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Old 31-08-2013, 09:23   #16
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Re: Recomendations for inverter/chargers

I've got a xantrex that's been totally fine for our uses, thank you very much. A 1000w has been great although no TV, no microwave. Just laptops, kitchen gadgets, and the occasional quick burst of the heat gun.

For power tools, long runs of high amp gear (like peeling a ton of varnish with the heat gun), I plug directly into the Honda 2000.

Combined with our ~270w of solar and 2hp outboard we use about one gallon of gasoline per week at anchor.
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Old 31-08-2013, 09:32   #17
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Re: Recomendations for inverter/chargers

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This becomes a trade off concern. Charge at a higher rate and get the batteries recharged. Or charge at a slower rate and have dead batteries with the added risk of sulfation. My opinion is to charge at as high a rate as one can while monitoring the battery temperatures.

OH, forgot to also recommend separate chargers & inverters.
Either way you shouldn't charge at a rate above what is recommended by the battery maker, and for flooded lead acid that is a 0.1 C rate. 20 amps for a 200 a-hr bank.
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Old 31-08-2013, 09:35   #18
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Re: Recomendations for inverter/chargers

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IN invertors and chargers , if you can take the weight, then full scale low frequency switching and large torodial transformers produce very reliable units, cause keeping the damm MOSFETS from blowing up is always a problem in switcher designs.


Dave
Dave-- just a few comments on your toroid. We used toroidal cores in flybacks some years ago and later changed to C cores and standard inverters over flybacks which are notorious for noise. Toroids present distinct problems. First the manufacturing cost is higher. Next if the manufacturing specifications are not followed to the letter, it is difficult to control the leakage inductance. Granted, at lower frequencies leakage inductance is not as critical as in higher frequencies. Also you cannot gap the cores as one can using C cores. This is important for sloping the B/H curves which can help with core saturation.

Final comment-- way back then-- I found it better to avoid using a single transformer for push pull operation. It there is any time difference between the waveform halves, the risk for saturation becomes high along with switch failures. There are other benefits to using two transformers but this is now way to technical.
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Old 31-08-2013, 09:46   #19
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Re: Recomendations for inverter/chargers

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Either way you shouldn't charge at a rate above what is recommended by the battery maker, and for flooded lead acid that is a 0.1 C rate. 20 amps for a 200 a-hr bank.
In ideal situations I agree. But and there are buts... if I am on anchor, my concern to get the batteries recharged during the daylight periods so they can go through the nights without killing them. And after a few days on anchor, recharging with only a battery charger, even a new 3 stage unit often cannot get them completely recharged because the bulk charge rate falls below that needed to do the job. My bank consists of 4 each 230AH golfcarts in series/parallel.

I find my solar is far better ....when the sun shines..... than my Xantrex 50 amp charger. My solar will hang in there for over 6 hours pumping out almost 25 amperes constantly. Not so with my Xantrex which also of course requires running the generator.
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Old 31-08-2013, 10:07   #20
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Re: Recomendations for inverter/chargers

So you have 460 a-hr @ 12 volts. Your solar is about 1/2 of 0.1C and the charger is about 0.1C, so there is no disagreement.
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Old 31-08-2013, 15:37   #21
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Re: Recomendations for inverter/chargers

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So you have 460 a-hr @ 12 volts. Your solar is about 1/2 of 0.1C and the charger is about 0.1C, so there is no disagreement.
Look at it this way, if I can find room for more solar panels I will install them without consideration for a 0.1C charge rate. Till then-- no disagreements
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Old 31-08-2013, 16:05   #22
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Re: Recomendations for inverter/chargers

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Either way you shouldn't charge at a rate above what is recommended by the battery maker, and for flooded lead acid that is a 0.1 C rate. 20 amps for a 200 a-hr bank.
? lead acid are normally around 25% and agms 40%

and don't forget the loads. if you have a 200ah battery bank, with a normal load of say 10 amps at anchor with a genny running. you'd need a 30a charger for a .1c charge. not a 20a. as 10a will be used up by the loads. your charging time would be double if you only put in a 20a vs 30a
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Old 31-08-2013, 17:55   #23
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Re: Recomendations for inverter/chargers

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? lead acid are normally around 25% and agms 40%

and don't forget the loads. if you have a 200ah battery bank, with a normal load of say 10 amps at anchor with a genny running. you'd need a 30a charger for a .1c charge. not a 20a. as 10a will be used up by the loads. your charging time would be double if you only put in a 20a vs 30a
I have an undersized charger and it's nothing but a pain in the ass. Takes forever. Fortunately(?) it's started overheating and erroring out for long periods so I have a solid reason to toss it and get a new one.
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Old 31-08-2013, 18:08   #24
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Re: Recomendations for inverter/chargers

Eric,

I bought a small, light (8 lbs) switching charger for the small LiFePO4 12 volt packs that I assembled. Since it is small, not enough heat sinks for the constant 50 amp charge so after about 7 minutes at 50 amps the fans kick in. At 38 amp output and less, enough heat sink without the fans.


Has the 2nd storm hit?
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Old 31-08-2013, 18:14   #25
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Re: Recomendations for inverter/chargers

Yep, tropical storm Juliette rolled through but it was ~30 knots of wind and a half day of rain. Basically just enough to let the mosquitoes run wild from standing water over the last few days. Baja is super green right now: totally weird.

I need a remote face unit for whatever charger I get. I'm sort of pissed because I don't want to have to run another face plate but whatever.

I'm space limited too: there's not a ton of space in the battery compartment for a charger to fit so I'll need to pick something that has a small form factor.
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Old 31-08-2013, 18:17   #26
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Re: Recomendations for inverter/chargers

"Nowadays it's hard to live without constant AC power on board anyway because of the incredible proliferation of small devices requiring charging - phones, ipads, laptops, tablets, cameras, etc, etc -"
An awful lot, if not almost all, of the new gizmos come with standard USB power cords for their chargers. And since microUSB is (sadly) the standard for cell phones in the EU and US now, an awful lot of stuff comes with a microUSB cord and AC adapter, which can be separated. And a convenient 12volt car adapter usually found for the gizmo. In the US I'd say most of us own at least one 12v adapter to charge the camera or phone in the car. So if your guests have a lot of gizmos, the odds are that most of hem will run directly off 12 volts, using a common car adapter. Keep a few on the boat in case they don't bring them, and voila, no need for a big inverter.
Most of that stuff runs on fleapower anyhow, so even a 500W inverter will keep the odd ones happy.

WT to toroids and transformers and older type chargers? Good luck with that. The price of copper went through the ceiling ten years ago and switching supplies became cheaper even before that. Between the price of copper wire, steel for transformer plates, and shipping costs based on weight for either design...If you've got a coppermine, keep it. Odds are you don't even want to ask what a new one would cost, with or without shipping.
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Old 31-08-2013, 18:19   #27
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Re: Recomendations for inverter/chargers

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I need a remote face unit for whatever charger I get. I'm sort of pissed because I don't want to have to run another face plate but whatever.

I'm space limited too: there's not a ton of space in the battery compartment for a charger to fit so I'll need to pick something that has a small form factor.
Two of the points in favor of inverter/chargers rather than separate ones.

It's always a compromise.

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Old 31-08-2013, 18:27   #28
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Re: Recomendations for inverter/chargers

Sounds like your going to hole up in PE for awhile. Don't know what your apartment with its A/C runs, but I'm sure Charlotte is happy. I've never done the heat in August down there. Santa Rosalia has a couple of waterfront hotels that overlook the boat basin and I checked the prices on the really nice one, 750 pesos per night with balcony.

This is how small the charger is in comparison to the variable power supply. The wattage output of the charger is 750 watts, the PS is 300 watts, so for its output the charger is small.

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Old 31-08-2013, 19:10   #29
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Re: Recomendations for inverter/chargers

$350/week, furnished. The maid cleans it every other day and switches out linens, power and water are free, and the AC runs 24/7, thank God.

It's actually been working out really nicely because every day I've walked to the boat and been able to do a lot of work that's a pain the ass when everyone is living on it. Interior paint, varnish, sealing hatches off temporarily, etc.

So I'm making the best out of it and as much as sailing is awesome, living on the boat in August/September in this heat is f'n brutal. If we were out and about sailing it would be one things, but it's just so hot and our youngest is so little.

So, win-win. Family is happy, boat work is getting done, boat's in a safe place.
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Old 02-09-2013, 19:56   #30
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Re: Recomendations for inverter/chargers

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I need a remote face unit for whatever charger I get. I'm sort of pissed because I don't want to have to run another face plate but whatever.

.
for what? I find these really dumb. you can turn the charger off and on. which is already what the ac breaker does. (and really never gets turned off anyways)

and 2 you see a charge % of the charger. which is really irrelevant as well. the battery amps from the battery monitor is more important.
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