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Old 01-05-2015, 04:52 PM   #1
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Low equalizing voltage

Hello everyone...
Something is amiss today when I went to check house batteries.
Fluid level was OK & I went to my Xantrex remote to run the equalizing mode but the voltage registered 14.3vdc.
It was 14.9/15.2 volts for the last 10 years so now I'm unsure if things are alright.
Freedom 458 inverter, 4 Trojan T-105 batteries (6+ months old), Xantrax remote.
Is it de-sulfating (sp) at this voltage? If not, is the 458 Freedom inverter tired? Tested voltage with a tripplett mult-tester.
Thanks...
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Old 01-05-2015, 06:05 PM   #2
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14.3v isn't high enough to have much effect - normal bulk charging runs that high. So does the engine alternator.
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Old 01-05-2015, 07:33 PM   #3
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It might start out low while bulk charging to get them up to snuff. what is the voltage after an hour or two or three?

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Old 01-05-2015, 08:14 PM   #4
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Equalizing is only done after a full charge (and is usually at 15 volts or bit above at a low current, for a strictly limited period of time.) It could be that your Xantrax charger didn't consider the batteries to be fully charged and thus wouldn't go into equalizing mode.

Also, don't over-do it on equalization. It can be hard on batteries and is usually only suggested to be done when necessary (fully-charged specific gravity variance of individual cells exceeds a certain amount.)
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Old 01-05-2015, 08:32 PM   #5
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Our previous set of U-2200's lasted one month short of 10 years and had never been equalized. Even after the almost 10 years they were still good enough to go more than just overnight running what ever we wanted, even the furnace, TV and dish setup along with the normal lights and my CPAP.
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Old 01-07-2015, 08:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smiller View Post
Equalizing is only done after a full charge (and is usually at 15 volts or bit above at a low current, for a strictly limited period of time.) It could be that your Xantrax charger didn't consider the batteries to be fully charged and thus wouldn't go into equalizing mode.
Just to expand a bit on your statement (not that I disagree with it).

It's easy to find posts that state equalization is done after a full charge, or dont equalize unless the batteries are fully charged, etc...

What most dont understand is the charger will enter bulk charge first to insure the batteries are fully charged and then it will progress to equalization mode. As the graph that I posted shows, if the batteries arent fully charged or in the graphs particular case, pretty much dead flat, the charger could hang in bulk charging mode for hours before moving to qualization.

Thus, whats the voltage after a couple or three hours?
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Old 01-07-2015, 02:51 PM   #7
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Are you perhaps confusing equalization with absorption? A typical 3-stage charger will start in bulk mode where maximum current is delivered (voltage varies with the charger), then once battery voltage under charge rises to a set limit (usually 14.2 - 14.4 volts) it will enter absorption mode where voltage is held constant as the charge finishes. Then when current has decreased a certain amount (or after a set period of time) the charger will go into float mode (13.2-13.8 volts) to maintain charge. Equalization OTOH is not a part of any standard charging algorithm, rather just performed as necessary when/if cell specific gravity has become imbalanced.
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Old 01-07-2015, 06:05 PM   #8
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If your question is directed to me, no I'm not confusing one with the other.

I was just expanding on your "is only done after a full charge". You dont have to insure they are fully charged before equalizing them, the charger will do it for you. It automatically runs bulk charge before equalization.

And in the case of the battery(s) being charged in the graph and probably Scotcee's batteries, they werent fully charged first. Thus the extended period of time where the low charging voltage is read. Bulk charging doesnt care what the voltage is as it uses constant current.

Equalization and absorption and even float are essentially the same charging modes. All 3 use constant voltage.
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Old 01-07-2015, 08:41 PM   #9
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Equalization and absorption and even float are essentially the same charging modes. All 3 use constant voltage.
I'm not certain what you mean by 'same', they are all charging modes but have different purposes, affect the battery differently, and should be applied at the right time. Equalization involves a higher voltage and lower current than routine charging modes.

Equalization should only be applied to batteries after they have received a fully saturated charge. If you have an intelligent charger that performs this operation first before applying equalizing voltage, fine, but simply supplying an excessive charging voltage of 15+ volts to a battery in any state of charge and calling it an equalization is not correct.
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Old 01-08-2015, 02:57 AM   #10
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The wind is howling so I am up. arrgh.

Quote:
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If you have an intelligent charger that performs this operation first before applying equalizing voltage, fine, but simply supplying an excessive charging voltage of 15+ volts to a battery in any state of charge and calling it an equalization is not correct.
Thats my point entirely. You cant find a "equalizing" charger from ~2000 on that will immediately apply equalizing mode.

It doesnt matter that you selected equalization. They always bulk charge first, then they begin equalization. If the batteries are fully charged then the charger will transition from bulk to equalization quickly, but if the batteries are low it could take hours before it finally begins to apply the equalization voltage. They have all been intelligent in that regard for a long time now.

The missing intelligence has been whether they had float or not. Still is surprisingly.
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Old 01-10-2015, 10:57 AM   #11
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Just eaualized my golf cart batteries with my Freedom 25 and Link 2000 remote.

First, I fully charged the batteries. Once they were at the Accept stage, I started the Equalization process.

Voltage ranged from 15.2 to 16.01 on the occasions I checked the meter.

The Link shut it down automatically at the end of 8 hours of equalization.

I would guess your inverter thought more battery charge was needed before beginning the higher voltage equaliztion.
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