Battery/ solar fridge questions

Jan 27, 2018
708
585
Northampton
Funster No
52,151
MH
Rapido & Bongone
Rapido on a Ducato (cbe boxes)
my 2 banners need replacing this year. throws up a few questions.
my preferred choice would be 3 exide gels.@lenny hb but
pocket and location says 2 can i sensibly add 1 next year?
the current locker can hold 2. the 3rd would have to be 3 foot away under the passenger seat.
how would you connect them together for charge balencing?
the passenger seat currently has a tool box undernearh, it is located with a lug into a receptacle on the floor.
any idea as to how this is fitted/ located to the floor and can it be transferred to the drivers side?
other things to add: dont concider mentioning Lithium.
inverter: dont use one generaly, have a 400w aplication once in a blue moon (washing machine) the slow cooker is run off cab battery on the move.
solar 550w on 2 votronics controllers (direct to batteries) 330w and 120+ 100 on 2nd. (330 added last year) undecided as to whether to use series or parallel, thinking series as doubling of voltage is of more use in non summer months versus shadowing effect as there is still the 330w one. or is this thinking flawed?
next question
AES fridge, is it worth the agro setting it up? do i need to connect both controllers to the fridge. i thought the 12v supply was from the alternator/ cab battery not the hab lesuire side, does the fridge then need a supply from the hab?
Sorry for so much info, questions in one go
 

Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
29,428
50,899
On the coast in West Sussex
Funster No
658
MH
Hymer B678 Dynamic Line
Exp
Since 2008 & many years tugging
No problem adding a 3rd battery later with Gels.
The 3rd one been 3' away I would put a couple of buss bars in a central position and make all the connections there to balance it out.

I wired my AES to my Votronic only a single light wire needed, works well BUT Dometic's stupid firmware selects solar as 1st energy source, so often when on EHU once the batteries are fully charged it switches to 12v. I fitted a mains powered relay in line with the AES feed so when on EHU the relay disconnects the AES feed.
 
OP
the1andonly
Jan 27, 2018
708
585
Northampton
Funster No
52,151
MH
Rapido & Bongone
Thanks lenny
A few of the many questions answered. But which 12v source is the fridge run from? Is it the hab when engine is running ? Will have to have a play when its warm.

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funflair

LIFE MEMBER
Dec 11, 2013
14,660
18,836
Guisborough
Funster No
29,351
MH
MORELO palace
Exp
since 2012
First question re the fridge would be does it have a S+ terminal as not all AES have one? your fridge most likely runs from the habitation battery but a quick test is to put it onto 12v manually and see which battery drops voltage, alternatively just use a voltmeter at the back of the fridge as your 2 batteries will be at different voltages so by a simple process of deduction ;)

Oh and only 1 controller needs to go to the fridge.
 
Jan 11, 2020
710
1,103
South Devon, UK
Funster No
67,952
MH
Rapido C class
Exp
Yottie convert
Rapido on a Ducato (cbe boxes)
my 2 banners need replacing this year. throws up a few questions.
my preferred choice would be 3 exide gels.@lenny hb but
pocket and location says 2 can i sensibly add 1 next year?
the current locker can hold 2. the 3rd would have to be 3 foot away under the passenger seat.
how would you connect them together for charge balencing?
the passenger seat currently has a tool box undernearh, it is located with a lug into a receptacle on the floor.
any idea as to how this is fitted/ located to the floor and can it be transferred to the drivers side?
other things to add: dont concider mentioning Lithium.
inverter: dont use one generaly, have a 400w aplication once in a blue moon (washing machine) the slow cooker is run off cab battery on the move.
solar 550w on 2 votronics controllers (direct to batteries) 330w and 120+ 100 on 2nd. (330 added last year) undecided as to whether to use series or parallel, thinking series as doubling of voltage is of more use in non summer months versus shadowing effect as there is still the 330w one. or is this thinking flawed?
next question
AES fridge, is it worth the agro setting it up? do i need to connect both controllers to the fridge. i thought the 12v supply was from the alternator/ cab battery not the hab lesuire side, does the fridge then need a supply from the hab?
Sorry for so much info, questions in one go
I know you’ve said don’t mention batteries containing the alkali metal element with atomic number 3, but I’ve got to ask why you wouldn’t consider this as pretty much a drop-in replacement (maybe a new B2B and a tweak or two needed) which would avoid, entirely, the other hassles you are having to face by NOT considering using the aforementioned unmentionables as direct replacements?

We have a very similar vehicle and the unmentionable replacement has been transformational.
 
Apr 27, 2016
2,965
2,886
Manchester
Funster No
42,762
MH
A class Hymer
Exp
Since the 80s
AES fridge, is it worth the agro setting it up? do i need to connect both controllers to the fridge. i thought the 12v supply was from the alternator/ cab battery not the hab lesuire side, does the fridge then need a supply from the hab?
Both. There's a low power supply from the hab battery to the control board, which controls the power selection, and the gas supply and ignition. There's a high power 12V supply from the starter battery/alternator that powers the 12V heater element. That's normally only on when the engine is running.

In some setups (inside an Electroblock for example) there's a relay that switches the 12V heater supply from the starter battery/alternator to the hab battery when the engine isn't running. This is not automatically selected, but can be manually selected. I don't know how the S+ works to power from the solar, but I imagine it uses that relay or one like it.

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OP
the1andonly
Jan 27, 2018
708
585
Northampton
Funster No
52,151
MH
Rapido & Bongone
First question re the fridge would be does it have a S+ terminal as not all AES have one? your fridge most likely runs from the habitation battery but a quick test is to put it onto 12v manually and see which battery drops voltage, alternatively just use a voltmeter at the back of the fridge as your 2 batteries will be at different voltages so by a simple process of deduction ;)

Oh and only 1 controller needs to go to the fridge.
Thanks for ideas.
Ive just ran the fridge a Dometic 9335 with engine running (wont start on manual without D+ signal) and yes its a voltage drop on the Hab batteries.
Cant find any reference to S+ terminal in the manual. If i put some socks on may rush out to the back of the van.
 
OP
the1andonly
Jan 27, 2018
708
585
Northampton
Funster No
52,151
MH
Rapido & Bongone
feet a bit warmer. Cant see any physical notation on any of the connections at the back.
from downloaded manual
S+ (RML9335/9435 only) In automatic mode, the refrigerator is first powered with DC power from the vehicle's own solar system. The refrigerator electronics uses the S+ signal of the solar charge controller to detect a solar system. The solar charge controller must have an AES output. ➤ Connect the S+ connection on the controller (fig. w E, page 13) to the respective terminal of the solar charge controller.
fridgeS+.jpg fridgeS+.jpg
Question is where is this box of connections?
Its not visible behind the vents, behind the front panel or from underneath.
I don't want to remove the fridge. Any ideas? is there any chance this connection is somewhere in the CBE kit?
PS feet got cold again
 

Lenny HB

LIFE MEMBER
Oct 18, 2007
29,428
50,899
On the coast in West Sussex
Funster No
658
MH
Hymer B678 Dynamic Line
Exp
Since 2008 & many years tugging
Normally a black unit on the back of the fridge behind the bottom vent.

The fridge in our Hymer runs off the hab battery if you select 12v manually. Previous Hymers it would run of the hab battery if on AES and no Gas/mains/alternator source, easy to get a flat battery if not aware. I used to pull the AES fuse on the EBL then it would only run from the alternator.

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Apr 27, 2016
2,965
2,886
Manchester
Funster No
42,762
MH
A class Hymer
Exp
Since the 80s
Question is where is this box of connections?
Its not visible behind the vents, behind the front panel or from underneath.
I don't want to remove the fridge. Any ideas?
I don't know, but the wires 4 and 5 are normally kept as short as possible. One of them (5) is the high voltage lead to the spark electrode which is located on the burner at the base of the flue. You could trace that wire back to the box.
 
OP
the1andonly
Jan 27, 2018
708
585
Northampton
Funster No
52,151
MH
Rapido & Bongone
Normally a black unit on the back of the fridge behind the bottom vent.
I don't know, but the wires 4 and 5 are normally kept as short as possible. One of them (5) is the high voltage lead to the spark electrode which is located on the burner at the base of the flue. You could trace that wire back to the box.
Thanks for continued support
behind the bottom vent is a galvanised plate riveted to some mounting points. From your input i suspect its behind there.
any chance this connection is somewhere in the CBE kit? well from the manual
fridgeS+1.jpg

fridgeS+2.jpg

View attachment 464633
View attachment 464634
when its light again i will see what is happening around item 11 and 12.
Am i wrong in thinking 12 could be used to control the fridge AES, either by connecting to the solar controller or a test 12v signal.

fridgeS+1.jpg
 
Apr 27, 2016
2,965
2,886
Manchester
Funster No
42,762
MH
A class Hymer
Exp
Since the 80s
Am i wrong in thinking 12 could be used to control the fridge AES, either by connecting to the solar controller or a test 12v signal.
You'd have to look at the other manual pages, but I interpret the diagram as: 13 is the Gas Valve (GV) with 11 the inflowing gas and 12 the outflowing gas. There appears to be a 3-pin connector on the board, labelled 'TO GV'. So you could trace the 3-wire cable from the gas valve back to the box too.

I may be wrong, but I'd be surprised if this control box is not located in/on the fridge somewhere.

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funflair

LIFE MEMBER
Dec 11, 2013
14,660
18,836
Guisborough
Funster No
29,351
MH
MORELO palace
Exp
since 2012
On our 10 series the S+ is inside a box on the back of the fridge but not easy to get into with pipes and cables over the top.
 
OP
the1andonly
Jan 27, 2018
708
585
Northampton
Funster No
52,151
MH
Rapido & Bongone
Thanks for all replies i suspect its hidden behind the fridge but acces is prevented by the galv panel. There is little incentive going outside as i have just seen 20 brass monkys looking for a welder (or other person practiced in the art of brazing).
 
Dec 17, 2016
404
307
Malvern
Funster No
46,488
MH
Hymer B525 2006 A cl
Exp
2012
I'm pretty certain that I have a connection block on the back of the fridge, low down visible through the lower fridge vent opening with a S+ label on it.

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