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Old 28-01-2009, 11:21   #1
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Question What charger?

Ok, I'd like some recommendations please before I go spending my cash.
My system will probably be 3x 100aH batteries, using 2 50w solar panels and 5amp (at 12v) wind charger. My max power usage at any one time will be 150w, though averaged over a 24 hr period its likely to be less than 60w.
Cost is an issue.
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Old 28-01-2009, 11:35   #2
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This seems to fit my requirement - Dual Pro 12/24/36 Volt 10 Amp 3 Bank | BatteryStuff.com

Or am I missing something obvious here?
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Old 28-01-2009, 11:48   #3
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If you size to the bank (300 amp hours), you'll be happier if you went with the largest the bank could safely handle. If they're wet cells, then if you go by the 20% rule (C/5), then you'd be looking at a 75 amp charger. AGMs have less internal resistance, and can be charged at up to 40% of the amp-hour capacity of a battery bank, or better - 120 amps!

But if the charger will solely be used at the dock (you haven't mentioned a generator), then the one you indicated would be the right size, but I'd be a bit leary - it may be "waterproof", but I doubt it's designed to be permanently mounted in a boat. It's more money, but a marinized one designed for the environment would be safer...
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Old 28-01-2009, 11:53   #4
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Ah, well it was listed in the 'marine' section, but yea, it may not be specially designed for constant use at sea...
But with my relatively low power consumption, would I be able to get away with less?
Say 50amp?
Oh, and I'm going for 'Gel' batteries btw...
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Old 28-01-2009, 11:57   #5
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And it seems to me, that the way this one charges batteries it makes it equivalent to a 30a charger...
Guest 10A, 10A, 10A, 3 output charger | BatteryStuff.com
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Old 28-01-2009, 12:03   #6
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Would getting a larger wind geni help as I could charge the batteries more or les 24hrs a day? (even if it is a 'trickle')
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Old 28-01-2009, 12:08   #7
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This also seems ok - Dual Pro 12/24/36 Volt 15 Amp 3 Bank | BatteryStuff.com

I think I should say, that I'm looking for the minimum I can get away with, rather than the ideal, Having to go a few days without electricity isn't much of an issue for me. And I always have the onboard engine for emergency power to the Nav lights...
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Old 28-01-2009, 12:21   #8
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Done some maths.... My average consumption/day will be around 120 aH/day.
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Old 28-01-2009, 12:29   #9
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Please feel free to throw your math's at me, I have a reasonable working knowledge of the formula's involved, though I'm no expert...
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Old 28-01-2009, 13:02   #10
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Will the three AGM batteries be in a single 12V bank of 300Ah, or will one of them be a starting battery? If the latter, then you'll need to re-think your setup, as a draw of 120Ah/day would discharge the batteries to under 50% - in other words, more than totally discharged. Neglecting the input from your solar panels (2 x 50W @13.6V = 7.35A peak, more like 3.75A or less for about 5-6hours a day, so that's 68Ah), you'd wear out the batteries prematurely.

And that's optimistic. I wouldn't count on the wind generator or the solar panels in the sizing of the bank if it can be helped at all. Chances are if you skimp, you'll just pay for it later. But if it can't be helped, then it can't be helped. As you'll hear often here, boats are a case study in compromises...

If the batteries are a bank of three in parallel, why are you considering a multi-bank charger? You treat the whole bank as a single battery (which it actually is - a battery is simply a conglomeration of voltage producing cells, whether its a single case or multiple. In common English, a "battery", such as a 1.5V AA, is not the technically correct term. Engineers refer to it as a cell...). Connect the positive charger lead to the positive post on battery #1, and the negative on battery #3 - if they're wired in parallel...
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Old 28-01-2009, 13:10   #11
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Capt. Jaz,

I started to respond, but I'm confused as to what you're really trying to accomplish. When I was outfitting my new boat, this website helped me gain a better understanding of how to think of a boat's electrical system in an integrated way. You might want to read some of the articles there. They will help you frame your questions in a way that, I believe, will get you better advice from our members.

Technical Documents
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Old 28-01-2009, 13:13   #12
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Hi, yea the 'cells' will be connected in Parallel, and I had been under the impression that a 15amp 3 stage 3 bank charger was cheaper than the equivalent 45amp charger... I may be looking in the wrong place though. And with so many other expenses, a compromise is almost certain. I'm just trying to find one that will work in the short term, and hopefully not cost me too dearly in the long term... A tall order I know! lol...
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Old 28-01-2009, 13:19   #13
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Hi Hud3, made that last post before I read yours, and checking that link now... Obviously I'm missing something here....
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Old 28-01-2009, 13:28   #14
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I should say that the reason for all this, is that my actual cash in the bank is pretty small. I have a monthly income, but I can't wait around to save up, or I will be unable to get from Chesapeake to Panama before my insurance doesn't cover me. I hear Panama is relatively cheap for parts though, so I could wait on the Pacific side for an indefinite period, while fitting out for the run to French Polynesia...
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Old 28-01-2009, 13:44   #15
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Ok, it's looking like 100 amp charger of any variety is out of the question for the foreseeable future for my budget. 120aH was actually a conservative estimate for my power consumption (i'm a bit of a Spartan at heart), I think that I can reduce even that, by only using my PC when absolutely necessary and printing out my charts and doing my plotting with only GPS. And I'm currently on a PC which I'm selling, and the 40w I quoted for my laptop, can actually be reduced to 20w if I go for the 8.9" laptop instead of the 15".
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