Battery upgrade

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by kelv, Jul 27, 2015.

  1. kelv

    kelv Funster Life Member

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    After doing a couple of weekends of grid my battery seems to last less than when new Only 10 months old and fully charged every week.I have decided to renew with 2 new ones so my question is which batteries are good to use and is it a straight forward job to do myself if I purchase relivent leads.
    I am posting a pic of the old battery and charging unit after close inspection it seems the unit is set to gell battery setting is this right or wrong with the battery I am using. Any help from technical minded funsters would be much appreciated.
     
  2. Munchie

    Munchie Funster Life Member

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    I upgraded to two Victron 130 amp AGM's the difference is amazing no regrets!
     
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  3. Don Quixote

    Don Quixote Funster

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  4. Don Quixote

    Don Quixote Funster

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    I'm guessing here, but don't think your old batteries are gel and therefore the charger is set wrong. If you do not want to change anything on the charger then go for gel batteries as it would mean remove old - fit new........ but if you can change the charger to sealed then go for the link I posted above as cheap enough. I would love to fit gel on our MH, but cost spoils it for me. If I get 3/4 years out of the current one's I will be a happy man.
     
  5. Moodybrook

    Moodybrook Funster

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    That is I believe an AGM battery by Varta. They are probably one of the best on the market, others will confirm!

    However I also don't think they are "Gel" I don't think charging that battery on a gel setting will do it any favours. I think the gel setting is a slow cooker type of charge and you may not be getting really fully recharged (as you think). The technophobes will be along soon and explain why etc.
    Give them another chance using the correct charging cycle ! (y) They are not old. They may be sulphanated, I would discharge them quite a bit then recharge using a separate multi stage charger, hopefully that should rejuvenate them.:)
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2015
  6. kelv

    kelv Funster Life Member

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    My battery is not gell I think the charger is set wrong but I am no expert
     
  7. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    Your battery is a Varta LA95 which is a 95 Ah 'Dual Purpose AGM' model. Youe charger looks to be a Schaudt - either EBL99 or EBL100 I would guess and it is set to the gel programme.
    The battery does not really suit the charger and you would be better off with either a gel battery or a sealed lead-acid type. According to Varta, their AGM batteries require a charging voltage of 14.8V in the first two stages of charge (bulk and absorption) but the EBL99/100 has a maximum voltage of 14.3V which is ideal for gel batteries and perfectly fine for lead-acid (the Varta spec for their lead-acid batteries is 14.4V in stages 1 and 2).
    Furthermore, the main difference between the EBL99/100 programmes is that the second, absorption, stage lasts about 8 hours when set to gel and about 1 hour when set to lead-acid. So you may have cooked your battery.
    A better option, in my view, would be to fit one or two 80Ah Exide gel batteries, or one or two matched lead-acid. I have just fitted 2 x 90 Ah Varta LFD 90 which provide a total of 180 Ah and are well-matched to the EBL99/100. These are sealed lead-acid models and they are also low profile batteries with the same dimensions as the Exide gel model L 353mm x W 175mm x H 190mm.
     
  8. kelv

    kelv Funster Life Member

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    Thanks I think the dealer has fitted wrong battery or set it to the wrong setting here is a larger pic of charger
     

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  9. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    Yes, that is a EBL, either 99 or 100 but I cannot be sure. The model number is in the top left of the front plate. Either way, the charging regimes are the same. I do not think it is a good idea to fit AGM batteries with this charger as the programme is not optimised for them. In fact, I don't think many motorhomes, other than perhaps some of the most recent ones, have a charger that is designed to work with AGM batteries. If you want to read more on the subject, have a look at this from a business that rebuilds Schaudt EBLs (and other brands of charger):
    http://www.aandncaravanservices.co.uk/agm-batteries.php

    p.s. sorry if I am the bearer of bad tidings regarding your battery and if my earlier posts may seem a bit 'technically abrupt'. There has been a tendency to rush for AGM batteries where they may not be the best solution. It appears your dealer may have joined this club. Perhaps you can try and get some recompense, although I bet they will claim there is nothing wrong with what they fitted.
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2015
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  10. kelv

    kelv Funster Life Member

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    ThankS for the great info this is why fun is so good and a bit off research can save a lot of money pic of left side posted
     

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  11. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    Ah - I've not seen an EBL29 before and I have to revise my earlier comments. I have just downloaded the English user manual for the EBL29A from the Schaudt website and it says AGM batteries are suitable. It recommends that the charger setting should be set to Lead-gel.
    Here is an extract from the manual:
    We believe that AGM batteries can be charged perfectly this way. However, suitability must be checked using information from the battery supplier and the charging parameters of Schaudt equipment. The charging parameters are specified in the operating and installation instructions.

    The Schaudt manual specifies a charging profile with an end of charge voltage of 14.3V, the same as the earlier EBL99/100 models. This charging voltage is still too low for optimal charging of the battery you have, based on the documentation I have from Varta.

    So it looks as if your dealer has followed the advised procedure. I would talk to Varta and ask their advice. I have found their technical people to be very helpful.
     
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  12. kelv

    kelv Funster Life Member

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    I will ring them in the morning to get the best two batteries for my unit did you fit your own batteries yourself if so is it just a case of buying two leaders and linking together positive on one bat and negative on second bat with a link between the two
     
  13. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    I did fit my most recent batteries. The previous pair were supplied and fitted by Dave Newell in Telford.
    In my case, fitting was quite easy as the Hymer had two batteries when it left the factory so the cabling was all in place. However, I have previously fitted an inverter that required new cabling and this time, I took the opportunity to tidy up the installation. I was also adding some new cabling for 12V sockets, routing them back to the EBL where previously they had been wired direct to the battery.
    You need some thick cable links to connect the the two batteries (+tve to +tve) and (-tve to -ve) then connect the existing cables to the +ve of one and the -ve of the other battery.
    Bear in mind that Hymer use a colour standard for 12V where brown cables are -ve and either black or blue is +ve. Check this with a multimeter if you are at all unsure. The EBL should be switched off/unplugged before any work and there should be a 50 amp fuse in the +ve line next to the leisure battery. This must be pulled before you disconnect the battery - it links the battery to the EBL.
     
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  14. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

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    I have an electrobloc and when I bought it the van came with one 85Ah Gel battery. I replaced it with 2 x 110Ah Banner lead acid batteries and they have been very good. I changed the little dip switch (on the right on your first picture) from gel to lead acid and it works fine. But do it carefully. i was a bit of a bull at a gate and I broke the switch, so now I will only ever be able to use lead acids!
     
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  15. kelv

    kelv Funster Life Member

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    Just an update on adding an extra battery I have found out the charging unit ebl29 can only charge up to 200ah acording to schaudt so adding a extra battery will put a lot of strain on the unit . Engine battery 100ah,leisure battery at present 85ah total 185ah. According to the hymer handbook which came with the motorhome if I wish to add extra batteries I need to add a upgrade unit to the charger has anybody done this or do I just add another battery and hope for the best
     
  16. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

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    I have an EBL226 with an LT500 control panel. I can't find any maximum battery capacity stated in the EBL226's manual, only a minimum capacity of 55Ah. But the manual for the LT500 says you can set the maximum capacity for the leisure batteries up to 220Ah. I suspect your 200Ah figure is for the leisure batteries only. I have 2 x 110Ah batteries and they are not causing any problem.
     
  17. kelv

    kelv Funster Life Member

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    I hope you are right it will make fitting the new batteries easy.
     
  18. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

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    Mine is on a 2008 motorhome, so may not be the same as yours. Before doing anything try asking A and N services - they are Schaudt specialists. Also try emailing Udo Lang, who works for Schaudt (Udo.Lang@schaudt-gmbh.de). He speaks and writes good English and is very helpful.
     
  19. kelv

    kelv Funster Life Member

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    Already emailed Ido Lang the reply was.....
    The best is to use a lead - acid or gel battery on the ebl.
    The ebl is good for batteries between 55 and 200ah
     
  20. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    I have never found a reference to maximum battery capacity in an EBL manual (I have manuals for the EBL99, EBL 220 and EBL29A). There is always a reference to minimum capacity of 55Ah. However, it is not good practice to go above about 10 times the charging current of the EBL which is normally 18 amps so the maximum theoretical limit is 180Ah of battery bank. Udo has stated 200 Ah and he is the man who knows. I ran mine for six years with 2 x 110Ah batteries and now I have 2 x 90Ah batteries. It is not an exact science as the battery capacity varies with temperature and rate of discharge so I would go with Udo's advice of 200Ah.
    Now to the question of whether the starter battery must be included in the size of the battery bank. There is no mention of this in the EBL manuals and Udo has not referred to it. Furthermore, the starter battery receives only a float charge, not the full IUoU charging profile with up to 18 amps and this float charge is only 6 amps max in the case of the EBL29; 2 amps in the case of the EBL99. Although A&N state on their website that the starter battery must be included in the calculation, my tendency would be to exclude it. Hymer routinely fit 2 x 80Ah gel batteries in motorhomes with only one EBL charging module (like my ex-factory installation). As far as I am aware, they only fit the additional LAS1218 module in vans like the S-class where there are three leisure batteries. If you want cast iron advice on this matter, email Udo again asking the specific question.
    If you do decide to fit the additional charger (LAS1218) it plugs into block 7 near the top right of your EBL and requires an additional mains fly lead to power it. The main advantage of this would be rapid charging of the larger battery bank when on mains. It would have no effect on charging via solar or when on the move. (p.s. the LAS1218 costs about £160)

    Hope this helps.
     
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