Is automatic equalizing a con?

stmoloudstmoloud Registered Users Posts: 95 ✭✭
My PWM controller claims to know when my battery needs equalizing. And will go into it for 120 minutes. How does it know when to go into this mode?
Surely, there are more circumstances than not which cannot be algorithmised (is that a word?)
760W panel array, 4 x 6v 220 ah Crown batteries, Tristar TS-45 PWM controller,  no name 600 PSW inverter. 

Comments

  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,800 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2018 #2
    I seriously doubt it "knows when (our) battery needs equalizing"! I believe if you read it will do a maintenance equalizing every 30 or 60 days (cycles).

    It's no 'con' but it is pretty much a maintenance equalizing, and not a corrective equalizing. These are 2 different things and not many battery manufacturers describe them this way. I think Crown does to some extent. Most battery manufacturers recommend a monthly equalizing, which is a slight over charging of the battery it helps mix the electrolyte preventing stratification and recombines (or helps remove) some hardens sulfation as well as correcting minor out of balance cells.

    This is different from a corrective equalization, when the battery electrolyte's SG is measured and you find cells seriously out of balance. This will require watching the batteries during equalizing checking SG every hour until 2 or more hours pass when the low cells don't improve.

    Monthly equalizing;

    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 2,655 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2018 #3
    Some controllers do a monthly EQ, some without the option to disable, this can become problematic with older batteries particularly in hot climates where the temperature increase due to EQ can cause thermal runaway, to compound the problem, they often lack temperature compensation, a friend of mine found this out the hard way, the over gassing caused cronic loss of water damaging the plates.

    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
    900W  3 × 300W No name brand Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal as a backup system. 
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergencies and welding.
  • stmoloudstmoloud Registered Users Posts: 95 ✭✭
    If its a time thing would have to be careful you don't disconnect and lose the time stamp. But with that in mind would be better than nothing I guess. You might give yourself a google calendar message to make sure you don't miss the event.
    760W panel array, 4 x 6v 220 ah Crown batteries, Tristar TS-45 PWM controller,  no name 600 PSW inverter. 
  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 2,655 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Is the controller an EPever or Tracer (same controller ) by any chance? 
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
    900W  3 × 300W No name brand Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal as a backup system. 
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergencies and welding.
  • stmoloudstmoloud Registered Users Posts: 95 ✭✭
    Yep that sounds like mine no temperature compensation but not subject to high temperatures. So it should be safe to leave this controller to do it's stuff when I go for my 6 month holiday?
    760W panel array, 4 x 6v 220 ah Crown batteries, Tristar TS-45 PWM controller,  no name 600 PSW inverter. 
  • stmoloudstmoloud Registered Users Posts: 95 ✭✭
    mcgivor said:
    Is the controller an EPever or Tracer (same controller ) by any chance? 

    No, is just a cheap no-name from China

    760W panel array, 4 x 6v 220 ah Crown batteries, Tristar TS-45 PWM controller,  no name 600 PSW inverter. 
  • mcgivormcgivor Solar Expert Posts: 2,655 ✭✭✭✭✭
    stmoloud said:
    Yep that sounds like mine no temperature compensation but not subject to high temperatures. So it should be safe to leave this controller to do it's stuff when I go for my 6 month holiday?
    Not sure the best way to answer that, perhaps get a small 20W panel as a battery minder, not large enough to cause any damage but enough to cover self discharge. I do this on my escavator which sees little use for months at a time, never had any issues even with a $5 controller.
    1500W, 6× Schutten 250W Poly panels , Schneider MPPT 60 150 CC, Schneider SW 2524 inverter, 400Ah LFP 24V nominal battery bank 
    900W  3 × 300W No name brand Poly panels, Morningstar TS 60 PWM controller, no name 2000W inverter 400Ah FLA 24V nominal as a backup system. 
    5Kw Yanmar clone single cylinder air cooled diesel generator for rare emergencies and welding.
  • stmoloudstmoloud Registered Users Posts: 95 ✭✭
    Yes, I have one of those, a 10 watt I use for my starting battery. I could disconnect this from the starting battery and use it to trickle charge my solar bank. Thanks
    760W panel array, 4 x 6v 220 ah Crown batteries, Tristar TS-45 PWM controller,  no name 600 PSW inverter. 
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