Confusing Leisure Batteries

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Taff015, May 28, 2016.

  1. Taff015

    Taff015 Read Only Funster

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    Hi all,

    after some advice if possible.

    I have 2 x 110 leisure batteries in my van (Hymer B564) the charge light keeps flashing up on my console when i am using 12. it states that I have 86 ah left in the batteries. I remember when i got the van, it would read 168ah

    I have a 130v solar panel on the roof and that is stating that both batteries are full. I have just removed both batteries and tested them and they are showing 12.7v

    I would have thought that the battery reading for 2 x 110ah would be 220? Is this a case of needing new batteries or is my van reading it wrong?

    Paul
     
  2. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    As batteries age they hold less reserve power.
    The voltage may show 12.7v but the actual ah capacity could be reduced...severely if the batteries have been abused, ie: deeply discharged, at some point in there life.
    If you checked the voltage when they were first disconnected I would say they were failing.
    They should show around 13.7v immediately after disconnecting due to the solar panel keeping the voltage at charge rate.
    Leave the batteries disconnected for a few days then check the voltage again....they may be much lower indicating they need replacing.
    My last van had 4 x 110ah batteries and 170w of solar panel.
    On removal they showed around 12.5v each....next day they showed less than 7 volts
     
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  3. Taff015

    Taff015 Read Only Funster

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    Thanks for that. Im probably going to change them anyway!! I'm now withering between getting 2 x 120 again or going up to 2 x 135, unless 1 x 240 would be better?
     
  4. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    With two smaller ones you always have the option to replace just one if it fails, not advisable unless they are quite new, but with one big one you have to either replace that or buy two new smaller ones.
     
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  5. Taff015

    Taff015 Read Only Funster

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  6. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Only you can decide which is best.
    I use the cheapest I can find.
    The four on my rv were replaced with 4 x 110ah exide lead acids from an ebay seller....£35 each and they were unused (probably stolen though) as indicated by no marks at all on the posts.
     
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  7. Abacist

    Abacist Funster

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    Check what your charger is capable of charging! For example my Sargent will only charge up to 220 amp hours i.e. 2 by 110 and I replaced with 2 by 125 which exceeds the capacity of the charger so they never fully charge and it was a waste buying the bigger ones.
     
  8. Taff015

    Taff015 Read Only Funster

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    No idea!! had a look in the hymer manual and it doesn't mention anything!
     
  9. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    I thought it would still charge but just take a bit longer, or is the Sarrgent very clever/stupid.

    I now have more batteries than recommended for the charger but they still fully charge, not by Sargent though!

    Martin
     
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  10. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    It may be that the batteries are failing, but there could be another reason for the odd readings if there are conflicts between the charging systems. To get an idea about this, can you tell us the following information.
    • Age of the Hymer - what year was it made?
    • Model of Schaudt Elektrobloc (EBLxxx)
    • Model of control panel (probably either DTxxx or LTxxx) this will be a Schaudt unit but is probably branded 'Hymer'
    • Whether the solar panel charge regulator is a Schaudt unit or not.
    • Whether the regulator output is connected to the EBL or does it go direct to the habitation batteries?
    If the regulator is wired directly to the batteries it is possible that the control panel is 'getting confused' about the amount of charge in the batteries.
     
  11. Taff015

    Taff015 Read Only Funster

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    Umm,

    Hymer B564 2004
    Electrobloc EBL 101
    control panel varient 2!!!
    solar panel thing is not s Schadt
    no idea!

    The batteries were reading 168ah when i got the van (this was with the solar panel) after the engine rebuild (6 weeks in a garage) its been dropping steadily. today its showing 70ah
     
  12. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    the batteries sound knackered. most people fail to understand that leisure batteries are rated for a certain number of charge/discharge cycles. old technology plain lead/acid batteries can be 200 cycles whereas modern lead/calcium/acid can be 500 cycles. its all down to plate sulphation and thickness
     
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  13. Taff015

    Taff015 Read Only Funster

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    I've ordered 2 new ones. 125ah. will be interesting to see the difference.
     
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  14. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    From your description, it sounds as though you have an LCD control panel. These work in tandem with the Elektrobloc (EBL) and the shunt across which the control panel measures current drain/use is contained within the EBL. If you do not have a Schaudt solar regulator that is connected to the EBL, but a 'foreign' model it is most likely connected directly to the habitation batteries. That means that the control panel will not know how much charge is being input by the solar panel. Consequently, it will measure the current going out of the batteries to run the van's circuits, and the charge coming in from the mains (on hook-up) or the alternator when driving, but not any charge from the solar. So, it is possible for the system to become 'confused' and show less remaining available power (Ah) than the batteries actually contain. At the extreme, the system can trigger an emergency shut down because it thinks the batteries are almost exhausted.
    You may never have experienced this, but I believe Dave Newell has posted about this at some point in the past. His solution was to fit a Schaudt solar regulator. Dave Newell Leisure Vehicle Services
     
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  15. Taff015

    Taff015 Read Only Funster

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    the controller is a pv logic 10ah solar charge controller. when i picked up the van, everything was fine and it was showing more ah in the battery. what it shows now is 70ah ? not sure what the question mark means on the lcd panel mind!
     
  16. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    The ? means that the reading is unreliable - i.e. probably not accurate which could be caused by various things e.g. the system does not know the total capacity of the battery bank (this has to be programmed in) or a problem such as I alluded to in my earlier post.
    The control panel you have may be a Schaudt DT201 in which case here is the manual. If it is not that model, the information may be useful anyway.
     

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  17. Taff015

    Taff015 Read Only Funster

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    Thank you very much and yes it is that one
     
  18. camperlove

    camperlove Funster

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    Explains why I have an electric. Shortage! I only have one 75 amp battery, and no solar.
     
  19. Charlie

    Charlie Funster

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    Can I ask what is the largest leisure battery we could fit ? By that I mean just one battery not two or three connected together ?

    I have seen a Varta which is 180AH and just wondered if there is much of a gain by fitting one or would/could it cause problems at all ?
    I have a new 110 at the moment which is not old but has been unused for some months but has been periodically charged. Batteries dont like not being used though ??
     
  20. TheBig1

    TheBig1 Funster Life Member

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    the size of the biggest batteries mean that they will only fit a few vans. for instance you wont fit a 250ah under the passenger seat but it may fit in a bench seat base as its about 650mm square
     
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