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Old 04-27-2020, 12:04 PM   #15
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[QUOTE=Zoomschwortz;5238698]

Quote:
If I was down to 50% and could at least get back to 90% charge in 4 hours
Plus or minus, you might be able to get there from here. When you get the final configuration in place I would exercise the batteries to break them in, then do some cycle testing to know what to expect for your exact setup.

Quote:
I do not and most likely will never have a TV in my trailer. I use the radio if I can get a signal. Majority of use will be lights, water pump, radio and furnace when it is cold.
The furnace is the elephant in the room. Even then, you should be able to go at least a couple of days on a pair of GC-2's running the furnace at night and nominal loads during the day. I assume you have LED lights, radios don't draw much, and pumps don't run that long so the heater is the one to watch. With your new battery monitor you will be able to see what a given load is drawing and do a quick mental cipher'n of how long you could go on that. Example, the blower on my heater draws about 7A. But it only runs about 20 minutes every hour when it's 30F out, so that's only about 2.5Ah during operation. That's only 30Ah for a 12 hour run, which leaves a lot of room for running other things or stretching out a couple/three days. As many do, I run the genset when I can and not just when I start running low. Even just a half hour here and there when you've got a chance is worth the trouble. All Ah in are good Ah.

Quote:
I have been checking out the suggested converter/chargers and it looks like installation will be a snap,
So you haven't yet sourced the subject WFCO? I was looking up the spec's on that as my converter is an old single stage I modified but would replace it if the right one came along. The WFCO8955 doesn't have the voltages I would want for flooded batteries and I didn't see anywhere they were settable/adjustable. I emailed their tech support about that last week and they responded there were no adjustments, not even to select AGM or flooded. My guess is their settings are on the "conservative" side and that's fine for "universal" applications but I'd like to see an "advanced" option like you see on solar controllers and inverter/chargers that allow some user adjustment.

Quote:
I am a little confused when comparing the different brands and options and in some cases their websites add to the confusion.
It's somewhat confusing to me that one needs to become an EE to weed through products that by this stage of product development should be plug and play. There is no technical reason why they can't be.

Quote:
*which one will do the best job at charging my batteries in the shortest time, give the batteries a reasonable life span and easily replace the current converter/charger in my WF-8955pec*
It could've been argued even just a few years ago that a well behaved high performance converter would have been a complex and expensive bit of kit. Today, microprocessors are ubiquitous and there are a myriad available just for battery management. I own low amp battery maintainers that have more smarts than RV converters I see marketed. Given time maybe this degree of integration will ripple through and maybe there are a few out there already, I just haven't dug very deep to find one.

Quote:
I have 1 mostly used up 12v Interstate that came with the trailer and around here, except for Costco's $15 core, everyone else wants $27 for core which really jumps the prices for new batteries up.
The "core" charge is just a way to "discount" the batteries. You can get upwards of 25 cents a pound or so in scrap lead recovery so sometimes you're money ahead to pay the core charge and take them to a recycler yourself. The problem with our little venture is this is only onesy-twosey sales and battery dealers could care less about that kind of sale. When you're buying them by the pallet is when you can negotiate a bit more in your favor. Any old battery counts as a core, doesn't have to be the same kind you're buying new.

Quote:
Are the Costco Interstate GC2 still as bad as some say?
I'm an advocate of Trojan batteries, in my travels burning up hundreds of storage batteries over the years they're the ones that put up with abuse the best. But in my RV I'm running Costco interstates. In this application they are doing everything I need, are easy to source and will have an overall lower cost of service life. There is certainly value in a premium battery if you're going to be cycling the hell out of them or putting the hurt to them with extreme loads like a large inverter but from your use description a pair or pairs of interstate GC-2's will get the job done.

Quote:
If I keep up on the water and buy a high quality converter/charger, it seems like I should get at least 3-4 years out of these.
At least. Storage/idle time is the challenge, this is when things go south due to inadvertent self discharge, undercharge or overcharge and water upkeep. I manage my batteries manually but not everyone is interested in doing that. The good news is that even basic attention to charging and water levels will go a long way towards maintaining performance and reliability.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
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Old 04-27-2020, 11:05 PM   #16
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Mark, Thank you so much for your help and information.


This morning I bought 6 Costco GC2 batteries. Price per each was $114 including the core charge. I now have 610ah


I have drawn up plans for an aluminum diamond plate battery box and will be buying a piece of .125" tomorrow and have it cut. I have a friend that just retired that has welded his entire career and he will be Tig welding it for me.


WF-8955PEC specs, per manual.
Bulk Mode= 14.4 Vdc
Absorption mode = 13.6 Vdc
Float mode = 13.2 Vdc
What voltages would you prefer for flooded cell?



The battery gauge I ordered was delayed for a week so they gave me a 12% discount.


How do you go about exercising and breaking in your batteries?


It sure would make life simpler if the converter/charger companies listed recommended upgrade chargers for the 8955Pec that would fit in the compartment where the original equipment is.


Did some poking around looking at the 8955Pec charger and it appears to be running 8 gauge wire to the battery.
Is this going to be okay?


Thanks again
Ken
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Old 04-28-2020, 12:24 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zoomschwortz View Post
Mark, Thank you so much for your help and information.


This morning I bought 6 Costco GC2 batteries. Price per each was $114 including the core charge. I now have 610ah


I have drawn up plans for an aluminum diamond plate battery box and will be buying a piece of .125" tomorrow and have it cut. I have a friend that just retired that has welded his entire career and he will be Tig welding it for me.


WF-8955PEC specs, per manual.
Bulk Mode= 14.4 Vdc
Absorption mode = 13.6 Vdc
Float mode = 13.2 Vdc
What voltages would you prefer for flooded cell?



The battery gauge I ordered was delayed for a week so they gave me a 12% discount.


How do you go about exercising and breaking in your batteries?


It sure would make life simpler if the converter/charger companies listed recommended upgrade chargers for the 8955Pec that would fit in the compartment where the original equipment is.


Did some poking around looking at the 8955Pec charger and it appears to be running 8 gauge wire to the battery.
Is this going to be okay?


Thanks again
Ken
Progressive Dynamics does list on their web site which specific OEM converter/chargers their various models are a direct replacement for. Having swapped out the 8955PEC in my ORV 23DBS earlier this year with a PD4655 I can confirm that it does indeed fit in the same enclosure as the OEM 8955PEC.

Here is the link to the Progressive Dynamics PD4600 page:

PD4600 Upgrade/Replacement Converter/Charger

Scroll down the page a bit and you'll see the list of OEM units that the 4600 series should be a direct replacement for. Click on the Features and Downloads tab and there is a button to click and view the Installation/Operation guide. That will give you an idea of what it takes to make the swap.

Here is the link for the unit that I used - the PD4655VL which includes a jumper to support Lithium batteries (not to be confused with the PD4655LI which only supports Lithium batteries):

PD4655VL at BestConverter.com

I also swapped out the dual Group 24 12V that the trailer came with for a pair of Trojan T-125 6v GC2. I never saw the 8955PEC hit 14.4 bulk even when the Group 24's were down quite a bit. The PD4655 has properly cycled through all the phases as expected with the GC2's. It also includes an override so that you can force it into any stage of the charging profile as needed. So I feel like it's a worthwhile upgrade. As I understand it starting in 2020 ORV is now installing PD converter/chargers instead of WFCO.
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Old 04-28-2020, 01:00 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Mark_K5LXP View Post
In the interest of what that practically means though, the deeper you go in a cycle the more Ah are delivered. Factor delivered Ah along with those cycles and the impact of DOD to service life is minor.
Amen. It's like speaking of an auto's life in terms of how many trips one can take before it wears out. Of course if you take long trips, you will get fewer trips out of the life of the vehicle. But that's why we speak instead of miles traveled.

For batteries, we ought to speak of service life in terms of aH's delivered.
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Old 04-28-2020, 05:29 AM   #19
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Useful Batty Life - 50% DOD Limit Myth Busting

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Originally Posted by Bobby F View Post
Amen. It's like speaking of an auto's life in terms of how many trips one can take before it wears out. Of course if you take long trips, you will get fewer trips out of the life of the vehicle. But that's why we speak instead of miles traveled.

For batteries, we ought to speak of service life in terms of aH's delivered.
I stayed on the sidelines on this thread as I'm not an off-grid or solar user but would like to add my support for the sentiments Mark, Bobby and twinboat have expressed in term of "useful" batty life be defined in terms of AH delivered.
The auto analogy is a perfect on - some speak of how many yrs theirs last anecdotally, not many count trips but similarly who counts batty cycles?

I don't want to hijack this thread and prefer not to start a debate here. If others strongly disagree please PM me and I'd be happy to continue in a dedicated battery life thread.

I'll attach a summary of what I interpret all this to mean and provide some examples for both flooded and AGM battys. For the believers, I'd welcome any comments, feedback, corrections etc - I'll continue to refine it and consider posting in the "Files" section for any/all to reference, download or point others to.
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Old 04-28-2020, 08:32 AM   #20
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I stayed on the sidelines on this thread as I'm not an off-grid or solar user but would like to add my support for the sentiments Mark, Bobby and twinboat have expressed in term of "useful" batty life be defined in terms of AH delivered.
The auto analogy is a perfect on - some speak of how many yrs theirs last anecdotally, not many count trips but similarly who counts batty cycles?

I don't want to hijack this thread and prefer not to start a debate here. If others strongly disagree please PM me and I'd be happy to continue in a dedicated battery life thread.

I'll attach a summary of what I interpret all this to mean and provide some examples for both flooded and AGM battys. For the believers, I'd welcome any comments, feedback, corrections etc - I'll continue to refine it and consider posting in the "Files" section for any/all to reference, download or point others to.
Thank you for your information.
I noticed on the chart that the FLA battery they used was only 100ah, while the AGM was 200ah.

Please correct me if I am wrong (I am new at this) but it appears that a 200ah FLA outperforms the 200ah AGM at 20% and 50% DOD, making the cost per ah for the FLA much less than the AGM.

Thank you
Ken
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Old 04-28-2020, 08:52 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by ttavasc View Post
Progressive Dynamics does list on their web site which specific OEM converter/chargers their various models are a direct replacement for. Having swapped out the 8955PEC in my ORV 23DBS earlier this year with a PD4655 I can confirm that it does indeed fit in the same enclosure as the OEM 8955PEC.

Here is the link to the Progressive Dynamics PD4600 page:

PD4600 Upgrade/Replacement Converter/Charger

Scroll down the page a bit and you'll see the list of OEM units that the 4600 series should be a direct replacement for. Click on the Features and Downloads tab and there is a button to click and view the Installation/Operation guide. That will give you an idea of what it takes to make the swap.

Here is the link for the unit that I used - the PD4655VL which includes a jumper to support Lithium batteries (not to be confused with the PD4655LI which only supports Lithium batteries):

PD4655VL at BestConverter.com

I also swapped out the dual Group 24 12V that the trailer came with for a pair of Trojan T-125 6v GC2. I never saw the 8955PEC hit 14.4 bulk even when the Group 24's were down quite a bit. The PD4655 has properly cycled through all the phases as expected with the GC2's. It also includes an override so that you can force it into any stage of the charging profile as needed. So I feel like it's a worthwhile upgrade. As I understand it starting in 2020 ORV is now installing PD converter/chargers instead of WFCO.
Thank you very much for the post and links.

PD website is pretty straightforward and easy to follow and no doubt that the PD4655 will be better than the original.

I have a question about optimal size.
I now have a 610ah setup in the works and if sometime in the future I decided to go larger, I could be in the mid 700s ah.

Will 55 amps be optimal for my battery bank or should I be looking for something in the 60 - 70 amp range?

Thanks again
Ken
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Old 04-28-2020, 10:13 AM   #22
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I went through the WEFCO replacement drill a couple of years ago. The WEFCO charger profile is designed for RVs that sit connected to shore power all the time. You will never see a bulk charge from a WEFCO Its not designed that way no matter what the information says.

I used a Xantrex 50 charger on mine (slipped right in except for one little hole to drill. I have been very pleased with it since. I use 2 Costco golf cart batteries and I can recharge to about 90% with my small 2000 watt genny in about 3 hrs. I don't try to recharge to 100% while not hooked up to shore power. Point of diminishing returns.

Here is a very good article on deep cycle batteries

https://www.altestore.com/blog/2015/.../#.XqhT_2hKiyI
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Old 04-28-2020, 11:21 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Zoomschwortz View Post
Thank you for your information.
I noticed on the chart that the FLA battery they used was only 100ah, while the AGM was 200ah.

Please correct me if I am wrong (I am new at this) but it appears that a 200ah FLA outperforms the 200ah AGM at 20% and 50% DOD, making the cost per ah for the FLA much less than the AGM.

Thank you
Ken
Ken
Absolutely correct - due to the cost of FLAs compared to AGM $/AH will always be better for FLAs.
It is fairly easy to compare a 200AH apples to apples comparison if you imagine 2 - 12V 100AH FLAs paralled connected to provide 200AH @ 12V against 2 - 6V 200AH AGMs series connected to provide 200AH @ 12V
As I said AGM costs are roughly 2X FLA on an apples to apples AH basis.
Those that use AGMs (myself included) do it primarily for the convenience (no maintenance) and are willing to pay the premium.

Some will quote and promote faster charge (some potential there but only if you spend $ to increase charging capacity), longer life (IMO questionable if you believe the charts) but these are minor IMO compared to the convenience.
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Old 04-28-2020, 04:30 PM   #24
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I'll attach a summary of what I interpret all this to mean and provide some examples for both flooded and AGM battys.
From a very quick initial perusal, I'd say you've summed this up very nicely. Thanks!

(I'll just add that I went the AGM route for much the same reason as you.)
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Old 04-29-2020, 12:47 PM   #25
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Ken
Absolutely correct - due to the cost of FLAs compared to AGM $/AH will always be better for FLAs.
It is fairly easy to compare a 200AH apples to apples comparison if you imagine 2 - 12V 100AH FLAs paralled connected to provide 200AH @ 12V against 2 - 6V 200AH AGMs series connected to provide 200AH @ 12V
As I said AGM costs are roughly 2X FLA on an apples to apples AH basis.
Those that use AGMs (myself included) do it primarily for the convenience (no maintenance) and are willing to pay the premium.

Some will quote and promote faster charge (some potential there but only if you spend $ to increase charging capacity), longer life (IMO questionable if you believe the charts) but these are minor IMO compared to the convenience.

Thank you for your help.


I was busy yesterday getting a sheet of diamond plate aluminum and then getting it cut to the proper dimensions for my new battery box. Monday will be Tig welding day.


Thank you everyone for the converter information.

Today I'll be checking out the options for the 8955pec converter upgrade and will be making some phone calls.


I will be needing a bunch of cables for these batteries, any suggestions for online sources?


Thanks again
Ken
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Old 04-30-2020, 12:08 AM   #26
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Welding supply stores ussually have high quality cable for a fairly decent price, I get all my 2/0 and 4/0 from them. And brass cable ends off amazon in multi packs.
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Old 04-30-2020, 05:56 AM   #27
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I will be needing a bunch of cables for these batteries, any suggestions for online sources?
I homebrew my own longer cables as well. For short jumpers I get them prefab, and have gotten both terminals and jumpers from the same place:

E & G Terminal

There are numerous other similar sources on the intertubes.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
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Old 04-30-2020, 12:33 PM   #28
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Thank you Clomok and Mark< I'll give these a try.


Back to converters
I've read in a few places about moving the converter closer to the battery instead of trying to run a long heavy gauge cable all the way back to the original converter.


One person left his original converter in place as a back up and turned it off at the breaker. He then installed a new, higher amperage converter within a few feet of the battery box on the front wall of his travel trailer and powered it off the existing 120v wire up front. He then added a switch to shut it off.


For me, this sounds like a much easier and more efficient way to add a larger converter and a much shorter cable run to the battery box and it gives the added bonus of a backup converter should the primary one fail while on a trip.


Please let me know what I am missing or forgetting with the following.

I attach the original 8 gauge wire from the original converter to the new battery bank as normal.


I then run the new heavy cable from the new higher amperage converter to the new battery bank as well.


Using the new converter as the primary and with the breaker on the original converter in the off position, will I still get power to my 12v items, such as lights, pump and refrigerator?



Would I also have the option to use the original converter at the same time to aid in charging?

My Trailer has 30amp service.
I have a Honda EU2200i Companion generator. If needed, I could buy another Honda EU2200i for a total of 4400 watts


My battery bank is 630ah



The PD9280 requires a 20amp plug and specs are
Input: 105-130 VAC, 50/60 Hz, 1300 Watts Output: 13.6 VDC, 80 Amp Dimensions:11.65L x 7.38W x 3.6H


Whereas the PD9270 is
Input: 105-130 VAC, 50/60 Hz, 1250 Watts Output: 13.6 VDC, 70 Amp Dimensions:9.15L x 7.38W x 3.6H


It seems that the single EU2200i would power the PD9280 without any problem.


Do you see any problems with adding the PD9280 up front and just throwing the breaker on the original converter?


Thanks
Ken
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