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Old 05-06-2017, 04:13 PM   #1
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Battery Equalization ??

2004 Alpine 36' MDDS

I want to equalize my batteries, but I'm concerned about the higher voltage effecting any of my electronics. Just replaced a Vansco unit and do not want to go thru that ordeal again.
Anybody had experience good or bad.
Thanks for any info.
Mel
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Old 05-06-2017, 05:37 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mels677 View Post
2004 Alpine 36' MDDS

I want to equalize my batteries, but I'm concerned about the higher voltage effecting any of my electronics. Just replaced a Vansco unit and do not want to go thru that ordeal again.
Anybody had experience good or bad.
Thanks for any info.
Mel
Disconnect batteries.
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Old 05-07-2017, 08:38 PM   #3
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What equipment will be used to perform the equalization? Does your inverter/charger have an equalization mode? If so, it may have the capability to isolate the batteries during the process. I have a Xantrex Freedom 458 installed in 2012 that does not have an EQ mode.

Will a stand alone charger be used? In this case the batteries will need to be disconnected from the coach. The charger will need to have a charge rate compatible with the capacity of the battery bank. It would also be advisable to monitor the Specific Gravity of the battery acid on an hourly basis until it stops rising and stop the process at that point to avoid having a negative impact on the batteries.

Do you intend to equalize both the house and chassis batteries?
How old are the batteries and in what state of charge have they been kept?

I have a solar array and battery back up on my home which includes some sophisticated components that allow a safe and controlled equalizationtion with the press of a few buttons. I do this twice a year. Strangely, I had not considered equalizing the batteries in my coach until reading your post. It seems most owners just keep their coach plugged in until the batteries no longer hold a charge and then replace them. I will contact the local Battery Systems tomorrow to ask their advise on performing bthis task successfully.
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Old 05-08-2017, 10:35 AM   #4
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Batteries

Thanks RV for the info. I have two ways to do the equalization I think. My Zantrax Heart Freedom 458 inverter says on the remote panel to push both the setup and charge buttons at the same time to start the process, I'm looking into this to see if is true or not . I can also use my Tristar solar charge controller which has an equalization function. I do a lot of dry camping so my house batteries discharge and charge daily, so I was only planning on doing them.
Now that you got me thinking, turning the chassis disconnect off and using my solar might be the best solution.
Thanks again it gets me thinking outside the box.
Mel
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Old 05-08-2017, 04:03 PM   #5
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Not sure of the size of your battery bank or panel wattage but hard to see your solar keeping the battery bank at 15-15.5 volts for 2 hours to achieve equalization--perhaps if the bats are fully charged first, then set to equalize??????
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Old 05-08-2017, 04:24 PM   #6
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Battery Equalization ??

I would isolate the batteries as many things don't like the over 15 volts needed. My 12 volt solar array puts out 18 volts and if the batteries are charged fully the solar controller should easily handle the job. As a matter of fact letting the tristar solar controller do the job is the best way. That said I've heard equalizing , depending on your use pattern isn't needed very often.
Look up your batteries charge tables and it will show what charge that brand needs. Your Tristar controller can be set to your particular battery specs.
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Old 05-09-2017, 07:21 AM   #7
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Safest way (does not expose coach electronics to excessive voltage):

1. Fully charge batteries with built in charger.
2. Turn off power to built in charger (inverter breaker on main 120 VAC panel)
3. Disconnect house battery ground wires.
4. Connect a "stupid" charger-- I use a 30 year old Sears 6 amp charger.
5. Monitor/record battery voltage every 15 minutes. When it no longer rises for 45 minutes, you are done. Voltage is generally over 15.5, but amps are less than 3. You could also monitor specific gravity and when it does not change, you are done.
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Old 05-09-2017, 10:33 AM   #8
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Thanks everyone. I have a big enough solar system to do the equalization, 700 watts 43 amps before boost, and approximately 18 volts coming off my panels. I just need a sunny day, sometimes a problem in Oregon.
Thanks again!
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Old 05-09-2017, 07:07 PM   #9
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Thanks everyone. I have a big enough solar system to do the equalization, 700 watts 43 amps before boost, and approximately 18 volts coming off my panels. I just need a sunny day, sometimes a problem in Oregon.
Thanks again!
And, hopefully, your batteries and electrical system are seeing 18 volts VERY, VERY rarely. If that is the reading off the panels, but NOT post-controller, no problem. Voltage at the panels is not an issue.
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Old 05-11-2017, 07:56 PM   #10
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Mel,
You are correct. The Xantrex can perform the equalization. I did not have complete manuals, as the equipment was installed two owners ago. After viewing the remote manual I see how it is done. In your situation of regularly drawing down the batteries and recharging, the equalization will benefit the performance and longevity of the batteries.

It is an 8 hour process that would ideally be performed while plugged into an AC source. It will potentially bring the battery voltage to 16.3 v. I believe that inverting is not possible while equalizing.

Your original question expressed concern over the electronics, specifically the VMM. The VMM is powered by the chassis batteries, as I learned, not by studying the schematics, but by allowing the chassis batteries to become discharged while not plugged in for a period of time. Short story, dead coach. I have since installed a 20w solar battery maintainer which works great provided the chassis battery switch is turned off. Equalizing the house batteries should have no effect on components receiving power from the chassis batteries.

Thanks for bringing up the topic. I'll be equalizing my batteries this summer in sunny southern Oregon.
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