Leisure battery surprise

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Post by gassygassy on Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:42 am

I was changing my leisure battery for a new one last night after dark so I had a LED torch to see by. First I turned on the habitation lights while I cleared the debris from around the battery. To my surprise when I disconnected the battery connections, the lights stayed on. There are two possible explanations for this. One is that it is pure magic, the lights have built-in memory and carry on as if nothing happens when you disconnect its power source. The other is that the lights must automatically run off the engine battery when the leisure battery dies or is disconnected. If that is the case one would wonder if the leisure battery and the engine battery are connected in parallel, which they shouldn't be.
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Post by raymondo on Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:45 am

solar panel?
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Post by PLOUGHLIN on Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:49 am

Relay for engine charging stuck on connecting two batteries together?

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Post by gassygassy on Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:54 am

Yes I have a solar panel. That would be another possible explanation: a Magic Solar panel that works in the dark!
OK< I guess you missed the bit where I said last night after dark. :)

Talking of solar panels, I thought I had a 80W panel on my 2015 Nuevo but a dealer said no it's only a 30W. That would power a wrist watch I suppose but I am surprised that A/S go to the labour trouble of fitting a 30W panel, it's the same labour as an 80W or 120W which would work properly. What one should I have, does anyone know?
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Post by gassygassy on Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:59 am

PLOUGHLIN wrote:Relay for engine charging stuck on connecting two batteries together?
That's a thought, but the digital display shows different voltages for each - but that might be due to where the display takes its information from, contact resistances and so on. The Sargent box does that I think - but I haven't figured out what the box behind the driver's seat is. It has something to do with the electrics but I'm not sure what.
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Post by PLOUGHLIN on Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:14 pm

That is a Sargent EM40 or 50


Provides relay controlled fused outputs for
Battery Charging, Fridge, Marker Lights, *Air
Conditioner, Electric Step, Awning / Entry lights &
*Heater
Has inbuilt intelligent Electric Step Controller
providing push button operation, automatic
retract with warning buzzer, step-protect circuitry
and selectable automatic operation with the
central locking system
Automatic control of the Awning and Entry lights
via the central locking remote control


I have a PDF for the EM50, PM your email address and I'll send it.

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Post by Paulmold on Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:41 pm

gassygassy wrote:Yes I have a solar panel. That would be another possible explanation: a Magic Solar panel that works in the dark!
OK< I guess you missed the bit where I said last night after dark. :)

Talking of solar panels, I thought I had a 80W panel on my 2015 Nuevo but a dealer said no it's only a 30W. That would power a wrist watch I suppose but I am surprised that A/S go to the labour trouble of fitting a 30W panel, it's the same labour as an 80W or 120W which would work properly. What one should I have, does anyone know?
The 30w panels were the standard fitment a few years ago but later changed to 80w. The only way to know what you have for certain would be to measure it.

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Post by rgermain on Tue Dec 03, 2019 12:52 pm

When I asked my suppling dealer about a panel, I was assured a 45w would be enough.

After reading on this forum, I fitted a 120w one, thank goodness I did, as it hardly keeps things charged at this time of year and needs 2 days on EHU per week.
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Post by raymondo on Tue Dec 03, 2019 4:29 pm

 I guess you missed the bit where I said last night after dark.

yup! clean missed it!
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Post by gassygassy on Tue Dec 03, 2019 4:47 pm

rgermain wrote:When I asked my suppling dealer about a panel, I was assured a 45w would be enough.

After reading on this forum, I fitted a 120w one, thank goodness I did, as it hardly keeps things charged at this time of year and needs 2 days on EHU per week.
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That's strange. Years ago I was thinking of fitting one, and the dealer's accessory shop had a big display of panels and a table recommending what size you should get. It recommended 120W if you have a family (I can't see what that's got to do with it) and use the TV. I have fitted two 100W ones now on three different campers and never did the voltage drop to the extent of the lights going a bit dim.
I wonder if your battery is a bit drowsy? Or the solar regulator is not regulating? When we next get a sunny day (In August) perhaps you could check the volts and amps going into the battery.
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Post by bolero boy on Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:02 pm

i can assure you that a 100w solar panel is more than capable of supporting our twin 95ah leisure batteries and our cab battery even with alarm/immobiliser set and in watery, winter sunshine. no need for ehu top ups.
however, we dont have a Sargent system eating power, just a simple twin output solar regulator feeding both sets.

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Post by Peter Brown on Tue Dec 03, 2019 5:05 pm

gassygassy wrote:I was changing my leisure battery for a new one last night after dark so I had a LED torch to see by. First I turned on the habitation lights while I cleared the debris from around the battery. To my surprise when I disconnected the battery connections, the lights stayed on. There are two possible explanations for this. One is that it is pure magic, the lights have built-in memory and carry on as if nothing happens when you disconnect its power source. The other is that the lights must automatically run off the engine battery when the leisure battery dies or is disconnected. If that is the case one would wonder if the leisure battery and the engine battery are connected in parallel, which they shouldn't be.

Both batteries are connected to the Sargent PSU ( I expect you have the EC500 ) and either can be used to power the habitation electrics. If the vehicle battery is being used and its voltage falls to 10.9v, then the load is switched to the leisure battery. It would not surprise me if it also works the other way round but the manual is silent on that.
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Post by bolero boy on Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:00 pm

sargent PSUs have long had the ability to power electrics from the 'selected' battery, but (certainly on my Swift) it was a manual switching process....ie the Cab Battery button would need to be pressed....for this to happen.

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Post by gassygassy on Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:22 pm

I have a 2015 Nuevo. I am pretty sure it doesn't have a cab battery button.
That is very interesting Peter, I will check in tomorrow's hour of daylight and see if I can measure leisure battery current in / out. I had a Sooper Dooper supposedly far more efficient solar controller plus an additional 80W panel fitted. Previously I fitted 100W panels myself with the usual Chinese twin-battery outputs, one for engine battery and one for leisure battery and you could choose the power ratio going to each. I never had any problems with it or the charging so I don't know what this expensive sooperdooper one is doing better than 'perfectly OK thankyou'. It was fitted by a leisure vehicle specialist company, and they must have disconnected the Sargent because the two solar wires into the regulator "I think" come from the solar panels. I'll have to remove the Sargent EC328 to see if it is still connected.
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Post by PLOUGHLIN on Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:43 pm

The white four port socket on the middle left is the solar plug input on the EC328.[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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Post by Peter Brown on Tue Dec 03, 2019 7:39 pm

I'm surprised that in a 2015 model you have the EC328 but you are lucky, in my view the most optimised and useable Sargent unit. You can see from the picture below that inside the EC328 is the dual channel solar controller that you are familiar with. It is permanently connected to both batteries and the output current from it is summed with that from the charger (if switched on) and that taken by the load to produce the current display on the charger.

I would guess your recent installer has connected the additional controller direct to the batteries but I have in the past come across controllers that were connected to the load side of the psu (so only worked when the psu was switched on ) and had some weird side effects. In any case you have two controllers connected to both batteries, it will be interesting to hear what you find.

I have very recently replaced my EC325 with an EC328, sometime in the next couple of days I'll disconnect the leisure batteries whilst lights are on and report what happens.

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Post by Richard G on Tue Dec 03, 2019 11:44 pm

My 2015 Nuevo has the 328 controller.

I am an electrician, but the controller does a lot of things it seems.

I am still trying to sort why plugging in mains supply to van sets off the CO alarm after a while.(Battery overcharging or gassing?) Read the Autosleeper book and it says to switch off charger when connecting supply then switch on charger if I need it but same issue. 

Also book mentions setting Sarjent to battery type leadacid or gel but doesn't say how.  

My van has 2 separate solar panels fitted, not sure my wattage I assumed its120watt.

RG
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Post by KMRTOPAZ on Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:13 am

I had a Timberland with two leisure batteries. Disconnecting one still left the leisure circuit live !
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Post by PLOUGHLIN on Wed Dec 04, 2019 12:35 am

Richard G wrote:My 2015 Nuevo has the 328 controller.

I am an electrician, but the controller does a lot of things it seems.

I am still trying to sort why plugging in mains supply to van sets off the CO alarm after a while.(Battery overcharging or gassing?) Read the Autosleeper book and it says to switch off charger when connecting supply then switch on charger if I need it but same issue. 

Also book mentions setting Sarjent to battery type leadacid or gel but doesn't say how.  

My van has 2 separate solar panels fitted, not sure my wattage I assumed its120watt.

RG

There is a Secret configuration menu. From memory it is accessible by holding down the up and down arrows together until the menu appears, then use the up or down arrow to scroll through the options. The battery type selection may be there.

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Post by harrysp on Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:40 am

We also have an EC 328 on a 2015 van and had a 30w solar panel too. When I read most similar vans have a EC500 I was a bit miffed, but we've had none of the battery problems that are reported on here.

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Post by rose49f on Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:53 am

On my 06 Neuvo l have vehicle/hab switch which l was told if my leisure battery runs out switch it to vehicle which would last until l sorted leisure battery out. A sort of emergency helper
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Post by Peter Brown on Wed Dec 04, 2019 11:01 am

I have checked - when the leisure battery (and solar panel and no 230v) is disconnected the lights go out. I guess the wiring for the additional solar controller gassygassy's van is the culprit.
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Post by Sunbeampizza on Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:21 pm

I have an EC325 PSU in my 2012 Broadway into which I had a 100w roof solar panel wired. When the vehicle is standing unused I switch off the power and the battery select buttons on the control panel but does the solar panel stlll supply power to the vehicle/leisure battery charger despite this ?
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Post by Peter Brown on Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:26 pm

Sunbeampizza wrote:I have an EC325 PSU in my 2012 Broadway into which I had a 100w roof solar panel wired. When the vehicle is standing unused I switch off the power and the battery select buttons on the control panel but does the solar panel stlll supply power to the vehicle/leisure battery charger despite this ?

Yes, both batteries are charged by solar power in those circumstances.


Last edited by Peter Brown on Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:35 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Post by Sunbeampizza on Wed Dec 04, 2019 2:33 pm

Many thanks peter
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