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Old 06-05-2015, 17:20   #1
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Balmar programming

I'm installing a Balmar ARS-5 voltage regulator, and after reading the manual, I'm wondering why I would want the bulk charge mode to last the factory default 18 minutes after I start the engine before going into the calculated bulk charge mode. If I leave the dock fully charged, aren't I overcharging for those 18 minutes? Why not make the bulk charge time close to zero and let the calculated bulk charge mode decide how long to dump the full amperage in? Ditto with absorption charge time.

This is on a Niagara 35, with three (brand new, thus my concern) Lifeline 125 amp hour AGM batteries, and an 80-amp alternator.
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Old 07-05-2015, 07:33   #2
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Re: Balmar programming

Captain Whisper

Just to make sure I understand your question that you are asking why there is no charge for the first 18 minutes, then go into bulk charge?
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Old 07-05-2015, 13:45   #3
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Re: Balmar programming

No, according to the manual, there's a one- minute delay, then a ramp-up to bulk charging voltage, then 18 minutes at bulk charge, apparently whether yiu need it or not, before it goes into calculated bulk charge, where it allegedly reads the battery level and either continues at the bulk rate, or cuts back to absorption voltage.

The absorption phase does the same thing - 18 minutes at absorption voltage before the calculated absorption phase kicks in. Those are the factory defaults, but I don't get the logic. What if my batteries are already charged - I get the 18 minutes of full current, regardless.

Am I missing something?

Thanks for your response.
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Old 07-05-2015, 14:11   #4
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Re: Balmar programming

So we know,

1. delay of 1 min is to allow no load on the engine on start up, and

2. bulk charge period is dependent on state of charge and size of battery.

In the design of bulk charge (and absorption charge), you could design either

a. charge first, a minimum period, (factory default, 18 min), for bulk charge before taking a sample of voltage, or

b. take a sample of voltage, (your preference) then decides to go into bulk charge or absorption charge.

Is there other multistage charger use method b?

I will do a bit of reading and come back to you. Interesting question.
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Old 07-05-2015, 14:19   #5
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Re: Balmar programming

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Originally Posted by CaptainWhisper View Post
...Those are the factory defaults, but I don't get the logic. What if my batteries are already charged - I get the 18 minutes of full current, regardless......
Balmar know what they are doing, but this does confuse a lot of people who actually think they ONLY get 18 minutes at absorption in all circumstances. 18 minutes when your batteries are fully charged is not a problem, so I wouldn't change it. The regulator then calculates how long it took to get to absorption voltage and then calculates how much longer than the 18 minutes to stay at that voltage. You can also change this calculation. I have modified mine to 36 minutes because I have 1000 Ahs.
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Old 07-05-2015, 17:08   #6
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Re: Balmar programming

Ah, here's the key piece of information: "18 minutes when your batteries are fully charged is not a problem."

I was worried I was overcharging, and slowly frying, $1,600 worth of new batteries.
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Old 07-05-2015, 17:13   #7
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Re: Balmar programming

You might want to read the next lines in the manual. It says it checks before changing stages.
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Old 07-05-2015, 21:35   #8
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Re: Balmar programming

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Originally Posted by CaptainWhisper View Post
. What if my batteries are already charged - I get the 18 minutes of full current, regardless.

Am I missing something?

Thanks for your response.

you get 18 mins of full voltage. if the batteries are full there won't be any current.

your car gets full voltage 100% of the time it is running. every alternator with a internal reg gets full voltage 100% of the time.


the only thing I change on the balmar regs is the battery type from default to either agm or LA. sometimes the belt manager.
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Old 08-05-2015, 06:47   #9
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Re: Balmar programming

Ah, another key piece of info. Thanks very much, folks, for sorting out my confusion.
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Old 08-05-2015, 19:25   #10
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Re: Balmar programming

Quote:
smac999 posted: you get 18 mins of full voltage. if the batteries are full there won't be any current.
Captain Whisper, to prove this to yourself get a clamp on amp. meter and check the current flowing from the alternator to the batteries. If your batteries are at full charge there will be very little or nil current flow.
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