Battery Capacity & Charging Management

‘The Landy’ currently has a dual battery system, running a standard wet cell battery for cranking and deep cycle for auxiliary power, which is 60AMP only, with a Redarc Smart Solenoid. I’m not sure this is the best battery combination and I’m keen to explore alternatives, especially for battery charging and also ‘power’ storage.

The Landy’s 60 litre Engel can use up to 3AMP PH so I need to increase disposable power available for longer stays. This became more evident on our recent trip.

Whilst I have read some commentary on the subject I feel there is a wealth of knowledge here, so I’d appreciate suggestions/ideas from the forum on;

. Best batteries to use,
. Most efficient charging system

And if you are able to suggest an auto-electrician (Sydney based) that has a good understanding of the requirements for recreational 4WD vehicles I’d appreciate that also.....

Cheers, The Landy
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Reply By: roberttbruce - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 13:38

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 13:38
i've gone to wet-acids from agm's. In the last four years ive lost three agm's to cold snaps. The change is to reduce replacement cost...

i have incredableby complex looking Rotronics system with four box's and wires running everywhere.... the system works very very well but im horrified about locating a fail when/if one happens...

if i was to do it again i think i would stick to a simple mechanical solenoid. Sometimes they dont switch over successfully, but i always make sure i listen for the click over...

apparently, batteries that are stamped labeled are better than batterys sticker labeled
AnswerID: 425380

Reply By: WATTS2C - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 13:45

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 13:45
If you're looking for a good reliable and smart battery charger, we would recommend the CTEK. Go for an M series (marine) as they have a 5 year warranty.

Check out our website for more info

cheers

mh
AnswerID: 425382

Reply By: Battery Value Pty Ltd - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 14:13

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 14:13
Hello Landy,

just recently got to look under the bonnet of a client's Landy.
There was an O_p_tima sitting there.

He said the charging system on his Landy was tuned to perfectly charge this auxiliary battery.

Well I thought, that makes things easy.

Just parallel any number of additional O_p_tima type batteries to the existing one to increase the capacity in 50Ah steps.

No additional switches, or control gear.
If you select gauge #8 or 6 wire (even 6 mm auto wire), you can have the additional battery/ies some metres away from the existing one.
Just connect positive to positives, and neg to negtvs. 30 amp in-line-blade-fuse close to the positive battery terminal/s and you're all set.

BTW, if you're worried about the price of these ruggend batteries, there's help.

Pls check out my profile for current OE member offers on spiral wound pure lead/tin AGM batteries. Since you're already a member, you'll love these.... ;)

Best regards, Peter
AnswerID: 425385

Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 17:59

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 17:59
Note Optima now have a size compatiable N70 with 77ah
Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: The Landy - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 18:17

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 18:17
Thanks.....Peter
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Reply By: Member - Ian A (NSW) - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 16:06

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 16:06
Hi Landy,

I had a second battery installed by Graeme Cooper in St Peters, it is only a second cranking battery but as we will be travelling most days hopefully it will not be an issue as really only the fridge running off of it.
Rather than any smart solenoids, they fit a manual heavy duty battery switch
(something similar to thishttp://www.whitworths.com.au/main_itemdetail.asp?cat=123&item=84400&intAbsolutePage=1) which allows me to switch between batteries as needed and charge which ever is needed.

A deep cycle battery would be good in this type of set up, I looked at these as an option as they are 115 Am/hr but no room to fit it.

http://www.batteryguru.com.au/32.html

Worth giving them a call or going to their website

www.graemecooper.com.au

I have no affiliation with them other than they have serviced my 93 Classic Range Rover for the last 8+ years

hope that helps

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AnswerID: 425391

Follow Up By: The Landy - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 18:29

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 18:29
Thanks..
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Reply By: Rod - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 17:56

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 17:56
I've run a dual battery system in two defenders over the last 10 years. For me the key parameters for me were:

* Amp Hour capacity in the auxiliary battery so you can run your accessories as long as possible
* Fastest possible recharge time from the alternator so you don't need to drive the vehicle for long to top it back up

My experience has been:
* Traditional flooded deep deep cycle batteries take longer to charge from the alternator than the newer AGM batteries. You can cut down your recharge times significantly by using AGMs over traditional flooded wet cell deep cycle batteries. You alternator may put out 60+ amps, but the non traditional deep cycles can't accept the available high current.

* Flooded starting batteries seem to be better than traditional deep cycle at accepting a higher charge current, but still not as good as AGM.

* If your dual battery system is able to charge the starting battery and then bring the auxiliary online and then isolate the starter to independently charge the auxiliary battery, you can cut down your recharge times over a simpler system that simply connects both starter and aux battery in parallel.
AnswerID: 425400

Follow Up By: The Landy - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 18:28

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 18:28
Thanks Rod

This is along the lines I have been thinking. I am looking at putting an additional auxilliary battery under the back seat (there is some space in there on the 130), but key will be getting a higher charge to them.

The system I have is okay, but I lack capacity and this can be addressed by ensuring higer rate of charge, and larger or more batteries.

And all this for a fridge!

Cheers, The Landy
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Reply By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 18:06

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 18:06
If your car has the ability to idle up and is quiet then I wouldn't get a charger Landy , just the alternator - its by far the most $ wise efficent system based on 1/2 hour re-charge or 2 a day.

If not CTEK's etc are great (25amp version).

Then its battery choice - and I agree that spiral wound Optima's are great but if cost is issue go for an Overlander or 2 (usually fit N70 sized battery holders with a squeeze) , with strong vibration resistant plates and I think low 80's AH.
Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: The Landy - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 18:35

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 18:35
Hi Robin, thanks for your thoughts.

Essentially the vehicle is driven each day normally when touring, but there may be exceptions. We have a large alternator, but I need to ensure that the batteries can accept a high rate of charge.

Cheers, The Landy
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Reply By: Maîneÿ . . .- Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 18:16

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 18:16
. Best batteries to use;
AGM Deep Cycle for running a fridge etc because they will recharge much faster


. Most efficient charging system;
Solar power, or if you don't wish to join those with solar, the Vehicle Alternator

Maîneÿ . . .
AnswerID: 425402

Follow Up By: The Landy - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 20:08

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 20:08
Hi Mainey

I have room to put solar panels on top of my canopy roof....so I have considered that as an option. Any idea on the size might I need to charge my battery system, noting the 60 Litre Engel draws around 2-3 AMPS per hour...

Cheers, The Landy
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Follow Up By: Mandrake's Solar Power- Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 21:48

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 21:48
Landy ,

A 140 watt panel and an MPPT controller would pretty much do that especially the further North you go ..

I have a 140 on the Jeep with a 20 Amp MPPT and a Waeco 50 powered by a 100 aH AGM battery - never got into trouble yet and I don't have Alternator as an extra ..

Cheers

Steve

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Reply By: The Landy - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 18:17

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 18:17
Thanks for the many responses, and I'll let you know how I go.
AnswerID: 425403

Follow Up By: Member - Paul B (WA) - Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 22:04

Tuesday, Jul 27, 2010 at 22:04
I like the Dual Mate system as it gives a very clear idea of how much charge you have in your batteries and lets you choose which battery to draw from etc etc. I always thought not having it was a bit like not having a fuel gauge. Also it doesn't spend endless time charging the cranking battery before charging the 2nd battery.
Paul B Kalgoorlie

Do your best, have fun & s/he with the most friends wins!

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