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Old 28-10-2008, 09:19   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Potomac Shores, VA USA
Boat: Formosa 51 Aft Cockpit Ketch - "Beausoleil"
Posts: 557
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Iota (and other) PWM-style chargers

I know this has been discussed before, but is there any other information regarding the pulse-width modulation methodology that Iota Engineering uses in its chargers?

I haven't had the opportunity to fully test the two DLS-75/IQ4 3-stage chargers we bought for Beausoleil, other than to say that once I set both the Magnum MS-2800 inverter/charger and the Iota charger to have virtually identical charging profiles, I can now verify that I can bulk charge our 800Ah AGM house bank at around 170 amps (125 amp capacity from the Magnum charger and 75 amps from the Iota). I haven't yet tested what adding the engine's 190A alternator to the mix would do...

But back to PWM charging: I don't have an oscilloscope, so I don't know exactly what the output waveform of the Iota looks like. I assume it's similar to that used by MPPT-style solar charge controllers - vary the output current by pulsing at a constant voltage while in the absorption phase. And by closely limiting current, it can reduce out-gassing without having to use a battery temperature sensor. It certainly does seem to work - our Magnum inverter charger will switch from absorption phase to float, and the Iota will continue in absorption for quite a bit longer before it to float. But the engineer in me wants more details!

Iota's web site is pretty mum on the specifics - I don't think they even mention the PWM capability...
Cap'n Jon (KB1HTW)
S/V Beausoleil -1979 Formosa 51 Ketch
"If it's gonna happen, it's gonna happen out there." - Captain Ron
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