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Old 09-05-2016, 05:23   #1
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Can you recomend a battery charger?

I'm looking for a battery charger for my pretty simple boat.

Currently everything runs of a 100w solar panel and two 79ah West marine 12v AGMs. I'm heading north for the summer and installing radar and worrying that I won't be able to get enough charge in fog. I'm planning on adding a Honda EU1000i and some battery charger to top things off when the solar isn't cutting it. I'd also like to be able to charge at the dock.

I may at some point double my battery bank, and hopefully whatever charger I bought would be able to handle that.

Any recommendations?

Thanks
Paul
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Old 09-05-2016, 05:37   #2
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Re: Can you recomend a battery charger?

Any common automotive charger will do them if in parallel. There are marine versions of this type that is the same charger in a water resistant case.

If in series I'd suggest a charger common to bass boats that charges 2 batteries separately. They can be in series or paralleled and the charger will function fine. Charge rate isn't high for these, expecting to be left plugged in almost continuously, but they have automatic shifting of modes based on battery voltage detected. Most of these are sealed vs being submerged to a few feet.
These come in 2 battery or 3 battery versions. Intended for separately charging the outboard starting battery vs the trolling motor batteries, but there's no difference in the 2 or 3 internal chargers.
dual bank charger would be correct for you even if you parallel in another pair of batteries.

You're on a low demand system if a 100 watt panel is generally enough... for higher demand systems you might want a higher power charger than the types above.
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Old 09-05-2016, 05:39   #3
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Re: Can you recomend a battery charger?

Wiring a new charger From Maine Sail: includes sizing recommendations

Marine Battery Chargers - Installation Tips & Considerations | SailboatOwners.com Forums and

Installing A Marine Battery Charger Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com
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Old 09-05-2016, 06:10   #4
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Re: Can you recomend a battery charger?

A couple of comments, questions and suggestions.

Any well made charger, no matter the size or capacity, can "handle" any size battery bank. The charger will put out what it can put out. If you have a really large battery bank and that bank is very discharged it will take a smaller charger longer to recharge the batteries. So size the charger based on how much power you use from the batteries. Of course this also means size the battery bank to the power use. Bottom line, the whole system needs to be balanced: power use, battery capacity and charging capacity.

If you haven't noticed with your current setup, as batteries reach a higher state of charge the rate of charge slows down. So even a 100 amp charger will only put in a few amps during the final stages of charging. However a larger charger will put in more charge in the initial charging phase and reduce the time you have to run the generator.

The question, what's your budget for a charger? A good quality, higher capacity marine charger can be $300-$500.

I would also suggest the Honda 2000 instead of the 1000. Only slightly larger, slightly more expensive $1000 vs $850-900 and will run a larger charger, bigger tools, etc.
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Old 09-05-2016, 06:25   #5
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Re: Can you recomend a battery charger?

I guess my budget is as cheap as I can get away with and still be safe and functional. This year is breaking the bank.


My boat is very small...so the size of the eu1000i is a big deal. Not totally sure where it is going to go as it is.
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Old 09-05-2016, 06:50   #6
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Re: Can you recomend a battery charger?

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Originally Posted by sully75 View Post
I guess my budget is as cheap as I can get away with and still be safe and functional. This year is breaking the bank.


My boat is very small...so the size of the eu1000i is a big deal. Not totally sure where it is going to go as it is.
Dimensions

1000 - 17.7" x 9.4" x 15.0"
2000 - 20.2" x 11.4" x 16.7"

Only an inch or two larger in L x W x H. Sometimes that inch or two matters but if you can find room to store another couple of inches go for the 2000.

If budget is a big problem go for a smaller but good quality charger. IOTA makes a very good unit. Not a true marine charger but very well made and a good deal.
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Old 09-05-2016, 07:16   #7
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Re: Can you recomend a battery charger?

Your AGM's
Try to find a programmable charger, and certainly a three stage charger.
Programmable so that when your running the generator to power it, you can keep it at absorption voltage, but when plugged in at the dock, you need it to go to float.
Different batteries and different battery chemistry require different charge voltages to ensure a long life of the bank, an inexpensive charger will cost you in the long run.

I'd recommend one of these, specifically the 60 amp, may sound high, but since your AGM the best advantage of AGM's is that they can be charged quickly if your charge source is big enough.
http://www.sterling-power-usa.com/ma...argerhome.aspx
What that means of course is that you would have to run that Honda about half as long or less than you would with a smaller charger or regular lead acid batteries.

Remote is nice, but you don't need it, more eye candy than anything

Oh, final edit, the 2000 gen is about 100 times more available and in use than the 1000, a 2000 is easy to sell if you chose to, it is the standard. A 2000 making a kilowatt is a quiet purr, a 1000 making a kilowatt is a screaming mee mee
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Old 09-05-2016, 08:25   #8
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Re: Can you recomend a battery charger?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Your AGM's
Try to find a programmable charger, and certainly a three stage charger.
Programmable so that when your running the generator to power it, you can keep it at absorption voltage, but when plugged in at the dock, you need it to go to float.
Different batteries and different battery chemistry require different charge voltages to ensure a long life of the bank, an inexpensive charger will cost you in the long run.

I'd recommend one of these, specifically the 60 amp, may sound high, but since your AGM the best advantage of AGM's is that they can be charged quickly if your charge source is big enough.
Marine battery charger - Sterling Power Pro Charge Ultra ProCharge Ultra
I would look at the Promariner PronauticP but not 60 amps. Price tends to jump a lot above 40 amps. Either the 20, 30, or 40 amp version. Same charger as the Sterling. Multiple settings for different battery types as well as a fully programmable setting. Agm batteries are expensive and deserve the proper charge voltages. They also like to be fully charged as often as possible for long life. Your solar will top the batteries up as running a generator to fully charge will take 6 - 8 hours.
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Old 09-05-2016, 08:39   #9
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Re: Can you recomend a battery charger?

well I have been using 20,000 mAH portable power bank from everything tablet and i must say it is more than enough to get me through the week long trip without hassle or problem.
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Old 09-05-2016, 08:47   #10
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Re: Can you recomend a battery charger?

Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac View Post
A couple of comments, questions and suggestions.

Any well made charger, no matter the size or capacity, can "handle" any size battery bank. The charger will put out what it can put out. If you have a really large battery bank and that bank is very discharged it will take a smaller charger longer to recharge the batteries. So size the charger based on how much power you use from the batteries. Of course this also means size the battery bank to the power use. Bottom line, the whole system needs to be balanced: power use, battery capacity and charging capacity.

If you haven't noticed with your current setup, as batteries reach a higher state of charge the rate of charge slows down. So even a 100 amp charger will only put in a few amps during the final stages of charging. However a larger charger will put in more charge in the initial charging phase and reduce the time you have to run the generator.

The question, what's your budget for a charger? A good quality, higher capacity marine charger can be $300-$500.

I would also suggest the Honda 2000 instead of the 1000. Only slightly larger, slightly more expensive $1000 vs $850-900 and will run a larger charger, bigger tools, etc.
Ditto on the generator. 1000 sounds on the low side. For a few extra bucks go for the 2000. I believe the weight difference is little or nothing.
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Old 09-05-2016, 08:58   #11
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Re: Can you recomend a battery charger?

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Ditto on the generator. 1000 sounds on the low side. For a few extra bucks go for the 2000. I believe the weight difference is little or nothing.
With the 2000, you can also use most regular power tools up to a 10 amp draw.

But not a circular saw if it binds, evidently!
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Old 09-05-2016, 09:06   #12
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Re: Can you recomend a battery charger?

I bought a charger for my RV on Amazon. I found that if you find a charger that will do solar and shore power and charge the batteries it costs more than buying a good shore power charger (or run your generator to power the charger) and a good separate solar charger. Plus you benefit from some redundancy if one fails the other system still gives you some power.

RV's have many of the same needs as boats when it comes to electrical and (less so) plumbing.

some links: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00F8MC418/...ing=UTF8&psc=1

http://www.amazon.com/SolarEpic-Char...rch_detailpage
(this controller isn't so cheap - it's just the one I bought - for solar make sure it says "MPPT" in the description. Those have the sophisticated charging features you'll want)
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Old 09-05-2016, 10:14   #13
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Re: Can you recomend a battery charger?

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With the 2000, you can also use most regular power tools up to a 10 amp draw.

But not a circular saw if it binds, evidently!
I'll look into the 2000, but in truth I have rebuilt the boat with mostly only RYOBI One rechargeables, which I can recharge with my 12v system. My grinder and sander are plug in but only because they haven't broken yet.
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Old 09-05-2016, 10:21   #14
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Re: Can you recomend a battery charger?

I still stick to the 60 amp, 60 isn't much and he did say he may double his bank soon.

Get a good, big charger and you only buy it once, if he one day doubles his bank, or goes lithium.

60 amps over 30 does not cut your charge time in half, and in reality doesn't cut your charge to to 100% as much as we would like, but it would cut his charge time from say 50% to 90%, there by reducing generator run time by a significant margin, you don't use a generator to "top" the batteries, you just use it when acceptance is higher than Solar can handle.
He has some Solar, so ideally he runs the generator and gets through bulk and deep into absorption early in the day, leaving the Solar to take them to 100%.
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Old 09-05-2016, 10:22   #15
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Re: Can you recomend a battery charger?

Get a marine environment charger that will polish of(condition) the batteries to minimize sulfation. Good idea also to make sure the charger has a gfi since dock power is notoriously fickle. We even found our dock had reversed the polarity of the power outlets. It will be money well spent to keep the batteries in good shape and the boat from burning down.

If you mean a generator and not a charger(they are different), then Honda is the best. Very clean power output throughout the charging range. Worth the money since you can always sell them at close to purchase price.
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