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Battery monitor not showing any charge has occurred. Bad Batteries?

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I have a 400ah lithium bank...4 100ah batteries connected in parallel. All connections were verified by an electrician. I have a renogy 40amp dcdc charger connected to the bank. I have a victron ip67 25amp charger connected as well with a Renogy battery monitor. I had sat parked for about one week and depleted the bank down to around 100ah. I started on a short drive with the monitor showing about 85ah remaining in the bank. I drove about three hours with the dcdc charger on. I currently have a reading on the monitor of 75ah/19% remaining. I connected the victron charger and it was set to a lithium profile but now after over 18 hours the charger has switched into storage mode and the monitor shows no change in the remaining amp hours. The charger started in bulk for about 2 hours then switched to absorption overnight and then to storage. The bank does not appear to be taking any charge. Could I have bad batteries or a bad bms in one or all of the batteries? Obviously I can't power a refrigerator or much else with 75ah on a 400ah bank. I am not sure what to do to check things out. Any ideas?
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Do you have a voltmeter? Plug your charger in and see if charge is actually making it to the batteries. If not, start working your way to the charger and find where the voltage appears. Or start at the charger and work your way to the batteries. Blown fuse, bad connection are the likely culprits.

Also, what is using so much power when you aren't using the van? That is a lot of power disappearing.
 

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I have a 400ah lithium bank...4 100ah batteries connected in parallel. All connections were verified by an electrician. I have a renogy 40amp dcdc charger connected to the bank. I have a victron ip67 25amp charger connected as well with a Renogy battery monitor. I had sat parked for about one week and depleted the bank down to around 100ah. I started on a short drive with the monitor showing about 85ah remaining in the bank. I drove about three hours with the dcdc charger on. I currently have a reading on the monitor of 75ah/19% remaining. I connected the victron charger and it was set to a lithium profile but now after over 18 hours the charger has switched into storage mode and the monitor shows no change in the remaining amp hours. The charger started in bulk for about 2 hours then switched to absorption overnight and then to storage. The bank does not appear to be taking any charge. Could I have bad batteries or a bad bms in one or all of the batteries? Obviously I can't power a refrigerator or much else with 75ah on a 400ah bank. I am not sure what to do to check things out. Any ideas?
I assume it's all 12V nominal lithium batteries from the same brand, purchased at the same time?

Can you have that same electrician take a look? There are too many things that can be wrong for us to properly advise without more info. Wiring diagram?

If you can discharge, then the batteries are not in bms cutoff. That makes me suspect your chargers are not properly connected to the bank, or they're not properly configured.

Otherwise it's possible you have a bad battery or bms, or that they were damaged somehow, but to properly troubleshoot that you need some basic electrical skills, a multimeter, and a willingness and safety awareness to disconnect things to help isolate the problem.

For instance, disconnect the batteries from everything but keep them in parallel, then manually connect a charger you are certain is working and properly configured. Watch the voltage on a verified multimeter to ensure the charger is indeed working. It should immediately begin rising during a bulk cycle.

Cheers.
 

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I currently have a reading on the monitor of 75ah/19% remaining. I connected the victron charger and it was set to a lithium profile but now after over 18 hours the charger has switched into storage mode and the monitor shows no change in the remaining amp hours.
Did you connect the Victron directly to the batteries at the + and - terminals? If so the battery monitor would be unaware of the charging.

I would expect your battery monitor to show the inflow when the Victron is charging. I think the IP67 maxes out at ~300W so a well depleted 400Ah bank should have been in bulk longer than 2 hours (but that could be because the stock lithium profile has a low absorption voltage set — I know BattleBorn had suggested settings for the Victron that were different/higher from stock).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Do you have a voltmeter? Plug your charger in and see if charge is actually making it to the batteries. If not, start working your way to the charger and find where the voltage appears. Or start at the charger and work your way to the batteries. Blown fuse, bad connection are the likely culprits.

Also, what is using so much power when you aren't using the van? That is a lot of power disappearing.
I don't have a meter with me but will get one to start checking. I run two refrigerators that were both empty
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I assume it's all 12V nominal lithium batteries from the same brand, purchased at the same time?

Can you have that same electrician take a look? There are too many things that can be wrong for us to properly advise without more info. Wiring diagram?

If you can discharge, then the batteries are not in bms cutoff. That makes me suspect your chargers are not properly connected to the bank, or they're not properly configured.

Otherwise it's possible you have a bad battery or bms, or that they were damaged somehow, but to properly troubleshoot that you need some basic electrical skills, a multimeter, and a willingness and safety awareness to disconnect things to help isolate the problem.

For instance, disconnect the batteries from everything but keep them in parallel, then manually connect a charger you are certain is working and properly configured. Watch the voltage on a verified multimeter to ensure the charger is indeed working. It should immediately begin rising during a bulk cycle.

Cheers.
It is 12v lithium same brand and purchase time. I can't get the electrician back at this time. Once I can get back to the workshop I'll start checking with a meter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Did you connect the Victron directly to the batteries at the + and - terminals? If so the battery monitor would be unaware of the charging.

I would expect your battery monitor to show the inflow when the Victron is charging. I think the IP67 maxes out at ~300W so a well depleted 400Ah bank should have been in bulk longer than 2 hours (but that could be because the stock lithium profile has a low absorption voltage set — I know BattleBorn had suggested settings for the Victron that were different/higher from stock).
I do have the charger connected to the battery terminals ... I can only reach the last battery at this point without disassembly of some other parts of the van. I am a novice on this stuff and didn't know I couldn't connect directly to the battery bank. So I assume I need the negative on the negative buss bar and the positive on the first battery positive terminal? Even if the charger is not connected to the shut would the monitor not show the SOC...an increase in the amp hours in the bank?

I believe the absorption rate is 14.2 and 13.5 in storage on the charger.
 

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I don't have a meter with me but will get one to start checking. I run two refrigerators that were both empty
Looks like you are getting some good advice here. Side note on your refrigerators: When empty, refrigerators will just run and run and actually often won't get down to the correct temperature. I had never really thought about this until I put in my latest Vitrifrigo and was testing it and thought "Uh-oh, it's broken." Then I wondered about it being empty, googled, and sure enough, refrigerators don't really work properly when empty (don't get to temp and probably run a lot more than usual).

I guess this is because there is no "mass" in there to get cold and kind of hold the cold like a wall of stone holds heat.

BTW, Not that using power when you have the power in your batteries to use should be a problem, but more just a side note for later when you get your system running correctly.

(BTW, this is also why I think the "don't get a door style refrigerator because the cold all falls out when you open the door" is not really that accurate. Most refrigerators (especially small van ones) will be pretty full most of the time. So there is not that much "air" to fall out. Most of the cold is retained in things like jugs of milk, blocks of cheese, or whatever. Still not good to just hold door open and shop, of course; but I don't think enough cold air "falls out" to dictate not having a door refrigerator if otherwise desired.)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Looks like you are getting some good advice here. Side note on your refrigerators: When empty, refrigerators will just run and run and actually often won't get down to the correct temperature. I had never really thought about this until I put in my latest Vitrifrigo and was testing it and thought "Uh-oh, it's broken." Then I wondered about it being empty, googled, and sure enough, refrigerators don't really work properly when empty (don't get to temp and probably run a lot more than usual).

I guess this is because there is no "mass" in there to get cold and kind of hold the cold like a wall of stone holds heat.

BTW, Not that using power when you have the power in your batteries to use should be a problem, but more just a side note for later when you get your system running correctly.

(BTW, this is also why I think the "don't get a door style refrigerator because the cold all falls out when you open the door" is not really that accurate. Most refrigerators (especially small van ones) will be pretty full most of the time. So there is not that much "air" to fall out. Most of the cold is retained in things like jugs of milk, blocks of cheese, or whatever. Still not good to just hold door open and shop, of course; but I don't think enough cold air "falls out" to dictate not having a door refrigerator if otherwise desired.)
Yep I did know that about the empty fridges and I let them run to use the batteries but I assumed the driving would bring them back but of course it did not and I've since learned that dcdc chargers are really only supplemental help on recharging batteries. You have to drive a looooong time to get any really measurable amps.
 

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Does your Victron charger have bluetooth connectivity to the app? If so I'd look at that to give details. Wouldn't really trust the renogy monitor....I have the same one and honestly I've found it to be reliable to give a ballpark of battery status, which for me, is mostly good enough. Its times like this however that you need more detailed info. just my 2 cents
 

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I do have the charger connected to the battery terminals ... I can only reach the last battery at this point without disassembly of some other parts of the van. I am a novice on this stuff and didn't know I couldn't connect directly to the battery bank. So I assume I need the negative on the negative buss bar and the positive on the first battery positive terminal? Even if the charger is not connected to the shut would the monitor not show the SOC...an increase in the amp hours in the bank?

I believe the absorption rate is 14.2 and 13.5 in storage on the charger.
BattleBorn had recommended I use 14.4 for absorption on their batteries.

The battery monitor just keeps a running total of the electrons in vs. out and the shunt does the actual measuring of the flow. If you bypass the shunt (either from loads you put on the battery or charging) then the monitor will not be accurate.

It could be your monitor has just drifted. The Victron monitor has a programmable voltage at which it will reset to 100%. Your monitor may need to be reset manually.

The first thing I’d do is charge it with the IP67 back to the completion of absorption (when your monitor shows 0 incoming amps) with your negative lead on the shunt, reset monitor to 100%, and hope it is fixed. Kinda like ctrl-alt-del. 🤪

I would connect the charger to your positive lead that comes from the bank, and to the shunt on the other side that comes from the bank. Ideally those leads are connected on opposite ends of the parallel pack, but for charging it shouldn’t hurt to connect anywhere, at least for diagnosing the issue.
 

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I've since learned that dcdc chargers are really only supplemental help on recharging batteries. You have to drive a looooong time to get any really measurable amps.
Just to mention that that does not always have to be true. Of course it depends on the size (amps) of the DC-DC charger itself -- and then how that number relates to the overall size of your battery bank. Victron's 30-amp DC-DC would be fine on say a 200 ah bank (12v system). But small for a very large bank. And who wants to stack up three or more.

But companies like Sterling make larger ones (I believe they have a 120 amp model out now or soon).

One thing to double check before you enlarge that (if you plan to) is the optimum charge rate of your batteries themselves. With four I imagine you could go much larger than 40-amp though.
 

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One "possibility" is that the internal BMS has tripped on one or more of the batteries.

Usually the way to re-set this is to isolate the individual battery (by turning off the breaker for that battery) for ~ 10 seconds and then turning it on again.

If your batteries are all wired together to just feed one breaker or fuse - and then to the bus bar - this is more complicated. At that point, all that can be done is to disconnect them / reconnect manually one at a time.

This is one of the reasons that I suggest to people that they put an individual breaker on each "string" of batteries - not because I like to spend money, but it makes it much easier to do maintenance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
BattleBorn had recommended I use 14.4 for absorption on their batteries.

The battery monitor just keeps a running total of the electrons in vs. out and the shunt does the actual measuring of the flow. If you bypass the shunt (either from loads you put on the battery or charging) then the monitor will not be accurate.

It could be your monitor has just drifted. The Victron monitor has a programmable voltage at which it will reset to 100%. Your monitor may need to be reset manually.

The first thing I’d do is charge it with the IP67 back to the completion of absorption (when your monitor shows 0 incoming amps) with your negative lead on the shunt, reset monitor to 100%, and hope it is fixed. Kinda like ctrl-alt-del. 🤪

I would connect the charger to your positive lead that comes from the bank, and to the shunt on the other side that comes from the bank. Ideally those leads are connected on opposite ends of the parallel pack, but for charging it shouldn’t hurt to connect anywhere, at least for diagnosing the issue.
Thanks. I'm going to correct the connections and try resetting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
One "possibility" is that the internal BMS has tripped on one or more of the batteries.

Usually the way to re-set this is to isolate the individual battery (by turning off the breaker for that battery) for ~ 10 seconds and then turning it on again.

If your batteries are all wired together to just feed one breaker or fuse - and then to the bus bar - this is more complicated. At that point, all that can be done is to disconnect them / reconnect manually one at a time.

This is one of the reasons that I suggest to people that they put an individual breaker on each "string" of batteries - not because I like to spend money, but it makes it much easier to do maintenance.
I have turned off the entire system many times with no change. The batteries are connected in parallel
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Just to mention that that does not always have to be true. Of course it depends on the size (amps) of the DC-DC charger itself -- and then how that number relates to the overall size of your battery bank. Victron's 30-amp DC-DC would be fine on say a 200 ah bank (12v system). But small for a very large bank. And who wants to stack up three or more.

But companies like Sterling make larger ones (I believe they have a 120 amp model out now or soon).

One thing to double check before you enlarge that (if you plan to) is the optimum charge rate of your batteries themselves. With four I imagine you could go much larger than 40-amp though.
I have a 40amp dcdc. Per renogy 25amp per 200ah is what is needed. I drove about two hous yesterday and gained 2ah....not really helpful. I may have to upgrade to something else. I'm still confused as to why the monitor is not showing more amp hours if my victron charger charged and went into the storage mode. The monitor shows 13.1v but only 65ah this morning.
 

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I drove about two hous yesterday and gained 2ah....not really helpful. I may have to upgrade to something else. I'm still confused as to why the monitor is not showing more amp hours if my victron charger charged and went into the storage mode. The monitor shows 13.1v but only 65ah this morning.
Your battery monitor is not showing the correct state of charge because you were bypassing it (for how long?) for at least your last Victron charge.

If your battery is in fact full from your previous Victron charge, only being able to add 2AH makes perfect sense.
 

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I have turned off the entire system many times with no change. The batteries are connected in parallel
Each individual battery needs to be disconnected from the others to reset it's internal BMS. Otherwise it "sees" power from the others and doesn't reset. That's why @harryn noted a circuit breaker on off switch for each battery.
 
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