Mains charging

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Randonneur, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. Randonneur


    Mar 31, 2008
    Charente, Fr
    We have a 2002 Fiat Ducato that has a control panel that automatically charges the leisure battery and engine battery without any manual switchover (according to Laika Italy) when plugged into the mains electric. It seems as though it is charging the leisure battery correctly but it is not charging the vehicle battery. When the engine is running then charge is going into the vehicle battery and when we attach a stand-alone solar panel this is also charging the vehicle battery. We had a permanent solar panel fitted last year and are wondering if there is a problem with the fitting although this seems to be working ok. Anyone any ideas?
  2. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

    Nov 17, 2008
    Don't take this as absolute fact, but here are some thoughts.
    Since Laika is part of the Hymer Group, you may have a Schaudt Elektroblock (EBL) charging and control system. This is designed to provide the starter battery with a float charge only when connected to a 230V supply, in addition to its main function of charging / controlling the leisure battery and circuits. The maximum charging current for the float charge is 2 amps (compared with up to 18 amps for the 3-stage leisure battery charging cycle). The float charge will not be enough to re-charge a discharged starter battery - well not very quickly anyway. Have you tested the voltage across the starter battery when the EBL is powered, compared with when it is not to see if there is a difference? Also, you may not see anything if the starter battery is already fully charged.
    Regarding the solar installation, whether or not this will charge the starter battery depends on how it is connected. If it is wired directly to the leisure battery via a solar charge regulator, then I guess it will not have any effect on the starter battery. In order to achieve this, it should be wired via a Schaudt Solar Regulator LRS 1214 which plugs into a connector block on the front of the EBL, not direct to the leisure battery.

    Of course, if you don't have a Schaudt system, ignore everything I have said and wait for someone else who is more technically competent to provide an answer.


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