3Amps Being Drawn - Nothing On!

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by StitchUp, Aug 10, 2013.

  1. StitchUp

    StitchUp Read Only Funster

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    Okay, so I've had my solar panels fitted and during the sunlight the Leisure batteries are charging well :BigGrin:. However, after dark, I noticed the Burstner Control Panel was showing a discharge/consumption of 3Amps and the battery condition/capacity was down to about half.

    I don't have anything switched on in the van so I can only assume the Solar/Regulator installation is responsible :Eeek:

    Having read the manual for the regulator it does go into some detail about programming the regulator for daytime & nightime - obviously necessary but something I haven't done! I didn't realise this was something that featured in solar panel installation or indeed whether it could be the cause of my 3amps draw!


    Anyone got any theories?
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2013
  2. tonka

    tonka Funster Life Member

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    Could there be a faulty diode or no diode on the panel ?
    Hence the power is "draining out" ??

    3amps is a lot !!!!

    Or as you say faulty regulator...
    Disconnect the panel from the regulator as see if it's still draining..
     
  3. StitchUp

    StitchUp Read Only Funster

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    This is one of the things I did think of and might be the problem but, I believe the regulator protects against this reverse discharge.

    3amps is a lot! with all the lights on, I don't drawer anywhere near 3amps!
     
  4. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    You need to get a lunar panel to balance things up:thumb:
     
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  5. magicsurfbus

    magicsurfbus Funster

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    I assume the installation has been carried out properly?

    When ours was installed the wires from the charge controller were connected to wires leading to an inverter that I'd installed in a cupboard. Unfortunately the inverter wasn't connected to the battery and the idle git who did the installation hadn't bothered to check this.

    It was only because I took time to trace the wiring route that I spotted this, because all seemed well on the charge controller and the battery was in good shape.

    Believe it or not the work was done by a dealership (who shall remain nameless), who to be fair, corrected the error, compensated us, and gave the sparks a bollocking.
     
  6. StitchUp

    StitchUp Read Only Funster

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    I want one :thumb:

    I'm fairly confident the installation is correctly fitted. I did a lot of research and sought advice from those who know :BigGrin:

    I believe the problem is within the software settings of the regulator through which you can do all sorts of wonderful things!! I'm presently on page 32 of the software manual :Eeek:
     
  7. MikeandCarolyn

    MikeandCarolyn Read Only Funster

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    Any programming of regulators,meters etc should be part of the installation process-I would have taken it straight back to the company who did the job.3Amps is a lot !!

    Mike
     
  8. lunarman

    lunarman Funster

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    Have you got a schaudt electro block fitted in your van? If so it may be the installation of the panel causing the problem if the regulator is connected straight to the batteties. Have a look at A&N caravan services website for more info. I had exactly the problem you describe and have had to change the setup. My panel was fitted by a main dealer who obviously did not know what was required.

    Lunarman
     
  9. StitchUp

    StitchUp Read Only Funster

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    I would have Mike and it wouldn't have been an issue. But, it's easier if I do that part myself when I've understood the 'pidgeon English' of the manual. I supplied all the parts including the regulator so I can't expect them to know the programming language.

    As I have an early model of the Reich Elektrobloc I was grateful to receive the support from A&ACaravans and I'll ask for his opinion on this:


    Hello we are A & N Caravan Services. Thank you to everyone for the recommendations.
    To help with the post above first of all let me say the photo is of an e-Box 1, so the information below is relevant to this model and not the e-Box PLUS or e-Box II.

    The way we have connected Solar to the e-Box 1 before is by using a dual battery bank Regulator to charge both Starter and Habitation batteries at the same time. We are waiting for some information from Reich on what might be a better way of connecting. When we get this we will update the web site Reich page with the information for all the Reich e-Box units, as we have already for the Schaudt Elektroblock.

    The e-Box 1 has it's main power supplies going in/out through the left front via 4 main wires onto screws. Note that in the photo above the unit is mounted upside down.
    The wiring colour is dependant on the MH manufacturer but is normally 2 Browns going to the 2 centre -(neutral) screws. A Black cable for the Habitation +(positive), a Red +(positive) for the Starter battery.
    Put quality ring connectors on the Solar Regulator output wires and fuse holders in the live feed. Also put a fuse between the Solar panel and the regulator so you can isolate the regulator from the panel during maintenance.
    Then undo the screws (you will need a very stout broad blade driver, these screws are very, very tight) and attach the solar reg output cables to the Habitation + (Black?) and - (Brown?). Remember these wires are live so the usual care needs to be taken. Be especially careful to get the + and - the right way around.

    The wires will normally stay in place when you remove the screws as they slide into position. The screws must be put back tight. If you are using a twin battery bank regulator then connect the second bank output to the Starter battery Red lead. You can only do this with a proper dual battery bank regulator, like the Schaudt LR1218, or you will bridge the starter and habitation bank with dire consequences.
    A regulator with a secondary Load output (usually with a light bulb symbol) is not a dual bank charger and MUST NOT be wired as such.


    When wiring a Solar regulator start from the battery back to the Solar Panel so once you connect to the panel the power has got a path to flow down and doesn't just build up in the regulator causing damage.

    Google A and N Caravan Services to find our website page Solar Power to read Hints and Tips for lots of info on wiring, regulators, fusing, shading and an explanation of how a Solar panel can stop your batteries charging.

    Finally put a note in the battery box to remind yourself, or your servicing engineer, to pull the fuse to isolate the regulator from the panel to prevent damage when the batteries are disconnected for maintenance. A little note of where we can find the fuse will save my colleagues a lot of time looking in cupboards!!

    I will try and find time to look back here in a few days to see if it needs an update.

    Techno100 is right, we don't mind email questions.
     
  10. MikeandCarolyn

    MikeandCarolyn Read Only Funster

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    Been thinking about this,and have re-read your posts.
    In your first post you said that batteries had re-charged from 20% in a few hours,and now you have said that they have discharged to below half.
    I've always understood that discharging to below 50% was not good (I read it on here :BigGrin:) Have you checked your batteries ? It's easy to suspect the new installation etc. and overlook something basic

    I hate elctrickery :BigGrin: We lost 5% of battery capacity overnight without any discharge showing on the battery monitor,so,I went out and looked at it every hour after dark one night until about 0200 :BigGrin: I noticed that if I switched on one light (0.1 amp) for a couple of mins and then switched it off,the capacity went up by 1% within 5 mins. !!
    I went to bed muttering about batteries being living organisms :Rofl1:

    Hope you sort it by Malvern.
    Mike
     
  11. StitchUp

    StitchUp Read Only Funster

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    Hi Mike

    The 20% was calculated from a graphical representation on the control panel - not very scientific :BigGrin:

    I've never had problems with the leisure batteries but we've only done weekends away without hook-up. We're not economical in our van :) computer, radio, TV, microwave, hair dryers etc, OH and a fridge to keep the beer cool.

    I only discovered the 3amp drain last night, in the daytime/sunshine, the battery indicator shows 100% full. So it's only today that I started reading the manuals etc :Eeek:, I've made a few software changes and will look again tonight to monitor the effect.

    If we don't have it sussed by Malvern, we'll run an extension lead to your van - we know what it looks like after helping you find it when at Carmarthen :Rofl1:

    As I've said, I'm well pleased with the quality of the installation and I know if I took it back to them, they'd do all they could to remedy the problem.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2013
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