I seem to have a problem with my 120 watt portable:
I've had it 2 years & only used it a few times. I was getting up to the 6 amps it puts out, but now I'm only getting up to 3 amps.
It has this cheap controller:
This year I did install a quick disconnect plug to the battery through the box for easy plug in. That 1 foot short wire is 18 ga.
The 2 wires I used before came with the panel are 18 gauge. 1 is 15 foot long with clamps for the hookup. The other is a 25' extension with the quick disconnect plugs. I just put together a 10 gauge wire 22' foot long with the quick disconnects. All 3 wire hookups give me only up to 3 amps, even the clamps direct to the battery. Yesterday I checked the panels Open Current Voltage & it was over 20 volts even through the 25' extension. It's rated at 21.8 I could not get my multimeter to work checking the Short Circuit Current amps. (I'm a novice with it). It's rated at 7.3. I did clean the panel, no change.
Today I hope to check the SCC amps with the multimeter, and cover one of the panel sides to see if either is not connected properly. Any other ideas?
Sounds to me like you are only getting output from one panel out of the two folding panels. Time to check all the electrical connections, starting with removing the covers off the black boxes of each panel, before the charge controller. Get a DC amp clamp, and clamp it over each red wire while solar panel is directed at the sun, while trying to charge your battery when it needs a deep recharge and tell us what each panel flows for amps.
Bill, for me the goal is to maximize my charging speed from a 450 watt gennie that I use when tenting. My method will be to take the batts up from roughly 40% or 50% to 80% or so, and then finish with the 4a charger I already own. This after running my laptop and satellite TV all day while repleneshing with 200 watts of solar.
and what did this whole setup cost you? as far as im concerned your back to 1 stage charging when battery chargers are 3 stage and prolly cheaper?
i have used meanwells multiple times, but not for projects like this, they were designed for use to actually power stuff, not for actually charging, why were not picking up pd2145 or something similar just surprises me, i got mine brand new 100 bucks off ebay, and it does a wonderful job
to each their own
I bought a Mega Watt 35 -15V. Cost, delivered to my door, was $55. 33 amp charge rate. Delivers 15.6V, I already have a DMM and a DC Amp meter and a tiny phillips screw driver. I charge a Trojan 150 Amp 12v sweeper battery with mine. I basically run mine 70% to 85%-90 charged first thing in the morning. When that 33 amps charge falls off to about 8 amps charging rate, I shut things off and let solar panel do the top off at 15.0V. I usually use 35 -40 amps per day. 45 minutes of generator to get things done without worry of a POS WFCO never going into bulk mode to charge saves me a lot of hours on the generator motor and a lot of gas in the generator. Doing things quickly and efficiently is why I first went this route, again, at the suggestion of Mexicowanderer. I have yet to be steered wrong by the advice he provides here, to myself, and to others.
when there is temp compensated computer control chargers with 1 button equalization, that does all this automatically, but to each their own i guessHigher voltage for EQ, top charging, finish charging or even just regular charging. Most here that are using these power supplies are fed up with converters (which castrate the charging process) that don't get the job done. Those features you listed are mostly found on very expensive inverter/chargers. Some of us don't want to spend that kind of money for just a few simple adjustments (a voltage pot doesn't cost that much). Not to mention, most of the inverter/chargers top out at 15.5V for EQ. As discussed in other threads, a number of people here seem to need 16V to make things happen and these power supplies give them that capability without breaking the bank.
This bears worth repeating. Based on needs, and if you've dry camped a bit or been off the grid, you quickly find out the mettle of a charge converter on a generator to be not much. Hence seeking out these awesome alternatives.
If you TOP CHARGE you will seldom IF EVER need to equalize even during a month of boondocking. To 15 volts and yeah you can keep the plug and play roughing it program running while top charging.
I come from a different era. We horse packed. We had to be smarter than the problem.
Push a button and the sun rises, push it twice and the fish start biting. Twist a dial and campfire smoke blows the other way. No wait, that was last year. This year we have a virtual campfire. But that causes a hell of a squabble over who gets the remote.
I'm going to go fix a sandwich.
Wow, wow, wow, could not have said it better myself. Nothing like being off the grid and performing manual triage on your battery set yourself to keep things in tip top shape.
This is something the battery manufacturers and the charge controller manufacturers don't want you to know, so it has to be a good thing instead of a self serving thing, eh?
I'd set for 14.4V at the Meanwell, unless you are running wire a long enough distance that will cause voltage losses. Measure V at the terminals on the Meanwell, and V at the end of the wires right before it hooks up to the battery banks, but not connected to the battery yet.
You'd like to get 14.4V at the battery connection right at the terminal, for AGM battery packs. Set accordingly at the Meanwell to achieve that.
The second post shows that some folks have not been reading much in the tech section for very long. Disregard the comment. My post along with Mex's confirms he lost that bet.
If you only have a "few" hours of sunlight left, I'd follow Mex's advice and just wire the solar panel direct to the trolling motor batteries, no controller involved. A few hours is unlikely to even come close to topping off the batteries, if you use them again the next day, first thing in the morning.
I bumped a pole and took out the rear mechanism on my travel trailer. Looks like just need some support by a 2 x10 cut to the proper height to hold the roller at the proper elevation in support while replacing the parts or assembly on the rear.
Any suggestions who does this kind of work or where I can just order the parts?
It takes a thread like this for people to state what they don't know about electricity.
And it also takes a forum like this for some to be negative or attack others or insinuate that they're smarter than everyone else. ;)
Smarter is a poor choice of words, perhaps more experienced in real world observations is a better choice. Judging by the tags on the AC units, it says 20 amps, per unit.
Going by the electrical code, running 2 AC units on a 15 to 30 amp adapter cord is the weakest link, regardless of if the outlet in the house or yard is 15 or 20 amps.
I released that 15.0v max hold, so now it spends a portion of each afternoon back at 15.3v after 2.5 hrs at 14.9 ABSV or when amps required to hold 14.9 ABSV drop below 1 amp per 100 amp hours of battery. The overnight voltage holds noticeable higher under load than before with the 15v max.
I gave it about an hours worth of 16v yesterday. Took 7 amps to reach 16v, tapered down to 4.5a, but then started rising again to the mid 5 amp range when I terminated EQ cycle. No dipping.
I had plenty of daylight left, an hour later cranked it back upto 16v. 5.5 amps required to bring it to 16v, and then tapered to 4.4a 20 minutes later when I ended EQ cycle. No dipping as I was parked next to Mother Pacific.
Right now, 3:47 AM 57 amp hours from full, 4.4 amp load, 12.1 volts.
This thing is holding better voltage compared to when it was a month old and allowed only 14.5ABSv for 90 minutes.
I'm now at about 250 cycles on this 31, and I think at this point, it is behaving admirably.
This 31 is being worked hard, the solar is working well to replenish what I use, Eff, my whole electrical system is working pretty dang good. Nice to have grid power available when Cloudy all day for 2 days (+) though.
Alternator contributions when depleted, while short lived, really seem to make the ABS amp threshold come a bunch sooner, and 15.3 float/finish comes earlier, and then overnight voltage raises a proud eyebrow.
Mex, what is going on internally when the amps required to hold 16V taper normally from 6 to about 4, but then start to rise again to 5 or more. I've been ending the EQ when I notice the amps start rising. This is the 4th time I've noticed amps required to hold 16v drop as expected, but then start rising again.
I assumed the longer 16V was held, the less amps would be required to hold 16v, but a few times now I've noticed amps starts rising again, and figure that when this happens I went too long and the battery is heating excessively or doing something undesirable.
Anyway I'm hammering this battery under discharge each and every night, and allowing these unconventionally high voltages last for most of the afternoon each and every day, and the battery is apparently thumping its chest and calling me the wuss.
Considering 8 months ago I wanted to sling this battery violently through the manufacturer's windows with a hate note attached.
If you can believe the manufacturers MTBF's, 500 recharge cycles, as you are doing, would be doing really good, anything over that is gravy. In talking to the golf cart manager guy here in So Cal, where they play golf year round and the carts are running year round also, a year and a half on some T-1275's is when they start seeing failures at the earliest. 365 x 1.5 is about 500 charge cycles. That's most likely with heavy abuse, the days are long in summer, so the carts are out a long time per day then.
They get rude if you get it wrong :)
One is a Hippy, two or more is plural... Hippies. Though at least around here, since they live communal style, Hippies is more likely what you are liable to observe.
Back in the early days, almost invariably, hippies were attached to 6V batteries, mainly because that's what came in VW Beetles and VW vans that they lived in, pre 1967.
I've trailered with gas and with diesel. Diesel should see about 30% more mpg, under equal conditions. Part of it is that diesel fuel is about 129,000 ,BTU's per gallon, and gas is 110,000 BTU's per gallon. The other is that due to the nature of the way the fuel burns, in diesel, versus explodes at ignition with a single ignition time with gas, the efficiency goes to diesel when running on any type of otto cycle powered engine. Diesel injectors now have multiple fuel injections /ignition points, as the fuel is injected and burned at various portions of the cylinder stroke, to accomodate the way the diesel fuel burns.
Gas is 43.90 HP/hr per gallon, Diesel is 50.87 HP/hr per gallon.
Diesel engines run at about 60% to 66% of the rpms that gas motors run at, making equal torque, so since the motor is spinning slower, there are also less parasitic losses of energy to the motor, and the transmission also.
The level of torque generated by a diesel is another factor in it's favor, at lower rpms, made possible by the pumping efficiencies of a turbo charger.
Cumulatively, that adds up to about 30%.
Leave it on for a while and see what burns up first.
Well thought out comment, thanks for the mindless post.
Mindless is when you know a bit about electrical current draws of two A/C units, and you state the impossible observation, both compressors are running on a 20 amp circuit. Leading those that know to the the fact that your observation skills are lacking.
Go to the corner, and put on your hat.
Side note, I just noticed that 80A only goes to 14V. Might have to get that adjustable Powermax instead. So, I can just let Vabs run till 0 amps with no shot of 15+V at the end to get it topped off?
I use the mod 100 at fixed 14.8 but after that I use the VEC to do any topping off/equalizing.
I imagine that external pot 100 will cost twice what the old PM3-100s cost now, but you have to take the top off the old one and twiddle the tiny blue pot with a tiny screwdriver and not blow anything up. Then put the top back on and leave it be. (or every time you twiddle it you have another chance to break that tiny thing)
If it is true they will limit the external knob 100 to 15.5v then you will still be using the VEC anyway. I tried my external 100 set at 15.5 (highest mine will go) and it acted the same as the VEC pretty much, with amps about 4 starting off and then tapering. So about 4 is the natural acceptance rate for a pair of 6s at 15.5 I guess.
I gather Mex wants one that you can set your 5% worth of amps on it and ease the voltage on up to keep the amps the same as the equalize runs on. Very hands on.
These things I /we have can only do a constant voltage and amps will taper. Still, I have no problem getting the SG to baseline doing that with my 6s and I am nowhere near 5% amps at first and they taper.
OTOH I never did get my old T-1275s equalized. Their cells are all over the place, but the batts are doing great. I just have a baseline for each cell which I keep score on. Oh well.
They are an inconsistent and strange lot, those T-1275s. One of mine, 5 cells will make 1.275 to 1.280, but cell #3 is the Lazy Susan of the lot, and 1.265 is the best I can get out of her, after equalizing to 15.9V at 6 amps. Amps drop off to 3 amps, and I did an equalize a couple of days back with my primitive Sears 6 amp 12V dumb charger. Took about 3 hours after doing a full on top off charge the day before. Got cell #3 up as far as she'll go.
Not too often, but every once in a while, that T-1275 needs to be stuffed full throttle by a dumb charger capable of 16.0V. I seem to do mine when I get back from a trip, and then I do an EQ every time, right before another trip. Despite it's quirkiness, it always works really good after an EQ session, takes like 20 to 30% longer, time wise, to run it down to around 50% SOC. Frankly, I just don't think doing 50 to 80% or 50 to 90% charges daily, really cuts it.
This next trip, I believe I am going to just bring the battery home from the storage yard and zap it with that dumb 6 amp charger overnight, before taking the battery back to the storage yard and the trailer.
Despite all the cycles, I am not losing any water... Not as much sun in Sept in Yellowstone, we'll see how the 120 Watt portable panel does in Fall versus June 21st getting the battery back up to snuff.
Unleaded gasoline - 45F... seems to be the winner. But you still need something to ignite it. I know they've run JP-8 or something similar to it, kerosene based, in jet engines down at the South Pole, when in season. It was rather dicey.
No paisley shirts and fluorescent ties allowed in the lab.
My company challenged Technobabble for our clients. One of whom as an example, paid four thousand dollars, and furnished quite a bit of gift material to establish if yes or no an OEM's claim of "Miracle Selenium Plate Alloy" affected either the 5 hour or 20 hour amperage rate. We were given 12 batteries. Six with the selenium and 6 without. A total of (16) 80% DOD exercises were performed. I merely handed the customer the results of the exercise. The sixteen L-16's went to a good cause.
US Borax (named because they were so rude on site) challenged a vendor that their 8D battery was "junk". Do something or we're going to find another vendor.
I found out on site their Terex Titans with massive lighting systems were DOD'ing batteries anywhere from 50 to 95 percent due to inadequate drive pulley ratios on 24 volt alternators rendering 11 mps charge rate at engine idle. The machines spent 70% of their shift idling. I recommended they switch to the Leece-Neville 3825JA alternator, a bolt-on swap. it would have increased idle amperage to around 55 (as seen on my test bench).
A sneering foul-mouthed maintenance supervisor started spouting garbage. I turned to the vendor and said "Every second you spend with this outfit is a waste of money" We departed. Such situations were an important percentage of my income. Time spent: a little over five hours. Gross income three thousand dollars.
Gee, I wonder if you were a little East of Edwards Air Force Base for that one? Seems like portal to portal charges were due. Mining folks, where time is money, are a surly lot. So are General Contractors.
For dry camping, my WFCO got retired.
I think the most I ever saw out of it was maybe 18 amps. That was on a single group 24 75 Ah battery. It never went in to bulk charge mode for me, ever. Not enough batteries.
It also never did a good job of topping off my battery unless I was in an RV park for a couple of weeks at a time, hooked up on a pedestal.
No thanks, I like dry camping a whole lot more. Along with an adjustable charge controller for my solar panel. Much better at topping things off.
I guess I haven't yet progressed to "Glamping", or "Glamour Camping" yet with all the bells and whistles. At that point, may as well just go get a room.