the wide brown land.   Thanks everyone!!

Offline Frankrhona

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Re: Battery Power Problems
« Reply #53 on: April 19, 2019, 04:23:36 PM »
Hi Harry,

I think you are now on the right track, ie charging from one source at a time.

I have had a similar experience with my auxiliary battery in the Patrol. It took two years and 'cooking' two batteries before I 'solved' the problem. My current battery I have had for over two years with no sign of deterioration.

This was the problem. The battery is connected to the alternator via a C-Tek D250s, all good. However, I also have a 105W solar panel on the roof and it was connected to the battery by a separate MPPT regulator, not so good. Basically, I  believe I cooked the battery when both controllers were trying to charge the battery. To rectify the problem the only change I made was to throw out the MPPT regulator and run the solar panel directly to the C-Tek "Solar input". Now the one controller does everything.

My personal thought is these "smart charge controllers" rely on voltage feedback, current flow etc to regulate. If there is another voltage source, ie another charger, they get a false reading and do not work properly.

Hence, I believe you are on the right track by isolating the various charging systems and only using one at a time.

The only thing different I would do is reset the voltage cutout on the fridge back up to a higher setting around 12.2V (or 60%+) to save the batteries. When I run our fridge (Engel MT45) as a freezer, I set it to max cooling during the day and get the temperature down to around -15C then set it to -5C overnight. This strategy has kept the batteries in good condition when travelling.

I stand by my previous post of trickle charging the batteries when parked up in the shed at home.

Cheers,
Andrew
Andrew & Clare
2005 ZD30 Patrol
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Offline Harry Lissimore

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Re: Battery Power Problems
« Reply #54 on: April 19, 2019, 04:56:10 PM »
Thanks Andrew. During the day when camping, the Redarc 240v charger charges the battery and the Solar mppt charger is also charging. I don’t know how to turn that off. It’s always on when the sun is shining! Both chargers are built in. If that were a problem everyone would have the same problem. My current batteries are now 8 months old. The previous ones were failing at 12 months. When I get home in 2 weeks I’ll check out the battery capacity again.


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Offline Nomadic

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Re: Battery Power Problems
« Reply #55 on: April 21, 2019, 02:15:45 PM »
I run two MPPT charge controllers into one battery bank and don’t notice anything abnormal with the way it charges. I view the history on Victron app and can see the max and min voltages along with time spent on bulk and float(power supply mode). I normally only run one controller so i can better monitor real solar data and not have it invalidated by Enerdrive DC2DC power source from vehicle but it doesn’t change the charge profile for the battery.
I’m running LiFePo4 which is a different profile to AGM in that it doesn’t have the absorption phase but a good quality controller should still manage it. If you are cooking batteries then I would lower charge voltages (assuming it’s adjustable) on your controller.
Furiously working on our bucket list before time and money runs out.
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Offline MarkA

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Re: Battery Power Problems
« Reply #56 on: April 26, 2019, 09:23:34 PM »
I’d just like to point out a tight terminal or earth wire does not necessarily mean a good connection. Remove clean and refit battery and earth connections. Look for corrosion or oxidation.
I had several connections on my tvan that had a poor connection.
Worth looking
200 series LandCruiser
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And a Mountian of stuff I don't think we need but apparently it's vital camp equipment.