Battery Drain

wildebus

Full Member
They are just a battery shifter so will be hard pushed to understand any technical stuff you tell them.

I must say when I do a build design which invariably includes batteries, I will usually supply the majority of kit, but when it comes to the Batteries, I tell the customers they need to buy them direct as I don't want to get stuck in the middle with the kind of conversations you are having with your supplier.
 
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SquirrellCook

Full Member
Some people have no idea of the responsibility you might be taking on by retailing someone else’s products. Batteries have to be the worst. I imagine that any kind of sealed battery must have a short shelf life. I can’t imagine that they are all stored connected to battery maintainers. Then there is the six to eight week boat trip. The chances of buying a good battery is remote. So what do you do? Buy a battery that has been dry stored and only being filled and charged just before dispatch.
 

GEOFF

Full Member
I think it is very difficult to get a battery supplier to honour a G't. I had a new battery fitted in my van a couple of months ago, used the van for a weekend and a week later the van would not start and the voltmeter showed 7.6v. I have AA homestart so called them out. The AA patrolman checked for any current drain and said that everything was normal (small drain as is usual with modern vehicles). He charged the van for about 40 mins and said the battery should have achieved a higher voltage and that it was definitely faulty. I reported this to the garage that fitted the battery and they removed the battery and sent it to the supplier. Three days later the garage refitted it saying that the supplier simply recharged it and there was nothing wrong with it. The battery does seem to be holding a charge and will still start the van, but the voltage never seems to read higher than 12.2v. I can only assume the supplier has some form of "boost" charging and has managed to rejuvenate the battery somehow. Battery Gt's seem to only cover manufacturing faults
which seem to be impossible to prove. Geoff.
 

SquirrellCook

Full Member
This is why I set up a capacity test Geoff, as all common battery tests are based on the ability to start an engine.
Funnily looking at the NCC battery ratings and gradings, nothing less of their grade A is suitable as a leisure battery. The lesser grades, you'd expect the same from a engine start battery.
 

SquirrellCook

Full Member
Now being passed from pillar to post by Battery Megastore. Each new person never bothers reading the history of pervious emails.
Still insisting that an engine start battery is valid for checking leisure battery capacity.

The prices may be good from Battery Megastore, but I suspect they buy old stock cheap and hope the customer doesn't complain.
I expect other companies do the same if they can get away with it. Over 20 years ago I visited Alpha batteries to buy two batteries. They were supplied flat. I fitted them to my Mercedes 608 in their yard. It would not start. When I complained they said that's how they are supplied. I had to jump start it from my old batteries. The "new" ones did not last long. I was over a barrel, as time was getting on and I needed to get into a rough wet field whilst I could still see. (remember to leave time expecting the worst)
 

wildebus

Full Member
Little comfort to you to say this, but the batteries I have got from Alpha have always been good.

I originally used the Wet Cell Xplorer (think their own brand?) ones but in the last few years have stuck with the Leoch AGMs and usually the XR1750 110Ah AGM, which is a dual-purpose Starter/Leisure Battery and always arrive with a full charge. I've bought well into double figures on those and never had an issue (and have used as both Leisure and Starter). It is these ones I also recommend (or occasionally their bigger brothers) in my builds (although I do still tell the customers to buy direct from Alpha using my discount code).
As an aside, I have occasionally had to wait for supplies of the XR1750 to come in, which I don't actually mind to much as it does mean they are not sitting around gathering dust and potentially self-discharging.
 

SquirrellCook

Full Member
Little comfort to you to say this, but the batteries I have got from Alpha have always been good.
I'm not stating this is the case now, my experience was a long time ago and I think they were relatively new on the scene.
It does make you wonder what the policy is with old stock batteries?

I know when I was in the military computer world, domestic equipment was not really tested as it was too expensive to do so.
So when you send your board back with all it's packaging purchased from a premier supplier it is then passed on to a B grade supplier.
If it fails again it's passed further down the line. That said most of the time it has nothing wrong with it, I guess the customer either didn't like it or had installed it wrong. Cheap customer based testing!
The military testing gave the kit one hell of a hammering and generally cost much more than the kit itself.

I am leaning more towards unsealed wet batteries next. Though I'm using another pair of Varta's I removed 18 months ago as I was unhappy with the low voltage. These are still better than the ones in question.

I ran the air blown 2kw eberspacher last night for two hours to see how greedy that was. Initially 10amps quickly dropping to about 6. Shortly to 0.9 amps including it's standard drain. Shocked at how little it uses. Well within by 45amp hour at C20 budget of 2.25 amps per hour for 20 hours.
Even two of the high power LED strips I used to replace the fluorescents drew only 0.5amps.

So new batteries, 190mm high or under. I'm thinking must be NCC class A as every thing under seems to just be a starter battery.
At least with wet your able to do more checks. Just would have to check that the insulation under the seat has not covered the vents.
 

wildebus

Full Member
If you are looking at replacement batteries in the leisure battery world, then the Telecom Batteries would seem a very good bet? They are speced to have a shelf life of 6 months untouched and an operational life of 15 years, plus they have no issues with a PSOC (Partial State of Charge) unlike most Lead Acid batteries that want/need to be fully charged and should not be left partially charged.

There is a lot to be said for Wet Cells for a Start Battery. As you said earlier I think, they could be left dry and just filled and charged when ready to be installed. I think this is the Militaries approach to ensure the batteries that get fitted to mothballed vehicles are going to be good?

Ref your Eberspacher, those numbers sound right. When I tested my Diesel Heater, it was 10A for around 5-10 minutes due to glowplug, then settled to 1A running for however long it was, and then on shutdown, a current increase again (around 6A?) for a few minutes when the glowplug reenergised (I think) to help ignite unburnt fuel (I think that was the purpose of the shutdown cycle when the blower sped up).
 

SquirrellCook

Full Member
If you are looking at replacement batteries in the leisure battery world, then the Telecom Batteries would seem a very good bet?
Just looking at industrial batteries in general does make you wonder about the quality leisure of batteries. The Deep discharge seems to be to much where as Cyclic standards seem to be about right. As normal nothing is easy as they seem fussy about charging.
 

trevskoda

Full Member
Varta /bosch power frame get the best name in batteries for all use,when i worked in a big dealership all batteries came dry and only filled and charged the day before use or sale,this was done in a steel mesh caged room and oly one man at a time allowed in,rubber boots only and no metal objects allowed.
 

SquirrellCook

Full Member
Varta /bosch power frame get the best name in batteries
This is what I'm having trouble with. My first set were not impressive. Looking for something better everyone was still raving about them. So I got another set. If it wasn't for fact I was about to go away I should have rejected one for being supplied with a low voltage. The new never manage to hold their voltage for long, as if they were a much lower capacity than claimed. It now seems that some suppliers have caught on as being claimed as being an average battery.

I did supply motorcycle batteries once upon a time, and they were all supplied dry. If you were lucky with an acid pack.
 

SquirrellCook

Full Member
Bit of an update now that Battery Megastore has had the Varta's for a few days now.
Friday they were pronounced OK After some being passed around, it turns ok they only had a start ability test. :( HELP!!!!!!!
A capacity test is possibly underway now.
 

SquirrellCook

Full Member
Anita made another phone call to you know who. Apparently the batteries passed the capacity test??? That said they have agreed to send us a pair of replacements. Anita asked for them to be charged and checked against each other. So much better to have a matched pair.
 

SquirrellCook

Full Member
So much for the replacement batteries, about to venture into the wilds of the south west for four days. Two old and sad batteries that I removed 18 months ago are going to have to work hard :(
 

SquirrellCook

Full Member
Customer from Germany just left, so about to go home to pack. Despite emails and phone calls, no answer to when they will be supplied. Only overnight stops, so should be ok. We can charge the engine start from the leisure batteries, and vice versa. So should be ok. Will be interesting if the new solar panels help.
 

SquirrellCook

Full Member
Day 3 and we are now in Minehead. 230 watts of solar charge. Not so good despite some bright spells. No hookup or generator yet.
 

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