LRM 1218, LR 1218, LRS 1214, LR 1214     

     

John Shipsey emailed to say :
"Just to let you know that I have fitted the LR1218 Solar Regulator this morning and taken out the Dealer fitted Solar Reg and Battery Master. 

What an improvement!!. Immediately the LT500 control panel display started working correctly. I now don't need a seperate meter to display the charging current as it is built into the LT500 and the displayed battery voltages are now correct. Thanks very much for all your help, I shall certainly recommend you".


                                             

Schaudt and Hymer recommend the LR1218/LRM1218 Solar Regulator for use with Schaudt Elektroblock Power units and Solar Panels. They also work very well with the Reich e-Box. The Votronic range are also Schaudt compatible.

                             We no longer sell Solar Controllers or do any Solar Installations.



The following Elektroblock units should not use anything other than a Schaudt LRM 1218/LR 1218 or certain Votronic Regulators :

EBL 30

EBL 101

EBL 220

EBL 225

EBL 226

EBL 264

For the above EBL units the solar panel should use either the MPPT LRM1218, LR 1218 PWM or a Votronic compatible Solar Regulator which should be connected to the Elektroblock through the Elektroblock Solar  POWER and DATA connectors. On the photograph of a EBL 101 below you will notice that there is a 3 pin Solar Charge Port, BL6, and  on the top far right there is a 4 pin 'data' connector, BL10, which is the port for the LRM1218/LR1218 to send it's status.

The LRM1218/LR1218 Solar Regulators send data about charging voltage and current directly to the EBL for display on the LCD/LED Control Screen. 

The LRM1218/LR1218 will charge both habitation and Starter Batteries. We think they are good and because they come with Fuses, connectors, cables, Full Instructions, etc. They are very easy to fit. There are other options, see further down the page.



Connection directly to the battery or using a non Schaudt regulator (the exception is a Votronic Schaudt compatible regulator)  can cause issues and possible shut down of 12v to the habitation area leading to loss of lights, fridge, water pump, etc on the above EBL units.  

Other Elektroblock units can be used with any Solar regulator, but we would recommend the LR1218/LRM1218 because all the cables and instructions on connecting to the Elektroblock are included. It is a Motorhome specific solar regulator capable of charging both the Habitation and Starter battery simultaneously. The cable kit which is included, makes it a 10 minute job to connect the Solar regulator to an EBL.  

Note that on the EBL 99 and EBL 119's, the 3 pin Solar Port cannot be used to charge the Starter battery, that is done via separate cable harness which is included in the LR1218/LRM1218 kit. 


The LRM 1218 MPPT supports AGM batteries, output voltage 13.4 to 14.7v, whereas the old LR1218 has a fixed 14.2v output .

The LRM1218 can also cope with a higher Solar Panel voltage, up to 32v, and bigger panels, up to 270W. However, please note that while the LRM1218 can deliver up to 20A to the Elektroblock, most units like the EBL 99, will not tolerate more than 15A being input on the 3 pin Solar plug from the regulator. The early 16amp EBL 99 units have a 10 amp fused Solar Port, so check what rating your particular EBL unit will support.

The practical limit is still around a 220w Solar Array when charging at 14.4v.  

Additionally the charge to the Starter battery has also been uprated to 6amps on some EBL's to cope with Motorhomes fitted with Trackers and Alarms. 

As might be expected from the biggest name in Motorhome Battery charging, it is a nice unit. 

As per the previous advice relating to the LR1218, the LRM 1218 also has the data cable output necessary to work with Elektroblocks like the EBL220, EBL101, EBL 226, etc.


The older LR1218 is currently still available and the box includes cables, instructions, Charge Control for both the Starter and the Habitation batteries. 

It uses Pulse Width Modulation, giving a higher charge output than standard regulators but not as good as the LRM1218 MPPT. 

Please note that the LR1218 is a battery charger and as such has a very effective 14.2v output making it one of the better chargers. However, new evidence is emerging that suggests that this voltage is not ideal if the charger is kept active all the time, exactly as per almost all Solar regulators that have a Trickle/Maintenance charge of 13.8v or above. 


The new LRM 1218, for example has a maintenance/Float voltage of just 13.4v so less likley to do any battery harm if left connected all the time.

Most of the Solar regulators designed/made prior to the beginning of 2016 have a maintenance/Float voltage higher than most battery manufacturers now recommend, so this is not a failing of just the LR1218, but almost all it's peers. 

  

Yuasa, one of the biggest battery manufacturers in the World, seems to be the latest to caution against the practice of permanent battery charging. The website now states that Leisure batteries kept on a permanent 'float'/'trickle'/'maintenance' charge, "will result in internal degradation of the battery". Even when used with, "a well-controlled charging system". 

As a result they suggest that batteries charged continuously by Solar or EHU should be replaced every two years. The website states :

Battery Maintenance in Non-Automotive Float Applications

1.Typical applications are motor-generators, stand-by applications etc. The Leisure Battery range is recommended for these applications; standard vehicle batteries are not suitable.

2. Batteries used in these applications should be changed every 2 years or more frequently. (Continuous charging, even from a well-controlled charging system, will result in internal degradation of the battery.

For full text read down near the bottom of this page : http://www.yuasa.co.uk/info/technical/need-know-batteries/


We therefore now repeat the advice from Yuasa and suggest you isolate the Solar Reg from the Solar Panel once the battery is fully charged, even those Regs with a lower 'trickle' charge voltage. 

See the HERE for more information on long term Habitation battery charging.



One of the most important functions as far as the Schaudt Elektroblock range is concerned is that the regulator has the DATA cable output that is essential when wiring the newer Elektroblock range like the EBL 101, EBL 220, etc. This data cable provides the EBL with the Solar charge rate information that allows the EBL to co-ordinate all the charging functions. Without this information the EBL can shut down leaving the MH without any 12v power. 

See an example of a standard Schaudt Elektroblock EBL 101 LCD display that has been reconfigured by the Solar Installer to display the Solar charge data :

This screen is not usually configured by the factory, generally only added to the menus by the Solar Installer. If the Solar Installer doesn't know how to configure it, they won't know how to wire any of the Solar Installation properly, so get someone who does understand the work if you want  it done properly. 

Note the display can be set up anytime prior to the Solar install, but all the values will be zeros, see the bottom of this page for adding this Solar page into the Menus of a DT 201. The manual for the DT 220 can be found at the bottom of this page : HERE.

Always update the "Battery Nominal Capacity" (see instructions at the bottom of this page) after making any changes to the LCD pages or if the DT201 is replaced or the Elektroblock EBL replaced. 

Note that the 'Nominal' value you enter is the total Ah capacity of your Habitation battery bank. It is not 80% of that battery bank size, as some think. 

The confusion arises because the manual talks about converting that nominal capacity into an 80% figure for it's own capacity calculations, but doesn't translate so well.


Note that the LR 1218 is suitable for charging Wet batteries only. It does not support AGM or Gel, which we advise not to be used with most Elektroblocks in any case. See HERE for why we advise against AGM batteries as a habitation battery. 


Updated  2017 : The Votronic MPPT Solar Regulator range now claims to include the data output of the LR 1218 and LRM 1218 so is also compatible with the Schaudt Elektroblock range. 

The 250 version additionally has an AES driver to trigger an AES Fridge if excess Solar Power is available to run a Fridge on 12v.

The Votronic manual states :

  • 1. Control output EBL, prepared for “Elektroblock” with solar current display, cable set, Art. 2007, required

  • 2. Terminal "AES" with LED display : Automatic commutation of Dometic/ELECTROLUX refrigerators from gas operation to 12 V-operation in case of sufficient solar power by means of “AES” (Automatic Energy Selector)


The Votronic MPPT Duo 165W dual battery regulator is available at £69 with free delivery, but price does not include import duties, about £24, see here : 

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Votronic-Duo-MPP-MPPT-Solar-Regulator-Charge-Controller-LiFePo4-Lithium-Lead-/261599213144?hash=item3ce8873658:g:7CUAAOSwVFlUHJMS


It is from New Zealand, but delivery is free and takes 3 - 10 days.

The prices are obviously subject to the exchange rates at the time of  purchase. 

Don't forget to ask for the Schaudt cables, cable set - Votronic part number 2007, required.


Be aware that many generic regulators are for use in a very different environment to that of a Motorhome. A Motorhome can stand idle for many months of the year so the batteries will almost always be fully charged. So a Motorhome Solar regulator needs to be able to drop down to a very low 'trickle' charge mode of low voltage and current. 

Victron Energy suggest a maintenance/trickle voltage of just 13.2v.

Many generic Solar regulators are designed to charge batteries that are being continually depleted to feed a Power Grid or some other source. The Solar regulator is required to always deliver maximum volts and amps. The dual battery generic regulators often work the same way but feeding two battery banks with maximum power. This is an important point, as in a Motorhome, even when maximum power might be needed for the habitation battery, the Starter battery will almost always be fully charged, so rarely want more than the tiniest trickle.

 


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To contact us for more information see the Contact US  page




Adding a Solar page to a DT 201 and DT 220 LCD Display unit

To add the Solar page to a DT 201 LCD display (the DT 220 is similar see document at the bottom of the Solar Panel Page) as noted above by the photo of the DT 201.

Use the second document below to get into the LCD screen menu. 


After making screen display changes update the "Installed Nominal Battery Capacity" in section 3.5.2.1, even if the value is already correct.

Updating the "Installed Nominal Battery Capacity" 'resets' the display so it is a good idea to do this after every update to the configuration or replacement of the Electroblock or the LCD Display. Just change it to any value, then change it back to the correct value, such as 180Ah for a set of Varta LFD 90 x 2.  

 


Schaud Elektroblock DT 201 and DT 220 Schaud Elektroblock DT 201 and DT 220
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Schaudt DT 201 display instructions.pdf Schaudt DT 201 display instructions.pdf
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Type : pdf


The PIN for a Dethleffs 4520 

The PIN for a Hymer is 8251 
The PIN for a Frankia is 6181 
The PIN for a Adria 1418
The PIN for a Burstner is 2291


How not to wire Solar :