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Old 28-11-2010, 11:20   #1
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Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Annapolis Maryland
Boat: Prout Aerorig catamaran45'Felix the cat
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Overworked Charger

We live aboard a 14 year old 45' cat. We added 820watts of solar panels last year to help the charging needs of the 10 golfcart batts (aprox.1140 amps hrs). We've left the pier and constant shorepower trickling in extra charging (heading south for the winter). I've noticed that our old (original)Heart/Freedom 25 is showing "E-3" overheating on the Xantrex link 2000 panel,when we encounter a few straight days of no sun and have to run the 10kw Westerbeke gen.
I've been told..." the poor charger,she's workin as hard as it can, cap'n" to quote Cheif Eng.Scotty of the starship....
We're inFt. Lauderdale and have access to Donovan Marine and good prices on Charles and Newmar.
Do I purchase a big Charles 60amp charger only and keep the Freedom for inverting only?
How would I monitor the Charles' charging rate?
Will the Xantrex still monitor ?
I've been told that the Charles has a habit of going to "float" a bit too early while attempting to charge large battery banks...
We try to keep the amp hours above -400we were advised to never go below half the amp hour of our 1140 bat bank...

Capt'n Dave
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Old 29-11-2010, 07:48   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Cruising Eastern Caribbean
Boat: Taswell 49
Posts: 1,199
Not sure you want to go down to a 60amp AC charger for that size bank. Your Freedom 25 is a 130amp charger if its the same as my Freedom 25. With that big of a bank I would thingk you want a much bigger charger. Others who are pros in this area Im sure will comment but Im thinking you want a charger that can put out the max that bank will accept with maybe some excess capacity so its not running full tilt?

I thought that the number was something like 25% of the bank. So if you bank is 1140 AH then you could run a charger that puts out 285amps. A 60 amp charger would take nearly 7 hours of generator running to put back 400 amp hours right?
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Old 29-11-2010, 08:04   #3
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Location: Massachusetts
Boat: 40' Silverton Aftcabin with twin Crusaders
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Inverter chargers always put one at risk of losing both charging capabilities and inverter capabilities when failures occur. The old Freedom is just that, an old circuit design that has a history of failures. I had two on my boat, one failed when I made the mistake of switching batteries during a charge cycle. THE DAMNED THING WENT UP IN SMOKE with sparks flying all over the place until I was able to shut down the AC. The carcuss still sits in my garage along with the remote control readout.

My suggestion is to continue to use the Freedom while it works but add a couple of modern chargers and yes, I understand the Freedom is a 3 stage charger. The remaining Freedom (24v) is use for an inverter for TV and fluorescent lights plus charging the 24v batteries that share windlass and inverter loads. When that fails, It also will be replaced by separate charger and inverter devices.

Final comment--- Xantrex will NOT provide any technical information such as schematics needed to repair the the old Freedoms.

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Old 29-11-2010, 19:59   #4
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Location: Santa Cruz
Boat: SAnta Cruz 27
Posts: 6,374
Holy cats Felix, what are you doing to drain the batteries when you have 800 watts of solar--using electricity to cook and heat with?? That should be more than enough solar to keep up with your demand.

If the Freedom is overheating, how about installing a fan to vent its compartment?

You can also use the power sharing mode to cut down the charging rate and prolong its life.
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