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Old 12-15-2014, 04:37 PM   #1
7.3Ford
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Equalizing Batteries

Hi folks,

Checking my batteries while waiting for new Montana. The are fully charged, but when I put a load on them, the voltage drops to 11.4 volts with 90 amps, and the inventor alarms goes off. Stop the load and voltage returns to 12.6 Volts.

Here is the setup six Trojan T105 Golf Cart Batteries (They will be 5 years old in Feb 2015).



The solar controller was set to Equalize every 28 days at 14.70 volts. The drop under load indicates the batteries are sulfated.

I did a little experimenting and I had to jump the voltage to 17 Volts to get the batteries to bubble. I also had to do one pair of 6 Volt batteries at time, because all the juice was going through the middle pair batteries.

Today I got one pair of batteries equalized, and tomorrow it will rain, so will have to wait a few days to get the next set equalized.




 
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Old 12-15-2014, 11:27 PM   #2
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It sounds like you have one or more bad cells in the batteries. I had the Trojans in my golf cart and they are a real good battery but after 5 years they were done. meter each battery with the cables off and you should find the one that is bad. but it looks like you might be spending 600 dollars to get new ones. but that is MHO.
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Old 12-16-2014, 01:00 AM   #3
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I've heard some get seven years or longer out of T-105s, but that was in home solar installations. I believe five is about the norm for the kind of cycling golf carts and what we do to them. If they were any other brand, they wouldn't last that long. If you do have a single bad one, there's a chance you may be able to find one close to the same age at a golf course. That would only postpone replacing them all out a year or so though.
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Old 12-16-2014, 03:43 AM   #4
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Are you using lots of water for the batteries? I found my 4x6v Interstates were after 7 years of solar use and the charge went down fast during normal usage. Replaced last year with 4 Trojan T105's. Everything is working normal again.
Hope my Trojan's last as long.
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Old 12-16-2014, 04:03 AM   #5
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Unfortunately John all it takes is one bad cell and adios to the whole bank as it will dramatically draw down the rest with the short.

At 5 years your getting close with the T-105's. On my last system I was able to get 6 years service from the T-105's. Really depends on how many discharges and charges they have been thru.

Eagleback comment about testing each one is good. If you are going to have to get new ones try and see about the deals on a good set of AGM's which will get you at least 7 years and a lot less maintenance and no off gassing!



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Old 12-16-2014, 04:07 AM   #6
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I agree with Les. That's why we went AGM.
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Old 12-16-2014, 06:50 AM   #7
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I haven't found any bad cells (checking specific gravity), and the bank holds a charge (currently 12.70 after 24 hours), it is just when load is placed on it, the voltage drops, but voltage came right back after load was reduced to 12 amps. I may look for a battery load tester that does 6 volts, and see if I can find which battery(s) are not carry the load better than others.

I normally only use 1/3 the amp hours of the bank, so they are rarely discharged to 50%, and they are maintained by solar panels until the Montana got totaled and the battery bank removed around the first week of August.

The Equalize at high than normal voltage seems to help. Will do the other two pair when the sun comes out. It is worth a try, maybe I can get another year or two out of them. I have nothing to lose.

Here are the panels I got for the new Montana, and am using to do the equalizing. I think three will fit, and I plan to make tray under the Montana to store the forth one, which I can pull out and put in the Sun when camping in the shade.



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Old 12-16-2014, 07:16 AM   #8
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here is a nice chart for your wallet. how much does all that weigh? it looks like your batteries are going south you got your moneys worth from them.


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Old 12-16-2014, 08:23 AM   #9
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Nice chart.
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Old 12-16-2014, 09:28 AM   #10
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John checked the specific gravity, that should detect a bad cell... Hmmm.
I am sending this to my engineer friend at Trojan for an opinion.
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Old 12-16-2014, 09:47 AM   #11
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He wants the specific gravity readings.

Why not go to the T-125 Batteries? They cost just a little more and
Same size, only 4# heavier, 240 AH at 20 hr rate instead of 225 AH.
I bought them when I found that they are available. I didn't want to go bigger, as my room was limited.
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Old 12-16-2014, 02:56 PM   #12
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Ozz

He wants the specific gravity readings.

Why not go to the T-125 Batteries? They cost just a little more and
Same size, only 4# heavier, 240 AH at 20 hr rate instead of 225 AH.
I bought them when I found that they are available. I didn't want to go bigger, as my room was limited.
Hi Jim,

The batteries are between 1270 and 1275, except the pair that I equalized the heck out of were at 1280. This is after the batteries sat with no charge or load for 18 hours. Battery bank is now at 12.69 Volts and battery Temp is 15 C.

When I get to replacing them I may look at the T125, but right now, I want to see if I can get them back up to snuff. I think they will run the coffee maker, and other stuff, doesn't seem to drop voltage to bad until you start going over 50 amps draw.

Tomorrow I think the Sun is suppose to be out, so maybe I can get the next pair equalized.






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Old 12-16-2014, 02:59 PM   #13
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Ok, I will get him the numbers, I have a mid-day service call, but he will probably get back to me before then.
BTW, I had 3 good batt's and 3 bad ones, and my Magnum wouldn't even run the vacuum or Microwave..
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Old 12-16-2014, 03:07 PM   #14
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by Lenny K

Are you using lots of water for the batteries? I found my 4x6v Interstates were after 7 years of solar use and the charge went down fast during normal usage. Replaced last year with 4 Trojan T105's. Everything is working normal again.
Hope my Trojan's last as long.
Lenny,

They have never use much water, maybe 1/2 to 1 gallon for all six in 5 years. I expect to get 7 years out of these, I can run 12-15 amps all day long, but on high draws the voltage drops to the point that the Inverter complains, as soon as the load is reduced the voltage goes back up.
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Old 12-16-2014, 04:07 PM   #15
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I ordered a load tester from Amazon will be here on Friday. I will be able to test each battery, and see which batteries are able to carry a load. Was less than $30, and will be a great tool to have.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 12-16-2014, 04:10 PM   #16
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They are nice, I have one I really like, it puts a 50 amp load on it and a meter to show the power draw; red yellow and green graph You need a 6 volt and 12 volt setting, mine does not have that like yours does. That is a nice tester.
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Old 12-19-2014, 04:34 PM   #17
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Hi Folks,

I got the battery tested posted earlier. After equalizing the batteries, they are doing better. The tester shows them on the very bottom of the good range under load. I think I can get another year or two out of them as long as I don't want to run the Microwave. Should be fine running TV, Satellite, CPAP machine, fans, Coffee Pot, etc.

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