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Old 25-12-2015, 06:26   #16
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Re: Vitrifigo Fridge Compressor Stopped

Merry Christmas and thanks all for your input. Here's the state of things this morning. Fridge is still running. I did turn off inverter at 5 am to reduce drain on batteries.

Re: age of batteries. These are new 5 agm 4d installed in March of this year.

Link pro shows 11.8 volts as solar panels are starting to charge at +5-6 amps with inverter off. Batteries at 77%. Will probably start genset to help charge and switch inverter back on.

Svlamoracha. Thanks for pointing out possible calibration issues with battery monitor. Will check Maine Sail site as you suggest.

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Old 25-12-2015, 07:27   #17
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Re: Vitrifigo Fridge Compressor Stopped

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Originally Posted by trosenthal20 View Post
Re: age of batteries. These are new 5 agm 4d installed in March of this year.

Link pro shows 11.8 volts as solar panels are starting to charge at +5-6 amps with inverter off. Batteries at 77%.
Are you saying you have 5 batteries of 210Ah capacity (this si the capacity of a Lifeline 4D) connected in parallel?

If so then (taken into account that sag is not too significant in AGMs and the draw is very small fraction of capacity, hence voltage is a good indication of state of charge) there is NO WAY that 77% SOC vcan be consistent with 11.8V voltage across terminals.

On a related topic (Maine Sail has teh detail) you are killing these AGMs if you let them drop to 11.8V and you do not tke them to 100% (ie to the point where when they have been held at 14.4V plus /minus temperature correction until they only accept 0.5%x5x210= 5amps) at least once a week.
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Old 25-12-2015, 07:45   #18
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Re: Vitrifigo Fridge Compressor Stopped

That's correct about the capacity. I do recharge to 100% on the LinkPro monitor using the generator in the morning. However I've never seen a reading of 14.4v. The LinkPro tops out at around 12.8v at 100% while the Xantrex fsw3000 shows 13.2v at 84-85 degrees. I shut off the generator and let the solar panels take over for the day, which does keep the batteries fully charged. Once the sun gets low enough for the panels to be ineffective the batteries begin to discharge. The discharge rate can be as high as -30amps for the 3-4 hours of darkness before we go to bed and switch off everything except the 12v fridge and freezer and the inverter to keep the 110 fridge and ice maker from warming up during the night. I do however raise the bar on the ice maker so it isn't making ice during the night.

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Old 25-12-2015, 07:53   #19
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Re: Vitrifigo Fridge Compressor Stopped

svlmoracha. Your comment that I may be killing the batteries is of great concern and I certainly will look at the website to help me better understand how to manage them. As I noted earlier this boat has been almost exclusively on shore power since we purchased in February other than a few times we've been underway and now mostly on mooring since December 2nd so first time we've really had the chance to test our systems without shore power. I don't think I mentioned we have a watermarker that is kept on in flush mode, so I don't think that should be contributing to an excess discharge.

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Old 25-12-2015, 07:57   #20
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Re: Vitrifigo Fridge Compressor Stopped

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Originally Posted by trosenthal20 View Post
That's correct about the capacity. I do recharge to 100% on the LinkPro monitor using the generator in the morning. However I've never seen a reading of 14.4v. The LinkPro tops out at around 12.8v at 100% while the Xantrex fsw3000 shows 13.2v at 84-85 degrees. I shut off the generator and let the solar panels take over for the day, which does keep the batteries fully charged. Once the sun gets low enough for the panels to be ineffective the batteries begin to discharge. The discharge rate can be as high as -30amps for the 3-4 hours of darkness before we go to bed and switch off everything except the 12v fridge and freezer and the inverter to keep the 110 fridge and ice maker from warming up during the night. I do however raise the bar on the ice maker so it isn't making ice during the night.

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What is the brand of the batteries? Lifeline?

I am sorry for the bad news.
Any type of AGM will not be charge in full in a practicable time unless you take it over 14 volts. Read the batteyr manual if in doubt. Make sure the voltage settings in the genset-powered charger are correct for your battery. Also check that the actual voltages measured AT THE BATTERIES are what the charger thinks they are (given voltage drop and possible missing voltage sensing wire).

You also have to make sure that either the genset-powered charger or the solar controller will stay in absorption voltage (higher than 14 volts) until absorbed current drops to 5A WHILE VOTAGE IS 14.X VOLTS as per the manual. As Maine Sail has also explained very well, lawyers have told engineers to put default settings that will switch from "absorption" to "float" way too early. This is because they prefer you to be one of many who murders your batteries slowly by undercharging (which does not trigger liability) than to be one of the few who kills gel batteries quickly by using a charger charger that is configured for high) AGMs or flooded voltage.

We can help you with the settings of the genset-powered charger, solar controller and battery monitor if you tell us make and models of each and what are the current settings.

Cheers

Charlie
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Old 25-12-2015, 08:11   #21
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Re: Vitrifigo Fridge Compressor Stopped

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Originally Posted by trosenthal20 View Post
svlmoracha. Your comment that I may be killing the batteries is of great concern and I certainly will look at the website to help me better understand how to manage them. As I noted earlier this boat has been almost exclusively on shore power since we purchased in February other than a few times we've been underway and now mostly on mooring since December 2nd so first time we've really had the chance to test our systems without shore power. I don't think I mentioned we have a watermarker that is kept on in flush mode, so I don't think that should be contributing to an excess discharge.

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Most batteries are murdered slowly by undercharging so not feel bad, just learn how to avoid it.

If you have difficulty interpreting anything in the manual or Maine Sailīs site just yell and we will help you. If you want to get into real detail we will need to know specs of the equipment. It is a must that you configure your battery monitor correctly; default settings make them useless. Moreover, if you do not take the batteries to real 100% (as defined in the BATTERY manual) the State of Charge aka SOC reading in the monitor will drift away from the real value.

One thing you are doing absolutely right is to run genset early in the morning.
C
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Old 25-12-2015, 08:47   #22
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Re: Vitrifigo Fridge Compressor Stopped

The solar controller is an Outback FlexMax80. The battery monitor is a Xantrex LinkPro. The inverter is a Xantrex fsw3000. The genset is Onan MDKBR but does not have a digital display. Also I had checked with the contractor who installed our solar panels and the Outback and he did not connect them to the generator, nor is the fsw3000 connected since the Auto Gen Start option does not come up on the system control panel. Batteries are Deka AGM rated at 198A@20hrs and 1110cca.

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Old 25-12-2015, 08:49   #23
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Re: Vitrifigo Fridge Compressor Stopped

Also don't contractor did not leave the battery manual but I will try to find one to download.


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Old 25-12-2015, 08:50   #24
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Re: Vitrifigo Fridge Compressor Stopped

I have the manuals for the other parts of the system.

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Old 25-12-2015, 08:53   #25
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Re: Vitrifigo Fridge Compressor Stopped

Have you checked to see if there is a noise filter connected to your Danfoss compressor controller? I suggest this because several years ago I installed a Newmar filter in this location to try to eliminate RFI from my HF radio when the compressor was running. Worked fine for a couple of years. Eliminated some of the RFI. Then one day I noticed the compressor cycling on and off repeatedly. The fan would run, and the compressor try to start, but then shut off.

Battery voltage was fine. Checked everything I could think of, then as a last resort, removed the filter. You guessed it, the compressor has run fine ever since. The filter could have been defective and I haven't replaced it. I just live with the RFI, and turn the reefer off when using the radio.
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Old 25-12-2015, 09:16   #26
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Re: Vitrifigo Fridge Compressor Stopped

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Originally Posted by trosenthal20 View Post
The inverter is a Xantrex fsw3000. The genset is Onan MDKBR but does not have a digital display.
That inverter-charger is nice but has one shortcoming. It will only stay at absorption voltage for a maximum of one hour (look for "delta tcv" in te manual). This means the thing will switch to float too early in most cases and your batteries will not be fully charged. I am sure there is a way to work around this and reset it somehow to get an extra hour when necessary. The usual trick is just to turn it off and on.
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Old 25-12-2015, 09:38   #27
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Re: Vitrifigo Fridge Compressor Stopped

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Originally Posted by trosenthal20 View Post
The solar controller is an Outback FlexMax80. The battery monitor is a Xantrex LinkPro. The inverter is a Xantrex fsw3000.

Batteries are Deka AGM rated at 198A@20hrs and 1110cca.
Keep in mind that your solar controller does *not* have a wire dedicated to "sense" battery voltage, hence it will measure battery voltage through the same wire used to pump current from controller to battery. This means that the controller will overestimate battery voltage by the voltage drop. between controller and batteries. This is particularly troublesome when the installer puts the controller close to the panels to make his/her life easier.

In addition, the default setting for this controller is an absorption time of yet again one hour (see "Advanced-Absorb Time Limits") . This means the thing will go down to float voltage before the batteries are full, particularly if the voltage at the battery, which determines current acceptance is lower than the charger thinks because of voltage drop in the wires.

Bottom line is: The batteries are not full until they only accept less than 10 amps (say 1% of 5x198Ah, which is a reasonable parameter for AGMs) when held at the manufacturerīs recommended absorption voltage, which for AGMS is in the order of 14.4 plus/minus temperature comp.

I do not know if you have the technical manual for Deka, which is a useful read: http://www.dekabatteries.com/assets/base/0139.pdf

See p11 where it says that charging voltage at 70-80°F (whcih is roughly the base for temp compensation in your controller) should be 14.3V. Elsewhere it says "Set charger at .. .. 14.4 to 14.6 volts at 68°F for AGM.

Therefore you way want to confirm that your "absorption voltage" setting in the Outback is not less than 14.4V. You could add a couple tenths ( no more) to compensate for voltage drop if necessary.

I hope I have explained how important it is to make those batteries hit 144V and stay there for a while every day.

Regarding how long that "while" should be, you can test for 100% charge by disconnecting one battery for 24 hours and measuring "rested" Open Circuit Voltage that should be at least 12.8 volts (see p.13). If you had Lifeline AGMs you could just look for current to drop to 5 or 10 amps while held at 14.4 volts, but that spec is not provided by Deka.

Sorry for following that tangent, but if your batteries are not well looked after your fridge will not work well, period.
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Old 25-12-2015, 09:39   #28
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Re: Vitrifigo Fridge Compressor Stopped

Never seen it switch to Float mode. Only "bulk" when charging. I've been turning off the genset once the battery monitor reads 100% and the only mode I see then is"operating".

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Old 25-12-2015, 09:52   #29
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Re: Vitrifigo Fridge Compressor Stopped

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Originally Posted by trosenthal20 View Post
Never seen it switch to Float mode. Only "bulk" when charging. I've been turning off the genset once the battery monitor reads 100% and the only mode I see then is"operating".

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If you want to have meaningful SOC display in your battery monitor then I suggest you look at the values of the following settings (see manual for details) :

F1.0 Chargerīs float voltage (probably set to default that is 13.2V and shold be about 14.4V)
F1.1 Chargerīs float current (probably set to 2%, should go down to 1.0% at most)
F5.0 Battery capacity : Should be set to 5x198Ah=990Ah

Disregard the word "float" used in the monitorīs manual. As MS explains very well, it is absorption voltage that should be used here to make sure that the battery is only taken as 100% full when it is really full.
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Old 25-12-2015, 09:55   #30
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Re: Vitrifigo Fridge Compressor Stopped

The fridge issue seems to have been solved by the cleaning of contacts and now as far as your batteries the first thing to do is ensure your monitor is properly calibrated ( I would bet it is not ) then you will have a clear picture of what is actually going on. Then we can help you to correct any problems you have concerning your battery and charging system. ( I am willing to bet that most of the problem is the calibration of your meter.)
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