Novitec Megapulse, hero of dead batteries (or not?)

As you might know we have a little problem. A little big problem – because our leisure batteries are more or less dud. Fuck, that’s gonna be expensive… or?

After being slightly shocked after testing the first battery which I suspected to be mostly dead, I now tested the second AGM as well. Therefor I disconnected the battery from the rest of the system and loaded it for a day. Afterwards, when the sun was down and the solar computer showed the icon for “night” I connected a power source where I know the amount of power that is taken – in that case one of the old extra lights of the voyager which has a osram 55 W bulb inside. So I knew it draws 55/12 = around 5 Amps (4.8) of power. Then I waited till it hit the mark of 12 Volts on the scale, after which it drops power quite fast (that’s a usual behavior for lead acid batteries). After 2.5 hours this mark was reached – so there is approx 12 Amps left in the second battery. Better than the first with only 1 Amp (dead lead) but still very bad, considering it’s a 120 Amp AGM. 13 AMP out of 240 have survived after 2 and something years (bought them in August or September 2014, from mainly January on there were constantly used).

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… but the batteries are

At the moment I have a serious matter on the table. I was wondering why the batteries seem such a lousy capacity lately and at first suspected that the solar system doesn’t load sufficiently due to too much heat on the rood of the car, which influences the output of such panels. Although that problem does exist and I have to find a way too cool the panels down when the car is not moving, a way more serious issue are our batteries as I learned that the panels produce a lot more power then the batteries can actually hold at the moment. The batteries tend to be full after only two hours of loading and then all further power is mainly wasted.

We have 460 amps of capacity in the back, the sun of Thailand on the solar panels, and the power was barely enough to power the water cooker and the notebooks for some hours every day and even then I sometimes needed to start the car to keep the power up. The calculations I did simply didn’t add up – we used a lot less power then we actually received, till I read into the topic.

Welllll… then I learned about something called sulfation. Sure, I read the term already here and there but especially at the beginning, when buying batteries for a camper and all that, there are so many terms and things, it’s a confusing topic. I just went for AGM because I read a lot that they are somewhat good.

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No the climate control project isn’t dead..

But after Chiang Mai and leaving the cosy flat, I found other bits and pieces on the car that needed attention first. So while spending time on beautiful Koh Chang I build several things for the car, like propper frames with mosquito nets for the rear windows, a new table, reorgainsed most of the storage in the car, added some new 12 Volt outlets, build 12 volt connection boxes with  DC DC step up and step down inverters to connect the notebooks directly  to the 12 Volt plugs without needing the inverter (gonna do the same for many other things), build a new cupboard in the back which is a preparation for the  climate control, repaired Elton after he decided to stop at the centre of a crossing (was just a fuse, but I suspected air in the diesel which led to a major chaos…), repaired again when he went dead on Koh Chang (all fuses good, dirty cable plug under the car that time)…

So time flew by, but latest in February we need to have it, when the hot time starts. At the moment its considerably cool so its nice in the car with normal fans, but that will change for sure.

The other thing is, that I found out that the step up inverters + the micro heating coils are a bit of a weak link – to get a vacuum I need to evaporate hot water – and as long as the system is not under a vacuum I need to heat up a tiny bit of water to produce the vapor, which removes the air. At first I only used a micro heating coil, but at 12 volts it was too powerless. Then I added a step up inverter, but those were of misserable quality. From one of the new 9 EUR parts a coil fell of right away, I had it reasoldered (stupidly the wrong way around) which destroyed it.

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3G router – ZTE MF60 .. or ZTE MF65M and more solar power

As time goes by and the mid of October is coming closer by when we most likely leave Chiang Mai, we started to think about our mobile life again. Elton is having a well deserved rest in the parking lot of our Condo at the moment, but in a little more then one month he will be our home again.

Next to him needing a service, aka greasing the greasenipples (What a name ? ) there are some things to be done for every day comfort.

On the one hand the original 220 Ah truck battery from Pigu (Eltons former owner) which I connected to my 2 120 AH AGMs seems to have reached its natural end of life, as those kinda batteries don’t take the charging/de-charging cycles too kindly.

So a new battery is needed and when working on the power system anyway I want to strengthen our solar system a bit by adding 2 50 Watt panels next to the roof hatch. With those I get a theoretical tops of 540 Wp – which , considering the panels are mounted flat, is a more realistic 450 Wp or around 26 Amps. And luck of lucks – there is a store in Chiang Mai, specialiced in this kind of stuff, which is like 500 metres from our Condo.

So the batterie and panels are available, the price reasonable, and the measurement of the panels next to perfect. So most likely we gonna buy them.

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Next to the  changes to the car itself, there are several gadgets accompanying our trip.

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