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Faulty solar advice needed, over charge.


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I'm unsure if to post here but need advice quickly, I think my solar controller is faulty, It shows the battery charge at 15v, I have it set to lead acid (liquid electrolyte) as I have a car battery (varta Silver Dynamic 110ah).  Will this damage my battery?

Should I change it.

I've added a picture.

controller.JPG

Grass growing, Mercedes E320 CDI driving, Bailey tugging caravanner.

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How often do you get this reading? as my Morningstar will take my battery up to 14.9 for 3hr every month as part of its desulphation and equalise phase.

 

 

 

Paul B

. .......Mondeo Estate & Elddis Avanté 505 (Tobago)

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Have you recently disconnected the Truma controller from the battery, which might provoke it to be seeking to desulphate the battery and establish a datum?

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I checked the voltage today, this (overcast morning) I will disconnect the solar panel first and recheck.

I will also recheck the setting of the controller. I will also check the caravan charger rate which I think is about 13.7????

I will work on it this morning so advice please.

Grass growing, Mercedes E320 CDI driving, Bailey tugging caravanner.

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So I disconnected the solar panel positive and hook up lead, I flattened the battery to 12.6 using the motor mover.

 

I reconnected the mains lead, voltage went straight to 13.5/7 which I assume is correct.

Grass growing, Mercedes E320 CDI driving, Bailey tugging caravanner.

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I often see 14.8 volts in my car when towing so I can't see15v doing any damage unless its continuous.

 

Your Bailey charger will only provide 13.8 volts what ever the state of charge is.

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Update, caravan charges at 13.7v which I think is correct,  as I understand this only charges the battery to 90% to prolong it's life.

 

With the Truma controller set to (3, liquid electrolyte) it charges at 15v.  I then set the controller to (1, gel) and immediately voltage drops to 14.5v.

 

My battery, Varta Silver Dynamic 100ah is sealed so I'm unsure if it's liquid or gel.  it does have a vent pipe which goes out through the floor. 

Grass growing, Mercedes E320 CDI driving, Bailey tugging caravanner.

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The Varta silver dynamic is an AGM so the controller should be set to AGM.  You'll find that the solar controller will charge the battery up to around nearly 15v first thing in the mornings when the sun illuminates the solar panels but it then drops back to 13.6 to float it for the reast of the day. Setting your controller to GEL will undercharge and slowly kill an AGM battery. More info here https://batteryworld.varta-automotive.com/en-gb/car-battery-type-agm-efb

 

Check this (page 23) which shows the charging, and float voltages for the Truma controller. https://dealernew.truma.com/_anweisungen/Truma_Katalog/pdf_verzeichnis/70_000/76000_31500.pdf

 

I'd be checking that the display that you've got is a accurate (use a decent multimeter) because some of this stuff isn't as accurate as you'd hope. ( I had something similar on my boat which displayed 15.2v when the actual voltage was only 13.8)

 

this is what happens every day (assuming that there's enough sun)  - the flattish bit is when we were on site with the van plugged into the ehu. My battery has been putting up with this since 2011.

caravan voltage.jpg

Edited by matelodave

2018 S-Max Titanium 2. 0 Tdci (177. 54bhp,180ps,132kw) Powershift + 2015 Unicorn III Cadz, Ventura Marlin porch awning

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1 hour ago, matelodave said:

The Varta silver dynamic is an AGM so the controller should be set to AGM.  You'll find that the solar controller will charge the battery up to around nearly 15v first thing in the mornings when the sun illuminates the solar panels but it then drops back to 13.6 to float it for the reast of the day. Setting your controller to GEL will undercharge and slowly kill an AGM battery. More info here https://batteryworld.varta-automotive.com/en-gb/car-battery-type-agm-efb

 

 

I don't think my battery is AGM, I think it's called "wet", I set the controller to AGM and the voltage does drop further down from Gel setting.

 

I am confused what my battery type is.
Varta battery types

Edited by G-a-r-y
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Grass growing, Mercedes E320 CDI driving, Bailey tugging caravanner.

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My 60W Truma solar charger often shows 14.9 volts charging a normal 75Ah Varta car battery. The charging unit looks as the same as the OP's. The battery still seems OK after nearly a year on the solar system so I'm guessing Truma know what they are doing.

hawkaye :beardy:

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4 minutes ago, G-a-r-y said:

I am confused what my battery type is.
Varta battery types

From the illustrations on your link to Varta the Silver Dynamic AGM battery is clearly labelled "AGM".  That said, both Silver Dynamic batteries are automotive batteries so may not be best suited to use in caravan.

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18 minutes ago, DACS said:

From the illustrations on your link to Varta the Silver Dynamic AGM battery is clearly labelled "AGM".  That said, both Silver Dynamic batteries are automotive batteries so may not be best suited to use in caravan.

I think Varta do a Silver Dynamic AGM and a Silver Dynamic wet??

Grass growing, Mercedes E320 CDI driving, Bailey tugging caravanner.

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What does it actually say on the battery. put up a piccy.

 

Most batteries have, AGM, Gel or even EFB wriiten on the labels somewhere to designate it's type. If its not one of those then it's probably a sealed or maintenance free wet battery (SLI)

 

Has it got a "magic eye" charge indicator. If so, then it's a wet battery.

Edited by matelodave

2018 S-Max Titanium 2. 0 Tdci (177. 54bhp,180ps,132kw) Powershift + 2015 Unicorn III Cadz, Ventura Marlin porch awning

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15 minutes ago, G-a-r-y said:

I think Varta do a Silver Dynamic AGM and a Silver Dynamic wet??

Yes and the batteries shown on their web site are labelled Silver Dynamic AGM and Silver Dynamic respectively.

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I have re-set the unit to "wet" 3.  I double checked reading with meter, Bailey display and panel and they all read, very accurately the same.

Thanks for all the help.

DSC_0017.JPG

DSC_0016.JPG

Grass growing, Mercedes E320 CDI driving, Bailey tugging caravanner.

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It would be better if you could have shown the full part number, https://www.varta-automotive.com/en-gb/products/varta-silver-dynamic/600-402-083 however it looks like this one.

 

I'm sure it would have the battery type (GEL, AGM, EFB) it was so I guess that its a bog standard wet battery - you could always ask Varta.

 

Just looked at the data sheet - it's an SLI, which means WET

 

Edited by matelodave

2018 S-Max Titanium 2. 0 Tdci (177. 54bhp,180ps,132kw) Powershift + 2015 Unicorn III Cadz, Ventura Marlin porch awning

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Just looked at the data sheet - it's an SLI, which means Starting, Lighting and Ignition so it's a bog standard  WET car battery. Not a leisure battery, so dont let it go flat or deep discharge it

2018 S-Max Titanium 2. 0 Tdci (177. 54bhp,180ps,132kw) Powershift + 2015 Unicorn III Cadz, Ventura Marlin porch awning

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Thanks everyone.

So if we are going to camp (may day x four days) for the first time with no hook up would I be better off getting a leisure battery. 

Will a 130ah fit in the hole in the floor locker (Madrid 2016).

Grass growing, Mercedes E320 CDI driving, Bailey tugging caravanner.

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55 minutes ago, G-a-r-y said:

Will a 130ah fit in the hole in the floor locker (Madrid 2016).

 

Sorry amigo but you will have to measure it yourself....but personally would doubt it.

 

geoff

Kia Sorento KX-1 CRDI 4WD towing an Elddis Affinity 530

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Before lashing out on a new battery see how this one fares

 

If you've got a solar panel and the sun shines a bit I'd guess that you should be OK. Just don't over do the TV.

 

If you've got LED lights, most of the other stuff doesn't really use a lot, so the panel should top it up during the day. Even an LCD TV will only get through 6-8a/h in a four hour evening which the panel will cope with. Not sure about all day watching though;)

 

 

Edited by matelodave

2018 S-Max Titanium 2. 0 Tdci (177. 54bhp,180ps,132kw) Powershift + 2015 Unicorn III Cadz, Ventura Marlin porch awning

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Yes tv is important, I just bought this.https://fergusontv.com/shop/televisions/smart-tvs/ferguson-24-superfast-smart-12-volt-tv-with-wi-fi-and-freeview-t2-hd/

 

I'm not sure how much power it uses.

 

What's the lowest voltage I should allow this wet battery to go to?

Thanks for helping us.

Grass growing, Mercedes E320 CDI driving, Bailey tugging caravanner.

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The TV is rated at 36 Watts so 3 amps drain, ie 3 Ah for each hour viewed. And that will be with a high brightness and sound level, neither likely in a caravan, so real life drain will be lower.

This time of the year an 80 Watt panel [for example] can give something like  5 Amps per hour , if the battery needs it, but more realistically over 8 hours of good light expect a third of this. So, a rough sum, 5 x 8 / 3 = 13 Ahs a day.

Now the TV taking up to 3 Ah, suggests you can expect 4 hours use of it per day. If things are drab, then use less TV.

Assuming the battery is as I think a wet type, and the Vartas despite the designation have pretty good "leisure" role characteristics, then off load I would like to keep its bedtime volts still up at about 12.5 suggesting there is still a healthy 70 odd percent * remaining to keep it in reasonable health.

Just my view.

 

Edit: check that "bedtime" rested voltage in the middle of the night when out on a "comfort call" as then the battery will be nicely relaxed and settled down after its evening activities. Or get up before the sun to take a reading, if you sleep right through the night. You will quickly learn if your solar/battery/ TV balance is right or wrong.

Pitch away from prolonged tree shadows and ensure the panel is cleaned.

 

* the 70% being a rough ballpark, as I don't have your battery's cures to hand.

 I expect, though it's lead is alloyed in such a way that it has a higher Voltage to SoC characteristic than an old world LA battery would exhibit.

 

 

Edited by JTQ
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I would check the voltage at the battery with no EHU as I have had this when a wire from the controller to the battery came loose and disconnected and showed about 14.8 / 14.9v on the controller with no load . After reconnecting it showed 12.8 v

 

 

 

 

 

Dave

Edited by CommanderDave

Jeep Commander 3. 0 V6 CRD

Isuzu D- Max Utah Auto

Elddis Crusader Storm 2000 Kgs, Unipart Royal Atlas Mover .

 

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As JTQ suggest, dont let it go much below 12.4 to 12.5 volts - and that's the same for any battery, AGM, GEL, EFB etc. The voltage is only a very rough indication of the state of charge and is only relevant when the battery has been left disconnected or unused or charged for around 6-8 hours.

 

It still possible to fully charge a knackered battery which might only last 10 minutes if you put a load on it - mind you it tends to indicate fully charged in  only half a hour or so which should also be a bit of a clue that it's on it way out.

 

If you drag 25 a/h out of a battery then you've got to put around 28a/h back so if a 5amp charger suggests that the battery is fully charged after an hour or so then there's summat wrong it should take around 6-8 hours to recharge it.

2018 S-Max Titanium 2. 0 Tdci (177. 54bhp,180ps,132kw) Powershift + 2015 Unicorn III Cadz, Ventura Marlin porch awning

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