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Adding solar to Hymer MLT 580
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userBuster30
Posted: 8 February 2019 5:17 PM
Subject: Adding solar to Hymer MLT 580
 
Just joined

Posts: 4



Hi all, my first post on this forum so be gentle with me.
I have a 2016 Hymer MLT 580 and was looking to add solar to it, it has an EBL30 controller and a Varta LA95 95ah AGM battery.
Was looking at a Votronic mppt controller and 2007 cable (if I have read the Votronic recommendations correctly). Is the above correct and if so do I need another Varta battery to match it up or are there any other recommendations
I will probably be putting a 150w panel on it
Thanks in advance
userstarvin marvin
Posted: 8 February 2019 7:37 PM
Subject: RE: Adding solar to Hymer MLT 580
 
Forum master

Posts: 2017
2000


My advice would be to either, (or maybe both) join the Hymer Club International, ie owners club, you’ll get advice. The other is to join (free) the Hymer Owners Group, a Facebook group, who will also give you solid advice.

Give them a try.
useraandncaravan
Posted: 8 February 2019 10:51 PM
Subject: RE: Adding solar to Hymer MLT 580
 
Forum master

Posts: 2216
2000100100
Location: Conwy, North Wales


Buster30 - 2019-02-08 5:17 PM

Hi all, my first post on this forum so be gentle with me.
I have a 2016 Hymer MLT 580 and was looking to add solar to it, it has an EBL30 controller and a Varta LA95 95ah AGM battery.
Was looking at a Votronic mppt controller and 2007 cable (if I have read the Votronic recommendations correctly). Is the above correct and if so do I need another Varta battery to match it up or are there any other recommendations
I will probably be putting a 150w panel on it
Thanks in advance


Yes the Votronic MPPT, like a 165, is the best motorhome specific regulator going, however the 2007 cable set won't give you Starter battery charging on the EBL 30 as it is only a two wire cable, primarily for the EBL 99.

I have a cable set spare and I'm having a major clearout so it would help me if you take one. If you send me a stamped addressed envelope I will send you a free cable set for the EBL 30, PM me.


If you want a second battery it needs to be the same age, make and size as the existing one.
If the existing LA95 is 3 years old you may find it isn't as good as you hoped? Suggest you have or do a capacity test to see how much it has deteriorated before you decide your next move?

We would suggest you fit two Varta LFD90's on the EBL 30 and ditch the short life AGM's?


userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 9 February 2019 7:50 AM
Subject: RE: Adding solar to Hymer MLT 580
 


50005000500010001001001001002525
Location: Herefordshire - 2015 Rapido 640F LHD 2.3ltr 150bhp


aandncaravan - 2019-02-08 10:51 PM

...We would suggest you fit two Varta LFD90s on the EBL 30 and ditch the short life AGMs.



I notice that the drawing in the manual for the EBL 30 shows two ‘battery choice’ options (AGM or Gel) as shown below. Presumably, if Varta LFD90 batteries are fitted, the EBL 30’s battery-choice switch should be set to “Gel”?



(EBL 30.png)



Attachments
----------------
Attachments EBL 30.png (45KB - 26 downloads)
useraandncaravan
Posted: 9 February 2019 8:15 AM
Subject: RE: Adding solar to Hymer MLT 580
 
Forum master

Posts: 2216
2000100100
Location: Conwy, North Wales


Derek Uzzell - 2019-02-09 7:50 AM

aandncaravan - 2019-02-08 10:51 PM

...We would suggest you fit two Varta LFD90s on the EBL 30 and ditch the short life AGMs.



I notice that the drawing in the manual for the EBL 30 shows two ‘battery choice’ options (AGM or Gel) as shown below. Presumably, if Varta LFD90 batteries are fitted, the EBL 30’s battery-choice switch should be set to “Gel”?


Derek, yes if you look at the EBL 99 manual the charging voltages for Gel and Wet batteries are identical, all that is different is the timer that dictates how long the charger stays in 'Boost' 14.3v mode before dropping to 'Float' 13.7v..
For Wet batteries on early EBL units it is just one hour, which isn't enough time if you have multiple batteries.
On later EBL units it was extended to 4 hours, better but still not enough for multiple batteries that are being deeper discharged these days..
The latest units, like the EBL 119 replacement for the old EBL 99, allow 16 hours in 14.3v 'Boost' mode for Lead/Gel batteries (with reducing current) which is much more suited to a modern multi battery bank vehicle.

With EHU is being used less and 'off grid' times extending, along with much higher quality modern batteries, that longer time at 14.4v won't do any damage, but makes a massive difference to how long and fully batteries take to charge.

It can reduce the fully charged time from almost weeks to hours. See how a Leisure charger works for a better description, they are not the same as car battery chargers - http://www.aandncaravanservices.co.uk/how-does-a-charger-work.php


Edited by aandncaravan 2019-02-09 8:27 AM
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 9 February 2019 9:00 AM
Subject: RE: Adding solar to Hymer MLT 580
 


50005000500010001001001001002525
Location: Herefordshire - 2015 Rapido 640F LHD 2.3ltr 150bhp


OK, that’s what Schaudt’s Englsh-language Instruction Manual for the EBL 30 says - 4 hours at 14.7V for AGM batteries or 16 hours at 14.4V for “lead-gel” batteries.

I suppose I was really querying whether “lead-gel” meant just gel-type batteries or meant wet-acid-type AND gel-type batteries, and the answer is the latter.
userCaptSteve
Posted: 9 February 2019 2:01 PM
Subject: RE: Adding solar to Hymer MLT 580
 


Just joined

Posts: 13

Location: Herefordshire


aandncaravan - 2019-02-08 11:51 PM

Buster30 - 2019-02-08 5:17 PM

Hi all, my first post on this forum so be gentle with me.
I have a 2016 Hymer MLT 580 and was looking to add solar to it, it has an EBL30 controller and a Varta LA95 95ah AGM battery.
Was looking at a Votronic mppt controller and 2007 cable (if I have read the Votronic recommendations correctly). Is the above correct and if so do I need another Varta battery to match it up or are there any other recommendations
I will probably be putting a 150w panel on it
Thanks in advance


Yes the Votronic MPPT, like a 165, is the best motorhome specific regulator going, however the 2007 cable set won't give you Starter battery charging on the EBL 30 as it is only a two wire cable, primarily for the EBL 99.

I have a cable set spare and I'm having a major clearout so it would help me if you take one. If you send me a stamped addressed envelope I will send you a free cable set for the EBL 30, PM me.


If you want a second battery it needs to be the same age, make and size as the existing one.
If the existing LA95 is 3 years old you may find it isn't as good as you hoped? Suggest you have or do a capacity test to see how much it has deteriorated before you decide your next move?

We would suggest you fit two Varta LFD90's on the EBL 30 and ditch the short life AGM's?




Excuse me jumping in on the thread.

My van has the same set up as the OP. A EBL30 with a Varta LA95 battery and I would like to add a second one. I understand that the battery isn’t great but it’s new so I would rather just add the same, for now.

My question is, could my charger cope with me adding another battery in parallel or would I need to add another charger?

Kind regards

Steve

userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 9 February 2019 2:57 PM
Subject: RE: Adding solar to Hymer MLT 580
 


50005000500010001001001001002525
Location: Herefordshire - 2015 Rapido 640F LHD 2.3ltr 150bhp


As an EBL 30 has an integrated 18A battery-charger, I’m not sure how easy (or practicable) it would be to add another charger or to upgrade the one in the EBL 30.

Allan (aandncaravan) will be able to advise, but plenty of motohome manufacturers seem perfectly happy to fit a 16A battery-charger and a 100Ah leisure-battery as standard, with a factory-fit option of a 2nd 100Ah battery but retaining the same 16A charger to charge the pair of batteries.
usermonique.hubrechts@gm
Posted: 9 February 2019 4:58 PM
Subject: RE: Adding solar to Hymer MLT 580
 


Epic contributor

Posts: 1313
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Location: essen belgium


To Charge your house battery, being one or two in winter time you have three options. The charger should load at least 10 percent in amps of your battery capacity. Better 20 amps. The charger should have a temperature sensor related to your battery condition. Second reload fully and take the poles off. Repeat in two weeks. Third stay on 230 volt and rely on your charger that he will goin relax voltage mode. Or take them out and store in home cool. And keep them on voltage. Key- word Sulphate on the plates. Or go for Lithium, but that is another subject, apart from your bicycle at home. Load and reload to keep them alive. As we are in human live.
useraandncaravan
Posted: 9 February 2019 8:05 PM
Subject: RE: Adding solar to Hymer MLT 580
 
Forum master

Posts: 2216
2000100100
Location: Conwy, North Wales


CaptSteve - 2019-02-09 2:01 PM


Excuse me jumping in on the thread.

My van has the same set up as the OP. A EBL30 with a Varta LA95 battery and I would like to add a second one. I understand that the battery isn’t great but it’s new so I would rather just add the same, for now.

My question is, could my charger cope with me adding another battery in parallel or would I need to add another charger?

Kind regards

Steve



Steve, if you look at the front of the EBL you will see an auxilary charger socket that will take a second charger.
If you asked the factory to add a second battery they would also add a second Schaudt LAS1218 charger plugged into the above mentioned socket, that is the standard upgrade path.

An AGM battery can charge twice as fast by drawing twice as much current, that means two AGM's can create twice the load of two quality flooded batteries.
While the EBL Elektroblocks can cope with the load of two efficient 90Ah Flooded/wet batteries, like the ultra efficient Varta LFD90's, a pair of AGM's can create double the workload again really loading up the charging systems.

When Schaudt last upgraded the Elektroblock range to add an AGM charge profile, they increased the charging voltage to 14.7v but the current capability was left unchanged.
.
So while we say a standard Elektroblock EBL can just about cope with a pair of Varta LFD90 flooded batteries, we would suggest you don't run two AGM's.

Concorde, who have been making quantity AGM batteries longer than anyone else and are the worlds biggest suppliers of AGM's to the military and almost all commercial airlines say that when charging AGM batteries :

"For repetitive deep cycling, the (AGM) charger should have a charger output current of at least 20 amps per 100Ah battery. If the output is less than this the cycle life may be negatively affected".




Edited by aandncaravan 2019-02-09 8:33 PM
userCaptSteve
Posted: 9 February 2019 8:14 PM
Subject: RE: Adding solar to Hymer MLT 580
 


Just joined

Posts: 13

Location: Herefordshire



Monique, many thanks for your write up - some interesting options.

Derek, that’s just what I was looking for, thank you.
useraandncaravan
Posted: 11 February 2019 9:28 AM
Subject: RE: Adding solar to Hymer MLT 580
 
Forum master

Posts: 2216
2000100100
Location: Conwy, North Wales


Hello Steve, thank you for the PM.

Martin would love to take on the work of fitting a second charger and AGM battery but you would genuinely be better off with ditching the AGM's and just fitting two Varta LFD90's without a second charger needing to be fitted and can get that done locally to you. Try Alpha batteries for a battery supplier and mention us to get a small discount.

The EBL 30 will cope with two of these LFD Powerframe batteries, but just remember you are near the limits so best not to discharge them more than about 12.2v, which also happens to be about the ideal for most batteries.

Fitting a second charger to an AGM pair will resolve the mains charging issue, but you will still be left with the Alternator not being AGM compliant. That will still be charging at around 14.4v, 'Boost' not the 14.7v AGM's like and 'Floating the batteries at 14.4v, not the 13.5- 13.8v that is essential to AGM's.
AGM's really, really don't like a 14.4v float/trickle when they are full, even for short periods.
That is why Car Stop/Start Alternators use their intelligent operation to drop to 13.5v once the battery is fully charged.

While you might think your existing AGM is 'new', history has shown they can be many months old, that is why manufacturers fit AGM, because they don't initially show their age, that makes an ugly appearance later.
Fitting AGM's has saved manufacturers and Dealers a lot of money because they don't show deterioration like a conventional Lead Acid battery does when the vehicle is idle during the build/sale process. Despite the hype, they are fitted for the Dealers benefit.


Varta LFD90/Bosch L5 batteries use a special technology called Powerframe that gives them all the good points of AGM's, like low self discharge, long life, zero fluid loss, high efficiency, etc without any of the downsides of AGM's. They place a lighter load on the charging systems than any other battery. Bosch/Varta claim up to 70% better electrical flow, that gives them a massive advantage.


So our best advice would be to get a local man to fit two new LFD90's which should cost less than a single AGM.
When you ask around for quotes, suggest you ensure he knows how to cable them up, there should be the positive taken from one side of the paired battery bank and the Earth from the other.
An example wiring sketch can be found near the bottom of the 'Add a Second Battery' web pge : http://www.aandncaravanservices.co.uk/add-a-second-battery.php





Edited by aandncaravan 2019-02-11 9:50 AM
useraandncaravan
Posted: 11 February 2019 11:39 AM
Subject: RE: Adding solar to Hymer MLT 580
 
Forum master

Posts: 2216
2000100100
Location: Conwy, North Wales


Managed to reduce image size to be able to add it below. it is important the Positive is taken from one battery and the negative from the other battery, not both from the same battery.

Note the absence of fuses between the batteries.

Edited by aandncaravan 2019-02-11 11:42 AM




(Wiring a second battery small 2.jpg)



Attachments
----------------
Attachments Wiring a second battery small 2.jpg (65KB - 18 downloads)
useraandncaravan
Posted: 14 February 2019 2:38 PM
Subject: RE: Adding solar to Hymer MLT 580
 
Forum master

Posts: 2216
2000100100
Location: Conwy, North Wales


Buster30, I will send you the cable set next week.
Martin has the only key to the workshop and has gone away on a Valentine weekend so I don't have access to the parts till he comes back..
userBuster30
Posted: 14 February 2019 6:06 PM
Subject: RE: Adding solar to Hymer MLT 580
 
Just joined

Posts: 4



No problem at all, thanks for the offer and the fantastic advice
userCaptSteve
Posted: 14 February 2019 7:28 PM
Subject: RE: Adding solar to Hymer MLT 580
 


Just joined

Posts: 13

Location: Herefordshire


aandncaravan - 2019-02-11 10:28 AM

Hello Steve, thank you for the PM.

Martin would love to take on the work of fitting a second charger and AGM battery but you would genuinely be better off with ditching the AGM's and just fitting two Varta LFD90's without a second charger needing to be fitted and can get that done locally to you. Try Alpha batteries for a battery supplier and mention us to get a small discount.

The EBL 30 will cope with two of these LFD Powerframe batteries, but just remember you are near the limits so best not to discharge them more than about 12.2v, which also happens to be about the ideal for most batteries.

Fitting a second charger to an AGM pair will resolve the mains charging issue, but you will still be left with the Alternator not being AGM compliant. That will still be charging at around 14.4v, 'Boost' not the 14.7v AGM's like and 'Floating the batteries at 14.4v, not the 13.5- 13.8v that is essential to AGM's.
AGM's really, really don't like a 14.4v float/trickle when they are full, even for short periods.
That is why Car Stop/Start Alternators use their intelligent operation to drop to 13.5v once the battery is fully charged.

While you might think your existing AGM is 'new', history has shown they can be many months old, that is why manufacturers fit AGM, because they don't initially show their age, that makes an ugly appearance later.
Fitting AGM's has saved manufacturers and Dealers a lot of money because they don't show deterioration like a conventional Lead Acid battery does when the vehicle is idle during the build/sale process. Despite the hype, they are fitted for the Dealers benefit.


Varta LFD90/Bosch L5 batteries use a special technology called Powerframe that gives them all the good points of AGM's, like low self discharge, long life, zero fluid loss, high efficiency, etc without any of the downsides of AGM's. They place a lighter load on the charging systems than any other battery. Bosch/Varta claim up to 70% better electrical flow, that gives them a massive advantage.


So our best advice would be to get a local man to fit two new LFD90's which should cost less than a single AGM.
When you ask around for quotes, suggest you ensure he knows how to cable them up, there should be the positive taken from one side of the paired battery bank and the Earth from the other.
An example wiring sketch can be found near the bottom of the 'Add a Second Battery' web pge : http://www.aandncaravanservices.co.uk/add-a-second-battery.php





Wow!! Thank you so much for your advice, I have definitely come to the right place.
userBuster30
Posted: 22 February 2019 7:21 PM
Subject: RE: Adding solar to Hymer MLT 580
 
Just joined

Posts: 4



Big thank you to Allan, cables arrived today,thanks again for all your help
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