Just found this thread, and it is also my question. Will you guys take a look at my reqts, and give this another shot?
I want at least 20 amps, able to drop to a maintenance
amperage, the ability to shut off for a period (say 24 hours), then come on with the appropriate amperage to bring the bank back up to charge, and finally: capability to equalize manually as opposed to automatically.
I have a 400 Ah flooded bank that has to sit in Trinidad, alone and un-cared for, for six months at a time, with the need to provide refrigeration
while on the hard
for 2 weeks a year, during the boat prep cycles. I have tried minimum charge from the solar
controller (2 amps?), but that still dries the batteries down to the plates over six months. I can't fly down from Canada
just to put in some water
, and do not believe the local help is up to it. That is why I prefer a charger
that cycles on and off. AC power for the charger is 110 amps, in Trinidad.
As well, it would be good to equalize the batteries on the hard
with the charger after the sailing season, and again after the storage
season, and using the charger for that would be a plus.
I was thinking of hooking a portable trickle charger to a timer, but then the charger sucks energy when the timer disconnects it. Also, the timer adds another level of complexity that could screw up. As I finally am on a pension, I can swing for a reasonably priced marine
The six months while sailing, the charger would not be used, as I have a wonderful Blue Sky controller with 248 Watts of panel, an Air-X-Marine wind
turbine, and two Hitachi 55 amp alternators.
Thanks in advance for your advice.