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Discussion Starter #1
I am in the process of trying to understand all things electrical on my van conversion and seem to be stuck on a few things. The question I will start with begins right at my batteries. I have two AGM 125Ah batteries that I am going to hook up in parallel to be charged by my solar. My question is are AGM batteries OK with a equalization charge? My morningstar solar controller has a setting for AGM that puts it on a 3 hour equalization charge for 3hrs every 28 days. I am assuming it is fine but have not really found any good resources on the subject. I am looking for a BEGGINERS AGM battery maintenance explanation to clear things up.
The solar controller setup is:
absorption 14.3V
float 13.7V
equatlize 14.5V for 3 hours every 28 days

http://www.hespv.ca/hesproductspecs/Stark/Stark-125-AGM-SPEC.pdf
 

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The specs for your battery should detail the charge cycle, including charge duration and voltages for the various stages. What is the model number of the batteries that you have?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The specs for your battery should detail the charge cycle, including charge duration and voltages for the various stages. What is the model number of the batteries that you have?
The only specs i have are in the link i provided. Does that provide the needed info?

Sent from my SM-T560NU using Tapatalk
 

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I wouldn't equalize a healthy battery. It's basically overcharging strong cells in hopes of restoring capacity to weak cells.
There's lots of good, detailed information at http://batteryuniversity.com/learn/article/equalizing_charge

The quick version is that since an AGM is essentially sealed with no ability to do a hydrometer test on individual cells, you don't have a good way to identify a battery that needs equalization. All you have to go by is the voltage across all cells. Full charge voltage is a difficult measure since it can vary quite a bit for different batteries and you have to be sure you are not measuring surface charge (a capacitance effect). If you have two identical age and model batteries, and one measures lower than the other (while disconnected from each other of course), you might suspect it needs equalization. If a fully charged battery under steady load seems to drop voltage much more quickly over the first 10% of drawdown than from 60% to 50%, that might be an indication of a weak cell where equalization might help. If you've got a fairly linear voltage drop as the charge is depleted, I'd leave it alone.
 

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This seems like good advice. For a practical matter most of us leave our van with little or no load on the coach battery with the solar controller set to float the batteries, sometimes for a week or more. Trusting the constant slightly higher voltage to equalize relatively good batteries (or cells) is more likely to happen than to test and act on them. My 19- 6 volt home storage FLA batteries never had a cell fail, nor received an equalization in 8 years and I sold them after spot testing a few under load to give the buyer an idea of their condition. I don’t remember what percent of a new battery they tested at but do recall they were surprisingly good and his purchase of them was a positive (pun) for both of us.
 

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The only specs i have are in the link i provided. Does that provide the needed info?
I hadn't checked, but it looks like it does. Float between 13.6-13.8 and charge at 14.6-14.8.

It's kind of a bizarre way to specify it though and it also doesn't mention anything about the equalization voltage.
 

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I hadn't checked, but it looks like it does. Float between 13.6-13.8 and charge at 14.6-14.8. It's kind of a bizarre way to specify it though and it also doesn't mention anything about the equalization voltage.
The documentation for our Carmanah 100Ah AGMs is quite specific about most things, but it doesn't mention equalization either. I remember doing an internet deep-dive and concluding it wasn't something I was going to worry about. As mentioned earlier, some AGM manufacturers are explicit about it. But without specifics from the manufacturer, do-nothing is probably the best option. Doing it wrong can be detrimental or even dangerous. The documentation for our Bogart Battery Monitor/Charge Controller even says "It is usually recommended only for liquid electrolyte lead acid batteries, not AGM or Gel types."

I've also found many different terms being used for each of the charge stages. That can get confusing.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
That was my problem not finding a definitive answer any where on the web and the instructions in my solar charger listing equalize under the AGM set up page. I am definitely not going to risk it and won't have the controller set to equalize.
Trying to learn vehicle electrical has led to many nights reading and hoping an answers will present themselves.
I think I have a grasp on the 12VDC got the inverter, fuseblock, batteries and solar just need to get the last of the wire and fuses.
I am having trouble coming up with a cheap, simple and safe system to bring 120VAC into the vehicle. We are only planning on having a blender and maybe a small tv running off our inverter from time to time. The 120VAC would be for a couple plugins to run a charger over the winter or maybe for the fridge or small space heater if needed. The WFCO power center that RD has put links to would probably done the job but I already have a blade fuse block.
 

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VI,

If you're looking for quick, easy, and cheap...

Get one of these and a 25' #12 /3 extension cord. Cut the male plug off the cord, run the cord from inside to outside (hole with a grommet is already there- behind bumper) and connect the wires to the plug in the outside box. Feed it with a fused extension cord, and you're all done! No fuses inside, just a cord to plug stuff into.... add a 3 way splitter for more loads.

 

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Discussion Starter #14
Proedie funny you should reply I was reading through all your various posts and diagrams on your shorepower hookup last night. In some of your diagrams you went straight into a GFCI outlet then branched from there? I am wanting a plug in galley behind the drivers side and on near the passenger wheel well in the garage.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I am in need of an idea to protect my two solar wires that will be entering in through the holes I drill in my roof. I have a linksolar double cable entry that will hold the cables secure and provide a water proof seal but whats the best way to protect the cables in the metal hole?
 

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Just go to the electrical dept at HD and tell them you need a ¾" blushing similar to this


They should have a variety of different sizes and types to choose from.
 

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I bought a rubber grommet at an auto supply store (Lordco). They are designed specifically to protect wires passing through sheet metal (firewalls, etc). Here's an example, not the specific size ...
[ame]https://www.amazon.ca/Gardner-Bender-GHG-1538-8-Inch-Grommets/dp/B000BO4WSG/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1512661690&sr=8-4&keywords=rubber+grommet[/ame]
 

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The advantages to a metal threaded grommet are far superior to a rubber one. A metal one can be tightened down firmly through the bottom of the entrance box and the inside of the roof not only creating a strong watertight seal without using screws and it is far more durable than the rubber one.
 

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For that very reason I threw away the box that came with my solar package and replace it with a 4" sq plastic utility box with a cover.
 
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