The in/out wall switch could have its contacts inside it broken or worn out. $29 part. Make sure you check the wiring diagram for new style switch vs old style switch on the Lippert website (if a Lippert slide)
There are so many affecting variables, the broad brush approach has to be implemented at some point.
I try and think of it as a surfboard with 5 removable fins, and one can significantly change how the board rides by different fin combinations. What might work good on one day and one particular wave, might just feel wrong when conditions change.
With So many different fin options, one forgets to just go surfing. Analysis paralysis is real. A broad brush might not further the science, but it does help one to remain sane.
If it costs a battery a few dozen cycles overall, it is worth it?
Some days I say absolutely, other days I can't care one whit.
Now, to go design my next surfboard, how many fin boxes will I incorporate and What Cant angle and Tow in angles will i use. How will they react with bottom contours keeping in mind my advancing years, and the overall outline, displacement and the ridiculous number of greedy self important surfers now sharing the lineups.
A million variables, all with the potential for analysis paralysis, and no objective way to keep score.
At least batteries have a Hydrometer, and an Ammeter for objective analysis.
Thanks for more than I ever wanted to know about surfing! :) I can see "shallow water effect" might affect a surf board but only when it is too late to do anything about it.
I do remember the movie, "Endless Summer", but can't remember anything about five fins and all that. Endless summer is what we are having here this year that is confusing my usual solar tactics.
Pretty soon the girls here will start talking like "Valley Girls" and it will be too late to go back to normal. :)
Today was a little different, so this needs more watching.Put some duct tape over the meters and crush the hydrometer :B
I dare you to go a whole 48 hours and then check where you are at.
Is this smk or RJ speaking? :)
Yes smk has it. Each battery has to be brought to "true full" as measured by SG (bobber hydrometer). Then and only then, can they be paralleled and left on a Float charge (proper voltage for that depends on ambient temp--eg, 50F 13.9, and 80F 13.2), so each one will stay more or less where it is at, and one won't "steal" from the other, because the charger has plenty for everybody.
Suppertime and we never quite got there. SG is still one brick short of a load and the Trimetric says plus 0.64AH. In the past it was saying plus 15AH when SG was at baseline.
Looks like I will need some Vabs time before going to Float, but just how to do that with the least amount of hands- on work is to be determined.
The first idea is to just set Float back to 14.5 and when the Tri says plus 15AH, check the SG and if there, twirl the panel East even if it is mid-day, and never touch that voltage settings dial again. This needs some thought.
Long shot, but a 2008 would have time by now to get some crud on the burner slots, reducing the flame.
There is a procedure for cleaning that and clear the slots. At some point, the chimney above the slots gets big flakes of soot that keep dropping down across the slots and you get an "F" on the dial. Then you have to go in there and clear the big flakes out of the way and bang on the chimney to get any loose ones down before you put it all back together.
You might be at the point where the slots are getting plogged up, but not so badly yet that you get the dreaded "F"
Thanks, so I must be seeing a smaller version of that. (your good work on that screwy 31 reporting did not go to waste!) It's back to the idea you can't fine-tune the solar, so just broad-brush it.
On today's SOC, it is confirmed not as far up as yesterday by seeing more battery amps still being accepted even after the drop to 13.2. Yesterday it was about half and amp but today the Tri is showing 2.4 amps to the battery at 13.2v.
So this is like a mini-absorption stage at the moment till the battery gets to full. As long as it gets there before the big amp draws start from suppertime on, it will work out.
Today was a little different, so this needs more watching.
I checked SG when battery voltage passed through 14 and it was not up to "full SG" like it was very close to being yesterday. So waited until it went from Bulk to Float and SG was just a titch less than baseline SG. Say 1.280 instead of 1.285 for size.
Trimetric says minus 2.4AH so that fits. (it should be up to plus 10 or so at full SG) Apparently, it could do with a little time at Vabs today and not be down to Float already.
However, there is such a thing as "SG Lag" and even at Float the AH counter should gain some like it did yesterday, so I will check SG again later and see if it got up any.
I wonder if being at 13.2 for so long yesterday slowed it down somehow, so it needs more effort to get to baseline SG than it did with the 14.5v float previously. Or it might be that the cycle was a little deeper today where a few more AH got used. Or both.
I believe there is some sort of line you cross when going deeper that it takes more effort to get back up than if you start shallow. IE it is not a linear effort. ISTR that was one of the things that came out of the Screwy 31 study? Not too clear on that.
Anyway, this has to run a few more days before general conclusions can be made, so I will not adjust the plan yet.
I should have known this would not be so easy to get right the first time.
I'm going to miss pointing the panels east in the morning. Float by 9 am and the solar covers everything but the biggest loads for the rest of the day. Then again 3 250w flat should cover what one 230w did tracking. The two 245w tracking saw 23-26a as soon as the sun burned off the frost on the panels, I'll miss that at 6 am. The three 250w's tracking could almost run the A/C at sun up but I'd probably use the 470w stove top to cook breakfast instead.
So with a inexpensive solar set up you are doing what people with expensive generators and fancy converters have been trying to accomplish for years. The ability to force feed the bank until it doesn't need a long tedious float stage. Pretty sweet as long as it isn't damaging the battery somehow.
It is just that daily AH usage is so low in the summer despite microwave, kettle, and toaster besides the usual TV, etc that the solar can keep up easily.
Anyway, I have time to go out and twirl the panel every so often instead of being stuck with my head in the laptop trying to program my fancy kabillion dollar solar controller so it will at least do something! (Tee hee)
Not sure how to force it into Float except by resetting the Vabs below the current voltage during Bulk.
I was at the controller when it went from Bulk showing 14.7v, 13.6a to Float (set at 13.2) and on the display, voltage slowly died down while amps were 0.00 for a while. Once the battery voltage faded down to 13.2, amps started again, showing the solar amps to run loads and on the Trimetric, which shows only battery, it showed part of an amp.
You could see the Trimetric part of an amp move up and down a bit as (I think) the controller maintained the 13.2 and the green "charging" light flickered sometimes when amps went part of an amp negative a little at times. You could see this more when turning the laptop on and off while the controller and battery took a moment to adjust themselves, then it went back to plus half an amp or so.
I will leave it as is with Float at 13.2 while this weather lasts. I really don't need any solar once the batts are full. I could use the solar to run loads for the rest of the day and not draw down the batts so much before next morning, but with so much solar coming due next morning, that is just not necessary. The batts will still be full mid-day.
With no solar for the second half of the day, all it would mean is the shallow cycles would be not quite as shallow. Who cares?
Actually I will still have the panel aimed East for the morning and South for mid-day, but if it stays sunny after that I will just leave it South and omit the usual twirl to West. Not that I am lazy or anything! :)
Our 5er sags when the slide goes out. I can never figure out how much bubble to allow for ahead of time (there is a trick people use for that, but I find that too difficult to learn) and how many planks under the tires that would be equivalent to.
So the simple thing to do is run out the slide first, play with the planks under the tires back and forth until the bubble is in the middle, then lower the front jacks and unhitch the truck, then level fore and aft using the other bubble.
Getting to full SG before "controller Bulk" ends is a new one on me.
(If it is correct what I think I saw where full SG happened an hour before the controller reached 14.8, the set Vabs, and went to Float)
That means from the battery's point of view, "Absorption" ended when the SG stopped rising at whatever voltage that was, and from then on it was in "Overcharge" until the controller's "Bulk" was over.
Can't figure out when the battery went from "Bulk" to "Absorption" as there was no defining moment. The Vector charger does its Absorption with the battery voltage rising from 14 to 14.8, but with amps tapering. So you can tell when it goes from Bulk to Absorption by when the amps start to taper.
Here, the amps did not really taper except for the business where the controller output in watts was a fixed amount, so as battery voltage rose, amps fell.
That is just normal buck converter activity, not to be confused with the "battery acceptance" tapering. Might be a bit of that in there too, but also you have all that heat loss at the high SOC where you can have more amps but the battery is not absorbing them.
Not sure the usual charging stage names mean much in this case, or else I am not understanding what I think I saw?
So by 7pm it got up to 13.6 earlier but is now falling back as the sun gets lower, now 13.3v. Am now up by 1.5AH on the Tri again so should reset that. SG is still at true full.
Way to complicated! I think all I need is to get the batts up to full SG sometime before supper when we start hitting the AHs again, and aim the panel East for next day morning. Fiddle on the Float! Who cares? Batts will do a shallow cycle of however many AH it is that day, and start over next day.
I don't need all this agonizing over what to do after the batts get full sometime early afternoon, and I don't need any solar from then till next day morning when it is time to refill the batts.
I suppose this is how those with panels lying flat all day manage to get by as long as they get their batts full sometime during the day.
To continue this saga--- at 6pm decided to run the microwave for 5 minutes to help with supper. Voltage knocked down to 12.2ish and after draws were back to normal, voltage is climbing back up through 13.
Am now down 1.55AH, and with the sun lower and panel aimed at it, getting 165w. But still running light loads like the laptop so battery is getting 6.7a out of some 12.x solar amps on the controller(amps change to lower fast as battV rises)
So this last two hours before losing the sun behind trees will be sort of a mix where we will see above 13.2 for a time. No idea if we will get back to Float. Can't be helped, life must go on!
Or maybe now would be a good time to aim the panel East! :)
AFAIK the various "stage" voltages in a charging profile are all rated at 77F/25C.
The trouble as usual is trying to figure out what the electrolyte temp in a battery is when it is being charged, at what SOC, at what ambient temp outside the battery? Too complicated!
So, lucky me, my controller has two adjustable voltages and I don't have to do any work after all, by pure chance. (saving me the extra $500 cost of having a controller like smk's :) ) BUT what if I were using my single settable voltage Solar30 in this same situation?
I want the batts to reach a Vabs in the 14s but now I don't want them to to stay at that voltage the rest of the day till dark. What to do?
A. change the voltage manually mid-day to 13.2 and then back to 14.x before going to bed (solar starts before Wakey- Wakey) or
B. let the batts reach Vabs and full SG and then just disconnect the solar, or
I suppose all this is because once again, I am finding I have too much solar (255w in a tilted twirler--daily usage under 70AH) for the summer months. (Just right for Spring and Fall though) Who says you can't have too much solar? :)
Still looking good after three hours at 13.2, running 12v loads at times with the solar doing that, while the battery is taking only part of an amp. Now at plus 1.63AH on the Trimetric so I reset it too soon.
The SG was little different at the end of Bulk from what it was an hour before that when voltage was about 14v. So actually, you could say the batts were full before Bulk ended even though they were taking 13 amps (four 6s) which must have gone off as heat mostly.
I suppose that means my Vabs is too high too. Have to let this run for a few days to prove it out. The 14 day- Forecast is for the same straight through. Yipes! Now heading up to the lake for a swim. Pretty soon we will need JiminDenver's RV solar air-conditioner system :(
Smk, that is pretty neat. ( As long as you actually use those features so you get your money's worth. )
It is all happening about as predicted. Got to 14.7v and 13.65a (201w) still in Bulk and then it dropped to Float, with SG at 1.280-85 which is baseline at this ambient ($5.00 bobber type hydrometer, which is good enough for my work--sorry Mex!) Trimetric was at plus 9.6AH so I reset that to zero.
I figure I have that 13a margin to run loads (actually with the 201watts, and at 13.2v that would be 15.2a)before knocking the battery voltage down, but I am unsure where the Bulk trigger is.
Right now the Trimetric says plus 0.8amps (all to the battery)while the solar controller says 4.68amps (loads and battery) and 13.2v in Float.
So far so good! :)
Yes, it is a good thing (12v) 14.8 is the spec Vabs while the inverter high voltage shut off is 15v. But you would want that 14.8 to be 15.2 in cold weather, so your temp comp on that would put it above inverter shut off. It is all designed to blow your mind :(
Now I am worried that with the Float set at 13.2, the solar will kick into Bulk every time I turn on a tap or something. I am not sure how it works for that.
If that kicks the solar back into Bulk it will go all the way back up to 14.8 before dropping to Float again. Kind of defeats the plan.
I might have to use a higher Float voltage like 13.4 so it stays above the Bulk trigger. We'll just have to see what really happens.
Yes, too long at high voltage after they are full. At least with Wets you can just add water if you don't get it right, but with AGMs you would have to be very careful.
Since you can't really keep track exactly, with AGMs you would have to under-set your voltages I guess, so they did not dry out. But then they would sulfate. Phooey on AGMs IMO! :)
Back to the OP, trying to figure out what to do, I see just after 11am, the Trimetric is showing AH hitting zero and about to rise into positive numbers (I have not bothered to reprogram the heat loss amount) while the solar is still in Bulk with voltage passing through 14 on the way to 14.8. SG is above 1.275 already so it looks like they will be at full SG by the time they get to 14.8 fairly soon now.
That would mean the Eco-Worthy dropping to Float right then with no Vabs time would work out just right.
Mex says make the Float 13.2 and if the weather stays the same for a while I won't have to do Float voltage resets every day after all. Too easy! (Yes I will still have to reset the Trimetric AH counter to zero when the batts reach full SG, which I will be when the solar goes from Bulk to Float) Today that will be at lunchtime, so that leaves eight more hours till I lose the sun on the panel behind some trees