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Old 07-01-2016, 13:01   #16
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Re: Equalizing Batterys

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Originally Posted by GRNordstrom View Post
Hello Sternwake!,
I looked up Meanwell and got a group of what I think are fixed power supplies but no adjustable ones. The descriptions didn't mention adjustability.. What am I missing?
Thanks,
Ray

Hello Ray.

These power supplies have small voltage adjusting potentiometers right next to the 120vac input and DC output terminals.

These are only rated for 100 cycles, they are more meant to be set to a certain voltage with a jewelers screwdriver, and forgotten.

I removed this potentiometer(1K ohm) and added a 10 turn 1K ohm potentiometer making voltage adjustments to 0.01v simple.

I doubt these are acceptable as full time marine chargers. Mine(rsp-500-15) is used on a land based battery bank, and often maxed out at 40 amps. I have added extra ventilation( 12v muffin/ computer fans) and some large finned aluminum heatsinks adjacent to the transistors which use the casing as a heatsink, as it does get hot at max output. Also the provided 40MM fan is quite loud and would cycle on and off at only 6 amps output. My quieter 12v fans and heatsinking keep this fan off upto 30 amps or so, depending on ambient temperature

Do note that only a Few Meanwell power supplies have constant current limiting on Overload, and the RSP series is one of them.

Constant current limiting protection on overload is pretty much a requirement for battery charging. Without this feature they either shut off until overload( depleted battery) is removed, or cycle on and off rapidly, or they roll back current

With these power supplies one must provide their own AC cord, as well as the DC output cables

http://www.meanwell.com/mw_search/RS...P-500-SPEC.PDF

I have used my Meanwell in parallel with other plug in charging sources to increase amperage in constant current phase, but I usually need to bump up voltage to keep it at max output, and I need to be there to lower voltage once absorption voltage is neared.

There is a HEP series of meanwell power supplies that have both current and voltage adjustment as well as constant current limiting on overload:

http://www.meanwell.com/search/HEP-600/HEP-600-spec.pdf

If used on an Aged Lifeline bank that is already as charged as it can get at 14.x volts, then these batteries should not be able to max out such a power supply trying to bring them upto 15.5 volts from that point, but a Depleted battery is an overload making the constant current on overload necessary for use as a regular charger.

I have added a RC wattmeter, whose leads I upgraded to 8awg, on the output of my Meanwell:

http://www.amazon.com/GT-Power-Analy...ds=gtpower+130

With 8awg it only gets warm pasing 40 amps, but it was hot with the provided 12awg aluminum leads at 30 amps continuous.

Generally one needs a voltmeter on the battery and one on the output, and set the desired end voltage when unloaded, then hook up the battery bank.

These meanwell power supplies are surprisingly small.

There is another brand called the Megawatt that appear to be made well too.
http://www.12voltpowersupplies.us/

Before I got the Meanwell, I experimented with a 23$ 30 amp power supply(max 15.3v) which appears to be a megawatt clone. This had no overvoltage/overtemperature or overcurrent protections. It would output 36 amps, but if the voltage was turned a bit higher it would go a bit over 36 amps and start clicking.

Tired of having to micromanage the Voltage potentiometer to keep it just under 36 amps, I just set it to 14.7v and hooked up a depleted battery. 17 minutes later it released the magic blue smoke and I had an excuse to buy the MeanWell.

If one wants to go the adjustable voltage power supply route as more than an equalizer/conditioner applied to an already 'full' battery bank, well I am not sure how safe they are for a marine application with stray voltage, and of course they are not ruggedized for marine exposure.

Often changing the voltage will wear out the original micro potentiometer, and replacing this with wires to lead to a 10 turn pot rated for thousands of cycles, requires complete disassembly and some soldering skills. One also needs to have thermal grease to reapply as many transistors are held to the casing which is used as a heatsink.

So it is not really plug and play when used as a bulk charger, but for an equalizer/conditioner, one can set it to 15.5v once, and attach it to the bank needing conditioning, and just follow Lifeline's procedure from there. It should not be maxed out where overheating or overcurrent becomes an issue, and the original mini potentiometer need not be fiddled with.
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Old 07-01-2016, 13:17   #17
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Re: Equalizing Batterys

Your lifelines weigh 158lb each. when my 8d lifelines finally died I replace them with 6 volt golf cart batteries. 3 can go into space as one 8d they were cheaper and I believe they do a better job
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Old 07-01-2016, 19:16   #18
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Re: Equalizing Batterys

Hello again Sternwake,
Wow, that's a lot of information you just shared with me most of which was a bit over my head but with that disclaimer let me share with you a few thoughts:
1. I did not mean to say that the Lifelines maxed out at 14.3 volts. That is how high the Balmar 612/ Leese-Neville combination takes them at present. I don't have a charger to take them beyond that. so I don't know how high they will charge.
2. I have never had the instruction I need to be a competent solderer, but should we ever meet I would appreciate a lesson or two. Bottom line is I don't think I'll be changing out the potentiometer although I can see the utility of the change.
3. Since I already have excellent chargers I only need the Meanwell to "condition" the batterys (one 8D at a time). Therefore 15.5 volts would be fine with few adjustments needed.
4. One question I do have,should I buy the 12 volt or the 15 Volt unit.
5. What do you mean by saying the potentiometer is only rated for 100 cycles?
6. Do you think the Meanwell will perform well as a battery "conditioner" @ 15.5 volts for these Lifelines?

Thanks,
Ray
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Old 07-01-2016, 23:49   #19
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Re: Equalizing Batterys

Ray,

The 14.2 to 14.4v must be maintained until amps taper to 0.5% of total capacity for the batteries to reach full charge.

The batteries might still be accepting 35 amps at 14.4v, indicating they are no where near fully charged. Voltage alone tells very little of the story, Amps flowing at a certain voltage is very revealing as to state of charge.

Voltage alone is only revealing on a rested battery, one which has not seen charging or discharging currents for long time. Hours.. Voltage is not like a vehicle's gas gauge, unless perhaps the gas float it is plumbed with a long rubber band

Get the 15 volt Meanwell as the 12v one might not be able to go upto 15.5v. Keep in mind this 15.5v is at 77f battery temperature, so doing an EQ in cooler temps might require more of a voltage overhead.

The minipotentiometers are only rated to be moved up and down a certain amount of times before they wear out. I thought I read they were rated for 100 cycles back and forth, but the Bourne's page where I thought I read that is currently down and I cannot confirm.

It should not be an issue if you just set it to 15.5v and only use it for conditioning.

I don't really know how well your batteries will respond to a conditioning charge. If they were on a temp corrected 13.2v float they should have been fully charged, but if the recharge rate they always saw was less than lifeline's recommended c/5 or 20% rate, then they might very well respond to a significantly higher recharge rate upto 14.4v then held to 14.4 tapers to 0.5% of capacity, and only then bumped upto and monitored for 8 hours 1t 15.5v as described by lifeline in their conditioning procedure.

If that does not recover their capacity to acceptable levels, then replacement time.

Do note that the meanwell can work in parallel with another charging source when battery voltage is still below ~14.2v. It can/will add 40 amps to your plug in charging source, and if this 40 amps tips the total amperage into the c/5 or 20% rate for your total battery capacity, then it will make the batteries happer.

Please read page s 19 and 20 a few times.

http://www.lifelinebatteries.com/manual.pdf

Lifelines want high rate recharging, even if you have all the time in the world to recharge, they say high recharge currents when deeply discharged make for a happy battery.

I think this is Key with good Agms like lifeline for maximum lifespan and capacity retainment, high amp recharge currents applied from the most depleted state, and true 100% recharges as soon as possible, as often as possible.



If you do not have a DC clamp on Ammeter or other method to measure amperes flowing into the battery at absorption voltage, you are kind of flying blind as to battery state of charge.
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Old 08-01-2016, 17:51   #20
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Re: Equalizing Batterys

Sternwake,
Your advice on working with my Lifelines is really helpful to me. Thank you.
My boat,and her Lifeline's, are in Florida right now (I'm in Maryland). I will be there on the 16th.
I will order the Meanwell 15 volt unit that you reference and I have a DC clamp around ammeter.
The batterys are being held at the float rate of 13.2-13.4 volts. I will restart the Outback battery charger which will bring the charge rate up and the voltage to 14.4 so that when I connect the Meanwell it won't need a long time to taper to .5%.
I plan on disconnecting or isolating one of the four 8D's from the series and connecting the Meanwell to it at 14.4 Volts. The Lifelines are rated at 230 amp-hrs so at .5% of 230 amperage flow (1.1-1.2 amps) I will move the potentiometer to get 15.5 volts (compensated for temperature that will be slightly higher) and monitor for 8 hours. Then repeat for the other three.
Oh yes, I'll ventilate the engine room.
Have I missed anything?
What amperage should I look for at 15.5 volts? Maybe that's in the manual.
I have downloaded it but not it read thoroughly yet. 38 pages, a great read to be sure!
Wish me success!
Thanks,
Ray
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Old 08-01-2016, 18:01   #21
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Re: Equalizing Batterys

The way I understand it, and the way my magnum charger inverter works is it will bring the voltage up to 15.5 and average will take care of itself. The battery will only accept so many amps and will taper down as it becomes full. On equalizing it is important to start with a fully charged battery.
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Old 08-01-2016, 19:09   #22
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Re: Equalizing Batterys

Hello Motion 30.
My precious boat came to me with 2-8D's and you're right , they are way heavy. I replaced them with 6 golf carts @ 230amp-hrs and got a good result.
8D's x 2 @ 235 amp hr per= 470. Golf Carts x 3 pair @230 Amp- hr per pair=700.
And easier to handle.
Trying to see if I can get a bit more service from the Lifelines.
Thanks,
Ray
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Old 09-01-2016, 08:11   #23
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Re: Equalizing Batterys

Motion30
Sorry, bad math. Golf carts had "nearly" 700 amp-hrs. 690 to be exact.
Tell me if my math is incorrect.
Ray
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Old 09-01-2016, 08:16   #24
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Re: Equalizing Batterys

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Motion30
Sorry, bad math. Golf carts had "nearly" 700 amp-hrs. 690 to be exact.
Tell me if my math is incorrect.
Ray
690 is correct according to my math as well.

I am getting to old to hustle those 8ds in and out of the boat. Plus i believe the gc batteries may be better
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Old 09-01-2016, 08:38   #25
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Re: Equalizing Batterys

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The way I understand it, and the way my magnum charger inverter works is it will bring the voltage up to 15.5 and average will take care of itself. The battery will only accept so many amps and will taper down as it becomes full. On equalizing it is important to start with a fully charged battery.

You and I have the same understanding


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Old 09-01-2016, 13:34   #26
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Re: Equalizing Batterys

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What amperage should I look for at 15.5 volts?
I have not actually performed an EQ/conditioning on Lifelines so any figure I would say, would be a complete guess.

I will say that the one Lifeline GPL-31XT battery I had when spanking new, for a friend's portable powerpack project, was a dang impressive battery, and that the amps required to maintain any voltage under 14.56v would eventually taper to the sub 0.05amp level and it would maintain a 13.16v resting voltage for over a week.

My own Northstar AGM-27 also displays this behavior, upto the 15.3v I gave it briefly. The amps quickly taper to Sub 0.05amp at 15.3v on this 90AH AGM.

But my battery is still healthy, and I only bump up the voltage to above 14.7v after amperage has already tapered to 0.5 or less at that voltage.

So what your aged Lifelines will require initially at 15.5v is unknown to me, but perhaps someone who has tried it on batteries that needed it can chime in.

I would however recommend not just bringing them upto 15.5v after sitting at 13.3v float for months on end, but discharge them to near 50% then make sure it can get at least a charge 20% rate( preferable higher) upto 14.4v, then hold 14.4v until amps taper to 0.5% of capacity, and only then apply 15.5 volts for the 8 hour lifeline conditioning procedure.

I think this would stand a better chance of restoring capacity than a 15.5v conditioning cycle applied after months at float voltage, as in my limited experience, the high amp recharge is what the high quality AGMs crave, and perhaps yours never got this c/5 or 20%+ recommended initial charge rate when most depleted.
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