Anyone with experience with Trojan L16re-2v?

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foeckingmf
foeckingmf Registered Users Posts: 6
Hello, first post. I replaced a set of Trojan L-16H in a 12 volt system (three parallel strings of two in series) after about 6 years and the failure of one of the batteries. I wanted to use Trojan L16re-2 volt because it had always been a pain to try to keep the strings balanced (I suspect this was the reason for the failure of the battery). My problem is the new batteries are acting like they are sulfated.

My system is 5 BP170 panels in parallel into an MX60 CC. Peak charging currents out of the CC are around 45 amps. The old batteries were able to be charged/equalized to a specific gravity of nearly 1.29, and typically after a good day of sun, bank voltage in the morning would be 12.7-12.8 volts with a minor overnight load (1-2 amps of inverter draw). This was very stable and repeatable until the failure of the battery.

The new batteries are connected in series with 4-0 welding cable with new lugs, connected to the busses that the other strings were connected to. I have tried for the last 5 days to get the SG of the electrolyte above about 1.245 or so. Cells are very uniform (.005 max variration) and all cells seem to gas when absorbing or equalizing. Under load, the voltage seems to drop a lot more than the old batteries did even under charge (an 100 amp load might drop the old batteries to 11.7 volts or so, while these drop to 11.1). I have set the float voltage higher (14.4) for these last 5 days also for those times I can't be there to equalize, with no change in either SG or open circuit voltage in the morning.

A data sheet for the batteries shows SG at 100% charge as 1.28, but Trojan tech support told me it was closer to 1.265. Anyone know from experience what it's supposed to be?

Also, is it anyone's experience that the open circuit voltage of a fully charged 12 v bank of L16RE's is 12.4, or is it higher? One of the reasons I suspect sulfation is that if my old bank had a OC voltage of 12.4 in the morning, it would take more than a KWH to get the batteries to the absorb point. These new batteries reach absorb from the same OC voltage after only about 0.2 KWH or so. So this either means the batteries are really fully charged (which doesn't explain the voltage drop under load), or they are sulfated pretty badly. They were manufactured in Nov 2011 and purchased Apr 6.

The store that sold them to me really doesn't know how to help me or even if they need to. If someone with experience with these batteries could chime in with their readings and experience that would be really helpful in knowing what to do.

Mark

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  • Windsun
    Windsun Solar Expert Posts: 1,164 ✭✭
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    Re: Anyone with experience with Trojan L16re-2v?
    ..The store that sold them to me really doesn't know how to help me or even if they need to..
    A familar story to us...

    But that aside, do you have any idea if the batteries were kept under some kind of charge between Nov 2011 and when you installed them? If not, you could have some sulfation. After only 4 months or so, it should not be too heavy, but that would depend on how they were stored. If they sat for that long at less than 95% or so charge, then you may have some problems.

    Pretty much all 12 volt Lead-Acid batteries should be close to 12.7 volts OC after resting for a while to dissipate any surface charge. That is at room temp, and will vary somewhat with actual battery temperature - if the batteries are cold it could be less.
  • Cariboocoot
    Cariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Anyone with experience with Trojan L16re-2v?

    Welcome to the forum.

    Okay, an L16RE-2 is an 1110 Amp hour battery. That wants, really wants, 111 Amps peak charging current. 45 Amps is not going to cut it. It's below the 5% recommended minimum for FLA's and far below Trojan's 10% requirements. If these are new batteries they should not need Equalization at all unless you see a discrepancy in the SG per cell. An SG of 1.265 is perfectly fine, but what's more important is what your hydrometer read when they were brand new and fully charged.

    Do not put the Float Voltage up above 14. Holding the batteries at high Voltage can damage them. I'd suspect your Absorb time is short, as you clearly can't collect enough solar to push that big a bank through Bulk and full Absorb in the time available. Thus you're going to Float prematurely. Reprogram the MX60 to max the Absorb time (4 hours). I probably don't have to tell you the Absorb Voltage should be 14.8 on these and a remote temp sensor is a must.

    Normal resting Voltage (no current in or out for at least 3 hours) for the bank should be around 12.7. There again it depends on what your meter read when you got them; meters can easily vary by tenths of a Volt.

    If you're wondering, the array size for that much battery should be about 1700 Watts and would need two MX60's to handle the power. That battery bank is over 6 kW hours of power. If you really need that much capacity you should seriously think about going up to a 48 Volt system. I know: too lat, you already spent all your money. :cry:
  • Vic
    Vic Solar Expert Posts: 3,208 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Anyone with experience with Trojan L16re-2v?

    Hi Mark,

    Welcome here.

    I have no direct experience with these batts.

    However, I think that the batteries need to be cycled a few times to 50 or 60% SOC. To do this you need an additional charge source. I assume that you ARE off-grid, as this post is in that section. Hope you have a genset, and that your inverter has a charger function, or you have an external battery charger, as recharging from 50% SOC would take a while from Solar, and it is best to recharge batts fully within a day or two. Batteries are not really "finished" when they are shipped, and need to be cycled to help the finishing process (IMHO). It is better for us to finish them, as this takes time and energy -- I'd rather to do it than pay to have it done for me.

    It is good to EQ a new bank, but this should be done on a fully charged bank.

    It has become more common for battery mfgs to spec capacity as if the batteries were filled with 1.280 SG electrolyte, but really fill the batts with 1.265 electrolyte. This MAY be the reason that the tech person said that 1.265 is more correct for these batts. There is an appearant capcity gain of about 5% between 1.265 and 1.280, and selling batteries is all about the numbers on paper. At least to most Americans, bigger is better.

    It does look like you are not getting this bank fully charged. Since you have been doing this stuff for years, you know that voltage and SG readings need to be compensated for changes in temps above/below 77 or 80 degrees F. Most mfgs use 77F (25 degrees C) as the reference temp for voltages and capacity.

    Some members here do use this battery, and will have more to say than I. Good Luck with the new bank. Vic
    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH X2@48V, 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • Vic
    Vic Solar Expert Posts: 3,208 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Anyone with experience with Trojan L16re-2v?

    And. Mark,

    Know that you have seen this:
    http://www.trojanbatteryre.com/PDF/datasheets/L16RE2V_TrojanRE_Data_Sheets.pdf

    So from that data sheet, Trojan recomments; 14.40 V nominal Asorb, 13.2 V Float, and, 15.48 V nom EQ.

    Of course we all really need BattTempSensors on all charge sources, and am sure that you are using one as well.

    Good Luck, Vic
    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH X2@48V, 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,479 admin
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    Re: Anyone with experience with Trojan L16re-2v?

    "Equalization" is "over charging" a battery (or some cells in a battery) to bring "low specific gravity" cells back up to their maximum SG (hopefully, SG between high and low cell is less than 0.030 or 0.015 s.g.).

    Normally that is done when a battery is already at "full charge" and you are overcharging the fully charged cells to bring up any low cells. Then equalization should end.

    By the way, how often do you need to refill the cells? More or less, ~2 months is "good"... More often, may be over charging. Much less often, may be under charging (although, the Trojan RE batteries have been reported by one or two posters here as using significantly less water than their non-RE Trojans).

    At this point, deep cycling (to ~50% or so State of Charge, as suggested by Vic) to try and knock/converter any sulfation that may be covering the plates is probably your best bet. It may take 10-20 cycles before you see full improvement (if any).

    As Windsun asked, did the batteries sit for months without any charging? That will cause sulfation to form "before its time".

    Where the batteries stored at high temperatures? Typically, every 10C/18F over ~25C/77F causes batteries to age by a factor of 2x (36F over 77F, would be 2*2=4x faster). Also "hot batteries" have faster self discharge.

    I ran across this page on why different types of batteries have different starting s.g. fills... Is pretty interesting:
    Specific Gravity vs Applications
    1.285 Heavily cycled batteries such as for forklifts (traction).
    1.260 Automotive (SLI)
    1.250 UPS – Standby with high momentary discharge current requirement.
    1.215 Geral applications such as power utility and telephone.

    As mentioned earlier, the specific gravity (spgr.) of a fully charged industrial battery, or traction battery, is generally 1.285, depending on the manufacturer and type. Some manufacturers use specific gravities as high as 1.320 in an attempt to gain additional Ah capacity, but at the cost of a shorter cycle life.

    ...

    Higher Gravity = vs Lower Gravity =
    More capacity / Less capacity
    Shorter life / Longer life
    Higher momentary discharge rates / Lower momentary discharge rates
    Less adaptable to "floating: operation / More adaptable to "floating" operation
    More standing loss / Less standing loss

    At 77F, the equation that relates S.G. to battery cell voltage is:
    Specific gravity = single-cell open-circuit voltage - 0.845 (example: 2.13v – 0.845 = 1.285)
    Or
    Single-cell open circuit voltage = specific gravity + 0.845.

    Or, for your bank:

    Battery "resting voltage" = 6 cells x (1.245+0.845) = 12.54 volts

    So, your resting voltage seems to relate to the S.G. pretty closely (assuming battery bank is around ~77F).

    At this point, it sure sounds like your batteries are sulfated (low S.G.) and, at this time, there are no "accepted" methods to convert hardened (crystallized) Lead Sulfate back to Lead + free sulfur (back to acid).

    Cycling the battery bank (shed material and leave fresh lead exposed) is one solution (by the way, over charging/equalization generates O2 which can corrode the Positive Plate Frame and oxidize the lead (from what little I understand), it is possible to cycle discharge/recharge to drive the Oxygen from the lead plate (but not the frame).

    There are "Desulfators" and people that love them or hate them (a couple such conversations here have resulted in, rare for us, locked/deleted threads). On the positive side, a desufator should not damage a battery bank (that is, otherwise, kept properly charged). On the down side, a poster here has seen a desulfator confuse his Outback MPPT charge controller and dramatically reduce the charge controller's battery charging current.

    And lastly, there are the magic battery additives. Some contain Cadmium (which is a heavy metal that can cause battery recyclers to charge you to dispose of a battery bank)--And has some validity for use with Lead Acid battery chemistry. Epsom Salt variants and even oils -- Which appear to have less validity.

    Not many folks here will tell you to try desulfators/additives... But there are the occasional (apparently) positive results. :confused:

    Perhaps some others here with much more battery experience/knowledge than I--Can give you some better guidance.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • foeckingmf
    foeckingmf Registered Users Posts: 6
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    Re: Anyone with experience with Trojan L16re-2v?

    Thanks for all the replies:

    Windsun: I (and the store) don't know if the batteries were kept under charge - I didn't see any batteries being charged in the store or in the back, but these came in from a warehouse out of town. My original L16H's (from the same store) showed 1.28 SG's and 12.7-12.8 morning voltages from the day they were new.

    Cariboocoot: I absorb to an end current instead of doing it by time (12 A). The batteries in this system are often lightly cycled. My main concern is that even with sufficient current to push the new battery bank to an equalize voltage (15.5 volts + .3 for temp comp), after a few hours, the current is down to maybe 6 amps or so. I would think that's fully charged, although I still only get SG readings of 1.245 or so. That's what makes me think it's sulfation and not just a low state of charge.

    Vic: Yes, I am compensating the SG readings and have a sensor on the MX. It's good information about electrolyte strengths - I didn't know that electrolyte influenced output current. I do have a series string of two L16H at another house that I also use this hydrometer with, and it shows readings when they are fully charged of 1.29+. It's probably not the most accurate hydrometer in the world, but it does show the SG in the L16Re's to be a lot lower than it probably should be.

    BB: Cycling the batteries like you say does sound like something to try (although I'm really not thrilled about possibly losing plate material in a new battery). I have a second system here (larger - 24 V with 1600W of panels) as well as a generator, so can get the batteries up to charge quickly.

    With my old bank, I would have to add about 150-200 ml of water per cell every 8-10 weeks, depending on the season. I don't know what the liquid capacity of the cell over the top of the plates is - does that sound low? I don't know about these 'cause I've only had them a few days.

    The people here and at Trojan know about the possibility of sulfation, so I'll try to work with these and see if i can get the SG up any higher. It still bothers me that the open circuit voltage in the morning (and SG) is so much lower than the old bank, even after absorbing or equalizing to very low current acceptance.

    Mark
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,479 admin
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    Re: Anyone with experience with Trojan L16re-2v?

    I don't know--but 200 mL every two months sounds like a fair amount of water (not over/undercharging?)... Basically, if you are "down (near) to the plates" every month--then you probably are getting close to over charging (too high of absorb/float voltage/too much equalization). If you "never" need to add water (>6 months), then it would probably be undercharging.

    For ~12.45 volts resting is ~85% state of charge. Some battery mfg. say that when a battery reaches 80% of rated capacity--that is end of life (Concorde AGM?).

    Did you get to measure the S.G. or resting voltage as they came off the pallet for your installation?

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • westbranch
    westbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Anyone with experience with Trojan L16re-2v?

    dont know if you found this thread but there is some good info here though not the same battery

    http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?14071-Battery-Condition/page2

    hth
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • Photowhit
    Photowhit Solar Expert Posts: 6,003 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Anyone with experience with Trojan L16re-2v?

    Since you've had these batteries for 5 days, I'd be sure to register your conserns with the seller, you might also speak with Trojan as I recall in an earlier thread that they only let stock remain for 3 months w/o cycling/attention. I think it's in a Sams club thread where I had to travel to find batteries from the same vintage. I'm a fan of equalizsing, but Trojans only recomend equalizing if battery cells are out of balance, it would appear as if yours are under charged, sulfated, or filled with Lower SG electrolite.

    As others have pointed out, your array is too small to maintain a battery of that size, I have an 800AH 24 volt battery and I'm minimal at 2000 Watt Array.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Magnum MS4024, Prosine 1800(now backup) and Exeltech 1100(former backup...lol), 660 ah 24v Forklift battery(now 10 years old). Off grid for 20 years (if I include 8 months on a bicycle).
    - Assorted other systems, pieces and to many panels in the closet to not do more projects.
  • Cariboocoot
    Cariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Anyone with experience with Trojan L16re-2v?

    Well what I see is too short an Absorb time so the SG isn't getting high enough (if it isn't up it isn't charge regardless of the end Amps) and too much Equalization & high Float Voltage boiling off water. Plus insufficient panels to charge that massive of a battery bank.

    But no one has to listen to what I say. :roll:
  • vtmaps
    vtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,741 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Anyone with experience with Trojan L16re-2v?
    foeckingmf wrote: »
    I absorb to an end current instead of doing it by time (12 A). The batteries in this system are often lightly cycled. My main concern is that even with sufficient current to push the new battery bank to an equalize voltage (15.5 volts + .3 for temp comp), after a few hours, the current is down to maybe 6 amps or so. I would think that's fully charged, although I still only get SG readings of 1.245 or so. That's what makes me think it's sulfation and not just a low state of charge.

    It may be that your end amps setting (12 amps) is too high. How did you come up with that number? Many folks determine their end amps by setting absorb time to forever, and then monitoring the current flow into the batteries. After a few hours the current flow stops decreasing and that is your end amps. The end amps for a particular battery will change as the battery ages. You got down to 6 amps with higher-than-absorb voltage, which suggests that 12 amps at absorb voltage is not low enough for your end amps.

    one more question... those trojan 2 volt batteries appear to be three cells in parallel (three caps for venting/filling). Do the three chambers communicate? When you measure SG or add water, do you have to open all three caps?
    --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • Cariboocoot
    Cariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Anyone with experience with Trojan L16re-2v?
    vtmaps wrote: »
    one more question... those trojan 2 volt batteries appear to be three cells in parallel (three caps for venting/filling). Do the three chambers communicate? When you measure SG or add water, do you have to open all three caps?
    --vtMaps

    Basically they're "rewired" 6 Volt units, with parallel instead of serial internal connections. You have to check all three cells.
  • foeckingmf
    foeckingmf Registered Users Posts: 6
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    Re: Anyone with experience with Trojan L16re-2v?
    vtmaps wrote: »
    It may be that your end amps setting (12 amps) is too high

    It's approximately 1% of the ampere hour capacity of the old bank, and I set it down to 11 A when I got these. I've seen here and there that percentage recommended at absorb voltage for indication of full charge. It's certainly possible it's a bit low, but the old batteries seemed to stay nicely charged with it (by hydrometer). I'm pretty sure I wouldn't get much benefit from decreasing it in my present situation.
    one more question... those trojan 2 volt batteries appear to be three cells in parallel (three caps for venting/filling). Do the three chambers communicate? When you measure SG or add water, do you have to open all three caps?
    --vtMaps

    Yes. I was surprised that they didn't at least open some slots in the cell partitions so you'd only have to fill one port.

    Mark
  • foeckingmf
    foeckingmf Registered Users Posts: 6
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    Re: Anyone with experience with Trojan L16re-2v?
    (if it isn't up it isn't charge regardless of the end Amps) and too much Equalization & high Float Voltage boiling off water. Plus insufficient panels to charge that massive of a battery bank.

    But no one has to listen to what I say. :roll:

    Well, when the bank charges to where it is accepting 1% of it's capacity (11A in the case of this 1100 AH bank) at the recommended absorb voltage, a lot of people consider that fully charged. If I only have to charge the bank, under normal conditions, 10-20% of its capacity, ithe panels don't need to put a lot of energy into the bank to fully charge them. These panels can put out about 4.2 KWH on a good day, which figures to 325 ampere hours at 13 volts. Even discounting for charging and step down efficiency, that's about 25% of the capacity of the bank. If it's more deeply discharged than that, it might take a couple days to float, but that's rare.

    Is my understanding of this wrong?

    Mark
  • Cariboocoot
    Cariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Anyone with experience with Trojan L16re-2v?

    Fully charged is when the specific gravity reading says it is fully charged. The last little bit of charging can take a tedious amount of time, especially on very big banks.

    Once you do get the battery fully charged recharging it becomes easier because you've defeated whatever sulphation has accumulated and are now discharging/recharging the "top 'X' percent" instead of some amount below full capacity. Large batteries like this not only want a good kick of current to knock the sulphor off but also a long enough time at the higher Absorb Voltage to remix it into the electrolyte.

    You realize that running Float at 14.4 - 14.8 Volts is the same as extending the Absorb time?

    The best charge regime for any size FLA bank is to brink it up to Absorb quickly, keep it there long enough to fully replenish the capacity (something many people skip, btw), then let it settle down to a lower Float Voltage for as long as the panels are able to maintain it. You may well be only using 25% of the capacity, but it looks like that's 25% of 90% of the capacity because it's not getting back to 100% capacity.

    Just try running the Absorb time longer and see if the current level drops a bit more than what you have the end Amps set for (you'll need to disable that of course). It's only my opinion, but end Amps is not the best way of determining full charge. As vtmaps suggested, letting it go in Absorb and seeing if the Amps go lower over time is a pretty good indication of insufficient Absorb time. You're working with a very small array for that much battery, and I think that as a result you're running out of charge time before it is 100% complete.
  • Vic
    Vic Solar Expert Posts: 3,208 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Anyone with experience with Trojan L16re-2v?

    Mark,

    Just to review. So, you have measured the SG of each and every cell of this new battery bank, and the SGs are very uniform, within +/-- .05 units? And you have not changed the Hydrometer that you are using to measure this?

    It does seem that you may have sulphated batteries. But since this bank is SO young, seems to me that you need a very hands-on dealer AND manufacturer of these batteries. Would recommend that you again contact Trojan, and perhaps ask to speak with the RE Tech Supervisor/Manager. What you are seeing is quite probably not the result of anything that you have done.

    It does seem, however, that the bank is not getting fully charged, based on SGs. Fairly heavy sulphation could well be the problem. Sulphation requires aggressive EQing. YES, this is not the best for batteries, but is what is required, and is worth the downsides if EQing will correct this problem, ...
    HOWEVER, this should not be your problem. Seems to me that you are in a position of being able to REJECT this battery bank, asking for replacement with factory FRESH batteries with matching date codes, SGs and resting terminal voltages delivered to your location within a very short time.

    It is possible that the dealer or Trojan could try to say that you do not have sufficient Solar charging capability, but seems to me that this bank came to you in troubled condition. Furthermore, it is possible that Trojan should have a problem with a dealer that may have delivered sub-standard product to a customer, and is unable to make it right.

    Just MHO. Vic
    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH X2@48V, 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • Vic
    Vic Solar Expert Posts: 3,208 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Anyone with experience with Trojan L16re-2v?

    The only thing that I'd add is regarding my OPINION of End Amps.

    End AMps is superior to any other method of terminating Asorb for FLA batteries if:
    1. Loads on the batteries are small, or known to be constant.
    2. There is no other control system (such as a Battery Monitor), which could terminate Asorb based on returned AH (X Efficiency factor) vs AH removed. Such an external control system is unknown to me.

    This EA value is fairly easy to determine on FLAs, as one can actually measure SGs.

    Ending Asorb based on time is imprecise, as the amount of Asorb time depends upon the DOD of the bank.

    Opinions do vary on this, Vic
    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH X2@48V, 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • Cariboocoot
    Cariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Anyone with experience with Trojan L16re-2v?
    Vic wrote: »
    The only thing that I'd add is regarding my OPINION of End Amps.

    End AMps is superior to any other method of terminating Asorb for FLA batteries if:
    1. Loads on the batteries are small, or known to be constant.
    2. There is no other control system (such as a Battery Monitor), which could terminate Asorb based on returned AH (X Efficiency factor) vs AH removed. Such an external control system is unknown to me.

    This EA value is fairly easy to determine on FLAs, as one can actually measure SGs.

    Ending Asorb based on time is imprecise, as the amount of Asorb time depends upon the DOD of the bank.

    Opinions do vary on this, Vic

    My opinion agrees with yours. The tricky bit is that first one; "known to be constant". Can't say I've ever seen that in a system.

    For anyone reading this who might be wondering, the problem is that the end Amps is set at a rate of current from the charge controller to the batteries and it can not take into account loads drawing from the batteries. This is a double-edged sword, as it were, because it can either cause the Absorb to end too quickly if too high a number is chosen or cause it to linger too long if too low a number is chosen due to the "interference" of the load draw.

    When are the boys at MidNite going to get that new controller with the built-in battery monitor into production? ;)
  • waynefromnscanada
    waynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Anyone with experience with Trojan L16re-2v?
    Vic wrote: »
    It does seem that you may have sulphated batteries. But since this bank is SO young - - -
    Seems to me that you are in a position of being able to REJECT this battery bank,
    It is possible that the dealer of Trojan could try to say that you do not have sufficient Solar charging capability, but seems to me that this bank came to you in troubled condition. Furthermore, it is possible that Trojan should have a problem with a dealer that may have delivered sub-standard product to a customer, and is unable to make it right. Just MHO.
    Does this mean that Surrette may not be alone in having problems with their batteries? This is an honest question, not a sarcastic dig.
    The closer the time comes to the day I'll have to replace my ten year old L-16's, the more scared I get. Had been thinking ABS (Anything But Surrette), but now I'm not so sure- - -
  • Vic
    Vic Solar Expert Posts: 3,208 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Anyone with experience with Trojan L16re-2v?

    Wayne,

    YES, this is the big question. Have followed the posts here regarding probs with Surrette batteries in off-grid systems. Have not really known just what to make of it.

    All of the Surrette banks that I have dealt with were all drop-shipped directly from Surrette, which I would slways prefer, rather dealing with distributor/dealer stock. All of those banks have served well, and Surrette has given very good service. There is one cell in one of the 4KS25 banks that is a bit of a laggard. Have been nursing it, and it is not ever going to recover (IMHO).


    If I were to need another bank, I might just strongly consider Fork Lift batteries, eventho, they are not really taylored to RE/Solar type systems. I do hope that Surrette has fixed any problems that they might have had. Good Luck when battery selection comes. Vic
    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH X2@48V, 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
  • waynefromnscanada
    waynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Anyone with experience with Trojan L16re-2v?

    Thanks Vic, appreciate your thoughts man. Thing is, Surrette is located right here in Nova Scotia, thus low shipping costs, and if I do eventually go with them, the batteries would be "fresh" right from the factory, as my local dealer doesn't stock them, rather picks them up from Surette as needed. Even so, I'd still have that feeling of purchasing a pig-in-a-bag. Sucks. And I'd be going with the 2 volt version of the L-16. Haven't heard much feedback on them though. Do like the idea of a single series string with just 6 cells to monitor instead of the 18 we now have to deal with.
  • foeckingmf
    foeckingmf Registered Users Posts: 6
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    Re: Anyone with experience with Trojan L16re-2v?
    Fully charged is when the specific gravity reading says it is fully charged.

    Unless I have a lot orf hard sulfation. Then I'll never get to a fully charged state by SG.
    Large batteries like this not only want a good kick of current to knock the sulphor off but also a long enough time at the higher Absorb Voltage to remix it into the electrolyte.

    The batteries gas nicely at the absorb voltage. I think you're right I should extend the absorb time (and set the endAmps down to maybe 6 or so), but the issue I'm seeing is I should be able to get the SG higher than what it is, even after prolonged charging at high voltages to low current acceptance (1/2% or less of capacity).
    You realize that running Float at 14.4 - 14.8 Volts is the same as extending the Absorb time?

    I do. Under normal conditions, I run float at 13.2 volts as recommended. I was just seeing if I could improve SG on these new batteries by overcharging for a couple days. It didn't work.

    I still don't really understand what's wrong with endamps as an indication of full charge, but I know everyone has their own opinion and you probably have a lot more experience than I do. I designed the system this way because I have other ways of charging the bank and wanted a large reserve that I could charge with a generator if my other system failed. I use this system only for "luxuries", so have a lot of control over the loads I use with it.

    Usually the system will reach absorb and endamps during the day when I'm away, so loads seldom interfere with it. I have no automatic (like a freezer) or constant loads that I usually run on this system.

    For vic: I am pursuing getting a replacement bank, with fresher batteries (these have possibly sat for over 6 months without attention, from what I'm finding out from Trojan). I'm in contact with their tech support people and will see if I can set up a conference call with them and the manager of the local store and see what they can do.

    Thanks for all your input. This is a very good forum that I didn't know about (I've gotten things from windsun before - a charger and lightning arrestors, but didn't know about this).

    Mark
  • foeckingmf
    foeckingmf Registered Users Posts: 6
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    Re: Anyone with experience with Trojan L16re-2v?
    Haven't heard much feedback on them though. Do like the idea of a single series string with just 6 cells to monitor instead of the 18 we now have to deal with.

    Actually, you'd have to check all 18 cells on the 2 volt batteries, because the cell partitions are still there (probably for strength)

    Mark
  • vtmaps
    vtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,741 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Anyone with experience with Trojan L16re-2v?
    foeckingmf wrote: »
    Actually, you'd have to check all 18 cells on the 2 volt batteries, because the cell partitions are still there (probably for strength)

    I think Wayne is referring to Surrettes (not Trojans) which have one large 2 volt cell per battery. --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • waynefromnscanada
    waynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Anyone with experience with Trojan L16re-2v?

    Thanks guys, Yes, I was referring to the Surrettes, but didn't realize other makes retained the 3 filler caps per cell. Interesting. And once again I learned something :)
  • Blackcherry04
    Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
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    Re: Anyone with experience with Trojan L16re-2v?

    If they were mine, I'd do a EQ charge for as long as it takes ( Probably 6-8 hrs or more, Temperature Compensated of course ) Do it 1 hour at a time and keep a eye on the battery temperature and check the SG hourly. You'll be able to measure the change with each reading. If it's going up you'll know if it's working, if it stays level, drop back to plan " B ". With the size of these batteries you won't be doing any damage.

    I don't know the equipment you have, you might have to break them down in groups to get the right voltage.

    New Batteries do take some cycles to a good reading sometimes, but in recent years I haven't noticed it as much. When you EQ them when new it probably takes that out of the mix.
  • 65DegN
    65DegN Solar Expert Posts: 109 ✭✭
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    Re: Anyone with experience with Trojan L16re-2v?

    The bottom line test for a battery is the capacity test. Put a purely resistive load of known value on the battery bank that should result in a complete discharge in 20 hours.
    With a 1,100 AH @ 20 HR battery @ 12 volts that would be 660 watts. (1,100 AH X 12V = 13,200 watt hours / 20 hours = 660 watts )This can be done using six 100 watt lamps running on a 120 VAC inverter. The 60 watts left over should be close to inverter losses. A DC ampmeter on the batteries is the most accurate way to determine this. For a 1,100 AH battery bank you want to see 55 Amps being drawn.
    Instead of completely discharging the battery though it can be cycled to 50% DoD by monitoring the SG.
    1.200 is ~50% DoD. IMO, a 50% DoD is not an issue.
    SG is little effected by load (unlike voltage) so it is a good indicator.
    You should get 10 hours of run time before the batteries SG drops to 1.200.
    Whatever the run time ends up being you can calculate the AH capacity of the battery from the current draw X the run time X 2.
    If it wnds up being anything other than 1,100 AH ( - 5 ~ 10% for new battery break in ) you know there is a problem and you will know exactly what their capacity is relative to their specs.

    If I were you I would definately stay on top of this situation and keep detailed log of charge cycles, parameters and SG to support your position with the battery distributor or the manufacturer. You might want to find out where the batteries were made. If the batteries were made and stored in an area of hot climate the self discharge rate would have been relatively high.

    I advocate that when batteries are first picked up from the dealer or distributor, a hydrometer or refractometer should be brought along to test every one of them on the spot. That way everyone knows and agrees what the story is from day 1.
    The seller may say that a low reading is due to stratification but if the SG does not increase to normal with an EQ charge then you have the data to back you up.
    A little bit of preventative data collection can be a big asset.
  • Vic
    Vic Solar Expert Posts: 3,208 ✭✭✭✭
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    Re: Anyone with experience with Trojan L16re-2v?

    Hi Mark,

    Do you have any update on your situation? Is the manufacturer or dealer giving you support?

    Just curious, Thanks, Vic
    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH X2@48V, 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.