Just Browsing Electrical/Battery/Charger issue.

Aug 19, 2013
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Perth
#1
Seeing if anyone can offer advice: we are halfway through a 7 week journey from Perth to Qld, down east coast and back. The brand new 200AH battery i put in a couple of months ago didnt last 2 nights of frèe camping before being hit by a low voltage alarm 11.5v. Battery is constantly on charge at home before we left and the solar was feeding around 11amp+ throughout the day. We pulled inti Port Augusta and the only auto elec in town charged me $270 and told me it was the new battery. I fitted a brand new 140AH in Sunshine coast and left them with the other battery. Low and behold free camping last night. Van had been hooked up to power and within a few hours under min load i was down to under 12v.
Its a 2013 Basestation i had since new. A setec charger and i havent had issues prior. All fuses ok.
 
Feb 29, 2016
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Sydney
#2
Van had been hooked up to power and within a few hours under min load i was down to under 12v.
Its a 2013 Basestation i had since new. A setec charger and i havent had issues prior. All fuses ok.
Very unusual. Are you able to see what the vans draw is? Maybe something is sucking a lot of Juice as I wouldn’t have through you could have two bad batteries in a row.

If you have a multimeter you can test to see what you get once fully charged. Mine sits on over 13v fully charged.

It has to be either not charging properly or load from somewhere you haven’t found.
I know I hooked up my last van’s fridge to the house battery so I needed to be careful when having the fridge on 12v without the car running. But that isn’t factory wiring.

Chris
 

Smirke

Well-Known Member
May 9, 2014
1,676
2,902
113
Palmyra, WA
#4
I found my battery didnt last the night having to supply power to keep 2 x 40L engels on freezer after driving all day, in sunshine. Hope you are able the fix the problem.
 
Aug 19, 2013
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Perth
#5
Very unusual. Are you able to see what the vans draw is? Maybe something is sucking a lot of Juice as I wouldn’t have through you could have two bad batteries in a row.

If you have a multimeter you can test to see what you get once fully charged. Mine sits on over 13v fully charged.

It has to be either not charging properly or load from somewhere you haven’t found.
I know I hooked up my last van’s fridge to the house battery so I needed to be careful when having the fridge on 12v without the car running. But that isn’t factory wiring.

Chris
Multimeter on the shopping list. The draw was tested and is around 5-6amps. Getting 9-11amps solar. Running a Waeco compressor fridge.
 
Aug 19, 2013
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Perth
#6
I got burnt by the same auto elec in Port Augusta a couple of months go. He fleeces tourists by the sound of it.
I'm still steaming, not only not solving the problem, i think i have left a brand new 200ah battery and replaced it with a 140ah?
 

Axl

Well-Known Member
Dec 23, 2014
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Brisbane/Bayside
#8
I have 2013 14" and if you don't have the 12v switch on, the battery only charges 0.5amp no matter if on car or solar.
Not so @Hylux unless your van has been wired up differently to most others, charge coming from your car and or solar should be wired directly to the battery and should have nothing to do with the Setec.

@Lonski certainly sounds odd if your battery was fully charged, what size is the Waeco fridge and what size is your solar set up? You say your seeing up to 11amp going into the battery from the solar that should be able to keep you going for a week or so if the sun is shining but eventually you will need to find some 240v power for a couple of days.

Whilst the battery has a load on it solar will not be able to fully charge it, you need to get the load off of the battery and let the Setec charge it for a couple of days at least. Does your solar controller show what voltage is being delivered to the battery? A good starting point to fault find your problem (if it does) would be to check the battery voltage with the multimeter whilst the sun is shining nice and bright. Battery voltage should be very close to what the controller output voltage is if its not than you may have a loose connection somewhere.
 
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Likes: KECL
Sep 1, 2017
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Newcastle
#10
""Not so @@Hylux unless your van has been wired up differently to most others, charge coming from your car and or solar should be wired directly to the battery and should have nothing to do with the Setec.""



From Setec manual. Mine works this way so obvious the Solar is connected to the Setec not direct to the battery. Prefer this way as the battery only gets trickle charge when not in use .

Remote Battery Isolate Switch: The ST-III series power supplies allow for connection to a
remotely positioned switch that provides a manual disconnection of the battery from the loads and
the main charger. When the switch contacts are closed, the battery will be isolated from the loads.

NOTE: When the battery is isolated from the loads using the battery isolate switch it will NOT
charge at the 10/15 A rate even if the mains is connected to the power supply. In this condition it
will ONLY charge at the Trickle charge rate.


Also worth noting

Trickle Charge to the battery is always present. When the battery voltage is below the LVD (Low
voltage disconnect) re-connect voltage (<10V and the mains power or auxiliary power is available,
the battery will be charging at 0.8A. When the battery voltage is sufficient (>10.5V for first power
up, 11.5V and 11.7V for subsequent reconnection with and without mains respectively) the LVD
will connect the battery and allow float charging at 10A/15A (ST20-II/ST35-II). The Trickle
Charge feature is provided to allow “very” flat batteries to be charged at a rate, which will extend
their life.
 

mikerezny

Well-Known Member
Sep 11, 2016
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Mount Waverley, VIC
#11
""Not so @@Hylux unless your van has been wired up differently to most others, charge coming from your car and or solar should be wired directly to the battery and should have nothing to do with the Setec.""



From Setec manual. Mine works this way so obvious the Solar is connected to the Setec not direct to the battery. Prefer this way as the battery only gets trickle charge when not in use .

Remote Battery Isolate Switch: The ST-III series power supplies allow for connection to a
remotely positioned switch that provides a manual disconnection of the battery from the loads and
the main charger. When the switch contacts are closed, the battery will be isolated from the loads.

NOTE: When the battery is isolated from the loads using the battery isolate switch it will NOT
charge at the 10/15 A rate even if the mains is connected to the power supply. In this condition it
will ONLY charge at the Trickle charge rate.


Also worth noting

Trickle Charge to the battery is always present. When the battery voltage is below the LVD (Low
voltage disconnect) re-connect voltage (<10V and the mains power or auxiliary power is available,
the battery will be charging at 0.8A. When the battery voltage is sufficient (>10.5V for first power
up, 11.5V and 11.7V for subsequent reconnection with and without mains respectively) the LVD
will connect the battery and allow float charging at 10A/15A (ST20-II/ST35-II). The Trickle
Charge feature is provided to allow “very” flat batteries to be charged at a rate, which will extend
their life.
Ho @Hylux,

and from the same manual, page 3:

Solar power should be connected directly across the battery terminals with a voltage regulator in series. A solar panel voltage regulator with maximum output voltage not exceeding 14.8 volts must be used at all times. Failure to use a voltage regulator may result in power supply damage.

The Setec has absolutely NO provision for solar. The Setec AUX input is NOT suitable for connecting to a solar panel.

cheers
Mike
 
Sep 1, 2017
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Newcastle
#12
Yes you are correct but the solar panel goes to the solar controller, from there to the Setec. The solar panel is not directly connected to the Setec.

If I have the switch on I get 5-10amps charge reading on the solar controller. If I turn it off I get 0.5amp (No mains or car connected ). If the solar controller is connected directly to the battery how does this happen?

As pointed out to the OP my van is same age and his may be wired the same. If he is turning the switch off he wont be getting full charge. Its a pretty easy check and may be a simple reason for his problems.
 

mikerezny

Well-Known Member
Sep 11, 2016
798
1,418
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Mount Waverley, VIC
#13
Yes you are correct but the solar panel goes to the solar controller, from there to the Setec. The solar panel is not directly connected to the Setec.

If I have the switch on I get 5-10amps charge reading on the solar controller. If I turn it off I get 0.5amp (No mains or car connected ). If the solar controller is connected directly to the battery how does this happen?

As pointed out to the OP my van is same age and his may be wired the same. If he is turning the switch off he wont be getting full charge. Its a pretty easy check and may be a simple reason for his problems.
Hi @Hylux,

can you explain more clearly exactly how your solar controller is connected to the Setec?

As far as I am aware, with the Setec, there are only three ways to connect it 12V:
12V directly to the battery,
12V to power your devices via 8 fuses, and
an AUX input which is "usually" wired to the tug.

I would question why you need the Setec to reduce the current from your controller. If you have a reasonable solar controller it will have a multi-stage charger and will be more than capable of going from bulk charge to float when the batteries have been sufficiently charged. I have a very simple $6 solar controlller which has a three stage charger: bulk, float, and whilst on float, every 24 hours gives a boost charge for 15 minutes. More expensive controllers have more sophisticated charging systems.

cheers
Mike
 

Axl

Well-Known Member
Dec 23, 2014
368
864
93
Brisbane/Bayside
#14
""Not so @@Hylux unless your van has been wired up differently to most others, charge coming from your car and or solar should be wired directly to the battery and should have nothing to do with the Setec.""



From Setec manual. Mine works this way so obvious the Solar is connected to the Setec not direct to the battery. Prefer this way as the battery only gets trickle charge when not in use .

Remote Battery Isolate Switch: The ST-III series power supplies allow for connection to a
remotely positioned switch that provides a manual disconnection of the battery from the loads and
the main charger. When the switch contacts are closed, the battery will be isolated from the loads.

NOTE: When the battery is isolated from the loads using the battery isolate switch it will NOT
charge at the 10/15 A rate even if the mains is connected to the power supply. In this condition it
will ONLY charge at the Trickle charge rate.


Also worth noting

Trickle Charge to the battery is always present. When the battery voltage is below the LVD (Low
voltage disconnect) re-connect voltage (<10V and the mains power or auxiliary power is available,
the battery will be charging at 0.8A. When the battery voltage is sufficient (>10.5V for first power
up, 11.5V and 11.7V for subsequent reconnection with and without mains respectively) the LVD
will connect the battery and allow float charging at 10A/15A (ST20-II/ST35-II). The Trickle
Charge feature is provided to allow “very” flat batteries to be charged at a rate, which will extend
their life.
@Hylux I don't want to take this thread away from the original question but you need to have a closer look at your set up. If you solar it is wired through the Setec then I would suggest having this changed so it goes direst to your battery as it is suppose to.

Flicking a switch is not going to stop solar panel generating power (unless the switch was before the controller I suppose) the only thing that stops a solar panel generating power is no sun. So if you ever need to work on the Setec with a set up like you have there will always be 12v power there from the panel, be careful.
 
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Sep 1, 2017
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Newcastle
#15
Mike couldn't say how its wired, just works and std Jayco install. Never had reason to pull it apart. Assume they use the 12v input. Maybe they didn't use pin 2 from the car which is pretty useless or connect with diodes or something.
but its only relevant to the OP if he checks the charge current with the switch on and off.
 

Boots in Action

Well-Known Member
Mar 13, 2017
670
640
93
Ferny Grove, Queensland
#17
A solar controller running thru the Setek to the battery would do a lousy job, wiring is too small and the loss of charge to battery would begreat, solar controller needs to be able to see the battery to work properly.
Absolutely correct once again @Drover. @Hylux , the Setec will only charge to 14.1 volts whilst most solar controllers will deliver up to 14.7 volts to FULLY charge batteries in Bulk and Absorb mode, before dropping back to around 13.6 volts in Float mode.. Anything less than that is never going to give you the full capacity of which your batteries are capable of delivering. Putting the solar output through the Setec will not allow the batteries to charge properly. Are you sure the solar controller output is wired THROUGH the Setec or just looks like it does?? It should bypass the Setec control as the Setec is for control with 240 volt charging and via trickle charge to battery whilst on 12 plus volts from tug

.
 
Likes: Bellbirdweb

Boots in Action

Well-Known Member
Mar 13, 2017
670
640
93
Ferny Grove, Queensland
#18
I found my battery didnt last the night having to supply power to keep 2 x 40L engels on freezer after driving all day, in sunshine. Hope you are able the fix the problem.
Hi @Smirke , perhaps one of the reasons that your batteries did not last the night was because the output of your tug was never high enough in voltage to fully charge them. A lot of the newer tugs have a voltage regulator which cuts out when the TUG's battery reaches only 13.6 volts or so. That is not enough to get a full charge into the van's batteries to run compressor fridges for long. The solution is a DC to DC charger which will ensure that a FULL charging VOLTAGE is available to the van batteries.
 
Likes: MickB

mikerezny

Well-Known Member
Sep 11, 2016
798
1,418
93
65
Mount Waverley, VIC
#19
Hi
I would suggest it is most probably unhelpful to be giving any advice on this issue until it is clearly determine what is actually meant by "connecting the solar through the Setec". Otherwise there is likely to be, well-intentioned, but conflicting and confusing advice.

Since the Setec does NOT support connecting to solar, I have absolutely no idea how the solar is wired "through the Setec".

Or am I missing something that is obvious to everyone else?

cheers
Mike
 
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Boots in Action

Well-Known Member
Mar 13, 2017
670
640
93
Ferny Grove, Queensland
#20
I'm still steaming, not only not solving the problem, i think i have left a brand new 200ah battery and replaced it with a 140ah?
I think you have been truly "fleeced". Unless there is an internal fault (flaw) in battery (unlikely if okay for a short time) , most AGM type can be revived with a sophisticated multi stage charger and a few cycles of charge and discharge. A local friend of mine who did not recharge his camper trailer batteries after an Easter holiday on Fraser Island and anytime before Christmas found that the batteries appeared to be "flat" when he went to use them just before Christmas. The poor soul took the supposed "stuffed" batteries to get them checked and was told they had to be replaced. Come in sucker!!! And he has a top of the range multi stage Projecta charger (around $400.00 worth) which he could have used and would have saved him over $600.00. I was hoping he might have kept the so called "dead" batteries because my other friend could have used them after a couple of charge/discharge cycles in his outdoor camping setup. But no, they were left at the battery shop. The AGMs were only 18 months old. What a waste!!! And yes, the friend with the "flat" batteries is a highly educated School Principal!!!!
 
Likes: Drover