The 2 hours of a garage charger What is make model? got a link/photo? raising SG from flat to near full levels would seem to indicate severe stratification. the hydrometer was pulling much less dense acid from cell tops. The garage charger's amperage and its near 16 volts caused enough gassing and perhaps heating that mixed up the electrolyte so it appears that the battery went from near dead to near fully charged in 2 hours, which is impossible unless they are severely capacity compromised.
Your powermax adjustable voltage model, should have been easily able to outperform the garage charger, but I do not see a voltage adjustment potentiometer in your photo. The adjustable voltage model I am familair with has a small voltmeter on the top, next to the potentiometer.
Without it perhaps the 3 or 4 stage automatic unit saw 13.6v from other charging sources and decided to do nothing.
If it was an adjustable voltage model working properly it would seek to bring voltage at output terminals to what it was set at, with its maximum available amperage until that voltage was reached.
it looks to me, from your photo, that you have an automatic 3 or 4 stage powermax, and I do not think these make for a great converter for fast and complete battery charging in a timely manner. I'd only ever consider their adjustable voltage manual models as I do not like their automatic charge algorithms, and would choose a PD92XX-14.8v series converter instead, if I wanted a converter, which I do not.
At least that model through pendant/wizard allows for a manual voltage override.
I take care of several neighbor's batteries on occassion. they usually have these ridiculous chargers on them for 12 hours and expect them to be fully charged. the biggest joke of them is a 12/2 amp manual transformer based Schumacher charger that cannot exceed 4.2 amps and 13.74 volts. What a joke of a charger.
I frequently find SG deep down in the red despite an overnight recharge on the well marketed garage charger, and no longer try and get their chargers to do anything, I instead take out my Meanwell rsp-500-15, set to to 14.8 ish volts and let it go until amps taper to ~1.5% of capacity, dip the hydrometer, and then possibly crank voltage up to as high as 16.2v, if required. No worrying about if it is going to charge or not.
It is single minded in its pursuit of the target voltage I chose before hooking it to the battery, or afterwards, once amps taper and there is little voltage drop on the 8awg DC output.
Nothing worse than a charging source deciding upon a timid target voltage when the batteries are anything but fully charged, or one charging source has still depleted batteries at a high enough voltage that the other charging source decides it does not have to do anything.
Why your powermax did nothing needs to be investigated but other charging sources or surface charge from recently applied charging sources, having battery voltage above 12.8v are the usual culprit.
The two cells which read 1.265, are their electrolyte levels a bit higher than the 1.275 cells? The low cells in the same GC-2?
We have different impressions of what a shroud is in this scenario.
A fan is round, a window is square, the shroud would fill in the portions outside the round area so that all the air the fan moved could not do a 180 and go back through the fan.
A shroud around the fan makes for 100% air displacement, a simple fan placed in an larger window opening will recycle a significant portion of the air it already moved making it much much less effective at exchanging inside air for outside air.
Think of an Automobile radiator fan, Most enclose the blades in a
round shroud just bigger than the fan blade diameter so that ALL the air the fan pulls, get pulled through the radiator, instead of just a tiny portion of it.
Lots of people with homemade class B's say to not locate a ceiling vent over the bed due to inevitable leaks, whether failed sealing or failure to close before a rainstorm.
My ceiling vent is located at the peak of my high top, and I tend to cook on a single burner stove directly beneath it.
For Me, efficient 12vDC computer fans with speed control is the way to go. My original 4 inch Nicro marine style mushroom vent could not move enough air on its own, but I can force feed that aperture with powerful enough computer fans to exhange all the volume of air inside once every few minutes if necessary, and I have several ideal for improving airflow using even less electricity, but these are not really required.
Also a fan should be shrouded if placed in a window or vent, otherwise a significant portion of air moved, will be recycled air, whereas a fan with a shroud displaces all the air around it. The key is to exchange inside air for outside air, not just have an interior breeze to cool the skin, but both is better. Exchange inside air for outside air, and blow that cooler outside air across one's skin.
I use powerful Vantec tornado fans 80 and 92MM on a voltage speed controller for interior air circulation, and for white noise when those dang kids have their meltdowns, or the dogs start barking.
I would prefer the charging source hold 14.7ish volts until amps taper to 1% of capacity before initiating any EQ voltages . If that happens then A healthy battery should not require more than 5% In amps, of battery capcacity, 5 amps per 100Ah of capacity, to be brought to 16 volts, or 16.2v as trojan an Rolls Surrette now prescribe as an EQ voltage( at 77f battery temperature).
Important thing is his charger got Sg to respond on most of the cells. See if those last two can catch up, then see how the batteries handle a normal overnight usage
I still EQ charge the screwy 31( group 31 marine USbattery) once in a while, originally rated at 130Ah capacity. 5% of 130 is 6.5. Usually it took only 6.2 amps for it to achieve 16 volts, and I'd hold 16v until it reached 1.280 on all cells or until they no longer rose, or amps started increasing to maintain that 16v.
Battery temperature played a big part in how long it took to max out SG. Hot days it happened faster, in my observations of that specific battery.
When one of its cells refused to respond to EQ voltages, I also noted that cell got hot on the bottom and removed it from deep cycle duty. I expected it to short out well over a year ago, but the battery keeps delivering shallow cycles without issue, and will maintain 12.79v when unloaded for 4 days after a full charge.
Max out the SG, test it. Perhaps test it to well below 50% state of charge then max out SG again on whatever charging source can accomplish this. Perhaps it will like it and restore some capacity. perhaps not.
If not, you now know how to keep the new batteries performing well. Get that SG up, pronto, and keep it there until it is time to work the batteries again.
I can reach the switches for my inline roof fans from bed, and the speed controller for the one fan from bed as well.
I force feed a 4 inch aperture with 2 inline counterrotating 120Mm fans through a step down ring, 4.75 to 4.0 inches.
One fan is a speed adjustable silverstone fm121, the other is an open frame Artic cool which rotates the opposite direction and blows into the silverstone, if I have it switched on. The Artic cool fan quietens the silverstone down a lot at higher rpms, and also increases airflow a lot.
The silverstone fan has a remote potentiometer for speed control. i just extended the wires to a spot I can reach from my bed or my 3rd chair.
If you have a bigger roof aperture, look into the silverstone fm 181 fan which is about 7 inches square.
It is practically silent at lowest speed and draws 0.09 amps and it still quiet at max speed and ~ 150CFM. It only draw 0.29 amps at max speed which I find impressive.
This is a fraction of the airflow of a fantastik fan at high speed, but also a fraction of the amperage and noise.
Silverstone has a significantly more powerful AP182 fan, but it is too sensitive to battery charging voltages at max speed. The hub gets stinky plastic hot. It draws 1.3 amps at max speed, but only 0.05a at slowest speed. I limited mine to 11 volts after the initial stinky plastic episode, and got about 18 months from it before something on circuit board gave up the magic blue smoke in my salt air environment. I now use the cheaper FM181 and rarely miss the more powerful flow of the AP182.
Together I estimate my roof fans on highest speed can move 140CFM. I have the fm181 as an intake fan in a side window. If I have all my fans and my reflectix window shades up, I can hang out in my van in direct sun as the interior temperature remains cooler until about noon then is about the same as ambient temperature until about 4 and then when ambients drop the interior can be slightly hotter than ambient for an hour or two.
No way would I be without a powered exhaust vent on the ceiling.
I will at some point be replacing the 7+ year old silverstone fm121 on my ceiling with a Noctua 3000 rpm industrial fan, whose speed I will control by the 4th PWM wire. It should be able to fight the restriction of my mushroom vent above it better than the silverstone fm121.
My mushroom vent is a 4" Nicro marine style vent I purchased in june 2001. It had a small solar panel and C size nicad battery, and moved 1000 cubic feet per hour. The fan motor and battery have been removed from it in an attempt to remove restrictions to airflow from the much more powerful computer fans.
No worries about rain with this vent.
Here is a mushroom vent:
Here is the newer version of the mushroom vent i used, but later stripped out the fan motor battery guts to forcefeed with my 12v computer fans instead:
Pretty hard to beat the airflow of a fantastik or maxair fan, but I am happy with my ventilation system in my Van, and not having to worry about rain
measuring unloaded voltage of a charger is not indicative of the max voltage it will allow when hooked to a battery.
Leave charger on until battery voltage climbs into mid 14's. Keep checking specific gravity accounting for the rise in electrolyte temperature.
If charger stops and flashes green light, Load batteries until voltage falls to 12.6v or below, then restart charge, then remove loads.
Lather rinse repeat until Specific gracity no longer rises or reaches 1.275+ on all cells. It might not ever do this unless voltage is allowed to go as high as 16.2v.
When that occurs ( 1.275+ SG) the battery will be indeed fully charged to its maximum remaining potential capacity, which is likely far different from the AS NEW capacity.
Massaging Sg back to the maximum is like a reset to 'as good as possible' for that battery at that level of condition. The battery should be easier and faster to fully recharge after the massage, but perhaps not.
Those of us who got sick of trying to outsmart the 'smart' 3, 4 or 22 stage chargers, find twisting a dial to a set voltage to be much easier than manipulating a smart charger with encantations and blood sacrifices to chango
Withuot being able to bring and hold the bateries to a proper absorption voltage for a proper duration and possibly perform an EQ charge afterwards, there will likley be no improvement to the battery condition, and just a lesson in futility.
Getting a charging source to do what is needed, seems to be impossible when there is anything 'smart' and 'automatic' involved, and the WFCO is a drooling knuckledragger that tries to be smart and automatic.
Get the batteries to 14.8v, hold them there until amps taper to ~1% of capacity. Then slowly Raise voltage to 16.2v, hold then there until specific gravity no longer rises or amps start increasing along with a fast rising battery temperature.
Adjustable voltage power supplies might be manual chargers, requiring a human to decide what voltage to allow and for how long, but at least they can actually fully recharge a battery and not require sacrifices to chango while hopping backwards of one foot counterclockwise chanting 'just fine; just fine, everything will be just fine'
Mexican washboard is hard on filaments.
Practically Parked in a traffic jam is hard on LED brake lights.
Not much air circulation inside the housing or behind it and it still seems that bright LEDs equal hot LEDS = short lived LEDs.
Perhaps more dielectric grease in receptacle can help draw more heat from LED bulb base, and sticker the backside with mini heatsinks
I keep 3196 2057 and 1157 incandescent spares on hand, but my 1157 red LEDs are still Ok at about 2 years. I do not even have to leave vehicle to replace them.
Do not beat the snot out of your fridge's compressor, just to do a load test on the batteries. The compressor will likely overheat and perhaps shut down, and then you would not be able to estimate how much it was indeed drawing from the battery bank, and estimations of its healthy without knowing that are near useless.
Use the inverter powering a 100 watt incandescent lightbulb or something, so at least a known load can somewhat accurately estimate how much the batteries can still deliver.
13.7v float is high for lifelines at 77F
I've found my Northstar AGM responds best after a deep cycle then a high amp recharge. Being held for days at the proper float voltage does not yield an Overnight or morning voltage as high as the day after a high amp recharge from the most depleted state. This is also accounting for battery temperature as high amp recharging from a depleted state heat it much more.
The high amp recharge results are so repeatable that when I notice voltage lower than expected, and know it has been a while since it got fed a lot of amps when well depleted, I will intentionally discharge below 50% so I can pump 40+ amps into it( 90Ah capacity) for 25+ minutes then hold absorption voltage as long as required, usually 6 more hours, but it can be longer depending on just how many partial state of charge cycles or low and slow solar only recharges to full it has been since the last high amp blast.
I've not cycled a Lifeline to know whether it seems to respond as favorably to a high amp recharge as the thin plate pure lead AGMS like Northstar and Odyssey, but I would not test a sleepy bank of batteries that have been sitting at float.
I'd drain them, recharge them at 20 Plus amps per 100Ah of capacity, then test them, and no way would I intentionally hammer my fridge compressor to do so by leaving the door open.
If you do not have an inverter, this 25$ will be much cheaper than replacing a failed fridge:
I despise ciggy plug connectors
Use it to power an incandescent light bulb or something of a known, and fairly steady wattage.
LENGTH IN (MM)
WIDTH IN (MM)
HEIGHT IN (MM)
WEIGHT LB (KG)
COLD CRANKING AMPS
RATED CAP. AMPS HOURS @ 20HR RATE
MINUTES OF DISCHARGE
25 AMPS ---315
15 AMPS ----555
8 AMPS ------1120
I want a battery with no easily attainable amperage limit and whose charging instructions say 'mo is Bettah.'
page 19Lifeline GPL-30HT specs
I've got about 520 Deep cycles and several hundred shallow cycles on a Northstar AGM purchased in Nov '13. Still impressed with voltage held under load, and engine cranking ability when depleted well below 50%. Requires high amp recharging from a well depleted state to remain impressive, along with the full recharges based on tapering amperage at absorption voltage.
I'd not replace well treated 7 year old Lifelines unless their voltage held under load was not impressive, and they did not respond to the conditioning procedure described on page 20 in the tech manual PDF linked above.
I'd start the conditioning after quickly draining the battery to well below 50% SOC, then recharging properly, seeking, at a high amp rate, and then Holding proper temperature compensated absorption voltage until amps taper to 0.5% of capacity.
I had the same problem identifying which wires were just + and -, and E mailed Noctua. They linked a page showing where they list what is what, but now I cannot find it.
But not wanting to pull out my fridge to check, I found it elsewhere online and yellow is + and black is -
In October mine will have been mounted on my compressor fridge's condenser for 5 years, and my fridge rarely has seen voltages less than 12.1v and daily sees mid 14's. I am not sure what voltage the compresor controller allows to the fan though, the fridge can run on 12 or 24v but they say to use a 12v fan so the fan voltage is likely regulated to 12.0v and does not vary with battery voltage.
I have other Noctua fans, 60mm and 80mm, which have spent many hours up in the high 14's and occassionally higher when EQing a flooded battery, and even more time at 13.6v. I'd not stress the charging voltages, and at just 0.05 amps, I'd not really bother with a thermostat for it. but a snap switch would be what I would choose if I did.
The Noctua NF-f12 fan comes with two low noise adapter cables. If you want to keep the sleeved connector on the fan's lead, then I would sacrifice one LNA cable and cut and splice the wires on it, not including the resistor mid LNA cable.
The LNA's have a simple resistor on the power cable to reduce the voltage and slow the rpm's. I use them on a loud 'Addo' fan I pulled from a failed Wfco that pulls much more current ~ .22 amps at 12.6v, and while the resistor gets hot, not dangerously so. That fan exhausts my electrical cabinet and can also help vent my fridge if I choose to retain condenser heat inside( compressor fridge, no byproducts of combustion), otherwise I expel it outside vehicle instead.
I bought RED leds to replace the incandescent 1157's in my brake/signal lights. I also added the third brake light, had to run a new wire upto the brake light switch for the 3rd brake light as tapping nearby wiring would have the 3rd light come on with the turn signal
Side by side comnparison with a 3196 bulb, which is 150 more lumens than an 1157, IIRC, the LED was slightly brighter, and a deeper red color, making the incandescent appear almost orange in comparison. I got a few opinions asking them to look at the brakes and flashers from all angles and the opinions were the same or they could tell no difference until the hazard flashers were on and the LED fired full on full off instantly where the incandescent was a slower rise and fall.
Older vehicles with dimpled lenses work better with LED bulbs than newer veicles whose reflectors are dimpled, each dimple reflecting an image of the incandescent filament.
One major thing to worry about with LED drop in bulbs in signal fixtures is the 'dual filament' bulbs. Many do not have enough brightness difference between running lights, and brake/ signal lights. SO one cannot see that the car in front is indeed braking, or thinks the person ahead is driving around with a foot on the brakes
Many also cannot be seen well at angles other than from right behind. While LEDs behind red lenses make for pink brake lights.
The make digital flashers. I did not need load resistors.
I tried some Amber LEDs in my front amber turn signals but they proved obnoxiously irritating, and I went back to 3196 incandescent bulbs up there.
LEDs tend to get dimmer when hot, So I held the brake down for 5 minutes at 14.7v, and the LED did get much closer to the Incandescent 3196 in intensity and was only marginally brighter once it was hot.
Mine draw 0.56 amps on high and 0.12 amps on low, IIRC.
Agreed on the poor installation methods by rv manufacturers.
Convection currents should be able to pull in enough air across the coils if installed properly with baffles and proper clearances and the fans only really required in super hot conditions on initial cool down or when the door is opened often with warm items plced within.
Those adding fans need to ensure that all the fan's flow is either evacuating the compartment above fridge, or forcing cooler air in from below, and not simply recirculating a high percentage of the air.
Meaning use a fan shroud for 100% air displacement instead of just aiming a fan in the general direction. Huge CFM numbers from a row of powerful fans is not needed. The 120mm 12v Noctua nf-f12 moves 53 CFM for just 0.05 amps, and can be slowed/ quietened even further for less amp draw by the 2 different ' low noise adapters', they provide with the fan. One has been attached to my danfoss's condenser for nearly 5 years. Awesome fan. They have industrial versions that are higher rpm and IP rated against water and dust ingress.
Don't get just any 12v computer fan. They vary widely in amperage consumed for air moved and noise made. Some are loud wasteful amp ******, others are whisper quiet, and can move all the air required for a fraction of the electrical consumption.
Not enough solar to get to Vabs early enough in the day will cause defecit charging, as absorption takes a lot longer than most who do not bother checking with a hydrometer, will ever realize. The time also increases as the batteries age.
Instead they believe a blinking green light which only indicates absorption voltage was held as long as programmed to do so, Which could be very very wrong in a given usage, but more likely to be wrong the deeper the discharges, or the more partial state of charge cycles that have accumulated since the last actual full charge.
As chronic undercharging is not an obvious instant death, out comes the 'just fine' brigade who will claim X amount of years from their batteries and break their arms trying to pat themselves on the back when perhaps their system is only used 2 dozen times a year.
Off grid/ daily cycling is a whole different beast, and the Sticky author, gets it. Without the ability to add more solar, the battery bank's worst enemy is a prematurely initiated low voltage float stage, and a complacent human who believes a blinking green light somehow knows when their battery is full, when an actual measuring tool (hydrometer) would likely reveal a battery bank no where near 1.275.
But most rv's get to go home, plug in for a week and even 13.2v should get the batteries full if applied long enough, or if not plugged in, the existing solar will then be able to top up the batteries which were not significantly diacharged the night before.
Such users regularly report years of 'just fine' service from their batteries, but if they were full timing, their recharge regimen would be anything but, and short of adding more solar/ applying other charging sources, or using less electricity, the best solution for extending longevity would be to raise float voltage to ABSorption voltage as a premature float stage helps kill lead acid batteries, and is doing so right now, somewhere.
Obviously written by somebody who actually uses a hydrometer, and is not of the "float equals full' mentality.
The fully off grid guys don't get to give their batteries a rest and plug in for several days when their outing is over. That can make up for much battery abuse, a luxury the off grid guys do not have.
Set controller to 'maximum smoke'. I like it.
I'm also on the AGM bandwagon, so no hydrometer for my battery.
When amps taper to 0.5% of absorption voltage is how I judge 'nominally full' or acceptable full.
But the true reset to maximum potential remaining capacity requires a high amp recharge from 50% or less charged, then holding Absv until amps taper to 0.5%, or less. Then if possible, float overnight at 13.6v. Usually ammeter reads 0.0x by morning, and goosing voltage back to 14.7 usually has amps taper back to 0.0x again, and this is what I consider true bursting full, on this AGM.
I am over 500 deep cycles and my single 90 Ah battery at the moment is 22Ah from full, 12.56v under a 7.1 amp load.
In terms of voltage held for X AH removed under X load, this 90Ah battery is outperforming 230Ah worth of flooded marine battery, and has already outlived them cycle wise and time wise.
I would want an AGM battery that can handle huge recharging amperages without issue, and I would have a direct feed from alternator to quench the SOB, and curse at 12v ciggy plugs remove them, smash them with a large sledgehammer until there was a 6 inch deep hole where they once were.
This would limit my choice to Odyssey AGM, Like the 34AH PC950 @ 20Lbs and 480CCA
Most all The UPS AGMS all say to limit amperage to 1/3 of their capacity.
I bookmarked these a while back as they claim 'HIGH RATE performance, and strangely "thick plates" too.
Obviously more budget friendly:
I am considering such a battery for Emergency jumpstarting once my Northstar AGM starts struggling to start my engine at 50% or less state of charge, but that day is not in the immediate future.
Well, take it up with Trojan/interstate/Costco.
Bargain hunters seek cheap. The 84$ costco interstates won over the walmart 27's, and interstate's marketing is effective.
I installed them with their SG at the maximum and with new cable terminations.
Outta my hands now. The owner can't shiv a git about their care and feeding and can easily afford not to.
'load testing' them , and maxing out their specific gravity, only earned a series of bad jokes, on his part.
The key is bounce- back whether that means anything AFAIK.
They did bounce back, over 12.8v with about 20Ah removed from the pair after the 19 amp load which dropped voltage to the 12.25 range.
My voltage under load expectations have been distorted since I began working my AGM.
My group 27 90Ah Northstar with 500 + deep cycles, is 10Ah from full, under a 4.4 amp load, and reading 12.82v @ 70.7F.