LR1218 problem

Discussion in 'Solar Power' started by DocHoliday, Jul 30, 2014.

  1. DocHoliday

    DocHoliday Read Only Funster

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    I have a Hymer B544 Classic 2003 fitted with an EBL99 and 200Ah of leisure batteries. Recently I added a 150W solar panel and an LR1218.

    I religiously followed the installation instructions, and at first everything seemed to be fine: at first on a sunny day I could see a little charge going into the system on my Hymer's analogue display panel, and eventually the motor and leisure batteries both showed a little over 14V (after several sunny days, with no leisure use, so I'd expect the batteries to be fully charged).

    However, today I disconnected the LR1218 for safety to install something else nearby. I disconnected it in the reverse order of the installation instruction. After I connected it again a few minutes later, there appeared to be something wrong: It's a sunny day, but it appears only the starter battery is getting charged by solar. It has over 14 volts on the display panel, but the leisure batteries show less than 13V, even though I haven't used them at all. If I start the motor, the leisure battery voltage goes up to more than 14V.

    The EBL99 battery switch is in position 'Ein'. The solar fuse in the EBL is good. All connections are correctly made.

    I contacted Udo Lang and he suggested that I temporarily disconnect the red wire that goes from the LR1218 to the starter battery, so that only the leisure batteries get charge from the solar panel. I'm trying that, but after 3 hours in the sun the leisure battery voltage is still only 12.8 (which I think is what you would expect from fully-charged batteries without a charger connected).

    Could be a duff LR1218?
     
  2. jockaneezer

    jockaneezer Funster

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    Thought I’d bump the post to see if anyone can help. I’m getting the bits together to fit solar on my van and will be using an LR 1218 too. 200 ah of leisure batteries plus the starter battery I’m led to believe may overwhelm the charger unit in your EBL99 according to A and N Caravan Services, not sure if this has any bearing on your problem.
     
  3. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    Firstly, although A&N suggests a maximum battery load of 10x the charger's output (10 x 18amp = 180 Ah battery bank) in practice, 200 Ah will not be a problem. I have had 2 x 110 Ah leisure batteries connected to an EBL99 for several years. If you go for a significantly larger battery bank then it is advised to fit an additional charger (LAS1218) to the EBL. However, that is not your issue here and is not relevant to the solar question.

    Your description suggests that the LR1218 is not supplying current to block 6 on the EBL (you state that the solar fuse is fine and all connections are correct). It appears that the LR1218 was charging the leisure batteries when first fitted so something has failed since. You definitely connected the solar +tve feed to the LR1218 last when setting up, and disconnected it first when making adjustments didn't you? At no time was the LR1218 disconnected from the EBL whilst the solar +tve feed was still connected, or the leisure batteries disconnected from the EBL whilst the panel was still connected to the LR1218? I know you have taken care - I'm just checking. If possible 'cooking' of the LR1218 can be ruled out, then it suggests a faulty unit. Can you get the LR1218 tested by whoever supplied it to you?

    (n.b. the charging current will reduce as the batteries become charged so even on a bright day, you might see only a small solar current going in if the batteries are nearly full. When they are well-discharged, I would expect to see 5-6 amps on a clear sunny day with a 150W panel - I regularly see 5 amps with a 135W panel and the same EBL99 / LR1218.)
     
  4. DocHoliday

    DocHoliday Read Only Funster

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    Thank you, Philip. And good luck, Jock!

    Yes, I was very careful to disconnect the solar panel +ve first and reconnect it last when removing and refitting the LR1218 . At no time were the leisure batteries disconnected from the EBL. (I assume that switching to Batterie Aus just removes all consumers from the circuit and doesn't electrically disconnect the batteries.)

    I think something has gone wrong in the EBL99, somewhere downstream of Block 6, but not affecting the whole charging circuit because the LB voltage goes to over 14V if I run the engine (or connect EHU). I have checked the cable from the LR1218 to Block 6 and continuity is fine. When I disconnect at Block 6 (having disconnected the solar panel +ve) Udo Lang says there should be LB voltage across pins 1 & 3 on the EBL. There is nothing. 0V. When I connect the LR1218 back again, I get 14.1V across 1 & 3 - that is, the output voltage of the reg. That voltage also appears on the solar fuse terminal. Something between the fuse and the LB must have been broken.

    I read on MHF that, on the advice of Udo, nickkdx ended up using Block 7, the Auxiliary Charging Input, to connect his LR1218 because the solar input on his EBL was defective. Pins 1 & 2 on Block 7 show 12.9V, the indicated LB voltage. I have asked Udo for confirmation. I looked at the wiring diagram and it should be okay as far as I can tell.

    EDIT: Yes, Udo has confirmed I can use block 7. Now I just have to adapt the molex.
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2014
  5. Manic

    Manic Funster

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    Yes, I did end up using block 7 and its worked very well since with no problems. When I did mine I cut the middle empty port out of the connector block so it would plug in block 7.
     
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  6. DocHoliday

    DocHoliday Read Only Funster

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    Yes, I thought about doing that, but instead I adapted an unused cable that came with the LR1218.

    Now I'm getting 13.5V on the leisure batteries in weak sunshine at 4.15pm. (y)

    I'm trying to figure out what caused the EBL to develop a fault, and
    here is what I think happened: We had about ten very sunny days and I didn't use the van, so the starter and LBs were fully charged. A couple of days ago, both were showing over 14V at the IT992 display when the sun was out and the ammeter was not perceptibly deflecting.

    Then yesterday I disconnected the LR1218 in the approved manner and did some work on the van. I connected my EHU in order to use a drill. When I reconnected the LR1218 30 minutes later, the EHU was still on, so maybe something got overloaded?
     
  7. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    I think you might be right there. In the EBL99 instruction manual it says to switch off the battery switch (Batterie Aus) and disconnect from mains before making any adjustments or connections to the EBL.
     
  8. jockaneezer

    jockaneezer Funster

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    The guy from A&N told me to include the vehicle battery in the 10 x the charger equation, that would give you over 300 ahs, maybe you’ve been lucky with the solar panel doing most of the charging and not the ebl 99 ?
     
  9. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    I'm not doubting you of course, but I don't see the logic in the advice given by A&N. The EBL99 manual refers to charging time for either 80Ah or 160Ah leisure battery (i.e. 2 x 80Ah since that was a common German motorhome manufacturer's installation when the EBL99 was a current model). In that case, 160Ah plus a starter battery would have taken the total load to around 250Ah. The starter battery charging regime is separate from the leisure batteries; the former receives a maximum of 2 amps trickle charge whereas the latter is(are) subject to an intelligent multi-stage charging regime at up to 18 amps, and takes priority over the starter battery.

    I have had the solar panel for three years whereas the 2 x 110Ah battery installation has been there longer. When I purchased the van it was fitted with 2 x 80Ah gels - original equipment.
     
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  10. lunarman

    lunarman Funster

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    I had the same advice from A&N I have 2 100 ah leisure batteries plus Vehicle battery - Too much for the ebl to cope with. The solar panel via the LR1218 properly connected resulted in only charging the vehicle battery. Disconnecting the solar input to the vehicle battery resulted in the leisure batteries being charged.

    What I have done is left the solar regulator connection to the vehicle battery disconnected and connected a battery master between the battery banks. The result is that the leisure battery is now being properly charged by the solar panel and the vehicle battery kept topped up via the battery master.
     
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  11. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    Sounds as if there is something wrong there. I have 2 x 110 Ah leisure batteries and a fairly hefty starter battery. The LR1218 is fed by a 135W panel and is coupled to the EBL99 using the supplied wiring harnesses. Both leisure batteries and the starter battery are charged by the solar panel (excpt when I pulled the starter battery feed out of the LR1218 by mistake once and then wondered why the starter battery was no longer being charged!
    :shake:
     
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  12. Manic

    Manic Funster

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    Mine the same as JeanLuc, 2 x 110amp leisure and 100amp starter and the LR1218 charges both, as mentioned before my solar reg. is input through block 7 and not block 6.
     
  13. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

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    I also have 2 x 110Ah liesure batteries and a vehicle battery (not sure of size) attached to my LR1218. This is fed by 2 x 100W panels. The LR 1218 splits the charge between the leisure and starter batteries itself rather that relying upon the EBL, as I understand it. Tht is why there are three power wires from the LR1218 to the EBL. One is for Starter battery, another for the liesure battery(ies) and the third is a common nuetral.

    Mine has no problem keeping both liesure batteries and the starter battery fully charged, at least as far as the meter is concerned.
     
  14. jockaneezer

    jockaneezer Funster

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    Don’t know if I’ve been misleading people but I just realised my controller is a Reich E box plus not an ebl 99 :whistle: anyhoo A&N say just to connect the LR 1218 straight to the battery inputs on the front of the unit and no need for a data connection, hopefully this will allow me to double my leisure battery capacity without overloading the charger, watch this space :)
     
  15. peterc10

    peterc10 Funster

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    Reich is a different make altogether. The main reason for using the LR1218 is so that it works with the Schaudt EBL and display unit to show you waht is happening. If you don't have a Schaudt EBL you would probably be better off using an MPPT solat controler.
     
  16. DocHoliday

    DocHoliday Read Only Funster

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    My reason for choosing the LR1218 over an MPPT was the split charging between starter and leisure batteries. I don't see why Jock couldn't achieve that with his Reich as long as he gets the wiring correct (but beyond my competence to advise on that, TBH).
     
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