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Erratic readouts from monitor/controller

PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:04 am
by Thompson
Following is a copy of an email sent to AmplePower. We were then advised to ask our question on this forum.

We have an Ample Power Energy Monitor/Controller in our motorhome and it is producing all sorts of unusual reading at present. For example,
after running on batteries all night the readings one morning at 0840 were:

Volts: 12.25
Amps: 4.2
B1 Cons: 568.4AH
AH Rem: 1848.6
% Rem: 746.7%
Gauge: Full

We then switched to generator power (6.5 KVA Kubota) and on switching that off 3.5 hours later the readings were:

Volts: 12.97
Amps: 6
B1 Cons: 469.3AH
AH Rem: 2404.7
% Rem: 137.2%
Gauge: Full

After running on solar (we have ten 4.5 amp solar panels) for 90 minutes and then on generator for a further 3.25 hours we switched the generator off and the readings were:

Volts: 12.69
Amps: -3.3
B1 Cons: 441.7AH
AH Rem: 1997.4
% Rem: 920.7%
Gauge: Full

Next morning the readings were:

Volts: 11.95
Amps: -1.0
B1 Cons: 621.7AH
AH Rem: -0.1
% Rem: 936.7%
Gauge: Full

Our house power is supplied through a bank of 6 Trojan T145 6 volt batteries (wired so as to give 12 volt output). These are charged by the 10 solar
panels, the generator, a Stirling 24V-12V charger (power from Vehicle batteries/alternator) and 240 volt shore power, when available.

The Energy Monitor/Controller principally monitors the house batteries but also shows volts in vehicle cranking batteries (24 volts).

The Ample Power unit was installed in 2002.

We are currently in Kununurra in Western Australia and wonder if you have an agent that could check the monitor when we get to Darwin, in Australia's
Northern Territory, next week?


Regards,

Peter Thompson
1600, 26 August, 2010 (GMT + 8 hours)

Re: Erratic readouts from monitor/controller

PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 1:30 am
by Thompson
Since posting the earlier message we have arrived in Darwin and are in phone and internet range again. Another response received from Ample Power was:

"Peter, please post this on the web forum and our tech will answer these questions. All technical questions are answered via this forum.

http://www.amplepower.com/phpBB3/index.php


You might try turning the power off to the monitor and turning back on after about 10 minutes
."

We have been on shore power (240 volts) for 24 hours and the readings at 1743 (GMT + 9.5 hours) were:

Volts: 11.79
Amps: -3.4
AH Cons: 12.4
AH Rem: 785.2
% Rem: 98.9
Guage: Full

Turned off the charger at 1745, but am not smart enough to turn off the monitor controller. At 1755 the charger was switched back on and the readouts were:

Volts: 12.17
Amps: 45.4A
AH Cons: 16.4AH
AH Rem: 782.20
% Rem: 98.5
Guage: Full

Does Ample Power have a service agent in Darwin, Australia?

Re: Erratic readouts from monitor/controller

PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:42 am
by ruth
Outback Marine is our Australian dealer, 61-7-5563.9088, Arundel Queensland.

Re: Erratic readouts from monitor/controller

PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 6:52 pm
by Thompson
Thanks Ruth,

We will contact Outback Marine when we get to the Gold Coast in a month or so's time.

Cheers,

Peter

Re: Erratic readouts from monitor/controller

PostPosted: Thu Sep 02, 2010 10:17 pm
by Coulomb
The symptoms are those of an arithmetic overflow issue that occurs when long, long periods go by without reaching a full charge which resets accumulators.

The way to clear it is to disconnect power momentarily and reconnect.

Re: Erratic readouts from monitor/controller

PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 6:48 pm
by Thompson
Thanks, I turned off all power and on switching back on again the readings appeared normal, thanks for your help.

If we are running off solar power, we appear to use 20% -25% of battery capacity overnight and solar power will not fully recharge batteries during the next day. Even switching on the generator will not fully recharge the batteries as once they get to about 75% capacity the charger switches over th "Float" mode and it can take a couple of days to bring back to 100%.

Re: Erratic readouts from monitor/controller

PostPosted: Sun Sep 05, 2010 9:09 pm
by Coulomb
Is it possible to lock the charger into absorption state until the batteries get full?

Re: Erratic readouts from monitor/controller

PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 1:59 am
by Thompson
Hello again Coulomb,

Unfortunately, I can't lock the Charger onto absorbtion mode, it is part of a "MasterVolt" Dakar inverter and charger set and is fully automatic. I have tried turning it off and then back on to start it in bulk mode, but it doesn't stay there long.

Cheers,

Peter

Re: Erratic readouts from monitor/controller

PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 11:58 am
by Coulomb
What battery voltage and current do you measure just before it trips to float?

Re: Erratic readouts from monitor/controller

PostPosted: Mon Sep 06, 2010 7:21 pm
by Thompson
Sorry, I can't recall.

We are currently hooked up to 240V power and will be until Wednesday of next week. For the couple of weeks after that we will only be connected to power occasionaly. Perhaps then I cann check the readouts and let you know. Unfortunately, we may be out of wireless range in those weeks and it is likely I will not be able to advise the readings before then, unless I disconnect from power while here in Darwin.