My Trojans did not last

bc buck
bc buck Registered Users Posts: 59 ✭✭
Purchased 2 SCS 225 in January 2013 and have them parallel. Probably have 120 cycles on them. I tested then independently and both put out about 35AH now. My Sams battery's only lasted me about 1 year before in the same condition.  Not sure what im doing wrong. I do not let them sit discharged.

2 Trojan 225 parallel =450AH
Prosine 2.0 inverter/charger that runs voltage down to 11.2 under load before recharging
Honda 2000i generator
Tri metric 2025 instrumentation that agrees with instrumentation on prosine
5w trickle panel for when im not there

This is something I use off grid on weekends. On Sundays when I leave the battery's might not be 100% charged but at leas 80%.

Comments

  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,409 admin
    11.2 volts is getting a pretty deep discharge (if resting voltage--If under heavy load--perhaps not that bad). Is that the voltage "now" with your really bad batteries, or was that when new?

    Do you have a hydrometer to measures specific gravity?

    http://www.solar-electric.com/midnite-solar-battery-hydrometer.html

    How many Watts of solar array do you have? Do you have any loads on when you are not there? Did the plates every get exposed to air? What is the charging voltage/current? How hot are the batteries (>95F consistently?). Are you using distilled water to fill the batteries?

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mike74820
    mike74820 Registered Users Posts: 44 ✭✭
    as bb said 11.2 volts is what is killing your battery's. i dotn let mine get past 12 volts before i shut stuff off
  • westbranch
    westbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    You need to get a good Charge Controller and some  PV that will charge your  batteries in one day , that 5W is not doing anything of consequence for your batteries.... not even ticklling it,  maybe 0.5 Amps at best, to continue is to kill more batteries.

     
    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
  • Mountain Don
    Mountain Don Solar Expert Posts: 494 ✭✭✭
    bc buck said:
    ............... On Sundays when I leave the battery's might not be 100% charged but at leas 80%.
    If they are at 80% when you leave, the state of charge falls further until you return and run the generator. That is not good for the batteries. 

    You really need some good PV to charge and maintain the charge.  How many watts depends in part on how much good sun you have. As  westbranch  stated you want the PV to be able to bring the batteries to 100% on a normal day of sunshine. Then you can quit buying gasoline for the generator. 
    Northern NM, 624 watts PV, The Kid CC, GC-2 batteries @ 24 VDC, Outback VFX3524M
  • oil pan 4
    oil pan 4 Solar Expert Posts: 767 ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2016 #6
    A 5w panel is nothing but a gimic.
    Those batteries will likely absorb 1 to 2 amps per string just to maintain 13.8v (float charging voltage).
    That means you need at least 25w just to maintain a float charge which is not a proper charge.

    It sounds like you are running them all the way down before you charge them. Which is the worse thing you can do, you are lucky they lasted that long. True deep cycle lead acid batteries need to be fully charged after every single use and float charged between uses. If you want them to last.

    Solar hybrid gasoline generator, 7kw gas, 180 watts of solar, Morningstar 15 amp MPPT, group 31 AGM, 900 watt kisae inverter.

    Solar roof top GMC suburban, a normal 3/4 ton suburban with 180 watts of panels on the roof and 10 amp genasun MPPT, 2000w samlex pure sine wave inverter, 12v gast and ARB air compressors.

  • bc buck
    bc buck Registered Users Posts: 59 ✭✭
    11.2A-If under heavy load--perhaps not that bad     - Thats under 20A load. Take off the load and will go up to about 12v.

    Do you have a hydrometer to measures specific gravity?    - Have one on order.

     Do you have any loads on when you are not there?    - no

    Did the plates every get exposed to air?      - No I keep close eye on water level using distilled h2o
    .
    What is the charging voltage/current?      - My Prosine charger is set up for wet cell deep cycle. Quality charger.

    How hot are the batteries (>95F consistently?).     - Very seldom
    .
    If they are at 80% when you leave, the state of charge falls further until you return and run the generator. That is not good for the batteries.        - I was hoping my 5W panel would keep batter from discharging more till next weekend.

     that 5W is not doing anything of consequence for your batteries.... not even ticklling it,  maybe 0.5 Amps at best, to continue is to kill more batteries.        -I know and new I would regret even posting that. Just trying to through out all the variables to get good feedback.

    You really need some good PV to charge and maintain the charge.  How many watts depends in part on how much good sun you have. As  westbranch  stated you want the PV to be able to bring the batteries to 100% on a normal day of sunshine.      -I know that and every time I look into designing a PV I get overwhelmed. My roof gets great sun facing South with no shade. Is it that important to get completely charged in one day if only used on weekends. Someone on ebay was offering 2 new Kyocera 12v 150w panels with charge control and hardware for under$500. Said kit was easy enough for a home owner to install.



  • oil pan 4
    oil pan 4 Solar Expert Posts: 767 ✭✭✭✭
    It doesn't have to get charged all the way in one day. Just needs to fully charge between uses and be equalized if resting voltage falls below 11.5v or once per month.

    Solar hybrid gasoline generator, 7kw gas, 180 watts of solar, Morningstar 15 amp MPPT, group 31 AGM, 900 watt kisae inverter.

    Solar roof top GMC suburban, a normal 3/4 ton suburban with 180 watts of panels on the roof and 10 amp genasun MPPT, 2000w samlex pure sine wave inverter, 12v gast and ARB air compressors.

  • westbranch
    westbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    Don't despair.... we are here to help...
     -I know that and every time I look into designing a PV I get overwhelmed. My roof gets great sun facing South with no shade. Is it that important to get completely charged in one day if only used on weekends. Someone on ebay was offering 2 new Kyocera 12v 150w panels with charge control and hardware for under$500. Said kit was easy enough for a home owner to install.

    Please look at the equipment that our sponsor sells...  PV is selling well under $1.00 per watt and there are sales too...on QUALITY goods and we can help review your options...

    Just post it for review!

    So all good systems are based on the loads...  that is the starting point


     
    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
  • bc buck
    bc buck Registered Users Posts: 59 ✭✭
    First off I want to thank all of you for your input.



    Don't despair.... we are here to help...
     -I know that and every time I look into designing a PV I get overwhelmed. My roof gets great sun facing South with no shade. Is it that important to get completely charged in one day if only used on weekends. Someone on ebay was offering 2 new Kyocera 12v 150w panels with charge control and hardware for under$500. Said kit was easy enough for a home owner to install.

    Please look at the equipment that our sponsor sells...  PV is selling well under $1.00 per watt and there are sales too...on QUALITY goods and we can help review your options...

    Just post it for review!

    So all good systems are based on the loads...  that is the starting point



     My biggest draw is my furnace during winter month's.On my worst 24 hour winter day my total AH usage would be total of 280 AH. My battery bank being 450AH do you have any suggestions on PV size.
  • Thom
    Thom Solar Expert Posts: 196 ✭✭✭
    Panels are cheep battery's expensive. 400w of panels and a good charge controler. Shipping is expensive so I pick mine up. 
    Off grid since 1984. 430w of panel, 300w suresine , 4 gc batteries 12v system, Rogue mpt3024 charge controller , air breeze windmill, Mikita 2400w generator . Added 2@ 100w panel with a midnight brat 
  • vtmaps
    vtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,741 ✭✭✭✭
    bc buck said:
    My battery bank being 450AH do you have any suggestions on PV size.
    As a starting point I recommend enough panels to give you a 10% charge rate, i.e. 45 amps into a 450 ah bank.

    45 amps X 14.4 volts (charging voltage) = 648 watts.  divide by 0.77 = 841.6 watts of solar panels.  (dividing by 0.77 adjusts for hot panels and controller losses).

    --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • tabbycat
    tabbycat Solar Expert Posts: 55 ✭✭✭
    The Trojan model number you gave (SCS 225) is a 12 volt 130 AH battery. Two in parallel would only give you 260 AH's.
  • Thom
    Thom Solar Expert Posts: 196 ✭✭✭
    Well 260ah does change things ha ha . 
    Off grid since 1984. 430w of panel, 300w suresine , 4 gc batteries 12v system, Rogue mpt3024 charge controller , air breeze windmill, Mikita 2400w generator . Added 2@ 100w panel with a midnight brat 
  • bc buck
    bc buck Registered Users Posts: 59 ✭✭
    tabbycat said:
    The Trojan model number you gave (SCS 225) is a 12 volt 130 AH battery. Two in parallel would only give you 260 AH's

    Tabbycat when I seen your post I went and dug up all the info from when I put this system together. You are correct and im terribly embarrassed. My battery bank AH is 260 with a average AH usage of around 100 and worst case AH draw was around 140 to 150.
      
    What i have learned from you guys is I needs to fully charge between uses and be equalized if resting voltage falls below 11.5v or once per month. Using VTMAPS info I need around 500W of PV.

    Question (1) Was told its cheaper and more convenient to ship 12V panels because of size(Could use UPS rather than motor freight). Is there any disadvantage of setting up 500W of 12v panels.
    Question (2) Do you have any suggestions on a charge controller model that would handle 500W plus equalized?
  • Thom
    Thom Solar Expert Posts: 196 ✭✭✭
    I still think a Kid charge controler and 400w of panel would work . 
    Off grid since 1984. 430w of panel, 300w suresine , 4 gc batteries 12v system, Rogue mpt3024 charge controller , air breeze windmill, Mikita 2400w generator . Added 2@ 100w panel with a midnight brat 
  • bc buck
    bc buck Registered Users Posts: 59 ✭✭
    Thom said:
    I still think a Kid charge controler and 400w of panel would work . 
    Checking into that Kid charge controller but dont scare me with that shipping comment. 
  • vtmaps
    vtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,741 ✭✭✭✭
    bc buck said:
    Question (1) Was told its cheaper and more convenient to ship 12V panels because of size(Could use UPS rather than motor freight). Is there any disadvantage of setting up 500W of 12v panels.
    Maybe.  If you are using an MPPT controller you will want to have two or three 12-volt panels in series (string length = 2 or 3).  Make sure you don't end up with an odd number of 12-volt panels.  In other words, 5 panels is a problem... they would have to be all in series or all in parallel. 

    Try calling solar installers in your area... often they have a few extra grid-tie panels on hand... they order them by the pallet. Sixty-cell panels (with Vmp about 30 volts) are fairly common.  They are usually about 225-300 watts each.

    --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • Thom
    Thom Solar Expert Posts: 196 ✭✭✭
    Yes like vtmaps said . Are you far from a larger city ? 
    Off grid since 1984. 430w of panel, 300w suresine , 4 gc batteries 12v system, Rogue mpt3024 charge controller , air breeze windmill, Mikita 2400w generator . Added 2@ 100w panel with a midnight brat 
  • bc buck
    bc buck Registered Users Posts: 59 ✭✭
    Thom said:
    Yes like vtmaps said . Are you far from a larger city ? 
    Im In STL. Called on one offering extra PV left over from one of there jobs on Crags list. When they realized I was interested in a cash and carry they backed out on the deal. I think they where trying to drum up business for installs. I will call around and see what is out there. Thanks
  • Photowhit
    Photowhit Solar Expert Posts: 6,001 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I'm around the corner near Columbia, I think if you look through Craigslist there was someone north of St Louis trying to market panels reasonably. I might bring you a couple 185 watt Suntech panels True 24 volt panels, but I think your cheapest route would be a some true 12 volt panels and a PWM charge controller, in the 400 watt range the charge controller will cost as much or nearly as much as the panels if you choose to buy a MPPT type.

    Amazon has some ok deals on 12 volt panels, like these at just over $1 a watt;

    http://www.amazon.com/Solar-Panel-Battery-Charging-Efficiency/dp/B00G2IZ1VW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1463923980&sr=8-1&keywords=140+solar+panel

    These could be used with an inexpensive PWM charge controller like;

    http://www.amazon.com/HQST-Solar-Charge-Controller-Display/dp/B01EO2M5GG/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&qid=1463924245&sr=8-14&keywords=20+amp+charge+controller

    Our host has a small bomb proof Midnite Brat;

    http://www.solar-electric.com/midnite-solar-brat-pwm-solar-charge-controller.html

    Even if I sold you a couple 185 watt panels at 75 cents a watt, you would not get out cheaper, since a MPPT type charge controller would cost $300, They aren't exact parallels but I think it the pair of 165 watt panels($340) and a $30 charge controller would work for you, throw in some wring and fuses or breakers...

    Be sure you have an area to set up panels that will have direct sunlight!

    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.
  • Thom
    Thom Solar Expert Posts: 196 ✭✭✭
    That's a good plan. 
    Off grid since 1984. 430w of panel, 300w suresine , 4 gc batteries 12v system, Rogue mpt3024 charge controller , air breeze windmill, Mikita 2400w generator . Added 2@ 100w panel with a midnight brat