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Old 08-17-2020, 06:22 PM   #1
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Default Batteries gone ...

Installed a new Novakool DC Fridge in my Roadtrek a couple of weeks ago & everything was great until the last few days of this LA Heatwave - now it seems my batteries are beyond repair.

I have yet to meet with my Electrical Guru who is retired butI am going to buy some new Lifeline Batteries next day or so, either;

1. Replacing the two Group 27 12 volt 100ah AGM units (& modifying the wiring as per Booster to ensure more even charging).

2. Or by putting those two new batteries under the drivers side of my bed closest to the Electrical Hub/Shunt.

3. Or by putting two new Lifeline Group GPL 4CT 6 volt 220ah AGM units under the drivers side of the bed.

4. Or adding a third Group 27 12 Volt 100ah unit

5. Or does anyone have a better solution?

I want to minimize the amount of Cabinetrybuild out work, I didnt throw $1200 away moving to a DC Fridge only to lose more money, building the Electrical capacity to support it.
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Old 08-17-2020, 06:25 PM   #2
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I'd go buy batteries at costco and cycle them through if/when they fail.

I use a single interstate group 27 which is maybe 80 ah ( 5 years old) ...but my current needs are much lower than yours
they rate reserve capacity at 160 minutes- 25 amp load, when new


as far as wire gauge for charging, calculate the current and size wire to that- your electrical guy can measure voltage drop through your current wiring and tell you what it needs

ask this: a lead acid battery releases hydrogen when charging- and should not be in an enclosed area when accepting charge ( boom)- make sure any battery you put inside does not display such risk

Mike
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Old 08-17-2020, 06:28 PM   #3
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Here is what happened, as you can see from the photos, until this Heatwave my 250 watts of Solar & Batteries were keeping ahead of the charginf curve.

Then I missed one day of full charging - you can see the huge difference between chargibg profiles of four days where for the last two the solar was stuck in Bulk & Absorb never getting to Float (even though I ran the generator I was seeing 11amps going in until it got to 100%).

I think my batteries after two years were as Booster suggested,out of balance due to the extra 3 feet/6 feet between them & perhaps they were not getting deep enough charges.
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Old 08-17-2020, 06:33 PM   #4
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As you can see, I was in Float for all this time for 2 years for an average of about 3hours per day.

And then the last two to three days,,I wasn't & ended up with a 61 amp discharge & then a 32 amp discharge (the 32 amp being today & the equivalent of 10 hours).

It seems to me my batteries are fried.
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Old 08-17-2020, 06:42 PM   #5
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Here are the two most recent amp draws, obviously the 61amp is the fact that even though I believed I had reached the 100% full, by running the generator after the solar stopped,, I had not.

The fact that 31amps during the 8-10 hour period when its supposed to be cool, means my system is not keeping up & the fault probably lies with the charging profiles, the way the Roadtrek Versatile has the option of two batteries all the way over on the passenger side & by adding a second battery, I failed to modify the system so that they charged evenly?

Are these assumptions correct?

I did modify, on Booster's suggestion, the Charged Voltage from 13.2 volts to two different settings of 13.6 for a couple of days & then 13.4 in order to "game the charging profile" & while I noticed a substantial difference in yields by up to 40%, I wonder if this didn't fry the Lifelines in the process?
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Old 08-17-2020, 07:08 PM   #6
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What would you guys suggest;

1. Adding 2 NEW Lifeline Group 27 100ah batteries in the old configuration & seeing what happens?

2. Adding 2 NEW Lifeline Group 27 100ah batteries & modifying the wiring configuration as per Booster's suggestion here;

And this was his solution:

The misbalance of the two batteries is real, we had it in our 07 and I saw it first hand.

It is pretty easy to fix by matching the cable lengths for each of the the batteries to each other. Use a single binding post for the positive, another for the ground and run both batteries to those posts with equal length and gauge cables. Then run a couple size larger single cable to the shunt on the negative side and another single larger cable to the the charging sources and loads on the positive side. As long at the cables are matched, the charging and discharging will be quite balanced, with the exception that the rear battery tends to run hotter because of it's location, which messes it up a little.
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Old 08-17-2020, 07:19 PM   #7
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3. Add 2 NEW Lifeline Group 27 100ah batteries but place them next to each other & under the bed?

Or even 3 Group 27's?

Obviously the Group 27's above are 12 volt.

4. Add 2 NEW Lifeline Group GPL 4CT 220ah 6 volt batteries under the bed, next to each other?

Or 3?

5. As it is, by moving them under the bed, on the drivers side, all batteries will be closer to the original Roadtrek Hub/Box but for the fact that I have my Magnum MMS1012 inverter attached upside down here, directly under me.

(The solar wires come down the Drivers Side Roof & into the AC housing wall, through the rear upper cabinet & then down into the electrical "box", this is the same box that used to house the TrippLite RV612 Inverter).

Maybe I would have to move either that inverter batteries further back, under the bed, closet to the rear doors.

Presently I have a Sensorpush Bluetooth Temperature & Humidity Sensor back there& during this Heatwave its been as high as 105% under there.

Are there any concerns about such a placement because of this.
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Old 08-17-2020, 07:22 PM   #8
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I know you don’t want to spend the money but it is time to add a lithium battery inside for a hybrid system. You will end up there anyway.

https://www.classbforum.com/forums/f...stem-8526.html

There are other ways to do it. Do a search for hybrid. You could skip the chargers for now till the budget recovers. Just an opinion.

All you would need is a battery and an A-B battery switch.

A lithium is little more than two AGMs but you would still have to replace at least one of the AGMs.

Yours isn’t the first system a compressor fridge has brought to it’s knees.
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Old 08-17-2020, 07:28 PM   #9
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In closing, looking at those photos & understanding the recent addition of the DC fridgw, what do you think happened ie; he system had been running fine & getting an average of 3-5 hours float previously but

1. the sudden tax of the new fridge demands plus this Heatwave put my incorrectly configured/charged batteries into debt?


2. That perhaps changing the charged voltage from 13.2 factory suggestion to 13.6 & then 13.4 temporarily based on Booster's suggestion that I could "game the charging profile"*, cooked the batteries?

*my words

3. Or that they were already on their way out?

As it is, I do NOT want to have to drive my rig everyday jusy to keep up with the demands of the new fridge. And running the generator nightly to top everything off us also not feasible within LA.
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Old 08-17-2020, 07:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hbn7hj View Post
I know you don’t want to spend the money but it is time to add a lithium battery inside for a hybrid system. You will end up there anyway.

https://www.classbforum.com/forums/f...stem-8526.html

There are other ways to do it. Do a search for hybrid. You could skip the chargers for now till the budget recovers. Just an opinion.

All you would need is a battery and an A-B battery switch.
Thank you.

And its not just the lithium cost, there has to be a better way using the AGM technology even though the quality Lifelines are $350-400 each.

I do understand Lithiums require less education but I do not want to go with Lithium until the technology is there & I most certainly don't want to go with a hybrid system.

I want to stay with Lifeline, I have an excellent relationship with the factory & one of its family members & I trust their AGM technology.

There are many reasons why they have not chosen to get into Lithium & since they supply the Military, etc for many years I do know, they know far more than I.

I do not mind a little bit of driving to top things off but I much prefer not to.

I simply don't have the education. As it is, I am jumping through hoops trying to discover what happened? I have a feeling that the batteries were on their way out.
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Old 08-17-2020, 07:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hbn7hj View Post
I know you donít want to spend the money but it is time to add a lithium battery inside for a hybrid system. You will end up there anyway.

https://www.classbforum.com/forums/f...stem-8526.html

There are other ways to do it. Do a search for hybrid. You could skip the chargers for now till the budget recovers. Just an opinion.

All you would need is a battery and an A-B battery switch.

A lithium is little more than two AGMs but you would still have to replace at least one of the AGMs.

Yours isnít the first system a compressor fridge has brought to itís knees.
And I see your Rig is a 2003, pretty soon "our systems inside" are worth more than the value of our rigs.

I might be better motivated to consider the lithium set ups if I had a electrical whiz in front of me who knows those systems & my physical unit & we can decide then & there but the disclaimer is that I much, much prefer the Lifeline AGM Technology & am looking for a fit that way.

The 32-50amp draw over 8 hours average could in fact be an issue with the new DC Unit itself, maybe the thermostat has gone, etc?

Going to the installer to check out that now
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Old 08-17-2020, 08:04 PM   #12
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It would be easier on the rest of us if you would use the terms amps and amp-hours correctly. I think it would be a 32-50 amp-hour draw over 8 hours. Thanks for the info. 250 watts of solar is a lot. If 250 watts of solar and 200 amp-hours of battery barely does it then that is good info for the rest of us. Thanks.

Value of the rig is nothing, function is everything!
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Old 08-17-2020, 08:11 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by themexicandoctor View Post
I want to minimize the amount of Cabinetrybuild out work, I didnt throw $1200 away moving to a DC Fridge only to lose more money, building the Electrical capacity to support it.
Yes you did but it is all well spent money. You will end up with two AGMs and at least one lithium. May as well accept it.

Maybe four AGMs. In that case lithium would be cheaper.
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Old 08-17-2020, 08:27 PM   #14
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Your info tells me my one FLA and one lithium with 100 watts of solar ain’t gonna cut it.
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Old 08-17-2020, 08:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkguitar View Post
I'd go buy batteries at costco and cycle them through if/when they fail.

I use a single interstate group 27 which is maybe 80 ah ( 5 years old) ...but my current needs are much lower than yours
they rate reserve capacity at 160 minutes- 25 amp load, when new


as far as wire gauge for charging, calculate the current and size wire to that- your electrical guy can measure voltage drop through your current wiring and tell you what it needs

ask this: a lead acid battery releases hydrogen when charging- and should not be in an enclosed area when accepting charge ( boom)- make sure any battery you put inside does not display such risk

Mike
Interstate, in my experience & my relationship with a couple of distributors, is tainted.

I have the inside story on their plants in Mexico, their purchase of Optima & the downhill since then.

They simply don't perform well enough & that was when I tried them in 2012.

I refuse to ask for a new battery every month from Pep Boys, etc.
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Old 08-17-2020, 08:57 PM   #16
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Quote:
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And I see your Rig is a 2003, pretty soon "our systems inside" are worth more than the value of our rigs.

I might be better motivated to consider the lithium set ups if I had a electrical whiz in front of me who knows those systems & my physical unit & we can decide then & there but the disclaimer is that I much, much prefer the Lifeline AGM Technology & am looking for a fit that way.

The 32-50amp draw over 8 hours average could in fact be an issue with the new DC Unit itself, maybe the thermostat has gone, etc?

Going to the installer to check out that now
I think my batteries were already spent before the Heatwave, just ready to go out.

Going to pick up 2 new Lifeline GPL 4CT 6 Volt units, 220ah each.*

Then find another competent person to install them, up under the bed.

*I thought ah was correct?
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Old 08-17-2020, 09:05 PM   #17
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Quote:
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*I thought ah was correct?
It is for the battery but “32 to 50 amp draw” is not. Should be 32-50 amp-hour draw.

Also two 6volt 225AH batteries will give you one 12v 225AH battery.
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Old 08-17-2020, 09:26 PM   #18
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Since 2013 I have 2 x 115 = 230 Ah Fullriver AGMs, about 12í apart but balanced, 300W of solar running Isotherm 3 CF fridge. In sunny day my batteries are recharged by noon. On average our evenings take about 10-20 Ah. I rarely do anything about my electrical system, left alone works great.

And, batteries were never equalized.

So, if my system works yours should as well. Before you start changing batteries you should find what is the problem.

Are you reporting screens from Vectron solar charge controller or a battery monitor? How would Victron know that the charge is from solar panels if it is a battery monitor. Did you ever configure your system to have a reasonable SOC, even inaccurate SOC could be better for you than confusing screens?
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Old 08-17-2020, 09:57 PM   #19
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Since 2013 I have 2 x 115 = 230 Ah Fullriver AGMs, about 12í apart but balanced, 300W of solar running Isotherm 3 CF fridge. In sunny day my batteries are recharged by noon. On average our evenings take about 10-20 Ah. I rarely do anything about my electrical system, left alone works great.

And, batteries were never equalized.

So, if my system works yours should as well. Before you start changing batteries you should find what is the problem.

Are you reporting screens from Vectron solar charge controller or a battery monitor? How would Victron know that the charge is from solar panels if it is a battery monitor. Did you ever configure your system to have a reasonable SOC, even inaccurate SOC could be better for you than confusing screens?
Good answers of which i have zero answers.

In the photos it should say Smart Solar which is the MTTP 30/100 Charger or Smart Meter which is the BMV712.

I have both.

My syspicion is that the batteries were at the end of thei useful life because of my not understanding how the systems need to be fine tuned.
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Old 08-18-2020, 01:57 AM   #20
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Spoke to several people, including a contact @ Battleborn (all lithium batteries are made in China, only partly assembled here), my contacts at Lifeline & a couple of installers & we all came to same conclusion;

Stay with the AGM you know.

Put two GPL 4CT 6 Volt batteries under your bed as close as possible to the battery shunt (on the other side of the dividing partition which is the rear of the partition/original Electrical Box/Compartment that held the original Tripplite inverter. .

I will either put the batteries behind Speaker in the space behind the rear of the dinette/seating bulkhead.

Or move the Speaker somewhere else & put the batteries just behind the wheel well & the Magnum Inverter.

Or move the Magnum Invereter back 10 inches & put the batteries as close as possible to the rear of the partition/original Electrical Box/Compartment that held the original Tripplite inverter.

ANY RECOMMENDATIONS?
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