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 > Lifeline Battery Recovery experiences?

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Smitty77

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Posted: 03/05/18 08:38am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I had a thread about our Magnum MS2812 going into Fault code mode overnight while boon docking. Posted under Magnum because I first thought I may have had a problem with my program parameters, and possibly a weak/going out circuit board(s), after a lightening outage at a park last year.

Looks like I have Lifeline Batteries that have grown weak on me. These are 5 years old/usage X's 4 L16's.

I monitored the batteries during the night, via Magnum remote panel. SOC remained good, based upon AH's out, slowly drifting down to 85% SOC around 5:45AM. Full Bank Voltage down to 11.3V, current AH draw of 17.0 - 17.4 AH's. (These are under load reported Voltages on the remote.)

As I watched, with the same 17.0 - 17.4 AH's draw, the reported under load Voltage started to drop .1 and sometimes .2V, over 4 minute period down to 10.3V.

I took measurements at the battery with Multi Meter. 10.29 - 10.31V. I did still cable connected measurements of each battery and recorded 6.15V / 5.91V / 4.5V / 4.14V.

During the day, I brought the bank up to a full charge. Then afterward's did two back to back four hour Conditioning/Equalizing.

(Note: When I bought the batteries in Jan, 2013. The Lifeline Tech Manual I read, Rev C, said to only Condition the batteries if noticeable capacity was lost. I note that the current Rev E states that Conditioning every 2-4 weeks, maybe be the right thing to do under certain circumstances. (Talking to a boating buddy on the phone yesterday, he said he knows he read that same paragraph in Rev D too. But he could not recall if it was in Rev C(?) and I had just missed it.)

I only mention this Tech Manual here, because until late December of 2017, I'd never Condition this set of batteries, and that was only a four hour Conditioning, via the MS2812.

======

OK, long background to get to my question.

If I find after these Conditioning's that the battery capacity is still not healthy. Would taking the batteries into a shop that Lifeline recommends for Deep Discharge Recovery process provide any chance of further restoring the weaker batteries?

Has anyone had experiences with Lifeline Deep Discharge Recovery process?

Would like to get another year or two out of this bank of batteries. May even jump back to only the two best batteries and run with 400AH's if needed, to get a few more years out of it. (Even with the Samsung fridge, we could turn the Inverter off for few hours of a time during the night, to accommodate a half size bank of what we're used to running on.)

Info sharing, and opinions most welcomed[emoticon]!

Best to all,
Smitty

GordonThree

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Posted: 03/05/18 09:21am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Loss of capacity means you get 11 volts when charging is complete. That's my interpretation at least. Sounds like you're beyond that point.

It could be a manufacturing defect allowed the glass mats to dry out and the battery is now toast.

If you dig around on YouTube there's videos on how to rehydrate an AGM battery... It involves drilling.

If you want to try rehabilitation, pull those batteries from the RV and work on them somewhere a rupture or explosion won't do much damage.

You'll need a beefy adjustable power supply like a Meanwell or Megawatt, a standard battery charger won't hit the voltage needed.

* This post was edited 03/05/18 09:29am by GordonThree *


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Smitty77

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Posted: 03/05/18 09:43am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

So Gordon - In the boating community, you're saying their's a high probability of these becoming non environmental friendly boat anchors[emoticon]!

We come off of this trip mid April, and will limp along as needed.

As I've read here, and elsewhere many times - a non resting battery voltage read is not a true measurement of the batteries voltage. We're moving sites today, but when we get to the new site (Same campground.) I'll make sure the bank is fully charged again. Then we'll turn off all power draw for 3-4 hours, and I'll take a reading at the batteries again.

Question: I'm not disconnecting cables, so these 4 6V's are connected. When I'm taking individual battery readings of interconnected batteries, are they valid or off because they're interconnected? (Really want to see what the 4.15 and 4.5V batteries reading of two days ago, look like after Conditioning cycles.)

TIA,
Smitty

MEXICOWANDERER

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Posted: 03/05/18 10:22am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

  • How closely did you follow Concorde's manual specs when using the batteries?
  • I'm wondering about how long they went between recharging
  • Did you follow the protocol of charging at a minimum of 20% amperes for your bank's TOTAL amp hour capacity - 20% of 600 amperes = 120 amperes
  • Pull your batteries and weigh them on bathroom scale <2 lbs from OEM new weight is a death sentence
  • How closely did you follow Concorde's protocol for AH loss recovery? Right to the amp and right to the tenth of a volt?
  • Have you verified your day-in day-out measurement meters are accurate?
  • Accuracy when answering these questions will reveal the cause and effects


GordonThree

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Posted: 03/05/18 10:48am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Smitty77 wrote:

So Gordon - In the boating community, you're saying their's a high probability of these becoming non environmental friendly boat anchors[emoticon]!

We come off of this trip mid April, and will limp along as needed.

As I've read here, and elsewhere many times - a non resting battery voltage read is not a true measurement of the batteries voltage. We're moving sites today, but when we get to the new site (Same campground.) I'll make sure the bank is fully charged again. Then we'll turn off all power draw for 3-4 hours, and I'll take a reading at the batteries again.

Question: I'm not disconnecting cables, so these 4 6V's are connected. When I'm taking individual battery readings of interconnected batteries, are they valid or off because they're interconnected? (Really want to see what the 4.15 and 4.5V batteries reading of two days ago, look like after Conditioning cycles.)

TIA,
Smitty


I'm glad Mex joined this thread, he's an expert and can advise you better than I. His idea to weight each battery is great, you can find out if a battery has dried up without having to drill [emoticon]

Measuring the 6v batteries, you have 2 in series and those 2 are parallel with 2 more right? I would disconnect one terminal from each battery before measuring. The parallel configuration means one series pair is constantly charging/discharging the other series pair.

When you're at your next site, and confident about having a full charge, disconnect one terminal on each battery, and see where you're at after several hours to settle.

CA Traveler

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Posted: 03/05/18 12:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Drive to a good battery shop and have them load test the batteries, saves removing them.

In the meantime separate each 12V bank, charge, measure and test each battery in the bank. You might find 2 good ones that can be used for your year limp along.


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BFL13

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Posted: 03/05/18 02:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

"another year or two out of this bank of batteries. May even jump back to only the two best batteries and run with 400AH's if needed, "

You need to be clear about AH capacity to do the 20% mentioned above. Two 6s at 400AH seems unlikely.

In the OP do you mean 17 amps draw and not "AH draw"? It is all very confusing.

11 volts at 85% SOC is crazy. Likely, your monitor entries for AH count are way wrong. Some monitors need frequent resets of the AH counter. Also the correct AH capacity of your four-6s bank in case that is wrong.


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Smitty77

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Posted: 03/05/18 02:42pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'll answer some here, and do some homework, and answer more in a follow on post.

First. Yes these are Lifeline L16's rated 400AH at 20 hr rate. So full bank of 800AH (And X's2 would be 400AH's.)

Yes I should have said 17 amps draw... not AH draw. (My wife says English is my second language, and it's unclear what my first is. Obviously, it's not techie electrical[emoticon]! Admit freely that I'm often proving to myself that I did not really know what I thought I knew. At least I still remain opened to learning and being corrected.)

'11 volts range at 85% SOC'? Well, I believe the Magnum SOC is pretty much measure AH's Out vs AH's in, based upon user entered parameter of Battery Bank size? Starting at 100% SOC Magnum and MidNite both reflecting Full Charge and or Resting, depending upon controller vocabulary. The 85% SOC was accurate, based upon reported AH's out from full charge. (The MidNite indicated 83%, but they're always within 1 to 2% of each other.

Until the February 2017 revision by Lifeline to bump up Float 13.2 - 13.4, I've had the Magnum Lifeline AGM1 setting being used to manage the batteries while on Shore Power. When I learned of the slight increase of Float in mid June of 2017, I used Custom settings to bump Float up to the new level.

My MidNite Classic150, was set to Lifeline Tech Manual values, also adjusted in June to the slightly higher float. I also have the WhzBngJr component for the MidNite, and use Ending Amps.

I will admit that until recently, I'd had no reason to suspect the Lifeline's were not doing well. Possibly may have noted the problem earlier, if been boon docking more. But the flavor of last years travels, was primarily Shore Power to Shore Power. One or two nights of boon docking last year. With the first night LBCO cut out when I fired up the coffee pot. (Which in hindsight, was probably when I should have taken more notice and done more voltage Multi Meter and Resting testing.) And as mentioned, also because I believe Lifeline has changed their recommendations, I'd never Conditioned the battery bank before the end of last year.

All that being said, if Magnum AGM1 setting for Lifeline's on the MS2812 is good. Then the answer is Yes, the batteries have been well cared for. And note, when I added the Magnum, Solar Panels and MidNite Classic 150 about 4 1/2 years ago. I called Lifeline to see get their perspective of Magnum's AGM1 setting. Reviewed the info with the Lifeline Tech, and he said that all checked over OK. Second Note. When I heard of the new slightly increased Float values, which I suspect Lifeline added because batteries were 'walking down' some, I called Magnum to ask if AGM1 settings could be adjusted. Yes, if I wanted to buy a new control board, so thus I went with the Custom settings.

Now here is where I think I learned something. A monitoring of SOC reflecting a health SOC level, on weak battery - does not mean the battery will not be at lower voltage, and go out on you.... I basically lived off of SOC, while we were boon docking. Need to add Voltage checking readings too. And need to learn what under load voltages correlate to as far as resting voltage - if anything at all.

Really appreciate the questions, and input. The sponge of the brain is not as fast at absorbing as it was a few decades ago, but ready and willing to slowly absorb[emoticon]!

Smitty

BFL13

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Posted: 03/05/18 03:04pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If your AH counter does not take heat loss on recharging into account, then it will over-state the AHs going in and declare you are full when you aren't yet. You will have batteries that are undercharged and sulfating. (as you suspect yours are)

EG Trimetric has a default charging efficiency that is adjustable, but you have to play with that for several recharges to get it right on. So after a while the AH counter gets out of whack and needs to be reset. If you leave it on "auto-reset" and you have solar, it will be wrong by resetting itself every time it gets dark

No idea what the Magnum and Whizbang do about that. However, if you have never reset the AH counter for four years, then it could be reading anything by now.

Ductape

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Posted: 03/05/18 03:16pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

800 AH you need 160 amp charge current to meet the 20% of capacity recommendation from Lifeline for deep discharge bulk charging. I had a similar setup on our prior coach, and noted some symptoms of early voltage drop under load after a lot of shallow discharges and slow solar recharging.

I had a marine battery selector that allowed me to divide the big bank in half. I found that by halving the bank, drawing the smaller bank down to around 50% and then vigorously recharging with my converter (at 27% of C) they got stronger each cycle. Voltage drop took longer under load and charge acceptance increased.

I also periodically top charge them and use a precision ammeter to ensure I get them to the 1/2% spec.


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