Solar Regulator - which battery goes to which terminal...

Discussion in 'Solar Power' started by RichardB, Jun 3, 2016.

  1. RichardB

    RichardB Funster

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    Hi all
    Got the new motorhome and have been looking at the Solar Panel that is fitted and how the batteries are connected to regulator.

    The regulator is http://www.solartechnology.co.uk/so...controllers-voltage-regulators?product_id=348

    There are 2 battery connections. Battery 1 is connected to the vehicle battery and battery 2 is connected to the leisure battery. I also have a battery master connected to both to keep the vehiclee battery topped up when there is no charge from the solar/EHU.

    On previous regulators I have had a switch to determine what percentage of charge goes to which battery. On this one, there are no switches/settings and the manual states that charge will only go to battery 2 when the regulator detects that battery 1 is full.

    My question is, would I be better to switch the order of connections so that the leisure battery gets all the charge and the vehicle battery only charges when the leisure is full....That to me sounds like a better way of configuring it...

    Comments/suggestions welcome...

    Richard
     
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  2. Kool Kroozer

    Kool Kroozer Funster

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    That sounds about right to me, our battery master charges the leisure batteries first and the once they have reached a certain limit it trickle charges the engine battery, never had any problems with starting the van since fitting a BM (y)
     
  3. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    If you already have the Battery Master linked to keep the starter battery topped up why not just take the No1 connection from the regulator straight to the leisure batteries and don't use it's two battery function.

    We have the ability to look after both batteries in our solar regulator but also the same function as battery master in our CBE control panel so the solar just goes straight to the leisure batteries and the CBE does the rest.

    Martin
     
  4. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    Do you mean a "battery master" or a CBE CSB2 cos a battery master does not do what you describe
     
  5. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    I think the easy one is your batteries are connected the wrong way round and your leisure batteries should be connected to terminal one as you want the solar charging those as a priority.

    But, the battery master, assuming it is a vanbitz type might complicate things. I have a vanbitz battery master and it keeps the engine battery topped up when there is spare juice from the leisure batteries. Having your engine battery also connected to the solar panel might cause a conflict. My feelings are the vehicle battery should be disconnected from the solar charger and let the battery master handle things.

    If you can see the battery master and it is like a resin block with an led then it is probably a vanbitz. In which case best to ask them for their advice.
    http://www.vanbitz.com/product/battery-master/

    But you said it is a "new" van. If it is really new and not new to you then it would be useful to know who made it as it sounds as if they don't know how to connect things. :)

    Edit: Just seen it is an Eldis and I'm guessing it isn't new as they've been making MHs for a few years and probably know what they are doing. :):)
     
  6. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    Same as above. The battery master does not work that way. Nothing to do with "spare" juice
    It will transfer charge to the starter battery regardless of how much charge you have.
    It transfers 1.1 amps whenever the voltage of the starter is half a volt below the leisure.
    If you doubt me read the instructions
     
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  7. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    I'm n
    I'm not doubting I'm agreeing. When the leisure batteries are at a higher voltage they divert some current to the vehicle battery. I was keeping it simple.
     
  8. Techno

    Techno Funster Life Member

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    It will still transfer charge if your leisure is flat if the starter is flatter. Not the same thing at all.
    The CBE CSB2 will only transfer charge once 13.6 volts has been reached.
    Very different systems and often all called battery master which is misleading.
    The CBE will also carry up to 4 amps
     
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  9. Kool Kroozer

    Kool Kroozer Funster

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    Yes Andy i stand corrected, Battery Master was on my old van, the CSB-2 is what i have fitted to our current van - I thought they were the same thing just under a different name... it seems to me that the CSB-2 works better than the Battery Master and a lot cheaper to buy too !
     
  10. RichardB

    RichardB Funster

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    Hi all

    As usual, thanks for all the help….

    @DBK - The Battery Master is a VanBitz one and the van is a late 2013 model so new to me!

    i had a similar setup with the Solar Panel charging both leisure and vehicle batteries and a Battery Master in my last van - it worked fine but I did ask VanBitz if that would be safe/work ok.

    So this is very similar to what I had before just the leisure and vehicle battery connected to the solar differently.

    I think I will switch over the connections on the regulator and go from there and see what happens...

    Richard
     
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  11. John Laidler

    John Laidler Funster

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    Thanks, I think the main thing is to keep an eye on your leisure battery voltage. I tend to get twitchy if it drops to 12 volts and below that I would start the engine, which hopefully you should always be able to do providing the leisure battery voltage doesn't drop too much. Since I added a second 100W panel recently we haven't had any problems, despite the last two days having low cloud and running the diesel heater and a compressor cool box all the time. The lowest voltage I saw, which was under load, at night with a discharge of about 5A was 12.2V.

    It's debatable which of the two systems mentioned here is the best. I don't think I've seen 13.6V while we were at the aire in the clouds this week so in theory the vehicle battery could have been quietly dying and it wouldn't have had an amp from one of the systems but a VanBitz system would have tried to charge it and so long as you monitor the leisure battery voltage hopefully you won't be caught flat, so to speak.
     
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  12. RichardB

    RichardB Funster

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    I've altered the wires around and we will see what happens. It was a simple job but I managed to touch the wires together and it sparked - it didn't blow any fuses because there where none fitted!
    So as well as moving the wires i've added a fuse onto each +ve cable at the battery end.
    Richard
     
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