Adding a 2nd. leisure battery

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Post by Guest on Tue Mar 04, 2014 3:43 pm

We are shortly taking the van abroad for about 2 months. We don't anticipate being on an EHU very often, if at all.
We have a 75Ah leisure battery, plus a roof mounted 100w solar panel for charging. If the need arises, we can easily switch to drawing 12 v power from the vehicle battery (at which time we'll know we need to take the van for a run!). In any event, we don't expect to be in the same place for more than 3/4 days.
Apart from the water pump, heater fan, and lighting, we'll be running/charging (via a 500w inverter) a laptop, 2 tablets and 2 phones. No telly!
A lot of people fit 2nd or even 3rd leisure batteries, how necessary do you think that is?
Cheers,
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Post by Spospe on Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:35 pm

With only a single 75 A/H battery, my priority would be to install another. In fact, I would think that installing two new batteries of circa 110 A/H each would be the way to go (hopefully your existing battery is not too new?).

Your mention of a 500 watt inverter, make me a little uneasy, as from the data you have supplied, the entire load could be met from a 150 watt item and I fear that you are 'over gunned' and will be incurring excessive losses from such a large inverter for such a low load.

I definitely do not advise using the vehicle battery for anything other than starting the 'van! (I have jump-started two people last year who did this and both seemed quite surprised that their 'van would not start).
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Post by Peter Brown on Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:45 pm

Are you just asking about this trip or do you want to consider the UK in winter. Where are you going as the hours of daylight and night time temperature are relevant? When you do drive, how many hours will it be for? How many hours a day do you expect to be charging your 5 tech items?

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Post by Guest on Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:48 pm

Thanks for that Spospe. 500 was a typo, it's 300 for the inverter.
The 75 Ah battery is less than a year old, it came with the van. As it's not too old, I understand I could pair it up with a new one of similar size, possibly even a bit bigger, say 90Ah.
What do you think?
You seem pretty clear that one 75Ah battery won't meet our needs?
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Post by Guest on Tue Mar 04, 2014 4:53 pm

Peter Brown wrote:Are you just asking about this trip or do you want to consider the UK in winter.  Where are you going as the hours of daylight and night time temperature are relevant?  When you do drive, how many hours will it be for?  How many hours a day do you expect to be charging your 5 tech items?

Peter

Well; asking mostly about this trip, UK in winter would mostly see us on sites with EHU.
Heading off end April, down through France to Tuscany, then meandering back as the mood takes us.
Looking at max. 100 - 130 miles per driving day.
As for charging, I have no idea how long they would need.
Thanks for your interest.  smile!
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Post by Peter Brown on Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:07 pm

On the assumption you charge all of your 5 items for 2 hrs every day, use the heater fan 2hrs and lights for 3 then I estimate you would consume 28 AH every 24 hrs.

On a clear day in Tuscany your panel is capable of delivering 75 AH every 24hrs although on average I would half that to say 35 AH

So the way you describe your use and bearing in mind the place you are going I would be more than happy with keeping the existing 75AH battery.

I had an Inca with a single 75AH battery and had trouble lasting 4 - 5 day rallies in spring and autumn and found that a minimum of 6 hrs engine charging was needed to add another two days.  I fitted an 80w solar panel and had no problem with battery capacity after that but always use lights on a one on, one off basis and only use the heater fan to warm the shower for 30 mins in the morning.

Peter

PS When you switch the habitation electrics on to the vehicle battery the voltage is monitored and the system switches back to the leisure battery before their is a risk of not being able to start your engine. I do though only use this facility as a 'get out of jail card' and don't ever plan to flatten the leisure battery.


Last edited by Peter Brown on Tue Mar 04, 2014 5:10 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : PS added)
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Post by Guest on Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:06 pm

Thanks very much Peter - extremely useful.

Regards,
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Post by Guest on Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:35 pm

Candapack
I would agree with Peter. If you were at all concerned and wanted that extra 'piece of mind' I would simply replace your existing leisure battery with a deep cycle battery,somewhere in the range 110 - 125AH, just check dimensions first. These can be bought for around about £110. Saves loosing space for a second battery and no matching concerns, even though your exiting leisure battery is not very old.

John
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Post by Dutto on Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:26 pm

Hi there,

I'm sorry but I just can't accept that you will need any more Amps than you already have available (without using the car battery)!!

As a "median point" I have chosen Nice to use as an example for the June/July period.  So:

o  There are more than 14 hours of daylight per day.

o  On average there is +/- 600 hours of sunshine during the two months.

o  Average minimum night-time temperatures are 17 to 20 degrees.

The fridge will be on gas, it doesn't get dark until after 9pm, there is no need to run the heater fan so what will you be using 12v electricity for apart from charging a computer and a phone?  scratch head  scratch head 

Best regards,
 drinksallround


Reference:

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Last edited by Dutto on Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:27 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Add reference)

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Post by Guest on Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:32 pm

hoopman wrote:Candapack
I would agree with Peter. If you were at all concerned and wanted that extra 'piece of mind' I would simply replace your existing leisure battery with a deep cycle battery,somewhere in the range 110 - 125AH, just check dimensions first. These can be bought for around about £110. Saves loosing space for a second battery and no matching concerns, even though your exiting leisure battery is not very old.

John

Thanks John. I had thought about just replacing the existing battery with a bigger one, but then thought that if I was going to buy another battery anyway, I might as well link the two together. Space isn't an issue, and it doesn't seem to be beyond even my limited abilities.  hugegrins 

Thanks again.
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Post by inspiredron on Wed Mar 05, 2014 9:53 pm

Dutto wrote:Hi there,

I'm sorry but I just can't accept that you will need any more Amps than you already have available (without using the car battery)!!

As a "median point" I have chosen Nice to use as an example for the June/July period.  So:

o  There are more than 14 hours of daylight per day.

o  On average there is +/- 600 hours of sunshine during the two months.

o  Average minimum night-time temperatures are 17 to 20 degrees.

The fridge will be on gas, it doesn't get dark until after 9pm, there is no need to run the heater fan so what will you be using 12v electricity for apart from charging a computer and a phone?  scratch head  scratch head 

Best regards,
 drinksallround


Reference:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

A solar panel salesman came to us with similar figures to justify the installation - counting the number of hours of daylight and multiplying by days to get the annual output.  His estimated output per annum was three times the amount that others quoted - who were about right in their estimates.
We have panels on our house that give a maximum of 2.5Kw output.  The MAXIMUM that we have seen in any one day over two years has been about 18KwH. Solar panels only give out about 1/3rd to 1/2 of their rated output when measured in FULL SUN because of the angle of the sun. They only give maximum output when the sun is bright and at right angles to the panel.  14 hours, 80W panel, 80% efficient will have a theoretical total of 900Wh which will be about 400Wh actual or say 33Ah - I agree with Peter's numbers - it will put back about half of your battery capacity on a sunny day - rather less if it is cloudy. You can work out how much you will use by adding up amps times hours for the various gadgets.

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Post by Dutto on Wed Mar 05, 2014 11:38 pm

candapack wrote:We are shortly taking the van abroad for about 2 months. We don't anticipate being on an EHU very often, if at all.
We have a 75Ah leisure battery, plus a roof mounted 100w solar panel for charging. If the need arises, we can easily switch to drawing 12 v power from the vehicle battery (at which time we'll know we need to take the van for a run!). In any event, we don't expect to be in the same place for more than 3/4 days.
Apart from the water pump, heater fan, and lighting, we'll be running/charging (via a 500w inverter) a laptop, 2 tablets and 2 phones. No telly!
A lot of people fit 2nd or even 3rd leisure batteries, how necessary do you think that is?
Cheers,
Hi there,

Here is the original Post where the question asked was:

A lot of people fit 2nd or even 3rd leisure batteries, how necessary do you think that is?

We don't have a solar panel for our single 65Ah standard Bosch lead-acid leisure battery, sorry.

We have a satellite TV, fan heater, LED lights, MacBook Air Computer, iPad and iPhone but we manage without EHU or running the engine for two days in winter and three days in summer.

Because it is a standard lead-acid battery we monitor it to ensure that the voltage doesn't drop below 10.4 volts.

My answer to the original Post is therefore:

"I don't think it is at all necessary.
Just monitor your usage and make sure that the voltage doesn't drop to a level that can damage the battery"

This being the most economical and eco-freindly advice that I could give in answer to the original Post.

Best regards,
 drinksallround

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Post by mikethebike on Thu Mar 06, 2014 1:46 am

Hi I agree with Ian. If that battery is OK ,don't buy another one before time.
i dont use a panel or extra battery in the spring/summer time.
Keep things simple. Eventually if you need to change go for a larger one that fits.

best regards

mike
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Post by The Touring-Taylors on Mon Mar 17, 2014 8:42 am

As a Newbie to this malarky I find this kind of thread very interesting &
hope by boning up on this kind of info it will help me get to grips
with power usage.

thanks guys scratch head
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Post by Peter Brown on Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:17 am

I have two leisure batteries as part of the standard AS fit, in theory 185AH plus an 80W solar panel.

We spent last week on a CS awaiting the birth of our latest grandchild and because of the time year and the fact we would have out 4 yr old grandson with us a lot of the time I opted to hook up.

When not on hook up we are very economical in the use of 12v but in this case we used all the lights from about 6 till midnight, lots of TV, heating fan on about 12 hrs a day, used the fan in the shower, charging phones, etc etc.

On the 5th day for no particular reason I thought..did I switch the charger on when we arrived?  No I hadn't and before I did I checked the battery voltage and (loaded) it was 11.8v - fair.  The weather was reasonably clear so the solar panel was giving a bit but I have to say I am very happy about the way the batteries stood up to what I consider heavy use.

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Post by mikethebike on Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:31 am

hi Peter, Yes as i suspect ,with a good battery or batteries they can last a long while.
No problem if they go flat,but before flat they give dim lights.
You can then start up or use the cable.
thanks for posting.
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Post by Dutto on Mon Mar 17, 2014 9:55 am

Peter Brown wrote:………………..

When not on hook up we are very economical in the use of 12v ………………..

Peter
……….. and right there is the secret of batteries and their usage!!   wave  wave 

Congratulations on the grandchild.  With four of them it must be time to start thinking about moving somewhere far away!  allthumbz  allthumbz  allthumbz 

Best regards,
 drinksallround 
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Post by Guest on Mon Mar 17, 2014 2:40 pm

Peter Brown wrote:On the 5th day for no particular reason I thought..did I switch the charger on when we arrived?  

Peter
Peter, I don't know if you can remember from your Inca, but there is no doubt when the charger is on.
The fan is so loud, it has to be switched off at night.  smile!
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Post by Peter Brown on Mon Mar 17, 2014 5:35 pm

Can't hear or see it in the Malvern. None of the previous vans has had night noise problems as we both have hearing aids and take them out at night.

Peter

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