Batteries went down last night - what test

Mar 21, 2010
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In Spain at present at Vera Playa. Yesterday there wa not a lot of sun to charge the batts via the solar panels. During the day I had several items charging on off during the day via the inverter, didn’t bother to check the the charge. Switched on tv(no high usage items on) at about 8.pm and about 8.30 everything went off. Checked charge and it was down to nil. Ran van engine while static for about 40 mins to charge up. Sun out this morning and charge up to 12.7 (green). 2 Leisure batteries just one year old as is the van.

How can I check the batteries to make sure they are 100% and not faulty? Or am worrying to much? Going on a longish run to day, will see if they are ok tonight.

Colyboy
 

funflair

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Well 12.7 v this morning tells you nothing about the state of charge of the batteries other than they being charged.

A good indication of the charge level would be wait till tonight when it has been dark for an hour or so and see what the battery voltage is 12.7 to 13 would be fully charged depending on type, then see how they hold up with a bit of use.

Martin
 

Emmit

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Last edited:

Allanm

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Without knowing your system, it’s hard to tell, but your inverter will more than likely be drawing much more power from your batteries than solar is putting in and the fact that the system shut down, should have saved your batteries from being discharged too much.
So, everything should be good.
Just limit the inverter use and try to charge stuff using usb if you can
As an example, we have 2 x 90ah batteries and a 120 watt solar panel. The batteries were fully charged at midday in full sun. I used our inverter for 2 hours charging a hoover battery and it took almost 5 more hours to get the leisure batteries fully charged again.
 
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If you have roughly 13v tonight they should be pretty full see how long the TV takes to pull them down to 12.25 - that's my limit on discharge and that's your TV viewing limit - IMHO
 

Lenny HB

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Best way to test the batteries is to separate them and test each one individually.

First thing to do is get them fully charged so you will probably need to be on a mains hook up for 48 hours, once fully charged carry out the following test on each battery.

Best way of testing a leisure battery is to fully charge it, let it rest for an hour then & check the voltage:-
1) Place a load on it of say 5 amps (can do this in the van by turning on lights etc.).
2) Leave it with the load for a time that equates to 25% of battery capacity, 100A/H battery it would be 5 amps for 5 hours or 10amps for 2½ hours.
3) Turn the load off let the battery settle for ½-1 hour measure the voltage, the battery will now be @ 75% state of charge.
4) Repeat 2 & 3, battery will now be @ 50% state of charge.
6) Repeat 2 & 3, battery will now be @ 25% state of charge. - not recommended to take a wet cell (standard battery) below 50% too often.

batt-v-jpg.120989

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Aug 26, 2008
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Sod the batteries, cast your mind back to enjoyable ways of passing the time in the dark with SWMBO. :whistle:
 
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As others have said doubt anything wrong with batteries just too much use of the inverter & lack of solar capacity to recharge,.
 
D

DL42846

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I never use the inverter when running off solar. Depending what you were using the inverter for I would put my money on that as being the cause. Trying not using it for the day and see if you have a good charge tonight. I run on one 110 amp battery and never had a problem, and we run the tv.

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Jaws

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Get shot of the bloody inverter and get chargers that work off 12 v would be my advice !!

You are converting12 v to 240v and then plugging a charger in to that to convert it back down to X volts again...
Inverters are notoriously inefficient at the best of times
 
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If the battery is discharged to bring it up to full charge will take much longer than you are able to drive around. A 100Ah battery will take more than 12 hours using the vehicle alternator alone.

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OP
colyboy
Mar 21, 2010
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Thanks everybody for help and advice. It seems that I was using rage inverter to long. I think I will use only while driving. It is now 4.00pm. In sunny Spain and charge now shows 13.5. I may have panicked to quickly.


“Panic pants”

colyboy
 
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Get shot of the bloody inverter and get chargers that work off 12 v would be my advice !!

I can only totally agree with Jaw's on this statement . I also did intend to fit an inverter , till i saw how power hungry they were , plus the hoop's i had to jump through to fit one , i ditched the idea ! . Like @Mikescuba , i also have a small battery (single 90ah ) , and get by just fine . However i will admit my tv , being a small screen , only draw's 1ah . I will be the first to admit my battery is too small , so i plan at some point to double its size , probably along with the tv (and its power usage) .

I'm afraid i also have to agree with @tonyidle , though your alternator is a powerful charger , it will take some time to fully replenish a flat battery . Though i can't fault @SpeedyDux idea , for an evening entertainment , with the added advantage it will give your battery's a breather .

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funflair

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Well just to balance the argument I can't see a problem with an inverter as long as its used sensibly, OK if we just had 90ah of battery I might think differently or at least have a smaller inverter, yes there are some things you can charge directly from 12v but 240v and all your charger from home is more convenient in my book.

Martin
 
May 31, 2015
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Well just to balance the argument I can't see a problem with an inverter as long as its used sensibly, OK if we just had 90ah of battery I might think differently or at least have a smaller inverter, yes there are some things you can charge directly from 12v but 240v and all your charger from home is more convenient in my book.

Martin

Yep , i'm gonna be honest here , i also agree with you completely . However for me , i have a 6m van , the loss of payload , due to extra batteries and solar array , needed to make a viable system , was unacceptable in relation to its intended use , for my money a generator would give a far better power to weight ratio .
I will in time , double my battery storage , and trible my present solar , however at present i need to address other issues first . Even with all that said , the only charging problem i have , is with my computer , but being as its a chromebook , with a long battery life , i only need to recharge every 3 or 4 days . I could completely remove this issue by using a small inverter to charge the computer while driving , but this has never actually proved necessary .
 

Jaws

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@airwave , you can get Chromebook and laptop chargers that work on 12v.
Ok, they are small inverters, but do not ramp the voltage up to mains, only about 30v from which it regulates down to what is needed.
Again not that efficient, but a darn sight more than using a 'big' inverter:)

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May 31, 2015
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@airwave , you can get Chromebook and laptop chargers that work on 12v.

Thank's for thought mate .

I came across one on ebay last year , reasonably priced too . Think it was produced by a company called waeco , alongside their fridge's . I hummed and harred with it , but in the end didn't get one . Decided to wing it then decide , and like i said it didn't actually prove to be a problem .
 
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