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TOPIC: How can I check?

How can I check? 2 weeks 1 day ago #473893

  • TerryIvybridge
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Whilst on a 60w solar panel connected, and it's putting out !6v, how long should it take to charge a battery back up to 13.5v? This is from an off-grid 12.5v showing? I am desperately trying to find out after 4/5 days off-grid why my mover cuts out if even slightly put under load. Handset is 100% as is the 100amp battery. I am under the impression that the power from the panel would be cut once 13.5v at the battery is achieved?
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How can I check? 2 weeks 1 day ago #473896

  • Woodentop
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60W is 60W, so for a nominal 13.5V it will have to give around 4A.
100Ah/4 + 10% is about 28 hours, and as there is only about 10 hours of daylight we're talking - in theory - about 3 days provided you don't take anything out of the battery in the meantime.

I may be wrong of course - solar panels are beggars to work with!
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How can I check? 2 weeks 15 hours ago #473922

  • Raywood
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Without knowing what caravan you have the question is difficult to answer. Most have some way of checking the charge in the battery.
Newer models will have a screen which either shows it, or has a button to do this, but older ones may simply show red, green or amber if the button is pushed. If you have none then probably you need a meter to check at the terminals or wire one in.
Ray
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How can I check? 2 weeks 15 hours ago #473927

  • Grey13
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As always I tend to think outside the box. (Been in a box since I got married many years ago)
Perhaps the brushes are stuf*ed on the mover?
Reborn caravanner !
Last Edit: 2 weeks 15 hours ago by Grey13.
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How can I check? 1 week 12 hours ago #474207

  • TerryIvybridge
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Turns out the 100 amp battery is 100%. Been on EHU this last week and mover worked well. Just a .35v drop measured by multimeter after the uphill onto the drive. This was from 13.35v beforehand. Is it possible to buy the added 20 or so amps in order to boost the original battery? Wired in Parallel, could this work rather than the expense of a new 110 or higher amperage battery? Possibly be switched so as it would only come into play for such a manoeuvre? particularly after being off grid?
Last Edit: 1 week 10 hours ago by TerryIvybridge.
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How can I check? 1 week 10 hours ago #474209

  • ProfJohnL
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TerryIvybridge wrote:
Turns out the 100 amp battery is 100%. Been on EHU this last week and mover worked well. Just a .35v drop measured by multimeter after the uphill onto the drive. This was from 13.35v beforehand. Is it possible to buy the added 20 or so amps in order to boost the original battery? Wired in Parallel, could this work rather than the expense of a new 110 or higher amperage battery? Possibly be switched so as it would only come into play for such a manoeuvre? particularly after being off grid?

Hello Terry,
Unfortunately it's not quite that simple. If the present 100Ah battery is not being fully charged by the solar panel, adding extra battery capacity won't help, as neither battery will get fully charged.

In practice using a a caravan mover uses much less power than you might think. I have previously estimated that on average a mover will use less than 2Ah of battery capacity, so your 100Ah should be more than capable of running your mover.

If the mover is cutting out because the battery voltage is falling too low, and you have subsequently proven the battery to OK, then it's going to be more sensible to sort out the charging problem to make better use of teh battery you already have.

Solar panels are rated by the maximum power they can produce. Power is measured in Watts (W) and in electrical systems that is affected by the Volts (V) and Current (A). Fortunately Volts x Amps = Watts, and if your panel is 60W, I would expect that to mean if it was running at 12V it would be capable of pushing 5A of current through its wires. But the panels output will have other limits such as a maximum current, and a maximum voltage, so as the batteries terminal voltage rises as it charges, a solar panels ability to push current into a battery reduces.

If this is uncontrolled in other word if a solar panel is directly connected to a battery, depending on the equipment and the conditions, battery may be over or under charged.

That is one reason why a proper solar charge controller is important. Good ones can effectively match the best load conditions to enable a solar panel to maximise is power output, whilst at the same time ensuring the connected battery is correctly charged. But obviously if the solar panel is not big enough or the light conditions are not bright enough to cover any power used from the battery, the battery cannot be fully recharged by solar alone.

There can be other problems with trying to connect multiple batteries in parallel. If on battery is in poor condition relative to the other difference in terminal voltages will cause some very large currents to flow between the batteries when they are connected. This is potentially dangerous as wiring can easily overheat and could start a fire. Battery manufactures will tell you that when parallel connecting batteries, the batteries should be from the same batch and size, and in the same condition, otherwise any electrical load or charging will not be shared correctly, again possibly leading to dangerous overheating of wires or cells.
Unless I use quotes, All advice and opinions given are my own and are given in good faith. Never act on anything you read on a forum unless you can validate and verify its source and content.
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How can I check? 1 week 8 hours ago #474213

  • TerryIvybridge
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Cheers for that Prof' Really don't know where to go with this now? Best advice so far is to buy a 110 or possibly a 115 amp battery? As you said, the 100 amp should be up to the job but may be it's the motors after all? Powrtouch point towards the battery. The 60w panel has a power controller in-built supplied by a reputable company and I roof mount it and off grid camps usually amount to 5-6 days at a time. The 'van is a 2012 Lunar Quasar and has a full compliment of led lighting and 12v items are turned off if not in use.
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How can I check? 1 week 7 hours ago #474214

  • Damian-Moderator
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Quote " Turns out the 100 amp battery is 100%."

May I ask how you proved the battery is 100%?
What tests were carried out to determine this?
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How can I check? 6 days 16 hours ago #474222

  • Dustydog
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How old is your mover?
Have you cleaned all the connectors and made sure all cables to the motor are securely connected. New brushes are cheap and include new terminals. Very easy to change.
Sir Dustydog (BAR) TS .Woosie Round Table
Properly trained, man can be dog's best friend.
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How can I check? 6 days 16 hours ago #474224

  • Raywood
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The battery should be powerful enough assuming there are no steep slopes for it to climb. We manage with a 75 amp battery moving a Quasar 574 although usually on the flat. I do use a 20 amp solar charger to trickle charge when not in use, but that only keeps the battery from draining rather than powering it.
Ray
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