Battery Charge Question

RAW

Full Member
I picked up a Halfords 70AH Leisure battery like
https://www.halfords.com/camping/electrical-and-power/halfords-leisure-battery-hlb678-960013.html

For £45 off of Facebook Marketplace described as New, picture below:
20200512_151112.jpg
The battery is only really for testing purposes and to be used with Solar and also 12V Systems as tests because I like to mess around a bit and learn the electrical stuff.
The chap who sold it to me was "shady", I won't go into detail; but I don't think I am being overly judgmental in saying that ;)
Anyway the battery looked OK, with green dot visible as "fully charged" but I did not take a meter with me (DOH!!).
It does not look like the Poles have been abraided and it had the red and black plastic covers on said poles

Anyway, I have had the battery on Solar charging for about 24 hours and it never seems to get above 12.7 Volts. So I ran a repair with my charger and when the charger had finished and I took it off the voltage was 13.4V but within around 60 seconds it dropped to 12.8
20200512_151121.jpg
Any ideas as to if this might be a duff battery or it's just not that great as a low end battery and wouldn't expect too much anyway ?
TIA
 

SquirrellCook

Full Member
I expect it has a serial number on it, I wonder if you could find out when it was made? I often wonder about products with expired shelf lives, what does happen too them?
 
  • Like
Reactions: RAW

RAW

Full Member
I wonder if you could find out when it was made?
Looking at the picture of the newer one on Halfords website that I posted above the battery with the same code number of HLB678 is different looking to the one I have, so you may have a valid point that the battery I purchased is old, perhaps NOS but was not bought from a shop with any New Old Stock! However, not seen a serial number or anything on it. Just the code in the picture.
Thanks
 

SquirrellCook

Full Member
I like to mess around a bit
OK then, you have a battery with fake capacity even if it was excellent. So 70Ah is really 35Ah. You say 12.7 volts is good, but have seen 13.4 volts.
So lets give said battery a little chance and call the volts 12.5 So that would give you 347.5 Watts/hours.
A 21 watt 12volt bulb draws 1.68 amps at 12.5 volts. So connecting this bulb to your battery for 16.5 hours should get 50% discharge.
It would be interesting to see how much the voltage drops?

I had two varta lfd90's replaced. The new ones loose their volts very quickly, just like the old ones. I still have the ones I replaced and they are just the same. Never a problem starting the engine, just won't hold their volts.
 

Squiffy

Full Member
I picked up a Halfords 70AH Leisure battery like
https://www.halfords.com/camping/electrical-and-power/halfords-leisure-battery-hlb678-960013.html

For £45 off of Facebook Marketplace described as New, picture below:
View attachment 2418
The battery is only really for testing purposes and to be used with Solar and also 12V Systems as tests because I like to mess around a bit and learn the electrical stuff.
The chap who sold it to me was "shady", I won't go into detail; but I don't think I am being overly judgmental in saying that ;)
Anyway the battery looked OK, with green dot visible as "fully charged" but I did not take a meter with me (DOH!!).
It does not look like the Poles have been abraided and it had the red and black plastic covers on said poles

Anyway, I have had the battery on Solar charging for about 24 hours and it never seems to get above 12.7 Volts. So I ran a repair with my charger and when the charger had finished and I took it off the voltage was 13.4V but within around 60 seconds it dropped to 12.8
View attachment 2417
Any ideas as to if this might be a duff battery or it's just not that great as a low end battery and wouldn't expect too much anyway ?
TIA
The 13.8volts coming straight after charging is what is known as a suface charge, any 12volt lead acid battery after being charged will have a surface charge of between 13.6 - 14.7 volts depending on battery charging voltage, but this high state of charge will not stay for long, usually you would put quite a heavy discharge over the terminals such as a 12v halogen bulb for two or three minutes to remove this misleading initial voltage you then after this take the voltage readings which if the battery is in good condition will be in the 12. 6 - 12.8 region. The only real way to tell if a battery is healthy is to charge it to it's full capacity then give it a heavy discharge test with a heavy discharge tester. I have a Snap on one that I kept when I sold the garage but Squirrels idea with the bulb is just as good but takes a longer time to complete, where as a heavy discharge tester does the test in seconds. Phil

This type is the one I have, but of course there are electronic ones now that do all sorts of clever tests but come at a high price but in the past I have found the electronic wizards to be unreliable.

 
Last edited:
  • Thank You
Reactions: RAW

RAW

Full Member
So I plugged a 55W bulb onto battery at approx 0930 and now 3 Hours later this is what is displayed on the cheap battery meter
Capacity 0% and Voltage 9.9V

The lamp is still lit brightly though

By my calculations 55W at 12v is 4.58A and the battery is 70AH so 50% Discharge is 35AH
35/4.58 = 7.64 Hours

I don't think the battery is very good then from what is displayed ? Comments ??
 

SquirrellCook

Full Member
I've seen so much that doesn't make sense, other than battery manufactures are liars and cheats. My new 90ah varta's with a low load test look like they are only good for about 20ah. Even the demand on so called leisure batteries has changed with people using big inverters. Maybe a traction battery would be better suited. Though amongst a pile of so called duff batteries I have found ones that not just took a charge, but did so for years being ran flat each time. Even the lithium's are too big for their capacity. I expect they are built form low spec cells and just managed electronically. So that the customer gets the results on the label. There is nothing wrong with this, apart from them being too expensive. I costed making my own, but you'd need to sell at least a dozen of them to make it worth while. Then you'd have to support them. Too much hassle.

As regards to your 70ah battery, if your only using it for test it's fine. Use it until a cell dies.
 

Squiffy

Full Member
I found out from a battery salesmen many years ago that you should subtract at least 20% of manufacturers stated amp hour rating as they over estimate their products they are genuinely tested but the tests that are applied are not the tests that you would expect, I really can not remember what the details were now but the test result was legal but mis leading. Since that time I always go for the highest rated amp hour knowing that it will be at least 20% less capacity than stated, I would strongly suspect that lithium iron and gel batteries are tested under a similar regime. Phil
 

Nabsim

Full Member
I've seen so much that doesn't make sense, other than battery manufactures are liars and cheats. My new 90ah varta's with a low load test look like they are only good for about 20ah. Even the demand on so called leisure batteries has changed with people using big inverters. Maybe a traction battery would be better suited. Though amongst a pile of so called duff batteries I have found ones that not just took a charge, but did so for years being ran flat each time. Even the lithium's are too big for their capacity. I expect they are built form low spec cells and just managed electronically. So that the customer gets the results on the label. There is nothing wrong with this, apart from them being too expensive. I costed making my own, but you'd need to sell at least a dozen of them to make it worth while. Then you'd have to support them. Too much hassle.

As regards to your 70ah battery, if your only using it for test it's fine. Use it until a cell dies.
I have a similar problem with 2 x Bosch and 1 x Varta PowerFrame batterys. The actual capacity has dropped to approx half their 90ah rating in around 12 months. To be fair though, in my case, the batterys gave good service for a lot of their life they just werent right for my high demand.

I have been using one of them as a starter battery on my Sprinter 316 based moho and it gives excellent service as a starter battery. As leisure batterys the 3 of them cannot power my van for 24 hours (65 amps). As I am full time I didnt want to 'try' another battery that 'may' do the job so bit the bullet and bought 2 x 100ah lifepo4. In darkest winter now I can happily go 2 days off grid before I need to start the genny
 

Nabsim

Full Member
I do have a B2B and could run from engine but don’t like doing that. Mine is a tn1 sprinter 2.7 turbo so no dpf to worry about but engine needs to be kept above 1200 rpm to be safe. It’s boring day there for a couple of hours holding your foot on the accelerator, I gad to do it year before last when I got snowed in for 8 days and nothing off solar. I ran an hour in the morning and same in the evening.

You should have seen the smoke coming out the exhaust when I was able to drive out, took about 10 miles to clear it. Since then I only run engine if I have to
 

RAW

Full Member
Mine is a tn1 sprinter 2.7 turbo
Ah, I see, mine is 311Cdi 2.1 turbo and is Year 2000 so again I don't have DPF to worry about I don't think
Thinking about the B2B that @wildebus has been talking about to increase power to Batteries when travelling.
An idea would be to run the cable to the Victron MPPT 100/30 that is currently running to battery and take that to +ve of MPPT 100/30. Debating that or two maybe just incest in a Smart B2B from Victron
 

SquirrellCook

Full Member
The engine would have to be well and truly shot Dave to get enough oil up passed the rings to run on.

My first truck Merc 608 luton would nearly do 70mph. Could not talk to anyone in the cab. Used about 5 litres of oil per 100 miles.
So I rebored it and put in some new pistons. 55mph flat out and not a drop of oil used. Yep, it was running on the engine oil. That explains it not smoking. Also did nearly 30mpg too.
 
Top