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Trjan T105's


ralphclaydon
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Has anyone had any problems with these batteries suddenly not holding a charge?

 

I installed 4 of these last March, these last weeks according to my Smart gauge have dropped from 100% to 72 %, i only use a couple of LED light and a water pump. Today i put 4 x 10w bulbs on for about 30 minutes and the charge went from 83% to 72%.

I have checked to make sure nothing is switched on or working which i don,t know about.

 

I am on shore power so not using inverter etc.

 

Thanks

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So how are you charging the batteries? If you are on shore power, do you have a battery charger permanently connected? If so, I am puzzled why the batteries should be going down at all. Please give us a bit more information.

 

But pending that, have you checked the electrolyte levels? Are the battery interconnects in good condition (clean and tight)? These batteries are normally pretty good but of course it is always possible to have a duff one.

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Hi

I have a sterling battery charger permanently connected. which i use when the smart gauge gets down to about 75%

I have checked the water levels , have not had to top up since i installed them March last year. The connections are all tight and clean. The batteries are inside the boat.

I have been on boat all winter, its only the last few weeks that the smart gauge has shown the percentage drop very quickly

sorry but i don't know much about checking the batteries!

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Hi

I have a sterling battery charger permanently connected. which i use when the smart gauge gets down to about 75%

I have checked the water levels , have not had to top up since i installed them March last year. The connections are all tight and clean. The batteries are inside the boat.

I have been on boat all winter, its only the last few weeks that the smart gauge has shown the percentage drop very quickly

sorry but i don't know much about checking the batteries!

Firstly, it would be normal to leave the charger permanently on presuming it has a float mode. If it is a marine type charger, which being a Sterling it surely will be, it is designed to be left on. This means that you are never cycling the batteries thus prolonging their lives.

 

Anyway, Trojans like a good charge at up to 14.8v routinely and this causes them to lose a little water. If they have gone for a year on a live aboard without needing to be topped up, this suggests they are not being charged adequately and may be sulphated.

 

I think you should try an equalisation charge, which basically involves fully charging the batteries and then raising the voltage to around 15.5v for a good few hours, whilst keeping an eye on battery temperature and water levels. It may be that your charger has a selectable equalise mode, otherwise you will need to find some means of charging at the higher voltage.

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Yes agree with Nick. Bad policy to not have a multi-stage charger running continously when on permanent shore power - that's what they are designed for. The charger also acts as a power pack so that within the limits of the chargers capability, no power is taken from the batteries.

 

Don't know which Sterling charger model you have but some allow for a quasi auto equalisation charge every 15 days. If not just simply switching it off then on again will perform a similar function which I would recommend every couple of weeks.

 

ETA: Just missed your post above. Check the charger manual which will explain how it can be adjusted to better suit your batteries. You have open cell lead acid so you need to select the setting that gives 14.8 volts in absorb mode - the highest there is I believe.

Edited by by'eck
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Hi Nick

Thanks for your help.

I have a Sterling Advanced digital 4 step charger, when charging will go to 14,15 to 14.20 volts.

I really don't know about 15 volts!

That sounds far too low for charging this sort of battery. I'd have thought they should be being pushed to at least 14.6V on normal charge cycles. Some would even recommend 14.8V for Trojan T105s I believe. As Nick says, occasionally you should shove them up to the sort of higher voltage he mentions.

Is your charger set up for the right type of battery, I suspect its set for AGM batteries if its stopping at such low voltages.

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It's not the capacity of the batteries that your charger needs to be set at. It's the type of battery.

 

It should be set for wet lead acid. This gives a higher charge voltage which your T105's needs to remain healthy.

 

As others have said, you should have a charge voltage of around 14.6 - 14.8 volts


Have a look at page 12/13 of the link: http://www.trojanbattery.com/pdf/TRJN0109_UsersGuide.pdf

 

Trojan recommend a charge voltage of 7.4 volts, which for your T105's in series (to give your 12v) needs to be doubled

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You could consider checking the specific gravity of the cells. I recently got an optical hydrometer (refractometer) from eBay, which is cheap, very easy and un-messy to use. The specific gravity when fully charged should be 1.277 (adjusted for temperature) and a significantly lower reading will indicate sulphation. One cell very different from the others indicates a battery defect, but I think this is less likely.

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I have just checked battery charger settings are for"Non Sealed Lead Acid batteries"

The charger is Sterling Advance Digital 4 Step Switch Mode Charger/Power Pack Pro Digital Range.

 

Now charging at 14.55 to 14.60 on smart Gauge

That still seems a bit low for Trojans. Should be 14.8v and if in a cold engine bay at these current temps, if compensated you would expect smartgauge to be showing a charging voltage around 15.1v or 15.2v

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Thank you all for your help!

I am good mechanically minded but my electrics are VERY basic.

I have just tried to reset Smart gauge using online installation guide, I disconnected both live and neutral wires hoping that it would reset itself, when reconnected.the installation guide says to select battery type using status button, this does not work!

I have put a meter on the batteries they read 12.9v which agrees with smart gauge.

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I think it's highly unlikely to be anything to do with the Smartgauge, provided it is reading the correct voltage. But to reset it, you have to do more than just disconnect it. Have a read of the instructions, I think you need to hold a button down as you reconnect it.

Edited by nicknorman
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Have you done a restart following power failure or a restore to factory defaults?

 

Restore to factory defaults is:

 

1. Disconnect the power feed to SmartGauge (maybe just pull the fuses out?).

2. Press both the Volts and Status buttons and keep them pressed.

3. Reapply power, still keeping the buttons pressed.

4. SmartGauge will display the software revision as usual. Keep the buttons pressed.

5. SmartGauge will display the battery model revision as usual. Keep the buttons pressed.

6. The display will go blank.

7. Remove your fingers from the buttons.

8. SmartGauge will flash “Fr” (Factory reset).

9. SmartGauge will completely reset its internals to the factory defaults.

 

 

If you've set any high/low alarms etc, they will be lost

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Not wanting to be too pessimistic but there have been multiple threads of folk with problems with their Smartgauge readings, in every case it turned out the SG was correct and indicating a problem somewhere else, in no cases was it a problem with the SG and in no cases did resetting the SG make any difference. There is always a first time though, I suppose!

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Mine went a bit funny last year.

 

Similar symptoms to the OP's. A reset sorted it out.

 

There is some anecdotal evidence that long term use with solar charging can upset SmartGauges(?). I'm certainly a long term user of solar, but couldn't confirm if that was the problem.

 

I also had a problem with my start battery alternator and for a period of time would temporarily connect the engine start battery bank to the domestic bank. The SmartGauge didn't like that either and had to be 'reset'

 

They're great tools for battery monitoring, but not infallible.

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I have just checked battery charger settings are for"Non Sealed Lead Acid batteries"

The charger is Sterling Advance Digital 4 Step Switch Mode Charger/Power Pack Pro Digital Range.

 

Now charging at 14.55 to 14.60 on smart Gauge

 

That should give 14.8 volts in absorb mode. Note that the voltage measured at batteries or via SmartGauge may take a liitle while to reach this value whilst charging is taking place. There may also be a slight voltage drop in cabling between charger and batteries. I would therfore be happy to see 14.7 volts at batteries.

 

Can I suggest you leave the charger on continuously now as previouslty advised. After its been on overnight, switch off briefly then on again. You should see battery/Smartguage display 14.8 volts then drop shortly after to around 14.7 volts as the charger mode swings from constant current to constant voltage (absorb) mode.

 

Note there isn't a true equalise mode on that charger but a quasi one every 15 days if left on continously.

Edited by by'eck
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Thank You for that By' eck.

 

I aws going to turn it off before bed, but i will leave on , do you think that this will put the batteries right?

 

Hopefully yes. You really do need to leave the charger on continously 24/7 whilst shore power is available, to avoid this issue again. As mentioned previously cycling charger off briefly then on again will force it to run through its various charge phases which in turn will help to offset sulphation.

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