New battery charger - Blue Seas P12, Sterling Power Ultra or.... - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 5 Old 10-21-2013 Thread Starter
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New battery charger - Blue Seas P12, Sterling Power Ultra or....

My current house battery charger, a ProMariner 1220i i believe, decided to quit working this past Friday. I checked the fuse and wiring and all seems fine but the charger will not turn in. Honestly I'm ok with this as the charger has been a pain since the day I bought the boat. I'm not sure about a new one but this had a ridiculously loud fan that was rather annoying. As I'm on the boat a lot it was constantly on maintaining the charge and providing DC for the systems at dock.

I would like to get input on a new charger. My current system is comprised of a house bank with 2 - group 27 AGM's and a single group 27 AGM starter battery. The ProMariner only charged the house bank while a secondary charger topped off the starter battery. I read up on sizing chargers from Calder's book and my normal usage appears to be about 6 amps while at the dock. I don't have an amp-hour meter but being as I usually only daysail I'd have a hard time believing the batteries discharge more than 25% over the course of a day out.

I'm thinking of relocating the starter battery to the house bank to reduce depth of battery cycling as well. One other thought suggested to me was to get a 12 volt to 12 volt charger to charge the starter from the house in order to do away with my ACR and starter battery charger in the future if either fail.

Based on this, any recommendations on battery charger type and sizing as well as reasoning behind this? I was thinking of either the new Blue Seas 12P or Sterling Power Systems Ultra

Thanks.

Scott
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post #2 of 5 Old 10-23-2013 Thread Starter
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I'll take this as both products suck so steer clear...
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post #3 of 5 Old 10-23-2013
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Re: New battery charger - Blue Seas P12, Sterling Power Ultra or....

I am not in the charger industry so others will have to comment, but one part of your post was interesting...
For about 20 years we have had an AGM ("spiralcell") emergency/starting battery because the best place for it is under an aft berth where there's no way to add water to a wet cell battery. I leave it off the shorepower charger due to the imbalance between capacity of the two banks. Our house bank is a pair of Trojan T-145 GC batteries (wet cell technology).
The charger is left on for the house bank all the time at the dock. I do switch in the stating battery on that charger for a partial day if we go over 3 or 4 months in the winter without running the boat. When underway I use the stock Moto 55 amp alternator to charge both banks for an hour, maybe once a month. That AGM always seems to stay fully charged when checked on, and I use it to start the diesel once in a while -- just did that a week ago matter of fact.

There are probably several "right" answers to your question, but this works for me.

As for chargers, I am now using a ProMariner, and the first one failed soon after the install due to a manufacturing glitch that caused the fan to seize up and overheat the charger. Warranty replacement resulted.

Used to have a Truecharge 20, but will not go back to Xantrex due to their poor customer service.
If this one dies, I might go with Mastervolt, as a local marine electronics shop seems to be having very good luck with them.

best,
Loren
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post #4 of 5 Old 10-23-2013
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Re: New battery charger - Blue Seas P12, Sterling Power Ultra or....

The Sterling Pro-Charge Ultra and the ProMariner Pro-Nautic P are a jointly developed charger and a very good battery charger with a top notch remote control and some of the best features of any battery charger out there..

Blue Sea makes tremendous quality gear and I would assume the BSS charger will be top notch. Sadly these chargers will not be shipping until late December or Jan. I spoke with Wayne K. a few weeks ago and was told about the est ship dates.

Things I like about the BSS P12:

* The BSS does a "pre-float" stage which can reduce voltage to a near full battery by up to 0.5V less than the absorption voltage. This is unique to the P12.

* The BSS is a world voltage PFC charger

* Allows you to create a custom charging profile

* Made in the USA

* 5 year warranty

* It's a BSS product and they are a tremendous company!


Things I am not crazy about:

* The remote display is not an LCD display, very basic.

* Limited model sizes (smallest 25A / biggest is 40A)





Things I like about the Sterling PCU / Pronautic P:

* Reverts to absorption voltage once every 21 days to "gas" the batteries and roll the electrolyte which helps prevent stratification.

* Drops the voltage to a storage / standby voltage (lower than float)

* They are very efficient world voltage PFC chargers

* 11 Pre-set charge profiles + a custom configurable profile.

* They allows you to create a custom charging profile

* They come standard with a battery temp sensors

* The remote control is excellent and can even tell you the internal temp of the charger and the battery temp

* Models from 10A to 60A

* 5 year warranty


Things I am not crazy about on the Sterling/Pronautic P:

* No "pre-float" but they do now have a Battery Chemistry Module out that turns it into a multi-output, multi-voltage charger.

* Made overseas with non-US labor
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post #5 of 5 Old 10-27-2013 Thread Starter
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Being that I'll need a new charger before the blue seas comes out I'm leaning towards the sterling. Any other brand that is more recommended for a 40-50 amp unit?
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