Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 08-11-2015, 19:29   #1
Registered User
 
davisr's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
Boat: 1975 Ericson 25
Posts: 108
Images: 1
Engel Fridge and Iota IQ4 Battery Charger

I use an Iota 45 (with an IQ4 Controller) to charge my two Trojan T125 flooded lead batteries, which serve as my House Bank. I power the Iota 45 either directly through shore power, or through my Honda eu2000, which I join to the shore power inlet via a pigtail.

Recently, I purchased an Engel MT45 AC/DC fridge-freezer to replace my Yeti 75 quart cooler. As per the suggestions provided by the instructions that came with the Engel, I am wiring a DC receptacle that will run directly to the battery. This is supposed to reduce possible interference in the VHF radio.

At any rate, the Engel instructions also state that the fridge should not be wired to a battery charger. I presume that this prohibition has something to do with the fact that the battery charger puts out a charge that exceeds 12 volts.

The Iota 45 charger (with the IQ4 Controller), like other chargers, puts out a range of voltages that exceed 12 volts. In the Bulk Stage it puts out 14.8V, in Absorption it puts out 14.2, and in the Float Stage, i.e., the Trickle Charge Stage, it puts out 13.6. These voltages are not, of course, limited to the charger itself. They are pushed (with some drop-off) into the rest of the DC system.

It would seem that Engel wishes me to disconnect my fridge-freezer from the DC system whenever I charge my batteries with my Honda generator away from the dock. This does not seem to square with the promotional literature by Engel, which touts the ability this product gives us to live off the grid.

My question to the Cruisers Forum is this: does anyone out there ever disconnect his or her Engel fridge-freezer when charging batteries off the grid?

Thanks,
Roscoe
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	DSCN3347.JPG
Views:	102
Size:	95.8 KB
ID:	112585  
__________________

__________________
Ericson 25
Oystercatcher
www.ericson25.com
davisr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2015, 19:55   #2
Registered User
 
bill good's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Brisbane Australia
Boat: sold
Posts: 721
Re: Engel Fridge and Iota IQ4 Battery Charger

That model will automaticly use the AC if it is available even when the DC is still connected so have the honda charging the battery + running Engel via the AC at the same time. Just leave the DC lead wired so the Engel will automaticly keep running when the AC is not present. Very happy with mine used in the car set up that way.

Regards
__________________

__________________
bill good is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2015, 20:14   #3
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,381
Re: Engel Fridge and Iota IQ4 Battery Charger

Looking at the tech data for Engle coolers it appears that they will run on 12 or 24V DC. If that's the case then voltage isn't the issue. My guess is Engle specifies battery connections because some cheap chargers put out really dirty power, essentially pulsating DC which a battery will smooth out. Running the Engle direct from a cheap charger could cause damage or overheating.

The Iota on the other hand puts out very clean power and is actually used as a straight DC power supply so should be fine at least in regards to the quality of the DC output.
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2015, 14:40   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Cooktown,Australia.(only to collect my mail)
Boat: Fastback 32 cat.
Posts: 158
Re: Engel Fridge and Iota IQ4 Battery Charger

I think they mean don't run it directly off a charger without a battery. I use my engel and charger without any problems.
__________________
Ian R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2015, 18:10   #5
Registered User
 
davisr's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
Boat: 1975 Ericson 25
Posts: 108
Images: 1
Re: Engel Fridge and Iota IQ4 Battery Charger

Thanks for the help, fellas. I'll plan to keep the fridge plugged-in both to the DC receptacle and the AC receptacle when charging the batteries. As you say, the fridge should sense the AC current (coming from the generator through the pigtail and shore power inlet) and thus, independently, disconnect itself from the DC power source.

The question now, however, is whether or not the Honda eu2000 generator is suitable as an AC power source. I believe that it is.

The brief, Engel Owner's Guide that came with the fridge states the following: "The internal refrigerator power supply unit may be damaged if powered by older style generators without automatic voltage regulation. The only acceptable generators to use are those that are 'inverter style' or those with over-voltage protection."

The Engel fridge should be safe with the Honda eu2000 generator, right?

Thanks,
Roscoe
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	001.JPG
Views:	77
Size:	96.1 KB
ID:	112678   Click image for larger version

Name:	002.JPG
Views:	75
Size:	96.4 KB
ID:	112680  

Click image for larger version

Name:	003.JPG
Views:	85
Size:	64.6 KB
ID:	112681  
__________________
Ericson 25
Oystercatcher
www.ericson25.com
davisr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2015, 18:30   #6
Senior Cruiser
 
skipmac's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: 29 49.16 N 82 25.82 W
Boat: Pearson 422
Posts: 12,381
Re: Engel Fridge and Iota IQ4 Battery Charger

The Honda EU2000 is an inverter generator, definitely not an old style. It makes a very clean, pure sine wave output and should be good to power even sensitive equipment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by davisr View Post
Thanks for the help, fellas. I'll plan to keep the fridge plugged-in both to the DC receptacle and the AC receptacle when charging the batteries. As you say, the fridge should sense the AC current (coming from the generator through the pigtail and shore power inlet) and thus, independently, disconnect itself from the DC power source.

The question now, however, is whether or not the Honda eu2000 generator is suitable as an AC power source. I believe that it is.

The brief, Engel Owner's Guide that came with the fridge states the following: "The internal refrigerator power supply unit may be damaged if powered by older style generators without automatic voltage regulation. The only acceptable generators to use are those that are 'inverter style' or those with over-voltage protection."

The Engel fridge should be safe with the Honda eu2000 generator, right?

Thanks,
Roscoe
__________________
The water is always bluer on the other side of the ocean.
skipmac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-11-2015, 13:43   #7
Registered User
 
Beausoleil's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Potomac Shores, VA USA
Boat: Formosa 51 Aft Cockpit Ketch - "Beausoleil"
Posts: 565
Images: 1
Re: Engel Fridge and Iota IQ4 Battery Charger

Concur with skipmac. The Iota DS-series are power supplies by design; it's the IQ4 option that turns them into a 4-stage battery charger.

The only caveat is when the Iota goes into equalization mode, which it does automatically after being powered up for 7 days continuously. The 15+V shouldn't hurt the Engel, but it may damage some sensitive electronics if they're left on.

On Beausoleil, we have two 2007-vintage Iota DLS-75's with the IQ-4 option, in addition to a Magnum 2812 inverter charger, a Balmar 190A alternator with an MC-612 regulator, and two BlueSky 3024iL MPPT solar controllers driven by 720W of 36V solar panels, all feeding a combination of AGM batteries (800Ah house, 200Ah engine start, 200Ah windlass and Grp 27 genset start) via charge relays with nary a problem. We have two Engel coolers - a 38qt and an 80qt - which we normally use as freezers, and a NovaKool 9cu.ft. AC/DC fridge. Nary a problem...
__________________
Cap'n Jon (KB1HTW)
S/V Beausoleil -1979 Formosa 51 Ketch
"If it's gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there." - Captain Ron
Beausoleil is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-11-2015, 16:43   #8
Registered User
 
davisr's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Charleston, South Carolina
Boat: 1975 Ericson 25
Posts: 108
Images: 1
Re: Engel Fridge and Iota IQ4 Battery Charger

That's a good point you make about the equalization stage (which occurs after the charger has been powered up for seven full days.) I'd not thought about that. I've tracked the charger diligently (when the boat remains on shore power for some time), and it loyally moves into that equalization stage almost exactly on the seven day mark.

I completed the wiring over the weekend. The fridge performed exactly as it was supposed to. When I turned off the AC breaker and disconnected the boat from shore power to go sailing, the fridge switched itself over to DC power. When I returned to the dock, it switched itself back to AC.

One thing I thought about before leaving the marina was this: If you plan to be away from the boat for more than several days, it's probably a good idea to disconnect the DC plug and rely instead solely on shore power. Why? Because if there is an AC power outage, or if the AC breaker trips for some reason, then the fridge will automatically switch itself over to DC power. This will kill the battery bank and also, I might add, leave the boat without any working bilge pump.

This has to have happened before. Don't you think?

Roscoe
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	001.JPG
Views:	60
Size:	95.2 KB
ID:	113231   Click image for larger version

Name:	002.JPG
Views:	67
Size:	101.4 KB
ID:	113232  

Click image for larger version

Name:	003.JPG
Views:	69
Size:	100.6 KB
ID:	113233   Click image for larger version

Name:	004.JPG
Views:	67
Size:	103.2 KB
ID:	113234  

Click image for larger version

Name:	005.JPG
Views:	71
Size:	107.8 KB
ID:	113235  
__________________
Ericson 25
Oystercatcher
www.ericson25.com
davisr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-11-2015, 17:59   #9
Registered User
 
RainDog's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Varies
Boat: Pacific Seacraft 34 #142
Posts: 1,183
Re: Engel Fridge and Iota IQ4 Battery Charger

I have been running my engel and my IOTA 55 for about 6 years full time. No issues so far.
RainDog is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-11-2015, 18:45   #10
Senior Cruiser
 
FSMike's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Bahamas/Florida
Boat: Solaris Sunstar 36' catamaran
Posts: 2,654
Images: 5
Re: Engel Fridge and Iota IQ4 Battery Charger

If in doubt:

Engel USA
(561)349-4267
(888)272-9838

I have found them to be very helpful.
__________________
Sail Fast Live Slow
FSMike is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 17-11-2015, 19:59   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Feb 2015
Posts: 78
Re: Engel Fridge and Iota IQ4 Battery Charger

'Equalization' as most of us know is a forced overcharge by bringing the flooded battery upto 15 to 16 volts after a regular 'full charge' until specific gravity rises to its maximum on each cell and hopefully within 0.005 of each other.

Equalization, in the minds of RV converter makers is something entirely different.

Progressive dynamics converters, after every 18 hours at 13.2v, will bump up voltage to 14.4v for 15 minutes.

Their "equalization' is really just destratification. Marketing mumbo jumbo

Iota's equalization merely cycles the battery back upto absorption voltage of 14.8v again, basically just destratifying the acid as well.

Quote:
The Equalization Stage will cycle the battery through the Bulk and Absorption
Stages before returning the battery to the Float Stage.
So what we consider to be a true equalization, meaning a forced overcharge at higher voltages, has absolutely nothing to do with what RV converter makers marketers consider equalization, which is just a fancy buzz word used to sell more products.

I am not sure of Engel and their sawafuji compressors as to their maximum voltage, but Danfoss compressors can only tolerate 17 volts in a 12 volt system and 31.5 volts in a 24 volt system:

http://www.ra.danfoss.com/TechnicalI...ehc100m602.pdf

Also take note that Danfoss's recommends hooking their compressor controller directly to the battery terminals, and their wire gauge recommendations greatly exceed those of any ampacity chart.

I find it amusing that so many portable fridge with Danfoss compressors, come with a 5 foot long 16 awg cord with a cheesy Ciggy plug at the end as the power cord. Combine this with the likely way too thin and way too long wiring from the battery to the ciggy receptacle, and spoiled food can be the result, since the low voltage battery protection kicks in when the battery is in absolutely no danger of overdischarge.

Do note that if a Danfoss compressor sees too little voltage, the condenser fan will still cycle on, but the compressor will not. Since the fan is usually as as loud, or perhaps louder than the compressor itself, the fridge owner might be blissfully unaware that their fridge is not working, since they can hear the fan cycle on and off.

With SawaFuji compressors on the Engel and Norcold portable units, they do not seem to be as effected with too little copper between battery and compressor controller, and one can definitely hear the compressor, and likely feel it vibrate the whole dang boat/vehicle too.
__________________

__________________
Sternwake is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
battery, charger, iota

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Engel Portable 12vdc Fridge - Work Inside a Closed Space (Large Icebox)? Northeaster Plumbing Systems and Fixtures 3 29-03-2010 14:01
AWG 6 Gauge for 30 Amp Iota Charger ? unbusted67 Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 31 27-03-2010 19:06
Honda eu2000, Iota 55 Charger, Trojan T105 Batteries davisr Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 32 27-11-2009 17:52
Anybody "build in" an Engel fridge/freezer? Geoff S. Construction, Maintenance & Refit 14 22-03-2006 16:18



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:39.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.