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Old 10-01-2013, 07:55 AM   #29
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I believe it means motor drive an inverter designed for applications for variable speed motors.
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:58 AM   #30
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It's something I'm looking into for my hybrid motors as I want to be able to vary the motors speed.
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Old 10-01-2013, 06:55 PM   #31
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Issues that are holding me up....

Here are some things that have me a little stumped or indecisive. I don't want to have to do this twice....

1) I have two 6v "GLP-4CT" lifeline batteries, I don't know how old they are and I cannot seem to find any info at Lifeline, nor have they responded to my inquiry. There is a sequential number on each battery 734798 & 734799, I don't know if this is a date code or what but cannot find any reference at Lifeline. I would like to consider adding another pair but have been warned not to mix old with new so I would like to know how old these are and perhaps I would just wait till they expire. The other battery consideration, since space not necessarily tight but there is mounting brackets for just two batteries, I am considering using two 12 volt batteries in parallel. I have heard that there is no advantage to 6 volt batteries in the Lifeline line of AGM's.
2) Inverter - So many options, in reading reviews and opinions (everybody's got one) Magnum Energy seems to come out near the top of the heap but even at that there are lots of options. It seems that around 1500 watts should be sufficient for my needs so I have been looking at the Magnum MM1512AE MSW unit.
3) current MH setup - Currently the motorhome has a 60A converter/charger with a Progressive Dynamics PD9160A converter/charger with aCharge Wizard right at the right rear of the motorhome. The batteries are about 20 ft away under the steps on the other side of the MH. So it is trying to send this DC charge current this distance to charge the batteries. I will mount the inverter in the storage compartment next to the batteries to shorten this distance and run the AC to the rear where the distribution panel is located. I will probably move the circuits I am powering with the inverter to a sub panel so only those loads are able to use it's power. I believe there is a built in transfer switch in the unit to power those circuits when on shore power of the genset.
4) And what of the converter - After the inverter is installed, do I still need the converter. I guess it supplies 12 volts but to what? the batteries supply 12 volts as well and the inverter is charging the batteries when plugged in. The converter only works when plugged in as well and will not be used to charge the batteries any longer. Do I just shut it off or take it out?

So that is the state of my indecision, My wife and I are leaving for our first trip this coming weekend. We will do without the inverter on this trip but I hope to make this upgrade in the coming month after we return. Looking forward to your evaluation of my plan and whatever tips your experience can provide.
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Old 10-01-2013, 11:00 PM   #32
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I will take your comments by number:
1. The AGE physically of your batteries is FAR less important than HOW they have aged chemically when matching with other batteries. If the Lifeline 800 number I gave you is not producing answers for you...then you should figure out what kind of shape your existing batteries are in. To do this you must plug in and FULLY charge them. Then Remove them from any connection to the coach for 12 to 24 hours and THEN take a voltage reading. If EACH battery tests at 6.2 or 6.3 Volts they are like new and can be mixed with new. I'd even do it at 6.1 if you need the extra capacity but you'll probably lose some cycle life from the new ones at this level.
There is NO advantage to going to 2 12V batteries in Parallel since batteries of the same physical size range (group 27 or 31) are going to provide around 100 amp hours each for a total that is about the same as you have now or slightly less. Only a single large 8D size 12V battery will give you more amp hours (around 250) in about the same space. Bottom line...if your present batteries are in decent shape...keep 'em till they wont hold a charge. They don't have an expiration date if treated right.

2. I have a problem with the charging side of your inverter since it absolutely relies on the included battery temperature sensor to deliver proper charging voltages and amps. The failure of this sensor could cause major problems to the batteries. I'd certainly dig into this further directly with the company for reassurance...Me, I like setting the charger for the battery at hand and there does not appear to be any settings for AGM's. It charges at 14.6V and floats at 13.4. As I recall this is too high for Lifelines under normal temps. This from the manual:
"
Battery Temperature Sensor
A plug-in external Battery Temperature Sensor (BTS) is provided
for units with the battery charger feature. When installed, the
BTS automatically adjusts the battery charger’s BULK, ABSORB,
and FLOAT voltage set-points (based on temperature) for better
charging performance and longer battery life. If the temperature
sensor is NOT installed and the batteries are subjected to large
temperature changes, battery life may be shortened.
The inverter side of your choice seems fine to me as long as you don't need a pure sine wave output for some items you want to run off it. I lived with a MSW for years and had no problems. Your batteries should NEVER be drained of more than 110amphours (50% charge) so that does not even provide you with one hour of use of a 1500 watt output (125amphours) even at a 100% conversion efficiency. This is why you may wish to get a second set of batteries and YES you can mix 12V batteries with your dual 6V's (which are 1 12Volt). Also...while your lifelines are capable of providing all 125amps at once to your inverter...you'll get way less than their rated 220a/h since that is based on an 11 amp draw per hour!! So....if you find you need more than 1500 watts or need to run heavy amp loads for extended periods in a dry camping situation where no charging is taking place...more batteries are in order. Suggest a decent digital battery monitor with amp hour readout like the Victron BMV600s
3. No comments to add. It is more critical for inverter to be close to batteries than charger ...as you've planned out.
4. I'd just shut it off...always good to have a pre-wired spare charger in place.
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Old 10-02-2013, 06:28 AM   #33
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2. I see no problem with that inverter except it has a charger. Your PD9160 is perfectly suited to supply the coach with 12v power and charger your batteries, even after adding two.

3. I don't understand your concern about the current charger being 20ft from the batteries. The only purpose to use shorter distances is to save a few bucks on copper. The further they are away, the larger gauge wire must be used to prevent voltage drop. Other than that, your plan on inverter install sounds good to me.

4. The main purpose of a converter/charger is to supply converted 12vdc to power the 12vdc systems of the coach. In most of the used systems out there, the coach batteries don't even need to be connected. The second function is to use remaing amps to charge batteries. Your PD is capable of supplying 60adc. I can't imagine any coach ever using over 15adc at any time and that would be with the water pump running. So that leaves 45amps available for battery charging.

If memory serves, that inverter only has a 35a charger. So if you took the PD out of the equation, you lose almost 50% of your DC amperage to supply the coach and charge batteries. Not so good with 4 batteries.

It it were me, I would leave the PD alone and buy a straight 1500w inverter with no charger. As long as it would auto switch. Alternately, you could proceed as planned and sill leave the PD as is. Then either use it as the charger and turn the one off at the inverter and use as a back up. Since the inverter charger does use a couple more tenths of volts, it could charge those AGMs a tiny bit faster. I just don't know if those higher voltages are ok for your AGMs. They are fine for say wet cell Trojans. Your PD is certainly fine and safe for charging any battery.
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Old 10-02-2013, 10:43 AM   #34
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The default settings for the charger are for flooded cell batteries but using the optional remote, the battery type as well as other settings can be changed. These settings are saved in non volitle memory. Charge current and charge voltages are among the changeable settings. The Magnum MM1512AE has an 80amp charge section I believe.

So I guess it is just the DC source that needs to be as close as possible to the inverter (input side)?
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Old 10-02-2013, 11:02 AM   #35
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So I guess it is just the DC source that needs to be as close as possible to the inverter (input side)?
Yes -
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Old 10-02-2013, 11:45 AM   #36
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The default settings for the charger are for flooded cell batteries but using the optional remote, the battery type as well as other settings can be changed. These settings are saved in non volitle memory. Charge current and charge voltages are among the changeable settings. The Magnum MM1512AE has an 80amp charge section I believe.
If this is all correct, then go for it. Just unplug the PD and keep for a backup. Optionally, also disconnect the 12v side of it at the batteries if the cabling interferes with the inverter DC hookup.

Quote:
So I guess it is just the DC source that needs to be as close as possible to the inverter (input side)?
The short answer is yes and use appropriate gauge wire for the length used. The long answer is, it's not a necessity. It's just the farther away it is, the heavier gauge wire must be used to negate resistance and voltage drop. It just makes more sense to keep it as close as possible.
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:12 PM   #37
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Battery issues now....

Having battery issues now. Yesterday I went out to change the oil in the generator. So I decided to start it up to warm the oil a bit. It did not I want to start. So I started the engine and let is run for a few minute and retried the generator. It started up this time. Now when I went to the stock Damon level meter to check the battery level, it said low battery voltage. I plugged in and let it charge overnight and today the level still reads low. I measured the voltage with my multimeter and they are as follows. Disconnected, bat1=5.95v, bat2=6.2v, both=12.16v, with the inteli-power 9160 in boost mode, across both batteries=12.31v. Boost voltage should be smewhere near 14.4v if i read the manual right. It would seem to indicate that the batteries are toast. The dealer just a few days ago said he load tested them and all was fine, and it seemed fine for a few days at home. Now I think I left the basement 12v lights on overnight before this happened so it is probably my own fault for discharging them to deep. There is just a single switch that controls all the storage bay lights.
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:25 PM   #38
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One more thing, the coach is currently just plugged in to a 20amp circuit. No loads are on in the MH other than the converter.
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:41 PM   #39
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Embarrassing but true.....

Well, pulling my head out of the dark spot, I noticed that the micro wave was not on or had no clock LEDs working. Bing!!! Do I really have AC coming into the MH. It is plugged in but what does that mean. I thought that since I had a solid light on the charge wizard, that it was in bulk charge mode but not necessarily so. Go check the GFI in the garage where it is plugged in and sure enough, it was tripped. Reset and now we're charging. I will update tomorrow on the state of the batteries.
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Old 10-02-2013, 02:53 PM   #40
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Having battery issues now. Yesterday I went out to change the oil in the generator. So I decided to start it up to warm the oil a bit. It did not I want to start. So I started the engine and let is run for a few minute and retried the generator. It started up this time. Now when I went to the stock Damon level meter to check the battery level, it said low battery voltage. I plugged in and let it charge overnight and today the level still reads low. I measured the voltage with my multimeter and they are as follows. Disconnected, bat1=5.95v, bat2=6.2v, both=12.16v, with the inteli-power 9160 in boost mode, across both batteries=12.31v. Boost voltage should be smewhere near 14.4v if i read the manual right. It would seem to indicate that the batteries are toast. The dealer just a few days ago said he load tested them and all was fine, and it seemed fine for a few days at home. Now I think I left the basement 12v lights on overnight before this happened so it is probably my own fault for discharging them to deep. There is just a single switch that controls all the storage bay lights.
Don't ask me how I know about 1 switch controlling all bay lights

It doesn't seem likely a single deep discharge would toast the batteries, especially after a good load test 2 days earlier. It sounds more like the batteries didn't charge over night for some unknown reason. The 0.25v difference in the batteries does indicate a possible problem...one weaker than the other.

If the 9160 was in boost while taking voltage readings, it should have been in the 14.3v range, regardless of battery condition. So this points to the 9160. I would make sure all battery connections are clean and tight, then take a voltage reading without charger and no load on them. Then turn the charger on the auto mode and take a reading after 5 mins. If they were still in the 12.0v range, it should go to boost and you should see 14+v. You could then cycle through the other two modes with the wizard to see if they are in their respective ranges (13.2 & 13.6). If all this goes as it should, leave in auto mode over night and re-check the next day. If not, then it would appear the 9160 is having problems.
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Old 10-02-2013, 03:00 PM   #41
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Well, pulling my head out of the dark spot... Reset and now we're charging. I will update tomorrow on the state of the batteries.
Check the GFI again before you go to bed. I never had much luck with a GFI outlet powering my coach. I replaced my 20a GFI with a straight 30a outlet.
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Old 10-03-2013, 11:13 AM   #42
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Ok, next morning and the inverter is still powered up and charging the batteries. It has not reached the storage mode yet as I guess it needs 31 hours to get there according to the manufacturer site. I was able to step thru the first two modes and measure the voltage at the batteries. Boost mode is 14.4v and normal mode is 13.6v. Storage mode should be 13.2v when it gets there. We'll leave this be until we return from our first trip and then I'll get serious about adding the inverter.
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