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Old 04-16-2015, 12:54 PM   #1
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Xantrex Freedom 458

I have a just installed new batteries. They were at 12.5 when I turned inverter on. It has always gone from bulk to absorb very fast on the old batteries. I figured it was because the batteries were older and I was getting some powder on the posts. I cleaned everything and it still only powered on Bulk mode for about a minute. I plan to run down the battery to 60% and try again.

Has anyone had this issue? I thought it would stay on bulk charge longer than a minute.
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Old 04-16-2015, 01:14 PM   #2
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It should have stayed in bulk, until it hit just above 14 volts.

With charged batteries, it may have seen that and dropped back to absorption, quick.

You don't have to run the battery down to 60% just to test it, but you may have to get below 80% to get into bulk.
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Old 04-16-2015, 01:14 PM   #3
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Bulk to Absorption is a funny thing. Most folks make the assumption that something 'changes' when the charger jumps to Absorption. Actually Bulk and Absorption are 'functionally' the same as far as the charger is concerned - in other words, it doesn't really change it's charging behavior.

Bulk is the charger 'trying' to output 14.4VDC (under typical scenarios...temperature, battery type, etc. will change this number, but not the behavior...so let's just keep the 14.4VDC assumption). The only reason the panel, or battery, reads a lower voltage is because the battery's resistance is so low that it's pulling the charger voltage down as it's sucking up all of the amperage.

At some point, the battery's resistance is increased as it increases it's state of charge and the voltage starts to climb...eventually 'matching' the charger's voltage of 14.4VDC. At this point, the LED light switches from red to yellow, indicating that it is now in absorb...but the charger doesn't change anything. It's still trying to maintain 14.4VDC as it tops off the battery. So the only real difference between bulk and absorb is the color of the LED light. Float is when the charger actually changes behavior by lowering the 'target' voltage to 13.4...ish.

How does this affect you? What is the voltage reading at the battery...and more importantly, at the inverter's DC terminals? If you read 10.5 then a few seconds later, read 14.4, changing the LED light to ABS is normal, and expected. At that point you need to ask yourself - why? If the battery's voltage doesn't rise as fast, then you have too much resistance between the inverter and the battery (loose connection, blown fuse that's still able to 'read' voltage across, but not current, corrosion, etc.). If the battery voltage rises just as fast as the inverter's voltage, then your batteries are bad. Older batteries will charge very quickly because their capacity is lower (like a 400Ah bank will electrically 'look' like a 50Ah bank which will charge VERY quickly).

I hope this helps you start down the troubleshooting path. Let us know how it is resolved.

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Old 04-17-2015, 08:57 AM   #4
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Thanks. I will try to run it down a bit and try it again. I have brand new batteries and clean terminals. I have not checked any fuses. Would those be in the inverter itself? I see the charge is the same at around 14.4, but i thought the amps going into the batteries were much higher in bulk mode. My concern is that it operates as fast and safely as possible. When charging with the generator, I want to get the quickest charge. Maybe I am, but it seems off to go to absorb so fast. Will let you know when I get them down below 80% and try again.
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Old 04-18-2015, 12:18 PM   #5
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I have not checked any fuses. Would those be in the inverter itself?
No. The fuse between the inverter and the battery. Sometimes class T fuses will vaporize when blowing, and can register voltage across them, but not current. If the inverter inverts and will carry a load (100 W lightbulb or better) then this is not he case.

At this point it's all about the voltage. Determine WHY the inverter sees the voltage increase so quickly.

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Old 04-18-2015, 08:16 PM   #6
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The Xantrex 458 has settings for several battery types, I would just make sure it is set up for the type of batteries you have ..that may make a difference in charge rate.
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Old 04-19-2015, 05:55 AM   #7
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I have the set for wet cell batts. Thanks.
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Old 04-19-2015, 06:02 AM   #8
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I wonder if the Temp sensor could be bad. I assume if I disconnect it and the problem goes away that would be my answer. I noticed the previous install had the wire very tight.

Also, someone told me to take the wires off and measure the resistance of each. Any idea how to do that and what the correct resistance should be?
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Old 04-20-2015, 04:53 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by deasnealy View Post
I wonder if the Temp sensor could be bad. I assume if I disconnect it and the problem goes away that would be my answer. I noticed the previous install had the wire very tight.

Also, someone told me to take the wires off and measure the resistance of each. Any idea how to do that and what the correct resistance should be?
If you disconnect the Battery Temp Sensor, the 458 will assume a default temp of 72 degrees, so that's a good strategy.

What happened with the tests I suggested before.
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Old 04-21-2015, 04:56 AM   #10
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Will attempt the tests you suggested after we get somewhere that does not have 98 percent humidity and wet ground. Will let you know the outcome. Have another pressing issue that has started. A very slow rear jack as well as stuck awning. (fortunately its stuck in). 5 year old rv issues I guess.
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