My Transit Parasitic current draw.
As I have been working on the new camper, I have noticed excessive battery drain on my new 2020 AWD Transit. I did take it into the ford dealer once and they found nothing wrong but did replace my batteries. It is hard to tell if the problem was always there, because admittingly it doesn't get driven much.
I first just put a monitor on the battery to monitor the voltage. Victron makes a relatively cheap monitor temperature and voltage with Bluetooth.
It worked well I could read it from inside the house and keep tabs on the voltage. It's real purpose is to pair with a Victron Solar controller to report battery voltage and temp back to the controller. As expected the drop was much more than I would have expected. So on to phase two
Phase two I decided to at current monitoring into the mix, for this I used phidget Single Board computer (Much like Arduino), a voltage sensor and current sensor. The Phidget SBC has the capability of being attached via WIFI, so I could now check from my office. I wrote a quick program to read the sensors and display the information, but also to record and log the data.
The current sensor I am using is a 0-50 amps 1% accurate sensor. I have not yet calibrated in the van, so it's accuracy could be in question, but I was looking for trends not just a momentary current reading.
Anyhow over a 16 and 1/2 hour log , the voltage dropped from 12.8 to 12.27
volts. More importantly this was the chart I got after looking through the log data. For the record, the data is reported and logged every 1/2 second. So while the current spikes you see are not extremely long, they are very repetitive, in fact in very 1 hour and 34 mins. You might notice one spike out of sequence, that is where I made sure the van was locked up for night.
and a close up
Well I need to do a little more work on verifying the accuracy at the low current draw, but there is no doubt the spikes are there.