We have Solar so why are the batteries flat

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by orridge, Jan 29, 2014.

  1. orridge

    orridge Funster

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    The usual story went to check on our motorhome today which is currently stored outside, last used at Christmas and both batteries are flat as a pancake.

    We have solar with a duo sunsaver which is showing as green but I would have expected some life in the leisure battery.

    A second question since we have no access to hook-up at the storage what are our options apart from jumpstarting from the car ?
     
  2. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    Something wrong there. My MH is in storage outside and all batteries are fully charged with solar (400w)

    If you can be a bit more specific about what batteries and solar panels you have someone may be able to help.
     
  3. Wildge

    Wildge Funster

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    :Sad:
    We had this problem with our very first m/home when in storage..... found that a clever person at the factory had wrongly wired the fridge so it was draining the vehicle battery. Not saying that is your problem but mistakes do happen ???????????? :Eeek:
     
  4. daveandsan

    daveandsan Funster

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    Something been left on, you should have some power in your leisure batteries if you havn't been using your motorhome. :Smile:
     
  5. orridge

    orridge Funster

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    the fridge could be a culprit as it's wedged open for ventilation, but pretty sure the power panel was switched off last time we stopped.
     
  6. orridge

    orridge Funster

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    will check on the battery and solar details as i only have the receipts that came with the motorhome and not the actual details.

    It has a sunsaver duo which is supposed to charge both batteries from the solar panel so I would have expected something.
     
  7. Merle

    Merle Funster

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    How old are your batteries. We have not had a lot of decent light recently, the solars might be fighting a loosing battle. Also check your radio is actually switched off and not on sleep mode. Lasly if you have an alarm fitted that will also be draining the system
     
  8. treetops1

    treetops1 Funster

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    Something wrong there,I keep my van at home and left it at the end of November without hook up , just being in, batteries have plenty of juice.Started straight away . Got the bug now need to go for a drive LOL.:Wink:
     
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  9. knokinonabit

    knokinonabit Funster

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    I don't know if this will help, but on our AutoTrail we have a Sargent Electrical PSU. This has a switch which is designated "System Shutdown", and it does what it says on the tin.
    If you have it in the shutdown position it switches all of the electric systems off, including solar panels, as far as I understand it. This results in the batteries not charging.
    Next to it is the "Power Button" which is used to activate such things as lighting system, water pump, heater etc., which all have their own separate switches for individual use.

    Have a look here as it may help.
    www.sargentltd.co.uk and click onto Technical Data on the left of the page. This opens up to Product Information (click on that), then look down the list for EC500PSU User instructions and click on that. Scroll down the page and you will find a picture which will show you what I am trying to explain.

    It is probably totally different to your system but it may help you with ideas. :thumb:
     
  10. orridge

    orridge Funster

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    thanks for all the advice. will drive over tomorrow and check the master switch, the fuses and remove the batteries for charging at home.
     
  11. Followtheox

    Followtheox Read Only Funster

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    We had the same problem last year and this with all 3 batteries dead within a month. Dealer has replaced both leisure batteries as one went down last year(replaced) and again this year( both replaced) When a battery dies it doesn't accept the charge and also doesn't click over to the vehicle battery for charging as leisure needs the charge and vehicle battery loses all charge. Check your batteries
     
  12. automedon

    automedon Read Only Funster

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    Flat Batteries

    We had this problem 'till a clever young elecy bloke fitted an isolator switch in the dash which of course switched off all electrics when ON.
    Cost £30 cash and 2 mince pies (it was Xmas time):Smile:
     
  13. Allanm

    Allanm Funster

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    If it helps, we also have a Sargent system ( EC500 PSU and EC480 Panel) When the "shutdown switch" is operated, there is still power to the alarm and Tracker ( if fitted) and the solar panels will charge the leisure battery only.

    Allan
     
  14. knokinonabit

    knokinonabit Funster

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    Having checked, I agree, you are quite right :Blush: :sorry2:
     
  15. John & Joan

    John & Joan Funster

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    We have the Sunsaver Duo. It can be set to give 50/50 split between the battery banks. Its default setting is 90% to the leisure and 10% to the vehicle battery.

    We have been finding it difficult to keep the batteries charged in Spain from mid November to now. We are living in the van though and using the power for TV in the dark evenings. The angle of the sun makes a lot of difference. I can see the power going up every day now. Most vans down here, we have noticed, have fitted hinged brackets so they can angle the panel to the sun.

    It should make no difference on this regulator if one bank in down, as it will split the charge until one bank is full before directing the surplus to the other bank.
     
  16. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    unless you have a compressor fridge and it isnt turned off then wedging the door open will not flatten the batteries.

    Absorption fridges only work on 12v with the engine running.

    I would suggest the solar panel isnt charging enough, not much useful sun at this time of year, or some other parasitic load is draining the batteries.....12v smoke/gas/intruder alarm, tv on standby instead of off/unplugged, locker light turned on etc..
     
  17. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

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  18. movan

    movan Funster Life Member

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    :Sad:Hi Orridge, that happened to me with this van and it was the start of my problems. The wiring was the wrong way round and the van battery was sending charge to the leisure battery despite the battery master being set.
     
  19. orridge

    orridge Funster

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    tried jump starting the cab battery which was brand new in Septembet today for our 2l Volvo and that didnt work so will look at one of the Clark 4000 jumpstarters when seems to get a few recommendations.

    Leisure battery was only getting about 6.3v from the solar which i guess is to be expected at this time of year, now removed for charging at home.

    Leisure battery is a Platinum 6110l 110ah but does not have a manufactured date on it so I do not know the age but I suspect the 2 new 110's that I have a receipt with the paperwork from the previous owner were removed prior to sale.
     
  20. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    Solar panel should always show 12v in daylight/sunshine, actually its around 17v at the panel connections.....voltage is pretty constant with variable amps decided by amount and strength of sun controlling charge rate.

    If you only get 6.3v from the controller i would say its time for a new controller or panel.
     
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