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Old 23-10-2013, 16:34   #1
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Battery questions.

Anyone here use solar to charge their batteries?

Anyone using the emarine e20 solar and wind regulator?

I can't seem to get my batteries charged above 70%. 12.3 VDC to be exact. Drops down to 11.something by morning just running the fridge.

New batteries. 3 x 4D installed about 6 months ago. Spoke to the emarine folks. They are confident their product is working ok. They suggest it is either my batteries or wiring.

I can't use shore power or I'd use that to charge the batteries and maybe isolate the fault.

Problem I have is I am in El Salvador and can't easily get a tradesman in to take a look. Has anyone experienced something similar or have any suggestions for me?

Thanks team

Simon
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Old 23-10-2013, 16:56   #2
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Do you own a multi meter?
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Old 23-10-2013, 17:02   #3
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Re: Battery questions.

Need more information to try to diagnose the problem.

1. Voltage output from the charger when the sun is max on the panels

2. Total amp hours in and out each day?

3. How many amp hours used by the fridge?

4. Amps output from the solar panel?
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Old 23-10-2013, 17:06   #4
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I have a clamp type multimeter

Today i saw up to 17 V trickling into the batteries but still the voltage was not rising. This was just with the fridge on.

I will try to collect more info tomorrow

Thanks team
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Old 23-10-2013, 17:28   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kordie View Post
I have a clamp type multimeter

Today i saw up to 17 V trickling into the batteries but still the voltage was not rising. This was just with the fridge on.

I will try to collect more info tomorrow

Thanks team
Hi Kordie,
Just to make sure we are all talking about the same thing:
The "clamp type" multimeter uses alligator clips to clamp onto the battery terminals....not a clamp that goes around the wire? Sorry if I am being remedial.

The 17 volts is per battery, or per set in parallel.

Are you charging from a motor or solar panel?

17v sounds a bit high for lead-acid battery doing a normal charge. An equalizer might hit that high per battery. If that were the case the batteries should be fully charged.

One thought, you might have an open or dry cell. That could explain high voltage during charge and low capacity and voltage under load.
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Old 23-10-2013, 18:06   #6
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Re: Battery questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kordie View Post
I have a clamp type multimeter

Today i saw up to 17 V trickling into the batteries but still the voltage was not rising. This was just with the fridge on.

I will try to collect more info tomorrow

Thanks team
Maybe you mean 17 A (amps) tricking into the batteries? Amps might trickle in or out but not volts.
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Old 23-10-2013, 18:11   #7
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Re: Battery questions.

I think you mean 17A?

If the voltage does not go into the 14+ range, the panels are just too small / shaded / installation fault OR you are using too much juice and they do not catch up.

It is best to get one very small bat, hook the solars onto it and test this rig - with no consumers running ...

b.
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Old 23-10-2013, 18:59   #8
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That was a. Typo. 17A

Couple of beers while I sat down on the inter web didn't help.
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Old 23-10-2013, 19:00   #9
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I think you mean 17A? If the voltage does not go into the 14+ range, the panels are just too small / shaded / installation fault OR you are using too much juice and they do not catch up. It is best to get one very small bat, hook the solars onto it and test this rig - with no consumers running ... b.
Tomorrow I am just running the one battery to see what sort of charge I can get.

I am thinking I need more panels and a bigger controller. Easier said than done and may have to struggle through until I get to panama.

Cheers
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Old 23-10-2013, 19:58   #10
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Re: Battery questions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kordie View Post
That was a. Typo. 17A

Couple of beers while I sat down on the inter web didn't help.
Understand. Of course I've never made that mistake myself.

Just don't have a third beer and get the + and - backwards. Makes for interesting fireworks.

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Old 23-10-2013, 20:17   #11
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Re: Battery questions.

I use solar for battery charging with a 120v fridge running off a small inverter. I have 230 watts of panel and real life get 60-65 amps (total) a day on a good day. Just enough to keep the batteries happy. You should be seeing 14.4ish volts at the battery when the battery get toward full. Though I only have 440 amps total on my batts.
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Old 24-10-2013, 09:08   #12
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Re: Battery questions.

Correct me if I am wrong but an average solar system will be less than capable in the morning when bats could accept max amps then it will be too capable at noon when the bats can no longer accept plenty of amps.

In a way, with a well sized solar bank, one would need a decent optional power uptake to utilize the available surplus ... say a watermaker ... ?

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Old 24-10-2013, 09:43   #13
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Correct me if I am wrong but an average solar system will be less than capable in the morning when bats could accept max amps then it will be too capable at noon when the bats can no longer accept plenty of amps. In a way, with a well sized solar bank, one would need a decent optional power uptake to utilize the available surplus ... say a watermaker ... ? b.
And if my batteries reached 100% by afternoon then I'd be making water :-)
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Old 24-10-2013, 13:30   #14
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Re: Battery questions.

Yep.

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Old 29-10-2013, 17:06   #15
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STOP.....STOP....STOP.... If you want any real help from genuine knowledgable people then please....please...discribe in detail what and how you are setting things up. Tests or system. Assumptions well make asses. Are you putting the multimeter inline with the battery and the positive wire? eg disconnecting the positive wire and putting the meter in between the connection?
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