|Topic Review (Newest First)|
|10-27-2007 05:57 PM|
|sailingdog||The one problem with what cam suggests is the cables connecting the charger to the battery banks have to be large enough to handle the maximum current load... and getting a charger that big requires using really large cables...|
|10-27-2007 12:18 PM|
|camaraderie||Dohenboy...actually good AGM's can be charged at 100% of their rated amp hour capacity if you can find a charger that big! In fact LIFELINE AGM's have no restriction on charging current.|
|10-27-2007 11:51 AM|
"The 6 batteries installed are wet cell Exide GC-5's. According to the Exide website, the reserve capacity minutes @ 25 amps are 480, and minutes @ 75 amps to 5.25v are 135. How does this work out to get real capacity when the batteries are connected in pairs to make 12v?"
"Reserve capacity" is a term used for automotive batteries in automotive use. Forget about it for deep cycle boat battery banks. All we care about are amp-hours at discharge rates, i.e. 100 AH at a standard 20-hour discharge rate, or 80AH at a 5-hour discharge rate--which can be the same battery measured at two different rates.
I didn't find the Exide specs (you can call them Monday) but found a similar note:
NAPA 8146 (mfg. by Exide - equivilalent to Exide GC-5)
480 Min @25Amps, 135 Min @75Amps, 226Ah @20 Amps, 65 Lbs
In other words, IF they are the same battery, the capacity is 226Amphours at the satndard 20-hour discharge rate. About 11 amps per hour, for twenty hours.
|10-27-2007 11:50 AM|
The Exide GC-5's are about equivalent to the Trojan T105's I have on my boat. A pair wired in series is about 200 amp-hours @ 12VDC. According to their specifications, they are rated at 186–226 amp-hours at the 20 hour discharge rate... 200 amp-hours is a good number to use for your calculations.
|10-27-2007 11:32 AM|
|kavakava||The 6 batteries installed are wet cell Exide GC-5's. According to the Exide website, the reserve capacity minutes @ 25 amps are 480, and minutes @ 75 amps to 5.25v are 135. How does this work out to get real capacity when the batteries are connected in pairs to make 12v? Appreciate all the information and advice.|
|10-27-2007 10:52 AM|
"The 10% rule is helpful, for then I can size the charger appropriately."
Bear in mind, different batteries can accept a charge at 20-25% of their rating, so a 750AH battery bank can make use of a 180A battery charger, if you ever want to "get them charged and get out of here".
There is also the matter of how smart a battery charger is, the "3 stage" is still probably considered the norm for "good enough" and some makers offer a 4-stage while others claim a 5-stage (which really appears to be a 4-stage plus the "off" stage[g]). And the charging logic they use (like MPPT controllers for solar arrays) can also affect charging time and efficiency.
Odds are you'll find a brand name with a good warranty, an affordable price, and stop there before Too Much Information sets in.[g]
|10-27-2007 09:30 AM|
Originally Posted by dohenyboy View Post
Don't confuse amp-hours with wattage.
Let's go with the original poster's 600 Amp-hour bank. Say you get a 90 Amp charger for it... You can use about 300 Amp-hours before needing to recharge it. That means you will need to replace 180 amp hours to get to the 80% charge state. This will probably take about 2–3 hours with this size charger—a larger charger might reduce this slightly. However, getting from 80-100% will take much longer—regardless of what size charger you have.
|10-27-2007 04:49 AM|
Originally Posted by dohenyboy View Post
With respect to the original question the size battery charger that suits ones particular needs depends so much on how much time is available to charge the batteries, how depleted they normally get between charges and what other DC loads one has running during charging (ie if one is drawing 20 A for other DC loads while charging then the charger will have to meet that demand too so reducing the rate of charge to the batteries) that it is not possible to give specific advice based just on battery capacity - except as others have done and suggest the 10% guideline.
If the battery capacity is actually 300 odd amp hours (ie there has been a mistake in working out the capacity of the series/paralleled batteries) then the existing 50 A charger will almost always be plenty. If the battery capacity is actually 600 odd amp hours then unless one has some particularly short charging time needs or a need to run other big DC loads while charging then I would be inclined to give the existing 50 A charger a trial to see if it meets your needs (assuming it is in ok condition and there is no other pressing need to replace it now).
We find that with 520 AHr of wet lead acid deep cycle batteries a 50 A charger is plenty for our particular needs (so meets the guideline of around 10% of capacity that others have mentioned) and still would be so with an over 600AHr bank of batteries. That given our own particular usage profile where most of our deep charging is done away from the dock and shore power, so main DC loads in the dock are the refrigerator, freezer, TV, lighting, etc rather than deep charging.
|10-27-2007 01:27 AM|
Okay here is illustrated a technical fact where, I believe, cruisers err.
If you have say 6 golf cart batteries (6v) with 100 amp hour ratings each and have them paired to produce 12v, at 12v usage the total amp hour capacity is only 300 amps. If you have a 6 volt system yes you would have 300 amp hours. Amps time volts equal wattage. Am I not correct?
Also. AGMs can support 30 to 40 percent charge rate, so if you want to minimize charging time you will go with the biggest charger you can with AGMs.
|10-26-2007 08:30 PM|
|camaraderie||Bill...that is an excellent price for a high capacity smart charger.|
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