Batteries and charging

Discussion in 'Motorhome Chat' started by Ian.s, Mar 11, 2016.

  1. Ian.s

    Ian.s Read Only Funster

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    I leave to the 240 connected to the MH when not in use, could this be detrimental to the life of the batteries, pretty much been on all winter although I do us e the MH every other wkend
     
  2. iandsm

    iandsm Funster

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    Not if you have an intelligent charger which reduces/stops charge when the batteries are full. otherwise with an ordinary charger you will cook them. I expect you would know by now if that were the case. Tp prove they are ok why not unplug the electricity for a day or two to see if they are holding charge.
     
  3. Ian.s

    Ian.s Read Only Funster

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    Good advice, no info on the type of charger. Only that I can see the charge light on when I Look in the belly lockers.. Seems to hold charge when we are away. Thank you, I'll try that
     
  4. iandsm

    iandsm Funster

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    Take a picture of the charger if you can, someone on here may be able to tell you what it is.
     
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  5. jetlag03

    jetlag03 Funster

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    I have a leisure battery charged by solar panels a power converter 12/240 120w and an intelligent battery charger. Is there any reason I cannot connect the converter to the leisure battery the charger to the converter and charge the vehicle battery even on a trickle charge to avoid the dreaded flat vehicle battery.
     
  6. FJmike

    FJmike Funster

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    As said it depends on the charger fitted to your van and the make of battery. Some batteries cannot tolerate having a constant float charge, which is why a lot of folk had failed Banner batteries.
     
  7. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    This question crops up regularly.

    My view is that having a float voltage permanently on a battery, intelligent charger or not, isn't the the best way to store them, but often read the contrary that it does no harm.
    As I had just recently fitted two new Exide G80 Gels I wanted to be sure I was looking after them properly, as I have a Schaudt EBL 99 Electrobloc, I asked Udo Lang at Schaudt for his advice.. this was his reply..

    Dear James,

    thank you for your mail.

    I would charge with a timer once a month for 24 hours or each couple of weeks for 24 hours to keep the battery on level over 12V.

    To stay longer than 3 weeks on the mains when the camper is not in usage, may create a kind of memory effect on the leisure battery.

    With Best Regards,

    i. o. Udo Lang.


    So, two views which is correct ?

    I decided that while leaving it on charge permanently, may or may not damage the battery, but only charging on a schedule as advised wouldn't, the safer option was the advice given by Udo..
    I don't have a timer but when not in use in winter I plug in every month for 24 - 48 hours .. In summer I don't bother as I also have a solar system connected to the EBL with the Schaudt LR1218 solar regulator, so there is plenty of charge.

    Your choice..
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2017
  8. WhiteCheyenneMan

    WhiteCheyenneMan Funster

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    If you have the time, read this..................and most of the other articles on this site......http://www.aandncaravanservices.co.uk/ehu-full-time-yes-or-no.php
     
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  9. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    You could....but your leisure battery and INVERTER (see below) won't last long.
    Your battery charger will need a lot more than 120watts to charge the engine battery....
    120watts at 230v is only 0.5amp and the charger will prbably need more than that and the sun doesn't shine for long so the leisure battery will soon be seriously discharged.
    Much better to fit a battery master which takes excess from your leisure battery and feeds it to the engine battery when the solar panel is working.

    An INVERTER changes 12v DC to 230v AC at whatever watts it's rated at, in this case 120w.
    a CONVERTER changes the DC voltage to a different value DC voltage...12v to 9v for example.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2017
  10. jetlag03

    jetlag03 Funster

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    Always confusing my inverters with converters bugger. Does this mean it will kill the battery and inverter in short measure or could I use it one/twice per week to top up or is it simply a no no. Not too clued up on electronics and batteries
     
  11. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    The inverter will shut down due to overload.
    A larger inverter would work but the leisure battery will still discharge faster than solar can charge unless you have a lot of solar power.
    But....if you use the mains charger to charge the engine battery, how will you charge the hab battery if there's a couple of sunless days.
    A 120w inverter will draw 10a/hr from the hab battery. To put that back you'll need at least a 150watt panel....even bigger if you are also using lights, 12v TV, pump etc
     
  12. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    I expected better from someone in his position. Lead Acid batteries do not suffer from any memory affect. That was NiCad batteries where that was a problem.
     
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  13. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Perhaps in translating from German to English he made a mistake ?

    I don't know.. didn't question him, but irrespective of this apparent error, I follow his advice which broadly concurs with the information on this page (as already posted)

    http://www.aandncaravanservices.co.uk/ehu-full-time-yes-or-no.php


    Yuasa seems to be the latest to caution against the practice. The website now states that Leisure batteries kept on a permanent 'float'/'trickle'/'maintenance' charge, "will result in internal degradation of the battery". Even when used with, "a well-controlled charging system".



    Would you disagree with that ?
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2017
  14. Gromett

    Gromett Funster

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    No, But this advice needs to be considered in the round.

    Letting your battery discharge too far definitely damages it. Leaving it on charge constantly can result in degradation.

    If your choices are some degradation or definite damage then I would err on the side of leaving them on charge.

    The perfect solution would be to get a decent charger that gives a proper maintenance voltage.

    I have a Sterling PCU 1250 which has 13.6V float charge for a period of time, then it drops to maintenance mode with a voltage of 12.8V for an open lead acid battery.

    https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0658/7343/files/full_cec_instruction_1.pdf?14012422295855460459 (Page 2)
     
  15. PeteH

    PeteH Funster

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    TO be fair, I had a "Maintenance Charger" connected to the Battery on the "beemer" (RS 1000) every winter for about 5 years. When it came time to "fire up" the issue was not that the battery was not outputting but the time it took to pull fuel through!. nevertheless it always started.
     
  16. Reallyretired

    Reallyretired Funster

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    The built in charger in my MH is a very unintelligent one (Just floats to 13.6v) so I suspect having it on for weeks on end might cause excessive gassing. Fortunately my solar charger is an intelligent one so I tend to turn off the built in charger if on ehu in reasonably sunny conditions as the solar makes a better job of keeping the batteries charged.
     
  17. Bartyfixedit

    Bartyfixedit Read Only Funster

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    I use Trojan batteries and leave the solar on all the time to keep them topped off. The controller does a quick Bulk, absorb then float each morning. My charge controller is a Victron so I can set it to the lower float voltage of 13.5V that Trojan recommend. I did a controlled discharge of 50% recently and the capacity is much the same as when they were new. SGs were also exactly as stated by Trojan. The batteries have been in service now for 8 years.
     
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