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Yet another battery question
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useraandy
Posted: 14 August 2018 1:59 PM
Subject: Yet another battery question
 
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I have two Banner 100/110ah flooded cell leisure batteries which are just over two years old. In anticipation of six days off EHU I have tried to establish how much life is left in them. I charged them fully and then left lights, TV etc on for a few hours each day to replicate typical use. I did that over a week, rather than all in one go, so as to include the background drain, which appears to be about 5 amps a day. After six days they are showing 12.2v so, according to the Yuasa chart, are around 50%. I am happy with that as this is the heaviest use they will ever get.

When I put them back on charge they were initially taking 21 amps, dropping to 15 after around 5 minutes and now, after 2 hours, are at 8 amps. Since the charger is fused at 25 amps I am slightly concerned that it was, albeit briefly, working so close to capacity. I asked when I bought the van about the limitations when adding a second battery, and was told that if it would fit in the battery box the charger would cope. Does that sound like good advice, or should I go for smaller batteries when the time comes to change? I couldn't find a model number for the charger, only that it is a Sargent three stage, but the control unit is a Sargent EC450.


Andy
useraandncaravan
Posted: 14 August 2018 4:25 PM
Subject: RE: Yet another battery question
 
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As the figures demonstrate, it can be clearly seen that the charger was working really hard and as you seem to be realising, what the dealers tell you isn't always informed.

I am guessing the charger is the Sargent PX 300 where the electronics are temperature controlled. As the charger gets hot with working hard, the charge is backed down to prevent overheat. A lot of motorhome/caravan chargers work in this way, some have a peak rating that is high, but once they get hot they back right down to a 'real' charger output that is about 2/3rds the label rating.

But those first few seconds are crucial because the heat can take a little while to reach the temperature sensor by which time things have burned.

The charger survived this time but you can see that either discharging lower than 50% or the batteries getting to End Of Life (or more usually both) will increase the load dramatically and the charger might pop.

The PX300 is a 21amp charger, you can imagine how well a BCA 12amp charger copes with two batteries?


But it isn't just the size of batteries, it is the overall load. You should consider the battery bank size, battery condition and depth of discharge.
A single battery on it's own that is 'well past it' can place a shorted cell equivalent load to an Iron bar across the charger terminals.

So having two 90Ah quality, efficient, high technology batteries is ok but you are approaching the reliable limits of most chargers installed in most motorhomes so still need to manage that load, for example so the batteries are not discharged too low and/or allowed to reach their twilight years.

Fitting a couple of low tech, 110Ah low quality batteries will be a whole different ball game when the loadings may rise significantly.


We don't rate the Banner's as either high technology or efficient, even when new. And being High Antimony content batteries, they are very prone to internal corrosion degradation.



Edited by aandncaravan 2018-08-14 4:55 PM
useraandy
Posted: 14 August 2018 8:46 PM
Subject: RE: Yet another battery question
 
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Thanks Allan. I'm never comfortable with anything working close to maximum capacity, particularly where electricity (or as I prefer to call it, magic, is concerned). I do regularly check the readings on the control unit (though I don't really understand them) and this was by far the highest charge rate I've seen, presumably because it's the lowest I've ever discharged the batteries.

Having established that the batteries will suffice for my upcoming visit to the Great Dorset Steam Fair, the plan is to keep them for the winter, when any outings will be on EHU, and replace them early next year when, hopefully, there will be a wider range of EFB options. If they take too much of a hammering next week, I guess it might be an idea to pull the battery fuse before setting out for home, to protect the alternator, and partially charge them on the bench before letting the onboard charger finish the job.

On a personal note, I cannot imagine what you must be going through. It says an awful lot about you that, despite that, you can still take the trouble to help and advise.


Andy
userweldted
Posted: 14 August 2018 11:01 PM
Subject: RE: Yet another battery question
 
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Tagging on to this thread, just collected my two new Youasa L36-EFB batteries, is the Sargent PX 300 charger the best one for 200 amp hr battery bank lease.
useraandncaravan
Posted: 15 August 2018 6:56 PM
Subject: RE: Yet another battery question
 
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The Sargent PX 300 is from far the best charger but is about the the lowest spec charger we suggest anyone buys, It is easily obtainable, lowish cost, made specifically for the demands of a Motorhome, well made and reliable if used as designed.
Unlike many chargers in this price range it actually performs quite well, so long as not used for permanent long term charging.

You can buy cheaper units, like the Rovert, but they are not in the same league.

The best charger range we have seen is the Victron Blue Energy 20A unit -
https://www.victronenergy.com/upload/documents/Datasheet-Blue-Smart-IP22-Charger-180-265-VAC-EN.pdf 20a or 30a

https://www.victronenergy.com/upload/documents/Datasheet-Blue-Smart-IP67-Charger-Waterproof-EN.pdf 17a or 25a

Unlike units like the Rovert's alleged 18a output, the Victron output really is what they say but they come at a price.

The Victrons also have a 'Long term EHU' storage mode where the unit detects no battery drain has taken place for a period of time so drops into an ultra low Float charger mode of 13.2v down from the usual 13.8v. As it says in the links above this extends battery life.
Every 7 days the charge goes back up to 14v to revitalise the battery.

We would like all UK charger manufacturers to include this feature.

Edited by aandncaravan 2018-08-15 6:57 PM
usercolin
Posted: 15 August 2018 8:41 PM
Subject: RE: Yet another battery question
 


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I would suggest that trying to push the limits of your batteries is not the way to go, much better IMO to have a solar panel which will put something back every day.

We won't be going this year, but we have done the Great Dorset couple of times with this van (our first time there was the second or third event and in our old HB Viva) one battery and a 85w panel, no problems.
p.s. It's a Banner Energy Bull battery,

Edited by colin 2018-08-15 8:42 PM
useraandy
Posted: 15 August 2018 9:02 PM
Subject: RE: Yet another battery question
 
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colin - 2018-08-15 8:41 PM

I would suggest that trying to push the limits of your batteries is not the way to go, much better IMO to have a solar panel which will put something back every day.

We won't be going this year, but we have done the Great Dorset couple of times with this van (our first time there was the second or third event and in our old HB Viva) one battery and a 85w panel, no problems.
p.s. It's a Banner Energy Bull battery,


You are of course correct, but having been to the GDSF before you'll know that we won't be spending much time in the van so battery use will be modest. They are unlikely to drop below 50%, but if they do on such light use they were knackered anyway so I've nothing to lose by finishing them off.

I have considered a solar panel, but have decided against it. GDSF apart, I never spend more than two or three days in one place, except during the winter months when I always have EHU and solar would provide limited benefit anyway. Also, there is only one suitable space on the roof and that will be shaded much of the time by the TV aerial.

I had an HB many years ago (white with an imitation vinyl roof) and learned to drive in an HA. I've often been tempted to get another, but I've probably got enough toys already.
useraandncaravan
Posted: 16 August 2018 8:51 AM
Subject: RE: Yet another battery question
 
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colin - 2018-08-15 8:41 PM

I would suggest that trying to push the limits of your batteries is not the way to go, much better IMO to have a solar panel which will put something back every day.

We won't be going this year, but we have done the Great Dorset couple of times with this van (our first time there was the second or third event and in our old HB Viva) one battery and a 85w panel, no problems.
p.s. It's a Banner Energy Bull battery,



My first experience of a Camper at 8 years of age was a Viva HA like the photo. I thought it an amazing piece of engineering.

Edited by aandncaravan 2018-08-16 9:12 AM




(Vauxhall Viva HA camper van.jpg)



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usercolin
Posted: 16 August 2018 9:03 AM
Subject: RE: Yet another battery question
 


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aandncaravan - 2018-08-16 8:51 AM

colin - 2018-08-15 8:41 PM

I would suggest that trying to push the limits of your batteries is not the way to go, much better IMO to have a solar panel which will put something back every day.

We won't be going this year, but we have done the Great Dorset couple of times with this van (our first time there was the second or third event and in our old HB Viva) one battery and a 85w panel, no problems.
p.s. It's a Banner Energy Bull battery,



My first experience of a Camper at 8 years old was a Viva HA like the photo. I thought it an amazing piece of engineering.


The first vehicle I owned was a HA van, it was past it's best when I got it and I clocked up 25k miles in a year. When I got rid of it the seam between roof and side was completely gone, if you had stood up in van it probably would have opened up like that camper.
useraandncaravan
Posted: 17 August 2018 1:05 PM
Subject: RE: Yet another battery question
 
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Welted, where did you eventually get the Yuasa L36-EFB batteries, I keep being asked for a supplier.
.
userDerek Uzzell
Posted: 17 August 2018 2:10 PM
Subject: RE: Yet another battery question
 


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Tayna say they have them

https://www.tayna.co.uk/leisure-batteries/yuasa/l36-efb/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMImu3T9ZP03AIVCr7tCh36XwtvEAQYASABEgK08vD_BwE
useraandncaravan
Posted: 17 August 2018 2:53 PM
Subject: RE: Yet another battery question
 
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Thank you Derek, had an email this morning saying -


"Tanya still out of stock of the Yuasa L36-EFB and don’t know when they will get. Cant find anyone else that sells them.
Tayna suggested ….. they would fully endorse the Enduroline EXV110AGM :
https://www.tayna.co.uk/leisure-batteries/enduroline/exv110agm/
It is a 95Ah AGM battery with a cool 800CCA.
This is allegedly far superior to an 100Ah EFB battery. The technology is better and the draw is deeper.
It is the same physical size and would do wonders when installed in the application.
And went on to say…..
The LFD90 is a wet battery and will not deliver the same power that you're looking for. This will be more akin to a 70-80Ah AGM battery. It has 2 years warranty as standard. I would recommend you go for the EXV110AGM. It is stronger and has a longer warranty.

Any comments as to availability (eg elsewhere) and the alternative suggested by Tanya?
May just have to go with the old recommendation of LFD90
Cheers"


We pointed the Enduroline battery was rubbish and one of those being '"investigated'.
How can Tayna even suggest a 90Ah quality battery is equivalent to a 70-80Ah AGM when it the AGM that won't charge fully!!!.
What a shower.


Edited by aandncaravan 2018-08-17 2:58 PM
userBillggski
Posted: 17 August 2018 3:01 PM
Subject: RE: Yet another battery question
 


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It seems quite common for retailers to advertise attractive stock that they don't actually have, and then offer a "superior" product. One where they presumably have a higher profit margin.
Or am I just being cynical?
useraandy
Posted: 17 August 2018 6:01 PM
Subject: RE: Yet another battery question
 
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I've noticed in the past that whatever battery you select on Tayna's site, it will invariably bring up a recommendation to buy Enduroline instead. The recommendation will sometimes make an attempt at justification - more CCA, higher capacity etc - but even where the specification of the selected battery is equal on every parameter, they still push the Enduroline. I've always had good service from Tayna, but I consider this sort of marketing cynical and bordering on dishonest.

I am encouraged by the approach Alpha are adopting - albeit with Allan's prompting - and for that reason alone they will be my first port of call in future. Let's hope they live up to the promise.
useraandncaravan
Posted: 17 August 2018 7:13 PM
Subject: RE: Yet another battery question
 
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Alpha also give the Varta LFD90 a longer 4 year warranty, which is the more usual time given by other retailers. Not the 2 years that Tayna provide.
I wonder if Tayna drop the Varta warranty so that the Enduroline looks more competitive?

The more I hear about Tayna lately the more I dislike how they operate.


We were recently sent a price list by a big retailer that listed the Asain built Enduroline EXV110 equivalents (which are Starter based batteries) that would have allowed us to buy in in singles at £56 ea. Bulk discounts made it very much cheaper.
When you think that a wholesaler has taken their cut, the retailer offering them to us had taken their cut, you can see the manufacturer probably sells them at less than £30 ea.

Clearly not quality batteries.

Despite our website stating all over the pages we don't sell any batteries, to maintain the Independence, they clearly didn't do much research.



Edited by aandncaravan 2018-08-17 7:33 PM
userrupert123
Posted: 17 August 2018 9:12 PM
Subject: RE: Yet another battery question
 
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I have to disagree about Tanya, brilliant service and very fast delivery plus good prices.
useraandncaravan
Posted: 17 August 2018 10:09 PM
Subject: RE: Yet another battery question
 
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rupert123 - 2018-08-17 9:12 PM

I have to disagree about Tanya, brilliant service and very fast delivery plus good prices.


I can't disagree about the pricing and delivery, but misdescribing batteries as they did in Alan I's email is not brilliant service.

The XV battery is made in Asia and the manufacturer describes the XV range as a low grade Starter battery with Starter battery grade Active material/Paste.
If you look at the charts below, far right hand column, you will see that it is described as such. The higher spec DC range, but still very poor quality, achieves around 60 cycles. Again manufacturers information, and the XV around 10 cycles.

The second chart shows what the battery is designed for. You will see that when it come to 'Starting' use it gets a low three stars.
For deep cycling and Dual capability it doesn't get a single star.
Just as bad is it's ability to live on long term EHU/Solar, it's 'Floating Service capability', is also a poor single star.

Yet tayna describe it as a Leisure battery fit for a Motorhome.
This is the wet acid version, but the XV AGM version is made down to the same very low specification.


Better than a Varta LFD90 with 200 plus cycles?
Dishonesty doesn't describe half of it.

Look for tayna and it's Powerline/Enduroline batteries appearing at the top of the UK Gov 'ripoff' charts soon.



Edited by aandncaravan 2018-08-17 10:28 PM




(Atlas Numax Hankook small Most Technology.jpg)



(Atlas Numax Hankook small Most Appropriate Usage.jpg)



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userweldted
Posted: 18 August 2018 12:32 AM
Subject: RE: Yet another battery question
 
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I got mine from BBL Batteries Plymouth, took about two weeks
userrupert123
Posted: 18 August 2018 10:56 AM
Subject: RE: Yet another battery question
 
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aandncaravan - 2018-08-17 10:09 PM

rupert123 - 2018-08-17 9:12 PM

I have to disagree about Tanya, brilliant service and very fast delivery plus good prices.


I can't disagree about the pricing and delivery, but misdescribing batteries as they did in Alan I's email is not brilliant service.

The XV battery is made in Asia and the manufacturer describes the XV range as a low grade Starter battery with Starter battery grade Active material/Paste.
If you look at the charts below, far right hand column, you will see that it is described as such. The higher spec DC range, but still very poor quality, achieves around 60 cycles. Again manufacturers information, and the XV around 10 cycles.

The second chart shows what the battery is designed for. You will see that when it come to 'Starting' use it gets a low three stars.
For deep cycling and Dual capability it doesn't get a single star.
Just as bad is it's ability to live on long term EHU/Solar, it's 'Floating Service capability', is also a poor single star.

Yet tayna describe it as a Leisure battery fit for a Motorhome.
This is the wet acid version, but the XV AGM version is made down to the same very low specification.


Better than a Varta LFD90 with 200 plus cycles?
Dishonesty doesn't describe half of it.

Look for tayna and it's Powerline/Enduroline batteries appearing at the top of the UK Gov 'ripoff' charts soon.


I cannot argue with what you say but when I look for a new battery I tend to look for recommendations, like yours for example, before I buy. I then look around for the best price and Tanya always seems to come out near or at the top. I have just bought a starter battery from them, ordered on Thursday about 3pm, delivered Friday at 11am. I know they are not far away from me but their dispatch and communication are first class and this is what I want. They have never tried to recommend a different battery to the one I asked for.
userarthur49
Posted: 18 August 2018 1:05 PM
Subject: RE: Yet another battery question
 
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I've used Tayna in the past. Always ordered online. Found their service excellent. I seem to recall they did offer a 'better' battery than the one I requested so a few minutes ago I went online to order a Varta LFD90 just as a test.
The 'Star buy in this size battery' came back, adjacent to the LFD90, as "EXV110 Enduroline Calcium Leisure Battery 12V " because of "Higher Capacity and Longer Warranty". And its more expensive than the LFD90.
To me that is pure marketing bovine effluent based on your knowledge of batteries Allan, so thank you for all you are doing to clean up the market.

Edited by arthur49 2018-08-18 1:06 PM
useraandy
Posted: 18 August 2018 8:56 PM
Subject: RE: Yet another battery question
 
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I don't suppose anyone will be surprised to hear that the registered office for Enduroline Ltd is C/O Tayna Ltd, High Street, Abergele.
userBoris
Posted: 19 August 2018 6:47 PM
Subject: RE: Yet another battery question
 
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if I may pick up on a comment Allan makes about the Sargent PX300 charger which he suggests should not be left on EHU for charging. Our Swift Bolero seems to have a PX300 and an EC620 PSU.. When parked up at home out of use, we normally keep the van on EHU to keep batteries topped up via the Command system. Should we not be doing this? We have a YU-POWER YPC100 Leisure battery. I check the readings every few days and they appear to confirm that all is well with the mains charger alternately charging the LB and VB at around 13.4a. Should we not be doing this? If we are doing something wrong, what should we be doing please?
Barry
useraandncaravan
Posted: 19 August 2018 9:56 PM
Subject: RE: Yet another battery question
 
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Boris - 2018-08-19 6:47 PM

if I may pick up on a comment Allan makes about the Sargent PX300 charger which he suggests should not be left on EHU for charging. Our Swift Bolero seems to have a PX300 and an EC620 PSU.. When parked up at home out of use, we normally keep the van on EHU to keep batteries topped up via the Command system. Should we not be doing this? We have a YU-POWER YPC100 Leisure battery. I check the readings every few days and they appear to confirm that all is well with the mains charger alternately charging the LB and VB at around 13.4a. Should we not be doing this? If we are doing something wrong, what should we be doing please?
Barry



The Yuasa YPC100 is an AGM battery designed for golf buggies and the like, it isn't designed for being charged on a PX300 in any way shape or form, as it is only a 14.4v charger. The battery will be slower to charge and after some usage may eventually fail to reach full charge on such a charger.

Also the YPC100 particularly won't like being constant float charged at 13.6v, either by a mains charger or Solar regulator.

Who advised you fit such a battery with a Sargent EC620/PX300, was it on recommendation from a Battery retailer?


If you look at the second chart we post above, you will see that not all batteries tolerate constant float charging equally, see the line on 'Floating Service Capability' and see how they can range from 4 stars to just one star.

More info here : http://www.aandncaravanservices.co.uk/ehu-full-time-yes-or-no.php

See also this web page on AGM batteries and Motorhomes : http://www.aandncaravanservices.co.uk/agm-batteries.php


Edited by aandncaravan 2018-08-19 10:10 PM
userBoris
Posted: 19 August 2018 11:13 PM
Subject: RE: Yet another battery question
 
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Thanks Allan,, The battery was on the van when supplied new in January 2018 being a 2017MY. Guess it mst have come out of Swift factory as standard equipment. What would you suggest to rectify? I don't know if the VB is the same so will check tomorrow. Do I change batteries or the charger? I guess that the battery will be the easiest/better option.
Barry
useraandncaravan
Posted: 20 August 2018 12:20 AM
Subject: RE: Yet another battery question
 
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An AGM battery in a Stop/Start vehicle has a special Alternator that charges at 14.8v when 'boosting' the battery and drops to 13.4v when 'Floating the battery.

I think you need to check the functionality of your Alternator?

Likewise a Solar regulator will have a similar charge AGM profile.

I guess you can see that this isn't just about the mains charger needing to be AGM optimised?


Even if the battery isn't damaged by the charging systems around it, it is obvious it isn't going to charge up fast or full if the battery wants 14.8v and gets just 14.4v?

But far worse than that, many Sargent systems in many British built motorhomes don't even get the Alternators 14.4v to the habitation area battery because of poor design, installation and cabling.
We typically see low 14.1v or even 13.8v at the habitation battery when the Fridge is also set to run from 12v due to voltage drop.
It isn't usually noticed because the owner can't see the poor Alternator charge at the habitation battery because the systems volt meter 'shuts down' the minute the engine starts.


Before you do anything else see exactly how yours performs.
Get a multi meter on the habitation battery and start the engine with the Fridge manually set to 12v.
Note what voltage the habitation area battery charges at, if it is the typical 13.9v, you don't have a system that will either charge an AGM fully or fast.
In this case the AGM battery will most likely reach only 80% capacity and take longer to get there than the best wet acid batteries once it has been used a few times. It will also degrade very quickly.

Next, get the multi meter on the Starter battery with the engine running and see what that reading is, hopefully it will be a minimum 14.4v.


Once you know what the charging systems are capable of (with real world figures and not the theory of what a perfect set-up can provide) you can work out a solution



I have to say that really is a weird battery to fit in a Leisure vehicle.
It is typically claimed as suitable for use
"in Alarm Systems, Golf Trolleys, wheelchairs, Emergency Lighting, Ride on Toys, Torches, UPS systems".

The Sargent documentation for the EC620/PX300 says,
"it is essential that only a proprietary brand LEISURE battery is used with a typical capacity of 75 to 120 Ah".

Regardless of what our experience has been, I wouldn't describe that battery as a perfect 'match' with the Sargent requirements.


Edited by aandncaravan 2018-08-20 12:37 AM
userarthur49
Posted: 20 August 2018 10:18 AM
Subject: RE: Yet another battery question
 
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Boris - 2018-08-19 11:13 PM

Thanks Allan,, The battery was on the van when supplied new in January 2018 being a 2017MY. Guess it mst have come out of Swift factory as standard equipment. What would you suggest to rectify? I don't know if the VB is the same so will check tomorrow. Do I change batteries or the charger? I guess that the battery will be the easiest/better option.
Barry


I would check with Swift which battery is fitted as standard as dealer may have changed it.
We bought an Autocruise Rhythm in 2010 where the factory fitted battery had been swapped by the dealer for a different (and smaller capacity) battery. We never did get an explanation from dealer but suspect the original had died whilst van sat on forecourt waiting to be sold.
And that certainly was the case in February this year when we changed van. The standard fit Banner was changed for a Numax because the former died through neglect by dealer.
userBoris
Posted: 20 August 2018 12:28 PM
Subject: RE: Yet another battery question
 
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I'm considering that this may have been possible. However, I have spoken to Sargent who have sent me a tech sheet for the PX300 which seems to suggest that it can and will charge a AGM battery. Extract from the handbook is silent on this point. What Allan will love is Sargent's suggestion that if my LB appears on the NCC list bhen it will be OK!!!
As for the VB, it is huge and not like any car battery I have evver seen before. I have read forum posts which indicate that the Ducato does not have a smart alternator. I'm afarid that messing about tieh a multi-meter is beyond me.
Barry
userBrambles
Posted: 20 August 2018 8:57 PM
Subject: RE: Yet another battery question
 


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Afraid I am going to have to jump in here.

The Yu-power battery may not be the perfect choice of battery but it is certainly capable of being charged successfully by the charger mentioned. Its charge cyclic/boost voltage is 14.5volts (PX300 charge voltage is 14.4 so a slight safety margin there allows for rising temperatures).
The Yuasa float charge is 13.65 volts and the PX300 output is 13.6 volts.

This is a commercial quality battery with a life of 600 cycles at 50% dod. The varta flooded is around 200 cycles . With the Yuasa being available at about say 1.5 times the cost with 3 times the cycles its certainly a contender even if its life is reduced by alternator charging. to say twice the life. Bear in mind this Yuasa battery has twice the life of many AGM batteries. I have found this to be true in a few applications using Yu-power batteries and indeed a lot more than twice the life and more like 4 times the life of other AGM batteries.
Most AGM batteries for use in automotive applications require a higher charge voltage ( 14.7 or more volts) this limits the charge rate to an extent when using 14.4 volts from an altermator. The Yu-power YPC range charge pretty fast and I would be reluctant to have wired close to the alternator as could charge too fast, however with normal lead lengths and impedance of the wiring in leisure circuits, relays contact volt drops etc it should be fine.

Boris, I would stick with the Yuasa Battery and see how you get on. It will be very interesting to see how long it lasts before it starts to degrades. The beauty of it is you have a lot of usable power and can go to 80% dod rather than 50% with flooded and can occasionally take down to 100% and still get good cycle life.

The fact it may not charge fully because of volt drops in wiring is not too much of an issue, so you only reach 80% charge sometimes. That is OK as you still have more power available than a flooded and get better cycle life.

Allen, I think you may be surprised how good the Yuasa YU-power batteries are. Yuasa lead the way in AGM batteries especially when they joined forces with GS batteries many years ago and acquired their technology to add to their own.

Anyway, 'nuff said and is just food for thought for you all and my pennies worth.
Jon.
useraandncaravan
Posted: 21 August 2018 8:44 AM
Subject: RE: Yet another battery question
 
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Brambles, I don't think there is another person on the forums whose battery knowledge I respect more than yours, it is exceptional.
And yes I do know how good the Yuasa batteries are, having had a tour around one of of the factories where they make the Industrial batteries.

The Yuasa L36-EFB is our new mid range motorhome battery.'Best Buy'.


But you see things very much from a pure battery perspective. You see the perfect scenario that each battery is designed to be used under, not the very flawed mess that is in many motorhomes, even 2018 versions.

For example you write,
"Boris, I would stick with the Yuasa Battery and see how you get on. It will be very interesting to see how long it lasts before it starts to degrade. The beauty of it is you have a lot of usable power and can go to 80% dod rather than 50% with flooded and can occasionally take down to 100% and still get good cycle life".


Which makes no allowance for the massive extra loading such use will place on the charging systems. Motorhome chargers are not designed to bring up a battery from 80% DOD, let alone 100%.
Yes the old, legendary, Exide G80 Gel could be taken to 80% DOD and some of the chargers were designed for that. But ONLY because a Gel battery charges more slowly, taking much less current, so the overall load on a charger was actually less than a good wet battery dropped to 50% DOD.


Installing an AGM, that draws more charge current (greater charge acceptance) AND dropping them to 100% DOD is crazy and many chargers are already at their limits.
The Sargent PX300 has been around a long, long time, it has had no modifications to cope with the higher current draw of AGM's, let alone anything other than a Wet Acid charge profile. It wasn't even designed for Gel batteries.

You can see if you start drawing the higher charge acceptance of AGM's AND discharge two AGM batteries to 100% DOD there will be fireworks.
And to those clever clogs out there who say the chargers are 'current limited' so manage the load, there are limits. Stressing anything to a factor 4 times greater than design won't be a good idea, yet the PX300 is one of the better ones!!

For years Motorhome and caravan chargers have been just about the lowest technology in any 'battery' arena.
Even the 'latest' Sargent EC160 has a fixed 13.8v, 10 amp unit!!!! No multistage capability at all, let alone multi battery technology.

The biggest selling Leisure aftermarket charger last year was the Sargent 151, another hideous fixed 13.8v 10amp unit that backs down to around 6 amps once it gets hot and into 'overload'. If anyone gets 8 amps out of one they will be doing really well.


Wet batteries have been shown over the years to be incredibly tolerant of all charging scenarios. AGM's have demonstrated the exact opposite characteristic.
Not just mains charging either as the Alternator charging solutions on many UK built motorhomes is woeful. Have a look at the average Autotrail, Elddis, Bailey, Swift charging voltage and you will see many struggle to get 13.9v with a single battery.
Throw on a second battery with high charge acceptance and you will be better off with an AA battery.


Just lift the floor over an X250/290 Starter battery and take a look at the size of the cable from the alternator. Despite 180amp Alternators being more common see how spindly the FIAT standard wiring is.
A modern 2 litre Diesel draws about 220 amps to start the engine and has a very fat cable.
In the attached photo you will see the Starter Motor cable feed is massive. So how come a 180amp motorhome Alternator cabling isn't a similar size when voltage drop is ABSOLUTELY critical when it comes to charging?


We are talking here about Fiat's wiring, not Swifts, yet it is woeful in preventing voltage drop. Add into the mix the poor wiring installation work from Sargent, BCA, etc and it's worse.
But the biggest design flaw is that British built motorhomes generally take the Freezer/Fridge feed right from the habitation battery terminals, not the Alternator.
Along with the additional load of two AGM's taking more current than two 'wets' and the charging voltage at the Leisure battery can be as low as 13.9v. No AGM will like that.

Schaudt Elektroblock power controller units, as used by Hymer, take the Fridge 12v direct from the Starter battery and this results in much less voltage drop, typically only 0.2v.


For evidence of just how bad this actually is in Britain, look around at the huge number of Battery to Battery chargers installed out there.
It is a shame they actually address the wrong issue, boosting the voltage when all that is needed is sensible Fridge cabling, wiring, etc. not a £600 expenditure.
Another example of the products in the market place not understanding the issues?

While wet batteries will tolerate these low voltages, and still charge fast and full, AGM's won't. Even 'low voltage' YU's will charge MORE SLOWLY and take significantly longer than wet batteries.

That means they spend longer 'discharged', so sulphate, thereby failing to reach their potential.
The YU might have have a longer life in the laboratory but in a very flawed motorhome set-up it's a different picture.


Sorry Brambles but the Battery 'experts' in the industry have launched a product into the market place without doing their job properly and actually finding out how things work in reality. Too many assumptions.

Because of how things are, the best batteries are those that are tolerant, Deep cycling doesn't even make it onto my list, they just cause stress to the already poor environment.


One other point is that Golf Buggy batteries have very different chargers. They are generally low current, charging up the battery overnight rather than a 'fast' day charge.
This means the batteries designed for this very specific use are used very differently and more like the test environment of a laboratory.


The only advantage of AGM's in motorhomes, IMO, is their ability to absorb abuse on a dealers forecourt, which is initially concealed better but makes an appearance later.

In my view it is a battery for the motorhome manufacturer and dealer, not the owner.



Boris, to demonstrate the point about how little voltage gets from the Alternator to a pair of heavily discharged AGM's, we would be willing to do a free 12v electrical test on your motorhome along the lines of the test we suggested you carry out above.
We will even pay for your first nights stay at the campsite we work from, see : http://www.aandncaravanservices.co.uk/north-wales.php

A nice site with distant sea views.

It would take about 2 hours and you would need to be around for that time while I work as a 'witness'.

Let me know.


Edited by aandncaravan 2018-08-21 9:12 AM




(Fiat Starter battery cabling.jpg)



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Attachments Fiat Starter battery cabling.jpg (69KB - 485 downloads)
userBrambles
Posted: 21 August 2018 9:18 AM
Subject: RE: Yet another battery question
 


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Hi Allen,
You are wrong, I do not only look from a battery point of view. I have been involved in vehicle electrical systems a long time and know everything has to be taken into account and invariably is a balancing act. of many different aspects.

I am pretty sure many motorhome users take their flooded batteries way below 50% dod and probably do not realise, as many just use power until it runs out or at least starts to fade with no understanding or wish to understand exactly what is going on.

You make some good points and some are valid and others debatable...too much has been mentioned for me to have time to address every point. The Yu-power battery technology has been around many years and is not really a new product at all.

One thing I do not know much about is the reliability and quality (and specs) of many motorhome charger systems. I looked up the PX300 specs and it appears along with previous comments you have made a reliable system so should handle a deep discharged Yu-power battery, That does not mean it will be good for all AGM batteries. Sometimes the ability of a battery to charge fast with low charging impedance is not a good thing as it takes chargers to it's current limit and acts like a short on Alternators. All I am saying is a slower charging battery is often desirable but equally not one with big charging losses. A good three stage charger should not have an issue with most batteries but your experience of reliability of chargers is far more important than any specification sheet.

I look at every battery application individually as what applied to one sytem and user may not apply to another . Sadly there is not a combination out there that will be the best for all users at a sensible cost and will always be a compromise.

The next important thing is what happens when the battery fails. The Yu-power is calcium based and have never seen one with a cell fail short circuit but always high impedance so this protects the charging systems and the battery from overheating in battery fail conditions due to age and use.
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