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  Topic Review (Newest First)
2 Weeks Ago 12:31 PM
Minnewaska
Re: Xantrex Echo Charger Rant

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
For charging from GEL to AGM you'd want a Sterling DC to DC (DC battery to DC battery charger) such as the BB1212 or the BB1230.

These unique charge management devices can either buck (drop) or boost (increase) the output to a battery with a different chemistry. Unlike the Duo or Echo Chargers these devices deliver a true independent charge profile to the bank being charged and offer on-battery temp sensing as well as "key on" or voltage sensing automatic turn on. Basically take the ProCharge Ultra battery charger and make the input 12V or 24V DC instead of 120V AC and you essentially now have the DC to DC version of the PCU.

For example if your GEL bank is charging at 14.1V but your AGM needs 14.7V no problem these devices can do that. They will also switch to float when the start battery is approaching full long before the house bank is in float. They are not simple voltage followers.

P.S. Two start batteries is a lot of dead lead to be slugging around doing nothing but sitting at 99% + SOC all the time. That extra weight would be far better served put into extra house bank capacity.. 1 on-board start battery is more than enough for the engine and genny.
Good point on the dead lead. It's the way I found her. However, to combine into one start battery would require a good 6+ feet of battery cable, with the twists and turns. Maybe more.

As best I can tell, the on/off, which is north of 13v must be what keeps the DC-DC charger from trying to charge the start battery, when the house itself isn't being charged. What about parasitic load, while it lies in wait, presumably interogating the voltage.
2 Weeks Ago 06:42 AM
Maine Sail
Re: Xantrex Echo Charger Rant

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
I am thinking of replacing the Xantrex Echo charge capability, with a Sterling Pro-charge. Part of my rationale is this unit is programmable for battery type. My house bank is Gel, but the start batteries are AGM. It certainly looks simple enough to install.

Just for clarification, I assume these units only take power from the house, when the house is receiving a charge and not otherwise. Is this correct? I'm also wondering about parasitic loads, when off the dock. Is this significant?
For charging from GEL to AGM you'd want a Sterling DC to DC (DC battery to DC battery charger) such as the BB1212 or the BB1230.

These unique charge management devices can either buck (drop) or boost (increase) the output to a battery with a different chemistry. Unlike the Duo or Echo Chargers these devices deliver a true independent charge profile to the bank being charged and offer on-battery temp sensing as well as "key on" or voltage sensing automatic turn on. Basically take the ProCharge Ultra battery charger and make the input 12V or 24V DC instead of 120V AC and you essentially now have the DC to DC version of the PCU.

For example if your GEL bank is charging at 14.1V but your AGM needs 14.7V no problem these devices can do that. They will also switch to float when the start battery is approaching full long before the house bank is in float. They are not simple voltage followers.

P.S. Two start batteries is a lot of dead lead to be slugging around doing nothing but sitting at 99% + SOC all the time. That extra weight would be far better served put into extra house bank capacity.. 1 on-board start battery is more than enough for the engine and genny.
2 Weeks Ago 05:48 AM
Minnewaska
Re: Xantrex Echo Charger Rant

I am thinking of replacing the Xantrex Echo charge capability, with a Sterling Pro-charge. Part of my rationale is this unit is programmable for battery type. My house bank is Gel, but the start batteries are AGM. It certainly looks simple enough to install.

Just for clarification, I assume these units only take power from the house, when the house is receiving a charge and not otherwise. Is this correct? I'm also wondering about parasitic loads, when off the dock. Is this significant?
3 Weeks Ago 10:50 PM
mitiempo
Re: Xantrex Echo Charger Rant

Quote:
Originally Posted by Minnewaska View Post
This thread was a good read. Thanks to all.

I have a related question, not perfectly on point, but close. I just removed my Xantrex Freedom 20 and replaced it with a 2800w Magnum inverter charger. During the swap, I removed all the echo charge cables, as the new I/C didn't have the echo capabilities. Ironically, my XF20 had two echo cables, one to the main start battery and one to the generator start battery. One of which was disconnected, since I believe the XF20 only has one echo, even though there are two ports. Weird.

My question is what to do now about the two start batteries. For the main start, I have an installed 110v OEM battery charger, whose breaker is always off, but is wired to both the house and main start. The breaker is off, so as not to compete with the inverter/charger. I'm thinking of disabling the house bank portion of the circuit and turning it on to charge the main.

That leaves the genset, which will only charge from the generator alternator. This was always the disconnected echo cable referred to above anyway. I'm thinking I should just get a small 110v charger for it, rather than another DC-DC charger. What are the pros/cons of this? What unit would you install?
I would install either ACR's or Echo Chargers between the house bank and the other batteries. Alternatively you could install a Victron Argofet isolator (1 in/3 out). All of these options would automatically take care of charging the start battery and gen battery regardless of where the current is coming into the house bank from - Magnum inverter/charger, alternator, solar, etc.
3 Weeks Ago 08:35 AM
Minnewaska
Re: Xantrex Echo Charger Rant

This thread was a good read. Thanks to all.

I have a related question, not perfectly on point, but close. I just removed my Xantrex Freedom 20 and replaced it with a 2800w Magnum inverter charger. During the swap, I removed all the echo charge cables, as the new I/C didn't have the echo capabilities. Ironically, my XF20 had two echo cables, one to the main start battery and one to the generator start battery. One of which was disconnected, since I believe the XF20 only has one echo, even though there are two ports. Weird.

My question is what to do now about the two start batteries. For the main start, I have an installed 110v OEM battery charger, whose breaker is always off, but is wired to both the house and main start. The breaker is off, so as not to compete with the inverter/charger. I'm thinking of disabling the house bank portion of the circuit and turning it on to charge the main.

That leaves the genset, which will only charge from the generator alternator. This was always the disconnected echo cable referred to above anyway. I'm thinking I should just get a small 110v charger for it, rather than another DC-DC charger. What are the pros/cons of this? What unit would you install?
3 Weeks Ago 10:52 PM
bobatkins
Re: Xantrex Echo Charger Rant

I searched all over the place for a repair/maintenance manual but I couldn't find anything. My inverter is in a fairly tight spot and removing the cover wasn't obvious. It looked like I might have to disconnect the DC cables and possibly even have to remove the unit from where it is mounted.

I spoke with a guy who works on these and he explained that once the screws on top and the side are removed, the cover just slides back a couple of inches to clear the DC terminals on the side and then it can be lifted straight up and off the unit.

I found a 25A spade type fuse clearly visible from the top of the unit on in the Echo 1 position on an internal board. It tested bad and replaced it. Curiously there was place for a second fuse for the Echo 2 charger. Hmm, I wonder if that enables the Echo 2 charger on my Freedom 20 that is only supposed to have one Echo charger. :-)

I wanted to contribute back to this group so I made a video so that others will have a clear idea of what it takes to remove the cover and replace the fuses.
01-26-2017 02:28 PM
john61ct
Re: Xantrex Echo Charger Rant

Mark, feel free to delete your posts above, to be continued here

(Theory) top-up charging LA from LFP, no boost
http://www.sailnet.com/forums/electr...-no-boost.html

if you like that is, input from anyone much appreciated!
01-26-2017 12:34 PM
colemj
Re: Xantrex Echo Charger Rant

Still confused. If you have a LFP bank, why are you still considering big $$$ LA banks? I just assumed you were considering small start LA batteries with a LFP house bank like we have.

If your charging sources are set to LFP profiles, they will not "ramp up" when a LA battery is brought in-line. Cutting off an out-of-range charging source is the provence of a bog-standard simple BMS circuit connected to a relay. I don't understand what/why you want to make that more complicated, or perhaps you haven't researched how LFP banks are typically installed.

We allow our LA batteries to accept charge current at the voltage setpoints of the LFP bank (13.8V). We have no dedicated charging for the LA batteries - they are combined with the LFP bank when the alternators are running.

Now the part that I really don't understand: if you have a genset, why would you need to run the engine for charging at all? And why do you consider running the engine a "fossil-fuel" event, but not the genset? If you are needing to run charging sources multiple times per day, then your problem is battery bank size or battery loads.

Mark
01-26-2017 12:14 PM
john61ct
Re: Xantrex Echo Charger Rant

delete
01-26-2017 07:36 AM
colemj
Re: Xantrex Echo Charger Rant

Quote:
Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
My original question here wrt one-way flow control, is from my speculating that even a 90% SoC Lead bank would pull a decent charging current from an LFP bank resting at 13.6-7, no DC voltage converter needed. Maybe enough to get all the way to 100%, depending on their relative size.
I don't understand what you wish to do, and why one-way control is necessary for any of the things you list - but for this one, what you speculate is exactly how we charge our LA start batteries with our LFP house bank. When the engines are on, relays automatically combine the LA start batteries to the LFP house bank. I can also manually combine them when other charge sources are present (or whenever I want).

The answer to your speculation is that a 90% SOC LA start battery pulls very little current at all when connected to a 13.6-13.7V source. Heck, even when we were all LA, a 90% full start battery drew little current at 14.8V. 2-3A at most, tapering down as the SOC goes up.

I suppose that the current at this SOC would be proportional to bank size, so a large bank would draw more.

BTW, max charge voltage of 13.6-13.8V is not ideal for a LA battery, and will probably result in a decreased lifespan. For our $80 start batteries, we are willing to exchange a lower lifespan for simplicity and cost saving (we can replace them several times for the cost of a DC-DC converter or dedicated alternator). For a more expensive bank, a better solution would be more economical and practical.

Mark
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