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HappyKayakers

Somewhere in the USA

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Posted: 01/01/22 08:41am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I'm a fulltimer and my 2017 5er is almost always hooked up to shore power. I have 2 12v batteries. I 'believe' one is strictly for the inverter circuit (residential frig and possibly WH). The other batt powers everything else 12v in the rig. The converter cables go to a Magnum Energy Smart Battery Combiner for charging. I'm having some charging issues now that are just confusing the sh** out of me but here's the question I would pose to folks with more electrical knowledge. Would it be beneficial to change the current setup to use 2 individual charge controllers instead of going through the combiner?


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pianotuna

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Posted: 01/01/22 11:49am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Hi,

Generally speaking it is best to have both batteries in parallel, assuming they are identical in chemistry, amp-hours, and age.

Charge controller is a device used in the solar industry. Do you mean converter? or inverter/charger?

May I ask you to share the problems that are occuring?


Regards, Don
My ride is a 28 foot Class C, 256 watts solar, 556 amp-hours of Telcom jars, 3000 watt Magnum hybrid inverter, Sola Basic Autoformer, Microair Easy Start.

wa8yxm

Davison Michigan (East of Flint)

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Posted: 01/01/22 03:11pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I will second Piano on this.

There is a little known battery rule Peukert's effect

The short version is this: The faster you draw down a battery the faster still it runs down,,,,

So if you are drawing say a steady 10 amps a 200 amp hour battery bank should hit half full 10 hours down the road. "

Now you would think if you parallel two such banks for 400 amp hours total it would take 20 hours to get to half full but surprise, suprise, it takes LONGER,


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HappyKayakers

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Posted: 01/01/22 05:59pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

Hi,

Generally speaking it is best to have both batteries in parallel, assuming they are identical in chemistry, amp-hours, and age.

Charge controller is a device used in the solar industry. Do you mean converter? or inverter/charger?

May I ask you to share the problems that are occuring?


From the factory, the batteries were placed on opposite sides of the compartment and treated as separate power sources.

The Smart Battery Combiner gets power from the converter then apportions it between the batteries.

The problem I'm currently having is that the SBC will not operate continuously. It's designed to operate within certain voltages. At times it will give a low voltage disconnect indication and stop charging either battery. I've already replaced both batteries. I've been using a standard battery charger to charge the main house battery when the SBC quits. I think tomorrow I'll try hooking up that battery charger on the outbound wires from the converter. If the SBC works fine that way then I'll know that I also need to replace the converter.

Skibane

San Antonio, TX

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Posted: 01/01/22 06:33pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

HappyKayakers wrote:

I've been using a standard battery charger to charge the main house battery when the SBC quits.


Which "standard battery charger" are you using?

ajriding

st clair

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Posted: 01/01/22 06:39pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I agree. It makes no sense to me to have two divided like this.
Running a residential fridge off an inverter off one battery? Yikes! For that reason alone I would connect the two batteries. They do not have to be exactly side by side to connect them, but use a very heavy gauge wire to connect them. Many trucks will have their two batteries on either side of the engine bay.

How are the batteries connected? Is there a solenoid that connects both to each other when plugged in and disconnects them when not?
Or the charger has two outputs?
Or a large diode?

BFL13

Victoria, BC

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Posted: 01/01/22 07:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Your converter is probably ok.

You are allowed to have an "inverter battery bank" and a separate "regular loads RV battery bank". They will run down and need recharging at different times. They need to be recharged individually.

You are also allowed to have all your batteries in one bank with the inverter as just one of the "12v" loads along with the furnace, lights, etc. That bank can be recharged all at once with the converter or some other charger or by several chargers at once.

You seem to have the two 12s in parallel via the combiner for recharging, but have the inverter load on one and the rest of the loads on the other. This is called "tapping" and is not good. You are getting one batt way down before the other and it is confusing your system.

Best way is to take all the load wires off the battery posts and just leave the combiner ones on them so they are still in parallel for recharging. Now put all the load wires on the input (converter) side of the combiner. Now all the batts will draw down together and not confuse your system. Recharge them together off grid with the converter using your gen.

If on shore power, just leave it all be as rewired, and it should work fine with the two batts in parallel "floating" off the converter.


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pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 01/01/22 10:31pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

HappyKayakers,

Perhaps try using a volt meter on the output of the converter?

Which converter do you have?

HappyKayakers

Somewhere in the USA

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Posted: 01/02/22 07:09pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

pianotuna wrote:

HappyKayakers,

Perhaps try using a volt meter on the output of the converter?

Which converter do you have?


I have a WFCO converter and I've checked the output a few times.

Here's the results from today.

1430 House batt on charger all night, fully charged. Disconnected charger.

Both batteries reading 13.1
Turned on converter. SBC turned green.
Meter reading at red/black wires leaving converter 13.06

1650 Both batteries at 12.58. Converter at 12.52. SBC still green.

A little while later the SBC turned yellow (low voltage disconnect) and I turned off the converter and reconnected the charger to the house battery. Tomorrow morning I'll connect the charger to the converter output (with converter still off) and see what happens. If everything works well at that point I'll start looking for a new converter.

pianotuna

Regina, SK, Canada

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Posted: 01/02/22 08:51pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

wfco is famous for not being able to get to "boost" voltages. Only a few lucky souls have reported success.

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