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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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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Discussion Starter #6
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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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.
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! :D

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
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hey guys
If any of you are familar with the Chrysler 26 y'all know there is quite a large volume (it's only my wife. the cats and me) of storage space in the stern area and the forward areas under the vbirth. I wanted enough storage capacity (battery) to run my Engel 45 frige., my LCD tv and DVD, auto pilot, radios, ect for three days without a recharge. Cam I use an outboard (Mercury 9.9 hp Bigfoot) with a small (10amp?) altenator. Btrayfors, I've had the battery bank on board for two seasons and it works for me. My orginal charger a Pro sport 120 plus was boiling my batteries, I had listed all the info in my orginal post inquiring about a new charger, The IOTA I picked was based on the info given to me by SD and Cam (to name 2 of many) based upon the information I posted. This post is a follow-up for specific info that I was not to sure of. SD I have to do some more research about combining all the batteries into one bank I looked (posts on sailnet) at the arguments of having mutipul vs a single bank. I'm not sure I'm understanding all the varibles. I thought having multipul banks protects you from total system failure? I'll look at the info again.
Thanks again to all for the help and opinions. I'm learning more all the time.
"Doc" Bob
 

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1. Do you have any on-board charging source other than the 10A alternator on your outboard?

2. What is your typical cruising plan? Do you go for 3 days, then stay at the dock for several days?

If the answer to #1 above is "NO" and the answer to #2 is "YES", then just about any size charger -- Iota or other -- above about 50 amp capacity would be fine.

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks Bill I might be able to save some money on this deal. I did have the Pro Sport 20 + charger w/multiple leads and it did the job but it was boiling my batteries so I chucked in the trash. The alt on my outboard takes care of my starting batt only and seems to work just fine (no dead starting batt for 3 seasons, knock on wood) I tend to stay out as long as possible. Anchor out for a week at a time. I carry a Honda 2000 gen for emergencies I am planning on a 130 W solar panel mounted on top of my Bimini (back 3rd is solid) but haven’t bought one yet (new sails this spring-LOL) Luv sailing the Great Lakes lots of places to go lots of places to see and a lot of them requrie being energy self-sufficent for days and weeks at a time.
Thanks for the help.
 

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Yes, having multiple banks protects you from total system failure, but it reduces your bank capacity overall and increases the complexity of the system. If you have six golf cart batteries with 225 amp-hours at six volts each, and you combine two to make three banks of 225 amp-hours at 12 VDC, you'll get less usable power than if you combined all six into a single larger bank of 675 amp-hours at 12VDC.

Basically, given the same load, say 7 amps per hour, a 225 amp-hour bank will run down to the 50% point in about 16 hours. With three banks, that gives you a total run time of about 48 hours. The same 7 amp load will take longer than 48 hours to run a 675 amp-hour bank down to the 50% point because the load is a much smaller percentage of the bank's capacity—so you might get 50-52 hours out of it instead of just 48 hours.

Over the long run, this small difference means you spend less time charging the batteries, and more time using them. This is especially true if your primary charging source is your in-board diesel engine. .

This is due to the Peukert factor. BTW, the Peukert factor is is the same reason why a battery will have a higher capacity rating at the 20 hour rating than it does at the 5 hour rating. BTW, these numbers are for demonstration purposes only, and I didn't bother doing the math for them to calculate the Peukert factor or the actual effect of tripling the bank size on actual run time, so YMMV. :D


...This post is a follow-up for specific info that I was not to sure of. SD I have to do some more research about combining all the batteries into one bank I looked (posts on sailnet) at the arguments of having mutipul vs a single bank. I'm not sure I'm understanding all the varibles. I thought having multipul banks protects you from total system failure? I'll look at the info again.
Thanks again to all for the help and opinions. I'm learning more all the time.
"Doc" Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #15
SD- Veery kool thanks no need to do the math I get the concept. The way I was factoring my use time for the banks is wrong according to formula you decribe as I'm using capacity amps for the 3 banks (which what you are advocating) My total amp/hrs available is lower by using 3 seperate banks. I need too work on this some more. Thanks again
 

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Glad to help.
 

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Doc...sounds like your Honda will be the limiting charging factor when you are out on the hook and the Honda can deliver 16.6 amps AC to your IOTA. The 90 amp model will be pushing it...I would recommend the DLS75 with the smart charging module for your needs. This will insure minimal run time of the Honda while on the hook and still do a great job of charging at the dock for you.
You should definitely combine all your house batteries into one bank of three 12volt pairs with only your starter batteries as a separate bank. Then connect the Iota to that house bank with the echo charge to the starter batteries.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks Cam,
Yeah that looks about the way I'm going to end up going, All you guys have been a great help.
 

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The Honda 2000 definitely won't handle the DLS-90, and even the DLS-75 is pushing it a bit, though some folks have been successful in using that combination.

Good luck,

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks Bill I'm trying to decided between the 55 amp and 75 amp could save a little cash with the 55 but, want to be efficient as possible with my charging schedule.
 
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