Lotta myths to explode here! Well meaning, but wrong.
Haven't got a lot of time right now to fully explain, but all this has been hashed and re-hashed on this and other forums
First, to answer the OP's concern about whether or not his charger
is sufficient for dockside use, the answer is YES. Virtually any charger
is fine, if you're going to stay at dockside and have it plugged in long enough. The larger-size chargers are handy for maximum rate of charging
if you're out cruising and, e.g., want to overnite at dockside. Or, if you have a generator-driven charger, then the larger the better.
acceptance rates vary depending on battery type and battery chemistry, as well as state-of-charge (SOC). An AGM
battery can accept a hell of a lot of current
, depending on its SOC. For example, a 200AH Lifeline AGM
can accept well over 200 amps charge when 50% depleted. When much more deeply discharged, it can accept 1,000 amps or more!!!
But, these high rates of charge acceptance will dial down as the SOC comes up. How quickly this will happen depends on the size of the charger. With AGMs, they can almost certainly take all the charge you can throw at them.
Flooded LA batteries can't take such fast charging. More like 20-25% of rated capacity is all they'll take. And, they'll dial back quickly.
Here's the key point to remember: the battery itself will determine how much charge it will accept.
It doesn't matter a whit if you have a charger that is capable of putting out, say 200 amps if the battery will only accept, say 50 amps. It will accept those 50 amps -- and ONLY those 50 amps -- even if you have a 1,000 amp charger.
Moreover, there's evidence that the higher charge rates are actually good for batteries and for their health
and longevity. The oft-cited 0.1C type of thinking is mostly just urban myth, and is based very roughly on the size and chemistry of the battery and its "average" charge acceptance over the whole charging cycle.
Finally, the size and type of charging capability you have aboard depends very much on not only the batteries but the type of cruising you do. If you're at dockside most of the time, ANY regulated battery charging size/type will do, so long as it's big enough to overcome the self-discharge rate of the batteries and the average load on them.
If you're out cruising or on a mooring
, you need something different: you need the ability to get your battery bank up to full charge often a
nd, if mostly with mechanical means, to feed the batteries as much amperage as they'll take in order to minimize charging time and cost.In many/most cases, this means solar
in order to get the batteries fully topped up since it is very costly and annoying to do this with engine