CFX 50 Running for 52 hr

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CFX 50 Running for 52 hr

Post by Peaky on Fri 01 May 2015, 10:53 am

On my trip last weekend I tested my new setup for running me Waeco

I had it set on zero for the whole time

When I plugged the fridge in the Batteries were on 12.9 Volts and after 52 hr I checked the Batteries and they had dropped to 12.4 Volts
That's great going for over two days running

I have two 6 Volt 100 AH Batteries linked that are sealed lead acid
I was told by the man at the Battery shop that allot of solar setup's are going this way as they last longer ?
Anyone else running a set up like this

Peaky

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Re: CFX 50 Running for 52 hr

Post by Bignuggs on Sun 05 Jul 2015, 12:12 pm

Peaky, how long did you run on just the batteries before plugging into the solar ? or was 2 days the max on batteries.

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Re: CFX 50 Running for 52 hr

Post by Peaky on Sun 05 Jul 2015, 1:21 pm

Cliff
just on the batterys
last trip was 75hrs
they went from 12.9 volts to 11.99 for the 75hrs

no charging at all while im out there
peaky

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Re: CFX 50 Running for 52 hr

Post by Moneybox on Sun 05 Jul 2015, 5:37 pm

We spent a lot of money on deep cycle batteries for very poor performance. This is the second bus I've setup with deep cycle batteries and solar. I've made the decision that next time it will definitely be lead acid batteries. They are not only better value but I believe they are better batteries for automotive use.

The charging system and solar cannot maintain a full charge on the deep cycle batteries so they don't perform to their full potential. Now I carry the generator and charger and give the four deep cycle batteries a topup every week or so.

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Re: CFX 50 Running for 52 hr

Post by Jack-Tar on Sun 05 Jul 2015, 8:54 pm

Hi Phil,
It sounds like your system is not set up correctly or is inadequate for your daily use if it isn't getting your batteries back to fully charged by midday each day. I currently use around 120 ah per day and my 420 watt solar set up barely maintains that. I plan to add another 300 watts in the near future.
I am a little confused with your comment about deep cycle batteries as they come in several types. AGM, Gel, Calcium and wet cell etc. They are all lead acid batteries but the difference is how the wet side is suspended. ie AGM battery plates have a glass mat between each lead plate which still is bathed in acid, Gel batteries also have lead plates but the gel is the acid, Calcium cage and wet cell batteries also lead plate bathed in acid. I suspect that you are referring to wet cell batteries but they will still need to be deep cycle and not start batteries. All those types of batteries come in deep cycle or start, the difference is the plate thickness. The thicker plates in a deep cycle battery allow a more constant release of power compared to a start battery where they are designed to give an initial higher release of power to start an engine.
I hope this helps and I haven't been teaching you to such eggs. If I can help I would be interested to know your current set up. ie battery bank size, what type and size of solar controller, solar panel size and how much power you use per day.

Regards Craig

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Re: CFX 50 Running for 52 hr

Post by Peaky on Mon 06 Jul 2015, 11:55 am

Cliff

Below is a pic of the batteries I am using
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I just have two in series

They are bloody heavy I thing around 20 kg each


Peaky

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Re: CFX 50 Running for 52 hr

Post by Bignuggs on Mon 06 Jul 2015, 1:38 pm

I wish mine were only 20kg. the 2 x 100ah agm I'm using come in at 38kg and 30kg in the battery boxes.
now I know why I put my back out lifting them Razz
but they do the job of keeping the fridge running.

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Re: CFX 50 Running for 52 hr

Post by Moneybox on Tue 07 Jul 2015, 1:51 pm

Jack-Tar wrote:Hi Phil,
It sounds like your system is not set up correctly or is inadequate for your daily use if it isn't getting your batteries back to fully charged by midday each day.  I currently use around 120 ah per day and my 420 watt solar set up barely maintains that. I plan to add another 300 watts in the near future.
I am a little confused with your comment about deep cycle batteries as they come in several types. AGM, Gel, Calcium and wet cell etc. They are all lead acid batteries but the difference is how the wet side is suspended. ie AGM battery plates have a glass mat between each lead plate which still is bathed in acid, Gel batteries also have lead plates but the gel is the acid, Calcium cage and wet cell batteries also lead plate bathed in acid. I suspect that you are referring to wet cell batteries but they will still need to be deep cycle and not start batteries.  All those types of batteries come in deep cycle or start, the difference is the plate thickness.  The thicker plates in a deep cycle battery allow a more constant release of power compared to a start battery where they are designed to give an initial higher release of power to start an engine.
I hope this helps and I haven't been teaching you to such eggs. If I can help I would be interested to know your current set up. ie battery bank size, what type and size of solar controller, solar panel size and how much power you use per day.

Regards Craig
Yes Craig I could use more solar power. We have 1 x 250W 24V panel. I have roof space for another the same but we don't seem to stop long enough to sort it out. We have 4 x 100W Ritar AGM batteries and two start batteries. Alco Batteries told me that neither the alternator or solar will supply sufficient maximum voltage to maintain the batteries in a fully charged state. The sent me a 25A charger to run off the Honda generator.

The system operates fine if we're just using the 200CF fridge and lights but the two laptops that we use most nights are very power hungry. Then we have chargers for the detectors, LED torches, headlamps, telephone/modem, GPS's etc that all add up.

Phil

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Re: CFX 50 Running for 52 hr

Post by Jack-Tar on Tue 07 Jul 2015, 9:18 pm

I too am running 4 x 100 ah AGM's, my set up is 12v so that means I have 400 ah battery bank. I am assuming yours is a 24 v set up?? which gives you a 200 ah battery bank. Which means that if you use the not going below 50% rule then you have 100ah to use safely, without worrying about doing permanent damage to the battery. Luckily AGM's are little more tolerant and will handle this a bit better than other battery types. You must be running close each day.
I don't agree with all that Alco told you and this is why. Sure your alternator will never fully charge a deep cycle battery but it will bring it back to 80 - 85% fairly quickly. The reason for this is you need a multi stage charger to properly charge a deep cycle battery. ie first stage is a bulk charge (85% charged), 2nd stage is an absorbtion stage (holds a constant voltage set point, maybe 14.4v or 28.2v plus (depending on your set up) and finally your float charge. The alternator can handle the bulk charge but is not designed to carry out a multi stage or smart charger function. This is where your solar reg steps in and finishes the job. But if you are using a MPPT reg then you will have problems as they don't like it when there are other power supplies coming in. For this reason I will never use one. I use the Plasmatronics range of PL regulators Which are a PWM controller. And they don't care if there are multiple power supplies coming into to battery. This means I can have solar, alternator or generator pumping in at the same time. MPPT don't like this.
Phil without knowing all your system specs and daily use in AH I would only be guessing at what you need but I will say that by doubling your panel input would be barely big enough. There is nothing wrong with running your genny to maintain your batteries but when out bush I would run it a couple of hrs in the morning and then let the solar finish the job during the day. You probably already do this, I only mention it as I have come across people running the genny and battery charger for an extended period trying to get the battery fully charged. If you run your genny and charger only long enough to put the bulk charge in you will not waste fuel putting in the little remaining charge in that the solar will do. I hope that makes sense.

Craig

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Re: CFX 50 Running for 52 hr

Post by Moneybox on Tue 07 Jul 2015, 10:34 pm

Thanks Craig. Yes that makes sense. I did buy the MPPT controller and the supplier agreed to take it back when it failed to do the job. Yes 24V system.

I stole the Morning Star controller from the old bus. Now I've just ordered a new controller to replace it because I'm reviving the old Mazda.

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Re: CFX 50 Running for 52 hr

Post by Jack-Tar on Tue 07 Jul 2015, 11:01 pm

I hope you ordered a PWM controller and not an MPPT. The main problem is these sales people that are flogging these solar controllers tell everyone that MPPT is best and that may be so for a system that only has one input power supply but for the way we are using them them the PWM is the better way to go. Another thing is MPPT controllers act like a PWM after the bulk charge. And a true MPPT controller is upward of $700.

What is the old Mazda??

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Re: CFX 50 Running for 52 hr

Post by Moneybox on Sun 19 Jul 2015, 9:57 pm

Jack-Tar wrote:I hope you ordered a PWM controller and not an MPPT. The main problem is these sales people that are flogging these solar controllers tell everyone that MPPT is best and that may be so for a system that only has one input power supply but for the way we are using them them the PWM is the better way to go. Another thing is MPPT controllers act like a PWM after the bulk charge. And a true MPPT controller is upward of $700.

What is the old Mazda??
T3500 that's served us well for several years but she's been sitting out in the weather rusting away for the last couple of years. It just need engine repairs or replacement so has been on my HUGE to-do-list for too long.

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Re: CFX 50 Running for 52 hr

Post by Jack-Tar on Sun 19 Jul 2015, 10:34 pm

looks good. great camper, get her back on the road.

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