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Old 31-10-2011, 20:57   #31
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Re: Paralleling Battery Banks

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Originally Posted by callmecrazy View Post
Those claims are ridiculous. These chargers are in no way 'unsafe' or dangerous. Maybe your customer didn't know how to push the little button that selects AGM,GEL,STD. It's not the smartest charger out there, but I'm quite sure the voltage is regulated... they do exactly what they're designed to do. They have sold millions chargers and have been in business for something like 50 years... show me one case (other than hearsay)? Just because they sell them at walmart doesn't mean it's going to break everything that touches it.



And I don't even like the charger....
They were meant as a warning after seeing three of the same model charger behave similarly.

I just snapped a couple of photos for you of the one I happen to have in the shop.. If you still doubt what I said or think what I said is "ridiculous" I will be glad to also make you a video of it performaing.

If your Shcumacher charger performs like this one simply return or avoid using it, that is all I am saying. Just be careful.

One STD and one on GEL setting both in low amp mode of 2A charge.





Schumacher refused to do anything for my customer. I then called them and attempted to talk with an engineer I was informed that the voltages I was seeing were perfectly acceptable by Schumachers standards.

This is the charger my customer gave me that ruined his less than one year old bank of GEL batteries.. His bank should never have seen voltages above 14.1V..
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Old 31-10-2011, 21:10   #32
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Re: Paralleling Battery Banks

mine works. It does not over charge my batteries. And It shuts off if it thinks its going to (which was the whole point of bringing it up)...
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Old 31-10-2011, 21:10   #33
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Re: Paralleling Battery Banks

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Originally Posted by Maine Sail View Post
They were meant as a warning after seeing three of the same model charger behave similarly.

I just snapped a couple of photos for you of the one I happen to have in the shop.. If you still doubt what I said or think what I said is "ridiculous" I will be glad to also make you a video of it performaing.

If your Shcumacher charger performs like this one simply return or avoid using it, that is all I am saying. Just be careful.

One STD and one on GEL setting both in low amp mode of 2A charge.





Schumacher refused to do anything for my customer. I then called them and attempted to talk with an engineer I was informed that the voltages I was seeing were perfectly acceptable by Schumachers standards.

This is the charger my customer gave me that ruined his less than one year old bank of GEL batteries.. His bank should never have seen voltages above 14.1V..
I hope everyone appreciates Main Sail's point, he's not bashing a product, just putting everyone on notice, that there may in fact be a problem. If you have one of these chargers on-board, then be sure to to make sure of the facts.

I for one would like to know if these chargers are isolated, and I don't mean these particular failures. I'm talking ground isolation.

Just remember, most of the problems associated with stray current, and electrolysis start aboard your own boat. The wasting zincs and underwater metals wastings, are more then not caused by faults, on you're own boat.

Lloyd
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Old 31-10-2011, 21:13   #34
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Re: Paralleling Battery Banks

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Originally Posted by callmecrazy View Post
mine works. It does not over charge my batteries. And It shuts off if it thinks its going to (which was the whole point of bringing it up)...
How do you know this...have you tested it???

I'm not calling you crazy, just want something beside the manufacture claims say so.

Testing is easy, if you need help, there are a lot of people here willing to help.

Lloyd
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Old 31-10-2011, 22:05   #35
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Re: Paralleling Battery Banks

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Originally Posted by FlyingCloud1937 View Post
I hope everyone appreciates Main Sail's point, he's not bashing a product, just putting everyone on notice, that there may in fact be a problem. If you have one of these chargers on-board, then be sure to to make sure of the facts.

I for one would like to know if these chargers are isolated, and I don't mean these particular failures. I'm talking ground isolation.

Just remember, most of the problems associated with stray current, and electrolysis start aboard your own boat. The wasting zincs and underwater metals wastings, are more then not caused by faults, on you're own boat.

Lloyd
Uploaded a video so I won't be accused of being "ridiculous"...

As I said in the first post, regarding the Schumacher Ship n Shore chargers, please be careful.

When I called for the second or third time to Schumacher trying to get anyone who knew anything about these chargers they told me if I wanted a lower charge voltage for my wet cells to use the GEL setting and that would fix it, I tried, it does not.

As you will see in the video the GEL setting does nothing different than the Standard setting.

The GEL button does shut the charger down when changing from Standard to GEL, so we at least know it's connected, but then it goes right back to 16 volts...

That battery on the bench was shipped in May of 2011 and was never installed. A customer accidentally bought it because he thought he could fit three batteries, in the console of his Whaler, and could not. Never wanted it back and told me to keep it, works as a good "bench battery"...

I just slapped a 50A inverter load on it for a little while so it would take some charge and show how this Schumacher works.

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Old 31-10-2011, 23:21   #36
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Re: Paralleling Battery Banks

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Originally Posted by Jd1 View Post
A couple points that have been forgotten in this discussion:
1) Just because something is called a 'smart charger' means nothing. You can get a 'smart charger' for a few dollars and you can pay hundreds. Do your research and don't take the label as gospel!
2) Don't mix and match batteries. Don't combine different makes/models/capacity/technology or ages. All of this will invariably result in a reduced life. You will find that even the same make/model varies over batches and if you want to do things really right you order the batteries for a bank specifically to be from the same batch.
Excellent advise...one thing this forum should be able as displayed by main Sail, vet possible problems.

But as you said JD..just bc the manufac...says so...doesn't mean it's so.

This goes true to the advice on this forum, if you read it it doesn't make it so.

Not saying this forum isn't helpful, just make sure the advice you follow is in agreement, if not ask Q's.

If you're willing to give advise, just make sure the advise you give is real, bc some people may just count on it.

Lloyd
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Old 01-11-2011, 01:36   #37
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back on point

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Originally Posted by FlyingCloud1937 View Post
Sorry all, For starting this topic, and not staying to participate, had to run to a job.

First lets talk about batteries. Most bats don't die of old age. Most bats are murdered long before their design useful life.

Anyone that maintains a battery bank, is a "BANK MANAGER"

But to be a Professional Bank Manger, you have to manage the bank right.

Number one cause of premature death is Sulfation, caused by chronic undercharging. Next cause is chronic overcharging, aka positive grid plate corrosion.

A battery can suffer from sulfation in one cell of a multi-cell battery, as well as suffer from one cell being overcharged, while all other cells appear to be normal.

Battery banks built as series, parallel and or series/parallel can also suffer single cell, as well as individual battery sulfation/corrosion. It's called cell balance, that's why we use a hydrometer to measure the health of a battery.

To proper charge a battery/bank you have to charge proper, which means the charge has to sense the battery it's charging, then apply the proper charge regime to the bank.

That means a proper controlled bulk charge, then a controlled absorption charge with proper votage, current and time, ending in float stage...if the battery remains out of service.

Lets take one example to which I'm talking about, we have battery bank 1 servicing the house loads, and battery bank 2 serving the starter loads. Typically these are two different types of batteries, as well as 2 different sizes, the house bank being heavily used 50% SOC, while the start bank is lightly used 95% SOC.

Both banks are isolated from each other, as they should be. You only have one charge source, and somebody convinces you to install one of the fancy new combiner relay/solenoids. It's job is to combine the banks when the bank with the charger reaches above a certain voltage say 13.2.

What do you think is going to happen....yes, the charger when turned on sensing the house bank is going to go into bulk charge mode as it should. Once the house bank reaches 13.3 volts, it's going to parallel the much smaller bank that already is at 95% SOC, and overcharge it, until at some point the charger thinks that the house bank is charged.

But what really happens in time, is it confuses the charger into thinking that the house bank is already at absorption when its not, or it cuts back on the bulk, and times out on the absorption phase and leaves the house bank under charged, while it overcharged the start bank.

This is one issue I find on a regular basis.

Lloyd
Some have spoke, we found at least one potential problem, we have had at least 3-4 solutions..Are any of them real, or are they anecdotal evidence?

I want real answers...I have my own ideas...that really doesn't matter...

remember I'm a trained monkey not an EE.

what say you?

Lloyd
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Old 01-11-2011, 01:58   #38
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Re: Paralleling Battery Banks

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Originally Posted by callmecrazy
mine works. It does not over charge my batteries. And It shuts off if it thinks its going to (which was the whole point of bringing it up)...

Quote:
Originally Posted by callmecrazy View Post
I have a cheap schumacher charger.

I don't know the mechanics of it, but I presume that as a 'smart' charger, it has some way of knowing the state of charge. Otherwise, it would never switch through the different charge phases... So it knows the state of charge is not consistent with charge rate, and it shuts off. I've watched it happen, by charging for a few hours with a small load on the bank. It's just knows that it can't 'complete' the charge process, by whatever means, and gives an error and stops charging.

I would assume most modern chargers have similar functionality.

Quote:
Originally Posted by callmecrazy View Post
Those claims are ridiculous. These chargers are in no way 'unsafe' or dangerous. Maybe your customer didn't know how to push the little button that selects AGM,GEL,STD. It's not the smartest charger out there, but I'm quite sure the voltage is regulated... they do exactly what they're designed to do. They have sold millions chargers and have been in business for something like 50 years... show me one case (other than hearsay)? Just because they sell them at walmart doesn't mean it's going to break everything that touches it.



And I don't even like the charger....

please explain???

i might be crazy..but I'm not sure you are..

but I am, more then willing to listen.

lloyd
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Old 01-11-2011, 04:20   #39
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Re: Paralleling Battery Banks

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyingCloud1937 View Post
Excellent advise...one thing this forum should be able as displayed by main Sail, vet possible problems.

But as you said JD..just bc the manufac...says so...doesn't mean it's so.

This goes true to the advice on this forum, if you read it it doesn't make it so.

Not saying this forum isn't helpful, just make sure the advice you follow is in agreement, if not ask Q's.

If you're willing to give advise, just make sure the advise you give is real, bc some people may just count on it.

Lloyd
But that's the whole point of the Forum. We share our knowledge with each other, which increases the fund of it. Some of that knowledge is wrong -- so we start to teach each other our mistakes. But what is cool is that someone with more knowledge will almost always point out our mistakes -- so in the end we all learn something -- even those giving advice . And we learn the most of all when there is a good argument going on.
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Old 01-11-2011, 06:33   #40
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Re: Paralleling Battery Banks

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Originally Posted by FlyingCloud1937 View Post
please explain???

i might be crazy..but I'm not sure you are..

but I am, more then willing to listen.

lloyd
The claim that I found ridiculous was the statement that Schumacher chargers are dangerous and unhealthy for the batteries. Maybe that model is different, or it was a batch of defective units, or whatever. Just because that one charger doesn't work properly doesn't mean the millions of others they've produced are doing the same thing. That's all...

I haven't given any advice at all. I'm simply stating that I have a charger that has overcharge protection, and it's a schumacher that does not over charge my batteries.

I have a battery monitor with which I constantly monitor the voltage going into the batteries. It records min/max voltage. The max I've seen is somewhere in the 16's but that was not using the schumacher, that was just solar and alternator (combined). With the Schumacher, I've never seen much more than 14.x from the schumacher. I have no inclination to do further testing since I've been using it for months now and have not noticed any abnormalities or sulfating of the batteries.

When people make sweeping, negative, generalizations about a product. Its a sure sign not to believe what you're reading. Do you're own tests if you so inclined, or do you're own research. I'm not even advocating these chargers, they are CHEAP. Just pointing out that the one I have is not dangerous, works properly, and has overcharge protections built in.
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:20   #41
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Re: Paralleling Battery Banks

ok here's a question but first my system.
My boat is electric.
I have 12 Northstar AGM's for a Propulsion bank. (144v)
They are charged from shore using a BRUSA charger (one of the best) forget about the 15kw genset at this time.
I have 3 AGM's for a house bank (12v).
They are charged through a 144v to 12v charger (Morven DDH) from the Propulsion bank.
I have 1 genset start battery charged from the Alternator.
Questions:
Do to a parasitic load (voltage gage) on the genset circuit I want to install a Echo charger from the house bank to the starting battery. Is the Echo a 2 way charger, meaning will the Alternator charging current flow to the house bank through the Echo? Not a biggy but I can't seem to get an answer from anyone.
Do most chargers shut down if they can't maintain the float charge? Example, Your in float and on board your refrigerator is still running drawing down 5 amps and the bulge pump kicks on. Lets say your drawing a total 7 amps yet your float mode is only 5 amps so the float mode is not keeping up with the demand. Do most chargers return to the Bulk stage, go to the Absorption stage or just shut off? My Brusa just shuts off, something I can't have since I may not be back on board for a week or 2 at a time and the frig could draw the batteries down to below 50%, it has several times. As smart as the charger is and programmable the darn thing can't be programed to return to a previous stage.

Hope this was the right place to ask this and thanks,

Steve in Solomons MD
Lagoon 410 SE
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:22   #42
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Re: Paralleling Battery Banks

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... I see you are a marine electrician. You didn't have a question. You were warning us about bad advice. Advice is worth what you pay for it, and for those of us DIYer's we are on our own. After all, it makes no sense to consult a forum to learn how do a triple bypass surgery, when we can just go to a professional. So why are we all on here trying to figure out how to charge a boat battery?? I have 15 or 20 marinas handy here that could do the job for me ...
Some of those yards may employ electricians, charging for their advice.

Here, you have electricians & engineers offering their advice, for FREE.

That free professional advice gets tested/challenged by other knowledgeable people, also for free.
This free discussion/debate often lead to a synthesis much more valuable than any single expert's (commercial) opinion.

The CruisersForum is blessed with many knowledgeable contributors, making it an excellent source of valuable information.
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:25   #43
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Re: Paralleling Battery Banks

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Originally Posted by callmecrazy View Post
The max I've seen is somewhere in the 16's but that was not using the schumacher, that was just solar and alternator (combined)
Short term spikes are sometimes seen as the regulators are slow to respond, but be careful with those voltages they are above the equlisation levels recommended for most batteries and as Mainsail says they can quickly damage the battery, depending on exactly what the voltage was the type of battery and duration.

Solar and alternator combined should not result in the voltage rising like this. The battery voltage should only rise to the level of the highest regulator.
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:40   #44
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Re: Paralleling Battery Banks

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Originally Posted by callmecrazy View Post
The claim that I found ridiculous was the statement that Schumacher chargers are dangerous and unhealthy for the batteries.
My comments were intended to be specific to the Ship n Shore pictured and in video. After re-reading it I see that it could be construed as "general to all Schumacher chargers, that was NOT my intent. So let me reiterate. PLEASE BE CAREFUL and BE SURE your Schumacher charger is NOT performing as this one does, that is all.

I have tried three different Ship n Shore chargers in the last two+ years, all the same model, and all performed the same way. Schumacher has INSISTED, on multiple occasions, this is perfectly normal operation.

If you don't feel the 15.5+ volts I see with these Ship n Shores is dangerous then we'll just have to agree to disagree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by callmecrazy View Post
Maybe that model is different, or it was a batch of defective units, or whatever.

I would love to believe that these three Ship n Shores were defective, that is my belief, but multiple attempts with Schumacher have resulted in. "That is how it should operate".. Not just by me but by the original purchaser, with receipt, and within the warranty period. We were both told the same exact thing. I didn't believe it, that they woudl say this, so I called too. Then, being fascinated by this response, I called a number of other times and eventually got "escalated" to a "higher up" who still insisted this operation is within "normal" for that charger.

Quote:
Originally Posted by callmecrazy View Post
Just because that one charger doesn't work properly doesn't mean the millions of others they've produced are doing the same thing. That's all...
Actually it has been three of the same model. Again I never intended my original comment to be a "sweeping" generalization. I was meant to be pertinent to the "Ship n Shore" pictured.

Quote:
Originally Posted by callmecrazy View Post
I haven't given any advice at all. I'm simply stating that I have a charger that has overcharge protection, and it's a schumacher that does not over charge my batteries.
That's great, hopefully they've addressed the issues I have seen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by callmecrazy View Post
I have a battery monitor with which I constantly monitor the voltage going into the batteries. It records min/max voltage. The max I've seen is somewhere in the 16's but that was not using the schumacher, that was just solar and alternator (combined).
Unless you're actively equalizing 16V should not happen in a properly operating charging system with properly operating voltage regulation. The voltage should only go as high as the highest voltage regulator.

Quote:
Originally Posted by callmecrazy View Post
With the Schumacher, I've never seen much more than 14.x from the schumacher. I have no inclination to do further testing since I've been using it for months now and have not noticed any abnormalities or sulfating of the batteries.
That's good!

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Originally Posted by callmecrazy View Post
When people make sweeping, negative, generalizations about a product.
Again not intended as "sweeping" but may have come across that way, sorry if it did and I officially APOLOGIZE if it did.

Quote:
Originally Posted by callmecrazy View Post
Its a sure sign not to believe what you're reading.
You don't have to believe what you "read" about the charger I was talking about because I have posted an actual video, so you can see it too..

Quote:
Originally Posted by callmecrazy View Post
Do you're own tests if you so inclined, or do you're own research.
Exactly my point. I have done the testing on the charger I am specifically showing, and even took the time to post an actual video of it putting out 16V in GEL mode!

I also had a customer ruin $1400.00 worth of GEL batteries to then be told by Schumacher that it was not "their problem" and the charger is "working as designed"..... Of course the battery manufacturer would not warranty the new bank because they were "over charged" and Shucmacher insisted the charger was OK. The poor customer was stuck in the middle with a ruined $1400.00 bank.

Quote:
Originally Posted by callmecrazy View Post
I'm not even advocating these chargers, they are CHEAP. Just pointing out that the one I have is not dangerous, works properly, and has overcharge protections built in.
I am glad to hear someone has a Schumacher Ship n Shore that works as it should, and I honestly hope they have addressed this.

Still, to others, PLEASE BE CAREFUL and carefully check the voltage parameters of ANY charger you buy and compare the claims and set points with a DVM. Batteries are expensive and begin cautious never hurts. Some batteries are EASILY destroyed by over voltage, GEL's being one of them..
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Old 01-11-2011, 07:44   #45
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Re: Paralleling Battery Banks

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Is the Echo a 2 way charger, meaning will the Alternator charging current flow to the house bank through the Echo?
Steve in Solomons MD
Lagoon 410 SE
Steve,

The Echo is a one way, directional device. It is designed to charge from a larger bank, to a smaller bank at up to 15A. It is a voltage follower so what the house bank see's is what the other bank will see, voltage wise, minus a slight voltage drop across the device. It is also voltage limited on the output side to 14.4V even if the other side is sending it 14.8V
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