Smoking Batteries (was: Battery problem in our Parkliner) - Page 10 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-13-2013, 04:00 PM   #127
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Originally Posted by Thomas G. View Post
Agree that it wouldn't have prevented this problem, but I still think it is good practice in case of a hard short on the battery cable. I'm not sure that I'd want a trailer battery to charge at 45 amps. If the converter would actually charge it at 45 amps, maybe a circuit breaker rated at the maximum battery charge rate isn't such a bad idea.

Agree, a battery box isn't expensive nor complicated to vent. That metal strapping installation by Park Liner is disappointing.
I agree that there must be a fuse or breaker. If the trailer is built without proper protection for the wiring, a short could result in 100's of amps, turning the wire into a heating element!

As to charge current, it depends on the type of battery, however most types can be safely charged a fairly high current until they get near fully charged. A good converter will provide multiple stages of current levels depending on the battery state of charge, & will include a battery temperature sensor that will reduce the charge current as the battery heats.
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:01 PM   #128
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Carol I don't see how adding an inline fuse off the positive terminal would prevent a battery from cooking. I thought that a fuse would blow in the fuse box if it was drawing more power then its rated for?
Deryk, you and Jon may be very correct on that point - to be honest havent a clue if its possible for a charger to push more power to a battery than it can take & what the expected result might be but I am not sure anyone here knows for a fact what really happened or what failed. Lots of good educated theories though.

As I said if you dont have a fuse at the battery put one in - trust me things can happen that can blow that fuse for a reason
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:04 PM   #129
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........... A good converter will provide multiple stages of current levels depending on the battery state of charge, & will include a battery temperature sensor that will reduce the charge current as the battery heats.
Right, and except for a battery temperature sensor, I believe the OP's converter meets these criteria. Temperature sensors seem more common in solar controllers, I don't know if I've seen one in an RV converter.
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:09 PM   #130
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Originally Posted by Thomas G. View Post
Right, and except for a battery temperature sensor, I believe the OP's converter meets these criteria. Temperature sensors seem more common in solar controllers, I don't know if I've seen one in an RV converter.
Temperature sensors are used to detect air temperatures. I don't know of any that are connected to the battery. Mostly temperature compensation is for air temperature extremes.
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:11 PM   #131
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If Hydrogen is colorless what caused the black soot in the photo and i think the OP said she saw smoke? Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:13 PM   #132
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A couple of articles that may be useful for those wanting to know more about charging batteries:

Battery University - Charging Lead Acid Batteries
Wind & Sun Deep Cycle Battery FAQ
Mark S. Nemeth 12 Volt Side of Life Part 1 (There is also a Part 2)
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:17 PM   #133
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Battery Temperature Sensor by Xantrex:

Quote from Xantrex "The BTS mounts on a terminal post of a battery in a bank or on the side of a battery and measures its temperature. It sends precise information to the charger or charge controller, which automatically adjusts voltage to help ensure full battery charge depending on the ambient temperature of your battery installation"

While it does measure air temperature, it also senses overheating of the battery and will reduce charging voltage. Obviously, the converter must be able to use the information from the sensor; I'll admit most can't.
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:28 PM   #134
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Snoozy Owners Take Note

Snoozy batteries are under the bed, too...in a box, but also vented to the inside of the trailer. (Pic is originally from the Snoozy site- this copy from this FGRV thread)



Is there any consensus based on this event that sealed, vented boxes like those used on the old U-Haul should be used even for AGM batteries?

Francesca
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:30 PM   #135
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Snoozy batteries are under the bed, too...in a box, but also vented to the inside of the trailer.

Is there any consensus based on this event that sealed, vented boxes like those used on the old U-Haul should be used even for AGM batteries?



Francesca
There has always been a consensus among those who know all batteries will vent if mischarged.

The batteries should be in a sealed box vented to the outside.
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:43 PM   #136
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Deryk, you and Jon may be very correct on that point - to be honest havent a clue if its possible for a charger to push more power to a battery than it can take & what the expected result might be but I am not sure anyone here knows for a fact what really happened or what failed. Lots of good educated theories though.

As I said if you dont have a fuse at the battery put one in - trust me things can happen that can blow that fuse for a reason
Carol,
Think of it in these terms: the charger applies a voltage to the wire going to the battery. The battery "draws" the current it "needs". So if for instance your battery has been run down to where it's near dead, when you begin charging, it is going to draw a lot of current. As it nears a fully charged state, the current draw diminishes. So it may start out perhaps drawing, for the sake of discussion, 20 amps, but after 12 hours of charging, it may only be pulling 1 amp. But all this time, the voltage applied was between a fairly narrow range ( maybe 14.5V at first, then dropping to 13.5 and then after full charge is attained, a three stage charger might drop it to 13.0 or so.

george
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:45 PM   #137
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If optimajim registered here is the same Jim
eCare Manager, OPTIMA Batteries, Inc.
It would sure be great to get his insight.
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Old 05-13-2013, 04:54 PM   #138
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If optimajim registered here is the same Jim
eCare Manager, OPTIMA Batteries, Inc.
It would sure be great to get his insight.
According the Johnson Controls, Optima batteries, inc. web site the eCare manager is Danny Pop.
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Old 05-13-2013, 05:20 PM   #139
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Carol,
Think of it in these terms: the charger applies a voltage to the wire going to the battery. The battery "draws" the current it "needs". So if for instance your battery ........h
Thanks George, I guess the point I was attempting to make was most trailer manufactures have some pretty standard practises in regards to putting items in place for safety reasons, such as fuses, the use of vented battery boxes as well as others features to protect the trailer in the event of some 3rd party item failing. The manufacture of the trailer takes on the inherent risks/problems of whatever equipment they choose to install in a trailer. A failure to safeguard against a common equipment failure would be viewed to be the problem of the trailer manufacture and not entirely all on the maker of the piece of equipment that failed which was the suggestion made that I was responding to.

In this case a commonly used items such as a vented battery box and a battery fuse appear to be missing on this particular trailer, although I admit I am not 100% sure in the case of the fuse but so far no owner of this trailer type has suggested differently. Also not entirely sure as to what really caused the OP's original problem. In any case I might be a little worried having noted those two items missing from my trailer. It would seem to me that regardless of the cause of the OP's problem was, it would be in the best interest of the owners of this brand of trailer to address the known missing items for their own safety.
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Old 05-13-2013, 05:35 PM   #140
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I'm not sure if this is tragic or ironic but this is really the same conversation we seem to have about towing in another wrapper.

We can not all agree about what is or is not required for a basic level of safety in these rigs and so we argue back and forth about what we determine to be the minimum we think is acceptable until nobody is happy.

The conversation here is just like this and even if we all feel one way about proper battery installations and considerations there is no rule that mandates that a manufacturer will agree?

Sure it seems obvious to me that batteries should be in sealed vented enclosures and with charging circuits designed for whichever chemistry battery installed but I imagine the manufacturer thinks they already have designed these concerns into the final product and may not see it my way,Imagine that?

What to Carol is a missing part may be ideal to the designer or at least the best compromise they are willing to build considering all options at hand?

Seems silly to me but......

I guess it might be nice if they would join the discussion here but I am not holding my breath that this will happen soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Carol H View Post
Thanks George, I guess the point I was attempting to make was most trailer manufactures have some pretty standard practises in regards to putting items in place for safety reasons, such as fuses, the use of vented battery boxes as well as others features to protect the trailer in the event of some 3rd party item failing. The manufacture of the trailer takes on the inherent risks/problems of whatever equipment they choose to install in a trailer. A failure to safeguard against a common equipment failure would be viewed to be the problem of the trailer manufacture and not entirely all on the maker of the piece of equipment that failed which was the suggestion made that I was responding to.

In this case a commonly used items such as a vented battery box and a battery fuse appear to be missing on this particular trailer, although I admit I am not 100% sure in the case of the fuse but so far no owner of this trailer type has suggested differently. Also not entirely sure as to what really caused the OP's original problem. In any case I might be a little worried having noted those two items missing from my trailer. It would seem to me that regardless of the cause of the OP's problem was, it would be in the best interest of the owners of this brand of trailer to address the known missing items for their own safety.
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