#100341  by Teardrop
 Sat Sep 26, 2015 4:29 pm
Robin, I have read the Morningstar instructions on the web and yes, they havre what they call an equalisation charge. But flooded batteries require this to stir up the liquid. Sealed batteries do not as the electrolyte is held in a gel - where they are used in an AGM they are used to equalise the cells rather than de-stratify. What Morningstar calls an equalising charge for their sealed battery setting will not equalise your flooded battery.

Thinking further, over the years, I have been involved in a number of insurance claims where batteries (in boats) have failed because they have been exposed to different chargers - e.g. shore and alternator - at regular intervals (you can add solar). For instance, the battery is fully charged when the power supply is changed and the next charger pumps at bulk voltage for a set time. So this creates an overcharge situation. Could this be happening to you?

 #100343  by Neddy
 Sat Sep 26, 2015 4:44 pm
Teardrop wrote:The Prostar and no controller will put an equalisation cycle through on a sealed battery setting. Dene.
Page 18 of the ProStar manual :-

 #100344  by Teardrop
 Sat Sep 26, 2015 4:57 pm
Neddy, why are you just focussed on proving some minor points that I have already agreed with? What I would really like you to say is how you think this voltage will equalise a flooded battery, given that it is below the normal charge rate of a flooded battery?

 #100345  by Neddy
 Sat Sep 26, 2015 5:28 pm
Dene, The more frequently batteries are equalised, the shorter the time needed and the lower the voltage required. Morningstar are VERY experienced in solar controller design and manufacture and provide well tested recommended settings for different battery types. Robin would be best advised to run his flooded batteries on the standard Flooded Battery settings they provide.
I accept that your opinions may well differ from MorningStar's recommendations, but it is them you are arguing with here - not me. They are acknowledged experts in this field - I'm not. Neither are you.

 #100352  by Teardrop
 Sat Sep 26, 2015 9:11 pm
I see Neddy that you are now back to denigrating someones knowledge because they have a different answer to you. Just for the record, as part of my professional training I was required to do a number of years full time study, of which electrical theory was one of five compulsory subjects I took over 8 months as part of that. I even had to pass a three hour exam on it. I am in no way an electrical expert and have never suggested it - that is up to the likes of electrical engineers like Mark Craven, but one of the modules I took was the design, care, maintenance and construction of flooded lead acid batteries, which at the time (and still often are) the main backup power systems for emergency lighting and starting the backup generators in marine systems. I am still required from time to time to check such systems so have kept up to date with that, even if I have forgotten most of the other electrical theory I was taught.

If you actually make the effort to read what I am saying, I am not arguing with Morningstar. It seems that you ended up arguing with me, for whatever reason I do not know because you clearly do not, as you say, understand much to do with flooded batteries. The point being made and which you seem to be missing is that Robin had his controller set to the sealed battery selection and not the flooded one, which not only has a lower charging voltage but its equalisation voltage is well below the voltage required to equalise a flooded battery - actually its at about the voltage you would bulk charge a flooded battery. Sealed batteries do not require the electrolyte to be effectively boiled to reintegrate it, because it is held in a gel suspension. Therefore, Robin has never equalised his batteries, at least with the Morningstar controller, which is probably even more relevant because they are unlikely to be getting a full charge at the sealed battery settings.

But I am sick and tired of trying to explain this and I only hope that Robin understands what I am trying to say.

 #100363  by rawill
 Sun Sep 27, 2015 6:50 am
Hi Guys, and thank you for the debate.
After all it is as others have said, electrikery! At times anyway, and for some of us, Some of us meaning me!
I am motor mechanic from long way back, who thinks he can sort most stuff!

Anyway, I have been thinking why I had the setting on Sealed, when I have a flooded battery, now I remember.
When my second set of 6v 225 A/H batteries showed signs of not performing I hooked in a Champion AGM in parallel. (150 A/H written on it forget at C?)
That must be when I made the change to the settings about 12 months ago.
I thought, I hope this battery will help us through this trip, and it did.

I know I know, it breaks all the rules about batteries not being of the same type, but at the time I didn't want to spend another $700 on another pair of batteries.

So the main point is the batteries were on their way out 12 months ago, when the setting would have been on flooded.
That leaves only my adding of bad water to the battery, but very very little.
And some deeper discharges as issues I can see I might have got wrong.

And on charging from the alternator, I checked it last night, and through the ABC, (read very good smart charger) it is max 15v. and as I said it pulses when the battery is full. And I only use this to charge batteries when I want to get them charged quickly, and then turn it off and leave the solar to do the rest.
 #100364  by rawill
 Sun Sep 27, 2015 7:38 am
And, I just checked this morning, the new batteries are performing as I expected.
With only the solar operating, the monitor set at 198 A/H (batteries are rated 225) it shows 195 this morning with the fridge on.

I am happy, but want to understand the battery failure issue.
And I am remembering the local RV reatilers comment that they do not use the batteries I have previously been using because of their experience of failure.

Who knows, we shall see, and the coontroller setting is now "sealed".

I am hoping it was "dodgy" water that caused the failure, but it would suprise me.
Anyway, that is elimated now.

And I have never bothered with the temperature probe addition, I wonder if I should.
 #100368  by Teardrop
 Sun Sep 27, 2015 8:29 am
Well Robin, that info a bit earlier would have saved a bit of debate :-T

Two things - first the temperature probe - definitely a good idea. Overheating batteries by overcharging decreases their life exponentially as the battery temperature rises.

I still say the flooded batteries have not been properly equalised because I think Morningstar are compromising on the equalisation voltage to try and get an automatic version. To do anything else would risk frying some electronics if they were being used while the voltage shot up. Also, I wonder how effective a timed equalisation would be if you don't have any sun on the day - does it wait, and then what happens if the sun disappears during the cycle?

Secondly, if you say you are now on your third set since 2008, does that mean you are getting about 3-4 years per set? If so, that probably is not as bad as it first sounds. I was initially thinking between 2-3 years per battery set, would would be low. With 3-4 years you are not as far off the expected life of flooded deep cycle batteries as you think. Their longevity is normally nowhere near as good as AGM's and I noticed that change big time when I changed over. With all the other factors and the way you used them, maybe that was just the age that particular brand lasted. You should find the AGM batteries much better, and you don't have to top them up.

Good luck.

Pay with Paymate Express