Batteries and Charging

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Jean-luc, Feb 3, 2015.

  1. Jean-luc

    Jean-luc Funster

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    I came across this article http://www.atlanticmotorhomeservices.co.uk/battery-technology.php it's a bit of a read and gives an insight into the new generation of batteries designed for Stop/Start cars and how they are also an ideal item for motorhome habitation use.

    Also, towards the end the authors make some particularity interesting comments about our beloved Stirling B2B chargers,
     
  2. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    Last edited: Feb 3, 2015
  3. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    "A & N Motorhome and Caravan Services do not profess to being experts in battery technology. This should be borne in mind when reading the above which is designed to stimulate the reader to do their own research."
     
  4. jonandshell

    jonandshell Funster

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    Yep, just read it.

    The author obviously has a problem with Sterling Power and hasn't bothered to check the real price of traction monoblocs, instead he scares the reader into his way of thinking by quoting stupid prices!

    Sorry, the article has a few accuracies bit far more inaccuracy due to a jaded opinion or agenda.

    Our current batteries are 8 years old in May, having been maintained by a Sterling charger all their life.
    Our van, and alternator, will be 5 years old in May and there have been no problems to date.
    Traction monoblocs can be discharged at 100% of their Ah capacity with no problems for short periods.

    Not sure what help the article is to anyone.
     
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  5. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    Just read the sterling comments at the bottom. How wrong can this guy get? He is so biased....

    My choices for charger gear with money no object would be Victron 1st then Sterling Second. I can't think of any two manufacturers I trust more.

    Just wish my B2B worked though. I bought it second hand off ebay and didn't get round to fitting it till 5 months later. It was duff which is why I think the seller sold it.

    Just bidding on a replacement at the moment.
     
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  6. Don Quixote

    Don Quixote Funster

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    Fitting the B2B was the best thing I have ever done to our MH and the Victron 600s is worth every penny. Enough said.
     
  7. Jean-luc

    Jean-luc Funster

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    I have a Stirling B2B since the van was a year old, it's now ten.
    I have no problems with it and got eight years out of a pair of Varta semi traction, well one packed in but I changed both for Banner Energy Bulls.
    To my mind giving the batteries a good whack from the B2B and its four stage charging regime probably extended their life.
     
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  8. dippingatoe

    dippingatoe Read Only Funster

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    :) I make no apologies for re-opening an old thread, as those who contributed will have even more experience of their B2B chargers. I am rubbish at electrics (I know the volts watts amps thing but it means almost nothing to me) Just wanted to know if there was any update in what you all felt about these.

    My RV heating is blown air and quite heavy on the power, and have high end laptop and sat internet which are power hungry, so find I have to use the genny quite a bit if off grid.

    Would something like this help?

    Also my mobility scooter is a pain to keep charged up.
     
  9. Peter A Forbes

    Peter A Forbes Funster

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    It varies enormously from user to user, so very difficult to give hard and fast rules that would be good for everyone.

    If you are driving round a lot then a B2B unit can be a very good thing, but if you are parked up with no EHU available then solar panels would be more use.

    Some of this kit is quite expensive too, we looked at a Durite 24V to 12V unit but it was over £350, at which price I could buy a complete solar setup.

    http://www.thetoolboxshop.com/0-852-50-durite-24v-dc-to-12v-dc-20a-split-charger-3487.html

    A small genny can be very useful, if a little anti-social if you are on a site or an aire.

    Peter
     
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  10. Don Quixote

    Don Quixote Funster

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    Well to be honest as your not going to driving around a lot ( reading between the lines ) and running blown air, laptop, Sat system and everything else on top you have no choice running a gene from your RV. What you don't say is what battery bank you have? and how old they are. Personally I would stick to gene on RV.
     
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  11. dippingatoe

    dippingatoe Read Only Funster

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    Thanks both - My brother - who is good with electrics said the same, but I just wanted to check how others get on. I have two solar panels already. The batteries get a hard time of it, and may be better for being replaced as I hadn't quite got to grips with the idea of keeping them fully charged, or even what fully charged was. But may carry on a bit. They are the two original 6v which came with the RV built 2010 reg early 2011

    Genny came fitted and is onan 5.5 but on american voltage (?) so I only get half of that (?)
     
  12. LARRY99

    LARRY99 Funster Life Member

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    Hi sue, Firstly your 5.5kv genny is more than capable of running everything you have on board ( and a few other vans ) at the same time ,, American voltage 110v Will still be converted to 12v for charging your battery, sounds like you have two trojan 6v batteries
    ( probably the the best you can get) Perhaps you can get your brother to check the cells with a old fashion hydrometer,

    As you are so power hungry can you double up on the batteries?
    Or change the internal light bulbs for LEDs ?
    A b2b charger may marginally help , but you already have a good American charger on board ,and running the vehicle engine would be much the same as running your genny ,,

    Atb Lau :)
     
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  13. jockaneezer

    jockaneezer Funster

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    Re charging the mobility scooter, I think someone posted on here that a scooter's inbuilt charger outputs just a low amp trickle, designed to be left on overnight. I think it was suggested that you could fit separate leads direct to the scooter batteries and charge it off an intelligent charger quicker and more efficiently. Why not start a new thread asking about mobility scooter charging ?
     
  14. TheCaller

    TheCaller Funster

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    I think the chargers are usually 'supplied with' rather than ' inbuilt', although some scooters may genuinely have them inbuilt. Our wheelchair charger is 24V 5A.

    Apart from the very small ones, most mobility scooter/wheelchairs operate with 2 x 12v gel batteries wired in series. So if you wanted to replace the supplied charger with something that would work faster, you would need something designed for 24v & with a gel charge setting.

    If I remember correctly, gel batteries are not keen on being fast charged, so it might be difficult to shorten the charge time by much. Fitting AGM batteries would be a possibility, but check airline requirements if you intend to travel with it by air. Probably applies to wheelchairs more than mobility scooters, which are easier to hire at the destination.

    Depending on where you read it, gel batteries are reputed to stand up to slightly deeper discharge than AGM, which is an advantage with mobility vehicles.

    @dippingatoe what sort of charger do you use for your mobility scooter at the moment?
     
  15. dippingatoe

    dippingatoe Read Only Funster

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    Thanks both. (The Caller - you posted while I was typing :)

    I only ever use one light at a time when off grid but as they blow I will replace with led

    I ask questions as I am trying to learn. The generator is good, but there are times when you don't really want to use it i.e. cold nights I need to run it before I go to bed so the batteries have a good charge, and though it doesnt bother me inside the RV I worry about others being affected if I am not in the middle of nowhere.

    Have fitted and Exegon battery charger for the mobility which runs directly from the engine 12v as we are driving, but I find I need to do a fair few miles to get fully charged. The trickle charger I have is as good as useless. Running from hookup or genny someone has worked out it would take 42 hours plus for a full charge! I am phoning Exegon later today to see if they have other solutions.

    Many thanks for the replies. I am gradually learning
     
  16. TheCaller

    TheCaller Funster

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    Is that the Exegon Vepac1224-5 or the 1224-10?

    If the latter, you can't improve on that much. If the former, note that you need scooter batteries of at least 40Ah to use the 1224-10.

    Do you know if your scooter batteries are Gell or not? By default, the Vepac chargers are not set for Gell charge voltages unless specified (or reset) by the supplying dealer.

    Whichever charger you have, it will always take a fair drive to recharge the batteries, because there is a limit to how fast you can push charge back into a battery without it overheating or being damaged. You can't fully charge a battery at it's maximum charge rate either - the charge rate drops once you get over 80% charged.
     
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