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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems > Battery Charging
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Thread: Battery Charging Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
05-07-2013 06:57 PM
ebs001
Re: Battery Charging

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
This is good the D400 is a beautiful piece of gear. Keep it! Or, on second thought, give it to me...



I suspect your battery monitor has become out of calibration? A battery charger only "goes into absorption" when the absorption voltage has been attained at the current available.

If you are hitting absorption this means the batteries have finally come up to absorption voltage. If they are sulfated this can happen well before it should but its not really the chargers fault.

The biggest problem with many chargers is the absorption stage is rather dumb, or not as "smart" as they market it, and goes into float prematurely for many banks. Often times they are simply timed from when absorption voltage is attained and after a set period the charger drops the voltage to float level whether the bank is at 98% +/- SOC or not...

Getting back to 100% SOC will take about 10+ hours as the batteries are accepting less and less the fuller they become. The last 5-10% takes hours... The only way to speed up absorption charging is to boost the absorption voltage.
I have suspected my batteries have become fairly heavily sulphated and your explanation of why the charger goes into absorption just confirms my suspicions. It got me to wondering if the reason I'm not getting as good charging from the D400 may also be related to the sulphication as well?

Thanks
05-05-2013 09:53 PM
Maine Sail
Re: Battery Charging

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebs001 View Post
btrayfors, I started this thread with rather a fixed mindset and having read through a couple of your postings xorts and further investigation of Northern Arizona Wind and Solar I am beginning to see that there maybe other possible solutions.

It occurred to me that on a good sunny day at anchor I could equalize with the solar panels by first taking the batteries up to float stage then solar equalize.

I spent a couple of days in St. Augustine and the wind blew like stink. We had excellent charging from the D400 and I am reconsidering giving it up.
This is good the D400 is a beautiful piece of gear. Keep it! Or, on second thought, give it to me...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ebs001 View Post
The one problem I have with chargers is that they seem to go into the Acceptance stage too early and it takes hours to get to 80% let alone 100%.With some chargers the charging curve is programmable and that's another area to consider.

Thanks to all who replied.
I suspect your battery monitor has become out of calibration? A battery charger only "goes into absorption" when the absorption voltage has been attained at the current available.

If you are hitting absorption this means the batteries have finally come up to absorption voltage. If they are sulfated this can happen well before it should but its not really the chargers fault.

The biggest problem with many chargers is the absorption stage is rather dumb, or not as "smart" as they market it, and goes into float prematurely for many banks. Often times they are simply timed from when absorption voltage is attained and after a set period the charger drops the voltage to float level whether the bank is at 98% +/- SOC or not...

Getting back to 100% SOC will take about 10+ hours as the batteries are accepting less and less the fuller they become. The last 5-10% takes hours... The only way to speed up absorption charging is to boost the absorption voltage.
05-05-2013 08:42 PM
ebs001
Re: Battery Charging

btrayfors, I started this thread with rather a fixed mindset and having read through a couple of your postings xorts and further investigation of Northern Arizona Wind and Solar I am beginning to see that there maybe other possible solutions.

It occurred to me that on a good sunny day at anchor I could equalize with the solar panels by first taking the batteries up to float stage then solar equalize.

I spent a couple of days in St. Augustine and the wind blew like stink. We had excellent charging from the D400 and I am reconsidering giving it up.

The one problem I have with chargers is that they seem to go into the Acceptance stage too early and it takes hours to get to 80% let alone 100%.With some chargers the charging curve is programmable and that's another area to consider.

Thanks to all who replied.
05-05-2013 09:00 AM
xort We have an air breeze which puts out about half the d400.
We added 2 140w solar panels to our bimini
We supplement with 2 40 amp chargers off the generator
Plus engine charging
We consume way over 100 amps per day
It's impossible to make comparisons because the wind, sun, motoring are SOOO variable. Plus we have a dual refer system, engine drive + 12v so we get refer chill when motoring.

Reading your description, I would add 2 solar panels and the iota charger and see how you do. You can add more panels and remove the wind gen later.

BTW, I'm surprised at your comment that you don't get much out of the d400. Are you sure it's working right? Let me know if you're selling!
05-04-2013 10:54 PM
btrayfors
Re: Battery Charging

Not trying to complicate your life, here. Rather, it seemed from your description that you run the genset every day anyway, so the thought was that you almost certainly have enough power left over to run a healthy-sized battery charger for those two hours, so why not take advantage of it?

Two things about the Iota's.

1. They are not approved for marine use. However, when fitted with the IQ-4 accessory ($15) they are VERY good multi-stage chargers for the money, and there's a full line of them from about 15A to 90A capacity. I have two of them, one on my boat and one at home, both maintaining a bank of Trojan T-105 batteries. They have run 24/7 for at least five years. I've installed a bunch of them on customer's boats as well. I don't think the lack of marine certification is a big deal, especially if you have a diesel boat. I've talked to Iota engineers and they say there's really nothing to worry about; under normal conditions, there's no spark generation. But, fact remains, they're not marine rated and the marine business is such a tiny part of Iota's business (which is mostly solar and industrial) that they're unlikely to seek such certification anytime soon.

2. You're correct: the Iota's do not have a true equalization cycle; what they call "equalization" really isn't...it's only a high absorption voltage. One strategy might be to use an Iota to pump as much power back into the house batteries as possible with the genset while you're cruising and use your existing charger -- if it has an equalization cycle -- for equalizing periodically when at dockside.

One very nice thing about the Iota's is that they'll take "dirty power" from generators in stride. My 55A DLS-55/IQ4 model runs just fine on my little NextGen generator which has a very dirty output until loaded while my high-end Victron MultiPlus won't even take the genset's output until I load it down!

No matter. You can still find marine-rated top notch chargers for around $500 or less, though. Again, the Sterling and ProMariner Ultra series are about the best ones out there for the money these days, and they DO have a true equalization cycle, and are programmable.

These come in sizes up to 60A. Here's a 50A model for $459. These can also be fitted with a remote control panel if you need that.
Sterling Power Pro Charge Ultra 12V 50A Marine Battery Charger 3 Banks | eBay

MaineSail has an excellent tutorial on his website re: installing one of these. I've thoroughly tested them in my shop, and have installed several on client's boats....they are really wonderful chargers. One very nice feature if you plan to go abroad is that they'll take "worldwide power", i.e., you can plug them into 240VAC 50 cycle current and they'll handle it just fine.

Bill
05-04-2013 09:09 PM
ebs001
Re: Battery Charging

btrayfors, very good price on battery chargers, thank you. The Iota chargers are significantly less expensive than anything I have seen offered for sale at Defender, West or Broken Leg Dave. The only problem I see and I may have missed it, is that they don't have equalizing capabilities which I think is very important.
05-04-2013 08:55 PM
ebs001
Re: Battery Charging

Quote:
Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post

]

Wouldn't hurt a bit to lose the attitude, either :-)

B.
Yes, you are right. My apologies.
05-04-2013 08:38 PM
btrayfors
Re: Battery Charging

Hmmmm.... how about $143?

Iota DLS-55 12 volt 55 amp regulated battery charger

Wouldn't hurt a bit to lose the attitude, either :-)

B.
05-04-2013 06:30 PM
ebs001
Re: Battery Charging

I am not interested in talking about the charger and the generator. The charging by the generator/charger is incidental and occurs because I am running the watermaker and or bread maker. I am trying to get away from using the generator for charging not become more dependant.

Yes I could get a battery charger that charges at 20% to 40% of C but a Mastervolt 100amp charger is $2,200. It's just not going to happen. I know of no one who has a charger that charges in that range even though there are some who have larger battery banks.
05-04-2013 02:58 PM
btrayfors
Re: Battery Charging

Your 450AH flooded batteries will accept 90-110 amps when 50% discharged. As Zanshin said, your battery charger is WAY undersized.

For the type of things you say you do (run the 2000 watt genset every day for 2 hours), I believe the easiest and least costly solution for you would be to get a battery charger which could put out a lot more amps. This would cost $500 of so for a first-class sophisticated charger (e.g., the Sterling/ProMariner Ultra series) or about $250-300 for a very capable charger which could do the job (e.g., one of the Iota DLS chargers).

Figure out what the bread maker and water maker draw together, then figure how much additional load the genset will handle easily, and get the largest capacity battery charger which will draw about that much current.

Bill
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