Update: 5th June 2016
Making sense of charging algorithms: See Comment 4
Received second Victron but I've little desire to install it as part of a second installation or as a replacement for the original unit although its fuse has blown twice.
19th Dec 2014 2300 hours
Have decided to install the new Victron as ongoing problems with the original. This one seems fine in that the green LED is on constant as specified in the manual. Also both load and battery voltages are the same unlike the one removed which finally led to its removal.
The installation now is two 250w REC panels connected in parallel via one Victron 75|15 to two Rolls 120Ah batteries also connected in parallel.
20th Dec 2014 1100 hours
Sadly on arising late today I noticed the green LED is flashing. So let me summarise the problems to date.
This second unit smells once out of the box. I put this down to poor manufacturing process where the resin mixed has left a lot of volatile gases exuding, which wiil undoubtedly become more prevalent as it warms under full working conditions.
I doubt Jaggat at Victron is aware of such so his advise me to return it as a consequence of smell may be based on poor assumptions on his part, however given his reluctance to discuss my concerns in depth it is not surprising.
The green LED
So now this second unit has a flashing LED when according to the manual it shouldn't, another matter Jaggat was unwilling to investigate.
21st Dec 2014
Just got home after leaving at 1515 yesterday and the greenLED is still flashing. So apart from the time when I connected it on Thursday until the next morning I haven't noticed a second when it isn't flashing and to remind those who are interested, the manual states that a green flashing LED indicates the unit is on BatteryLife algorithm, which according to the bridge it is not.
14:15 greenLED still flashing
22nd Dec 2014
14:00:both LEDs still flashing and as the sky has been overcast for some six days I understand the yellowLED is flashing twice a second indicating the unit is channelling maximum charge to the batteries. The greenLED should be constant.
23rd Dec 2014
14:00:both LEDs still flashing
24th Dec 2014
21:00 yesterday: power went off, as voltage dropped to 11.8
14:00 yesterday: power restored as voltage reached 13.7 not 14 as specified.
15:00 yesterday: with voltage at 13.6 and plenty of sun I decided to use another computer that is set up to print. It requires a dc-dc converter from 12v to 20v. When I plugged it in all power went off but came on again as I immediately unplugged it. Clearly the voltage hadn't dropped to 11.8 a) as it was unlikely given the sun and previous voltage reading and charge and also if it was due to low voltage then it would not have come back on until voltage was higher.
There was little option but to try it again and the same happened.
I decide to try a third time but not to unplug it immediately the power went off, and it came back on with the converter working.
Have a few ideas and may post them later, but it is worth noting that I had used this power unit on the first Victron without such an event, which is working as it should and what is the function in each that resp0nded respectively?
I have ended up buying two hydrometers. I first called Plymouth Battery Centre who informed me they had a glass model at £19 which I thought was a bit expensive so when I went to town I thought I'd look around before I took the mile or more walk to Prince Rock.
The Toolshed could get a glass model for £5 and the car shop next door had the same model for £2.99, which I bought. When I went to the Plymouth Battery Centre to buy some red and black covered multi-core cable I decided to buy the hydrometer they had anyway, which cost £14.50 eventually.
The better model from Plymouth battery Centre is the one on the left, although you cannot see the coloured scale. It is supplied by Gordon Equipments under the name DURITE model 0-070-00 ; range 1.15 to 1.40; accuracy 0.01. All parts are individually replaceable.
Concerns regarding the cheapo
- The float diameter is much smaller than the container diameter so the readings are at an angle.
- On the side of the container the float rests, the surface tension of the acid draws the liquid further up the side of both, giving a distorted view.
- The scale is on the small side so not so easy to read.
- And of course there's the idea that the calibration is off.