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Old 09-08-2019, 11:35 PM   #1
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Batteries float too early

Hey guys, I am at it again, I know. I tried looking into this and I called xantrex about this and I am calling them again. I am boon docking the most on this trip and I have been tweeting my system for about 4 years now.

Whether I am on shore power or generator charging, the xantrex (trace) SW2512MC inverter puts my batteries in float at about 80% capacity.

I have 4 6V 220ah AGM Lifeline batteries in series parallel, 12.5 kw onan generator and a trimetric battery monitor.

The trimetric battery monitor gives out a percent of battery which after a day or two becomes inaccurate. Lifeline hates them and encouraged me to go by voltage. But it also has AH from full. So if you are on shore power for a day or so, the batteries will stop charging and you can reset the trimetric to 100% and 0 ah from full. There is no doubt the batteries are topped off.

The inverter puts the charge into float at about 100 amps from full. That is about 80% capacity (12.5 volts).

I have 440 AH capacity, 220ah available but if my batteries only charge up to 80%, I only have about 120ah that I can use and I am having to start my generator every early evening and then again sometimes before bed. And then every morning so my new DC frig doesn't shut down at 12.2V. My husband watches TV at night.

Is there anyway to keep the charge bulking to at least 95% before it goes to float? What am I doing wrong now....

thank you
moira
ps I have a number of updates to post on the DC frig and other things coming soon.
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:32 AM   #2
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What are your charger parameters set at? Voltages for bulk , absorb and float?
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Old 09-09-2019, 03:29 AM   #3
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The switch from bulk to float is determined by the battery voltage, not by AH. The bulk mode generally takes batteries up to 80% or so. So what you are seeing is not entirely surprising. Your bulk setting on the menu should be set for 14.4 volts. Any higher will destroy your batteries.



Are you shutting off your frig at 12.2 or does the frig itself shut off? 12.2 is about 60% when there is no load on the battery. So that is too high a cutoff. 11.5 might be more realistic to allow for the voltage drop that occurs when operating. The parameter is Set Low batterycut out VDC






If your Trimetric becomes inaccurate that rapidly, how can you be sure the AH count is accurate? (and you always need to put more in your battery than you took out.)
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Old 09-09-2019, 04:26 AM   #4
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Moira-

According to the manual for the inverter (link here), you can set the absorption time to something other than the default of 2 hours.

If you modify that setting, check the batteries during charging. Make sure they don't show signs of overcharging. With AGMs, I suppose that means seeing if the battery cases get warmer than you'd expect.

If you haven't already done so, you may want to read the Lifeline Technical Manual (link here).
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Old 09-09-2019, 04:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moira View Post
Hey guys, I am at it again, I know. I tried looking into this and I called xantrex about this and I am calling them again. I am boon docking the most on this trip and I have been tweeting my system for about 4 years now.

Whether I am on shore power or generator charging, the xantrex (trace) SW2512MC inverter puts my batteries in float at about 80% capacity.

I have 4 6V 220ah AGM Lifeline batteries in series parallel, 12.5 kw onan generator and a trimetric battery monitor.

The trimetric battery monitor gives out a percent of battery which after a day or two becomes inaccurate. Lifeline hates them and encouraged me to go by voltage. But it also has AH from full. So if you are on shore power for a day or so, the batteries will stop charging and you can reset the trimetric to 100% and 0 ah from full. There is no doubt the batteries are topped off.

The inverter puts the charge into float at about 100 amps from full. That is about 80% capacity (12.5 volts).

I have 440 AH capacity, 220ah available but if my batteries only charge up to 80%, I only have about 120ah that I can use and I am having to start my generator every early evening and then again sometimes before bed. And then every morning so my new DC frig doesn't shut down at 12.2V. My husband watches TV at night.

Is there anyway to keep the charge bulking to at least 95% before it goes to float? What am I doing wrong now....

thank you
moira
ps I have a number of updates to post on the DC frig and other things coming soon.
In my opinion with only 4 each 6 volt house batteries you are going to be running the generator in the morning and the evening while dry camping. A coach your size needs twice the amp hours you have.

Bob
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Old 09-09-2019, 06:17 AM   #6
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Follow Waterman480's advice and change your settings.
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Old 09-09-2019, 06:30 AM   #7
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Follow " Waterman480's " and " I1v3Fr33ord1's " advice and change your settings.

You also want to worry less about the 50% usable AH idea.

Its only a a recomendation for longest life combined with economy, not a brick wall that must be held to.
You can draw down to 20% state of charge safely on occasion with little loss of battery cycle life.

You may also want to download the Lifeline Battery Maintance guide and see if its time to do a capacity test and " Condition " your batteries.
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Old 09-09-2019, 09:58 AM   #8
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I am going to try and answer everyone's questions here.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shootist View Post
What are your charger parameters set at? Voltages for bulk , absorb and float?
The inverter is set for 14.4 bulk, float 13.4, absorption is set on 2 hours. I can't set absorption voltage. Lifeline states 14.4 and 13.4 official bulk & float.

waterman480:
"Are you shutting off your frig at 12.2 or does the frig itself shut off? 12.2 is about 60% when there is no load on the battery. So that is too high a cutoff. 11.5 might be more realistic to allow for the voltage drop that occurs when operating. The parameter is Set Low batterycut out VDC."

The DC compressor on the frig has a auto battery cutoff set at the factory. It is a Sikelan QDZH65G. The standard battery protection is 10.4v and cut-in is 11.7. When the dc frig was installed my batteries were at 12.2. When the compressor kicked on, it drew my batteries down to 10.7. So JR told me 12.2 is effectively my empty battery. So I set the generator to auto start at 12.3v.

I kinda assumed that the AH from full would be accurate simply because it was a hard number. When I am on shore power a day or 2 there is no question the batteries are full, so as it counts the amps used, it is subtracted from a known quantity. Anybody else have a trimetric?

l1v3fr33ord1:
"According to the manual for the inverter (link here), you can set the absorption time to something other than the default of 2 hours."

On a previous support call with xantrex, they did have me increase it to 3:00 but I didn't see any change so I put it back on 2 to limit the generator running time. I can try it again to see if it helps.

Bob, I know I need more amperage but I don't want to mix batteries. I have to wait for these to die before I can add more. My plan is to remove the 2 chassis batteries from the battery bay and move them to the engine compartment. That will give me room for 2 more house batteries. Perhaps then I can find some higher amp batteries as well. That will give me 6 house batteries. I also plan on adding 400 more watts to the roof solar.

Twinboat, I will re-read the lifeline manual. I didn't know you can condition AGMs. But I can only go down to 12.2 safely without my frig shutting down automatically.

I will increase the absorption time and retest that solution. I hope I got everything. I am glad that the 80% float is normal but it is way too low for me to use while boon docking.
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:03 AM   #9
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You don't state the absorb voltage. Change the setting from agm batteries to custom and set the parameters to the battery manufacturer.
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:04 AM   #10
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Do you have the LifeLine technical manual that details all the charging particulars? What they need is to be maintained at absorption voltage (~14.4) until the charge current acceptance drops to 0.5% of capacity.

2.2 amps in your case. I have a Magnum, so I can’t help much with Xantrex programming. The strategies I employ are to increase the absorption time setting, and at times use the equalize function to top charge the LifeLines to 100%. I have the equalization voltage set the same as absorption so I can use to to basically force a longer absorption stage under manual control.

You may also want to read LifeLine’s instructions on conditioning. Occasionally it seems beneficial to do that.

Lastly they like a minimum bulk current of 20% capacity when deeply cycled. 88 amps in your case.
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:11 AM   #11
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https://shop.pkys.com/AGM-Battery-Re...arameters.html. 14.3 14.3 and 13.3. But volts have to go up or down based on temps. Attatched is your chart. Your inverter is reading voltages at the inverter. Use actual batt. Voltage under charge to tweek the settings.
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Old 09-09-2019, 10:17 AM   #12
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It seems that you are having steep voltage drops running the fridge.

Wondering if you have the proper gauge wiring between all of you devices.
Light gauge wiring can make significant differences in voltage drop.
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Old 09-09-2019, 01:13 PM   #13
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2 hours absorb time should be about right for your size battery bank.
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Old 09-09-2019, 04:21 PM   #14
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Not sure if this helps but I was only getting 12.5 volts charge rate until I unplugged battery temp sensor at inverter, rate of charge immediately jumped to 13.4 volts.
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