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Old 10-01-2015, 04:30 PM   #81
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...
Awful hard to take a specific gravity from my SLA batteries.
And after many months of procrastination, the two SLA batteries are installed in parallel. They are Sears size 31, 100 AH each. (Now out of production.)

Here is a before photo - prior to strapping down for travel.

Since someone is bound to question hooking up batteries in parallel...
The theory says if they are identical in construction and electrical characteristics, then the "parasitic drain" of one battery charging another should be negligable.

I measured my drain at initial hookup at 165 milliamps, and after five days at 7 milliamps. (No charging during this time.) I can live with 7 milliamps of drain for a long time. And the standard 160/150 Watt solar installation can replace the loss with about 5 minutes of sunlight.

Battery maintenance - gone!

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Old 10-01-2015, 07:11 PM   #82
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And after many months of procrastination, the two SLA batteries are installed in parallel. They are Sears size 31, 100 AH each. (Now out of production.)


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Remember to set the solar controller to 'GEL' batteries or 'AGM' or what ever yours are, just take them off 'Flooded'.

Flooded and AGM are the same 14.4 volts but flooded equalizes (boils the acid a bit) every 28 days.
Gel uses 14.1 volts.

Is it the Go power 30 controller that you have?
if so hold down the 'B' button for about 8 seconds, the display will start to flash.
Then each time you press the B button again it will show '1' for flooded, '2' for AGM and then '3' for GEL, press the 'A' button to lock it in.


And the red wire with the fuse should go on the left battery, because the black ground appears to be on the right battery. And if you are going to be running an inverter with more than 150 watts, now would be a good time to upgrade the wire to a larger gauge. with 200amps on tap you can seriously overheat 10 gauge.
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Old 10-02-2015, 01:54 PM   #83
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Remember to set the solar controller to 'GEL' batteries or 'AGM' or what ever yours are, just take them off 'Flooded'.

Flooded and AGM are the same 14.4 volts but flooded equalizes (boils the acid a bit) every 28 days.
Gel uses 14.1 volts.

Is it the Go power 30 controller that you have?
if so hold down the 'B' button for about 8 seconds, the display will start to flash.
Then each time you press the B button again it will show '1' for flooded, '2' for AGM and then '3' for GEL, press the 'A' button to lock it in.
That's good information - Thanks! And highlights the fact that I should have read the Go Power instruction manual. These particular AGM batteries do not recommend an equalize cycle.


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And the red wire with the fuse should go on the left battery, because the black ground appears to be on the right battery. And if you are going to be running an inverter with more than 150 watts, now would be a good time to upgrade the wire to a larger gauge. with 200amps on tap you can seriously overheat 10 gauge.
My setup has the two batteries in parallel, which for all practical purposes means there is no "left" or "right" battery anymore. The red wire with the main fuse could be connected to either positive terminal without changing any electrical characteristics.

No inverter permanently connected in my trailer (one is available but in that rare instance I will connect it directly to the battery with dedicated heavy, short wires.)

I have calculated an "average worst case" battery current drain - water pump, fans, furnace and many lights, on simultaneously, at around 15 amps. (That's the "taking a shower on a cold night" scenario.) I believe the existing wire to be sufficient. An "unlikely worst case" would be to add the 'fridge running on 12v which would double that - but I intend to avoid that scenario.

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Old 10-02-2015, 02:23 PM   #84
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My setup has the two batteries in parallel, which for all practical purposes means there is no "left" or "right" battery anymore. The red wire with the main fuse could be connected to either positive terminal without changing any electrical characteristics.

No inverter permanently connected in my trailer

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Battery purists like to have the wires to the batteries the same length so that during charging and discharging the slight difference in voltage is equalized or I guess negated.
So from the charging source or the discharge load each battery 'sees' the shortty jumper just once.
The left side battery will see the jumper in its negative line and the right side battery will see the jumper in its positive line.
Rather than one battery sees no jumpers and the other battery sees two jumpers.

I haven't found the need for anything larger than a 75 watt inverter that plugs into the 12 volt socket, to charge my electric razor and an old coleman camping lantern, so I'm with you on that front.

And your 'shore power' the brown box with the fuses on it has a charger as well, it is 14.4V so your AGM's are ok with it.
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Old 10-02-2015, 02:29 PM   #85
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I'm convinced my $12.95 75 Watt inverter with my MacBook plugged into it is what sucked down my batteries one evening ( furnace also on for those three or four hours ).
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Old 10-02-2015, 02:57 PM   #86
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I don't user the trailer batteries when boondocking any longer to charge my devices, but use the external battery packs to recharge ipad, phones, etc. http://amzn.to/1M6ED56 You can top these up real quick over the week by just putting them on the usb charger on the car when running around touring.

They are also making these external battery packs(some include solar panels built in the top) that will recharge laptops as well, or you can get a laptop automobile charger with a 12V plug that will go straight into the cig lighter or a similar plug in the trailer and bypass a need for an inverter.

These external battery packs are awesome when not camping as well, and I find I'm using them all time now.
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Old 10-02-2015, 04:09 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by jxoco View Post
Battery purists like to have the wires to the batteries the same length so that during charging and discharging the slight difference in voltage is equalized or I guess negated.
So from the charging source or the discharge load each battery 'sees' the shortty jumper just once.
At the risk of alienating any forum readers that may still be following this...

At 20 degrees C, a 10 AWG wire has almost exactly .001 ohm resistance per foot.
At a nominal 10 Amps charge or discharge, and assuming my short jumpers are 6 inches each, then the voltage loss in my system is .01 volts from not "balancing" the jumpers.



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Old 10-02-2015, 05:27 PM   #88
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Since your converter sees your batteries as "one" and they are both same age and type, I suggest you place the negative on battery A and the positive on Battery B feeds to the converter, that way it will be treated as one unit versus a single plus a slave.
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Old 10-02-2015, 07:53 PM   #89
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Experiments with solar panels

Greg I have started doing that same thing. The prices of those backup batteries has really dropped lately. I picked up a 16000 mAh Li-ion on eBay for less than $15
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Old 10-02-2015, 09:27 PM   #90
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Since your converter sees your batteries as "one" and they are both same age and type, I suggest you place the negative on battery A and the positive on Battery B feeds to the converter, that way it will be treated as one unit versus a single plus a slave.
Next time I visit the trailer (in storage), I'll see if I can detect a voltage drop from A to B. And I'll check that at least one lead, either positive or negative, is long enough to reach the far battery.

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