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  #11  
Old 02-25-2011
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OK, here we go. Here is the latest series of tests.

http://wdsg.com/gallery/main.php?g2_itemId=224

The only difference in setup from yesterday is that the 3nd column shows "DC Amps to the House Bank" ...as supplied by the power supply...not the amps actually going into the EchoCharge.

The power supply used was a Mastech HY-5020E capable of putting out 0-50VDC at up to 20 amps. Maximum I could get it to when attached to the gelled bank was 16.0 volts, which is shown in the table.

As you can see, once the voltage reached and exceeded 15.0 VDC, the EchoCharge would not output more than 14.5 volts...even with 16.0 volts in. This parallels the experience with the EchoCharge on my boat whenever I am equalizing my batteries at 15.5 to 16.5VDC.

So....apparently, as you have noted, the Echo charge pretty much follows the input voltage, less approximately 0.4V, until the input voltage reaches around 15, whence it "cuts off" any further voltage increase to the start battery.

This is just fine for flooded and AGM batteries, which are typically undercharged anyway. Higher charging voltages are better, up to a point, as others have noted, including Trojan battery engineers.

Would be most interested in the results of your bench tests, Maine.

Bill
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Old 02-25-2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
Would be most interested in the results of your bench tests, Maine.

Bill
No need to test when you have confirmed what I originally wrote and observed. Thanks!

The Echo does not do "float" in the traditional sense. It may look like that due to a voltage drop but the manual is still incorrect in stating that a "low current" represents a "float condition". Float is a voltage parameter. You can have 13.4 volts and .25 amps and no battery gassing or 14.5 volts and .25A and still have gassing. Same amps flowing but different voltages causing differing effects to the electrolyte.

Your tests have pretty much confirmed what I knew, it is a voltage follower and also a voltage limiter but does not do an electronically controlled "float voltage" it merely drops some voltage so it may look like it is floating when in fact it is merely dropping some voltage across it....

P.S. One side effect of your test is that it CLEARLY shows what VOLTAGE (read PRESSURE) will do to AMPS (read FLOW) into a battery. Increase the pressure and more amps will flow, even into a full or near full battery.

This is why the external regulator folks were able to be so successful when alternators used put out just 13.8 Volts and the externals would do 14.6-14.8+.

Now that most all stock alts put out 14.4-14.6 not any real "speed" difference between dumb and smart unless you crank the voltage on the smart one..
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 02-25-2011 at 10:45 AM.
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Yep, all good. Still would be interested to see what results you might get...if you have time.

Note that all the way from 13.0 to 16.0 volts input to the EchoCharge, it's charging current output varied by only about 350 ma.

Also, "float" can mean different things to different battery chemistries. And, it can differ according to your preference with the same chemistry.

For example, while 13.2-13.6 VDC is the usual float voltage for flooded T-105s, I'm using much higher voltages on my T-105s with essentially positive results. The Trojan engineers say that most chargers have too low a float voltage, and too low charging voltages, probably because of legal worries.

Since I reset my Victron MultiPlus charger about six months ago, I've noticed NO additional water requirements for the higher bulk, absorption, repeated aborption, and float voltages. On the other hand, I HAVE on occasion found batteries running dry when being maintained at the lower recommended float voltage of 13.2. I can only assume that this is due to the overall health of the battery, and that higher voltages lead to improved overall health.

Amaaaazing stuff, no?

Bill
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OK, I'll buy that. So what float voltage do you use? Not a state secret, right?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
They're still there Stu. Discontinued Power Accessories

When I am searching for a manual I don't go to Xantrex directly, but search google for "Xantrex link 10 manual" for example, and go to the link at Xantrex directly from the search results. Saves navigating difficult sites.
Thanks, Brian.
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OK, I'll buy that. So what float voltage do you use? Not a state secret, right?
No, not at all :-)

I set my voltages as follows:

Bulk and acceptance charging: 14.5 VDC

Float voltage: 14.0 VDC

Note that the Victron charger I'm using has two types of "float" voltages.

One is a "high float". Another is a "low float".

The Victron "low float voltage" applies after awhile when there's no activity. This, with the software in use, is 13.2 VDC and is not adjustable.

There is also a "repeated absorption cycle". I set mine to revert to 14.5VDC for 30 minutes every other day. Kinda gives the batteries a little wake-up call :-)

My batteries all have WaterMiser caps.

Bill
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Old 03-15-2012
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Re: Xantrex Echo Charger Rant

If the EchoCharge doesnt manage voltage other than to limit voltage to 14.5 is there a significant advantage to using one rather than using an ACR/VSR?
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Re: Xantrex Echo Charger Rant

Yes, there could be.

An ACR or "charging relay" simply connects two batteries together. It's a relay, and may or may not have smarts to limit amperage, inrush current, etc. When the ACR is connected, it's a two-way bridge -- current may flow in either direction.

The EchoCharge and the DuoCharge are voltage-follower devices which are one-way devices. And, they have current limits -- 15A for the EchoCharge and 30A for the DuoCharge. The more expensive DuoCharge is also programmable in certain parameters, while the EchoCharge doesn't offer any user-programmable functions.

For most sailors, the EchoCharge is more than enough to maintain the start battery. Typically, it takes less than 0.5 amp hours to start the small or medium-size diesel. This energy is replaced in very short order. And, unless there are heavy loads being put on the start battery other than the starter itself, then 15A is more than adequate.

For some power boats with large diesels and with big fans connected to the start battery, the continuous draw might exceed 15A, so the DuoCharge will do the trick up to 30A or so.

Bill
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Re: Xantrex Echo Charger Rant

Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
For some power boats with large diesels and with big fans connected to the start battery, the continuous draw might exceed 15A, so the DuoCharge will do the trick up to 30A or so.

Bill

Sterling Power is also making some pretty neat battery to battery chargers that can be programmed for different chemistry banks..

Sterling Battery to Battery Chargers (B2B's)
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Re: Xantrex Echo Charger Rant

that's what I'm interested in finding out more about. This Sterling Power ProCharge-B echo charger. Anyone install one or own one?

I have their combi and the thing is quiet and I like it. I was thinking about adding an "echo charger" or an "on the run" boost charging source for when I'm not plugged into AC.

ProCharge-B opinions anyone?
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