Electric help

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by Nik, Apr 12, 2015.

  1. Nik

    Nik Funster

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    Hi All

    We have a new to us 2012 Autotrail Delaware and I'm not sure what is going on with the electrics so any guidance would be appreciated.
    I have read the manual and understand what should be happening but I am a bit baffled by the following.

    I have the EC500 Power Control System fitted. I have two leisure batteries, one is absolutely brand new and was fully charged before I fitted it. The other is in good order. They are connected with the appropriate wiring harness from Sargents for my model and year of vehicle.

    My display shows my batteries to be in the Green but my AH display (column 2 in picture 2) shows 0%. I have a solar panel and the 'charge' button on the main power intake control is pressed in. As far as I can establish all other things which use electricity are off.

    100.jpg 098.jpg
    I fitted the extra battery recently (all connected up properly and tight) whilst on our first expedition away with the MoHo and it was after that, that I noticed the AH going down. We were on a site and had a hook up. I got the impression that we were on leisure battery for the two days we were there but was confused as to what was happening as we were connected to a hook up.
    Even though the van has now been parked for two weeks I would have thought the AH reading would now be back in the Green as it's been on solar charge. (no hook up in storage).

    I am a bit baffled.
    Thanks in advance for any help.
    Best regards
    Nik.
     
  2. DanielFord

    DanielFord Funster

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    I stand to be corrected, but column 2 picture 2 looks to be current being drawn. If everything is off, I would expect that to be close to zero. Try turning lots of 12v stuff on and see if it goes up, that will probably answer the question.
     
  3. Wildman

    Wildman Read Only Funster

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    if the batteries are fully charged there will be no charge current, likewise if everything is turned off no discharge current.
     
  4. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Pic 2.

    Battery voltage 13.6v and 2% ah capacity.......not possible.

    Sounds like a control panel glitch and needs resetting.
     
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  5. TheCaller

    TheCaller Funster

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    I wonder what the EC500 Power Control System measures to estimate battery capacity?

    Also, if a 'flat' battery (lets assume a resting open circuit voltage of 12v or below) is being charged at 0.5A, as the solar display shows, what voltage would be expected at the battery terminals? Could the solar charge raise the voltage that much (13.6) with a small current flow?

    Something is drawing 0.8A too, according to the display, assuming the -0.3 is net of the charge current going in.
     
  6. Abacist

    Abacist Funster

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    When you say that your second leisure battery is in good order how do you reach this conclusion compared to the new battery? I have just replaced 2 five year old elecsols. They are both sealed wet acid batteries and both have indicators showing bright green and yet when you try and draw current they lasted no time at all. Your old battery might be dragging down the capacity of your new one! Be honest with yourself - how old is it? How much use has it had in the past?

    In terms of something drawing power the status aerial is easily left on hidden away in the cupboard near the aerial as its red on light might show.
     
  7. Gellyneck

    Gellyneck Funster Life Member

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    Would tend to agree with PJ.
    Out of curiosity what does the control panel show if you only connect one battery at a time? Old and new.
     
  8. Nik

    Nik Funster

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    Hi All
    Thanks very much for your ideas.
    I will investigate what is drawing the 0.8amps. Though it might have been the cupboard light which goes on when the door to the main power control cupboard is open, which I did have when taking the photos.

    The 'old' battery was fine (according to the displays) before I added the new battery. I can only assume that it is the original one supplied with the vehicle so is 3 years old now. I can't imagine that it was previously heavily used as the vehicle was very low mileage and in excellent overall condition. I will disconnect them in turn to see what happens with the display.

    Abacist...sorry, what do you mean by a 'status aerial' please. I expect I've got one but might not know where or what it is.
    The joys of being new to motorhoming I'm on quite a steep learning curve at the moment but thank you all for your patience. I'm very grateful for your help so far.

    It's going into Freeborn, Guildford for it's service and habitation checks tomorrow so I'll mention it to them to have a quick look at.

    Any more suggestions very gratefully received.
    Best regards
    Nik.
     
  9. TheCaller

    TheCaller Funster

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    Yes, but it's fun finding out, even if the first 18 months are a bit like being back at school. You wouldn't think these machines could be so complicated! :confused:

    By the way, my earlier questions weren't directed at you. We are very fortunate to have some members who are very knowledgeable on 12v systems. I was hoping that one of them would chip in with answers that would help interpret what you are seeing on your display.

    The reason I asked them was that a) available battery capacity is very difficult to measure with any accuracy without equipment more sophisticated than is found in the average motorhome & b) while a battery is under charge, voltage readings are likely to tell you more about the charging system than about the battery.
     
  10. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Not according to those pictures. The computer knows battery voltage, battery current and temperature ( somewhere ) so it can easily calculate rate of rise/fall for any current and have a good stab at real capacity.

    I wonder if there is a setting in there to define battery capacity that need setting up. My NASA1 has one.
     
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  11. Gellyneck

    Gellyneck Funster Life Member

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    Nik, you may already know but the black switch immediately to the left of the power switch on your power supply unit shuts down the whole system, even the light in the cupboard the unit is in.
    There is a booster for the Status Aerial (TV) usually in the cupboard next to the bottom of the aerial "pole". There is a sliding switch on this (top or side, can't remember sorry) that turns off the booster. Don't do what I do and tune the TV multiple times with it still switched off!
     
  12. TheCaller

    TheCaller Funster

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    Ok. I know nothing about the EC500 Power Control System, which was why I was asking. If it can give an accurate estimation, great. If it's getting it right, it's a bit worrying for Nik, because it suggests that something is persistantly taking it out faster than the solar is putting it in & that the voltage display reflects the solar panel output rather than anything the battery could support on it's own. Depending on their definition of zero capacity, it could indicate that the battery/batteries have now suffered permanent damage.

    PJ's suggestion of a reset is a good one. You turn off the main Power Supply Unit (not the Control Panel) for 30 secs to achieve this.

    Nik - not sure if you have a user manual, but it's downloadable from here, if needed.
     
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  13. Neckender

    Neckender Funster

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    Hi Nik I know what the problem is with your display, it needs setting up for your second battery. I had the very same problems with my Auto Sleeper Broadway.
    I don't think you have any problem with your charging system, when I bought my new Broadway last March I had the same problem, and what it was the EC480 had not been set up correctly. You can do this by going on the sergeant website and it explains all.

    What you have to do is press any of the top or bottom buttons to the right of the EC480 until the Auto Trail logo appears, then press the top and bottom buttons symultaniously and a program comes up you can scroll through this and set the panel up.

    you will find that the charge hasn't been set to 100% and mine wasn't even set for the right battery, now I've fitted an extra battery I had to set mine to 210 amps.
    Since I set mine up it's brilliant.

    John..

    Ps also if you have a slight discharge when using nothing the unit needs recalibrating after you have set it up.
    To do this you hold the middle button for a few seconds and it say's recalibrating now release the button.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2015
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  14. Southampton

    Southampton Funster Life Member

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    I agree with neck endear, I also have the EC500 unit and had to do the same. Also, when scrolling through the advanced menus as described by neck endear make sure that the solar charging is set to 'Smart' and the battery charging is set to smart, the next item in the menu is battery size and that needs to be set to the correct total Amperage. Other than that get Freeborn to do a reset for you. I bought mine from Freeborn and they showed me how to do it originally.
     
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  15. Nik

    Nik Funster

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    Thanks all for the battery info and the Status Ariel stuff.
    I am now a little bit wiser. Will see how it goes when I get it back from Freeborn.
    Thanks all again
    All the best
    Nik.
     
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