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11 minutes ago, SamD said:

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Is that not a bit high for charging by solar (100w)?

Same as mine, when the sun is out,  Very cloudy and wet here today and mine at 09.32 today shows 12.5v

Edited by kiaboy
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2 hours ago, SamD said:

image.png.5742147b80bc734a7af012c3c1811533.png

 

Is that not a bit high for charging by solar (100w)?

http://www.batteryfaq.org/   See section 9 - and the item 'examples of charging algorithms'

 

Any good multi-stage charger will go over 14V at the end of the bulk charging phase, and during the absorption phase  ...  Gel cell batteries require a special regime where the max is limited to 14.1/14.2V while other battery constriction types can and do go higher.

 

Check out your charger specs/documentation?

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I thought I'd jump in on the end of this relevant thread to see if I get get a tick in the box or wagging fingers.😁

Today I ordered a 115Ah Banner battery from Tayna to replace a 5yr old Hankook which I believe to have failed.

We have a 100w solar panel and a Truma system which I think is working well. I have tested the drive current into the Hankook with both moving coil and digital ammeter which agreed that with all systems off the panel will push up to 500mA in to the battery, sunshine dependent.  So far so good.

(We keep an ultrasonic rodent repeller going when in storage and the alarm will be on as well as any possible drip feed in to the tracker battery.)

The Hankook has been slowly fading by about 0.1v per day and has collapsed to 3 or 4v. (These last 4 days have been overcast of course). This has happened twice now and the first time I recharged it using a Ring smart charger which initially flagged "replace" but did recover the battery to 13v when I used the manual recharge/conditioning function.

So, sorry about length of post but tech descriptions are wordy by their nature.

Can anyone fault my logic? Any tips or advice welcome. We have levelling hydraulics and a 4WD motor mover so this has got to work.

The banner should be here tomorrow but of course it'll be a few days before the truth be known!🤔

Cheers

GB.

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. .....still feel like that some days. :) But not when D4 is hooked up to Commodore.

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18 minutes ago, GB1309 said:

I thought I'd jump in on the end of this relevant thread to see if I get get a tick in the box or wagging fingers.😁

Today I ordered a 115Ah Banner battery from Tayna to replace a 5yr old Hankook which I believe to have failed.

We have a 100w solar panel and a Truma system which I think is working well. I have tested the drive current into the Hankook with both moving coil and digital ammeter which agreed that with all systems off the panel will push up to 500mA in to the battery, sunshine dependent.  So far so good.

(We keep an ultrasonic rodent repeller going when in storage and the alarm will be on as well as any possible drip feed in to the tracker battery.)

The Hankook has been slowly fading by about 0.1v per day and has collapsed to 3 or 4v. (These last 4 days have been overcast of course). This has happened twice now and the first time I recharged it using a Ring smart charger which initially flagged "replace" but did recover the battery to 13v when I used the manual recharge/conditioning function.

So, sorry about length of post but tech descriptions are wordy by their nature.

Can anyone fault my logic? Any tips or advice welcome. We have levelling hydraulics and a 4WD motor mover so this has got to work.

The banner should be here tomorrow but of course it'll be a few days before the truth be known!🤔

Cheers

GB.

You say that your solar panel is pushing up to 500mA into the old battery. 
But still the battery went flat. 
On a good bright day, the panel should be able to generate a theoretical 8+amps. Realistically it’s more likely to be around 3 or 4 amps at best. 
Now, if a battery is only getting 0.5A, but going flat, then either the solar isn’t working or the battery has failed. 
 

It seems to me that you have taken reasonable steps to identify the issue, but I would be inclined to repeat the charge current tests, when you get your new battery.   This might indicate if the solar is working ok or not. 
FWIW I just checked my battery volts. Currently showing 14.2 at 11:30 today, cloudy and overcast day. Unfortunately the tracker does not report current. 

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I believe many people are being confused as to the actual state of charge of their battery.  Looking at the volts when it is receiving power from a solar panel is useless in real terms. What you are seeing is the volts supplied to the battery by the solar panel.  

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57 minutes ago, Lost in the wilderness said:

You say that your solar panel is pushing up to 500mA into the old battery. 
But still the battery went flat. 
On a good bright day, the panel should be able to generate a theoretical 8+amps. Realistically it’s more likely to be around 3 or 4 amps at best. 
Now, if a battery is only getting 0.5A, but going flat, then either the solar isn’t working or the battery has failed. 
 

It seems to me that you have taken reasonable steps to identify the issue, but I would be inclined to repeat the charge current tests, when you get your new battery.   This might indicate if the solar is working ok or not. 
FWIW I just checked my battery volts. Currently showing 14.2 at 11:30 today, cloudy and overcast day. Unfortunately the tracker does not report current. 

Thanks for this very helpful post. I have not had any reference parametric data before , so your 3-4A is interesting. I am an electronics engineer (radar) but with no experience of solar panels. When  I measured 500mA the sun was out but given the time of year it was at a low slant angle, so I did not expected much. Given I had fully charged the battery before installation and the quiescent current drain was so low I had expected 500mA might be enough to hold it up. Clearly not but at 5yrs old and given the Ring unit's initial response I'm thinking the battery is failing.

We do intend to monitor the system carefully with a data logger when the new battery goes in. I will report back!

Cheers

GB.

9 minutes ago, Alan Stanley said:

I believe many people are being confused as to the actual state of charge of their battery.  Looking at the volts when it is receiving power from a solar panel is useless in real terms. What you are seeing is the volts supplied to the battery by the solar panel.  

True which is why I go by current into the battery as this is an indicator of internal resistance and ultimately of falling capacity/current drive ability. Although the Ring charger flagged a failure I was able manually to drive 8Amps in to the battery at home though, so we shall see.

I may have made the naive assumption that the Truma unit and panel are fully serviceable. I may attempt a current test straight of the panel with a rheostat load.

Thanks for your reply Alan.

GB.

. .....still feel like that some days. :) But not when D4 is hooked up to Commodore.

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The rated output of a panel is based on a scenario where the sun is directly overhead on a clear day (never going to happen in a practical installation in the UK for several reasons) and a purely resistive load.

Typically in the UK a peak of even 50% of that is optimistic, far less in winter!

However it does give some indication of the relative output of different panels.

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16 minutes ago, Stevan said:

The rated output of a panel is based on a scenario where the sun is directly overhead on a clear day (never going to happen in a practical installation in the UK for several reasons) and a purely resistive load.

Typically in the UK a peak of even 50% of that is optimistic, far less in winter!

However it does give some indication of the relative output of different panels.

Thanks Stevan. That was the assumption I was working on.

New battery arrives tomorrow and we might put a shunt in series with the charge line so we can log current flow as well as voltage.

Lockdown has given the opportunity for a tech fest....😃

GB

. .....still feel like that some days. :) But not when D4 is hooked up to Commodore.

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As an indicator of drop off due to the low sun angle. My van is in a barn so to keep it topped up I have a 40 w solar on the roof.  It is at 25 deg pointing due south.  Charging through a victron mppt.  Cable length in excess 25 ft.  

 

Yesterday in all the very dull weather input less than 0. 5 amp for the whole day.  In the bright winter sun today at 11.30 it was generating 0.9 amp per hour ( readings from the victron and Hall effect sensor agreeing. ). On a similar day in mid summer I have seen 3 amp. Ish from the same set up.  

 

Shame that manufacturers do not do not see fit to fit a shunt or Hall effect sensor and meter from day one.  My belief being they think us too thick to understand the use of them and programming the battery capacity.   It would be so simple and cheap to do.  I suppose us off grid exponents are in a minority as well.  

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Isn't the shunt fitted in series with the negitive (line) or side of the circuit (or have I wired mine incorrectly?)

 

Or is " charge line" another way of describing the negitive side of a circuit? (sorry for my ignorance in this matter)

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37 minutes ago, Alan Stanley said:

As an indicator of drop off due to the low sun angle. My van is in a barn so to keep it topped up I have a 40 w solar on the roof.  It is at 25 deg pointing due south.  Charging through a victron mppt.  Cable length in excess 25 ft.  

 

Yesterday in all the very dull weather input less than 0. 5 amp for the whole day.  In the bright winter sun today at 11.30 it was generating 0.9 amp per hour ( readings from the victron and Hall effect sensor agreeing. ). On a similar day in mid summer I have seen 3 amp. Ish from the same set up.  

This ties in pretty well with my observations Alan thanks. I note the Truma chargers are PWM with selectable PRF's with I think 25Hz being the lowest. I was intrigued to see a regular pulse every few seconds on the moving coil meter when the thing was delivering 500mA (which of course could not be the PRF) so I was wondering if something on the load side was pulsing, unless this did indicate a fault with the Truma unit. However I read they are open and short circuit as well as reverse polarity protected, so I'm hoping its OK.

I'm think my battery must be shot and even the low drain from the rat repeller and the alarm system when there was little solar input was enough to take it down over what was about a one month period. Fingers crossed.

GB.

. .....still feel like that some days. :) But not when D4 is hooked up to Commodore.

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The industry rating for panels is based on sun  energy of 1000 Watts per square metre and a cell temperature of 25C. If the cells are colder they "over perform", but generating power unfortunately heats them up knocking back their yield.

The sun does not need to be overhead,  to achieve that sun energy, but the panel does need to be perpendicular to it to fully benefit from what falls onto the panel. I angle the panel to be at the optimum angle for as many hours a day as I can. Being a freestanding panel helps to convect the heat away, the more so the higher angle to horizontal. Heat dissipation is a real issue with flexible panels, frequently made worse by how they are mounted.

 

 

It should not be assumed here in the UK we don't get that 1000 Watt per square metre; we do and sometimes we exceed it.  Can be by 10% in Cornwall & Devon   . See rating maps. 

So it is possible, as I have measured to exceed the panel's rating.

 

Using our Morningstar controller's meter, our Kyrocea 85 Watt free standing panel, quite frequently in the UK achieves peak currents over 6.0 Amps.  I have even seen 6.5 A.

If assuming that is at just 14 volts of charge, it is yielding  its rated performance.

Way more than the suggested peak of 50% in the UK.

Cold, clear winter mornings  can yield very high peak performance.

 

The trouble here in the UK is not with substandard peak yields,but getting consistently high maintained yields, Through a day, days and weeks.

Come off the summer season the roof mounted flat panel is severely handicapped in sunny weather, relative to an aimed panel.  Note over much of the UK, the sun is only getting up to 16 odd degrees to the horizontal in deep winter. UK Sun angles

However, as much of that period is also going to be overcast all panels will be using more reflected light off clouds, rather than direct light,  so they are not overall as inhibited as might be assumed.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by JTQ
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On 01/12/2020 at 15:33, GB1309 said:

The Hankook has been slowly fading by about 0.1v per day and has collapsed to 3 or 4v.

You didn’t say what voltage you had on the battery, with solar connected. (I am assuming the 3 or 4v is terminal volts with battery disconnected).   If this voltage is when connected, then it’s possible the charge controller has failed. 

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1 hour ago, Lost in the wilderness said:

You didn’t say what voltage you had on the battery, with solar connected. (I am assuming the 3 or 4v is terminal volts with battery disconnected).   If this voltage is when connected, then it’s possible the charge controller has failed. 

This was the terminal voltage of the battery when I got it home. I can't say what the solar panel had across it at removal because the on board voltmeter was not indicating. Perversely it needs volts to tell you there are no volts!😁

I take your point though and will be checking that as we go forward. The new battery arrives tonight and the data logger came this morning. I will run the new battery on a charger at home first so the solar system won't have much to do initially other than, I hope, indicate a fully charged unit.

Logger picture attached.

It's only good down to 6v so running it across a series R to ultimately determine current would be limited without an amplifier...which might be overkill...something I'm never accused of.😁

I'll post a few results which I hope might be useful to others dealing with DC faults.

GB.

16070066869183258774690506903690.jpg

. .....still feel like that some days. :) But not when D4 is hooked up to Commodore.

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A bit disappointed tonight! Battery delivered from Tayna as pictured. Clearly it's been upended. A little leaked out via sealed end vent tube but most obviously gone between cells.

I am tempted to reject it completely as I don't expect this for £130. It's a 115aH Banner Energy Bull which are highly rated.

I have emailed them.

What would the team do?

GB.

20201203_180823.jpg

. .....still feel like that some days. :) But not when D4 is hooked up to Commodore.

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I would reject it too, I have the same battery in the caravan and so far very pleased with it.

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21 minutes ago, Grandpa Steve said:

I would reject it too, I have the same battery in the caravan and so far very pleased with it.

Same here. Reject it

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1 hour ago, GB1309 said:

It's a 115aH Banner Energy Bull which are highly rated.

 

As a side issue, note that these, although very good batteries do seem from my experience need topping up with water more than some other wet brands, so remember to keep an eye on this. It came as a surprise to me, but I have found I was not alone. Otherwise mine has been very good.

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Reject it. 

Kia KX 3 auto / Bailey Alicanto Grande Estoril and Swift Challenger 570 (2010 model Not towed - used as a static)
 

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Thanks to all so far. I wanted to get a well rated one so was avoiding "less well known" makes. I'll  see what Tayna say tomorrow  but it looks like an alternative might be the Numax XV31MF which is  a 105aH sealed unit...and cheaper if they can't  do 1:1.

 

Apologies to the OP for hijacking his thread a bit but I'll  get back on to solar based charging as soon as I've  got something to charge!😁

GB.

. .....still feel like that some days. :) But not when D4 is hooked up to Commodore.

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Looks to be simply an issue caused by its transportation rather than battery selection.

They might suggest just tip on its side till the level balances across the cells, then turning back on its base with everything sorted.

I would hang in with a Banner myself, that one or a direct replacement.

 

 

Edited by JTQ
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On 03/12/2020 at 20:24, JTQ said:

Looks to be simply an issue caused by its transportation rather than battery selection.

They might suggest just tip on its side till the level balances across the cells, then turning back on its base with everything sorted.

I would hang in with a Banner myself, that one or a direct replacement.

 

 

You were spot on JTQ. They ignored my emails so I phoned them up:" Oh yes sir, it happens all the time, just tip it up till the acid levels are equal. Thanks for your call and have a nice day". So I tipped it up and they didn't equalise, so I got a 20ml syringe and a bit of tube and did it properly before putting it on charge overnight. (Clearly arguing for a replacement would have been a waste of time, so I did not bother.)(1st time mail order battery purchase for me).

The following shows the data logger voltage outputs on three consecutive days which might prove interesting or total geek overkill, depending upon your point of view but I thought in these restricted times they might amuse.:D

 

5th December: battery on charge at home showing bulk phase, float phase, disconnection and rest followed by short tests (step drop point) in van.

6th December: A dull day at the van but voltage rises slightly around midday so charging is probably happening.

7th December; More sunshine and 11am shows definite voltage rise so more energy from solar panel.

 

Now as Alan Stanley rightly observed a rise in voltage indicates the panel is outputting, it does not guarantee that sufficient (or any) current is being pumped in to the battery. However I am confident that things are working and I'll see a daily rise and fall with hopefully the night time figure not gradually falling away. The rodent repeller (25mA when pulsing) and the van alarm system (negligible) are all that remain on.

 

Out of interest I put the "dead" battery on the smart charger using manual reconditioning mode and it appeared to resurrect it again, until the charge cycle stopped after 24hrs and the red light came on indicating "game over". So I am reassured that I have made the right diagnosis.

 

I'll post more in due course unless I'm voted off this thread!:rolleyes:

GB.

 

5th December.jpg

6th December.jpg

7th December.jpg

. .....still feel like that some days. :) But not when D4 is hooked up to Commodore.

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