Author Topic: charging battery question  (Read 3937 times)

Offline Tyronedeblanco

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charging battery question
« on: March 31, 2013, 05:28:39 AM »
was looking for a concrete answer but couldnt find one online. 

I have EGC2 batteries in my E-bank, is it neccisary to keep a smart charger on at all times?  Or can i just every 2-4 weeks put the charger on and take it up to 100%?  I have the large 55A schmacher charger but i only run it on the 20A setting.  Problem is the charger is loud due to the fan and im getting that hydrogen smell when i charge it.  To keep the wife happy i only charge it up every 2-4 weeks.

I dont wanna ruin my bank, so should i buy a differant charger and run it constantly, or will checking it so often be ok?

Offline desertmarine

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Re: charging battery question
« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2013, 10:53:54 AM »
Since your charger only puts out a constant 20amps I would either charge them up to FULL (with that charger) and then place them on a Float Charger which cost less than $6.00.  Again the object of the game is to charge them to FULL status, remover your 55a charger and put the battery bank on a 12V Float/Trickle charger.

Or you can spend the bucks for a new 3 stage battery charger that will keep the batteries at float charge.

If it was me I would buy a new 3 stage charger to have as the main charger and use the 55A as a back-up charger: "One is none, two is one and three is better for me" :)

Hope it helps!
Desert Marine

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: charging battery question
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2013, 03:06:16 PM »
You're setup is similar to mine, except I managed to boil off a few inches of electrolyte by charging my pair of GC-2s at the 55 amp setting, which has diminished the performance of that particular bank.  I would recommend you keep a small float charger on your batteries after the Schumacher is done with it's charge cycle.  You won't get any stink or roaring fan noise. 

I have had good results with the following:



BatteryMINDer 1.33 amp:  $43

This is the easiest to use, just plug it in and forget it.



Save A Battery 4 amp:  $90

This is what I used on my GC-2s before the Schumacher and if I'd stuck with it I wouldn't have scorched them (it just takes 5 times as long to charge a fully depleted battery).  It displays voltage status and has a low-voltage alarm, which can remind you to shut down the inverter before you go into deep discharge.  It comes with a plethora of attachments for hooking up to just about anything you could imagine.  It shares the SAE connector that the BatteryMINDer does, which is handy for me at times.



NOCO Genius G3500 3.5 amp:  $60

This brand is now my favorite and any of their models would be my recommendation.  This model has settings for 6v and 12v, as well as flooded or AGM and can be left on the battery indefinitely.  I also have their G26000 26 amp model and am very happy with it, despite it's $285 price.  If I could only have one charger, the G26000 would be it, and would have saved me in the long run over all the chargers I bought first.  Once bulk charge is complete it goes into float mode, the fans shut off, and you can leave it on the battery forever, without any stink. 

The only downside to this brand is their proprietary connectors, but you can get an SAE adapter for the lower amp versions that allows for use of the cords from the other two chargers listed above.  The two larger amp models use Anderson Powerpole connection, however, the polarity is reversed, so, for any hams out there with DC power cords with these connectors, you won't be able to use the same cords you already have made up for other applications.

Hope this helps.  And, for anyone else out there on the fence about chargers, I wouldn't get the 55 amp Schumacher again.  Also, if you can afford it, get AGM batteries, they're almost idiot-proof, at least for this idiot. 

Offline Tyronedeblanco

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Re: charging battery question
« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2013, 09:16:54 PM »
ya, im wondering why S.Harris recomended that charger.  I guess its good if you need to quickly charge something, but over all, its big and situational.  Thanks for the info / reviews on equipment. 

Offline Azaziah

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Re: charging battery question
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2013, 10:21:47 AM »
I second the recommendation of Genius chargers... they are not cheap, but they work very well.

I have used the G3500 to save a couple large (155ah) AGM batteries that other chargers were insisting were bad.

Please understand, I use a LOT of Schumachers... all in all, they are very good.

But if Schumacher is a Chevy, then Genius is a Land Rover.


Offline FoolishCop

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Re: charging battery question
« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2013, 02:58:11 PM »
I've only used the set up Steve Harris recommends with the Schumacher, but if I understood him correctly after the batteries are fully charged it automatically goes into trickle charge mode. If you have standard deep cycle marine batteries like I do, you throw the charger into AGM mode at this point and it keeps everything charged and running smoothly. I do recall at some point in Steve's explanation, though I can't find it at the moment, why he suggests not using an actual trickle charge for your batteries. I know he also said the Schumacher's were the only chargers on the market that did what he was looking for, but of course other manufacturers could have made some since then.

Admittedly I've only had my battery backup system operational for a month now, but it's been running flawlessly from the beginning. Last time a storm came through I was hoping the lights would go out just so I could use it!  :P

Rich

Offline Mastoo

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Re: charging battery question
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2013, 07:21:01 PM »
YMMV but I just connect a charger every month or two.  For the first month check your batteries to see how fast they discharge to get an idea of how often to charge them.  For routine charging like this I'm happy with the CTEK 6 amp smart charger.  I also found the  plug in battery monitor drained the batteries (likely because of the light) so I'm not leaving that connected.  I returned my Schumacher 20A charger because it was charging at too high a voltage.  I bought a different 20A charger, a Rally, to charge batteries when time matters.

Offline desertmarine

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Re: charging battery question
« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2013, 09:55:24 PM »
I do recall at some point in Steve's explanation, though I can't find it at the moment, why he suggests not using an actual trickle charge for your batteries. I know he also said the Schumacher's were the only chargers on the market that did what he was looking for, but of course other manufacturers could have made some since then.
Rich

Steven's recommendation on not buying or using a trickle charger is this:  He basically said don't buy one to try to charge your battery after they have been discharged.  The trickle charger was not designed for this.  Some people think a trickle charger will charge a battery that has been deeply discharged and it simply will not work.  The trickle charger is designed to keep your battery(s) on float status ONCE they have been properly charged.

Not all battery chargers are 3 stage chargers.  Many will push high amps and over charge a battery if left alone.  Those who do not have a 3 stage charger will experience this problem.  So in short, if this is the case just charge your batteries, take a measurement and once charged fully (as per your battery's manufacturers specification) put the battery(s) on the trickle charger.