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Old 02-27-2008, 10:37 PM   #1
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Battery Management System

Was wondering if anyone has had any experience with a battery management system. We came across one made by Adverc BM, Ltd., UK, but don't know whether the cost is worth it in the long run.
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Old 02-28-2008, 08:00 AM   #2
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What does it do?

I had the "Solar Prewire" put in after buying my van used, simply to get the blue sky control panel so I could monitor the voltage of the house batts. I use a cheapo meter with voltage in the cigarette lighter for the starting batts.
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Old 02-28-2008, 01:39 PM   #3
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Battery Management System

Gage: do you use a battery tender type charger for the starter batt. through the winter? I like the idea of how you monitor it's voltage.
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Old 02-28-2008, 03:18 PM   #4
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Our 2006 Prius and our 2001 Insight both have Battery Management systems for their hybrid batteries. BM systems are critical for EVs and Hybrids and help take care of the battery thermally and thus extend the battery life.

I am not sure I see how a BMS would be used in a SMB.
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Old 02-28-2008, 09:23 PM   #5
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Here’s a shortened version of the explanation we found on the ADVERC website (www.advercusa.com).

With present alternator/regulator systems, once drawn down your batteries will never fully charge. What happens now is that with this large discharge of lead acid batteries, present charging technology cannot restore the batteries to full capacity. The alternator/regulator voltage is fixed at about 14v at the alternator and the batteries arrive at this voltage before being fully charged thus not allowing any more transfer of energy. This will increase the resistance in the battery gradually resulting in less and less charging each time finally forcing the replacement of batteries again owing to sulfating.

The ADVERC BM is connected piggy back on your alternators regulator and takes over the regulation of the alternator field. It measures the voltage output at alternator B+ as well as the voltage at the plus pole on the battery (input). At the same time it measures the ambient temperature AT THE BATTERIES! The ADVERC then charges below and above the gassing point in TIMED cycles at a voltage that will result in complete transfer of lead sulfates back into the electrolyte. The savings can be substantial in fuel alone by reducing idling time, longer life on start motors and reduced engine wear and tear. THE ADVERC BM also compensates for voltage drops which make this system essential for applications that cause constant heavy energy demands. The ADVERC BM pays for itself in increased battery life alone.

It's $595 plus installation.
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Old 02-28-2008, 10:25 PM   #6
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I'd rather buy bomb proof batteries (there were some military grade 10 year batts that were out of my range) or buy something else and fry 3 sets of Walmart batteries over the years instead of spending $600 to change how the alternator works.

On the other hand if it works with the house batts, which never get a full charge from the alternator alone for the same reason, then it might be worth it. Still, personally, I think I'd put the money towards solar panels.
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Old 02-29-2008, 11:36 AM   #7
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I have to agree with Jage. The standard automotive system has worked well for many years. I'd be reluctant to spend $600 to modify that system and hope that it works better.

4 years and 50K miles on my batteries. And probably 2-3 more years before they need replacement. How long would they have to last with this device pay for the up front charges?

Putting the solar panel on top my van was the best change I've made to my SMB. The batteries stay up when parked for a long period of time - we can camp and use the fridge, lights, furnace, etc. for indefinite periods without problems.

That and the fact that I've always heard and believe that overcharging is the 2nd worst thing you can do to a battery, I've turned down the set point on my solar controller to 13.6V from 14.1V. I don't want to raise the setpoint on the alternator system and hope.

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Old 02-29-2008, 10:41 PM   #8
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Thanks for the input. I think we were coming to the same conclusion but weren't sure if we were missing something. Solar sounds great, but right now we're just planning to charge on the go or when idling. We'd like to use the penthouse roof to haul stuff and figured we wouldn't be able to put solar panels up there, too.
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Old 03-01-2008, 07:22 PM   #9
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We've run in SMB people carrying a solar panel and setting it out next to van to charge the batteries. When traveling it was on the rails behind the PH bed.

Mike
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