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Electrical Discussion of preventative/corrective maintenance and other technical issues regarding your coach's electrical system.

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  #191  
Old 04-12-2018
Randy Dupree's Avatar
Randy Dupree Randy Dupree is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yesmar View Post
FMCA is working on a deal that could enable us to buy Lit/ion batteries for half the price. At least that is what they said at one of the seminars I attended.

If it happens—great. If it doesn’t, then ????. I believe prices may go down in the future. But that does not help today.

Buy a Honda 2000 for $1000.00 to charge your batteries and burn 1 gallon of fuel every 8 hours.

I have friends who never dry camp and have 8 house batteries. WHY???
I bet the battery vendors at the FMCA conventions are excited to hear that FMCA is getting into the battery business!

If i never dry camped i would have maybe 2 house batteries,just enough to make the relays and stuff work.

What am i thinking? i only have one house battery now!
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  #192  
Old 04-12-2018
mahansm mahansm is offline
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Charging/Discharging rates:

Battery manufacturers use ratios involving C to describe charge/discharge rates. C is simply the nominal (rated) capacity of the battery in amp-hours. If I'm charging a 200 AH battery at C/10, my charge current will be 200/10, or 20 Amps. For a 1200 AH bank being charged at C/5, my charge current will be 240 Amps.

It's done this way so that you can compare discharge rates normalized for capacity and see immediately from the number whether it's a high or low discharge rate. A 10 amp discharge rate doesn't tell me how heavily the battery is being loaded until I know the size of the battery. For my house bank of 1200 AH, 10 amps is not much. For a single "D" cell alkaline battery, 10 A is quite high (C is around 14 AH for that battery). As a rule of thumb, C/10 is a conservative charge/discharge rate for common type cells (lead-acid, NMH, most Lithiums, Ni-Cad, etc...). Specialty type cells may have much lower discharge rates (Zinc-air, as hearing aid batteries). Engine start batteries may have to sustain a short burst of 10C to crank a cold Diesel.
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  #193  
Old 04-12-2018
badandy badandy is online now
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C/10 for a lithium is like driving 15mph on a 70mph freeway. You can charge them at 1C every time and discharge them at 1C every time. Conservative for a lifepo is C/2. The automotive cells are rated *way* higher. GM rates the Volt cells at 7.8C for discharge for example.

Also, you can discharge a lifepo a few degrees below 0F without any damage at all. The capacity at that temp is quite a bit lower, however. Charging for typical lifepo lithiums still must take place over 32F, but other chemistries are able to be charged into the 20's. If you're charging in the cold then you should have enough extra power to warm up the batteries, too.

Lithiums are very efficient to charge compared to lead-acids, too. I think they are generally around 98%. If you run solar panels then the lithiums will take every drop of power they can put out. There's no float charge, no equalization, none of that with a lithium.
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  #194  
Old 04-12-2018
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1derer View Post
Am I drowning in battery land? Mr. Putz, please throw me a life preserver, quick !

I’m still learning about batteries and hope I haven’t made mistakes: In the ’75 Bird which started life with one battery bank, some years ago a mechanic made that bank dedicated to the house and set up another bank for starting batteries. Early this year I replaced the starting batteries with two 12v Everstart maintenance free (but not agm) lead acids, and this week I replaced the house bank with 4 Trojan T-105 GC2 wets. Somewhere I read it’s bad to charge different batteries or different aged batteries at the same time from the same source. I’m pretty sure my pto-driven generator only charges the house batteries, and I presume the alternator is charging the starting batteries (though for all I know it’s charging the house batteries at the same time). The banks and pto genny were all done by people in the business of doing these kinds of things, so I presume they did what made sense. Would there be anything bad about the alternator charging both banks (that have different aged and different types batteries) simultaneiously ?

At the moment I’m trying to get things going on a SOB (Safari Trek) that was born into this world with two separate banks. About 6 months ago I replaced the starting batteries with Duracel 12 v maintenance free. I’d be inclined to replace the house bank with a maintenance free version of the Trojan T-105 GC2 wets if such a thing exists, except the wets are too wide, which is why I guess I’m stuck just replacing the current 12 v wets with 12 v again, except I want to go maintenance free. One merchant said the way to go maintenance free there is with agm, which is why I asked about agm, but I’m open to just plain maintenance free (which is cheaper) if that isn’t making a mistake. (It seems all the non-agm maintenance free quote cca which you counsel against in a house battery (though I have to report even some of the agm batteries quote ccm, some up to 1000.) In the Trek, the alternator charges both banks, shore power just charges the house bank, and I think maybe the generator just charges the house bank. My immediate problem is knowing what to replace the house batteries with. Please point the way: They’re dead as doornails. The total space available is 27 inches long, just under 7 wide, 11.5 high.

I’ve been searching for agm today and it seems Trojan group 31 agm is available, though even this brand/model quotes cca as at http://www.trojanbattery.com/pdf/dat...ata_Sheets.pdf

Googling Rolls Surrette Premium Deep Cycle brings up a slew of Rolls Premium batteries, none actually called Rolls Surrette (unless maybe they’re all that? since they’re made by Surrette)
Rolls 4 ks is too big & quite expensive, and 4volt anyway
What does Battery Charge C/4 AGM mean?
4d, 8d, GC2, and L16 are all too big
John, Rolls are a premium top of the line battery and are very costly $$$. They make batteries in several flavors of volts. Trojan T105's are a good bang for buck brand to buy, I've run them the last 3+ years and noticed a big performance over the Costco's they replaced.

You should look at AGM and not maintenance free wet cells. Maintenance free wet cells fall under the "gel" battery and you want to stay away from those. It's "ok" to combine the battery banks to charge under the alternator but only while driving. After that they should be separated (solenoid or diodes) with the house having it's own smart charger. Just note when all connected not all batteries will be charged 100%. Typically the start batteries will charge up first due to their lower internal resistances and keep the deep cycles from reaching a full charge, but better than no charge at all. This is where my solar typically fixes the gap.

The "C" rating is a standard used to rate the best (longer life) charge/discharge rate of a particular battery. Most deep cycles like to see about a C/10 charge rate Trojan recommends 10-13% charge so for my 660ah T105 battery bank that would mean I can charge them at 66-85 amps. I actually charge mine at 100a so I'm just a little over the recommended rate. They'd last longer if I would turn that down a bit, so it's a compromise between life and faster charge. I hear many people charging at 100 amps for only 4 batteries (use to be me) and that is a bit much and lowers the life of the batteries.

ALWAYS have two battery banks, one for starting and one for house. The current draws needed for start & deep cycle are two completely different needs from two completely different designed batteries. If you watch the evolution of Wanderlodge you'll see them do this in later years.

Feel free to email/phone me directly if you have a quick question or concern. Michael
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