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Old 05-21-2017, 05:09 AM   #1
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Default Power regulation

Hi all

Im wondering if anyone is using anything to regulate the 12 volt output side
Of thier systems.

My issue is the other day while out camping my 1500 wat inverter kept kicking off.
After much head scratching and reseting i checked the 120 side and found nothing wrong.
I then checked the solar controler and saw it read
A little over 15 volts going to the batteries.

I flipped the solar breaker and everything worked fine so im guessing
The inverter didnt like 15 volts going to it.

Is there a simple way of keeping the output around 13.5 or so without limiting what the
Betteries are taking in?
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Old 05-21-2017, 07:00 AM   #2
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Yes, it is called a voltage stabilizer. I use several of them.

Amperor Auto Surge Protector ADP-90DC

The batteries probably don't like 15 volts either so you need to adjust your solar controller.

You will have to look for another one if you want to stabilize 1500 watts.
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Old 05-21-2017, 02:28 PM   #3
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It would appear that the solar controller is possibly going into an Equalization mode. Or it could be failing if no such mode exists. Perhaps there is a battery charging profile you can choose in the controller setup that has a lower maximum voltage setting for stages such as equalization.
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Old 05-21-2017, 04:22 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo View Post
It would appear that the solar controller is possibly going into an Equalization mode. Or it could be failing if no such mode exists. Perhaps there is a battery charging profile you can choose in the controller setup that has a lower maximum voltage setting for stages such as equalization.
I agree, the solar controller should not do that. Depending on the style and brand, you should see somewhere between 13.2 and 41.5v all the time.

We have found over time here that solar is great, but can do some funny things based on what controller you have and how it handles the charging profile. It would be of interest to know what controller and panels you have.

It is also possible that someone hooked up the panels directly to the batteries, although that shouldn't ever happen.
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Old 05-21-2017, 04:50 PM   #5
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Sorry guys i was half asleep when i first posted

I have 200 watts running through the trimetric sc- 2030 with 2030 rv monitor
To 2 6volt batteries.

The system has been (off grid) for about a year running everything fine...fridge, lights, fans, tv etc.

I believe its set at 13.5 float 14.8 charge and 15.3 equalize. Havent checked in awhile.
The 1500 watt inverter dosent get used much but apparently doesnt like over 15 volts so now im wondering if even 14 ish is doing harm to fridge,lights etc.

Looks like ill have to dig out the instructions and maybe do equalization manually.
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Old 05-21-2017, 05:28 PM   #6
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That controller is a good one, and think it should indicate if it is equalize mode, I think. It may just be a setting that you just caught as they are commonly on timed schedules for equalize.

You coach stuff should handle up to about 15v without damage, and the 14.8 should be totally OK, we ran that voltage for years on our wet cells.
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Old 05-21-2017, 06:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booster View Post
That controller is a good one, and think it should indicate if it is equalize mode, I think. It may just be a setting that you just caught as they are commonly on timed schedules for equalize.

You coach stuff should handle up to about 15v without damage, and the 14.8 should be totally OK, we ran that voltage for years on our wet cells.
Ive been very happy with the trimetric setup. And havent had any problems on that side.. i havent plugged in for over a year and except for topping batteries very rarely it just works.

Ill recheck all the settings and check the inverter to make sure its up to snuff.
Thanks
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Old 05-21-2017, 08:28 PM   #8
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.

The controller will go into equalize mode once in a blue moon;
only when the batteries states are un-equal.

If that happens often, you might want to check your batteries.
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Old 05-21-2017, 11:19 PM   #9
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I just took a look at the Bogart site and manual for the 203 solar controller.

The equalization is purely a manual operation, so that can't be it.

The controller does have a 4th stage of charging that can be turned on and off which takes the voltage to 15v+ at the end of the normal charge. This is getting to be a more common recommendation by some battery manufacturers, but IMO it should only be used on particular applications and situations. It is basically a mini-equalization at every charge cycle, which can be helpful if your charger doesn't allow you to control the charging based on the transition amps from absorption.

The fourth stage will be the most useful for wet cells, especially if they are being cycled and there is not enough time to always get them full. If the batteries are full, and on float like when not being used, I don't think I would use it, as it would put a couple of hours of overcharge on every day, using a lot of water in wet cells and dryout and corrosion in AGMs. For the wet cells, a manual equalization once month would probably be a good idea, and for AGMs, only if the capacity has started to slip. From the numbers they give, I think that it would run everyday if you got to the finish amps for absorb P2 %, if set correctly, as they are using the same amps for both settings on some batteries and 50% higher on others, and at 15v, you will have more amps so it will run. They are also picking P2 settings that are a bit high for at least some of the batteries, so in some cases the fourth stage may shut off right away, too. In either case, you may not get reliably full.

The actual amps to end absorb is not a fixed number percent, as it will change between brands, styles, and also as the batteries age. Lifeline recommends using .5% of capacity, where the Bogart chart says to use 2%, which will leave you undercharged. Our new Lifelines would actually go to .2% before the amps quit dropping, but as they age that will go up, and is probably why Lifeline says .5%. Getting totally full is essential, so that is a big deal to prevent capacity walkdown. The Trojans are listed at 2%, which is not too bad, as when we had Trojan GC batteries, they got down to about 1.2% for years. Trojan recommends higher at 3%, at least they used to, and that is about where they will be when they get old, or if the voltage is higher.

Sooo--how do you set the leave absorb amps. IMO, the best way is to do it is to set the % to a very low level, like .1% and let the batteries charge until they stop dropping amps for an hour or two. Calculate what % of capacity that is, and and add about .3% for new AGM batteries, and .5% for new wet cells. This will leave you a tiny bit short of charge, but testing we, and Marko, have done has shown float will finish off the rest well it appears. If you set the leave absorb amps this way, I would not use the 4th stage, unless you are cycling them every day when traveling and not getting a full charge off shore power or driving.

Once that setting is determined, it should be good for quite a while, as long as you are temperature controlled for the charging. A full charge to this point will often take 8-10 hours depending on depth of discharge, charger capacity, and battery bank size. It could be longer, or a bit shorter (not a lot shorter, though). If you find that your charge times stretch out a lot, or it never goes to float, it would indicate your batteries are aging, or possibly need an equalization. At that point you would increase the leave absorb % some. I do the setting test once a year, to see if it still correct, as it is very easy to do.

For batteries that are not getting run down much, and fully recovered every day, the 14.8v may be a bit high. Some manufacturers have started to recommend it that high, but I think it is to help cover charging that never reliably gets to the leave float amps. Trojan says use 14.7v for a "daily charge", which appears to mean like golf carts that are run very low every day, and have only a few hours to get recharged. For normal, periodic, charging from smaller discharges and enough charge time to get full, they say 14.4v range.

What battery type and brand are you running?
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