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Smitty77

OnDRoad

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Posted: 03/10/18 05:49pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MW & LY - Thanks agin for the thoughts and info sharing.

MW - You understand my puzzlement completely. I felt 8 years would have been quite realistic, and long range retirement budget planning had amortized purchase price over 8 years (Though I of course hoped for more.).

I've seem the Meanwell mentioned a few times now. It is a dedicated charger to do nothing but charging - and has great feedback at doing that very well. Sort of a Swiss Army Knife dedicated charger.

LY - I'm really trying to be as open as I can about how I've cared for the bank. Again they were bought in January of 2013, (Drove up and picked them up from the older Azusa warehouse, to assure fresh stock.). The first 5-6 months, they were supported by the OEM Freedom 458. Set to the AGM setting, which is not really ideal for Lifeline. (But again, talking to Lifeline this bank was for then medium to large size, and they saw no problem with me using this as I mapped out my move to PSW and Solar with a Controller.).

I mention this, because it was 6 or so months with less then ideal Lifeline settings.

I'll again share, that in the life of the batteries, I've had it in the shop two times for a two week visit and three week visit. (The three week, was when the solar and Magnum swap out was occurring.) Yes, they assured me they would keep it plugged in. They also said that the two-three days of the Freedom swap over to MS2812 - that they would first make sure the bank was fully charged. BUT - I have no way of known those two times the bank was properly supported.

The Solar Controller and the MS2812 I feel were set up to play nicely with each other. One area I'll review to see if I messed up. And, many times while on shore power, I turn the MidNite Controller to avoid conflict.

I also three years ago upgraded the Alternator form 160 to 200A - but also added regulators to manage that. (Perhaps a problem on that end, yep, will retrace what I asked to be done, and see what was really done[emoticon]!).

Batteries resting now, and will get voltage readings in the to confirm what is what.

Yeah, out of the prorated warranty now. And I would not doubt Lifeline would ask reasonable questions about care. Willing to talk with them about that, as mentioned, I want their confirmation that they feel I've done the right maintenance.

One step at a time[emoticon]!
Smitty

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las peñas, michoacan, mexico

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Posted: 03/10/18 06:32pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Fact is those (4) L-16's should never see a recharging potential of less than 20% of total ampere hour capacity. Twenty percent of 800 is 160 amperes. The more deviation less than the 20% the easier those batteries will lose capacity and fail earlier.

Shocking isn't it?

To compound the issue, a lower charge rate using a generator that rattles and annoys neighbors brings forth a ...

"A full half hour! That otter dewer"

And the genset gets shut down.

It's a wonder that the batteries live as long as they do.

Now meeting the 20% minimum charge rate is not cast in concrete. Even a 100-amp recharging rate will nullify about 90% of the effects of under amping the batteries.

But constant short-changing the 1/2% amp hour rule takes it toll. That makes TWO negatives and an aggregate sum of the two negatives means a very tangible chopping of potential life-span.

It comes down to this...

The faster the batteries fill, the less time is spent in the hazard-zone of substantially discharged vulnerable to inadequate amperes recharge rate

Still with me? When the Lifelines are at >60% state of charge they are FAR LESS vulnerable to inadequate charge amperage than they are at 50% or 40% state of charge. Get them fuller faster. More charge amperage right off the bat.

And generator run time: As important as I now it is to maintain batteries, hearing my Kubota chugging away, irritates me. It's not just the noise, it's knowing six pistons are changing directions, bearings are rubbing, and injectors are getting dirty. Let's NOT talk about three dollar and seventy cent a gallon diesel. That turns pain into screaming agony.

And I do not have "neighbor peer pressure" or park generator run time hours to limit me using the generator.

With a calculator I can crunch numbers until the cows come home. With the cost of my battery bank and the cost of doing an in-frame on the Kubota (shhhh about the fuel)...

There is no way in hell I am going to run that generator needlessly, like wasting fuel, wasting my time and ruining my batteries in the process.

I have flooded 2-volt cells. But they can accept 400+ amperes at absorbsion maximum voltage. My little Lifeline can accept 100 amperes at 14.4 volts starting off, and the 2-story eats 130-amps.

I do not have the patience to run the Kubota endlessly while perusing catalogs to see what pistons, liners and bearing cost. Maybe gathering more drums to hold $150 dollars in fuel each so I can waste my time and ruin my generator and batteries because I was too cheap to invest in attaining a correct battery charger size to battery bank relationship.

It's one thing to find these things out "The Hard Way" then vow to correct MY ERRORS IN JUDGEMENT...

And quite another to be advised of the errors, then decide the blame lies on someone else's shoulders, and run around complaining just how lousy a premium quality battery is.

The issue in this case, the four L-16's is a bitter lesson. From what I've read on this thread, the original poster very much wants to avoid future problems. He does not own a chew & spit hundred dollar Wal-Mart battery. There is a tendency for people with cheap batteries to be overfull of opinions as what constitutes "over-concern" with proper battery management.

Done right, the "involvement" with battery charging while camping becomes minimized. Generator run time becomes minimized. And yes this means that the more solar panels on the roof, the better.

But it does not mean dismissal of what the batteries demand for maximum life. It does not mean mounting of 30 amperes of panels on the roof will maintain four L-16 AGM batteries.

It means read, and learn. And to virtually ignore people who mismanage a hundred dollar battery then claim proper battery management is irrelevant.

Yes, I am crabby today. A storm moved in and my shoulders and spine hurt like hell.

To soothe my urge to puncture people who disagree, I am preparing a 130 amp battery charger system for a friend that has seen the light.

Landyacht has spent countless hours testing hunches, watching trends and tendencies with regard to batteries. He may not be a design engineer but he has expressed a willingness to learn. Most folks need absorb a fraction of his experience to become The Wise Battery User. Landyacht has gained more practical experience than many papered engineers who are theory educated and ignorant in practical management.

Growl - Snarl - Snap

Time for aspirin and silent griping...

BFL13

Victoria, BC

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Posted: 03/10/18 06:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Smitty's crime was that he failed to cross-check his fake SOCs on his too many monitors, with the actual voltage of his batteries. The monitors and whatever else those guys did to mess up his total set-up are just giving bad info.

I can't check out all the wiring and what is doing what to what from here, but it remains that something is wrong with the set- up, so that the too-many SOC readings are totally bogus. Somebody who has a clue needs to re-visit the whole set-up.

Smitty should have noticed that a long time ago, but he believed the SOC readings and never cross-checked them. That is where he went wrong. Yes, he did what he could, but IMO the original installers led him astray somewhere.

Lesson is as always, "Trust, but verify!"


1991 Oakland 28DB Class C
on Ford E350-460-7.5 Gas EFI

MEXICOWANDERER

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Posted: 03/10/18 07:17pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yes BFL13, he is paying a whopper of a price and is willing to learn. That to me makes me more than willing to help. You are another positive factor in battery management discussion.

A separate thread needs to be set-up...

"How do I know if my amp hour meter is feeding me a line of B.S.?"

Smitty77

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Posted: 03/11/18 09:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BFL13 & MW - Well, at least I get a could chuckle from reading your posts. (Complements to you both, LY is pretty slick with a sentence or two too[emoticon]! And I'll cross board post that 757Driver on IRV2 has also been assisting with his familiarity with the battery process. (And one sweet recent conversation to Lithium in his coach. Entegra owner group, search for his handle, and you'll find his new setup.)

------

So the Campground Host came by when I was out willing the clouds and rain away. Said I should be able to move to the next site, boon docking again, within an hour. He'd talked with the current occupants, and they were scratching their hike this AM due to the slick surfaces on the trails.

So here are my readings of a not fully resting battery.

-Inverter and Charger from the Magnum side turned off since 1:00PM yesterday, until 8:00AM today. So 18-19 hrs of semi resting.
-Solar MidNite Classic 150 Controller turned off at the same time
-The items I consider light overhead drawing (LP Detector, etc.)
-Magnum SOC shows usage of 53AH from last the full charge of yesterday.

Bank = 12.61V

Bat 1 = 6.31 V

Bat 2 = 6.29 V

Bat 3 = 6.31 V

Bat 4 = 6.29 V

Bat 1 & 2 = 12.6 V
Bat3 & 4 = 12.6 V

The lowest two's 6.29 V = ~ 27-29% Depth of Discharge
The highest two's 6.31 V = ~ 18-20% Depth of Discharge

Since the bank dis have the light loads of LP Detector, Fantastic Fan Rain sensors, etc. and the 53AH's reflect going thru the BMK Meter's shunt during this time. I suspect those values would have been a tad higher voltage if I'd done a full disconnect.

======

I welcome feedback on those numbers. But I think I need to visit the local Home Depot or Lowes, a nice drive from here, and buy another Kill-A-Watt meter. Yes, of course mine is in San Diego[emoticon]! Dedicate one to the RV, Under $30, it will be good to have in the RV tool box arsenal.

I've had a few people suggest I get a good reading on what the Samsung is actually consuming, vs what it had been consuming. (A few have reported they needed to have control boards replaced. Samsung still worked, kept things cold, produced those had formulations of water I like to rattle in my glass - but that two of them never had their Defrost mode go off, but to a bad control board.

Either way, it would be good to know if the Samsung is using more then what I tested out to before. (From memory, it would consume 150-165 Amps, over a 24 hour period. With of course the night time 'no solar' being the consumption demand on the battery bank. Say 75-82.5A. That was from 7 days of data Kill-A-Watt values, averaged out for the 7 days. And ambient temps was as high as low 80's, and lows were to the low 60's, and low to moderate humidity.

So getting a reading the current Samsung usage, I'd know for sure nothing is going wrong with that.

----

I do want input about those voltage readings from this gang. But frankly not as low as I had anticipated.

Going to go get wet now, packing a few things away for the long 2 tenths of a mile trek to the next site[emoticon]!

Best to all,
Smitty

Smitty77

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Posted: 03/11/18 12:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Yep, having another conversation with myself again[emoticon]!

Wanted to share that IRV2 poster 757Driver suggested that as my battery bank aged, it might have been prudent to dial back the Magnum setting for Bank Size from 800AH down lower, to compensate for aging batteries lower capacity. I'd never heard of that, at least that I can recall.

So also checked my Magnum Absorb setting. I'd set it to end at 100% SOC. So if my reported SOC has been off, I could have been 'walking these batteries down'. Just changed it back to Time, and set it to 2 1/2 hours.

Still studying the aging battery lost capacity in relation to Magnum Bank Size settings[emoticon]!

Best to all,
Smitty

landyacht318

Near a large body of salty water

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Posted: 03/11/18 01:38pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not sure how your SOC meter actually determines/ guesses, but it sounds like it can be one of the issues of your batteries early demise.

I have one 90Ah battery, my battery monitor is set to 80AH. I never ever look at the % screen, only the AH from full.

If it says 7AH from full but the battery is accepting 0.4amps at absorption voltage, I know it is lying

If it says 0AH from full but the battery is still accepting 2 amps at 14.7v, I know it is lying.

If my charge controller decided when to drop to float voltage by the battery monitor's % reading, or AH from full rating, I'd take it out back and shoot it.

MEXICOWANDERER

las peñas, michoacan, mexico

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Posted: 03/11/18 03:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Download the FREE Lifeline battery manual

Turn to page 21 Conditioning

You need to disconnect batteries being conditioned from the coach as conditioning voltage is damaging to RV components.

Can whatever you are using for a charger regulate voltage to 15.5 volts and stay there hour after hour?

The hassles of where in the system the coach converter hooks to and then directing it to a single series pair is just awful. Not feasible.

Connecting a 36-amp MEGAWATT to an isolated from the coach series pair is feasible. And the Megawatt has an EASY TO GET TO voltage adjustment screw - wide open to the outside world.

And turned up, it can reach high conditioning voltages and stay there, hours, days weeks. Constant

And adjusted to 14.4 volts, it charges the batteries correctly. To 14.4 volts. For hours and hours if necessary. One pair of L16's 400 amp hours, one half of which is 20 amperes charge current. Until amperage falls to 2.0 amps then the battery is charged like Lifeline insists on.

I like the Meanwell RSP 1000-15 Because it has enough amperage to take the entire bank to 14.40 volts AUTOMATICALLY even when the batteries are in service.

Just flip a switch


you can leave it on for a hundred hours and it can not hurt the batteries. Forget theoretical float voltages -- what I am talking about here is at 14.40 volts turn it on and then shut it off when you remember to, or the rain stops or in the morning or when you find your slippers. You MUST SEE less than 8.0 charge at 14.40 volts MINIMAL HOTEL LOADS then the batteries are charged. This is a NORMAL EVERYDAY RECHARGE for Lifeline batteries.

Anything less, kills the batteries. And Platinum Plated Plutonium batteries require the same care. Prove it to me that Lithium battery lifespan does not suffer if CONSTANTLY undercharged...

For the price of a power supply, hundreds and hundreds of dollars of damage is done because of incorrect charging. Given enough AGM batteries the damage amounts to thousands of dollars and every cent wasted is utterly needless.

The Lifespan of a Lifeline is one thousand cycles at 50% depth of discharge. It raises to three thousand cycles at a shallower depth.

I purchased a group 31 Lifeline in 2012. In October it's capacity test was 99.1%

In 1991 I purchased 2-volt flooded batteries -- they are still in service.

And I am lazy as hell. I do not play manservant to my batteries.

SCREW amp hour meters for battery management. No meter on earth equals a human brain and a little knowledge. You can disbullshit an amp hour meter by terminating a charge when the amp hour meter says the batteries are full then connect a power supply set to 14.40 volts and have your hair stand on end when you see black & white proof just how much WRONG your amp hour meter is.

An amp hour meter gives a reasonable reflection of how much power was used. But for recharging only the straight old fashioned AMPS will give an idea of when the batteries are charged.

ONE HALF OF ONE PERCENT ... PERIOD

Salesmen touting the ability of their amp hour meter to accurately determine a battery's correct fill, need a converter's positive cable stuck up their *** and the "Equalize" button pushed again and again until the salesman changes his mind

Care to see an amp hour meter control charge voltage to 14.40 volts and then switch to float when amperage reaches .5% of set amp hour capacity?

It does not exist.

Press THIS button again and again or THAT button again and again is stupid. Flipping a switch then returning when convenient and switch a power supply off is less stupid.

And it does not have to be done every charge. Try every seven days.

If it takes four hours or four days to reach .5% it does not matter. Try that with a converter / inverter / perverter.

If I was forced to deal with short battery life and Alice In Wonderland hookah smoking caterpillar calisthenics with converters like I read on this forum I would junk the batteries and move to a hotel and ring down for room service.

The definition of LAZY

I have a UPS system sitting next to my bed. For lights and a BiPAP.

A Lifeline AGM. With twin meters. Amps and volts. A voltage adjustment knob.

Floating? Glance at the voltage and room thermometer.

No longer cold at night? Tweak the potentiometer. Maybe once a MONTH

Power outage? When power is restored I tweak the voltage knob. Elapsed time 3 seconds to set to 14.4. I arise and have coffee. Ooooooooooops the battery has been at 14.40 volts for 8-hours. I plumb forgot. Oooooooo the amperage is at .48 amps. Guaranteed full battery. Tweak voltage to 13.4. Elapsed time four seconds.

Yeah the meters and the knob is mounted on a bedside table. Yawn, reach over and tweak, swivel neck and read meters.

This is the epitome of lazy. Disgusting.

For an AGM that has outlived 99% of the automatic mismanaged AGMs.

Using a Meanwell or Megawatt as a de-B.S.'er is even easier.

Just make sure the monitor is connected correctly showing amperage flowing into the battery. When it reaches .5% of amp hour capacity amperage, shut off the charger or not. Sometime reasonably soon, like maybe tonight, shut off the power supply.

Once a week or 10 days.

I simply do not have the money or low intelligence to believe plug and play. The premise is absurd and I have better things to do and purchase than fighting BS battery management. I can reasonably expect 12 years of service out of my Lifeline.

And my 2-volt cells are of an age where they can legally purchase alcohol and inhale destructive distillates of burning vegetation...

Meanwhile back at the ranch...

Read the Lifeline manual about conditioning. And try to survive the needless replacement of battery replacement twice as often as need be...

landyacht318

Near a large body of salty water

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Posted: 03/11/18 04:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I use my Meanwell rsp-500-15 as a converter, as a top charger, equalizer, portable charger, float charger, conditioner, everything.

Rated at 500 watts it will output over 600, all day long, but I have added ventilation and heatsinking to it, along with a better voltage adjustment Potentiometer.

After all the stressing over which converter to get, which charger can match and best do the job of actually charging any given battery, the Meanwell is by far the simplest, and it is not Automatic.

Twist a dial while watching a digital voltmeter to set it to the correct absorption voltage unloaded, plug it in, thgen some time later, watch an ammeter until amps taper to the specified amperage.

It really is that simple, and with it, and the knowledge gained over the years, I am getting the best cycle per dollar of any battery yet, and it is a 340$ battery with tax.

The MEanwell mocks my Amp hour counter. My amp hour counter and my ignorance, is responsible for me killing several sets of previous batteries quite prematurely. This was because I did not have it set to hold absorption voltage for long enough.

It sounds like Smittys battery monitors installed a false confidence while allowing the very capable programmable charger, into chronically undercharging the very expensive batteries.

All my previous short lived batteries, my AH counting battery monitor loved to say 0Ah from full and 100% state of charge, and gave me warm and fuzzies until the day i saw 20Ah from full and 11.9v under a 2 amp load, and knew I had been lied to.

I blamed the batteries, I blamed this that and the other thing. My ignorance and confidence in the battery monitor display were responsible.

The Screwy 31, when new, I was determined to get a lot of cycles out of it, but 3 weeks in I saw horrible voltage for the Ah removed.

Finally broke down and got a good enough hydrometer, and saw 1.220 when the battery monitor was screaming green 100%, 0Ah from full.

Ah Haaa!

I found that Absorption voltage needed to be higher, and held longer, much longer, and regular equalization charges of 16v were required basically every 15 deep cycles.

Compared to keeping the Screwy31 battery happy, the Northstar AGm is simple. but the screwy31 still lives on the floor of my Workshop, shallowly cycled and now seeing 2 hours of absorption every day via solar.

The AGM is easy in comparison to the screwy31. Bring it to absorption voltage, hold it until amps taper to 0.5%, and when voltage held for AH removed seems lower than it should, depleted it to 50% or below and give it as much amperage as I possibly can to Absorption voltage, and hold it as long as required for amps to taper to 0.5% of capacity and 'It's back baby!'

I am likely approaching the 750 Deep cycle range over 51 months, and at least a hundred of those cycles are to well below 50%. I can tell the battery is degrading. It does not crank the engine quite as fast, and the voltage it holds during engine cranking is not as high, and recently it falls enough that my stereo shuts off during engine cranking, but by no means does it struggle to start my engine, even depleted 65 of its original 90Ah capacity, at least in Southern California's coastal mild temperatures.

However, overnight voltages will still quickly rebound to over 12.2v under a 0.6 amp load with 45Ah removed from it in 5 to 6 hours, well over the 4.5 amp average rate at which it earned its 90AH rating.. If I could not apply that 140 amp starter load watching a voltmeter, I would not be able to notice any degradation, other than the extended absorption times required.

It now takes much longer for amps to taper to 0.5% of capacity, compared to when it had 200 deep cycles on it.

Guess what would happen if I could not get to and hold absorption voltage for as long as required? The battery would be recycled and I would have spent money I did not yet need to spend.

I'm probably going to get a 18AH high rate chinese AGM, just for the day that the single battery struggles to start my engine, sometime in the future, but I am not replacing this battery any time soon not until 6+ hours of absorption are required each and every recharge, or it shorts a cell, or behaves like Smittys batteries.

BFL13

Victoria, BC

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Posted: 03/11/18 04:53pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

"It now takes much longer for amps to taper to 0.5% of capacity, compared to when it had 200 deep cycles on it"

I don't understand this. I know with Wets, it takes less time to do a 50-90 each successive 50-90 due to lower capacity after each 50-90 without a recharge to full. Each 50-90 being smaller in AH than the last one.

Why would going to 100% take longer with lower capacity?

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