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Battery Equalization

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In my coach I have a Magnum Energy ME2012 charger inverter with inside panel. Every so often I would glance at the readout of the panel and usually it maintained a charge of about 13.5v. I seen several charge rates but mostly at float charge. Today I saw a charge rate of 15.5v and 45 amps and the word equalization on the readout.

As expected I checked the batteries and the house batteries are bubbling as they are being overcharged. I shut off the charger at the panel. I checked the owners manual and it has a one paragraph that states it is to break up deposits. I tried doing a soft factory reset to cancel as I don't like overcharging batteries but it continued when the charger is switched back on.

It's still on after a couples of hours and I think way too long. I'm thinking about shutting it down overnight for it is already causing corrosion on the terminals. I don't want them to catch fire but they don't feel hot yet.

Anybody else have problems like this?

I have 4 6v CG2200P 220ah batteries wired to give 12v. They are only 1 1/2 years old so should not be bad. I'm thinking of doing a hard reset but that means removing all power. Setup seems correct for flooded batteries set to 400 amp hours.

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OK as soon as I was going to go into a panic mode the charger finished what it was doing and now at 13.3v 26 amp float charge. How it goes in this so called maintenance mode is confusing to me. I still feel that I must shut everything down tomorrow and clean those batteries.

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Ray, Check the Battery Temperature Sensor to see if it is connected to the negative battery terminal. The manual does not specif any particular one. I'm thinking one of the middle one's between any pair.

Still trying to absorb the manuals on your unit for any clue(s)

ME-RC50.

The settings, once programmed, are saved in the
remote’s non-volatile memory and are preserved until changed – even if DC power to the inverter
is lost (as long as the ME-RC50 remote is connected). For information on the full range of settings
for each function, refer to the ME-RC50 Owner’s Manual.

User set up of-

Shore: This setting ensures the inverter AC loads receive the maximum current available
from the shore power or generator. When the total current used to power the AC loads and
to charge the batteries begins to approach the Shore setting, the current that was used
for charging the batteries will automatically be reduced.

01 Search Watts: This setting allows you to turn off the power-saving Search Mode circuitry
or adjust the power level at which the inverter will “wake up” and start inverting.

02 Low Batt Cut Out: This setting determines when the inverter will turn off based on
low battery voltage. The inverter turns off automatically after the battery voltage has
been below this setting for more than one minute. This protects the batteries from overdischarge
and the AC loads from unregulated power (brown-outs).

03 Batt Amp Hrs: This setting allows the user to input the battery bank size in amp hours,
which tells the charger how long to charge the batteries in the Absorb Charge stage.

04 Battery Type: Sets the type of batteries being used in the system; this information
tells the charger what voltage level to use to charge the batteries.

05 Charge Rate: This setting can be used to turn off the charger, limit the amount of
current that the charger can use (leaving more current available to power loads); or, to
ensure small battery banks are not overheated because of a too high charge rate.

06 VAC Dropout: Sets the minimum AC voltage that must be present on the AC input
before the unit transfers from Standby Mode to Inverter Mode. This protects the AC loads
from shore power outages and brown-outs.

Using the ME-RC50 remote also provides the following features:
allows you to enable an equalize charge for certain battery types !!!!

The EQ function automatically terminates after 4 hours of operation. You can also
manually stop the equalize mode by pressing and holding the Charger ON/OFF switch
while the inverter is in EQ mode. Copy of page 22 of the manual

Equalizing - The battery charger is delivering the equalize voltage to the batteries;
see Table 3-3, Battery Type to Battery Charge Voltages to determine
the equalize voltage for your battery type.
Equalize charging can be enabled by the ON/OFF CHARGER push button - if
the SETUP: 04 Battery Type selection allows. Equalization charging can only
be enabled while the charger is in float charge or in Battery Saver mode
. To
turn on equalize charging, ensure the LCD display reads “Float Charging” or
“Full Charge”, then press and hold the ON/OFF CHARGER push button down
(about 5 seconds) until the LCD screen displays “Equalizing”.
The equalize charge will continue for 4 hours and then automatically stop
and return to “Float Charging”. The equalize charge can be manually stopped
by pressing and holding the ON/OFF CHARGER pushbutton down (about 5
seconds) until the LCD screen displays “Float Charging”.
During equalize charge stage the batteries will begin gassing and bubbling
vigorously which consumes water; ensure each cell has adequate distilled
water levels prior to equalizing and add water as needed after equalizing.
How often should I equalize? Some experts recommend that heavily used
batteries should be equalized periodically, ranging anywhere from once a
month to once or twice per year. Other experts only recommend equalizing
when the cells have a low specific gravity or when the difference between
any individual cell has a specific gravity reading greater than .015 after being
fully charged.
How long should I equalize? While the batteries are gassing, monitor the
specific gravity readings every hour; when the specific gravity readings no longer
increase, the equalization charge is complete and should be stopped.
WARNING: Equalizing produces hydrogen and oxygen gas. Ensure
the battery compartment has adequate ventilation in order to dissipate
this gas to avoid explosions.
CAUTION: Ensure you batteries can be equalized - only equalize
your batteries if permitted by your battery manufacturer or dealer.
Performing an equalize charge on batteries other than liquid lead
acid or certain AGM types could permanently damage them. Refer to
your battery manufacturer/dealer for instructions on how to properly
equalize your batteries.
CAUTION: Ensure the DC loads will not be damaged by the higher
voltage applied to the batteries during the equalize charge. If in
doubt, disconnect the DC loads to prevent damage.
Info: Equalization charging is not available if GEL or AGM 2 is selected
under the SETUP: 04 Battery Type menu.

Link to the ME RC50 manual-if needed

http://magnumenergy.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/64-0003-Rev-D-ME-RC.pdf

Resetting the Inverter
Under some fault conditions (e.g., an internal fault), the inverter will need to be reset.
To reset the inverter:
Press and hold the Power ON/OFF push button (see Figure 4-1) for approximately fifteen (15)
seconds until the Charging/Inverting Status LED comes on and fl ashes rapidly; once the rapid
fl ashing has begun, release the Power ON/OFF push button. The Status LED will go off after
the push button is released.
After the inverter reset is completed, press the ON/OFF push button to turn the inverter ON.

Rich.

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Rich, The inverter charger manual for my model is below. The temperature sensor is at the negative cable as per manual and the battery wiring is correct by the manual. I will check again to make sure. Right now the charger is at float charge at 13.6v 4 amps. I'm emailing Magnum Energy to get more information.

http://magnumenergy.com//wp-content/uploads/2012/08/64-0002-Rev-B-ME-Series_Web.pdf

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OK got an answer from tech support. Looks like I could have canceled the equalizing of the batteries by holding the charger on off button 5 seconds or more. It is a four hour process once activated. They didn't explain why it came on automatically but I have to service the battery anyway. The positive cable is connected to the wrong battery on the far end but shouldn't of made any difference as it was tied to correct post with another cable. It could be a problem if there is a lost connection to the second set of batteries causing it to run off of two instead of four. I will correct that when the batteries are serviced today.

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Usually the user starts the equalize process because they tell you to disconnect all 12 volt items because of the high voltage used to do the process. Make sure the inverter/charger is set for the correct capacity, if set to low it could overcharge.

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I read the manual and it states that EQ is started manually. I swear I didn't press the charger button for five seconds and my wife swears the same. At least now I know how to stop if I see it on again.

The batteries are serviced and clean including all cables. This also gives the inverter charger a hard reset. I reset the battery type and amps on the panel and all appears to be well.

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Ray,

The thing with electronic equipment is it has a mind of its own at times.

The fact that the control circuit that starts and stops the EQ sequence with a touch switch and a time delay circuit, means that it is controlled by a logic circuit and a timer. That is why one needs to hold the switch for apx. 5 seconds.

Think the circuit could be affected by background noise, a faulty ground, noise on the DC power feed, a defective solder / cold solder joint or a Chip.

You have cleaned all the battery connections now, so a check of all the ground points related to the remote might be in order. Thing is the control circuits for the RC are located inside the ME 2012.

Keep an eye on the system and have it set up properly as mentioned by DD.

A call to Magnum would be in order if you see this problem again. Might then also ask if they have any other instances involving battery EQ issues or other logic circuit issues related to intermittent problems on the main control board.

Rich.

Note! The RC unit could be at fault or the date cable / connector-contact(S)

Should the issue recur disconnect the RC unit and keep a visual / meter on the battery(s). To see if the ME-2012 goes into EQ mode with out it connected.

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