Author Topic: Battery expertise  (Read 17353 times)

Jeff Watt

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Re: Battery expertise
« Reply #15 on: April 23, 2013, 06:57:28 PM »
Joel,

The batteries are all the same age and are all AGM; There isn't any marking on the batteries to identify the model - at least not that I can see - so I am guessing the small batteries are 6v based on Lifeline's page of batteries. I have attached pics of the lower bank (4 batteries) upper bank (2 batteries) and the schematics showing (1) the optional arrangement for batteries - mine is not the same as I have 2 up top, (2) the schematic showing wiring from the battery banks. Maybe somebody more clever than I can deduce it.

Gerald stated that my genset starts from the house batteries - so I need to upgrade my house batteries to ensure good starts. I did contact BCS but they thought that the chassis batteries started my genset - I think Gerald's response is the correct one.

I also received a quote from the Lifeline dealer in Grand Forks ND for a sum of $2600 for the 2 large batteries and the 4 small batteries - makes one think about using Trojans! Would have to re-wire the battery bank as the cables won't be long enough.



Jeff Watt

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Re: Battery expertise
« Reply #16 on: April 23, 2013, 06:59:20 PM »
apparently stupid iPhone sends pics and while they look ok on my laptop, they load up on BAC site upside down ....

Stan Simpson

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Re: Battery expertise
« Reply #17 on: April 23, 2013, 07:24:49 PM »
Quote from: Jeff Watt
apparently stupid iPhone sends pics and while they look ok on my laptop, they load up on BAC site upside down ....

Mine do that too. I have to send the picture to my PC, then edit it, then post it. PITA.

Stan Simpson & Becky Glover & Moe the cat
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Joel Ashley

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Re: Battery expertise
« Reply #18 on: April 23, 2013, 09:54:40 PM »
Not being a glass mat user, I have limited info to offer regarding them, except that not having cells means they don't need equalizing.  A continuity check from genny switch, relay, or breaker to battery bank cable would verify which group starts the genset, but Gerald's theory's are usually accurate. There are several ways I can think of to affirm which bank connects to the genset, perhaps as simple as turning off one of the master battery switches or disconnecting a cable, and see if the genset still gets juice.

I'd seriously consider whether there isn't a cable format that would allow you to put lead liquid acid units in there and save a lot of cash.  Glass mats to me are a heck of a price to pay for saving the "labor" of occasionally adding distilled water, and stats I've seen indicate they don't last longer than well-cared for LLAs.  There are other opinions, but that's mine.

Joel
Joel and Lee Rae Ashley
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36.9 ft. 2006 Monterey Ventura IV, aka"Monty Rae"
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Jeff Watt

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Re: Battery expertise
« Reply #19 on: April 24, 2013, 01:37:09 AM »
So upon further inspection and cross checking, none of the RV deep cycle batteries are the same size as the 4 small ones in my coach. Consequently I started to check other batteries on the Lifeline sizing page(s).  The ones that closest fit the size I have are GPL-1400T which are an RV starting battery producing 550CCA but limited discharge capability. As I found this info out after hours I sent Lifeline an email - may call tomorrow or Thursday.

In any event if they are starting batteries, I'd be better off with some form of deep-cycle battery. Also it would clarify 12v and 6v confusion I had. If the are starting batteries, then one has to wonder why - Monaco fitting in batteries that fit; using starting batteries as they are to start the genset?

More questions. In any event theyll be changed to more robust units - whether that is AGM or Trojans.

Jeff

Joel Ashley

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Re: Battery expertise
« Reply #20 on: April 24, 2013, 07:12:53 AM »
From what I can read of your schematics, and the text isn't all clear, it looks like Monaco intended 4 6v golf cart batteries for your house bank.  One image seems to imply 6 cell batteries (12v) but the wiring and hard to read text looks like 6 v.  

If you are not the original owner, then someone likely replaced them or the coach was ordered custom that way.  I'm unsure why a 2007 coach would be needing a third set of house bats already.  From the wiring in your photo, they used 12v AGM last time, and if indeed they are starting bats, then someone really goofed up and spent some money doing it.  The smaller cable of the three (two positive, one negative) going to that bank may run the long distance to the generator starter solenoid +bat post.  Such a cable is sized to minimize voltage drop over that run.

Consider reverting to 6v deep cycles this time since they have more overall capacity than 12 v deep cycles anyway.

Joel
« Last Edit: April 24, 2013, 07:27:48 AM by 77 »
Joel and Lee Rae Ashley
Clackamas, Oregon
36.9 ft. 2006 Monterey Ventura IV, aka"Monty Rae"
C9 400HP Cat

Jeff Watt

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Re: Battery expertise
« Reply #21 on: April 24, 2013, 01:54:24 PM »
Joel,

I'm not the original owner. I should have sent clearer photos of the wiring diagrams; the page states "8 of  GC-2 ,6v golf cart Interstate for domestic batteries".

Now stating that, the build sheet that came with the coach identifies with the residential fridge 4 additional AGM batteries as part of the package. The coach was ordered by a Canadian dealer for someone so maybe they did order it that way, seems unlikely or as you say someone screwed up by putting in starting batteries - don't know for sure if they are until I can talk with Lifeline.

Another page in the wiring diagrams discusses std and optional batteries. One option for chassis is the Lifeline 4D which I have. The options for house batteries are:

8 6v interstate
4 12v AGM 4D, or for an all electric
5 12v AGM 8D

So I have a combination either by design or incompetence.

As the 4D is 12v I assume the 4 small are as well, so I should either switch to all 12 v or go to the wiring suggestion of 8 6v.

Once I can pull the coach out of the shed I'll try to start the genset with one of the battery banks off to see if does use the house batteries. If it is the one cable you mentioned for starting the genset, is it possible to move it to the chassis batteries?

Thanks,

Jeff

Jeff Watt

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Re: Battery expertise
« Reply #22 on: April 24, 2013, 05:32:07 PM »
I don't want to belabor my issue, however I was contacted by staff at Lifeline and they verified that the small batteries on my coach are in fact the GPL-1400s which are STARTING batteries.  :-/

This likely explains (most of) the poor performance and stamina of the house battery system.

From Lifeline, the Capacity 20hr rate is:

1400s  have 48AH,
GPL-4D have 210AH,
GPL-4CT 6v have 220AH

my simple calculations suggest that at best I have:

(4x48AH) + (2x210AH) = 612AH

whereas 4 of the 4CT give 880AH or if I put 8 in the coach 1760AH

Interestingly the schematic suggested 8 Interstate GC-2 which have Capacity 20hr rate of 232AH or a total of 1856AH which is much greater than the 612AH that I have!!


So my thoughts, as Joel advised, are to replace these 4 batteries and probably the two big batteries with some other batteries.
So now my questions are, as the existing batteries are all 12v, is it much of a chore to switch to 6v? Can I use the schematic showing the 8 6V batteries? I believe the Magnum inverter can be reprogrammed to run any type of battery.


Anybody else have anything similar in their coach. Mine was built  in (I assume) late 2006 as it has a 2006 engine. The coach number is 606318.

Jeff

« Last Edit: April 24, 2013, 05:56:15 PM by 6566 »

Joel Ashley

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Re: Battery expertise
« Reply #23 on: April 24, 2013, 09:40:34 PM »
Your optimum setup would be eight 6v "golf cart" batteries, Jeff, as you can probably surmise from your own calculations.  You can set them up as per your top schematic, although that schematic seems odd because the + and - posts don't seem to be in the same physical position on all the batteries.  

Before you do anything, you need to verify that your new batteries will fit the trays.  My factory-installed Interstate Workaholics are 10" long, 7" wide, and 11" bottom to post top.  The posts  on each are on diagonal corners from one another.  You will need to be able to twist and remove the cell covers to check and add distilled water several times annually, so you won't want to route any cables over them - allow for that when planning the setup.  I need to check the water in mine today anyway, so I will take a photo of my configuration for you.  I don't have a second house tray, since I have no residential fridge, but the per tray arrangement could be the same, assuming your trays are both sized okay.

A pair of 6v batteries hooked together with one wire from the positive post of one to the negative post of the other will make essentially one 12v battery, and this is called a serial connection since it is additive (6 + 6 = 12v).  Arrange each tray with 4 batteries, each pair of 2 batteries hooked serially as per the schematic.

Now that you have what amounts to two 12 volt batteries per tray, run a wire between the as yet unused negative posts of the four batteries, and a wire between the as yet unused positive posts.  This connects the two sets of 12v batteries you created, and is called a parallel connection, which is not additive - it does not double the voltage to 24v, it just increases your amp hours.

The arrangement per tray, to me, is best illustrated by the battery diagram in your bottom schematic photo.  The trays will then have to be connected in parallel, as they probably are now.  Then you will need to go to the Magnum screen and tell the inverter/charger it is now dealing with lead liquid acid batteries, assuming someone programmed it for AGMs at the previous install.  And the solar controller will need to have its dip switches set for LLA batteries also.  If you don't have an owners manual for that, one of us will be glad to assist.

I would hope others here would join with some input, so you aren't going by just my 2 cents, and in case I've missed something. Ed?  Gerald?  Someone with a setup like what Jeff is looking to rig?

Joel
« Last Edit: April 24, 2013, 10:00:18 PM by 77 »
Joel and Lee Rae Ashley
Clackamas, Oregon
36.9 ft. 2006 Monterey Ventura IV, aka"Monty Rae"
C9 400HP Cat

Mike.Way

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Re: Battery expertise
« Reply #24 on: April 24, 2013, 10:07:37 PM »
Quote from: Jeff Watt
apparently stupid iPhone sends pics and while they look ok on my laptop, they load up on BAC site upside down ....

I found 2 issues regarding iPhone orientation. The first article said always be sure the home button is down or to the right when taking a picture. However the orientation is correct on mine if I use the "up volume button" as shutter release. This is a known bug and may be addressed in the next update.

Second, some email and photo upload sites ( including forums ) not sure which ones strip the exif data from images when sent or received.  Exif data stores device, f-stop and aperture data as well as orientation data.  That may be a problem.

My 5 seems okay as I uploaded the same landscape shot to Facebook and Twitter yesterday, but my wife's 4s posted an image sideways.  Software is always touchy.

Mike

Joel Ashley

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Re: Battery expertise
« Reply #25 on: April 25, 2013, 02:13:10 AM »
Jeff, my configuration is basically the same as your lower schematic.

The row on the left is the chassis set, parallel wired 12 v.  The middle row is two serially wired 6v, making essentially one 12v set, as is the right row.  Then the middle and right sets are paralleled together.

One note:  when it comes time to disconnect cables, either pull the fuse on the solar controller or throw a dark tarp over the solar panel if the coach is outside.  The panel can be pumping in juice to the batteries, causing a sizeable spark upon disconnect and connect.  The solar system is independent of the battery master switches, and remains active even with them off - at least on mine.

-Joel
« Last Edit: April 25, 2013, 02:26:15 AM by 77 »
Joel and Lee Rae Ashley
Clackamas, Oregon
36.9 ft. 2006 Monterey Ventura IV, aka"Monty Rae"
C9 400HP Cat

Jeff Watt

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Re: Battery expertise
« Reply #26 on: April 25, 2013, 07:23:01 PM »
Thanks for th photo. It looks like what was on my 05.

I measured the trays and while height isn't really an issue for the upper tray, I may have 10inches of height in the bottom tray, give or take. So the problem is Trojans or interstate batteries are 10+ inches tall. Have to think about this some more.

One battery dealer in Winnipeg has 200ah AGM batteries that would fit nicely, and although they are more $ than Trojan types but less than lifelines, they may do the job. One caveat is they are made in China! Not surre if I want to go down that path of potential inconsistency/reliability.

Jeff

Jeff Watt

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Re: Battery expertise
« Reply #27 on: April 26, 2013, 10:19:18 PM »
I think i made an error on the calculation of power/batteries.

Say the 6v battery has a rating of 220AH but really this is equivalent to a 12v battery having a rating of 110AH.

What this means is if I put 4 GPL-4D batteries (12v) the AH is 880
8 6v batteries will be 880 as well.

The electrical diagrams that came with the coach shows 8 interstate 6v GC producing (225AH each) which results in 900AH total, OR
4 GPL-4D producing 880AH.

A battery shop in Winnipeg has GPL-4D equivalent that produce 230AH each for a reasonable price. Total for them vs total for 8 Trojans is similar.  

=====

on a separate thought I want to try the small positive cable to see if it the power for the Genset start. if it is there may be enough cable to move it to the back battery bay and hook up to the chassis batteries.

Jeff