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 > Your opinion of Battery Desulfators

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landyacht318

Near a large body of salty water

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Posted: 12/21/17 03:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Many flooded batteries ago, I was rather insistent I did not need a hydrometer, as I had a shunted battery monitor. My discharges were not deep and my battery monitor kept telling me that all was well.

But for the AH removed from full, the voltage was dipping lower and lower all too soon.

Finally, I got the screwy 31, which I thought was the best 12v marine battery I could get my hands on. After 3 weeks of cycles this battery too, was dropping to 12.2v under light loads with nowhere near 65Ah of its 130 depleted, and I was seriously irritated. 130AH of capacity was seriously showing 12.2v under a 2.3 amp load with 21Ah removed from it, on a 3 week old battery getting 2 hours of 14.4v a day and floating at 13.1 the rest of the day with 25 to 35Ah removed from it daily.

So I finally get a temp compensated hydrometer( OTC 4619) let my solar controller goto blinking all is well mode, dip the cells and find them all at 1.220 or less Deep in the red! But but but my solar controller was flashing that green light and saying 0 AH from full every day well before sundown!!

My Only plug in charger at that time was an automatic schumacher, and this crazy charger will decide on its own, for whatever unfathomable resasonable reason, to sometimes go as high as 16.4 volts. I got it to go up there and it took something like 5 hours before Specific gravity crossed the 1.270 threshold on this three week old battery with 20 cycled on it to ~75% state of charge!!

The inability to really control the schumacher had me EQing the battery via my solar controller, setting absorption and float eventually as high as 16 volts for the regularly required EQ charges, and Specific gravity proved to max out at 1.285, but of course I had to prevent overnight discharge so the solar had enough sun and time to do this. It was a pain in the keester.

But I leanred what this battery required. The screwy31 still lives, though it was removed from deep cycle duty in my Rig in June 2015 and has seen mostly very light cycles since powering leds and fans and taking some load off of the 15 amp circuit feeding my workshop when I approached that limit using power tools.

I got about 535 deep cycles from the screwy 31 before I removed it from service in my rig and moved it to workshop floor. It likely has several hundred more shallow cycles on it since, primarily fed by the schizo Schumacher which comes on automatically when it gets 115vac and will shoot upto as high as 16.4v at the 2 amp setting.

About 2 weeks ago, the terminals were growing green and white corrosion badly through the grease and the lid was wet yet covered in cedr dust, weird things began happening to lights and fans, and 24 hours after removal from a charger it was still reading well over 13 volts. I decided it was time for the baking soda treatment with a toothbrush to all corrosion. I found each cell had plates exposed about 1/4 inch as exposed on most cells. I covered the cells and left the meanwell rsp-500-15 on it overnight at 14.7v, then in the morning cranked up voltage in a few stages, keeping about 5 amps flowing into the battery until it reached 16.2v.

Then I dusted off my hydrometer, and while there was barely enough electrolyte to fill the chamber and make the float float, all cells were in the green compensated for temperature. Then I filled the battery full with filtered drinking water, as I was not driving to store, just for distilled water, and dipped again and could not even get the float, to float. No surprise.

I let the meanwell pump ~18 more AH into it over ~12 hours or so at 14.4v, and got readings of ~1.220 on all cells.

I twisted voltage upwards to get 5 amps, in stages, until 16v was reached and left it there for a bit, then returned the meanwell to my rig. I Did not bother checking specific gravity again, but I bet I could, if babysitting it, get SG upto 1.275 plus on 5 of the 6 cells.

Many years ago I had 2 flooded 27s in parallel as dedicated house batteries, obviously sulfated. My friend had a battery minder 12248. I removed one battery and left it on the Minder for a week, then did the same to the other battery and put them back in parallel.

There was no improvement in voltage held for AH removed. Magically dissolve hardened sulfation? my keester.

My experience is the batteryminder pulse 'desulfating' charger was able to fully charge the sulfated battery, but it was not able to magically restore lost capacity on sulfated, chronically undercharged marine batteries, whose cycles were not all that deep. I was getting about 300 to 400 cycles to no less than 75% state of charge before performance was dismal and I deemed replacement of the pair of marine 27's, was necessary.

The screwy31 proved to me that full charge requires a hydrometer and much longer absorption charge durations, higher absorption voltages, and more frequent equalizations when deep cycled nightly.

My current Northstar AGM-27 proves to me that TPPL AGM batteries love high amp recharges, and to be held at absorption voltage until amps taper to 0.5% of capacity.

I have over 700 Deep cycles, over 4 years on this AGM. It is my ONLY battery, for house and engine and has been since I removed the screwy31 from my rig in june of 2015. While I can tell performance is not what it was when new, it still has absolutely no problems starting my engine depleted 65 amp hours of however many remain of the original 90 it was rated at, but granted it is not a cold environment.

I attribute the rather impressive lifespan and performance of this battery to high amp recharges, regular recharges to full almost every cycle, and I attribute this ability to achieve true full, to my modified MEanwell rsp-500-15, and also to my modified transpo540HD external adjustable voltage regulator controllng my alternator, and to my adjustable voltage MPPT solar controller.

The Key words are adjustable voltage. Knowing how long to achieve and then hold that voltage requires an Ammeter, on my AGM, and anyone who wnts good or better longevity from hard working regularly deep cycled floded batteries would be wise to have the ability to attain a true full, either by the 15v top charge, or the 16v equalization and of course the hydrometer to say when it is actually full.

Believing any magically marketed automatic charger is going to restore a sulfated battery, is simply hope and faith and the human desire to pat themselves on teh back for their expenditure of money on such a product claiming it can defy physics and logic and wanting really badly, to believe it.

I get that people do not want to babysit a battery, twisting dials watching voltmeters and ammeters or dipping hydrometers, but returning a battery in an unknown condition, other than it is degraded, to maximum remaining capacity, pretty much requires it.

Get a hydrometer, and an Ammeter, and a charging source which can get a battery upto 16v for as long as is wanted, by the human observing it. I've not done mex's current limiting light bulb, but I do twist voltage upwards in stages to keep about 5% of capacity flowing into the battery, and I will hold 16 to 16.2v as long as required to get specific gravity to max out or stop rising, and the screwy 31, still lives.

The other strategy is simply replace batteries more often. that could be a lot easier, and many people can afford to simply throw money at any problem. Not everybody has that option, but I would not buy any magically marketed desulfator thinking that it would do oanything more than a non pulse charger would, holding the battery at the same voltages.

Mex is largely responsible for my Adjustable voltage mindset and my ubndersstanding of what it takes to actually achieve a fully charged battery and thus good battery longevity, and I am achieving very good to excellent battery longevity, and have supreme confidence I can continue to do so, as I have the knowledge, mindset, and the tools that can do so, and none of them has the word automatic anywhere on it

And All my neighbors/friends know to bring me their batteries when they think it is time for a new one, or they needed a jumpstart. The meanwell with the Ammeter and AH/WH counter attached has kept almost every battery brought to me in service, even well beyond my expectations. I think this expectation exceeding, is more a tribute to how little capacity a battery needs to start a fuel injected engine in a mild climate

I usually can stuff 12 to 15more AH into the batteries brought to me after their automatic chargers flashed the green light, on their 50 to 100AH SLI starter batteries.

An adjustable voltage power supply and an ammeter will prove time and again, automatic chargers stop well short of the endgoal, and I feel that expecting any automatic charging source pulse charger or otherwise, to be able to restore an abused sulfated starting, marine or deep cycle battery to its maximum remaining potential capacity, is unwise in the extreme, to put it kindly.

I'd rather not put it kindly, but, so it goes.

My Meanwell rsp-500-15 is modified with a 10 turn bourns Potentiometer, and extra ventilation and heatsinking, but it can choose any voltage from 13.12 to 19.23 volts, and can provide upto 40 amps and can do it all day long. It has thousands of hours on it floating my battery at 13.6 or so and several hundred at higher voltages. It was 127$ delivered, but the POt, fans and wattmeter added another $75.The extra heatsinks were a gift from a member here.
But it is the most capable 40 amp charger/converter/desulfator on the planet and has likely paid for itself in the batteries it has either restored to their maximum remaining potential capacity, and by allowing me the ability to keep my hard working AGM in top condition for as long as it has.

The ability to twist a voltage potentiometer and see how many amps flow into a battery at various levels of depletion is Extremely enlightening as to how a battery charges, and the condition of that battery.

free radical

Canada

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Joined: 02/07/2008

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Posted: 12/21/17 09:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

To think these gizmos work is like believing children can be sent to school where a teacher can impart values, honesty, social graces, as well as an education. The education system is a babysitter -- put the little monster on the bus...

Not Going To Happen..."
/QUOTE

Depends which school in what country one is raised..

https://youtu.be/jv4oNvxCY5k

I was in Tokyo while back and every street and subway trains are very clean,,
and to my surprise there are no garbage cans anywhere as a precaution against terorists hiding bombs..
People just take whatever trash they have back home,,it all takes proper education from day one

brulaz

Ontario Canada

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Posted: 12/22/17 10:26am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

landyacht318 wrote:


...
My Meanwell rsp-500-15 is modified with a 10 turn bourns Potentiometer, and extra ventilation and heatsinking, but it can choose any voltage from 13.12 to 19.23 volts, and can provide upto 40 amps and can do it all day long.
...


Have you (or somebody) written up how to do that potentiometer mod?

My Meanwell is the 27V version, not sure if the pot spes would be different from yours.

But adjusting the pot, and the jet-noisy fan, are my only complaints so far. Otherwise a great machine.


2014 ORV Timber Ridge 240RKS,8500#,1250# tongue,44K miles
690W Rooftop + 340W Portable Solar,4 GC2s,215Ah@24V
2016 Ram 2500 4x4 RgCab CTD,2507# payload,10.8 mpgUS tow

MEXICOWANDERER

las peñas, michoacan, mexico

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Joined: 06/01/2007

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Posted: 12/22/17 05:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

No way I can ethically duck this [emoticon]

I am the guilty party.

Go to eBay

  • SEARCH TERM 10 turn 200 ohm BOURNES potentiometer
  • No sense in going 300 ohm you'll never need less than 11.8 volts
  • Get the potentiometer
  • Order a 1/4" shaft plastic KNOB
  • SEARCH TERM "Helping Hand or THIRD HAND" adjustable alligator clips
  • STRONG reading glasses 4.0 diopter
  • 30 watt soldering iron or 120 watt solder gun
  • 60/40 or 63/37 lead solder
  • Duplex wire (how long do you need?)The wire MUST be very small size, 20 or 22 gauge


Get the stuff coming. We will converse by email with photos. Perhaps Landyacht can join in. I write exquisitely detailed instructions with photos, hints and tips.

I don't bail-out on promises, so I will fulfill my obligation that I wrote about, and I'll be smiling the whole time.

landyacht318

Near a large body of salty water

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Joined: 07/11/2007

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Posted: 12/22/17 07:54pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Brulaz

back when i did the Meanwell modification, soldering was much more alien to me than it is now, and I did curse a good amount when trying to desolder and remove the original 1000 Ohm potentiometer, and was fearful of ruining it by lifting the of the traces with too much heat applied for too long.

I have a thread on my Meanwell rsp-500-15 Herehere. All the Pics will be dead though because of Photobucket's money grab.

From memory, My original pot that I removed from the meanwell measured 973 ohms, and with this original potentiometer, the voltage range was 13.23v to 19.23v

The Bourns ten turn 1000 Ohm potentiometer measured 1023 ohms, and with it voltage range increased to 13.12v to 19.23v.

While voltages above 16.2v are pretty much useless, unless I want to hear the screwy31 fizz like a freshly opened soda bottle, I was happy to have a little lower range for if/when i decide to cycle/float a warm a flooded battery.

Recently my friend's sealed flooded battery was discharged to a rested 11.6 volts and when I set voltage to 13.6v, the amperage quickly rose upinto the 35 range, and a few years ago this same battery got very warm quickly when fed more than 20 amps. So I basically did lower the voltage as much as I could to limit amp flow into this particular sealed flooded ca/ca maintenance free battery, and just bumped up voltage to keep about 10 to 15 amps flowing into it every half hour until it was down to sub 0.4 amps at 15 volts and the battery never seemed to warm much above ambient.

I understand that a lower ohm potentiometer will allow for more precise voltage adjustments, but I would not want to lose the original voltage range.

Honestly it is quite easy to dial in voltage to 0.01 of a volt with the 1000 ohm 3600 degree potentiometer.

I also have a bourns 3600 degree potentiometer controlling my alternator's voltage regulator, this one is a 2000 ohm and I find it a bit of a pain to twist the pot 4+ times to go from 13.6 to 14.7 or back. I would prefer a three turn potentiometer for this duty, but a couple more twists is hardly going to make me shake my fist at the sky in frustration. My point being I do not require the precise control of 10 turns for the whole voltage range.

I will defer to mex's expertise, but I am confused why he would recommend a lower ohm potentiometer than what came in installed in the units.

I 'think' a 200 Ohm potentiometer in my meanwell vs the original 1000 OHM, would not allow me to dial in voltages under 16v, and i would be stuck in the ~16.5 to 19.23 range.
973 ohms yielded 13.23 minumum voltage
1023 ohm yielded 13.12 minimum voltage
0 ohms yielded the same maximum 19.23 volts

What would 500 or even 200 ohms yield for minimum voltage?

Color me confused.

Regarding the original fan, yes it is loud. I have employed 2 Noctua fans, known for being well designed and quiet, on the steel lid. One 60Mm to push air in and one 80mm to suck air out. In 75F ambients it takes about 10 minutes at max output before the turbo 40MM original fan will kick on, and at 65F ambients it will not come on at all at max output.

The casing of the meanwell is used as a heatsink. I put rather large finned heatsinks thermoepoxied to the casing adjacent the transistors which generate the heat drilling holes in the heatsink to allow access to the screws which pull the trnasistors tight to the casing. These can get quite hot. I could really add a 60mm fan to each one of these, but in my use with my battery capacity 40 amps will only flow for about 25 minutes maximum, so the loud meanwell fan only needs to be tolerated for a short while.

I cannot hear the Noctua fans with cabinet door closed, and unless it exceeds 32 amps output, the meanwell fan will never come on. with the electrical cabinet door open the Notcua fans are whisper quiet.


Without the Noctua fans the loud Meanwell fan would cycle on and off at just 6 amps IIRC. But with them, and the external heatsinks 32 amps seems to be the figure at which the unit makes much more heat. I have thermopoxied a thermocouple to an internal heatsink. the Meanwells fan comes on at about 104f but does not turn off until it drops to 96f. I;ve yet to see temps on this heatsink exceed 120F, unless I block the flow of the Noctua fans with my hands.

Seeing the lack of arctic silver thermal grease on Mex's part list, I assume his method does not require removing the guts from the casing to access the underside of the circuit board.

MEXICOWANDERER

las peñas, michoacan, mexico

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Posted: 12/23/17 12:50am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Mex made a mistake. Mex was thinking Meanwell but his fingers insisted on Megawatt. Many thank you's Landyacht because that was a BIG blunder. Having a device that requires multiple turns makes it a lot tougher to jar or disturb the pot enough to cause unintentional unperceived adjustment error.

Meanwhile back at the ranch Mex promises not to be multitasking six errands when addressing a tech issue. Such an error is damned near unforgivable -- snort.

brulaz

Ontario Canada

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Posted: 12/23/17 06:25am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Many, many thanks you two for the detailed info. I've saved it.
This spring the trailer returns home from Florida.
So can do more then.

My apologies to the OP for the hijack.

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