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Old 08-07-2019, 02:28   #1
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Which battery charger to Equalize Lifeline AGMs?

I have six Lifeline GPL-6CT batteries in a 12 Volt house bank, 900 Amp-hours when new. I would like to equalize them, or what Lifeline refers to as "conditioning". I do not have a battery charger capable of doing this and would like to install one.

The requirements are output at 15.5 Volts (at 77 degrees F) for 8 hours. Both the temperature and the duration need to be selectable depending on battery ambient temperature and condition.

I have an inverter/charger already installed and hate to replace it since it works. My solar installation is also not capable of doing the conditioning.

Every battery charger that I have looked at that provides equalization features will only allow this if the selected battery type is flooded cells. If you select AGM, equalization is disabled.

For those who have Lifeline AGMs, what battery charger do you have? Do you just select flooded cells temporarily, somehow program the equalization voltage to 15.5 (or whatever, depending on battery temperature) and then shut it off manually when done?

Note - During my search on old posts I I saw A64 has a "push a button and done" Magnum inverter/charger, but this is a last resort if I can't find a battery charger that will do what I need.

Appreciate input! Thanks!

Steve
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Old 08-07-2019, 04:57   #2
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Re: Which battery charger to Equalize Lifeline AGMs?

While shore power is more convenient, it can be done on solar if your controller supports it. You dont need many amps as the batteries should be near full SOC before you start conditioning. Which controller do u have?
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Old 08-07-2019, 05:25   #3
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Re: Which battery charger to Equalize Lifeline AGMs?

Our ProMariner inverter/charger will equalize (I haven't, yet), and I think their ProNautic line of chargers will equalize too.

You can find their manuals on the ProMariner website, review in advance, consider whether suitable for your purpose. Several other brands/models probably available, too. The setting tends to be "equalize" -- not AGM or FLA or whatever.

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Old 08-07-2019, 05:45   #4
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Re: Which battery charger to Equalize Lifeline AGMs?

Hi, Belize.

I have 540 Watts of solar panels with a Blue Sky 3024 iL controller. The controller does have an option for equalizing, but it is restricted to 15.2 Volts and the timer is 2 hours. Apparently the equalize voltage is variable, but requires the IPN-PRO remote control, which I do not have. I guess one option is to get this controller, but it's not optimum.

I really would like to get a 120 Volt battery charger to provide some redundancy in case our inverter/charger fails some day, and also give me the capability to do equalizing.

Cheers!

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Old 08-07-2019, 06:23   #5
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Re: Which battery charger to Equalize Lifeline AGMs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
Our ProMariner inverter/charger will equalize (I haven't, yet), and I think their ProNautic line of chargers will equalize too.

You can find their manuals on the ProMariner website, review in advance, consider whether suitable for your purpose. Several other brands/models probably available, too. The setting tends to be "equalize" -- not AGM or FLA or whatever.

-Chris
Chris,

The ProNautic line looks like good battery chargers. They are one that I have already looked at. I read the manuals online, but perhaps I don't understand them as well as I think I do.

One of the items to select during startup is your battery type, e.g., flooded, sealed, AGM, GEL, etc. This is because different battery types have different charge profiles and require different charging and float voltage setpoints.

My batteries are AGM, and when this battery type is selected on a ProNautic charger, the equalize function is disabled. This is because AGM batteries other than those by Lifeline should not be equalized. To protect the customer from themself, ProNautic, Sterling, Xantrex, etc. all disable the equalize feature for anything other than a flooded cell type.

This is the crux of my problem. I guess I could temporarily select "Flooded" so that the charger would equalize, but it sure seems like the wrong way to go.

Let me know if I'm wrong on any part of my understanding, I'm willing to learn.

Thanks!

Steve
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Old 08-07-2019, 06:47   #6
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Which battery charger to Equalize Lifeline AGMs?

Sterling Pro charge Ultra will do it as well.
Any battery charger that it fully programmable should.
Are you sure your charger doesn’t have a user or custom program that you modify? Many as you select through the canned programs will then show custom and that one you of course set the voltages.
Beside it doesn’t matter what the charger calls it it as long as it’s fully programmable, if I could set float at 13.3 and absorption at 14.3 and equalize at 15.5 I wouldn’t care if the charger called it flooded or not.
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Old 08-07-2019, 07:06   #7
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Re: Which battery charger to Equalize Lifeline AGMs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve77 View Post
Hi, Belize.



I have 540 Watts of solar panels with a Blue Sky 3024 iL controller. The controller does have an option for equalizing, but it is restricted to 15.2 Volts and the timer is 2 hours. Apparently the equalize voltage is variable, but requires the IPN-PRO remote control, which I do not have. I guess one option is to get this controller, but it's not optimum.



I really would like to get a 120 Volt battery charger to provide some redundancy in case our inverter/charger fails some day, and also give me the capability to do equalizing.



Cheers!



Steve
Thats odd, Ive got a BS 3000i and it doesnt have those restrictions. Just preset Eq Volts and Eq Time then press the right buttons when wanted. On a good solar day I can get at least 4 hours and couple of runs seems to do fine. A good option to have for extended cruising w months away from a dock.

Agree though that shore power is more convenient...any fully configurable charger ought to work. Presets like AGM etc are just a convenience. If you can configure the various time and voltage set points you can do the same thing (the charger doesnt actually know battery type, it just has preset profiles based on type seleced). So, even with it set to FLA you could equalize AGM if the time & voltage parameters are settable.
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Old 08-07-2019, 07:11   #8
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Re: Which battery charger to Equalize Lifeline AGMs?

The only issue is volts and amps, a unit that allows for custom user settings is IMO required.

Ideally using shore power.

I also recommend equalizing the 6V units independently, not wired up as a bank.

Follow Lifeline's specific protocol, do **not** just use a canned push-button routine designed by the charger mfg.

As stated the Amps requirement is very small, since Step 0 is start with the batteries at true 100% Full, which in this case would be holding ~7.5/15V (temperature dependent) until current taperes to .005C.

So it will not cost much to get a fully adjustable power supply, either shore input, or perhaps better to get one that will accept your current shore charger as input.

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This one's cheap enough to carry a spare, let you do more than one at a time.

RUIDENG DPS5020, Type B communication version
https://m.banggood.com/RUIDENG-DPS50...p-1181200.html

Case for it :https://www.banggood.com/RUIDENG-DP-...p-1218785.html

If you prefer to go direct, Hangzhou Ruideng Technologies Co., Ltd
https://rdtech.aliexpress.com/store/923042


There are of course many alternatives, also RC-style DCDC chargers that would do the job.
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Old 08-07-2019, 07:27   #9
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Re: Which battery charger to Equalize Lifeline AGMs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve77 View Post
One of the items to select during startup is your battery type, e.g., flooded, sealed, AGM, GEL, etc. This is because different battery types have different charge profiles and require different charging and float voltage setpoints.

My batteries are AGM, and when this battery type is selected on a ProNautic charger, the equalize function is disabled. This is because AGM batteries other than those by Lifeline should not be equalized. To protect the customer from themself, ProNautic, Sterling, Xantrex, etc. all disable the equalize feature for anything other than a flooded cell type.

This is the crux of my problem. I guess I could temporarily select "Flooded" so that the charger would equalize, but it sure seems like the wrong way to go.

IIRC, I think this is where you bypass the battery-type setting, and just choose "equalize" instead. For our inverter/charger, setting that option needs access to the box itself; can't do it from the remote.

For the chargers, I think you can maybe select the "equalize" option from the remote. Or maybe you have to choose FLA first, and then set the equalizing voltages however you want them. Or something like that. Or what A64 says about the Sterling version; same chargers. Sorry I can't be more help, but I don't actually have one of their new chargers yet.

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Old 08-07-2019, 07:34   #10
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Re: Which battery charger to Equalize Lifeline AGMs?

Before equalizing, I recommend to do a couple of deep cycles. Bring them down to 40% SOC and do a full charge cycle, incl. a day or more of float charge. This restores much of lost capacity and can be repeated once or twice for more. This may be enough so that the equalize cycle isn’t needed.
I always try to avoid equalizing, even with flooded lead acid, because I was never impressed with the results compared to a couple of deep cycles
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Old 08-07-2019, 10:47   #11
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Re: Which battery charger to Equalize Lifeline AGMs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by steve77 View Post
I have six Lifeline GPL-6CT batteries in a 12 Volt house bank, 900 Amp-hours when new. I would like to equalize them, or what Lifeline refers to as "conditioning". I do not have a battery charger capable of doing this and would like to install one.

The requirements are output at 15.5 Volts (at 77 degrees F) for 8 hours. Both the temperature and the duration need to be selectable depending on battery ambient temperature and condition.

I have an inverter/charger already installed and hate to replace it since it works. My solar installation is also not capable of doing the conditioning.

Every battery charger that I have looked at that provides equalization features will only allow this if the selected battery type is flooded cells. If you select AGM, equalization is disabled.

For those who have Lifeline AGMs, what battery charger do you have? Do you just select flooded cells temporarily, somehow program the equalization voltage to 15.5 (or whatever, depending on battery temperature) and then shut it off manually when done?

Note - During my search on old posts I I saw A64 has a "push a button and done" Magnum inverter/charger, but this is a last resort if I can't find a battery charger that will do what I need.

Appreciate input! Thanks!

Steve
I have a similar Lifeline battery setup 4 X 220Ah and have an experience that may help.
I had the two alternators refurbished a few years back. Bearings electronics etc. The guy who did it said to leave off the wire that references the voltage at the battery so the charge is around 14.4 or so. I refitted the alternators and kept the wire off. While motoring the batteries were charging around 15.4V. I was headed back to Sicily from Pylos and going to be motoring quite a bit. Checked with Lifeline and got a “good to go” response. The Lifeline manuals on line say that 15.4V or so is ok to “condition” the batteries as you have read also.
Doing such a long motoring trip I wasn’t happy to keep charging so after a long day of motoring I refitted the wires to both alternators. Charging dropped back to a safer 14+V. The guys on the forum will give a more expert explanation of what had happened. btw the battery charger is a fairly simple and aged Dolphin. Takes 110v - 220V input and is not capable of “conditioning” the batteries. Again the experts on this forum will explain it much better.
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Old 08-07-2019, 11:32   #12
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Re: Which battery charger to Equalize Lifeline AGMs?

Check with your battery supplier, but I believe the LifeLine AGM's can be treated like a flooded battery. I've been equalizing my LifeLine AGM's like that, 6V x 2, 4 banks foe 9 years with great success. jmho
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Old 08-07-2019, 11:58   #13
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Re: Which battery charger to Equalize Lifeline AGMs?

Lifeline manual, extremely informative Manual. I’ve never seen a better battery manual.
I would not deviate any from the manual, unless I called them. Easy to do, you get to talk to a service rep, not some call center with a troubleshooting tree to read and or can open a ticket for you.
http://lifelinebatteries.com/wp-cont...cal-Manual.pdf
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Old 08-07-2019, 12:11   #14
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Re: Which battery charger to Equalize Lifeline AGMs?

Thanks, all.

Now I am looking for a battery charger that I can customize the charge profile and the equalize voltage. I am also considering buying the bells-and-whistles remote for my solar controller to allow equalizing from solar.

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Old 08-07-2019, 12:40   #15
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Re: Which battery charger to Equalize Lifeline AGMs?

The Balmar MC-614 external regulator can be set to equalization voltages as well.

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