Good Sam Club Open Roads Forum: Tech Issues: Solar and Lifeline
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BFL13

Victoria, BC

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Posted: 05/13/19 11:20am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If the amps won't go low enough it means either there are other loads or else the AGMs are sulfated, or...? Would a wiring issue that increases "apparent battery R" cause that?

A compressor fridge implies an inverter. If the inverter is left on even with the fridge off, it can draw amps if any other 120v items are on. Also a small draw all by itself when on. (Not saying JimK is unaware of that)

EG, it is easy to forget the television is still on when it is "off" unless it is unplugged.

When whole house on inverter, the 120v circuits can pull amps even with nothing on. GFCI receptacles are "live" for instance.

Each rig has its own set of draws so 1 amp is meant as an example only.

The main thing is you can't really tell what is "battery only" without a battery monitor/ammeter, and use the solar controller amps display to estimate from instead.


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Almot

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Posted: 05/13/19 01:06pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BFL13 wrote:


What about Trojan saying better not to Float the AGMs between trips if going out once a month or more often (leave them disconnected presumably)?

"Avoid using continuous float charging on VRLA batteries that are charged more than once/month."

Don't know whether there is more context but it is is not clear what they mean by "continuous float charging". Is it float each time after discharging i.e. never bring them to V Abs (obviously a bad idea), or floating between the trips (on which trips it was discharged and then charged to unknown SOC that might as well be past V Abs)?

Again, 20% "rule" (that has been the source of pain with the OP Lifeline) doesn't directly come into play here.

Almot

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Posted: 05/13/19 01:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

dp. Forum server is terrible in the last few days.

Almot

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Posted: 05/13/19 01:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

dp

Almot

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Posted: 05/13/19 01:13pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

MEXICOWANDERER wrote:

First of all Almot needs to take a look at the Lifeline manual.

This has been addressed on the first few pages of this thread. The OP has got wrong type of AGM for his setup.

Almot

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Posted: 05/13/19 01:22pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Good programmable and adjustable controller with all 3 stages is of paramount importance. More than a few members here have learned this a hard way.

Another "rule" of solar offgrid camping - estimate your solar size according to your needs and increase it by 30-50%.
I would have to replace batteries a year ago if it wasn't for oversized (for my particular needs) solar. As it is now, might wait few years more.

landyacht318

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Posted: 05/13/19 01:48pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

'Wrong batteries for the application'...... just because Lifeline has a detailed charging PDF which says no less than 20% charge current when cycled deeply.

As if this is not applicable to other brands of AGM.

Should just get the battery with the least doumentation as to its care and feeding, using that logic.

People buy lifelines due to the reputation, but then seem to think that such a high $$ battery is then immune from abuse, which is chronic undercharging or charging at too low an initial rate when deeply cycled.
---------

Anyone should have the ability to feed their bank high amperage occassionally, and do so more often the more often the bank goes without higher initial amps or goes many cycles without reaching 100%, determined by the 0.5% at Absortion voltage.
"initial amps' is a key word here, as it assumes a plug in charger, not the slow ramp up of solar.

The 'trickle charge it overnight' mentality is alive and well on pretty much any Automotive based forum. Some of the people saying to do so are incredibly skilled in other automotive areas, but regarding how a battery is properly charged, they are completely ignorant, and parrotting false opinions first formed 75 years ago, which seem to get hardened every passing year with more and more parrots squawking the same uninformed dribble.

Take the batteries to 50% overnight, before the sun rises hit them with as much amperage as one can muster to get them above 75% SOC quickly. Let one's solar then hold absorption voltage all day. Set float to absorption voltage, as no battery being cycled nightly for many nights in a row, should be subjected to premature efloatulation.

A tiny percentage of charging occurs at float, compared to absorption voltage, yet so many people anthropomorphize their batteries, and think they are being kind to the bank by prematurely ending absorption voltage, when there is enough sunlight and solar wattage to hold absv until the batteries are much closer to full.

While one might have significant solar wattage, this is not like it is available when the batteries are at their lowest first thing in the morning, and by noon the batteries likely cant accept anywhere near 20%.

Hitting my Northstar AGM with high initial current from its most depleted state is how I have achieved 1100 deep cycles over 5.5 years. I have closely watched its voltage retention in that time, and it is so incredibly obvious when it is time to hit it with high amps, and so obvious the days after it got that high amp blast, as its voltage retention under load is significantly better.

If Lifeline says no less than 20% initial current when deeply cycled, and Odyssey says no less than 40%, does that mean every other brand of AGM which does not specifically state 'please apply high initial current', does not benefit from it?

YOu do not have to apply high initial amperage each recharge cycle, but you should be able to do it occassionally. YOur AGMs will thank you, and I think even flooded dual purpose batteries respond better when they get higher initial amperage from a faily well depleted state and of course recharged to full after. Truly full, not smart charger 'green light' full.

Boon Docker

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Posted: 05/13/19 02:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

campigloo wrote:

Screw a hobby of just cruising the country doing stuff like hiking and fishing and viewing amazing scenery. My new hobby is battery charging!


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Almot

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Posted: 05/13/19 02:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

landyacht318 wrote:

'Wrong batteries for the application'...... just because Lifeline has a detailed charging PDF which says no less than 20% charge current when cycled deeply.

As if this is not applicable to other brands of AGM.

This particular AGM has low internal resistance, it allows charging currents 500% (!). This is not applicable to many, many other AGM. I don't know whether charging current no less than 20% is more important for longevity of the battery with internal resistance lower than in the other brands, but the OP can't utilize features of this battery in his current setup. He has low loads and low charging current (but not too low if he splits the bank).

People buy Lifeline for their boats. I suspect that quality has as much to do with this as 500% max current - they have huge diesels to charge it.

One more thing. "Cycled deeply" (when it would require 20% current) in that PDF manual they interpret as 50% or deeper. It's hard to understand how the OP could discharge 440AH bank that deep with his loads from dusk to dawn. $30 AH monitor could shed some light on this.

(Edit-Correction: his charging current is still below 20% if he splits the bank, unless his controller can charge 6V).

* This post was edited 05/13/19 03:09pm by Almot *

Almot

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Posted: 05/13/19 02:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

campigloo wrote:

Screw a hobby of just cruising the country doing stuff like hiking and fishing and viewing amazing scenery. My new hobby is battery charging!

Nah... Stick to enjoying life. Keep an eye on the morning state of charge, I believe re-settable AH meter costs $25 on Amazon/Ebay.

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