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Old 15-12-2008, 07:34   #1
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Leaking Amps

All devices with the exception refrig.,macerator, and bilge pump go through distribution panel controlled by main battery switch. Refig, macerator, bilge wired direct to house batteries, two 12V deep cycle, individual breakers and fuses on each. Boat left for month, Link 20 says used over 100 amps out of each battery bank, house and starting, refrig off, bilge dry, macerator must be held on. Two 80 watt solar panels with controller keeps batteries charged, controller will not allow to reverse at night.
Boat left with main battery switch off, where are the amps going?
Shore power not plugged.
Only solar charging system left on.
puzzled!!!
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Old 15-12-2008, 08:00   #2
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possibly the blocking diode on solar is defective ? i would methodically disconnect each unit for (x) amount of time and have a digital volt/amp meter attached to bats to see which component is the culprit. or if you are good with a multi-meter you should be able to pinpoint the prob. with it. don't know the setting to get this done, but the was a thread on this about sort of prob before i think or sailnet or ssca.
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Old 15-12-2008, 08:57   #3
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The Link itself will use some amps and you can look in the manual for how much, figure that over a months period then subtract to figure the rest. But don't overlook things like LEDs and indicator lights on the items you leave connected to the batteries like the bilge pump switch, etc. You should be able to disconnect wires off the battery, one at a time and see a change in voltage on your Link when you hit the one that is drawing. Also make sure nothing is connected incorrectly on your battery switch. Also look for alarms that bypass the panel like CO, Propane, etc.
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Old 15-12-2008, 09:10   #4
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Both battery banks used exactly the same amount of amps (142). I think the only way that could happen (I think) would be the blocking diode in the controller be bad. I've a call into Morningstar tech support now.
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Old 15-12-2008, 10:41   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
I cannot believe it is the consumption of the link 20 this would be at most a couple of amphors a day (unless defective).

A couple of AH a day seems a lot for the unit but lets say you are correct. 2 AH per day for 30 days while he is gone is 60AH. He claims 100 lost so 60 is a big chunk of that which is why I suggested he determine this and back it out of his lost AH.
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Old 15-12-2008, 10:53   #6
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I have just looked up the specs for the Link 20.
It uses an LED display (and its trying to reduce/monitor power consumption what were the designers thinking). The specs say a consumption of 50- 220mA. If it averages say 100mA that is 2.4 Ahrs a day (If this is correct what a waste of power). That is 72Ahrs a month. I think this is where the power is going.
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Old 15-12-2008, 11:20   #7
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Originally Posted by Chuck Baier View Post
A couple of AH a day seems a lot for the unit but lets say you are correct. 2 AH per day for 30 days while he is gone is 60AH. He claims 100 lost so 60 is a big chunk of that which is why I suggested he determine this and back it out of his lost AH.
Sorry Chuck I edited a previous post when I looked up the specs on the link 20 and you posted at the same time. Now your post doesn't make sense. My mistake not his.
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Old 15-12-2008, 12:33   #8
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With the battery switch off there is a small amount of voltage flowing through the switch, less than one volt. Could the battery switch be defective?
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Old 15-12-2008, 12:41   #9
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According to the manuals the Link 20 uses 25 mA in sleep mode light bar, the morningside sunsaver duo uses 5.5 mA(night) and 10.0 mA(charging).
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Old 15-12-2008, 12:47   #10
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"Boat left for month, Link 20 says used over 100 amps out of each battery bank,"

Just to be sure we're on the same page, your Link 20--which has been properly calibrated and is not being affected by stray wiring near it, etc--is saying that you are using 100x2 = 200 amp hours PER MONTH ?

As in 200AH over 30 days, 6.66AH per day, or .27AH continuously?

You are then looking for a 1/4 amp constant drain of some kind. Could be a bad diode in the solar array, a bad diode in the alternator diode frame, a pilot light on something? Power consumed by a solar controller and the Link20 itself? Any other likely suspects that are using "pilot light" power?

Salt water touching and grounding a hot wire in the bilge or bilge pump equipment?

"Divide and conquer", i.e. once the main breaker panel is off, the leak has to be in something that's connected directly. Keep unhooking those power leads--until there's a 1/4 amp change in the Link display.

Your manuals explain about a 40-50mA drain, that still leaves 200mA missing. (That's assuming you did mean 100 per bank, 200 total). With the main battery switch off--there should be ZERO voltage flowing across it. Sounds like someone lubed it with veseline (which conducts) instead of di-electric grease, and that's just wrong. Something to be rebuilt or replaced ASAP.
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Old 15-12-2008, 12:50   #11
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that is a start. The manuals tend to understate the numbers so it would be good to be able to actually measure it. You try disconnecting it and other wires one at a time and see where your 1/2 volt disappears. !/2 volt is not the same as Amps so you need to figure what amps are being drawn off the batteryX24X30. It does not take much to run up 100 amps in a month. The other question is why do you not leave the battery charger on?
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Old 15-12-2008, 12:51   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"Boat left for month, Link 20 says used over 100 amps out of each battery bank,"

Just to be sure we're on the same page, your Link 20--which has been properly calibrated and is not being affected by stray wiring near it, etc--is saying that you are using 100x2 = 200 amp hours PER MONTH ?

As in 200AH over 30 days, 6.66AH per day, or .27AH continuously?

You are then looking for a 1/4 amp constant drain of some kind. Could be a bad diode in the solar array, a bad diode in the alternator diode frame, a pilot light on something? Power consumed by a solar controller and the Link20 itself? Any other likely suspects that are using "pilot light" power?

Salt water touching and grounding a hot wire in the bilge or bilge pump equipment?

"Divide and conquer", i.e. once the main breaker panel is off, the leak has to be in something that's connected directly. Keep unhooking those power leads--until there's a 1/4 amp change in the Link display.
Thanks HS, that is what I too have been saying. He is chasing down next to nothing in the big picture.
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Old 15-12-2008, 12:55   #13
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One thing I have not considered, as I sit here in the boat, the weather is partly cloudy to overcast, my battery combiner switch is cycling on as amperage goes up and down from the solar panels. Maybe a combination of all monitors and battery combiner switch????
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Old 15-12-2008, 12:59   #14
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Chuck-
Did you read "The Cuckoo's Nest" ? Not the Jack N. movie but the (Cliff Stohl?) book?

The guy was finding really really tiny rounding errors in a computerized billing system, and wound up cracking a major international computer espionage program--because wrong is wrong, and when the books don't balance, sometimes you need to know *why* not just "how much".

If that leaking is 200mA or even 100mA per hour--it still indicates something is wrong. If the battery switch is the culprit, he may avoid a switch failure (or fire) by replacing it now. It the current is getting galvanic with something (pardon the phrasing, I know it hurts) it could be equally important.

Two or three mA, I'd say static electricity and meter float. 100mA...there's a critter that needs to be found. Maybe not urgently, but certainly found, in the interests of overall safety more than power conservation.

AH, wait...now I see multiple (?) combiners and relay and such? Fastest way to be sure: Divide and Conquer. Cut 'em out, disconnect everything "but one", and see if the mystery drain is still there.
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Old 15-12-2008, 13:03   #15
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I do not leave shore power connected because of stray voltage in the marina.
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