Charging rate on hook up

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Charging rate on hook up

Post by samleeds on Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:09 am

Does anyone know how many amps the onboard charging unit should deliver to the batteries when on hook up. Separately the split charging unit also charges the batteries when the engine is running so how many amps will the batteries receive as the van is being driven. If i can get these figures, i can start to calculate where my fault lies as i dont seem to be able to charge my batteries up fully.

Im stuck somewhat because normal caravan or motorhome serviuce engineers dont really cover these issues and my neighbourhood auto electrician does not do motorhomes.

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Re: Charging rate on hook up

Post by meanchris on Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:16 am

What do you mean by not being able to charge fully, is the voltage staying too low, or do the batteries run out too quickly?

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Re: Charging rate on hook up

Post by samleeds on Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:23 am

meanchris wrote:What do you mean by not being able to charge fully, is the voltage staying too low, or do the batteries run out too quickly?
My batteries where at 12.4 when i arrived at a site last week and after 4 days on hook up, we left at 12.3v I used a telly and several appliances but the charge rate didnt seem to cope with the outgoing rate. I know that I was using the 12v quite a lot as most of my stuff like tv and laptop charging comes from the 12v system not mains, so thr batteries where draining and the zig unit or charging unit was topping the batteries up as we slept, but they didnt cope. To be perfectly honest, The former owner took great care of the van but there are quite a lit of wires and switches that used to be used for equipment he had and Im not sure if moving those units has caused a few charging issues and when a cable is hidden behind a cupboard, its hard to trace and figure it out. All i can do is clip my amp meter onto a wire and see whats running through it and on hook up, the batteries seemed to be getting 1.5 amps which seemed low to me.

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Re: Charging rate on hook up

Post by samleeds on Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:25 am

By the way, My batteries are 2 x 100ah gel batteries and are brand new and fully operational as Ive tested them with a 50a discharger and charged them off the van to full capacity.

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Re: Charging rate on hook up

Post by ayarcee on Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:38 am

Before you do too much work I suggest you check that your charger is compatible with gel batteries. Not all of them are - especially the earlier ones.  I had a similar problem when I put a gel battery in our van.
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Re: Charging rate on hook up

Post by Paulmold on Wed Nov 16, 2016 9:40 am

If this is any help, you possibly have an x3 zig charger. According to the manual for the x3, the output charge rate is 0-6.5 amp continuous. The later replacement for the x3 (the x70) is rated at 0-12.5 amp.

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Re: Charging rate on hook up

Post by meanchris on Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:40 am

samleeds wrote:
meanchris wrote:What do you mean by not being able to charge fully, is the voltage staying too low, or do the batteries run out too quickly?
My batteries where at 12.4 when i arrived at a site last week and after 4 days on hook up, we left at 12.3v I used a telly and several appliances but the charge rate didnt seem to cope with the outgoing rate. I know that I was using the 12v quite a lot as most of my stuff like tv and laptop charging comes from the 12v system not mains, so thr batteries where draining and the zig unit or charging unit was topping the batteries up as we slept, but they didnt cope. To be perfectly honest, The former owner took great care of the van but there are quite a lit of wires and switches that used to be used for equipment he had and Im not sure if moving those units has caused a few charging issues and when a cable is hidden behind a cupboard, its hard to trace and figure it out. All i can do is clip my amp meter onto a wire and see whats running through it and on hook up, the batteries seemed to be getting 1.5 amps which seemed low to me.

Are you sure that there's actually a problem?

The old Zig3 (assuming that's what you have), delivers 13.9V open circuit, (I have one in the garage and I just checked it).

Basically, it will deliver more current into a flatter battery than it will into a charged one so, 1.5A into two batteries at 12.3V may be normal, whereas 1.5A into two batteries at 11.5V would be too low, IMHO.

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Re: Charging rate on hook up

Post by shargrea on Wed Nov 16, 2016 12:54 pm

Immediately after you have driven the vehicle, the battery voltage will be higher then when it has just been on hook up.
This is because the alternator generates about 14.4 volts whereas the onboard charger generates about 13.8 volts (and, when charging stops, the battery takes a while - an hour or so - to drop down to a stable voltage.
12.4 Volts is on the low side for a fully charged battery, but that could be down to the calibration of your voltmeter.
When the battery is fully charged, the charge current flowing into it will be low.
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Re: Charging rate on hook up

Post by roli on Wed Nov 16, 2016 1:19 pm

If you want someone clued up on AS vans not too far from you Phil Gledhill is your man think his garage is at Milnsbridge (Huddersfield)
Has done work on a few Clubmans that I know
If you are in the MCC they rally with Yorkshire Group

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Re: Charging rate on hook up

Post by samleeds on Wed Nov 16, 2016 4:21 pm

roli wrote:If you want someone clued up on AS vans not too far from you Phil Gledhill is your man think his garage is at Milnsbridge (Huddersfield)
Has done work on a few Clubmans that I know
If you are in the MCC they rally with Yorkshire Group
Roger i got his number now, thanks

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Re: Charging rate on hook up

Post by KeithM on Thu Nov 17, 2016 3:48 pm

The batteries will receive what they want up to the maximum the charger/alternator can supply.

Batteries control charging and depending on their SOC (State Of Charge) will accept less or more.

When charging batteries the voltage will be low and amps high but as the batteries become charged the volts will raise and the amps reduce.

Batteries are 'charged' (Discuss) when the voltage has reached its highest value and the amps have not reduced for an hour, in an ideal situation with perfect batteries the amp reading will be 1% of Battery capacity.

Amp.hr meters tell lies, unless re-synchronised on a regular basis'
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