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Friday, January 12, 2018


We have the Lead Acid batteries with our setup. As Howard knows it requires a little maintenance.

Howard: A good recap based on your experience. However, if you reference the Lifeline Technical Manual, you will see that your battery charger is not following Lifeline’s recommendations. See page 19 paragraph 3 here: http://lifelinebatteries.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/6-0101-Rev-E-Lifeline-Technical-Manual.pdf.

The point at which a charger transitions from Bulk to Absorption should be based strictly on battery pack voltage (14.3V temp adjusted for Lifeline AGM’s). Once that voltage is reached, the charger should transition to the Absorption phase where charging amps is gradually reduced to hold that optimum 14.3V. Once Absorption charging amps has reduced to a very low value (defined by Lifeline as 0.5% of battery capacity) the battery is considered fully charged. At that point the charger should then drop to Float (defined as a temp adjusted 13.3V by Lifeline) to prevent overcharging and keep the battery fully charged. The Float phase is not designed to recharge batteries because the voltage is too low. Many RV’ers mistakenly set their chargers to stay in the Absorption phase for a fixed amount of time. Unless the battery depth of discharge is the same every discharge cycle, this practice will either over or under-charge one’s batteries every time. Lastly, if one has another brand of batteries, voltages and the “full” transition point will be different.

I assume you are using your shunt “fuel gauge” to determine your 75% generator cutoff point for transition to solar. As long as your panels produce enough amps to maintain the manufacturer specified 14.3 Absorption voltage and your solar charge controller is set to the correct 0.5% amp taper value for transition to Float, I see no problem with letting solar finish the charging cycle.

Our charger is simply set for AGM batteries at 600 amp hours of capacity. The 75% figure comes from the inverter/charger manual although I'm sure there are other parameters it uses to transition from bulk to absorption. All I know is we usually turn off the generator when the charger indicates it has gone into absorption mode.

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