Author Topic: Storage of batteries  (Read 359 times)

Offline neilv

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Storage of batteries
« on: November 07, 2020, 11:29:10 AM »
When I store my van in a garage between trips for 3 to 6 months what is the best way to do this to protect the batteries and ensure their life is maximised.

1. Plug into 240v DC/DC charger and leave with no draw.
2. Plug into 240v DC/DC charger and have draw from say leaving the fridge on.
3. Plug into 240v DC/DC charger and have draw from say leaving the fridge on but say once a month turn off the charger and drop the battery level 12.00 volts (?) then turn the charger back on and allow to recharge.

Thanks for any advice

Neil

Neil & Lyn
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Offline MarkA

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Re: Storage of batteries
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2020, 05:13:03 PM »
I set my batteries up with a timer.  They get 2hrs of charge once a week. No draw. Just keeps em topped up. Batteries are now 6 years old and still hold plenty of capacity. (Close to 85% of new capacity)
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Offline Ray

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Re: Storage of batteries
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2020, 06:06:25 PM »
I think Mark's idea is good. I understand that Lead Acid batteries should be kept at full charge and Lithium at about 80% for best life.

However, I once left my 90ah gel battery on a smart charger for 3 days and found the battery getting quite hot, it was a very old battery, more than 10 years, I took it off charge and it was ok for a couple of years. Now replaced by an old AGM which is topped up every day by solar and a Victron mppt regulator.

Ray
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Offline Harry Lissimore

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Re: Storage of batteries
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2020, 04:44:38 PM »
I replaced the 2 x 105aH fullRiver batteries on my Topaz after about 1 and a half years because they had greatly reduced capacity ie If I ran them down by 10% (to 90% charge), the voltage under load (running an ARB fridge) went down to less than 11 volts but not under load was about 12.6V.  Replaced the batteries and it happened again after another 12-18 months.  I put the deterioration of my batteries down to either leaving them on trickle charge all the time using the Projecta 25A charger installed, or to plugging them into the car alternator all the time when travelling (Redarc BCDC 12/40 charger) or both. 

I now only use the anderson plug to the alternator when the batteries are down (off the grid overnight) and I only plug in to 240V when at home, for a few hours once a month.  I have heard that FullRiver AGM batteries do not like to be continually connected to a 240V charger without something running off the batteries at the same time.

So far, the current FullRiver AGMs are over 2 years old.  I test them before a long trip by running both fridges to run the batteries down to about 65% charge and check that the voltage under load is over 12.0.  This means that they still have the storage capacity. 
Formerly 2002 TVAN, now a 2015 Topaz Savannah and 2014 Isuzu MU-X LST. Now towing with a 2019 Toyota LC200 GXL.

Offline Phil G

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Re: Storage of batteries
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2020, 07:18:55 PM »
I installed a kill switch on the battery earth and top it up with the 240V charger every couple of months if it hasn't been used.
Phil
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Offline mons2travel

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Re: Storage of batteries
« Reply #5 on: November 09, 2020, 12:26:47 PM »
Sounds like there is a mix of experiences here .... we have 2 105Ah Fullrivers in our Mk 4, and connected to a multistage AGM capable charger (a Projecta) full time when we are home .... we have had the trailer since new ( 5 years) and batteries still performing well (or at least appear to be, and as suggested by the Victron meter) ...
Travelling as often as we can in our Mark IV Murranji and NW Pajero

Offline Harry Lissimore

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Re: Storage of batteries
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2020, 01:23:32 PM »
My batteries were performing well too for normal running where you charge all day and run 2 fridges overnight using 240V power.  Everything worked OK until they had to perform well.  They indicated that they had failed in 35 deg heat at the keep river national mark when the voltage went down from about 13V at about 6 PM (they were fully charged) to 10V under load by about 9 PM running a fridge and freezer. The freezer wouldn't even run. The Vitron said they were still about 88% charged. Subsequent tests showed that the capacity was greatly reduced.  If you're only running a fridge, and the ambient temperature was in the 20's, then the batteries would have coped and I would have been none the wiser.

Another time, and another set of batteries, batteries fully charged as deemed by voltage under load and Vitron, and running both fridge and freezer, by 9 at night, the voltage was too low to start the ARB freezer.  Again, subsequent tests proved the capacity was diminished.
Formerly 2002 TVAN, now a 2015 Topaz Savannah and 2014 Isuzu MU-X LST. Now towing with a 2019 Toyota LC200 GXL.

Offline Gumb

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Re: Storage of batteries
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2020, 03:35:57 PM »
Advice I've had from two separate battery manufacturers is NOT to leave them connected to a 240v charger 24/7.

I just leave them for a month or two and with the main switch off and they lose very little power over that time. I then plug the Tvan in to 240v power and charge them up again.

3 years since new and both batteries (AGMs) are going well.
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Offline tvan_travels

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Re: Storage of batteries
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2020, 06:00:37 PM »
It’s a difficult thing to work out. Track say on hand overs to leave them on the charger. Battery people say don’t. Others say the new trickle chargers work fine and the battery people are still talking about the old bulk chargers (which should definitely not be left connected permanently).

I leave mine on the 240v and every month or two disconnect and start up the fridge. When the charge gets down to about 65-70% after a few days the fridge goes off and back onto 240v. Theory is the batteries get a bit of everything, bulk and trickle charge and then slow discharge under a bit of load.

Proof will be in the pudding when I finally get to spend some time off grid again.

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Offline Gumb

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Re: Storage of batteries
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2020, 01:15:53 PM »
Even with a multi stage charger I'm not going against the advice not to leave them hooked up to power 24/7.

The way I look at is that there's no downside to leaving them alone for 4-6 weeks and then charging them up again so why take the chance.
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Offline Cruiser 105Tvan

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Re: Storage of batteries
« Reply #10 on: November 18, 2020, 03:51:22 AM »
My Tvan has been running 2x AGM Batteries for at least 10 years.  105A/h.
(Unless Track have intervened when my Mk.2 became the only 2009 Canning with a Mk4 roof
That's 10 years on a solar panel.
Occasional trips away would only charge it while travelling, from the tow vehicle.
Otherwise relied on Solar to bring the Batteries back up from overnight. 
Load is normally one or both Engel fridges in fridge mode.
Have a 40?L single tub and a 60L F/F 2 compartment.
As well as a CPAP machine without the humidifier activated (which really draws if the humidifier is on.).
Not sure how much longer they will keep up to it.
Robert.
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HDJ 105r with a 1HDFT, 2009 Canning MkII. Refurbed & pushing.