Smoking Batteries (was: Battery problem in our Parkliner) - Page 12 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 05-13-2013, 08:42 PM   #155
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Name: Terry
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I have to agree with the posters who strongly suggest that batteries should be in a separate box vented to the outside. Some of you may have heard that the new Boeing 787 Dreamliner was grounded because of problems concerning the batteries catching on fire. Guess what part of the solution was: Putting the batteries in a sealed box vented to the outside. Well, if it works for them...

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/15/bu...lems.html?_r=0

"He also said that the fix, which includes a new battery enclosure made of stainless steel, was not designed to contain a fire, but to keep the battery from ever having a fire to begin with, by quickly starving any flame of oxygen.
“We’ve been able to demonstrate that no fire is possible inside the enclosure,” Mr. Sinnett said. If battery were to heat up, its vaporized electrolytes would be vented directly out of the plane, he said, protecting the bay and other electronics."
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:47 PM   #156
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I sent a request to Optima's Facebook page asking if they could check out this forum and respond as they saw fit. Here is the response:

Hi Linda,

I did register on the forum, but have not been approved to post yet. I don't know how long that will take, so I did want to share with you my thoughts on that situation, having read through the thread and everyone's comments-

Safety comes first, so I need to reiterate what you posted from another thread- ALL lead-acid batteries can vent gas that is both flammable and toxic, even "sealed" and/or "maintenance-free" batteries. For that reason, lead-acid batteries should never be located in an enclosed area, unless they are in a sealed battery box vented to the outside air or they have venting ports on the batteries themselves, with hoses connected to those ports and leading to the outside air.

I was unable to see the photos in that thread, but our batteries either have vent ports to which an external hose can be attached for venting purposes or they have circular vent ports on the top of the batteries, which can vent gas in extreme situations. None of our batteries are equipped with both styles of vent ports, so if the OP had BlueTops that were venting, they were likely to be Group 34 batteries (hopefully D34M batteries in that application, although they could also be 34M batteries).

While I have seen both terms mentioned in this thread and sometimes interchangeably, "gel" batteries and "AGM" batteries are two very different technologies. All Optima batteries are AGM batteries and are not gel batteries. Gel batteries have very specific charging parameters that may not fully-charge non-gel batteries and could damage them over time. For that reason, we always recommend avoiding "gel" or even "gel/AGM" charger settings when charging our batteries.

I did verify with one of our engineers that in parallel systems, the "by the book" best way to connect a bank of batteries wired in parallel is to pull the main cables from opposite corners of the bank. This is less of an issue with two-battery banks, but becomes more of an issue with banks that contain three or more batteries. It is not just the issue of resistance in the wiring (which is relatively-minor in small banks), but the quality of the connections between the batteries themselves and the chance that one cable connection could become loose. Add more batteries (and cables) and the chances of this happening increase. If it does happen, the batteries wired in the "by the book" configuration will all be impacted equally, while batteries wired the other way will not.

However, that is not typically the issue in scenarios like this and I cannot speculate as to the exact cause of this issue in this instance with such limited information and no access to the trailer itself. I can speak in general terms to what we typically see when we do have access to more information and the applications themselves.

I may have missed something, but it seemed like it was 54 posts before I saw anyone mention specific battery voltage levels. Whenever any batteries are going into storage, the voltage level should be measured to ensure they are fully-charged when they go into storage. For our BlueTops, that would be about 13.0-13.2 volts, except for the 34M BlueTops which are fully-charged at about 12.6-12.8 volts.

If the batteries need charging, they should be charged with a battery charger, not a vehicle's charging system. Once they go into storage, the ideal scenario already mentioned by others, is to leave them connected to a quality battery maintenance device. In the event this is not possible, disconnecting the batteries from any potential draws is also acceptable.

When the batteries come out of storage, voltage levels should be checked again. If they weren't connected to a battery maintenance device, checking voltage periodically during storage is also a good idea. If the batteries need charging when they come out of storage, this should be done with a battery charger and not a vehicle's charging system.

It is theoretically possible for two batteries in a parallel bank to experience a shorted cell at the same time, but outside of a significant electrical event that would cause this to happen, it is very unlikely two in the same bank would do it on their own at the same time.

What typically happens in venting issues following storage is that the batteries somehow became deeply-discharged and sulfated. Whenever any battery is discharged below 12.4 volts and is left sitting in that state, sulfation begins to form in the battery and when that becomes significant enough, charging systems don't always respond well to that and batteries can vent.

While Danny Popp is a good friend of Optima and the 2011 Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational winner, I am the eCare Manager. If Byron could provide a link to our website where contradictory information is posted, I would greatly appreciate it!

Jim McIlvaine
eCare Manager, OPTIMA Batteries, Inc.
www.facebook.com/optimabatteries
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:04 PM   #157
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I thank everyone for your comments and suggestions. The interest and dialog in this topic was beyond anything I imagined. I just wanted to say thank you and apologize for any kerfluffle the posting may have caused. I hadn't been on the forum since last year (life with littles get busy), and when this happened thought it would be responsible to share with other owners given how potentially serious the impact could have been. It wasn't necessarily a call out of the trailer itself, but to serve as a flag to owners regarding a standard component used within it. Sorry for those who took offense, not was intended. And thanks to all for your input.

We brought the trailer into the Camper World service dept and they installed new batteries. The diagnostics indicated that one of the batteries had an internal failure, which then caused the second battery to fail. The converter was tested and their tests indicated it was working properly.

I want to say that when we contacted Chandler the morning of the incident via email, he was responsive and called very shortly afterwards, and said he'd reimburse us for new batteries. He thought it was a bad battery, and these independent service guys' assessment concurred. So we will be review how long we allow the batteries to discharge, look into the straps vs box, and monitoring humidity, and all the other input on safeguarding this from happening in the future.

Thanks again all. Be safe and have fun!
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:06 PM   #158
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NFPA® 1192 Standard on Recreational Vehicles 2011 Edition can apparently be had for free at: www.npa.com

Chapter 1 Administration
1.1 Scope
1.2 Purpose
1.3 Application
1.4 Retroactivity
1.5 Equivalency
1.6 Use of International System of Units (SI)
Chapter 2 Referenced Publications
2.1 General
2.2 NFPA Publications
2.3 Other Publications
2.4 References for Extracts in Mandatory Sections
Chapter 3 Definitions
3.1 General
3.2 NFPA Official Definitions
3.3 General Definitions
Chapter 4 General Requirements
4.1 Differing Standards
4.2 U.S. Federal Regulations
4.3 Exterior Labels
4.4 Electrical Requirements
Chapter 5 Fuel Systems and Equipment
5.1 Quality of Design and Installation
5.2 Propane Systems
5.3 Propane Piping Systems
5.4 Fuel-Burning Appliances
5.5 Venting, Ventilation, and Combustion Air
5.6 Marking Appliances (Installation and Operation Features)
5.7 Circulating Air Systems for Heating (Other Than Automotive Type)
5.8 Air Conditioning (Other Than Automotive Type)
5.9 Consumer Information
5.10 Gasoline or Diesel Fuel Systems.
5.11 Propane Vehicle Propulsion Engine Installations
Chapter 6 Fire and Life Safety Provisions
6.1 Interior Finish and Textile or Film Materials
6.2 Recreational Vehicle Means of Escape
6.3 Fire Detection Equipment
6.4 Other Considerations
6.5 Automatic Generator Starting System (AGS) Requirements
6.6 Vehicular Requirements.
Chapter 7 Plumbing Systems
7.1 Plumbing System
7.2 Plumbing Fixtures
7.3 Water Distribution Systems
7.4 Drainage Systems
7.5 Waste Holding Tanks
7.6 Vents and Venting
7.7 Plumbing System Tests
Annex A Explanatory Material
Annex B Propane Pipe Sizing
Annex C Product Listing Standards
Annex D Informational References
Index
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:18 PM   #159
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mimi Lee View Post
I thank everyone for your comments and suggestions. The interest and dialog in this topic was beyond anything I imagined. I just wanted to say thank you and apologize for any kerfluffle the posting may have caused. I hadn't been on the forum since last year (life with littles get busy), and when this happened thought it would be responsible to share with other owners given how potentially serious the impact could have been. It wasn't necessarily a call out of the trailer itself, but to serve as a flag to owners regarding a standard component used within it. Sorry for those who took offense, not was intended. And thanks to all for your input.

We brought the trailer into the Camper World service dept and they installed new batteries. The diagnostics indicated that one of the batteries had an internal failure, which then caused the second battery to fail. The converter was tested and their tests indicated it was working properly.

I want to say that when we contacted Chandler the morning of the incident via email, he was responsive and called very shortly afterwards, and said he'd reimburse us for new batteries. He thought it was a bad battery, and these independent service guys' assessment concurred. So we will be review how long we allow the batteries to discharge, look into the straps vs box, and monitoring humidity, and all the other input on safeguarding this from happening in the future.

Thanks again all. Be safe and have fun!
Problem solved- thanks for keeping us up-to-date, Mimi!

Francesca
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:26 PM   #160
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Yes Thanks for letting us know.
What about enclosing the batteries?

And Francesca/Carol et al, the NFPA stuff I know is always available it is the IVIA materials we have to buy.

Thanks Though

Ed
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:32 PM   #161
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed Harris View Post
?

And Francesca the NFPA stuff I know is always available it is the IVIA materials we have to buy.

Thanks Though

Ed


Carol wants me to make sure that you know that she (poster of NFPA stuff) is NOT the same person as me, Francesca-The-Troublemaker.

I like to think that I'm the better looking one, but that conflict must be reserved for a different field of battle...

Francesca
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Old 05-13-2013, 09:35 PM   #162
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Sorry

Clearly I have already said too much?

I thought you were merely an apparition anyway?
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:01 PM   #163
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Originally Posted by Ed Harris View Post
Sorry

Clearly I have already said too much?

I thought you were merely an apparition anyway?
Oh she indeed is the one with the supernatural powers
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:12 PM   #164
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaK View Post
I sent a request to Optima's Facebook page asking if they could check out this forum and respond as they saw fit. Here is the response:

Hi Linda,

While Danny Popp is a good friend of Optima and the 2011 Optima Ultimate Street Car Invitational winner, I am the eCare Manager. If Byron could provide a link to our website where contradictory information is posted, I would greatly appreciate it!

Jim McIlvaine
eCare Manager, OPTIMA Batteries, Inc.
www.facebook.com/optimabatteries
Jim,
Thanks for the great response.
Here's the link you asked for Search Results :: OPTIMA® Batteries
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:15 PM   #165
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Originally Posted by Ed Harris View Post
Sorry

Clearly I have already said too much?

I thought you were merely an apparition anyway?
I'm almost as real as you are, Ed- bless your heart!

And you never need apologize to me.

Francesca
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Old 05-13-2013, 11:49 PM   #166
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Thumbs up

Mimi i'm pleased to hear there was a qualified answer and apparent solution in getting new batteries in the unit. I'm also happy to hear the systems checked out ok and you are ready to go camping

The quote by the Optima fellow was fantastic info, this has been a profitable and enjoyable thread/read.

Just as an FYI and look into a more recent Parkliner...i did post some new images of the battery area in _this link_ for anyone's viewing pleasure. I am going to look into the possibility of ordering any OEM vent-tube setup from Optima as we have the batteries mentioned.

Cheers,
Thom
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Old 05-14-2013, 05:56 AM   #167
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Linda, Thanks to you and Jim for the battery info.
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Old 05-14-2013, 06:52 AM   #168
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I guess I feel this is partly over but.....
So the batteries caused an outgassing and it started filling the interior with ?

What about the sealed vented compartment that will prevent the living space from getting gassed?

This is as if not more alarming to me?
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