Battery Question??

Submitted: Sunday, Jan 16, 2005 at 17:37
ThreadID: 19436 Views:2211 Replies:7 FollowUps:4
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I have two 105a Deep Cycle Trojans in the Camper Trailer hooked in parallel. Because I haven't used it for a while I give them a charge on the first of every month with a 12Amp charger. Question is "Why is the water level always low"? All that is being used is the LED readout for Battery Capacity.When I charge I leave them on for a couple of days and they accept the charge on demand from the charger. The reading goes up to about 13.6a and then drops back to 12.9 after a few hours. All seems OK excepy this water usage.
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Reply By: Noosa Bushtrackers - Sunday, Jan 16, 2005 at 17:50

Sunday, Jan 16, 2005 at 17:50
I am no expert, but we had a 25 amp charger for 3 deep cycle batteries in our caravan and had a similar problem. We were told that because the 25 amp charger had to run for such a long time to charge the batteries up that the electrolite was being boiled off, and we should up grade our charger. We eventually stuffed the batteries due to fluid level boiling down with regular charger use.

We now have 4 fully sealed AC Delco deep cycle batteries in the van being charged mainly off solar, but have a 50 amp charger that gets them up quickly.
They have been in for over 3 years and are working fine now.

We also put in a Megapulse unit last May and the indicator on that was between orange and red when we put it in, and now it is always on green so that must have improved the batteries also.
Brian
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AnswerID: 93419

Follow Up By: Member - Nobby - Sunday, Jan 16, 2005 at 18:12

Sunday, Jan 16, 2005 at 18:12
Yeah thanks for that. Just a bit of a nuisance having to put 1.5 l in each battery every time I want to charge them.
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FollowupID: 352421

Follow Up By: Mainey... - Monday, Jan 17, 2005 at 01:45

Monday, Jan 17, 2005 at 01:45
Noosa Bushtrackers
(Quote) " We were told that because the 25 amp charger had to run for such a long time to charge the batteries up that the electrolite was being boiled off, and we should up grade our charger. We eventually stuffed the batteries due to fluid level boiling down with regular charger use.
We now have 4 fully sealed AC Delco deep cycle batteries in the van being charged mainly off solar, but have a 50 amp charger that gets them up quickly.
They have been in for over 3 years and are working fine now.
We also put in a Megapulse unit last May and the indicator on that was between orange and red when we put it in, and now it is always on green so that must have improved the batteries also. " (end quote)

I will not tell you anything that you can't read on various websites, IE;
Deep Cycle batteries should be charged slowly, the original battery charger should have worked better than the second charger if you believe the relevant experts, I use a 10 amp charger with a charge controller for 2 x 80A/H battery with no hassles.
The loosing of electrolite may be heat related or too fast a charge going into the batteries as you say? but what would I know, my 4 & 1/2 yo batteries have been on the charger for 14 months now and are still holding their charge when tested??
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FollowupID: 352490

Reply By: Brian (SA) - Sunday, Jan 16, 2005 at 18:35

Sunday, Jan 16, 2005 at 18:35
Nobby; have a look at getting a charger you can leave connected. For my motor cycle battery I use a Projecta 900 mA charger which has a maintaining charge level once the battery is fully charged.

It basically reduces the output voltage on the charge once current tapers off to the battery.

I'm sure if you look around there will be a similar item to suit a deep cycle.

You are boiling off water as your existing charger simply puts out a fixed voltage (probably 14.5-15 Volts).

The other option would be a small solar panel; I'm sure you will get lots of advice about these from posters.
AnswerID: 93425

Reply By: Member - Jimbo (VIC) - Sunday, Jan 16, 2005 at 18:59

Sunday, Jan 16, 2005 at 18:59
Nobby,

Projects make a device that you put between your charger and the battery that converts your charger into a three stage charger for about $50 at Kmart or Big Woollies.

Cheers,

Jim.
AnswerID: 93427

Follow Up By: Member - Jimbo (VIC) - Sunday, Jan 16, 2005 at 19:17

Sunday, Jan 16, 2005 at 19:17
Sorry,

That should be Projecta, not Projects.
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FollowupID: 352428

Reply By: Wok - Sunday, Jan 16, 2005 at 19:44

Sunday, Jan 16, 2005 at 19:44
Hello Nobby,

I was advised by my batteryman to top up the battery AFTER charging [assuming the plates are not exposed]

Had a look at the Projecta 10A device..its a 2 stage unit..not 3. I use a 3 stager..setup & forget [Hi-Tech 15A unit, it can do equalisation as well which I perform on my wetcells once a year]

cheers
AnswerID: 93439

Reply By: Magnus - Sunday, Jan 16, 2005 at 20:59

Sunday, Jan 16, 2005 at 20:59
Nobby,

You really should use a three stage charger with deep cycle batteries to get the best out of them. There are a couple of web sites that say you must use a 3 stage charger.

They are expensive, like over $200 for one that will do the job on your set up of two deep cycle batteries.

There are several brands available. I use a Projecta myself. Got it from Repco.

Cheers

Magnus
AnswerID: 93458

Follow Up By: Member - Ross P (NSW) - Monday, Jan 17, 2005 at 09:13

Monday, Jan 17, 2005 at 09:13
I use a 7A Ctek from Bainbridge technologies for my 85AH van mounted deepcycle battery. It's a multistage smart charger and seems to do the trick. Cost over $300.00. The car only partially cahrges the batterey and then, with the smart charger connected it takes longer than 48 hours to get to the "maitenance mode". This IMO is typical for a deep cycle battery. The Ctek has several selectable modes includiing "supply" and "boost" and a LED's to show stae of charge.
I still check and top up water levels as part of a my maintenance regime. Pretty simple to carry some distilled water.
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FollowupID: 352514

Reply By: Mainey... - Monday, Jan 17, 2005 at 02:03

Monday, Jan 17, 2005 at 02:03
Nobby,

look at these websites;

Battery charger:
http://www.projecta.com.au/products/index.php/command/viewproduct/productserial/20/categoryserial/10

Charge controller:
http://www.projecta.com.au/products/index.php/command/viewproduct/productserial/81/categoryserial/6

Maybe the battery charger is boiling the batteries, or is it actually temperature related, in a hot shed.
The Charge controller can be used on any manual battery charger. ~$80 ??
put the charge controller on the charger and leave it connected to the batteries wired in parallel, set and forget.
Run a fridge or similar (headlight) for a few hours, (maybe 8 hours) every few months to partially drain the batteries, (still linked) and reconnect the charger, take it down to whatever voltage you are happy with, as if it was being used every now an then, when you consider most fridges have a 10.5v or 11v battery cut-out, 12 may be too high, as it is only every few months... and it is your battery system.
AnswerID: 93507

Reply By: Noosa Bushtrackers - Monday, Jan 17, 2005 at 11:22

Monday, Jan 17, 2005 at 11:22
I suppose that I should have said in my earier posting that the 50 amp battery charger that we have is a good 3 stage battery charger (and very expensive) that is designed for use with deep cycle batteries. It puts the initial charge in quickly and then goes into a float mode that allows it to be left on all the time if we want to. It is also designed for use with 3 or more batteries. For 2 batteries they recommend the 35amp charger.

All Bushtracker caravans have these 3 stage chargers installed so that they are compatable with deep cycle batteries of various types, and solar panels as well. From years of experience building 10 to 12 vans per month, they have found that the larger 3 stage chargers are the best for deep cycle batteries.

I unwittingly caused the problem with my initial batteries when I increased the number of batteries but not the size of the 25amp charger and this caused the charger to be working for a much longer period to charge up the batteries and caused them to boil.
Brian
Doing it tuff, Towing a Bushtracker.

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AnswerID: 93566

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