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Old 07-09-2013, 01:18 PM   #15
65th Anniversary CLIPPER
 
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1996 36' Clipper Bus
Tub City , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 3,234
Images: 52
Battery Equalization

On my CLIPPER I have, for the electronics circuit (battery bank #3), a wet cell TROJAN GP24 deep cycle battery that is charged by a 40W mono-crystalline solar panel. There is no charge controller in this circuit. This battery is now 4 years old and has lost some capacity, although all cells still test good with the hydrometer.

When left unattended, the overcharge for this circuit is protected with a Sure Power 1313-200 Separator, so that once the battery voltage exceeds 13.2V it unloads to the CHASSIS battery (#1) circuit which consists of 2 X Wet Cell GP31 starting batteries. This results in the battery remaining in a fully charged condition but lacks the necessity of a more vigorous acid movement to keep the battery in top class condition.


This CHASSIS circuit is also charged with a 40W Poly/Mono-crystalline panel with no charge controller, and between the two panels and the 3 total batteries, I don't believe I would have to worry about overcharge unless parked for an extended period in the sun belt with no load on the batteries.


If this was to happen, I have also a Sure Power 1315-200 Separator between the Chassis #1 and the House #2 circuit that would take any overflow from the #1 and #3 battery banks.


EQUALIZATION OF BATTERIES

Eye protection and proper clothing is a must when working on batteries.


Wet Cell batteries tend to sulfate if not fully charged, and if not receiving some type of movement to keep the acid in flotation equally within each cell.


Equalization is obtained by extended low amperage charge until the battery exceeds approx. 15.25 to 16 Volts with no load for at least an hour.


This will basically boil your battery so it is important that the battery be serviced with distilled water to the proper indicator level before normal charging and then shortly after equalization.


On my Clipper, to equalize the #3 battery bank, I fully charge the GP 24 battery after a service.


I then isolate the circuit manually, (via a dash controlled solenoid) and leave it in direct sun for the 40W panel to supply up to 16.5 Volts of low amperage charge. Watts = AMP/Volts.
So a 40W panel at 16 Volts should produce approx. 2.5 Amps.


Depending on the age and condition of your battery, it should rise to 15V fairly quickly and
reach 15.25V after an hour or so. Keep monitoring it every half hour.

If you have cooler weather be aware that the panel will produce, and the battery will receive, better when cool and the above equalization will require closer monitoring.


I monitor the battery with a hand held DVM and when the battery voltage stabilizes above 15.25 Volts for at least an hour, I call that a successful equalization. I will then reconnect the Sure Power Separator with the #1 battery circuit.


It is important that you get your DVM readings for this procedure directly off of the battery and not further along the circuit. ( I have two inline digital voltage meters permanently installed on this circuit, one to monitor the solar panel output, and one connected to the input of the Sure Power Separator).


Dave
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"LOVE and LOSS, are two of the greatest emotions one can experience. -- I went to school to learn about "WHAT GOES UP MUST COME DOWN" but I had to live my life to learn the lesson of: 'WITH LOVE THERE WILL BE SORROW'."
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Old 08-28-2013, 11:09 AM   #16
65th Anniversary CLIPPER
 
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1996 36' Clipper Bus
Tub City , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 3,234
Images: 52
Before embarking on this 2013 tour I had thought that I might have to replace my GP24 (#3 battery bank) that I had not had an opportunity to do a real ''field test'' on lately.
However, we are currently boondocking in the bush and all my solar upgrades are paying for themselves now. The GP24 battery is preforming as it should.

Weather has been mixed with a lot of high cloud and little direct sunlight. The MONOCRYSTALINE panels work very well in these conditions and we have only run the genset on occasion for short periods to control the heat and humidity before retiring for the evening.

We have had some short periods of intense heavy weather to wash the prairie dust off the solar panels and break the high humidity that we are not used too.

We are fortunate to have a good flat rock base at our site here so no worry about getting bogged down.

Dave
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__________________

__________________
"LOVE and LOSS, are two of the greatest emotions one can experience. -- I went to school to learn about "WHAT GOES UP MUST COME DOWN" but I had to live my life to learn the lesson of: 'WITH LOVE THERE WILL BE SORROW'."
David Stewart. (after loosing my NAVIGATOR)
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Old 02-15-2014, 07:58 PM   #17
65th Anniversary CLIPPER
 
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1996 36' Clipper Bus
Tub City , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 3,234
Images: 52
On my #3 battery bank, (TROJAN GP24 deep cycle battery that is charged by a 40W mono-crystalline solar panel mounted on the forward Penquin shroud) I have been running this circuit for the last 5 years without a charge controller. Protection from overcharge is handled by a SurePower 1315-200 Separator that will dump over 13.2V into the #1 Chassis or #2 House batteries depending on need and setting of the cockpit controls.

I have identified an issue that shows up more in the winter months in our Latitude (49+) and once recognized, requires updating.

The problem is, this #3 battery is not getting sufficient charge to mix the electrolyte properly. Under marginal conditions the solar panel will charge the battery to 13.2 but the SurePower then dumps to the other battery banks. During more favourable solar conditions, the other battery banks are also fully charged so then combined idle charge exceeds 13.5 under good solar conditions resulting in good movement of the electrolyte within all batteries.

To correct this deficiency, I have now purchased an inexpensive 10Amp solar controller and installed it on this 40Watt Solar feed. This will allow me to separate the battery banks during marginal solar season. I can still equalize individual or combined battery banks as required if that is needed.

This 10Amp controller can also be bypassed easily if wanted by disconnection the harness from the controller.

The inexpensive controller gives limited information with 3 LED lamps other than confirming it is active.

I included, within the controller aluminium mounting box, a small switch controlled lamp for indirect illumination of the navigators area.

This control box is mounted to the back side of the upper speaker panel and can be removed without any telltale mounting damage to the OEM CLIPPER.

Dave

Quote:
Originally Posted by masseyfarm View Post
On my CLIPPER I have, for the electronics circuit (battery bank #3), a wet cell TROJAN GP24 deep cycle battery that is charged by a 40W mono-crystalline solar panel. There is no charge controller in this circuit. This battery is now 4 years old and has lost some capacity, although all cells still test good with the hydrometer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by masseyfarm View Post

When left unattended, the overcharge for this circuit is protected with a Sure Power 1315-200 Separator, so that once the battery voltage exceeds 13.2V it unloads to the CHASSIS battery (#1) circuit which consists of 2 X Wet Cell GP31 starting batteries. This results in the battery remaining in a fully charged condition but lacks the necessity of a more vigorous acid movement to keep the battery in top class condition.


This CHASSIS circuit is also charged with a 40W Poly/Mono-crystalline panel with no charge controller, and between the two panels and the 3 total batteries, I don't believe I would have to worry about overcharge unless parked for an extended period in the sun belt with no load on the batteries.


If this was to happen, I have also a Sure Power 1315-200 Separator between the Chassis #1 and the House #2 circuit that would take any overflow from the #1 and #3 battery banks.


EQUALIZATION OF BATTERIES

Eye protection and proper clothing is a must when working on batteries.


Wet Cell batteries tend to sulfate if not fully charged, and if not receiving some type of movement to keep the acid in flotation equally within each cell.


Equalization is obtained by extended low amperage charge until the battery exceeds approx. 15.25 to 16 Volts with no load for at least an hour.


This will basically boil your battery so it is important that the battery be serviced with distilled water to the proper indicator level before normal charging and then shortly after equalization.


On my Clipper, to equalize the #3 battery bank, I fully charge the GP 24 battery after a service.


I then isolate the circuit manually, (via a dash controlled solenoid) and leave it in direct sun for the 40W panel to supply up to 16.5 Volts of low amperage charge. Watts = AMP/Volts.
So a 40W panel at 16 Volts should produce approx. 2.5 Amps.


Depending on the age and condition of your battery, it should rise to 15V fairly quickly and
reach 15.25V after an hour or so. Keep monitoring it every half hour.

If you have cooler weather be aware that the panel will produce, and the battery will receive, better when cool and the above equalization will require closer monitoring.


I monitor the battery with a hand held DVM and when the battery voltage stabilizes above 15.25 Volts for at least an hour, I call that a successful equalization. I will then reconnect the Sure Power Separator with the #1 battery circuit.


It is important that you get your DVM readings for this procedure directly off of the battery and not further along the circuit. ( I have two inline digital voltage meters permanently installed on this circuit, one to monitor the solar panel output, and one connected to the input of the Sure Power Separator).


Dave
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__________________
"LOVE and LOSS, are two of the greatest emotions one can experience. -- I went to school to learn about "WHAT GOES UP MUST COME DOWN" but I had to live my life to learn the lesson of: 'WITH LOVE THERE WILL BE SORROW'."
David Stewart. (after loosing my NAVIGATOR)
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Old 02-22-2014, 05:10 PM   #18
65th Anniversary CLIPPER
 
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1996 36' Clipper Bus
Tub City , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 3,234
Images: 52
Another update/change.

My idea of a switched control lamp (previous post) installed in the controller box seemed like a good idea, but after a couple nights to test and try to eliminate glare to the driver position, without defeating the usefulness of the lamp, proved to me that some other solution was necessary. (I have enough lamps already )

I have now modified the box to hold a DV display which will give me some useful information at a quick glance and will still give some limited illumination to the cockpit without any distraction from nighttime motoring.

Dave
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__________________
"LOVE and LOSS, are two of the greatest emotions one can experience. -- I went to school to learn about "WHAT GOES UP MUST COME DOWN" but I had to live my life to learn the lesson of: 'WITH LOVE THERE WILL BE SORROW'."
David Stewart. (after loosing my NAVIGATOR)
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Old 04-12-2014, 10:41 AM   #19
65th Anniversary CLIPPER
 
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1996 36' Clipper Bus
Tub City , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 3,234
Images: 52
I have updated the #3 battery bank for the 2014 travel season.

My old Trojan GP24 (2009) just did not have the holding power to run any amount of accessories for any length of time without solar or other charge input.

One should always take any opportunity to improve on a situation, so I have upgraded this system now with a new Gp 27 wet cell, deep cycle, which occupies all the available space I had in the hole.

My old GP24 still tests 'Fair' so will do an extended equalize on it and cycle it down to the back shed for my solar lights.

Dave
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__________________
"LOVE and LOSS, are two of the greatest emotions one can experience. -- I went to school to learn about "WHAT GOES UP MUST COME DOWN" but I had to live my life to learn the lesson of: 'WITH LOVE THERE WILL BE SORROW'."
David Stewart. (after loosing my NAVIGATOR)
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Old 08-01-2016, 04:42 PM   #20
65th Anniversary CLIPPER
 
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1996 36' Clipper Bus
Tub City , British Columbia
Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 3,234
Images: 52
Solar Remote

Earlier in the year I purchased 2 50W MONO panels that I had planned on installing on the CLIPPER roof.

When I got around to doing the installation, and looking at what footprint I had left to work with on the roof, I decided against cluttering it up any more, as one needs to be able to get around up there for maintenance checks and repair if needed. (600 Watt installed now)

To use the solar panels, I have now mounted them on my trailer, tilt tool box, that can be parked up to 75' away from the CLIPPER.

This worked out almost like I had planned it from the beginning!

The panels are wired to the trailer hot that I can direct to the chassis or the house battery bank, while traveling. (I can control from the cockpit whether I want to charge all systems, or just the chassis bank with the chassis alternator, while underway.)

When parked, I can run out 75' of feed line so that the CLIPPER can be parked in the shade if wanted.

The trailer is modified to mount my tilting tool box, and under that is my spare tires for the CLIPPER and the trailer.



In past years I have bought or borrowed a lawn mower for the property in the east, but this year I am taking the trailer east with the Massey 10 mower, discs, harrows, and some other ground engagement tools, to play with while boom docking in Eastern Ontario.

Dave
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"LOVE and LOSS, are two of the greatest emotions one can experience. -- I went to school to learn about "WHAT GOES UP MUST COME DOWN" but I had to live my life to learn the lesson of: 'WITH LOVE THERE WILL BE SORROW'."
David Stewart. (after loosing my NAVIGATOR)
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