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Old 08-27-2019, 05:25 AM   #41
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See my post in the battery section. For some reason Trojan claims that you need 14.83v to fully charge two T105 batteries in series. They claim it's due to their manufacturing process. I don't know of any RV converter that generates that voltage (but I'd like to know)
That 14.83v should also be temperature compensated. You won't find that feature in any factory installed converter I have seen. That requirement alone should justify a "user defined" inverter / charger. Or rely on a solar charger that is user defined and temperature compensated, as your primary charging source.

Why buy a top of the line battery and keep a substandard charger.

I've not seen or heard of a converter charger that can be configured.
They just build them, set the values at whatever and slap a price on them. Maybe they think, what does it matter. Most people will kill their batteries in a year or three by poor maintaining them anyway.

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Old 08-27-2019, 06:36 AM   #42
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Great thread, thanks!

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Old 08-27-2019, 07:54 AM   #43
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I gather that these recommendations are for solar battery charging. Any converter recommendation for charging T-105 batteries with shore power?
Hi

There are a number of programable controllers out there that will match up with what the T-105 is looking for. Victron makes some, there are a number of others who do so as well. T-105's are not the only "odd" battery out there and the fancier devices are designed to work with a wider range of batteries.

There are indeed threads on the forum that go into all the fiddly details.

Bob
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Old 08-27-2019, 08:44 AM   #44
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Hi



There are a number of programable controllers out there that will match up with what the T-105 is looking for. Victron makes some, there are a number of others who do so as well. T-105's are not the only "odd" battery out there and the fancier devices are designed to work with a wider range of batteries.



There are indeed threads on the forum that go into all the fiddly details.



Bob


Good to know. Thanks
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Old 08-27-2019, 01:17 PM   #45
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A lot of the marine guys are using the Sterling Power Products

https://www.amazon.com/Sterling-ProC.../dp/B008BIB67E

I just keep my setup simple. Only charge from solar with a simple PWM charge controller. It charges my batteries winter or summer. I just remove the snow on the panels in winter. I don't need huge amounts of DC power. I only have the factory 600 watt Inverter for charging the electronics and the TV if I use it. Other than that I don't camp in winter so I'm not using a ton of power for the furnace. The lights are mostly led so I make do with what I have. I replaced the AGM baterries with another AGM set and the controller is set for flooded as Lifeline recommends that the AGMs are equalized as the batteries can still sulphate. My last set lasted 9 years and this set is on 3 years now with no signs of issues. My entire time off grid (this year) the lowest the batteries got down to was 92% and back to 100% only on early morning and late afternoon sun. Works for me. Maybe one day I'll upgrade it, but for now I'm fine with the 300 watts of solar and the PWM controller with 4 AGMs. Minimum outlay in cash and everything was added slowly as the previous factory solar charger died and then the batteries lost their charge after 9 years on the factory charger. Maybe if I was working with a blank slate and more of a budget I would make it fancier, but this works for my needs.

Yes you can spend a ton of money and get a super system, but why if you don't need it? I'm sticking to the KISS method for now. I'm still going to wait until lithium battery prices drop or the technology gets better before I go down that road. We're designing some cool lithium batteries at work for major automotive companies so maybe they'll have some off casts. Lol.
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Old 08-27-2019, 06:01 PM   #46
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Heck of a tale for the OP, hopefully anyone thinking of taking the solar plunge can learn from your lessons.

I looked at all the Solar charge controllers that are common place and for better or worse settled on the Victron Smart Solar MPPT 100/30, it does everything I need and I can't imagine needing more user select able features.
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Old 08-27-2019, 10:26 PM   #47
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There's no magic in a PWM controller, other than it's inefficient. It occurs to me that what lead acid batteries need is a customized BMS. Let the charger do all the dumb **** it wants to do, or better yet, just set it for max voltage and let it be the dumb thing it really wants to be. A specific battery needs a specific set of controls, and the best place to do that is at the battery, not at the charger. The charge could just make 15 volts at 30 amps available and let the batteries do their thing with it.

This might sound like foolish talk, but there are open system BMS's for Lithium that you can make roll over and bark. I'm actually intrigued enough to look into it. I need to take a deep dive into BMS anyway, because I have this big set of Tesla modules that I need to closely control if I don't want to exxperience that whole fiery death thing. I'll let whatever you folks are geeky enough to care know what I come up with. All the BMS systems I know of have fine grained configuration and external controls for contactors to shut the charger off when it starts doing something stupid.

In the meantime the serious geeks might have a look at the SimpBMS https://github.com/tomdebree/SimpBMS It's tasty.
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Old 08-27-2019, 11:59 PM   #48
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Hi


..... and no that's not some sort of ad for Randy, his converters don't have temperature probes on them.

Bob
Bob, It's because the temp units keep coming back from over charging batteries. Come visit my warehouse man
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Old 08-28-2019, 05:25 AM   #49
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There's no magic in a PWM controller, other than it's inefficient.
Any lack of efficiency doesn't amount to a hill of beans. I can throw another panel on the roof for the difference in cost (PWM / MPPT) and make more power with less money spent.
WW
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Old 08-28-2019, 09:20 AM   #50
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Bob, It's because the temp units keep coming back from over charging batteries. Come visit my warehouse man
Hi

Who knows, maybe one day I'll take you up on the offer to come and visit

Bob
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Old 08-28-2019, 02:19 PM   #51
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Any lack of efficiency doesn't amount to a hill of beans. I can throw another panel on the roof for the difference in cost (PWM / MPPT) and make more power with less money spent.
WW

That's certainly true. The point wasn't efficiency vs. cost, it was that there's nothing special about PWM that makes it a better choice for preserving your batteries. Generally there are even fewer choices for managing modes, trigger points, and factory variations.



Incidentally, nearly every manufacturing choice in a lead acid battery influences the optimum voltage and mode timing. Make the plates a few hundreths thicker to control warping better and presto--new requirements.
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Old 08-28-2019, 04:44 PM   #52
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Originally Posted by Wolfwhistle View Post
That 14.83v should also be temperature compensated. You won't find that feature in any factory installed converter I have seen. That requirement alone should justify a "user defined" inverter / charger. Or rely on a solar charger that is user defined and temperature compensated, as your primary charging source.

Why buy a top of the line battery and keep a substandard charger. I've not seen or heard of a converter charger that can be configured.
They just build them, set the values at whatever and slap a price on them. Maybe they think, what does it matter. Most people will kill their batteries in a year or three by poor maintaining them anyway.

Clint
OK; now you have me wondering about my T105's with the Boondocker converter from Randy...I just returned from 5 days of "boondocking", where I was using the furnace an hour or so, plus the water heater, pump, daily in the mornings (43 degrees in morning, where we were). I registered 12.5V first day, and stayed at 12.4-12.2V the entire time, but went down to 11.9V yesterday. I plugged in my 80W GoPower portable for 4 hours, got back up to 12.3V; we took showers last night and it was down to 11.9V this morning when I hooked up and left. I just plugged in at my cabin and it showed 14.6V and after an hour is now at 13.4V while charging with the boondocker...is there something wrong with this set up?
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Old 08-28-2019, 05:58 PM   #53
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The battery indicator on the panel is pretty useless. A battery meter will tell you your real consumption and state of charge. You don't want to let your batteries get that low, but with the standard panel you don't really know. The behavior when you plugged in is normal.
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Old 08-28-2019, 06:46 PM   #54
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OK; now you have me wondering about my T105's with the Boondocker converter from Randy...I just returned from 5 days of "boondocking", where I was using the furnace an hour or so, plus the water heater, pump, daily in the mornings (43 degrees in morning, where we were). I registered 12.5V first day, and stayed at 12.4-12.2V the entire time, but went down to 11.9V yesterday. I plugged in my 80W GoPower portable for 4 hours, got back up to 12.3V; we took showers last night and it was down to 11.9V this morning when I hooked up and left. I just plugged in at my cabin and it showed 14.6V and after an hour is now at 13.4V while charging with the boondocker...is there something wrong with this set up?
So you only charged once for 4 hours with 80w solar the whole 5 days?
I am still learning so I really can't comment right or wrong but something does seem odd with your usage and voltages. Were you at 12.7v when you started?

I don't worry about getting to 11.9 with flooded lead acid batteries but you might. I have no problem going to 80% If I will be recharging same day but I might on a 5 day trip if I hit 80% early and didn't have the charging watts to recoup to 100% in a day.
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Old 08-29-2019, 12:19 AM   #55
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Ooof--that's definitely pushing things. I suspect you just shortened your battery life a bunch. 11.8 is basically zero charge, or damned close to it. 11.7 is 0 for all forms of LA. There is the problem with LA, right there. They keep working just fine while the plates are warping and getting coated. 50 percent--the suggested minimum charge, is 12.2V for flooded (12.35 for Gel, and 12.30 for AGM). Your batteries are toast. at least they won't catch fire and blow your battery box apart, but they're done. You won't get a heck of a lot more cycles.
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Old 08-29-2019, 05:52 AM   #56
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OK; now you have me wondering about my T105's with the Boondocker converter from Randy...I just returned from 5 days of "boondocking", where I was using the furnace an hour or so, plus the water heater, pump, daily in the mornings (43 degrees in morning, where we were). I registered 12.5V first day, and stayed at 12.4-12.2V the entire time, but went down to 11.9V yesterday. I plugged in my 80W GoPower portable for 4 hours, got back up to 12.3V; we took showers last night and it was down to 11.9V this morning when I hooked up and left. I just plugged in at my cabin and it showed 14.6V and after an hour is now at 13.4V while charging with the boondocker...is there something wrong with this set up?
I am confused (stay that way) about questioning the boondocker when it doesn't sound like you used in for your trip??

One thing to remember is when reading battery voltage, a battery reads high when its charging AND reads high until it has time to rest. Same while discharging. It reads lower than reality... but creeps back up while resting....

What we really need is information instantly.

For that you need a battery status monitor, such as TM-2030RV Trimetric or a Victron product, which leedav just installed and now praises. I actually have a $39 monitor that included the shunt that I have for my cargo / micro toyhauler project. Want to know more?

So, ideally a deep charge battery needs to be fully charged after a discharge period... 1 cycle. Batteries determine the charge rate. You can't force what they do not want or need. Here's the kicker about lead-acid (LA). Lets say it takes 24 hours to full charge a set of lead-acid batteries. And that is reality. They get to 80% in about 20% of the time (4.8 hours), the other 20% would take 19.2 hours. This depends on the size of the bank. Also, you actually have to put back more than you take out... so full might be 105%

A short rabbit trail.... charging time is where Lithium Iron Phosphate (LFP = LiFeP04) batteries really shine. They get to 100% in the time a LA takes to get to 80%. more or less.

Landing the plane... you read that 12.5v at the start. Not knowing the resting state, you began with less than full batteries (maybe) ... 80%. The percentages I will quote are "more of less", because with data provided its all I can do.

Then you read 12.4 - 12.2 v the rest of that day. Your batteries were then 70% to 60%. The next morning you read 11.9v that would represent 40%. 4 hours of GoPower got you back to 12.3v... or... call it 65%. Then back to 11.9v (40%) the next morning. Now back home and a 120vac source and batteries are being floated so they are 80 to 100% sounds like closer to 80. By the way, 11.9v isn't a death sentence for your T-105s. 10.5v might be if you do this a couple of times. Ideally 12.0 - 12.1v is as low as you want to go, ideally.

The T-105s did darn good only dropping that much while running the power hungry furnace.

The purpose of the AS isn't to baby a set of batteries it is to have fun and so what if your batteries were not treated as queens. If this trip is typical, maybe you don't need to do much at all. If you would like to boondock... say 4 days....

... First, no matter what, get a battery status monitor so you stop guessing how much battery power you have remaining.

Secondly, either have a small generator such as ubiquitous 2000w inverter type of your choice or a solar system... expect to run for several hours each day. The new monitor will tell you, 1) do you need to charge and 2) when to stop running the noisy thing.

Or... why not get a 200W portable solar system (Renogy is good) and see how that goes. That would keep you boondocking longer and protect your batteries in the process.

Hope this helps,
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Old 08-29-2019, 06:44 AM   #57
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Ooof--that's definitely pushing things. I suspect you just shortened your battery life a bunch. 11.8 is basically zero charge, or damned close to it. 11.7 is 0 for all forms of LA. There is the problem with LA, right there. They keep working just fine while the plates are warping and getting coated. 50 percent--the suggested minimum charge, is 12.2V for flooded (12.35 for Gel, and 12.30 for AGM). Your batteries are toast. at least they won't catch fire and blow your battery box apart, but they're done. You won't get a heck of a lot more cycles.
That's not true at all. Equalize your batteries and they will be fine. There's too much hype and misinformation on the web spreading lies about this.
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Old 08-29-2019, 07:27 AM   #58
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That's certainly true. The point wasn't efficiency vs. cost, it was that there's nothing special about PWM that makes it a better choice for preserving your batteries. Generally there are even fewer choices for managing modes, trigger points, and factory variations.
For a small system under 600 watts and where the panels are 36 cells or less the PWM is an excellent choice for a solar charger. The MPPT really shines in larger cell panels (60 and 72 cells). Of course if you have extra cash you can spring for the MPPT, but there are many manufacturers out there making crap. Both in PWM and MPPT so be careful and do your homework. I went with the Morning Star Prostar 30, but if I went with the Bogart Engineering one it would have tied into my Trimetric and given me more control. But so far I have no complaints. Yes the MPPT would have been better at 25% shading, but at 50% shading the difference is negligible. Overall the performance hit is maybe 25%. But I don't fell it. My panels are rarely not charged to 100% by late afternoon. Unless I'm camping in full shade or it is extremely overcast like in December then I might not be charging. But usually in 3 or 4 days the weather changes and I'm back up to 100%.

With the panels that I have I doubt very much that the MPPT will be better. The VMP is too low. In order to take advantage of the MPPT I would need a much higher VMP. I could put the panels in series, but that risks the shading issue even more. My panels are fixed and not adjustable, so I have to take what I can get.
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Old 08-29-2019, 07:43 AM   #59
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Hope this helps,
Clint
Excellent reply and exactly what I would suggest to get an understanding of what is happening.

Knowing the State of Charge % in relation to cell voltage is the most important parameter to monitor, it will allow you to charge when you need to and stop discharging when it can protect the bank.

As you can see from the chart, 11.81 (at rest) is 30% and well within the recommendation of the battery manufacturer for deep cycle 6v batteries. It is correct that the life cycles are reduced when discharged to 30% vs 50% but even at the suggested reduced cycle number (500) I will still be able to boon dock 40 days a year for 12.5 years. I don't believe these batteries will last 12.5 years but it doesn't really matter as they cost $200. Lithium batteries with their thousands of cycles will provide 75 years of boondocking at 40 cycles per year.... While that is very impressive I don't believe the battery will last 75 years. The REAL advantage to lithium is in the recharge rate and the high discharge rate, not cycle life in my opinion.

Here is the SOC/Voltage chart from Trojan

State of Charge as Related to Specific Gravity and Open Circuit Voltage
Percentage of Charge Specific Gravity Corrected To Open-Circuit Voltage

6v 8v 12v 24v 36v 48v
100 1.277 6.37 8.49 12.73 25.46 38.20 50.93
90 1.258 6.31 8.41 12.62 25.24 37.85 50.47
80 1.238 6.25 8.33 12.50 25.00 37.49 49.99
70 1.217 6.19 8.25 12.37 24.74 37.12 49.49
60 1.195 6.12 8.16 12.27 24.48 36.72 48.96
50 1.172 6.02 8.07 12.10 24.20 36.31 48.41
40 1.148 5.98 7.97 11.89 23.92 35.87 47.83
30 1.124 5.91 7.88 11.81 23.63 35.44 47.26
20 1.098 5.83 7.77 11.66 23.32 34.97 46.63
10 1.073 5.75 7.67 11.51 23.02 34.52 46.03
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Old 08-29-2019, 07:52 AM   #60
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Ooof--that's definitely pushing things. I suspect you just shortened your battery life a bunch. 11.8 is basically zero charge, or damned close to it. 11.7 is 0 for all forms of LA. There is the problem with LA, right there. They keep working just fine while the plates are warping and getting coated. 50 percent--the suggested minimum charge, is 12.2V for flooded (12.35 for Gel, and 12.30 for AGM). Your batteries are toast. at least they won't catch fire and blow your battery box apart, but they're done. You won't get a heck of a lot more cycles.
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That's not true at all. Equalize your batteries and they will be fine. There's too much hype and misinformation on the web spreading lies about this.
Per the manufacturers charts I don't see that as a issue either. There is a bad myth that you can't discharge more than 50% and its partially true.
What actually happens is the expected cycle life is reduced, somewhat drastically but does it matter? What is the expectation of the life of the batteries. If you can calculate out that you will use more cycles per year than you expect from the battery bank then increasing bank size to reduce charge cycles would be worth it. For most RVers that still work and can only weekend warrior there are plenty of cycles left in the battery discharging to 30%.

Don't get me wrong, the batteries will last allot longer if kept +50% but I only need them to last to get my $$ out of them and I'll swap in a new set and repeat.
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