Regulator overcharging ??

simonjfoley

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Hi all, I have recently fitted two new leisure batteries , the previous ones only lasted just over two years. At the time I fitted the first lot, I also added a 150 watt solar panel , with a Schaudt LR1218 regulator, and the recommended connecting cables to the ELB99 elecktroblock ,Now I’m concerned that the regulator might be the reason for the short life of my earlier batteries, as ,when I check the panel ( IT992 ) it shows the pointer to be on the red area of 15 or more, however when I disconnect the solar panel the pointer goes back immediately to about 14.5. Any help and advice would be much appreciated.
 

SandraL

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I would check with a digital voltmeter connected directly to the batteries to confirm your panel readings are accurate before deciding on any action.
 

JeanLuc

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When the batteries are fully charged, and when the solar panel is in full sunlight, the LR1218 should hold the voltage at 14.2. Obviously this will fall away to a more normal resting voltage when the sun drops.
You should check the voltage at the battery terminals with a multimeter, rather than relying on the
IT992. If it is still showing 15 volts or more, then the regulator may be faulty.
I’m pretty sure you realise this, but be aware that you should not disconnect the regulator from the batteries (I.e. from the EBL) whilst the panel is in sunshine as this can damage the regulator. It must always be able to dump its output into batteries, rather than being disconnected. If ever you need to disconnect the regulator from the batteries you should disconnect the panel from the LR1218 first.
 

Lenny HB

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I wouldn't take too much notice of the panel meter line Sandra says check with a multimeter.
You don't say what type of batteries you are using if they are flooded cell then the LR1218 is not ideal as it only a single stage charger.
Once the voltage rises to 14.2v it just holds that voltage and does not drop to a lower float voltage, this can overcharge a lot of batteries.
 
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simonjfoley

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When the batteries are fully charged, and when the solar panel is in full sunlight, the LR1218 should hold the voltage at 14.2. Obviously this will fall away to a more normal resting voltage when the sun drops.
You should check the voltage at the battery terminals with a multimeter, rather than relying on the
IT992. If it is still showing 15 volts or more, then the regulator may be faulty.
I’m pretty sure you realise this, but be aware that you should not disconnect the regulator from the batteries (I.e. from the EBL) whilst the panel is in sunshine as this can damage the regulator. It must always be able to dump its output into batteries, rather than being disconnected. If ever you need to disconnect the regulator from the batteries you should disconnect the panel from the LR1218 first.
Thanks for that Jeanluc, yes I have a inline fuse between the solar panel and the regular that I remove. As you advise I’ll check with a voltmeter at the batteries. Many thanks.
 
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simonjfoley

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I wouldn't take too much notice of the panel meter line Sandra says check with a multimeter.
You don't say what type of batteries you are using if they are flooded cell then the LR1218 is not ideal as it only a single stage charger.
Once the voltage rises to 14.2v it just holds that voltage and does not drop to a lower float voltage, this can overcharge a lot of batteries.
Thanks Lenny, I'll check at the batteries as advised. My batteries are the sealed acid type, so with that in mind , what regulator would you suggest that would compatible with my elektroblock, as it is at the moment I understand there's a trickle going to the starter battery, and I'd like to have that arrangement again if I get a new regulator. Thanks again for your help, much appreciated.
 

jezport

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Our AGM batteries are boosted up to 14.7v and then drop to 13.6v via the Votronic Regulator.
A couple of years ago Schaudt paused production of their MPPT regulator while new software was being produced, they did not say why. I bought the Votronic instead
 

JeanLuc

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If I were starting again I too would choose a Votronic MMPT regulator. However, the LR1218 seems to work ok for now (despite feeding 2x90 Ah Varta LFD90 sealed lead-acid batteries) so I’ll keep my cash in my pocket until something goes wrong!
 
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simonjfoley

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Well I',ve checked the batteries directly with a digital voltmeter and it shows 14.9 volts , and that on a very overcast morning. so I suppose it's time i chucked this LR1218, before it destroys my new batteries. What do you think ??
 
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simonjfoley

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I would check with a digital voltmeter connected directly to the batteries to confirm your panel readings are accurate before deciding on any action.
Well I',ve checked the batteries directly with a digital voltmeter and it shows 14.9 volts , and that on a very overcast morning. so I suppose it's time i chucked this LR1218, before it destroys my new batteries. What do you think ??
 

Lenny HB

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If I were starting again I too would choose a Votronic MMPT regulator. However, the LR1218 seems to work ok for now (despite feeding 2x90 Ah Varta LFD90 sealed lead-acid batteries) so I’ll keep my cash in my pocket until something goes wrong!
The LDF's can handle it a lot of flooded cells can't.
 
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