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  #1  
Old 01-10-2009
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IOTA DLS90 Battery Charger

Hey Guys;
Some of you (SD for one) recommended the IOTA brand chargers. I've decided on the DLS90. What I need from you guys is a couple of recommendations.
1. Should I get the smart charger option built in or added on?
2. The literature says something about it being used as a power supply, Does this unit also work as an inverter?
3. Can I charge multiple banks or do I have wire a battery bank switch in?
Thanks for any help and opinions
"Doc" Bob
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Old 01-10-2009
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1. Absolutely. You need the smart charger!!
2. NO it is not an inverter. It is a CONVERTER which takes dockside AC power and converts it to 12V DC power AND charges batteries. Most will not use the converter feature.
3. It does not have dual outputs. It is meant for charging one bank of batteries. Suggest that you wire to your main house bank and use a Xantrex echo charge to top off your starter battery. You can also use an isolator but this causes a voltage drop and less efficient charging.
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I'm assuming you have a battery bank of sufficient size as to warrant a 90amp charger? - just asking as I have no idea but infer that most 26 ft boats probably could do well with something far smaller. Bigger isn't better in this case unless your bank requires 90 amps.
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Good catch k1vsk...didn't see that. 90 amps would be good for a house bank of about 450-500 amphours...or 4-5 group31 batteries. Doubt you have that much on a 26 footer. Anything over 20% of your wet cell battery capacity is a waste of money. If you have AGM type batteries you can double that.

What do you have as a house bank docbob?
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Old 01-12-2009
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1) Yes, get the smart charger
2) They're talking about using it as a test bench power supply for 12 VDC equipment, and no, it doesn't work as an inverter. An inverter/charger would be a lot more boat bucks...add a zero to the price.
3) To charge multiple banks, provided they're of the same chemistry, you can use a battery combiner. A better option would be to use an Echo Charger.

As previously stated, unless you've got a pretty large battery bank or are using AGMs, which have a higher current acceptance rate, getting a 90 amp charger may be a waste of money. Most people don't need more than a 40-50 amp charger for dockside/shorepower use.
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Thanks Guys
Didn't catch the difference between inverter and converter - my bad.
My battery bank consists of six 6 volt golf cart batteries divided into 3 banks + the starting battery (my motor has a alternator that keeps the starting batt charged) I have a total of about 540 amp/hrs between the 3 banks. I used the advice you guys gave me when I first inquired about picking a new charger. Mostly I assumed the answers you guys gave me, but wanted to verify what I thought I read. I'll will look into the echo charger sounds good to me.
Thanks again guys
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DocBob—

I hope you mean the six golf cart batteries are separated into three-twelve volt batteries, which are all then connected in PARALLEL into a single house battery bank. Having one big bank of six golf cart batteries makes a lot more sense than having three, separate, banks of two-golf-cart batteries each...giving you four banks.

The reason for this is because of Peukert's Law, which makes one larger battery banks more efficient given the same load, than three separate banks. It will give you longer effective run time than three separate banks.
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Originally Posted by docbob5707 View Post
Thanks Guys
Didn't catch the difference between inverter and converter - my bad.
My battery bank consists of six 6 volt golf cart batteries divided into 3 banks + the starting battery (my motor has a alternator that keeps the starting batt charged) I have a total of about 540 amp/hrs between the 3 banks. I used the advice you guys gave me when I first inquired about picking a new charger. Mostly I assumed the answers you guys gave me, but wanted to verify what I thought I read. I'll will look into the echo charger sounds good to me.
Thanks again guys
"Doc" Bob
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OK...540ah's in your house bank (@12V) should be just fine with 90amp IOTA...I don't know where you found space on a 26 footer to put em all but more power to ya!

Sounds like your house bank gets NO charging from the alternator. Are you using an outbord with small altenator or a diesel? If the latter, you might consider getting an external dual bank regulator down the road. Alternatively, if you get the echo charge then simply wire the alternator to the house bank and trickle the start battery from the Xantrex.
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Just curious, how did you shoe horn over 400 lbs. of batteries onto a 26' boat??? I'm impressed.
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Docbob,

I think it would be really helpful to us -- who are trying to be helpful to you -- if you would provide full details on your present setup and the type of sailing you are planning to do. At a minimum, it would be nice to know:

size of boat
size and type of engine
size and type of alternator
type of regulator for the alternator
typical use of boat
any exceptional equipment aboard which draws substantial current
other charging means (solar? wind? generator? etc.)

There are a couple of things to note about the DLS90, and about Iota's in general. They are EXCELLENT chargers; I have two myself, and recommend them widely. However, they are not specifically approved for use on gasoline powered vessels or those with flammable gasses (like propane).

Iota's website notes that there are no components in their chargers which in normal use cause a spark. However, most any electronic device -- if it fails -- can cause sparks and excess heat. So, at the very least, you'll want to be sure that the charger is located outside of any compartment with flammable fumes.

Next, the DLS90 is a big guy. It's rated for 90amps full-time...about twice what many other chargers can put out. It also draws a lot of current. For example, you'd need to supply at least 20A to this charger, and it can draw much more than that on initial startup (one cycle inrush).

Six golf-cart batteries can provide some 675AH @ 12vdc total capacity. As others noted, this sounds like an awful lot for a 26' boat. Do you really have a 26' boat? Do you really need this much capacity?

Assuming you already have the batteries aboard, if we knew more about your setup and your cruising plans it would be easier to provide specific help.

Bill

Last edited by btrayfors; 01-12-2009 at 05:22 PM.
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