Solar/Batteries ..is this normal

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Heyupluv, Jul 26, 2013.

  1. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    My van sits outside in the sun…all the time (we talking summer time in sun)
    Solar panel 120w
    Two Banner batteries 110 ah....(now 2 year old)
    At home the solar panel keeps the cab battery charged at 12.9v… & …Hab batteries x 2 to 13.8v
    The on-board control panel Rapido….shows the solar charging anything from 0.4 to a max of 1,8 amps coming in from the solar panel fitted by Rapido….( I have asked Rapido why so little amps coming in from the solar panel …they said, that is how its designed??)
    So when we leave home for a few days or weeks the alternator takes over on the run….so when we arrive at our destination after traveling 100km or 300km .the batteries should be fully charged up as there were when we left home …
    NOW that day/ evening using very minimal battery power odd water pump odd toilet pump,,,NO laptop charging as they are all topped up,
    At night when we put the TV & receiver on….. within minutes it is down to 12.1v ??? After all that charging
    This also happens if we have been on electric hook up…..the first night after hook up the batteries quickly go down.
    But the following days the batteries are being charged up by solar alone
    Using 12v equipment during the day and charging the laptops up through the day from a step up charger off the hab batteries….the batteries hold a level at 12.5v and stay like that for 3 hours then down to 12,4v all evening…with TV on and a 12v led electric light….what a totally different pattern….

    Is this normal
     
  2. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Trouble at 't mill lad.

    That panel should peak at 7A so nothing lass than 5A is acceptable in full on sun with low batteries.

    13.8V in the batteries means charged, if they don't provide enough power looks like the batteries have had it.

    Now 1.8A from the panel could mean the batteries are past it or you have an electrical fault.

    You need a good auto-electrician on the job.

    1.8A "that's how it's designed" -- merde de bull.
     
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  3. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    hi, visit a good tyre/battery shop. disconnect batteries and have a load drop test done or buy one of these http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/6V-12V-BA...=UK_Diagnostic_Tools_Equipment&hash=item1e63f
    i use a sealey version but these look cheaper .
    if the batteries are duff or on the way out they appear to charge up quick then the alternator or solar panels wont charge them anymore .
    but use some power during the day and they can then get charged up right till the sun goes down . so last a bit longer when its dark.
     
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  4. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    Living in an area with a lot of sun and roof full of panels; a cheap or malfunctioning regulator will kill your batteries eventually. I would expect your Banners to continue to deliver for at least 5 years. Maybe you've cooked them. A decent drop test will let you know.
     
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  5. Jim

    Jim Ringleader

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    I think Banner's have a three year guarantee, so you should dig your receipt out:thumb:
     
  6. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    Ah Jim my friend..you have picked up on a little info I received back from Rapido factory techniction..One of the reason why the low amp charger output to the batteries ...this was to prevent batteries being cooooooked and the batteries lasting longer:thumb:

    Another piece of information the Rapiido techniction said, it is advisable each year to remove your hab batteries and fully charge from a normal battery charger then replace.
     
  7. Scattycat

    Scattycat Funster

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    Wouldn't fully charging the batteries via mains hook-up have the same effect as charging from an independent 'normal' charger?

    Glad you mentioned about the low charge via the solar panel 'cause I was getting worried about ours because it only seems to charge at 0.5 amp most of the time
     
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  8. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    What a load of merde de bull.
     
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  9. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    I am not sure VWalan and Jim have understood me..maybe my fault....I am running on the two banner batteries now and have done for a week on the one 120w solar panel...no problem...every day.... when we go to bed the voltage is reading of 12.4v.or 12.5v.the following morning we are back up to 13.7...13.8...13.9...and ok again in the evening......that is all working OK and that has been for a week now

    The rapid drop always seems to happen when we arrive at the destination with full batteries after been on alternator charge while travelling...or when we have come off EHUP. and we start to use the 12v electric...... .for one day/evening only..the batteries seem to go down quickly using very little 12v power...the day after that.....all is working fine again solar and batteries...and plenty of charge in the batteries...
    What I am asking does the alternator and ehup...alter anything in the set up....then after say 24 hours on solar everything comes back to normal :Doh:
     
  10. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    I admit defeat.
     
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  11. voyagerstan

    voyagerstan Read Only Funster

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    try confused.com .:Doh::Doh:

    seriously you need an auto electrition cos so dificult to diagnose without trying diferent things . stan
     
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  12. vwalan

    vwalan Funster

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    all i can say is in 13 yrs i have never had ehu.
    closest i have is feeding my house with leccy from my inverter in the trailer .
    but is that eho electric hook off.
    hope i spelt that right . ha ha .
    dont use ehu . its easy.
     
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  13. cmcardle75

    cmcardle75 Read Only Funster

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    Odd. Perhaps the voltage from the alternator is activating some protection mechanism in the solar controller and knocking it out until it resets, perhaps by the voltage dropping through a certain level.
     
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  14. Don Quixote

    Don Quixote Funster

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    Mel, as we discussed via facebook some weeks ago, there is nothing wrong with you system, you are looking for faults that are not there ( can lead to heart problems, through stress!! ). When you have travelled using alternator or EHU the onboard system will reduce charging to safe the batteries. It takes a little time for the batteries to settle ( perhaps this is what you are seeing ). Your statement above clearly shows you have a good system.

    Find some wood to cut less stress..........
     
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  15. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    NO of course it's not normal.

    NOW, how do you know the EHU or the alternator is charging your leisure batteries ? Are you just assuming this. If the control panel meters the charging lead not the battery then a break will show a full battery but it will be reading the charger not the battery.

    I can now picture a common fused feed from EHU and alternator that has gone down and the only way your batteries are being charged is by solar. One bad connection to the battery could do this.

    Or maybe "something" happened and knocked out the EHU charger and the split charge relay.
     
  16. laneside

    laneside Funster

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    I agree with Don-------just as long as Chris misses no soaps you have no worries
     
  17. lunarman

    lunarman Funster

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    Heyupluv do you have an Schaudt Electrobloc unit fitted and are the Solar panels connected direct to the batteries via a regulator.

    Your symptons are exactly the same as the ones I had until I read A & N caravan services website article on connection of solar panels on vans with Schaudt electorblocs.

    On my van there is a Schaudt ebl220-2 when I bought the van I had a solar panel and a battery master fitted by the supplier. Ever since I have experienced the same as you minimal usage at night but the batteries showing significant discharge.

    The A&N website says that solar panles must only be connected using a schaudt lr 1218 regulator direct to the EBL220-2.(there are other blocs quoted on there website that are the same). I spoke to Allan of a&n and he was most helpful and he convinced me that I needed to take remedial action.

    I ordered the Schaudt regulator (£69 inc p&p) from him took off the existing regulator and the battery master (the EBL220 charges both leisure and vehicle batteries) and fitted the schaud. The effect was immediate the battery voltages all made sense the vehicle battery is now showing 13.7 (never got above 12.9 with previous set up) and the leisuer battery is being charged at 14.2v.

    Hope this helps

    Lunarman
     
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  18. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    Thanks Lunaman...as I have said at the begining of the hread it goes up tp 13.7v..13.8v 13.9v.. it is just seems to be after a run or coming off hookup ?? the next fday and following days all ok..
    There is a 3.5year warranty on the motorhome...and Rapido fitted it and Rapido say it is working as it should...i was just asking the question why does it do it does any body know
     
  19. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    Me also Brian...but Alan (laneside) does a similar thing on his Rapido..alan thinks it maybe something to do with deep cycle batteries ???
     
  20. Heyupluv

    Heyupluv Read Only Funster

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    Alan I understood what you ment...hook off
     
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