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Old 27-04-2015, 06:30   #61
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Re: Solar and alternator charging on passage observations and questions

by the way , to try and visualise what goes on imagine this is as a model of battery charing, it doesn't matter if the power source is a mains charger, solar controller or engine alternator

The human is controlling the variable resistance and watching the amp and volt meters
Note the power source is " capable of 20 volts and 10 amps", but its not regulated ( you are doing that ) lets assume the " human" can react as fast as is necessary

Bulk mode

You want the system to provide as much power that it can into the battery, i.e. all of its 200Watts of power

So, the variable resistance is set to the lowest amount , i.e. the slider all the way left. The voltage you read is set by the a combination of the internal power source and battery resistance, but for all intents is set by the battery chemistry, you will see max amps flowing ( i.e. 10A) and the voltage will be anywhere from 11.5-13.5 and will start to generally slowly increase )

you will also see the current gradually reduce from its max of 10A

Absorption,

You know that the battery can only tolerate a max voltage that prevents excessive gassing or battery over heating and or destruction, this say in this case is 14.5V

S0 as your voltage meter reaches 14.5V, you need to prevent any further voltage rise, you will gradually increases the resistance of your " controller" , you will see the voltage stop rising

keep adjusting the resistance to ensure the voltage remains stable at 14.5. What you will howver notice is that your changes will gradually increase the resistance

AT a certain point you will wish to determine the end of absorption mode, typically you have decided that at a amp flow of 2 Amps, the battery can be " regarded" as full. ( usually between 1 and 5% of battery capacity expressed in Amps)

now you want a " float charge "to maintain the battery,

float

to therefore go to float mode, all you can do, is increase the resistance even more ( cause thats all you can actually control). you will find that the current falls to a low or zero value, and the battery voltage drifts down to 13.5V ( nominally) that its resting voltage , note you dont " pull it down " to 13.V. IN effect the charger is disconnected from the battery,

What you will then find is that there is a small current flowing and that periodically you will reduce or increase the resistance to " hold " the battery voltage at 13.5V, inreality you are moving from no charge to trickle charge from time to time


This is the basis of all charge control

PS: Sorry the battery is a 12V LA battery
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Old 27-04-2015, 07:01   #62
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Re: Solar and alternator charging on passage observations and questions

That's interesting wild bird. Did you have any problems using the hydrogen with all the bloody weed floating around the Atlantic this year? We often had to stop to clear the rudders of weed, and even sailing around the Caribbean often have to head to wind to stop the boat to clear the weed. PS I think we met in Faro if that's you with pip aboard
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Old 28-04-2015, 05:08   #63
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Re: Solar and alternator charging on passage observations and questions

Yes Monte, weed was a pain. I was lifting that Dougen regularly to clear weed. The wind self steering had the same issue so we moved to using the autopilot full time. I didn't realised we had met but yes that will be Pip!


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Old 28-04-2015, 05:10   #64
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Re: Solar and alternator charging on passage observations and questions

Just checked your profile. Realise who Monte is now! Hi Rob from crew of Wild Bird


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