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Old 06-03-2016, 15:15   #1
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Freedom 20 Won't Charge

We have a Heart Interface Corp. Freedom 20 inverter/charger unit, model 81-201-120100 on our sailboat. Unit is setup for warm gel cell battery charging (14.1 vdc bulk voltage, 13.8 float voltage charger settings). On charger startup (AC generator source – showing 115 VAC output) the remote panel first shows inv/charger led on, then AC input comes on, and battery volage 13.0 v led on. Several seconds later the DC current comes up to 70 amp and voltage 13.5 v led on. After about 3 or 4 minutes, the current drops down to 50 amp, then after about 30 seconds ramps down in amps till until finaly showing the lowest (no marking) DC current led. DC volts drops back to 13.0. No flashing leds or other indication of any problem. I then shut down generator. The inverter operates normally.

Any idea on what is happening? I would expect full charging current at startup (100 amp max) droping when battery voltage reaches 14.1 volts (i.e., goes into absorption charge stage). This is of course not happening, and I am not able to charge batteries effectively. This rapid drop off is a new situation, but for months I have only seen a max of 90 amp on charger, which usually dropped to 80 amp after only 5 minutes or so.
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Old 06-03-2016, 15:55   #2
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Re: Freedom 20 Won't Charge

are your batteries full?...




the hearts are getting pretty old. I replace a lot of them.
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Old 06-03-2016, 16:37   #3
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Re: Freedom 20 Won't Charge

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Originally Posted by smac999 View Post
are your batteries full?...
Well, maybe I am putting too much faith in my battery monitor, which is showing about 70% charged right now. Very difficult to get a completely at rest voltage reading given solar system plus need to keep refrigeration going. But maybe?

The Freedom unit says it will go to float mode if charge drops to a low value (like 6 amps), but would I see the 70 amps at the start of charging if that was the case?
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Old 06-03-2016, 16:49   #4
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Re: Freedom 20 Won't Charge

Have you re-calibrated your battery monitor? Which one is it?
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Old 06-03-2016, 17:34   #5
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Re: Freedom 20 Won't Charge

maybe your solar is fooling the heart into thinking they are full via higher voltage? I would disconnect solar for proper testing.


don't reset battery monitor unless you know they are full. (which is hard to do with a non working charger)
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Old 07-03-2016, 10:01   #6
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Re: Freedom 20 Won't Charge

So this morning, with no sun (solar input) and all loads shut off my batteries were showing 12.62 volts resting. So what, about 72% (gel cell). Monitor showing 56%. (batteries have not been to 100% in over a week on the hook). Anyway, started up generator and battery charger. Charger started at 90 amp, then down to about 80 amp, then at about 10 minutes dropped down to zero. WTF?? Voltage when charging was showing about 13.5v.

I ended up running my main engine to charge the batteries from my alternator. That works fine, but not my first choice. Looks to me like something is wrong with the Freedom charger system. Any ideas on what the something is?
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Old 07-03-2016, 10:03   #7
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Re: Freedom 20 Won't Charge

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis.G View Post
Well, maybe I am putting too much faith in my battery monitor, which is showing about 70% charged right now. Very difficult to get a completely at rest voltage reading given solar system plus need to keep refrigeration going. But maybe?

The Freedom unit says it will go to float mode if charge drops to a low value (like 6 amps), but would I see the 70 amps at the start of charging if that was the case?
Did you calibrate your battery monitor? Out of the box they need configuring for your size battery bank and the "age factor"
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Old 07-03-2016, 14:49   #8
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Re: Freedom 20 Won't Charge

A bit of an aside sorry...but I find it almost essential to have a solar panel isolating switch.
With the solar panels off, one can then get a true reading on the batteries and also the battery manager can be used to show amp load for individual or all items that are switched on.
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