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Old 04-03-2019, 12:15 PM   #1
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Charging puzzle

Hello All,

I have been subscribed to a thread on IRV2 since the beginning and I would like to double check some information on here. Battery charging abuse by the numbers - iRV2 Forums

I did not want to hijack the thread so I started a new one. After reading this thread I am concerned that my battery charger initially puts 150 amps into the batteries during the bulk stage. This is less than 5 minutes.

I just spent the night at Willow Beach Arizona. I was plugged in to 50 amps and I turned on the battery charger. I have Xantrex Freedom SW3012 inverter charger. Initially it puts out 150 amps to the batteries. I can see the amps being put into the batteries from the control panel. When I started the charging process I ran out to look at the batteries and I can hear a bubbling sound. I ran back inside and I can see the amps being put into the batteries dropping. After about 5 minutes of running the charger I can see that 60 amps are going into the batteries and now the charger is in the absorption stage of charging. I am not hearing bubbling sounds from the batteries anymore. I have 6 costco 6 volt batteries that are built by interstate for a total of 630 amp hours. From what I read on this thread my max amps to charge the batteries should be 630/10 = 63 amps. Am I damaging the batteries throwing 150 amps for a few minutes? I am not seeing a setting to change this.

I have the Xantrex set up on defaults. The only setting I have set is the 630 amp hours. I just found some charging information for Interstate 6 volt batteries from Interstate. I am thinking about setting up a custom charging program. for example, I can change the input voltages for each stage of charging. Here is what I found from interstate. Should I change the voltage for absorption from 13.5 to 15.3? This seems too high for me. What do you think?

Bulk = 14.46 volts Xantrex default =14.4 No change
Absorption = 15.3 volts Xantrex default = 13.5 Change ????
Float = 13.4 volts Xantrex default = 13.5 no change
Equalization = 15.6 Xantrex default = 15.5 No change

Thank you. I really appreciate any expertise that is provided.

Thanks,

Bill
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Old 04-03-2019, 01:38 PM   #2
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Bill, I can't answer your question specifically. But I think you need to consult Xantrex and or the actual maker of your batteries, probably both.

I looked at the data sheet and owners manual for your SW3012 and don't really see much guidance there. Just that it does infact charge at a 150 amp rate. Is that too much? I'd guess Xantrex would have an idea about that but your battery manufacturer would know for sure.

I assume you have the owners manual. But if not here's the link to it. On page 56 is how to change the charge settings for your model:

http://www.xantrex.com/documents/Inv...Rev-G)_ENG.pdf
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Old 04-03-2019, 01:57 PM   #3
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I assume you have 6 six volt batteries rated at 105 amp hours each AND they are wired in a series/parallel configuration. This would output 12 volts to the coach for each group of two wired in parallel. Your total battery configuration has 315 amp hours wired for 12 volts not 630 amp hours. If you wired all the individual batteries in parallel, you would have 630 amp-hours at 6 volts.
You need to adjust the capacity of you battery bank to 315 amp hours as it charges at 12 volts. Leaving it at 630 will damage the batteries very quickly. Be careful they may be very hot.
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Old 04-03-2019, 01:59 PM   #4
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Great thinking (and reading of the original post) Bob. Makes sense to me.
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Old 04-03-2019, 02:15 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobmac View Post
I assume you have 6 six volt batteries rated at 105 amp hours each AND they are wired in a series/parallel configuration. This would output 12 volts to the coach for each group of two wired in parallel. Your total battery configuration has 315 amp hours wired for 12 volts not 630 amp hours. If you wired all the individual batteries in parallel, you would have 630 amp-hours at 6 volts.
You need to adjust the capacity of you battery bank to 315 amp hours as it charges at 12 volts. Leaving it at 630 will damage the batteries very quickly. Be careful they may be very hot.
Hello Bobmac,

I do have 6 6 volt interstate golf cart batteries, but they are 210 amp hours a piece. 2 6 volt batteries at 210 amp hours wired in series will get me 12 volts at 210 amp hours. I have 6 of these and this is how I am coming up with the 630 amp hours. Here is a link to the website I am getting this information from. https://www.interstatebatteries.com/...ategoryid=true

Thanks,

Bill
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Old 04-03-2019, 02:18 PM   #6
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Signet 63
If they are 210 ah each, your setting is correct.
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Old 04-10-2019, 04:41 PM   #7
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If you are hearing bubbling sounds, you are overcharging the batteries. You are potentially setting up a dangerous situation, because of the production of hydrogen gas during this bubbling phenomenon. For that type of output you should have a temperature sensor on the battery bank. Your inverter charger supports a temperature sensor, and they are not expensive.

I would limit the initial charge to 80 or so amps--in the bulk phase for now. I recently sold a motor home with similar battery setup--and a Magnum PSW inverter, which would put out 110 amps. I had a temperature sensor, and never had any problem with 110 amps in the bulk phase. But since you don't know what the temperature is currently, be conservative until you find out. An IR thermometer should be part of all RVers "Kit". That would also give you some immediate information.

Although you have 610 amp hour bank--you have a useful capacity of 305 amp hours, following the rule to never discharge the bank more than 50% for flooded lead acid batteries.

The bulk phase is application of a stead amount of amperage, until a set voltage is reached. This usually is about 80% of charge. Then the absorption phase is a steady voltage, with decreasing amperage, until the battery is somewhere in the 85 to 95% charge state. Float is maintaining the voltage at about 13.2- 13.4 volts for a FLA, and minimal amperage. The smartest of chargers will drop that float voltage to a lower value, and then periodically "re test" the battery, and apply a higher voltage if necessary. Unfortunately very few or our RV's have the really smart chargers. Then there is the "converter"--some without any "smarts"...

Let us know what happens.
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Old 04-10-2019, 05:29 PM   #8
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charge 150A

In the threads it was not defined if the battery group has the thermal sensor. If you have the sensor then the rising temperature will slow down the Xantrex charge rate. If there is no sensor then the batteries will overheat eventually at 150 A BUT I do not think in 5 minutes will do damage. An hour yes maybe.


Another thing you did not discuss is keeping liquid level well above the plates and below the split O-ring. If liquid level is checked often them and damage of overheating is significantly reduced so this means feel the battery for best and if cool no issue, if warm watch it close and if not to touch then charger off. I would add thermal sensors to battery in any case.



The voltage levels in your chart seem ok but watch it if you are months at a site at 13.2 VDC or less. Force it to charge every once in a while by draining batteries.
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Old 04-11-2019, 05:45 AM   #9
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Yes, standard 6V golf cart batteries are about 200-230AH each and a pair of them wired in series would equal a single 12V battery with 200-230AH.

About the charge rate. The following quote is from Trojan Batteries:
Quote:
Most deep-cycle applications have some sort of charging system already installed for battery charging (e.g. solar panels, inverter, golf car charger, alternator, etc.). However, there are still systems with deep-cycle batteries where an individual charger must be selected. The following will help in making a proper selection.

There are many types of chargers available today. They are usually rated by their start rate, the rate in amperes that the charger will supply at the beginning of the charge cycle. When selecting a charger, the charge rate should be between 10% and 13% of the battery’s 20-hour AH capacity. For example, a battery with a 20-hour capacity rating of 225 AH will use a charger rated between approximately 23 and 30 amps (for multiple battery charging use the AH rating of the entire bank). Chargers with lower ratings can be used but the charging time will be increased.

Trojan recommends using a 3-stage charger. Also called “automatic”, “smart” or “IEI” chargers, which prolong battery life with their programmed charging profile. These chargers usually have three distinct charging stages: bulk, acceptance, and float.
Reading the bolded and underlined part of the quote above your charging rate should not exceed 90amps. I think I would change to a custom setting of about 120amps and see if it drops to 90 amps or below in 5-10 minutes.
Here is a link to the entire article about batteries from Trojan: https://www.trojanbattery.com/tech-s...y-maintenance/
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Old 04-11-2019, 08:16 AM   #10
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I forgot to add this great site for batteries



https://batteryuniversity.com/learn/...d_acid_battery
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Old 04-12-2019, 11:48 AM   #11
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Battery charging puzzle

Quote:
Originally Posted by thataway4 View Post
If you are hearing bubbling sounds, you are overcharging the batteries. You are potentially setting up a dangerous situation, because of the production of hydrogen gas during this bubbling phenomenon. For that type of output you should have a temperature sensor on the battery bank. Your inverter charger supports a temperature sensor, and they are not expensive.

Let us know what happens.
Hello Thataway4, and Charles,

Thank you for the replies, I really appreciate your knowledge and your help to figure this out.

I do have a temperature sensor mounted with my batteries, and I have not seen a heat spike while charging. I have not seen it rise above 75 degrees. I have felt the batteries while 150 amps are being pushed but no heat, or I am not feeling any heat when it is pushing 150 amps. I do have a watering system installed so I can add water to the batteries easily. I try to push water into them once a month, but so far it has taken very little if any water. I will keep a closer eye on the temperature. I will also try to create a new costum charge program and try to limit the amps to 80 the next time I charge the batteries.

I have the RV illegally parked in front of my home right now and will head out to Lake Mead tomorrow night before I take it back to storage. Earlier this week I ran an equalization charge then added very little water to the batteries. I will work on a custom charging program and charge the batteries before I return to storage.

I will reply Monday on what happens.

Thanks,

Bill
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Old 04-12-2019, 12:16 PM   #12
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Battery charging puzzle

Quote:
Originally Posted by al1florida View Post
Yes, standard 6V golf cart batteries are about 200-230AH each and a pair of them wired in series would equal a single 12V battery with 200-230AH.

About the charge rate. The following quote is from Trojan Batteries:


Reading the bolded and underlined part of the quote above your charging rate should not exceed 90amps. I think I would change to a custom setting of about 120amps and see if it drops to 90 amps or below in 5-10 minutes.
Here is a link to the entire article about batteries from Trojan: https://www.trojanbattery.com/tech-s...y-maintenance/
Thank you. I have the Costco made by Interstate 6 volt batteries and I read this from Trojan and this is why I am asking the questions. My curent xantrex charger is putting 150 amps out initially, but the amps drop down right away as the charging continues. I do have a temp sensor mounted to the batteries that came with my Xantrex inverter/charger. I do have a watering system attached to the batteries that I can put one end of a tube into a bottle of distilled water and connect the other end to the watering system and I just squeeze a bulb until it is full. Very little water if any goes into the batteries so the water is not boiling off very fast. The batteries seem to charge just fine, but the information in the trojan batteries article concern me. I will try to set a custom charge profile this weekend and try to limit the amps to 80.

Again Thank you for this information.

Bill
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Old 04-15-2019, 09:57 AM   #13
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Hello All,

Well I did not get a chance to change the program this weekend, I installed two fantastic fans and this wiped me out. I will update the charging algorithm another time.

Thanks,

Bill
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