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Old 07-26-2013, 11:38 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FamilyFun View Post

Brian, you said the solar regulator looks after the battery charge and not the converter....is this true even you are plugged in to shore power? If so, then I just need to understand how the solar regulator charges the batteries and I can ignore the converter?
thanks!
Lisa
Lisa:

I did not answer the question above.

If you are not on shore power the solar regulator will charge the battery assuming the solar panel is in sunshine. If you are on shore power and it is dark the converter will be charging the battery. If you are on shore power and the sun is out and the solar panel is getting enough light it is possible the solar panel will also help in charging the battery. (If the solar regulator displays a charging current it means it is supplying power to the battery.) This is a bit of a simplification: actually the solar regulator and converter are supplying power to the 12 volt system, which can be a combination of the battery and other DC loads. If you read the GoPower and WFCO manuals you will see that there are several different charging modes depending on the line voltage and other factors, so it is not exactly straight forward. So
  • If not on shore power and in sunshine, solar regulator will control charging of the battery.
  • If not on shore power and dark, no charging will be taking place
  • If on shore power and dark, converter will control battery charging
  • If on shore power and in sunshine, both converter and solar regulator can participate in charging the battery
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Old 07-27-2013, 12:30 AM   #12
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Thank you Brian, for clarifying all of that...it really helps me understand how things are operating. Next time we leave for a trip I'll do as you suggest and plug the trailer in for a longer period than overnight to see if that may the issue in not getting the battery fully charged prior to leaving.

The GoPower regulator manual says its absorption voltage is 14.1/14.4V and its float voltage is 13.7V. Is the float voltage what the battery should stay at until until a load is placed on it? Once it has been dark for awhile (with nothing coming in or going out) I've never seen more than 12.7 V on my regulator monitor, even after a very sunny day.

The manual also lists a monthly equalize option....should I be doing this?

Sorry, I think this is all above my head but for some reason I feel compelled to understand it! I'm sure our minimal needs will be met just fine by our battery as Jim said, and I have nothing to worry about.

Thanks again,
Lisa
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Old 07-27-2013, 02:23 AM   #13
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Lisa:

The GoPower Manual says that it may operate in Absorption mode for 1 to 2 hours a day at 14.1 to 14.4 volts. It will otherwise operate in Float mode at 13.7 volts.

These voltages are when the solar panel is producing power and the solar regulator is operating to charge the battery, not connected to shore power.

When it is dark and some time has elapsed from significant charge or discharge of the battery, the voltage at 100% state of charge will be about 12.7 volts ("no load" voltage), according to this source:
Battery voltage and state of charge - Energy Matters

If you are seeing 12.7 "no load" volts at night the solar regulator should be showing 100% state of charge and the battery is fully charged. This is good news! It would be normal for the voltage to go down during the night if you are operating lights etc. plus normal slow battery discharge. In the morning when there is light on the solar panel the voltage should go up but it would be a mistake to believe the regulator state of charge estimate since the battery is under charge.

As I said before, when you are not connected to shore power and using your solar system, the only time the GoPower regulator gives a reasonable estimate of state of charge is just before dawn or a few hours after dark, provided there is no significant power consumption.

I don't think you need to worry about equalization right now -- the cycle is meant to run about once a month for a few hours and the solar regulator looks after this.
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Old 10-29-2015, 01:32 PM   #14
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Thought this might be useful reading in light of Ellen's current predicament.
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Old 10-29-2015, 03:38 PM   #15
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Thought this might be useful reading in light of Ellen's current predicament.
Good timing !
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