Originally Posted by colemj
This is probably regulator
brand/model dependent. ....What would make a regulator
prematurely drop into float?
This applies to all charger/regulators and is well described by Maine
Sail as the "Charging Gotcha".
Many people believe that their batteries are fully charged as soon as the controller says they are in “Float” mode. They may in fact be at 90% or less – that’s 20% down on your usable battery
This is a problem with all charging
regulators because they don't know the capacity of the batteries, and they don’t know how much of the current
they are supplying is actually going into the battery
. They are all trying to charge the batteries without overcharging them, so most regulators will drop to Float after a set time, say 2 hours at the absorption voltage.
The diagnosis of the Charging
Gotcha is simple, as soon as your charger drops to float
check the charging current
going into the batteries and then switch the charge source off any way you can, and then back on. This will force the charger
back into boost mode at a voltage of about 14.4 volts. If the charge current goes up by a factor of 4 or 5 then the batteries still need charging.
The permanent cure for the Charging Gotcha is much more complicated. Search the Forum for more from Maine
Sail on this.