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Old 04-12-2012, 07:44 AM   #1
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PD9260 strange behavior

I've noticed, when I first turn my Progressive Dynamics 9260 converter on, it ramps up the voltage to about 15 volts for a while, before settling back down to normal voltages. This wouldn't surprise me if the batteries were very low, but they aren't - last night I turned it on, the batteries were already at 13+ volts, and the voltmeter in the camper jumped to 15 volts. (We have a large solar system that can keep the batteries charged, too, so I sometimes turn off the converter and rely on the solar to charge the batteries. This happens when I turn the converter back on.)

I'm pretty sure the same converter in the B190 did not do that. Of course the B190 had one deep cycle battery, while the trailer has three. I also didn't have a voltmeter in the B190 so it may have done it, and I just never noticed.

The manual mentions nothing about getting above 14.4 volts.

Is this normal behavior?
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Old 04-12-2012, 08:13 AM   #2
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Is that converter temperature compensated? I.E. does it adjust voltage of the charge for temperature???
If so and if it is below 70 degrees F then I'd say it is doing what it is supposed to. If you are concerned a quick call to the manufacturer will get you the answer you need...
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Old 04-12-2012, 08:33 AM   #3
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This is normal behavior. From PD's website "Every 21 hours when the system is operating in the Storage Mode, the Charge Wizard will automatically switch to the Desulfation Mode of operation. The Desulfation Mode increases the output voltage up to 14.4 volts for 15 minutes. This increased voltage mixes up the battery electrolyte to help prevent battery stratification and the resulting problems of battery sulfation."
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Old 04-12-2012, 08:42 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vswingfield View Post
This is normal behavior. From PD's website "Every 21 hours when the system is operating in the Storage Mode, the Charge Wizard will automatically switch to the Desulfation Mode of operation. The Desulfation Mode increases the output voltage up to 14.4 volts for 15 minutes. This increased voltage mixes up the battery electrolyte to help prevent battery stratification and the resulting problems of battery sulfation."
I should be working but.....(it is ok I own the company ) instead I am looking at the PD website and it seems to me that the "storage mode" doesn’t even begin until the 34 hour mark. Based on Skaters original post it seems that this is happening within a short time of being turned on.
Skater, how are you measuring voltage?
Back to work now...
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Old 04-12-2012, 10:09 AM   #5
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Good catch Bruce. I was thinking about the behavior after it has been on a while because it seemed normal, to me, that the voltage would be elevated when first turned on. On rereading, it is about the difference between 14.4 and 15 volts.
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Old 04-12-2012, 03:54 PM   #6
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Thanks for the responses so far.

Yes, it is below 70. No, this is not a thermal compensation unit. I've noticed similar behavior in warmer weather though.

The desulfation was what I thought too, but this is well above the 14.4 volts specified for that mode, and it happens as soon as I turn on the converter. We just got to a campground an hour or so ago and the voltage is at 15.2 right now. Later I'm sure it'll settle down to a normal voltage. The pendant LED is on solid.

I'm measuring the voltage using a digital voltmeter a PO installed, probably with the solar system. I haven't tried checking its accuracy with my multimeter.
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Old 04-12-2012, 04:01 PM   #7
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I would check it with a different mete. I have a plug in meter that reads about .3 volts low of the actual voltage. That is a big difference when determining the stater of a battery.
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:11 AM   #8
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Pd9260c

I have had problems with the 9260, too. I sent the following message to the makers a couple of days ago. So far their response has been the sound of crickets.

"I have a Inteli-power PD9260C installed in my Airstream travel trailer. It worked well for about two years and we had no problems with it. This last weekend we took the trailer on a short trip to a state park. We parked and hooked up to the park facilities as normal. On this Airstream model there are two battery compartments, one on each front corner. I have two Diehard agm group 31 Platinum marine batteries. They were installed the same time as the 9260.
The next morning I noticed liquid dripping from one of the battery compartments. The access door was too hot to touch and I could hear a boiling sound coming from within. I cutoff the power from the pedestal and let things cool down. The case on the battery was leaking battery fluid. I pulled the it out of the compartment and dusted everything with baking soda. At this point the other battery seemed ok.
I turned the power back on and the temperature of the second battery immediately started to rise. I pulled the fuse in the battery leads and was able to use the 9260 as a power supply for the rest of the weekend. When we left I reconnected the battery for the electric brakes in case of a break-away.
On your website I found a Trouble Shooting Guide for the 9000/9100 series. Following the flow chart down to "is the Output between 13.0 - 14.0 VDC?" the answer is no. It is 14.57 VDC.
Is repair possible? If so, what steps can be taken to keep from destroying an expensive battery or causing even more damage from a possible fire."



I think there might be a serious problem with this controller.
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:28 AM   #9
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The output of the PD9260 should be 14.4 VDC when in boost mode.
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:40 AM   #10
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Just a couple of thoughts:

Skater: With three batteries, I assume all in parallel, one battery could be having issues causing the PD to think it needs to go to bulk charge mode, which is a higher voltage, although the 15+ you are seeing is generally pretty high for even that. Or, the electronic circuits that equalize the batteries are being confused by several batteries of different ages and capacities. This is a guess of course, but a possibility. It is very hard to properly charge a three battery set in any case. They just don't all see the same voltages and possibly the PD has the same issue in charging them.

PD is pretty good about responding, at least they were at one time. Try phoning the service department.

Thad 1947: It sounds to me like one of your batteries developed an internal short and the PD simply tried to charge it until it was essentially boiled dry, then the other battery was damaged. When you tried to connect it alone, the same thermal runaway started to happen. Again, only a guess, but the batteries, not the PD might be the issue. Although they are "smart chargers" they are not human, and when batteries have issues, the PD cannot know all.

This is one reason I do not leave my PD's on 24/7 when not home, or all winter. Stuff happens. Both batteries and electronics can fail.

Of course, I may be all wet, and the PD's are defective. But I would test them with a known good to new single battery to see how they behave before assuming the problem was the PD, not the battery.
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Old 04-13-2012, 10:58 AM   #11
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The suggestion to check the voltage with a meter was a good one: the actual voltage of the system is about 13.5 - the built in voltmeter shows 15.2 at the moment. I'm guessing that meter is bad or wired strangely - I'll do more investigation after this trip, but I'm convinced my problem is not the 9260. Thanks for the advice.

I'll update this when I figure out what's going on with the gauge - maybe it's not measuring what I think. Ahh, the joys of used campers.
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:33 PM   #12
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The batteries only about 2 years old, both purchased at the same time. If I used the PD remote to change the charge mode manually the voltage output of the 9260 did not change. And, as far as I can see, Progressive's own trouble chart says if the voltage is over 14.4 volts on an output line while not connected to a battery, to return it for repair. AGM batteries are more forgiving as far as charge voltage goes than gell cells and should be able to take 14.4 volts while charging. It would be difficult for me to put my Fluke meter on the post while a sealed battery was starting to boil and get a voltage reading while it is charging.
The batteries cost more than the 9260 and I am reluctant to have battery acid dripping out of my Airstream again. I need at least one new battery, most likely two. I think my best course would be to try another type convertor. On our sail boat we have a truecharge unit that has kept our 3 group 31 gell cell batteries happy for 10 plus years.
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Old 04-14-2012, 12:44 AM   #13
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Skater, The PD is not without problems but should act like the manual says, period. Problem is that it does not always but its a very popular unit and I still carry it for that reason and its generally a good unit. If you are seeing 15 volts, either the unit is bad or the meter is not accurate. No other possibilities.
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