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Old 08-30-2015, 08:12 PM   #15
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Give AM Solar a call to see if they have any experienced installers in your area. 1-541-726-1491


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Great. Will do THX!
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Old 08-31-2015, 08:46 AM   #16
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The basic problem is the small size of the 50 watt solar panel. An MPPT controller will not provide any benefit with lower wattage ( 100 watts or less) solar arrays over and above a basic PWM controller with adjustable charging output.

I would look at the lower end solar controllers from Morningstar for a better solution if you intend to keep your solar capacity at 50 watts.

OTOH, if you want to upgrade the solar charging system including enlarging the solar array, that presents a different scenario.




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Lew, sorry to keep at this topic, but I'm reading the solar controller manual that came with my 2015 AI Grand Tour, and it makes it SOUND like over-charging would not be a problem.
SUNEXPLORER PVCM25D

5 functions:
1) senses when the battery is fully charged and disconnects the PV charge current to avoid over-charging the battery
2) resumes charging the battery when the battery voltage has dropped sufficiently
3) checks the availability of PV charge current, by cycling the relay every 4 minutes
4) compensates for battery temp and adjusts the charge threshold voltages when mounted in battery cases
5) microprocessor reduces the charging rate of fully charged batteries to minimize water addition requirements

...is this a single stage charger? And should I still worry about overcharging in a high sun uncovered storage environment?

Thanks again for any perspective you can provide.

mark
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Old 08-31-2015, 09:36 AM   #17
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From their nebulous and purposely vague description, it sounds like it is a fully automatic controller with full temperature compensation. Is this done miraculously(?), as they do not use a remote temp. sensor on the batteries, nor do they state what the voltage charge profiles are.

In any event, they DO state that it is set for liquid cells. That alone would make the unit incompatible with Lifelines.

Unfortunately, Airstream has a long history of ignoring the use of better quality battery charging hardware. Simply look at their single stage battery-burners used in ALL of their trailers and this solar controller...... not to mention their specific exclusion of the temperature sensing probe that Magnum provides with every inverter/charger and their use of the very basic ME-MR remote.

I would still upgrade the solar controller.


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Old 08-31-2015, 12:44 PM   #18
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From their nebulous and purposely vague description, it sounds like it is a fully automatic controller with full temperature compensation. Is this done miraculously(?), as they do not use a remote temp. sensor on the batteries, nor do they state what the voltage charge profiles are.

In any event, they DO state that it is set for liquid cells. That alone would make the unit incompatible with Lifelines.

Unfortunately, Airstream has a long history of ignoring the use of better quality battery charging hardware. Simply look at their single stage battery-burners used in ALL of their trailers and this solar controller...... not to mention their specific exclusion of the temperature sensing probe that Magnum provides with every inverter/charger and their use of the very basic ME-MR remote.

I would still upgrade the solar controller.


Lew Farber
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Yeah I guess I agree. Shame about the choices they make. Thanks again
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Old 08-31-2015, 02:05 PM   #19
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FWIW, the charge controller module is only about a foot away from the batteries. So the temperature compensation should work with the one exception of in the winter time when the interior was being heated and the bottom battery would be closer to outside temperature.
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Old 08-31-2015, 08:39 PM   #20
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FWIW, the charge controller module is only about a foot away from the batteries. So the temperature compensation should work with the one exception of in the winter time when the interior was being heated and the bottom battery would be closer to outside temperature.
Proper temperature compensation for battery charging should accurately measure the cell temperatures at the battery and not the ambient air temps. They can vary dramatically........ and with it the charging voltages that the sensor should be controlling. This is why Magnum and Blue Sky require their temp. sensors be secured to a negative battery terminal for accurate measurements.
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Old 08-31-2015, 08:50 PM   #21
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So with my battery configuration where one is inside and one is outside, which battery would the temperature sensor be placed on
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Old 08-31-2015, 11:17 PM   #22
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So with my battery configuration where one is inside and one is outside, which battery would the temperature sensor be placed on
I never split batteries as an inside/outside configuration for that exact reason.......where do you place the temp sensor????

Neither location will be sufficient as it will charge one battery correctly (the one with the sensor attached) and either overcharge or undercharge the other..
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Old 09-01-2015, 07:57 AM   #23
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I never split batteries as an inside/outside configuration for that exact reason.......where do you place the temp sensor????

Neither location will be sufficient as it will charge one battery correctly (the one with the sensor attached) and either overcharge or undercharge the other..
I think you would want the temperature sensor on whichever battery is warmer, because that battery needs a lower charging voltage, and it's marginally better to under-charge the cooler battery than to over-charge the warmer battery.

But on an Interstate with stacked house batteries, the lower battery is right next to ventilation holes in the floor of the battery box, and the upper battery is right next to the exterior vent in the side of the van. The fact that one battery is below the van's floor and the other is above makes very little difference. Neither battery gets much heat from the furnace or cooling from the A/C due to the sofa's insulating properties and the fact that the box is not vented to the inside of the van and so does not directly receive heated or cooled air.

I suspect that the temperatures of the two batteries will not be so very different most of the time, probably within a couple of degrees of each other. So in practical terms, putting the sensor on the top battery is more convenient since you have to remove the top battery to access the bottom battery.
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Old 09-01-2015, 08:36 AM   #24
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Give AM Solar a call to see if they have any experienced installers in your area. 1-541-726-1491


Lew Farber
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Master Tech Energy Systems, Inc.
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Lifeline Batteries**Magnum Inverters
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If I stick with the current single stage charger, and disconnect the negative battery terminals while stored on a lot, will my 100 w solar overcharge the batteries?
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Old 09-01-2015, 09:36 AM   #25
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If I stick with the current single stage charger, and disconnect the negative battery terminals while stored on a lot, will my 100 w solar overcharge the batteries?

Unless the solar charger has it's own direct connection to the batteries, there will be no charge from the solar going to your batteries with the negative terminal disconnected.

If you store fully charged Lifelines with the negative removed, they should hold their charge for a minimum of 3 months before needing a boost charge.


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Old 09-01-2015, 10:25 AM   #26
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Unless the solar charger has it's own direct connection to the batteries, there will be no charge from the solar going to your batteries with the negative terminal disconnected.

If you store fully charged Lifelines with the negative removed, they should hold their charge for a minimum of 3 months before needing a boost charge.


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thanks. That's my back up plan until I can find someone to do a solar charger upgrade
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Old 09-01-2015, 10:30 AM   #27
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[QUOTE=lewster;1666777
Finally, even 50 watts will, at best, give you a couple of amps (basically a trickle charge) into your batteries. Airstream uses Lifeline AGM batteries from the factory in the solar option. These batteries demand proper voltage and 3-stage charging for maximum longevity, which is 14.2-14.4VDC for the Bulk and Absorption charge and 13.2 VDC for the float charge. BTW, this is NOT THE SAME as using a liquid lead acid battery setting on a Morningstar controller!! That's why the AGM setting is available on the Morningstar controllers.
[/QUOTE]

Lifeline changed there stance on this a while back. Your working with old data. Setting it to flooded will work fine. The sealed battery setting is useless.
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Old 09-01-2015, 12:24 PM   #28
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Lifeline changed there stance on this a while back. Your working with old data. Setting it to flooded will work fine. The sealed battery setting is useless.

Changed their stance on what? Care to elaborate??


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