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Old 09-09-2013, 07:44 AM   #1
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AGS and batteries

At SB, MH connected to 20 amp, that keeps fridge and batteries on/charged. Always thought that batteries should be used and discharged (not totally) to extend life and health. Unplugged shore and letting batteries discharge, with the AGS enabled. Batteries are down to fair (on magnum panel). Waiting for AGS to kick in (set at 11.5 to start). Correct procedure ? or wasting time?
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Old 09-09-2013, 11:26 AM   #2
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I am not so sure discharging the batteries will extend their life.

Reason: They express the anticipated life of the batteries in discharge/charge cycles.
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Old 09-09-2013, 04:15 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Long Island Mac View Post
At SB, MH connected to 20 amp, that keeps fridge and batteries on/charged. Always thought that batteries should be used and discharged (not totally) to extend life and health. Unplugged shore and letting batteries discharge, with the AGS enabled. Batteries are down to fair (on magnum panel). Waiting for AGS to kick in (set at 11.5 to start). Correct procedure ? or wasting time?
I would raise the AGS start volts to 11.9 volts. It is best not to discharge a battery below 50% charge. Gauging that by volts is a crap shoot so it is best to error on the safe side. The Magnum Remote panel can be fitted with a Battery Monitor System that installs a current shunt in the negative side of the house battery system. This will allow you to monitor the state of charge. You tell the system the amp hour rating for your house battery system and after a few charges and discharges the system will determine the state of charge in %.
Here is a link to the battery monitor system by Magnum:
ME-BMK Battery Monitor Kit | Battery Monitors

P.S. I think you are confusing all batteries with the old myth about NiCad batteries. The story went that they would develop a memory and you should discharge them all the way down before charging them. That was only true on early productions of the NiCad batteries and was later corrected. You should never discharge a battery just for the sake of discharging it. That is kind of like letting your car idle at the service station down to empty before adding fuel.

Bob
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Old 09-09-2013, 04:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
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I would raise the AGS start volts to 11.9 volts. It is best not to discharge a battery below 50% charge.

Bob
That was my thought as well.
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Old 09-09-2013, 04:30 PM   #5
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Battery life depends on many factors, and I'll cover only cycles. Discharging a battery, then recharging it is a cycle. A sealed lead-acid battery which is fully discharged (10v) has a life of about 200 cycles. If a battery is subject to "shallow" discharges (30% or 40% down from the voltage read when fully charged), then the life may be 800 or more cycles. It is better to keep a sealed lead-acid battery on a floating charge than to allow it to fully discharge by sitting a year between uses. The next best option is to fully recharge the battery monthly.
People who use their batteries infrequently and then use them to full discharge (and beyond) will damage their batteries and shorten the battery's life substantially from any advertised life. I have in mind people who go camping once a year for a week. They don't recharge their batteries until a day or two before they leave, drain the batteries dead during the week, then bring the batteries home and put them away discharged until next year. If the batteries are not critical to safety or health, this is not a problem when they fail early and often.
You can estimate your battery's current condition by fully charging it, measuring the voltage (it should be over 13.2V), and putting a known draw on the battery while keeping the volt meter connected. Let's say that you have an automobile headlamp that you know draws 4 amps. If you have a 12 amp-hour battery and fully charge it, connect the lamp and volt meter to the battery, turn the lamp on, and note the time. When you notice the light fading, start watching the meter and note the time the voltmeter reads 10.5V. Let's say it took 2 hours. For 12 amp-hour battery, the battery's rated capacity at a draw of four amps is 3 hours, so your battery's capacity is now 2/3 its rated capacity. Its capacity will continue to degrade until you find the battery useless and recycle it.
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Old 09-09-2013, 04:35 PM   #6
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My coach came with AGS, but I've never used it and to be honest, don't know how. Now that I have the residential refer, I guess I need to get it up and running. My question is.....there is an AGS box in the very rear cargo bay on the passenger side. Does that need to be set to any defaults before I set up the panel inside. I guess I'll read the book and figure out the other.
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Old 09-10-2013, 04:04 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diplomat Don View Post
My coach came with AGS, but I've never used it and to be honest, don't know how. Now that I have the residential refer, I guess I need to get it up and running. My question is.....there is an AGS box in the very rear cargo bay on the passenger side. Does that need to be set to any defaults before I set up the panel inside. I guess I'll read the book and figure out the other.
Don,

The first thing you need to do is call Magnum and get an RMA number to send in your Remote to have the software upgraded. Once you do that you don't need to worry about the switches on the AGS unit in the rear bay because all those things will now be controlled from the Remote display. The big thing that gives you is the ability for the AGS to sense shore power. If you don't do that the AGS will start the generator on high inside temperature even when you have shore power. Of course if you keep the air conditioning on while the unit is parked at your house and keep the inside temp below the temp set point the AGS will not respond.

If you want to use the unit in the mean time you can set the start voltage and start temp at the AGS module in the rear bay with a screw driver. You can also set quite hours that prevent the AGS from starting the generator during those times. To test the unit set your start temp to a low temperature that is cooler than the inside of the coach. Disconnet your shore power and go to the Remote panel and enable the AGS. Do that by pushing the AGS button and then use the round knob to scroll to AGS Enable and then push in on the round knob.

You can determine your current software version by pushing the Tech button and scrolling through the various things like Inverter, Remote, and AGS.

If you require more info just HOLLER! That is Tennessean for ask.

Here is one of my old posts on this issue that may provide you some background:
http://www.irv2.com/forums/f115/now-...ags-99925.html

P.S. The remote temperature sensor in the rear wall for the AGS is not the same as the one for the AC. Ours was buried down inside the wall and I had to fish it out. There are two sensors back there as the AGS has it's own sensor.

Bob
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:29 AM   #8
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Always great info on this site. Thanks for the replys, and will leave the SB charge on when home. We spend 7 months +/- traveling, so the MH gets alot of use. Plan on spending more time on the road soon!!!
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Old 09-10-2013, 11:57 AM   #9
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50% discharge is around 12.2 Volts...and while it is safe to discharge to the 30-40% (12.1) level...it DOES cost life cycles. Discharging below 30% (12.0) results in massive loss of cycle life.
Sealed lead acid batteries (Not AGMS!) should NOT be left on continues maintenance (13.2V)charge as it will shorten their life. They should be charged...then used or recharged to 100% (12.6V) about once a month.
AGM's can go much longer in storage if put away in a fully charged state as they naturally lose only about 1/10th as much charge per month as wet cells. They do need to be charged to 100% when cycled, for best life. (This is true for all batteries to prevent sulfation. )
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Old 11-03-2013, 10:31 PM   #10
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I am new to this RV world but have 41 years of experience in boating; all but 3 of those years with sailboats. Owning sailboats was an experience in life on battery power and only the past 6 years was there a generator on board so the only power source was from stored energy in batteries. Here are a couple of points I can share:

1. Living in New England batteries whether wet or sealed lead acid were removed from boats in the winter and left on a trickle charge sometimes as long as 6 months.
2. I had a set of 3 Gel Cell batteries, (very sensitive to charge rates) that were continuously left on a "float" charge while the boat was in its slip. During winter layup I'd leave them in the boat disconnected as Gel and AGM batteries both have a very low discharge rate when in storage unlike your average lead acid or wet cell battery. The Gel batteries lasted over 7 years and the AGMs that replaced them lasted close to 9.
3. Batteries should be closely monitored for voltage and discharge more than 50% should be avoided. There is a direct relationship between the number of cycles a battery can survive and the level of discharge it is subjected to.
4. Bulk charge amperage should ideally not exceed 75% - 80% of the battery bank’s amperage capacity.
5. As a rule better quality inverter/chargers will have very sophisticated and programmable chargers that perform their charge and maintenance functions extremely well.
6. Lead acid or wet cell batteries as found in many coach battery banks on RVs will require electrolyte checks at least once a month when left on a "float charge" for extended periods such as when in storage.
7. “Sealed” or “maintenance free” batteries are great for chassis banks as they are rarely deeply discharged in their start engine and generator duties.

So in conclusion don't discharge your batteries below 50%, don't bulk charge them at amperage greater than 75 - 80 % of capacity, don't be afraid to leave them on an automated charger at a float charge, and avoid leaving lead acid or wet cell batteries in storage for extended periods since they have a high discharge rate. When you next have to replace your coach batteries seriously consider AGMs; they are built for energy storage applications and in my experience were worst the additional cost when you consider their longer life in use.
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