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Old 12-21-2015, 05:31 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by alanmalk View Post
According to the GoPower manual: 6 milli-amps for the controller, 10 ma for the display.

In rough numbers, that will drain 10 amp-hours from the battery per month.

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If I read the OP correctly, it went from 60% to 51% in a month or about 20Ahr, half the loss is the controller/display. I'd suggest fully charge the batteries, disconnect one of the battery leads, check the voltage or better yet take a reading with a hydrometer after 24 or 48 hours to verify you have a full charge. If it's okay, check it again in a month. It'd tell you if it's your batteries.
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Old 12-21-2015, 12:13 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Brian B-P View Post
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I would have said "watching the Trojan video", but I prefer to read documentation, such as this from Trojan



Same thing as in the maintenance guide.


I believe what they're saying is that a charger normally starts by trying to apply the final charging voltage, then steps down for the finishing stage - by restarting the charger, it goes back to the higher charging voltage. This technique is being used as a substitute for a specific equalization mode on the charger.

They may not have mentioned it in the video, but the written version does say to set the charger for the equalizing voltage. The table which the instructions reference is a bit higher on the same page, and shows an equalization voltage of 15.5V, so perhaps they consider the "daily charge" setting of 14.8V close enough; for comparison, the float voltage that a charger should drop to when completely done is listed as only 13.2V.
Since I have the old version of the GoPower controller without a button to provide an extra hour of boost charging, and, of course, it is difficult to unplug & replug the solar controller, I found that by adding a load large enough to drop the battery temporarly to under 12.2V will reset the GoPower controller from the float back to the boost stage for a couple of hours. A 70 amp load on the battery for 30 seconds will do this in my case.

According to the manual, it will apply the boost stage for 2 hours if the battery goes under 12.3 V, and, if the battery drops below 12.1 V, will provide 2 hours of equalization.

I still have not solved the problem of why adding my portable solar panel while the GoPower controller is in the float stage reduces the controller's output current. (See this post.)
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Old 12-21-2015, 01:49 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by padlin View Post
If I read the OP correctly, it went from 60% to 51% in a month or about 20Ahr, half the loss is the controller/display. I'd suggest fully charge the batteries, disconnect one of the battery leads, check the voltage or better yet take a reading with a hydrometer after 24 or 48 hours to verify you have a full charge. If it's okay, check it again in a month. It'd tell you if it's your batteries.
It is generally acknowledged that a hydrometer reading, corrected for temperature, is the most accurate measure of battery charge. At least that is what I read.

But the problem with being accurate - such as "60% to 51% in a month or about 20Ahr, half the loss is the controller/display" - is that it has to take into account the age of the batteries. If the battery is half way through its lifespan then it doesn't have the capacity of a new battery. So the percentage drop from 60 to 51 might in fact represent 10 Ahr. I'm not suggesting that this correct, because I have no idea how the batteries have been treated, or the initial capacity, or the initial quality, etc.

But we're campers, so the final determination is: Do the batteries last as long as you need them to last - while boondocking in that special place where you don't want to leave in the middle to buy new batteries? You don't need any fancy equipment for that...

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Old 12-21-2015, 04:48 PM   #14
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Thank you your responses. The camper was storage the same way last year and the readings did not seem to drop very much over a very cold winter. I did add distilled water to the batteries prior to storing it. I wonder if the batteries never got up to a full charge prior to going in the pole barn? It would be difficult to get the camper out of the barn now and there is no electric available. The options I have to charge would be 1) run an extension cord about 100 feet 2) run a generator in the pole barn or 3) get the truck close enough to plug into the camper and idle the truck. There is plenty of ventilation in the pole barn. Are any of these good ideas?

How bad is it if the batteries drop below the current reading?
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Old 12-21-2015, 05:01 PM   #15
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If you leave the batteries in the trailer over the winter , you need to leave them fully charged. Personally I'd run the extension cord and let the converter charge them up for a couple days.
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Old 12-21-2015, 05:29 PM   #16
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The disconnect switch is off.
I had the impression the battery switch isolated the batteries from the system. i.e. isolated from even the solar charger. I haven't had a need to verify this one way or the other, but it could be an easy solution.

Can anyone verify one way or the other?

Thanks.
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Old 12-21-2015, 05:46 PM   #17
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Ivan said he had the disconnect turned off so with the 12v is disconnected he still had a reading on the controller.
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Old 12-21-2015, 05:46 PM   #18
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Hugh, I was told that the "standard" cutoff does not disconnect the solar, but that you can get a separate cutoff for that also.
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Old 12-21-2015, 05:51 PM   #19
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I had the impression the battery switch isolated the batteries from the system. i.e. isolated from even the solar charger.
I think the logic was to isolate the batteries from everything that might run them down, but leave them connected to the solar power system to maintain a charge. The disconnect would also not affect the connection to the inverter, because the switch (at least the ones I've seen in Escapes) doesn't have nearly enough capacity to handle the inverter's input current.
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Old 12-21-2015, 06:01 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by ivanputski View Post
How bad is it if the batteries drop below the current reading?
I would have no concern with a single deep discharge cycle of the batteries per season, as far as battery life and condition are concerned. The issue would be freezing.

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If you leave the batteries in the trailer over the winter , you need to leave them fully charged.
I think you need to leave them charged enough that they never run down enough for the electrolyte in the batteries to freeze.

The attached graph, which is taken from Trojan's white paper on Deep-Cycle Battery Storage, shows that the further discharged the battery becomes, the higher the temperature at which freezing becomes a risk. At the current state of charge, these batteries would not be safe to leave in an unheated space here... but fortunately for them, they're not here.

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Originally Posted by padlin View Post
Personally I'd run the extension cord and let the converter charge them up for a couple days.
I think this makes sense: ensure a suitable starting condition, confirm that nothing will drain them down, and walk away.
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File Type: jpg ElectrolyteFreezingPoint.JPG (25.6 KB, 2 views)
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