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Old 07-26-2017, 11:57 PM   #201
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... I'm not sure how powered up the 8 ecotreks were by the factory, but so far I am testing them out by running them down (no shore or engine power) using the air conditioning. #8 ran for 5 seconds and then shut off so I guess it wasn't juiced up. 7 through 4 however have run the A/C for about 40 mins each before the BMS shuts the battery off....
That is an interesting design and kind of useless for running A/C in the night while you sleep - or should I say waking up every 40 minutes to keep the A/C working. But I imagine you can power up more than one EcoTrek module at a time and face the extra parasitic drain from the BMS.
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Old 07-27-2017, 12:42 AM   #202
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So I ran all 8 ecotreks down until they shut off (which I believe is done by the BMS at 20% of charge). My plan was to then plug into shore power which I have done. But despite the shore power showing good on the cord, I'm getting no power in the coach. Inverter, voltage meter, individual batteries - nothing. So I started the engine to see if the G/U would provide juice but I'm still getting nothing.

Is there some trick after running the lithium down like this?
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Old 07-27-2017, 01:06 AM   #203
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If the AGM is also dead, there may not be anything to activate the charging sources. Do they have any kind of connection button to get the main van power connected to the coach to get started?
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Old 07-27-2017, 03:22 AM   #204
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So I ran all 8 ecotreks down until they shut off (which I believe is done by the BMS at 20% of charge). My plan was to then plug into shore power which I have done. But despite the shore power showing good on the cord, I'm getting no power in the coach. Inverter, voltage meter, individual batteries - nothing. So I started the engine to see if the G/U would provide juice but I'm still getting nothing.

Is there some trick after running the lithium down like this?
I am guessing that you are the owner who Jim Hammill gave reset instructions to over on the Roadtreking Facebook group, yes?
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Old 07-27-2017, 04:01 AM   #205
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I am not sure. It has 918 miles and that is about the distance from the dealership to the factory so I'm guessing it was driven.

Interesting thing is that I just happened to turn on one of the ecotreks I thought was dead because it didn't fire up the A/C and this time it fired it up nice and has been running for about fifteen minutes now. Maybe because it was hotter then the surge from the A/C was too much?

I've heard it's best to run two ecotrek modules when you use the A/C and perhaps that is the reason why. But it wasn't drained like I was thinking it was.
RT has two delivery methods. For really long haul distances, e.g. south Florida and the West Coast, they are trucked and they add in the whereabouts of $700 for transportation At 918, it was undoubtedly driven to the dealership by one of their drivers. Consequently, when you took delivery, you can't assume that the batteries were in a full SOC.

The AC has no problem running from a single battery. I ran the AC for about an hour before shutdown with a single battery. But the 210 has a smaller BTU than your coach, so I don't think you can squeak out much more than 40 minutes but it depends on ambient temperature and the AC temp setting.
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Old 07-27-2017, 11:17 AM   #206
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If the AGM is also dead, there may not be anything to activate the charging sources. Do they have any kind of connection button to get the main van power connected to the coach to get started?
Chasis battery is fine. It's just the ecotreks. Dealership will take a look this morning.
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Old 07-27-2017, 11:21 AM   #207
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RT has two delivery methods. For really long haul distances, e.g. south Florida and the West Coast, they are trucked and they add in the whereabouts of $700 for transportation At 918, it was undoubtedly driven to the dealership by one of their drivers. Consequently, when you took delivery, you can't assume that the batteries were in a full SOC.

The AC has no problem running from a single battery. I ran the AC for about an hour before shutdown with a single battery. But the 210 has a smaller BTU than your coach, so I don't think you can squeak out much more than 40 minutes but it depends on ambient temperature and the AC temp setting.
The odd thing is that yesterday when I arrived at the dealership and first saw the rig, one of their guys said they had it plugged into 30 amp but that after turning the ecotreks on they were not getting them on. But then after awhile they would pop on. The way he described it makes me think they were not fully charged even after the drive. Or there is just some kind of an issue with them waking up. Not sure. Need more testing.

I would have thought that regardless of the batteries, with the GU on there would be at least DC power in the coach. But that wasn't the case. Will know more after today.
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Old 07-27-2017, 12:32 PM   #208
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So I left the rig last night and got a hotel. I left it with ecotreks 1-7 "on" even though not showing power and inverter on remote "on" even though no lights and no coach power and I left the rig plugged into 30amp power.

This morning when I arrived, battery 7 was showing online with the blue light. It was the only one. No inverter remote panel lights to include the shore power light. So I reset battery 7 and the inverter powered up and showed charging from shore power, the volt meter had a reading of 12.9 or so, and batteries 1-7 showed online with the blue light. Battery 8 had been left off. So I reset and turned on battery 8 but it's still not showing the blue light.

It seems a temp fix for now might be to just make sure I always have one fully charged ecotrek to make sure the inverter is converting shore power to charge up the batteries.

But questions I have... If all batteries are dead or offline due to BMS, and the inverter isn't powered, how does the power go from shore power to the inverter so that the inverter knows it needs to convert to charge the batteries? Or does it? It would appear in my particular situation it does not. I had expected that shore power would go to the inverter and it would be powered and convert automatically. I'm not sure if that is happening. Maybe it's happening very slowly and charging up a battery without showing the shore power connected light? I'm pretty sure the shore AC power can't charge a DC battery without it, so maybe that's what happened. OR maybe when it got cooler outside the #7 BMS decided the battery could operate and kicked it on? Not sure.

My other question is why idling the engine with the GU didn't supply DC power to the inverter and power the coach regardless of the state of the batteries.

Will do more testing today. At this point while typing battery #8 popped online and is now charging off shore power too.
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Old 07-27-2017, 12:34 PM   #209
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If the AGM is also dead, there may not be anything to activate the charging sources. Do they have any kind of connection button to get the main van power connected to the coach to get started?
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Chasis battery is fine. It's just the ecotreks. Dealership will take a look this morning.
Not the Chassis battery.

There is another AGM battery -- a house AGM battery that is used to control your ecotreks. If you ran the ectreks dead, the AGM will also be dead (not a good thing), you will need to recharge it first before you can wake up your ecotreks.

If you open the hood, you will see the house AGM on the right side of the engine bay.

The chassis AGM is under the driver's seat.
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Old 07-27-2017, 01:23 PM   #210
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I have never seen a Ecotrek in person to know the system well, and Roadtrek won't tell us anything about them so this is my best guess.

* all the batteries were dead, that would be all the modules and the chassis agm

* perhaps module 7 came back enough after being shut off to come back on but likely not as the parasitic would kill it again quickly, more likely that the AGM recovered enough to start the shore charger

* once you were plugged in and had one unit or the AGM online the showing enough voltage, the shore charger would allow itself to start charging, so all could be charged.

* the Balmar regulator for the engine generator will look at the same voltages as the shore charger, so it wouldn't work either until their was adequate voltage.

This points out a big issue with the "modern" charging sources like shore chargers, solar controllers, and smart regulators. They are system protecting the coach, and themselves, by looking for a battery in the system. They are designed so they can't accurately regulate voltage without a "ballast" from a battery in the system. They do the check by looking for voltage from a battery, often 9v or higher. Some will then also do a test pulse charge to see it is really a battery it is seeing, but not all do that.

Bottom line is if there is no voltage on the system, you don't get any charging from any of your sources.

The "cure" Roadtrek, and I think Tesla, use is to have an AGM battery in the system so the chargers will run if the lithiums are offline, but it is dead, you are still out of luck.

IMO, the best cure might be a regulated power supply that would run off of the van battery, or even shore power, for recovery use. Regulated power supplies don't need a battery in the system to hold voltage setting, so it would be able to put enough charge on the batteries to get enough voltage for the the other sources to work.

You should also be able to jump the coach batteries from another source, be it batteries or another vehicle, I think.
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Old 07-27-2017, 01:23 PM   #211
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The odd thing is that yesterday when I arrived at the dealership and first saw the rig, one of their guys said they had it plugged into 30 amp but that after turning the ecotreks on they were not getting them on. But then after awhile they would pop on. The way he described it makes me think they were not fully charged even after the drive. Or there is just some kind of an issue with them waking up. Not sure. Need more testing.

I would have thought that regardless of the batteries, with the GU on there would be at least DC power in the coach. But that wasn't the case. Will know more after today.
In order to get regulated 12v DC power in the coach you need to have at least one Ecotrek online. With no Ecotreks online the GU is not connected to the load side of the battery bank. The inverter will operate without any Ecotreks online when connected to shore power but the 12v D.C. is very unstable with no batteries connected to the charger circuit. The inverter needs to be on to pass shore power through to the coach.
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Old 07-27-2017, 01:32 PM   #212
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In order to get regulated 12v DC power in the coach you need to have at least one Ecotrek online. With no Ecotreks online the GU is not connected to the load side of the battery bank. The inverter will operate without any Ecotreks online when connected to shore power but the 12v D.C. is very unstable with no batteries connected to the charger circuit. The inverter needs to be on to pass shore power through to the coach.
So he should have 110v to the coach but not 12v if all modules are off or dead? Makes sense.

Where is the AGM in the picture with all this, I thought it was parallel to the lithiums? If so, it would go dead, also and then totally out of luck as mentioned earlier.

Maybe best to carry and old school basic battery charger to hook up and charge the AGM up to get it back up to voltage so the big chargers will work.
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Old 07-27-2017, 01:37 PM   #213
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So he should have 110v to the coach but not 12v if all modules are off or dead? Makes sense.

Where is the AGM in the picture with all this, I thought it was parallel to the lithiums? If so, it would go dead, also and then totally out of luck as mentioned earlier.

Maybe best to carry and old school basic battery charger to hook up and charge the AGM up to get it back up to voltage so the big chargers will work.
As you know, every RT seems to be wired differently...

In the most common configuration, the charge side of the Ecotreks is connected to the GU, the auxiliary AGM, and the solar charge controller. The load side of the Ecotreks is usually only connected to the inverter/charger and the 12v distribution through the battery disconnect relay. With no Ecotreks online, the charge side is isolated from the load side and you cannot get 12v power from the GU or the AGM into the coach.

With the Ecotreks off, the AGM gets charged from the GU or Solar.
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Old 07-27-2017, 01:40 PM   #214
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Did you do what Jim Hammill said? When you discharge your batteries down to 20% I assume software prevents them from further discharging. That is a safety feature. I order to bring them back online he said to push the reset button for 5 seconds. I assume this is to communicate power is available. Communications do not happen instantly or the software has to sense the recharge to kick in.
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Old 07-27-2017, 01:45 PM   #215
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So he should have 110v to the coach but not 12v if all modules are off or dead? Makes sense.

Where is the AGM in the picture with all this, I thought it was parallel to the lithiums? If so, it would go dead, also and then totally out of luck as mentioned earlier.

Maybe best to carry and old school basic battery charger to hook up and charge the AGM up to get it back up to voltage so the big chargers will work.

The AGM is parallel to the ectreks.

From an implementation standpoint, it is a cheap and dirty arrangement.
From an electrical design standpoint, it does not make logical sense; because the AGM's charging profile is different to the ecotrek lithiums. Sooner then later, the AGM will fry, you will need to replace it on a regular basis.
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Old 07-27-2017, 01:59 PM   #216
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Here is what Jim Hammil told me. I am shocked my religion and philosophy degree from 20 years ago did not better prepare me for operating complicated technology

------

You drained your batteries. Everything is working by the sounds of it. By draining the batteries on purpose you caused them to activate the BMS protections. They won't take power from the engine generator if they aren't reset. You don't need to go to a hotel, next time make sure the inverter is off at the box and on at the wall. Then reset the batteries and charge using the engine is fine. But draining 8 modules and then idling or plugging in takes time to charge and it won't do that fast with 8 modules on at idle.

Seems to me like everything is working fine. You don't need lights on the inverter box. Leave it off and turn it on and off at the wall.

Everything is working.
If you drain a massive battery capacity and try to charge it, it might need some time and resets to charge again.

Hope that all helps. It's all working. Try just using it normally. It works fine
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Old 07-27-2017, 02:09 PM   #217
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The AGM is parallel to the ectreks.

From an implementation standpoint, it is a cheap and dirty arrangement.
From an electrical design standpoint, it does not make logical sense; because the AGM's charging profile is different to the ecotrek lithiums. Sooner then later, the AGM will fry, you will need to replace it on a regular basis.
From everything I have seen, it appears that the charge profiles of all the chargers are set to an AGM tailored charge profile which will get max life out of the AGM with some potential penalty with getting the Ecotrek batteries all the way to full charge. How full do the Ecotreks get? No accurate info available to tell that presently but for most users I suspect getting close to full will be acceptable in terms of their use of the system.
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Old 07-27-2017, 02:14 PM   #218
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Did you do what Jim Hammill said? When you discharge your batteries down to 20% I assume software prevents them from further discharging. That is a safety feature. I order to bring them back online he said to push the reset button for 5 seconds. I assume this is to communicate power is available. Communications do not happen instantly or the software has to sense the recharge to kick in.
Last night before I left I did do what he said with the 5 second reset button press for each battery. This morning when I came back, one of them was online and that allowed me to get shore power to the rest after I reset it and the inverter kicked on.

Taking care of paperwork stuff around town but will head back to the unit to "learn" some more
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Old 07-27-2017, 02:20 PM   #219
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It sounds like they are using a similar setup to what davydd describes in his ARV. Modules lockout and can't be used for 12v until reset, charged some, etc. He didn't say the reset procedure, I think the ARV was a hold the button thing IIRC.

If you are able to use the voltage from the lithiums to activate the charging systems, which this would indicate, I wonder why they would still need the AGM in the system?

Hammil points out one good point, though. This is a huge system and will take a long time to charge, especially at idle, probably in the range of 12 hours which you don't want to do in a Sprinter, or even close. Even driving, a full recharge will probably be 6-8 hours of charging. I do wonder how the Nations alternator will hold up to use like that if it is every couple of days.

How big is the shore charger in these big setups? The boat and class A folks talk about paralleling 100 amp chargers to get enough shore charging capacity for massive banks.
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Old 07-27-2017, 02:28 PM   #220
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From everything I have seen, it appears that the charge profiles of all the chargers are set to an AGM tailored charge profile which will get max life out of the AGM with some potential penalty with getting the Ecotrek batteries all the way to full charge. How full do the Ecotreks get? No accurate info available to tell that presently but for most users I suspect getting close to full will be acceptable in terms of their use of the system.
In one of the home build lithium threads here, we did get a look at that, and I think the net conclusion was that stopping the charging at about 13.8v or so was probably a good spot, as they would be nearly full but wouldn't be at 100% or held at full charge voltage which is not good. The AGM profiles will be at about 13.5v, so will be lower SOC. The knee in the curve is very steep, so not a lot of change in SOC once you get past that 13.5v, IIRC. There will be no change in charging speed, as the charger is maxed out anyway, with the voltage still in the climbing toward absoption stage of 14.4v. If it bumps to float earlier, it will just sit there at the lower voltage, which I don't think we have ever seen an answer to if that is bad, or if the charger(s) should be shut off.
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