Author Topic: Need help - batteries not reaching full charge - adding more  (Read 1595 times)

TomW

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Re: Need help - batteries not reaching full charge - adding more
« Reply #15 on: January 11, 2017, 10:07:22 AM »

Question:  With the midnite local app, do I or don't I need internet?  Or is it possible to just network it to the router (just like I have my Schneider Electric Combox currently) and talk to it that way?  Or can I directly plug the ethernet into the laptop (that didn't work with the combox). 



RW;

You no not need internet. You may need a local network with an ethernet hub or just what is known as a crossover cable.

Depending on what operating system(s) you use on your computer you may get away with a direct connection ethernet port to ethernet port. Several things affect this but easiest way is a small 4 port ethernet hub both devices attach to.   A wireless router might suffice for the hub if the computer has wifi.

If that makes sense? I have done it several different ways, eternet  hub, direct and wifi router. What you could do kind of depends on your geekiness factor  ;D.

Tom

Do NOT mistake me for any kind of "expert".

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robbertwilliams

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Re: Need help - batteries not reaching full charge - adding more
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2017, 09:01:49 AM »
Little Update - Got the necessary wire and plug to hookup the inverter/charger to the generator.  I'll be working on that for the next few days.  Also, the new and easier to read hydrometer shows up today, as well as a new fluke meter to replace the meter I stepped on :(

Thanks again for all your help everyone.  I'll keep you posted as I learn more.
4 Hyundai His250mg, 8 Deka 8l16 for 740@24v, Schneider Elec. SW2524 + Combox, Midnite Classic 150 w/WBjr

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robbertwilliams

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Re: Need help - batteries not reaching full charge - adding more
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2017, 10:30:09 PM »
Well, the new batteries have been through their first day of "real" charging.  Yesterday, it was overcast and snowy.  So, today, they made it to float with a absorb set time of 4hr, and ending amps at 4 (not sure which occurred first. 

However, I received my new hydrometer today, a Hydrovolt.  I checked all SG of the new and newly charged batteries, as well as checking the old batteries again with the new hydrometer to compare readings.  Note: the old hydrometer was the glass tube type with a old school mercury type thermometer on the barrel portion of the unit. 

The readings are insanely different than they were three days ago, specifically regarding the old set of batteries that haven't been charging.  I even pulled electrolyte, took a reading, dumped it out, repulled, and so on.  Most cells I took at least three different readings.  All of the readings were much higher than a few days prior.  Check my chart out.  Is this Hydrovolt accurate?  or was the hydrometer I had before just junk? 

Questions:  how close should the SG readings be between cells on each battery?  and on each bank?  The battery university website only suggests an equalization charge if the batteries have an SG difference of 0.030 or more.

If the CC reads SOC 100%, does the CC still go through all the stages (bulk, absorb, etc)?  or does it just skip and go to float?  If it skips, how can I get it to realize the batteries still need a charge?

I'm assuming the SG numbers on the new batteries will continue to improve as they receive more full days of charging. 

Let me know what you think.  I'll be there the next three days to do an equalize if needed and will be finishing up hooking the wire up to the charger. 

Thanks again. 
4 Hyundai His250mg, 8 Deka 8l16 for 740@24v, Schneider Elec. SW2524 + Combox, Midnite Classic 150 w/WBjr

DPW ToP Mount, MNPV3 Combiner with MC4 input, MNDC250 DC Box

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Westbranch

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Re: Need help - batteries not reaching full charge - adding more
« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2017, 11:31:24 PM »
Skip days, .... unless you have specifically set this, the CC will go through all stages to FLOAT...
.
To make sure it is trying to get to the End Amp setting, and that that is achieved raise the Absorb time to 5 hours or 6 if needed.

The Classic or the Local App will tell you the time in Absorb and Float...  adjust as needed if still not there..

At this time of the year you would do well to do a genny run in the early AM to go through BULK and into Absorb, at about the time the sun can support the high V and Amps at the start of Absorb, then let the PV take over and finish the Absorb and into float if there is enough sun time..,  If you don't get there day 1 run the gen earlier and longer...  pray to the SUNGOD clear skies!!!

yes your first Hydrometer might be the cause of variance... the Hydro-Volt has been reported here as a good dependable unit...

hth
« Last Edit: January 13, 2017, 12:17:49 AM by Westbranch »
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ClassicCrazy

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Re: Need help - batteries not reaching full charge - adding more
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2017, 11:35:04 PM »
The Classic SOC reading does not control the charging. It is a reference guage and is only as accurate as you set it up to be and then only so accurate.
The Classic starts charging Bulk until it gets to Absorb voltage, then holds the absorb voltage by cutting down current as needed. It will stay in Absorb until either the Absorb time runs out , or until it reaches ending amps which ever comes first. When it goes to Float the SOC changes from whatever it said to 100%

What you want to do is watch the SG , when it gets to whatever battery company specs say is charged , then take note of what your ending amps was at that time.  Then watch and confirm you get the same results some other days. You can adjust the SOC to be closer to reading correctly by changing  the efficiency setting on it . Or just know it goes to 100% SOC when it goes to Float.  It doesn't matter so much if it goes 100% a bit before it goes to Float  - you want to know that your battery is really full by confirming with SG reading .

Don't know what to say about your differing readings except that  maybe the other hydrometer you had wasn't temperature compensated ? 

I have an inexpensive refractometer which shows very accurate on a scale and you can calibrate it using distilled water.  But those are a bit of pain to use because you have to put drops on it and rinse off and be careful putting acid up near your eyes.
Larry
« Last Edit: January 12, 2017, 11:38:33 PM by ClassicCrazy »
system one
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Vic

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Re: Need help - batteries not reaching full charge - adding more
« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2017, 11:38:49 PM »
Hi robbertwilliams,   thanks for the update.

Believe that you have read the Article noted previously:

"Here is a good Article on measuring SGs,  from Surrette Battery.   The SG for fully-charged batteries is one difference between the Chart in this article,   verses your battery SGs:
http://support.rollsbattery.com/support/solutions/articles/4347-measuring-specific-gravity
"

Personally,   would draw two samples and expel them,  then draw the third sample and use that for measurement.

Keep the Hydrometer vertical (plumb)  while taking the readings.

I did buy three Hydrovolts,   a few years ago,  when MidNite began distribution of this Hydrometer.   I got relatively large variations on successive draws on a given cell.   Sometimes the scales would stick together,  requiring a rap on the top of the battery case to cause the scales to move.   This,  plus the very short sample tube made the Hydrovolt relatively difficult to use,   and the readings (to me)  a bit suspect.   So reverted to the tried-and-true Freas Glassworks Hydro,  which has very repeatable readings.  The issue with the Hydrovolt's short sample tube probably is probably only an issue on batteries with a large electrolyte reserve (space above plates for electrolyte).

It is very,  very important to rinse any Hydrometer three or four times after a measuring session,  using Distilled Water.

A Hydrometer should give very repeatable readings on successive sample draws beyond the third draw  --  only  one or two points variation.

New batteries usually need to be cycled 30 - 70-ish cycles before they stabilize.   So  variations in SG readings could be seen,  as the battery becomes "finished".

A variation of 10 points or so,   for a fully-charged battery should be fine.  Many manufacturers suggest an EQ for variations of about 20,  or more SG points.

You appear to be using an SG of 1.265 as fully-charged.   If so,  did this information come from Deka?

The SOC reading that is determined by the Classic using the WBjr,   is only a rough indication of actual SOC.   There are many variables that go into calculating SOC,   and most battery monitoring devices cannot keep track of all of these,   and we users of batteries would not know what values to enter,  if the monitor had the ability to keep track of all of the variables.

My CC makes all of its decisions on charging,   while ignoring the stated SOC data.

Thanks,   Vic
Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548s, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH X2@48V, 11.1 KW STC PV, 3X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  Thanks MN for Great Products/Service/Support!

CDN-VT

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Re: Need help - batteries not reaching full charge - adding more
« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2017, 11:59:27 PM »
the Hydro-Volt has been reported here as a good dependable unit...

IT's CLOSE , BUT not as good as my 1965 imperial glass unit.

I find it the best to check many against all & then I have ONE who is the MASTER . CLEAN it & pull it out to check the rest .
Same as any TOOL .

Best to spend time measuring  true & know .

VT
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robbertwilliams

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Re: Need help - batteries not reaching full charge - adding more
« Reply #22 on: January 13, 2017, 03:35:21 AM »
Ok, I definitely didn't drop just under a hundred bucks for a Freas hydrometer.  The glass tube I have is

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0050SFVHO/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1#Ask

If trying to verify SG via the scale/digital balance method, after the weight is taken, I'm assuming I still need to factor in the temperature compensation, correct? 

The one thing I didn't do, and I wish I had, was measure the SG with both devices today.  I guess I'll try that tomorrow.

Thanks
4 Hyundai His250mg, 8 Deka 8l16 for 740@24v, Schneider Elec. SW2524 + Combox, Midnite Classic 150 w/WBjr

DPW ToP Mount, MNPV3 Combiner with MC4 input, MNDC250 DC Box

Off Grid in Black Hills, South Dakota

Vic

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Re: Need help - batteries not reaching full charge - adding more
« Reply #23 on: January 13, 2017, 12:30:59 PM »
Hi robbertwiliams,

When you mentioned the brand name of the Hydrometer that you were using,   did find it on Amazon.   Looks like it may be fine.

The Freas Hydros in use here are about 11 years old,   and have been very reliable and repeatable.   When they were purchased,  they were about $40,   and were sold by NAZ Wind & Sun.   Where did you find the Freas at almost $100  ....  perhaps directly from Freas??

We have several known accurate Hydros here,  those in use are all the glass tube/glass float variety,  so,  if one gets broken,  there are still others that can do a comparable job.

Regarding Temperature Compensation.   Hydrometers need this compensation,   because they are measuring the Density of the electrolyte.   The weight of the electrolyte should not change with temperature,  so should not need compensation ...   if this what you were wondering about.

It is very nice to have a known sample of electrolyte that can be your reference standard.

SO,  one QUESTION;   How is it that you have determined the SG for your fully-charged Deka batteries?   Was this from a Deka document? ??

Thanks,   Vic
Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548s, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH X2@48V, 11.1 KW STC PV, 3X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  Thanks MN for Great Products/Service/Support!

TomW

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Re: Need help - batteries not reaching full charge - adding more
« Reply #24 on: January 13, 2017, 01:44:18 PM »
Did anyone mention you can test a hydrometer by testing pure distilled water?

distilled water should read 1.000... at 20 degrees C. (68 F)

Just in case you did not know.

Tom

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I found my refractory hydrometer to be both accurate and easy to use. Some do not, however.
Do NOT mistake me for any kind of "expert".

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I thought that they were angels, but much to my surprise, We climbed aboard their starship and headed for the skies

Vic

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Re: Need help - batteries not reaching full charge - adding more
« Reply #25 on: January 13, 2017, 03:25:00 PM »
Hi robbertwilliams,

One good way to check the average State Of Charge (SOC)  of a multi-cell battery is to measure its Resting voltage,   and Temperature Compensate the voltage reading.  A Rested battery is one that has not been charged or discharged for about six hours.   A Rest of 12 hours should be better.

You could average the SG readings from each Hydrometer,  measure the average electrolyte temperature,   apply the temperature compensation of SGs and to voltage measurements,   and see how each Hydro compares to the approximate SG from Rested battery voltage.

I did find a Deka battery manual for Flooded batteries,  and that DID confirm that the target SG for full-charge,  IS  1.265.

In that manual,  could not find the Temp Compensation value for voltage.   Are you using -- 5 mV/Cell/C?

Later,   Vic
Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548s, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH X2@48V, 11.1 KW STC PV, 3X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  Thanks MN for Great Products/Service/Support!

ClassicCrazy

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Re: Need help - batteries not reaching full charge - adding more
« Reply #26 on: January 13, 2017, 05:04:10 PM »
Deka always says -3 mv per cell in everything I have ever seen - and on document I linked earlier.

Larry
« Last Edit: January 13, 2017, 05:08:26 PM by ClassicCrazy »
system one
Classic 150 , 20 Kyocera 135watt , 12s Soneil 2v 540amp lead crystal for 24v pack , Outback 3524 inverter
system two
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system three
Midnite KID MPPT 24 DC in to  12 volt AGM batterie

Vic

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Re: Need help - batteries not reaching full charge - adding more
« Reply #27 on: January 13, 2017, 07:41:41 PM »
Yea Larry,   Thanks ...   but,   there are several docs out there that either omit the Temp Comp value,  or DO say --5 mV/Cell/C,  from resellers (and/or at Deka - forget,  have been looking at too many links to recall exactly) that are listing the Deka 370 Ah Flooded L-16s:

http://store.affordable-solar.com/site/doc/Doc_Flooded%20Charging1_20091028104431.pdf

The above doc is dtd 2006 IIRC,   AND curiously notes that the Reference temperature is 20 C  --  have never seen that before.

AND,  robbertwilliams  also DID mention in the first post,   that --5 mV was being used,   so,   was trying to find  what is the  actual true value ...  had wondered,  if there was some data packet/Maunal supplied with the batteries that stated charge parameters,   etc.

It has looked like Deka has gone to Lead-Calcium for many/most/perhaps all of their batteries (a bit surprising to me).

Thanks,   Vic
« Last Edit: January 13, 2017, 07:44:02 PM by Vic »
Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548s, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH X2@48V, 11.1 KW STC PV, 3X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  Thanks MN for Great Products/Service/Support!

robbertwilliams

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Re: Need help - batteries not reaching full charge - adding more
« Reply #28 on: January 13, 2017, 08:46:24 PM »
I am using 1.265 as a full SG, and it is currently set at -3mv/c.  Vic, that document is the same that I was given when I asked the retailer (first set purchased) for charge specs, and that is all they could find.  I haven't been following any real rubric in the recent week.  I've been taking suggestions and spec documents while using them collectively. 

Tom, thanks for the hint in regards to SG of distilled water.  Neither one of my hydrometers will read down to 1.0.

I did however have pretty good luck with measuring out 15ml of solution and dividing its weight in g by volume in ml.  The end result brings me to trust my glass OTC hydrometer (not 100% confident in the built in temp compensation thermometer) and to DISTRUST the Hydrovolt, which is back in the package and ready for return.  I couldn't get consistent readings with the hydrovolt, just consistently different readings.

I'll be ordering a Freas No. 1 from Chief Aircraft, 35 bucks with shipping. 

The charge today, I arrived around 11:30am, was already in Float.  This was with a 4hr duration and ending amps (classic not shunt) set at 3.7.  The SG readings, especially in the battery/cell "new 4-3" had not improved.  I've since brought ending amps back to zero and will see what happens after 4hrs of absorb.  Frustration has ensued. 

I hooked up all the necessary wiring for the generator to charge via the inverter but I can't find my batt temp sensor for it.  Will the midnite one work on the Schneider electric inverter?  They look nearly identical.  The set limits for the built in charger are much different than the CC's. 

Any idea of max temp setting for EQ?  I've read anywhere from 125 to 145.  I'm kind of nervous to do an EQ but I think it is a must.  I'm shooting to try it out on Sunday.  I plan to keep a close eye on it.  All pointers would be appreciated greatly. 

Thanks everyone!
4 Hyundai His250mg, 8 Deka 8l16 for 740@24v, Schneider Elec. SW2524 + Combox, Midnite Classic 150 w/WBjr

DPW ToP Mount, MNPV3 Combiner with MC4 input, MNDC250 DC Box

Off Grid in Black Hills, South Dakota

robbertwilliams

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Re: Need help - batteries not reaching full charge - adding more
« Reply #29 on: January 13, 2017, 09:15:42 PM »
Also, I got the local app to work and despite its few added features that the CC display lacks, it seems to lack a bit of other things.  Are there any graphs ?  Or any real way to record ending amps other than staring st the screen and watching a clock?
4 Hyundai His250mg, 8 Deka 8l16 for 740@24v, Schneider Elec. SW2524 + Combox, Midnite Classic 150 w/WBjr

DPW ToP Mount, MNPV3 Combiner with MC4 input, MNDC250 DC Box

Off Grid in Black Hills, South Dakota