Strange Electric Behaviour

Discussion in 'The Beginner' started by SwissBob, Aug 8, 2016.

  1. SwissBob

    SwissBob Funster

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    So the new (to us) Globecar Campscout van has started exhibiting some strange electric behaviour.

    When it is hooked up to 240v the habitation batteries appear to be charging but only gets as far as 2 red lights lit on the panel - never progresses past that. Off EHU they run down faster than a fast thing even with 12v set to off.

    There are 2 habitation batteries. I noticed on the electrobox that there is a 20A fuse marked "extra battery charger". If I take this out then the first habitation battery appears to charge much better and go all the way up the light sequence. However, the satnav (which has it's own isolation switch) doesn't work at all with this fuse out. When I put the fuse back it the battery condition goes immediately back to the 2 red lights and that's your lot.

    I'm guessing that the additional habitation battery is duff. I will be taking it to someone who knows what they are doing (agreed with vendor that this is on guarantee) but for a quick fix - because I want to go and play with it in France - if I switch anything attached to the second battery across to the first battery does that sound like a good idea or a potential disaster? I'm pretty sure we'd be ok on 1 battery for now.

    Also, just to mention that there is a solar panel in the mix which shows as charging when off EHU but when on EHU shows battery full, load light on, charge light off which i'm assuming is normal?

    If nothing else I'm learning my way around this van :).
     
  2. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    Sounds like a duff battery to me. Does the duff one feel warmer than the other one after a period of charging. This is one indication. However it is not always the case.

    I would replace both batteries with new ones.

    Without knowing the full set up of your van it is hard to give accurate advise...

    Good luck with it (y)
     
  3. SwissBob

    SwissBob Funster

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    Tend to agree @Gromett.

    I found someone had the exact same problem on some other MH forum, whatever that is, and the second battery was duff and dragging the other one down.
     
  4. SwissBob

    SwissBob Funster

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    Both batteries are under the passenger seat. Question now is which is the additional battery - the one nearest the front or nearest the back (n).
     
  5. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    May be a date code on the batteries but it was me I would play safe and replace both, but it could be the newer one that has failed.
    You could separate the batteries and test each one by charging one fully then put say a 5 amp load on the battery and discharge down to 50% of capacity for a 90A/H battery 5 amps for 9 hours, then disconnect the load leave the battery to rest for ½ - 1 hour voltage should then read 12.2v (dependant on type of battery). Then repeat the test on the other battery.

    batt v.JPG
     
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  6. SwissBob

    SwissBob Funster

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    So it has the EBL99 which has a slot for AGM / GEL battery switch but no switch.

    There is a notice at the front of the batteries stating "gel battery - do not replace with conventional"

    Is an AGM battery considered as a gel battery?

    I can see the second battery is an AGM (Banner running bull) but din't know what the other one is yet - will know when I get the seat off later.
     
  7. sallylillian

    sallylillian Funster Life Member

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    You should not mix battery types (AGM with Gel or Wet) when in parallel (more capacity) or series (more volts). Having same age and type is a good basis to start if you have unknown provenance of the installed units. And 2 chargers for just a 2 battery bank would need qualifying. One could be confusing the other. Worth having an expert give the system a good look over.
     
  8. mjltigger

    mjltigger Funster

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    It doesn't sound to mW as though they are running in parallel otherwise why would things stop working if one is disconnected...
     
  9. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    I was thinking that the 20 amp fuse must be to parallel the batteries rather than adding an extra charger so pulling the fuse will actually disconnect the parallel effect and leave two stand alone batteries but only one on the charger.

    Martin
     
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  10. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    An EBL99 will not charge AGM batteries satisfactorily. Stick to gels or sealed lead-acid. My Hymer had gels when I bought it but I have since used sealed lead-acid - currently 2 x Varta LFD90. The small slide selector switch on the EBL99 reads: "Blei-Gel" or "Blei-Saüre" (gel / lead-acid). It is very important to set the switch correctly; the EBL main switch must be off before changing it.

    p.s. just noticed your reference to a Banner AGM battery. I suspect that this may have failed rather quickly due to an inappropriate charging programme. It is only the most recent motorhome charging systems that can handle AGM batteries properly. In the case of Schaudt Elektroblocs, only the latest EBL211 has an AGM programme.

    p.p.s. regarding the battery selector switch, I think you will find it is there but not easy to see. It is a very small slide switch that is recessed behind an access slot. It needs either a small flat screwdriver blade or possibly a ball-point pen to move it. (see image the actual switch is red). There is no AGM setting!

    EBL99 Battery switch.jpg
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2016
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  11. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    If they are Banner AGM's just replace they are a load of rubbish both mine failed in 18 months. Both Banner and Schaudt will tell you they are fine on the Gel setting they are not and Banner don't honour warranties.
    I replaced mine with Sonnenschein Gels.
     
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  12. SwissBob

    SwissBob Funster

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    I got the seat off and I now see two Banner Running Bull AGM batteries. They are in parallel - simply connected to each other positive to positive and neg to negative. Some extras are coming off each battery.

    I guess that somehow the satnav and rear camera are routed via that 20A fuse. Sounds bonkers to me but can't explain it any other way.
     
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  13. SwissBob

    SwissBob Funster

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    Yep - thanks - will swap them out asap. For now I'm hoping one of them is ok. I've split them and I'm charging one with a smart charger and the other via EHU. The one on EHU appears to be showing the same behaviour as before - showing full on the panel after just a few minutes - solar panel not charging. The other is behaving what I think is normally - started charging at 14.5 and is dropping slowly - now on 14.3.

    I might try swapping them over and see how the charging appears then.
     
  14. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    Problem is if only one is duff and you keep the other one and go with one battery it could let you down at any time really not worth the risk just bite the bullet and buy a couple of decent batteries you won't regret it, although painful on the wallet.
     
  15. daveandsan

    daveandsan Funster

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    Dont take a risk, as @Lenny HB says change both of them.
     
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  16. XRN

    XRN Funster

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    I had a similar problem where 1 battery failed and the other was ok but I changed them both at the same time. (Try Tayna batteries). As far as the wiring in parallel goes, connect + to + and - to - but you really should have the negative earth wire to the vehicle coming from the opposite battery to the positive connection. Mine was set up like yours and the charging system, engine or solar, prioritised the 1st battery i.e. the one which was connecting the + & - wires to the vehicle whilst the other did very little. This resulted in the prioritised battery discharging and charging all the time and eventually cooking dry (lead acid type). Since I changed it to this setup I have had no problems.
    connecting-two-batteries-in-parallel.jpg
     
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  17. SwissBob

    SwissBob Funster

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    I think I just have time to charge and install them if I grab a couple of new ones today - the Banner one's are 95Ah but the only ones locally I can find that fit are Exide 80Ah. Big difference or?
     
  18. SwissBob

    SwissBob Funster

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    Thanks- gold dust. :D
     
  19. Lenny HB

    Lenny HB Funster

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    The Exide will give just as much power as you can discharge Gels to 80%DOD and still get a long life out them, in fact after the Banners you will notice a big improvement.
    Although connecting them as @XRN says is ideal it is not really important with only 2 batteries that are next to each other that method is more important when either the batteries are some distance apart or it's a large battery bank.
    What sort of price are getting quoted for the Exide?
     
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  20. SwissBob

    SwissBob Funster

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    Good to hear that - price is two for 470 Swissies.
     
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