• Please use the Forgot Your Password option to login to your account on the new platform.

How can I check?

Apr 13, 2009
216
0
0
Whilst on a 60w solar panel connected, and it's putting out !6v, how long should it take to charge a battery back up to 13.5v? This is from an off-grid 12.5v showing? I am desperately trying to find out after 4/5 days off-grid why my mover cuts out if even slightly put under load. Handset is 100% as is the 100amp battery. I am under the impression that the power from the panel would be cut once 13.5v at the battery is achieved?
 
Oct 8, 2006
761
24
18,885
60W is 60W, so for a nominal 13.5V it will have to give around 4A.
100Ah/4 + 10% is about 28 hours, and as there is only about 10 hours of daylight we're talking - in theory - about 3 days provided you don't take anything out of the battery in the meantime.

I may be wrong of course - solar panels are beggars to work with!
 
May 7, 2012
4,618
64
20,735
Without knowing what caravan you have the question is difficult to answer. Most have some way of checking the charge in the battery.
Newer models will have a screen which either shows it, or has a button to do this, but older ones may simply show red, green or amber if the button is pushed. If you have none then probably you need a meter to check at the terminals or wire one in.
 
Sep 4, 2017
509
1
1,885
As always I tend to think outside the box. (Been in a box since I got married many years ago)
Perhaps the brushes are stuf*ed on the mover?
 
Apr 13, 2009
216
0
0
Turns out the 100 amp battery is 100%. Been on EHU this last week and mover worked well. Just a .35v drop measured by multimeter after the uphill onto the drive. This was from 13.35v beforehand. Is it possible to buy the added 20 or so amps in order to boost the original battery? Wired in Parallel, could this work rather than the expense of a new 110 or higher amperage battery? Possibly be switched so as it would only come into play for such a manoeuvre? particularly after being off grid?
 
Mar 14, 2005
12,435
99
40,735
TerryIvybridge said:
Turns out the 100 amp battery is 100%. Been on EHU this last week and mover worked well. Just a .35v drop measured by multimeter after the uphill onto the drive. This was from 13.35v beforehand. Is it possible to buy the added 20 or so amps in order to boost the original battery? Wired in Parallel, could this work rather than the expense of a new 110 or higher amperage battery? Possibly be switched so as it would only come into play for such a manoeuvre? particularly after being off grid?
Hello Terry,
Unfortunately it's not quite that simple. If the present 100Ah battery is not being fully charged by the solar panel, adding extra battery capacity won't help, as neither battery will get fully charged.

In practice using a a caravan mover uses much less power than you might think. I have previously estimated that on average a mover will use less than 2Ah of battery capacity, so your 100Ah should be more than capable of running your mover.

If the mover is cutting out because the battery voltage is falling too low, and you have subsequently proven the battery to OK, then it's going to be more sensible to sort out the charging problem to make better use of teh battery you already have.

Solar panels are rated by the maximum power they can produce. Power is measured in Watts (W) and in electrical systems that is affected by the Volts (V) and Current (A). Fortunately Volts x Amps = Watts, and if your panel is 60W, I would expect that to mean if it was running at 12V it would be capable of pushing 5A of current through its wires. But the panels output will have other limits such as a maximum current, and a maximum voltage, so as the batteries terminal voltage rises as it charges, a solar panels ability to push current into a battery reduces.

If this is uncontrolled in other word if a solar panel is directly connected to a battery, depending on the equipment and the conditions, battery may be over or under charged.

That is one reason why a proper solar charge controller is important. Good ones can effectively match the best load conditions to enable a solar panel to maximise is power output, whilst at the same time ensuring the connected battery is correctly charged. But obviously if the solar panel is not big enough or the light conditions are not bright enough to cover any power used from the battery, the battery cannot be fully recharged by solar alone.

There can be other problems with trying to connect multiple batteries in parallel. If on battery is in poor condition relative to the other difference in terminal voltages will cause some very large currents to flow between the batteries when they are connected. This is potentially dangerous as wiring can easily overheat and could start a fire. Battery manufactures will tell you that when parallel connecting batteries, the batteries should be from the same batch and size, and in the same condition, otherwise any electrical load or charging will not be shared correctly, again possibly leading to dangerous overheating of wires or cells.
 
Apr 13, 2009
216
0
0
Cheers for that Prof' Really don't know where to go with this now? Best advice so far is to buy a 110 or possibly a 115 amp battery? As you said, the 100 amp should be up to the job but may be it's the motors after all? Powrtouch point towards the battery. The 60w panel has a power controller in-built supplied by a reputable company and I roof mount it and off grid camps usually amount to 5-6 days at a time. The 'van is a 2012 Lunar Quasar and has a full compliment of led lighting and 12v items are turned off if not in use.
 

Damian

Moderator
Mar 14, 2005
6,463
108
25,735
Quote " Turns out the 100 amp battery is 100%."

May I ask how you proved the battery is 100%?
What tests were carried out to determine this?
 
Jun 20, 2005
10,946
44
40,685
How old is your mover?
Have you cleaned all the connectors and made sure all cables to the motor are securely connected. New brushes are cheap and include new terminals. Very easy to change.
 
May 7, 2012
4,618
64
20,735
The battery should be powerful enough assuming there are no steep slopes for it to climb. We manage with a 75 amp battery moving a Quasar 574 although usually on the flat. I do use a 20 amp solar charger to trickle charge when not in use, but that only keeps the battery from draining rather than powering it.
 
Sep 26, 2018
292
8
685
Damian-Moderator said:
Quote " Turns out the 100 amp battery is 100%."

May I ask how you proved the battery is 100%?
What tests were carried out to determine this?
+1 on this! the voltage drop resting is only one measure, an incipient fault in a cell may not show up until you do a bench test, where a high current drain is applied and the voltage drop is analysed...
 
Mar 14, 2005
12,435
99
40,735
There seems to be some doubt about the way you ascertained the condition of your battery. It seems to me this is clearly a critical component, and it would make good sense to to ensure the battery is in fact in good condition.

As Guzzilazz has stated, a simple voltage check does not give the full story, adn it actually needs a proper load check of the type battery specialists can do.

One the condition of the battery is confirmed, it will give greater confidence in teh next steps of things to check.

If this is taking you out of your comfort zone, them perhaps it's time to involve a professional. There are several mobile engineers that will come to you, and would be better placed to investigate and hopefully solve your problem.
 
Jun 20, 2005
10,946
44
40,685
Checking the condition of a battery using an external mobile engineer as suggested is really getting into the realms of fantasy :whistle: My old dad did his own testing with a hydrometer, and multi meter built in the 60s.
If the OPs battery is that suspect ditch it and buy a new one. The cost of a specialist will be at least half the new battery price :woohoo:
Better still can we go back to why his mover isn’t working correctly. Surely he is capable of temporarily swapping his car battery with caravans ;) If that doesn’t work he will know it is the mover.
Surely us guys and ladies on here are ‘Practical” :S :evil: That is one of the main reasons I still subscribe B) B)
 
Oct 12, 2013
3,037
1
0
I agree with DD , a mobile engineer will cost a fair bit to come to you , if you able to , swap the batteries about and then that will eliminate either the mover faulty or the battery , my new battery cost me about £130 for a 12o amp I think . Took minutes to replace .
 

Parksy

Moderator
Nov 12, 2009
10,132
99
40,735
ProfJohnL said:
...If this is taking you out of your comfort zone, them perhaps it's time to involve a professional. There are several mobile engineers that will come to you, and would be better placed to investigate and hopefully solve your problem.
I would imagine that the possibility of engaging the services of a mobile caravan engineer to carry out a simple battery test is next to zero, these guys are busy and to be honest the suggestion is ludicrous.
As others have suggested, test the mover using your car battery.
 

Damian

Moderator
Mar 14, 2005
6,463
108
25,735
There is a very simple way of ascertaining whether or not your battery is capable of doing its job, and all it needs is a multimeter.
No need to go swapping batteries or anything else.

Simply after charging the battery and leaving it to rest for a day, measure the voltage at the terminals.
Then with the mover disengaged, operate it in forward or reverse and watch what the voltage does on the mulitimeter.

If it drops , which it should, and almost instantly recover to a minimum of 12v then it can be assumed that the battery is in pretty good condition.

If however the voltage drops and stays down, then a cell or more has failed and its time to renew the battery.
 
Jun 17, 2011
770
0
18,880
We use a mover and panel system with 100 amp hour battery. Been doing this for years and even in winter never had a problem with the mover. Panel is 80 watt. You need to check the state of the battery as suggested. If you replace it look at the NCC system for batteries.
 
Mar 14, 2005
12,435
99
40,735
Parksy said:
ProfJohnL said:
...If this is taking you out of your comfort zone, them perhaps it's time to involve a professional. There are several mobile engineers that will come to you, and would be better placed to investigate and hopefully solve your problem.
I would imagine that the possibility of engaging the services of a mobile caravan engineer to carry out a simple battery test is next to zero, these guys are busy and to be honest the suggestion is ludicrous.
As others have suggested, test the mover using your car battery.
I agree it would be wrong to just expect a mobile engineer to check battery voltages, my comment was related to getting the whole mover working.
 
Mar 14, 2005
12,435
99
40,735
Damian-Moderator said:
There is a very simple way of ascertaining whether or not your battery is capable of doing its job, and all it needs is a multimeter.
No need to go swapping batteries or anything else.

Simply after charging the battery and leaving it to rest for a day, measure the voltage at the terminals.
Then with the mover disengaged, operate it in forward or reverse and watch what the voltage does on the mulitimeter.

If it drops , which it should, and almost instantly recover to a minimum of 12v then it can be assumed that the battery is in pretty good condition.

If however the voltage drops and stays down, then a cell or more has failed and its time to renew the battery.
There are some faults where a cell may go high resistance, This will not necessarily be detected by a simple voltage test with a multimeter. It needs a high current load test to see how the voltage reacts.
 

Damian

Moderator
Mar 14, 2005
6,463
108
25,735
Quote "
There are some faults where a cell may go high resistance, This will not necessarily be detected by a simple voltage test with a multimeter. It needs a high current load test to see how the voltage reacts."

Talk about making a mountain out of a molehill !!!!

The test I suggested, and use on an almost daily basis , is easy and pretty reliable in determining if a battery is up to the job.

Yes there may be other issues but that is immaterial if the battery is faulty.

A mover operated will, initially draw quite a high current which is equivalent to a drop test!!!!!!

I live and work in the real world where customers want a cost effective answer to a simple question , they do not want to spend loads of money on some highly decorated professor of electrical science to tell them that their battery is knackered !!!!!!!!!
 
Mar 10, 2006
3,068
1
20,685
Damian-Moderator said:
There is a very simple way of ascertaining whether or not your battery is capable of doing its job, and all it needs is a multimeter.
No need to go swapping batteries or anything else.

Simply after charging the battery and leaving it to rest for a day, measure the voltage at the terminals.
Then with the mover disengaged, operate it in forward or reverse and watch what the voltage does on the mulitimeter.

If it drops , which it should, and almost instantly recover to a minimum of 12v then it can be assumed that the battery is in pretty good condition.

If however the voltage drops and stays down, then a cell or more has failed and its time to renew the battery.
This is what i would do, check volts under load.
 
Sep 26, 2018
292
8
685
xtrailman said:
Damian-Moderator said:
There is a very simple way of ascertaining whether or not your battery is capable of doing its job, and all it needs is a multimeter.
No need to go swapping batteries or anything else.

Simply after charging the battery and leaving it to rest for a day, measure the voltage at the terminals.
Then with the mover disengaged, operate it in forward or reverse and watch what the voltage does on the mulitimeter.

If it drops , which it should, and almost instantly recover to a minimum of 12v then it can be assumed that the battery is in pretty good condition.

If however the voltage drops and stays down, then a cell or more has failed and its time to renew the battery.
This is what i would do, check volts under load.
Whilst this is a way of checking the battery, removing it and taking it to a specialist battery supplier, the test will be a known load (none of us know what the mover will draw) over a programmed time and get a definitive answer. How long would you run the mover for? And with that current for that length of time, what voltage do you expect at the end, and after how long? A condition tester will take a known current (usually at least 40A) for a known time and will have the appropriate battery data to check just how far the battery is gone...
 

Damian

Moderator
Mar 14, 2005
6,463
108
25,735
.[/quote]

Whilst this is a way of checking the battery, removing it and taking it to a specialist battery supplier, the test will be a known load (none of us know what the mover will draw) over a programmed time and get a definitive answer. How long would you run the mover for? And with that current for that length of time, what voltage do you expect at the end, and after how long? A condition tester will take a known current (usually at least 40A) for a known time and will have the appropriate battery data to check just how far the battery is gone...[/quote]

I think you are missing the basic point and heading into the higher technical arguments.
The basic question is, does my battery have enough power to work the mover, if the voltage drops below 12v and does not immediately recover from operating the mover in the disengaged position ,then the answer is NO.
Whacking a 40A load on a leisure battery is not the sensible way to go as leisure batteries are not made to tolerate this kind of load for any period of time.

The load tester I use will load to 30A but only for 3 seconds which is more than adequate to see if the battery has a failed cell or something else wrong with it.

At the end of the day , if the battery has a fault and will not supply the required power then it needs replacing, it really does not matter what has caused the failure as you would be throwing it away anyway.

Keep things simple !!!!! it is supposed to be a leisure thing, not a lesson in science.
 
Mar 10, 2006
3,068
1
20,685
When i had battery issues with a cx-5 all the dealer did was test the battery with a conductance tester, its not rocket science.
 
Jun 20, 2005
10,946
44
40,685
Since I was 16 with motor bikes I knew when a battery was duff B)
Now, where is all this degree level physics class taking me.
I’m out of this rubbish. Get a life :woohoo: :whistle: :whistle:
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts