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Old 07-04-2014, 10:29   #61
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Re: Battery Charger Power Draw Questions

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Originally Posted by goboatingnow View Post
All this is true for mechanical regulators, its not really relevant to modern electronic regulators, they don't really work the same.


dave
Ignoring the bells and whistles modern electronic regulators basic function is, monitor the voltage, if the voltage is low leave the power on, if the voltage is at the setpoint, cycle power as needed to maintain voltage. At least talking about bulk and absorption.
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Old 07-04-2014, 10:47   #62
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Re: Battery Charger Power Draw Questions

Hey, Dockhead, was your original question ever answered?
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Old 07-04-2014, 13:01   #63
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Re: Battery Charger Power Draw Questions

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Originally Posted by Dockhead View Post
but in the meantime I'm curious about the power consumption of battery chargers, which is nowhere mentioned in the manuals.

?
I just stuck a clamp meter on the input of a sterling pro charge ultra 20A:

Input - 232v, 1.24A
Output - 13.4v, 20.2A

Which I make to be about 94% efficient.

Just about to put a voltage/current logger on the output to see exactly what happens over time.
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Old 07-04-2014, 15:05   #64
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Re: Battery Charger Power Draw Questions

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Originally Posted by conachair View Post
I just stuck a clamp meter on the input of a sterling pro charge ultra 20A:

Input - 232v, 1.24A
Output - 13.4v, 20.2A

Which I make to be about 94% efficient.

Just about to put a voltage/current logger on the output to see exactly what happens over time.
Good on ya!

The ProCharge Ultra is one of the best chargers on the market these days. It's high efficiency (Sterling claims 90.4%) comes from its active power factor correction (PFC) and syncronized rectification output.

I like them very much, as does MaineSail and my customers.

Bill
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Old 07-04-2014, 15:32   #65
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Re: Battery Charger Power Draw Questions

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Good on ya!

The ProCharge Ultra is one of the best chargers on the market these days. It's high efficiency (Sterling claims 90.4%) comes from its active power factor correction (PFC) and syncronized rectification output.

I like them very much, as does MaineSail and my customers.

Bill
Bill, I've read Of MaineSail's satisfaction with the ProCharge Ultra and now you also agree, but they top out at 60 A. I'm planning a 400 - 500 AH bank and from what you wrote above, 60 A is going to be too small to keep LifeLine's or TPPL's happy. Of course as someone mentioned (maybe it was you), the largest practical chargers are about 100 A. So my choice is between the Mastervolt 100A or the Sterling 60A. From your graphs, 100 only marginal for that size bank, but at least it's closer to the mark.
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Old 07-04-2014, 15:38   #66
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Re: Battery Charger Power Draw Questions

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Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
Good on ya!

The ProCharge Ultra is one of the best chargers on the market these days. It's high efficiency (Sterling claims 90.4%) comes from its active power factor correction (PFC) and syncronized rectification output.

I like them very much, as does MaineSail and my customers.

Bill
New acquisition and one I'm very pleased with, the custom battery type is a great feature. Not in the spec sheet though, is how to switch on the equalising cycle manually. And sterling aren't the greatest at customer support...
But if you switch the profile to open lead acid then switch profile again you can scroll down past custom, past factory reset and the equalising light will flash. Then press both up and down for a few seconds to start the cycle.

Afraid current is off tonight's logging menu, the unfinished home built data logger was getting a touch warm with 20A going through it, rethink needed there, one involving much shorter fatter wires



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Old 08-04-2014, 02:32   #67
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Re: Battery Charger Power Draw Questions

Last nights charging voltage against time, you can see the fridge cycling nicely.

On profile 1, open lead acid - 14.9v absorption , 13.6v float, the slightly high 2nd absorption cycle might have been a bit of solar on top.



I turned off the charger and on again towards the end to see how long it would stay in absorption.
Then a few minutes solar at the end.

Enjoy

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Old 08-04-2014, 05:29   #68
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Re: Battery Charger Power Draw Questions

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Bill, I've read Of MaineSail's satisfaction with the ProCharge Ultra and now you also agree, but they top out at 60 A. I'm planning a 400 - 500 AH bank and from what you wrote above, 60 A is going to be too small to keep LifeLine's or TPPL's happy. Of course as someone mentioned (maybe it was you), the largest practical chargers are about 100 A. So my choice is between the Mastervolt 100A or the Sterling 60A. From your graphs, 100 only marginal for that size bank, but at least it's closer to the mark.
The choice might depend on how you plan to use the boat. If she's dockside a lot and plugged into shore power, the 60A Sterling would be fine. If you're off the grid and dependent on alternator or generator charging, the larger charger would be more appropriate, though still a lot less than optimal. A healthy solar panel capability would be good, too....essential, really, if you're off the grid (on anchor or mooring) a lot, 'cuz there's no way you're going to reach a truly full charge with generator or alternator charging....except for very long motoring sessions.

First thing I'd do, though, is examine my choice of AGMs. For many cruising boats, these are maybe the worst choice. MaineSail has written about this several times, as have I. Flooded true deep-cycle batteries are still by far the most economical choice for most cruisers.

Bill
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Old 08-04-2014, 06:07   #69
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pirate Re: Battery Charger Power Draw Questions

I'm very happy with my new Sterling Ultra 30 as recommended by Bill, MS, and others. It's great seeing exactly what's happening compared to my geriatric 20A Charles unit.

Moving the charger to a higher drier area suggests redoing the elect panel but seems like a fair tradeoff for extending the life of the battery bank, and allows me to relocate the AirX and Balmar controls that were added piecemeal.
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Old 09-04-2014, 07:25   #70
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Re: Battery Charger Power Draw Questions

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Originally Posted by btrayfors View Post
The choice might depend on how you plan to use the boat. If she's dockside a lot and plugged into shore power, the 60A Sterling would be fine. If you're off the grid and dependent on alternator or generator charging, the larger charger would be more appropriate, though still a lot less than optimal. A healthy solar panel capability would be good, too....essential, really, if you're off the grid (on anchor or mooring) a lot, 'cuz there's no way you're going to reach a truly full charge with generator or alternator charging....except for very long motoring sessions.

First thing I'd do, though, is examine my choice of AGMs. For many cruising boats, these are maybe the worst choice. MaineSail has written about this several times, as have I. Flooded true deep-cycle batteries are still by far the most economical choice for most cruisers.

Bill
Thanks. Let me explain my thinking WRT to AGMs: The plan is to be in a marina for the next 5 years with occasional 1-2 week cruises on the hook. After that will be mostly (+90%) on the hook. At that point I'm hoping that living with LiFePO4 batteries will be well enough understood that I'll make that switch then. So the plan for now is to upgrade all charging to eventually support LiFePO4. I need to replace the batteries and charger now anyway, so that's a given. Also planning on a Balmar AT-200, a D-400 wind gen, and 200-300 watts of Solbian solar panels on the bimini and dodger. The idea is that with either AGMs (now) or LiFePO4s (future) I want to be able to charge *quickly* via the alternator if necessary, but mostly live off wind/solar. I'd like to keep engine time for charging short and load the engine as much as possible as I believe that is healthier for the engine. I've been following the various LiFePO4 threads, and things look really promising. I'm a EE, so I don't have a problem with any of technical aspects of them, I'd just prefer to let things settle down a bit before I jump in if you know what I mean. I'm pretty sure the basics won't change. They have really high charge acceptance so you can charge them really fast, faster than most will be able to on a boat. They keep a very flat discharge profile. They will likely have many more cycles available than any LA battery. But keeping them happy long term is just now becoming a known entity. MainSail and others are doing the hard part now characterizing them when used as house banks. So in the interests of future proofing my charge methods, I figured getting a very configurable and high current shore charger would be a good start. I'm just trying to decide if the 100A Mastervolt is worth the considerable premium over the 60A Sterling.
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Old 09-04-2014, 07:43   #71
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Re: Battery Charger Power Draw Questions

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Originally Posted by cal40john View Post
Ignoring the bells and whistles modern electronic regulators basic function is, monitor the voltage, if the voltage is low leave the power on, if the voltage is at the setpoint, cycle power as needed to maintain voltage. At least talking about bulk and absorption.

Well it depends, in the case of linear regulation, a feedback loop effectively increases the series ( or shunt ) resistance and excess power is dissipated as heat. IN the case of switched mode, its about reducing energy transfer in magnetic coupling ( which has more of an analogy to mechanical regulators )


dave
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Old 09-04-2014, 07:57   #72
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Re: Battery Charger Power Draw Questions

Saltyhog,

Understand your thinking very well, except for the choice of AGMs. If you're planning to stay in a marina for the next 5 years and if you have shore power available in that marina, there would seem to be no advantage at all going with AGMs.

You'd save a lot of money going with flooded batteries now, upgrading your charging capability slowly (alternator, solar, wind, etc.) in preparation for the LiFePO4 switchover in 4-5 years time.

I agree with you re the LiFePO4s....MaineSail has done a lot of pioneering work and will no doubt keep us posted on his experiences. Almost ready for Prime Time :-)

Bill
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Old 09-04-2014, 08:11   #73
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Re: Battery Charger Power Draw Questions

What about using dual chargers? We have a mastervolt and I know they support dual charging. So, when we upgrade to a larger battery bank and our single charger is no longer large enough for that bank, we will simply add a second 70 or 100 amp charger.

The other advantage to this is that if one charger goes out, we still have a second charger so we don't have to stop our plans to wait for a repair or replacement.
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Old 09-04-2014, 08:13   #74
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Re: Battery Charger Power Draw Questions

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We have a mastervolt and I know they support dual charging
DO they , I wasn't aware of that


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Old 09-04-2014, 08:16   #75
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Re: Battery Charger Power Draw Questions

I don't understand what is required to "support" dual charging? You can add as many charging sources as you want - they don't need to be synchronized in phase or anything like that. Our charger, alternators and solar all work just fine with each other and have no commonality supporting them. Of course, at some point, the batteries do not accept the full current they put out, so some of them drop offline while others provide the current. I don't see any disadvantage of that vs something that allows all chargers to operate at reduced currents together.

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