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Old 10-01-2014, 01:03 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by timjet View Post
This is how I understand my 100 amp Charles charger works

The charger starts out in a bulk charge mode with voltage at 14.2 volts.

When the batteries near a "full charge" (full charge is not specified) the output current will decrease and the charger will enter a 4 hr timed absorption mode.

After 4 hours the output will drop to a float rate of 13.6 volts temperature compensated to slightly less if above 25 C or slightly more if below 25 C.

In practice while on the hook the charger never reaches the float rate due to the 4 hr timed absorption mode.
I read in a recent thread (cruisersforum) that :
- bulk charge = constant amps, with voltage rising (end when absorption voltage is reached)
- absorption charge = constant voltage at absorption rate, with amps gradually falling

(Hadn't seen it expressed so succinctly, before.)

In our installation, with a 40-amp charger, presumably that would mean a cycle starts with a bulk charge at 40-amps (the charger's max) until reaching 14.7v. That agrees with the charger manual, which says a "Fast charge" [is] maximum current output until batteries reach 14.7v." (That would have been a max voltage of 14.1v, if I had selected the gel option, instead of the FLA/AGM setting on our charger.)

That would presumably be followed by a 4-hour absorption charge at 14.7v while amps gradually decrease from 40 down to.... er... something. (That too agrees with the charger manual; in this case, 4-hours is my own user-selected time period.)

Our charger then goes to float at 13.5v, whether set to FLA/AGM or gel(and that would have happened at the end of the timed cycle, whether that was set at 1, 2, 3, or 4 hours.)

Perhaps our charger's reaching 14.7v (in our case, at our FLA/AGM setting) is the same as your manual's reaching a "full charge"?

-Chris
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Old 10-01-2014, 02:35 PM   #42
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...So while on the hook, the batts will never get fully charged unless I leave the genny on for 5 hours or more which is not practical.

I don't know if this damages the AGM batteries as while on the hook they never are fully charged. Generally we get to a marina about once a week where they go through the full cycle and complete the absorption mode and enter the float mode...
This should be fine with no damage to the batteries. When we're out, we typically move about once a week and get the batteries fully charged. During the time at anchor, we only charge the batteries to about 80-85%%. I agree with you, it's not practical and isn't necessary to get them to 100% everyday. We monitor the voltage at the same time we monitor the amps in/out. After 7 years, we're able to determine the battery state just by the voltage even though the batteries haven't fully "rested". The morning is the best time for us, when only the refrigeration system has been on.
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Old 10-01-2014, 05:07 PM   #43
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This article does a pretty good job of explaining how the SOC meters function and their pitfalls. It also shows how the Balmar SmartGuage differs.

Smart Gauge Battery Monitoring Unit Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com
You're still confusing amp hour meters with true SOC meters. The Balmar is a very cool product, and I enjoy and endorse the Compass Marine articles on any number of topics.
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Old 10-01-2014, 05:33 PM   #44
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This quote is directly from the Victron Precision Battery Monitoring Datasheet.

Precision monitoring

The essential function of a battery monitor is to calculate ampere-hours consumed and the state of charge of a battery. Ampere-hours consumed is calculated by integrating the current flowing in or out of the battery. In case of a constant current, this integration is equivalent to current multiplied by time. A discharge current of 10A during 2 hours, for example, amounts to 20Ah consumed. All our battery monitors are based on a powerful microprocessor, programmed with the algorithms needed for precision monitoring.


More info is available on the Victron datasheet linked above.
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:08 PM   #45
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Better to read the manual. Sounds somewhat similar to the Magnum,

http://www.victronenergy.com/upload/...S-IT-PT-SE.pdf
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:15 PM   #46
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Although I am not a battery expert, I know (from years of doing and replacing) that replacing 3 out of 4 batteries in a battery bank is only going to cause problems down the road. Constavolts, (by whatever brand name they are) charge to the lowest denominator) In your case, to the battery that can 'take' the least charge.
When replacing batteries, replace them ALL. That way they all work in at the same rate of use and capacity.

If you want to see how batteries work, find a 'battery recycler' business and ask for a tour of their facility. It is sort of amazing how batteries are recycled and reused. (successfully!)
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:23 PM   #47
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As bad as lead acid batteries are these days..it's really hard unless you do pretty extensive testing on the battery you just bought whether its going to fit with the others OK.

Granted...don't mix 3 new batts with a 3 year old or older battery...but a year or two old battery may be just as healthy as a brand new one according to people who have checked into these things.

The only real test of batteries and battery banks is how they work day in and day out with your loads.
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Old 10-01-2014, 07:26 PM   #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caltexflanc View Post
Better to read the manual. Sounds somewhat similar to the Magnum,

http://www.victronenergy.com/upload/...S-IT-PT-SE.pdf


Can you be specific with your reference? What does the Victron manual say that contradicts the Victron datasheet?
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Old 10-01-2014, 09:10 PM   #49
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Just scan through it, especially section 4 on.
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Old 10-01-2014, 10:01 PM   #50
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In a non ideal world I'm of the belief that mixing older and newer batteries, brand A chargers, brand B inverters and brand brand C BMKs is asking for problems. To hopefully get to a seamless setup, two years ago I installed an all Magnum setup of inverter, charger and BMKs.

Since Balmar doesn't have a market share of inverters or chargers all they can offer is a monitoring kit, for no less material dollars than Victron or Magnum. Reading through a Magnum manual is indeed seamless to understand how all three should work and be setup. Magnums PNW office will take all and any inquiries on their units, a huge plus for those of us who do not profess to be marine electricians.

I shed my perfectly operating Xantrex inverter charger Link 2000 unit knowing it was entering middle age and no factory support was available according to many including this forum. My marine electrician experts concurred stating an all Magnum setup was far easier to install and trouble shoot; problem solving which I've not had to do with the new Magnum install.

It would be interesting to know if beyond bad batteries, TJ's issues relate to 3 different brands of electrical gear not able to communicate. In this day and age these types of issues should not occur unless faulty design, maintenance, install or equipment is the case.
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Old 10-02-2014, 01:14 AM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranger42c View Post
I read in a recent thread (cruisersforum) that :
- bulk charge = constant amps, with voltage rising (end when absorption voltage is reached)
- absorption charge = constant voltage at absorption rate, with amps gradually falling

(Hadn't seen it expressed so succinctly, before.)

In our installation, with a 40-amp charger, presumably that would mean a cycle starts with a bulk charge at 40-amps (the charger's max) until reaching 14.7v. That agrees with the charger manual, which says a "Fast charge" [is] maximum current output until batteries reach 14.7v." (That would have been a max voltage of 14.1v, if I had selected the gel option, instead of the FLA/AGM setting on our charger.)

That would presumably be followed by a 4-hour absorption charge at 14.7v while amps gradually decrease from 40 down to.... er... something. (That too agrees with the charger manual; in this case, 4-hours is my own user-selected time period.)

Our charger then goes to float at 13.5v, whether set to FLA/AGM or gel(and that would have happened at the end of the timed cycle, whether that was set at 1, 2, 3, or 4 hours.)

Perhaps our charger's reaching 14.7v (in our case, at our FLA/AGM setting) is the same as your manual's reaching a "full charge"?

-Chris

Your definitions above are exactly correct for bulk, absorption, and float. To them add equalizing charge, which is a short time over voltage charge say at 16v to intentionally out gas the cells to remove sulfation. Most people don't use this very often or at all. It makes a lot of H2 gas and requires high ventilation and observation. We would do this maintenance on submarine lead acid batteries to extend their life. Each one was a giant 2v cell.

With all the new cheap Edison and quark gadgets intel is making I would expect some cool new charging systems that might even talk to the loads and batteries. I might have to create one!!!
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Old 10-02-2014, 06:36 AM   #52
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The charger starts out in a bulk charge mode with voltage at 14.2 volts.

I thought AGM had a lower charge voltage to avoid gassing out the liquid?
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Old 10-02-2014, 08:21 AM   #53
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The charger starts out in a bulk charge mode with voltage at 14.2 volts.

I thought AGM had a lower charge voltage to avoid gassing out the liquid?


Our charger offers settings for FLA/AGM (combined) at 14.7V and for Gel 14.1V.

Newer chargers by the same maker offer several more profiles, some specific for AGMs (separately from FLAs) and with two different high rates, 14.4V and 14.6V... both of which are slightly lower than the same unit's two profiles for FLAs (14.8V and 14.7V) and higher (sorta) than the Gel profiles (14.0V and 14.4V).

Ref is here: http://promariner.com/wp-content/upl...NUAL-PRINT.pdf

I haven't read that manual in great depth, but given there are generally two preset profiles for each chemistry, I gather that one chooses the settings that most closely match the battery manufacturer's charging recommendations.

Do AGMs have "liquid" that could gas out? (Perhaps electrolyte that can become liquid?)

-Chris
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Old 10-02-2014, 08:25 AM   #54
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The charger starts out in a bulk charge mode with voltage at 14.2 volts.

I thought AGM had a lower charge voltage to avoid gassing out the liquid?
I called Decca, maker of East Penn batteries maker of my AGM's.

Charge Absorption Equalization 13.8 - 14.6 volts

Float - Stby 13.4 - 13.6 volts
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Old 10-02-2014, 08:32 AM   #55
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This should be fine with no damage to the batteries. When we're out, we typically move about once a week and get the batteries fully charged. During the time at anchor, we only charge the batteries to about 80-85%%. I agree with you, it's not practical and isn't necessary to get them to 100% everyday. We monitor the voltage at the same time we monitor the amps in/out. After 7 years, we're able to determine the battery state just by the voltage even though the batteries haven't fully "rested". The morning is the best time for us, when only the refrigeration system has been on.
Tim,

I had the same problem, which on my crossing, really got worse, in that the Victron was showing a small discharge (-1.0 A) while underway.I pretty much do as Larry does above.

So I spoke to a Victron Product Manager at eh Ams boat show and he pointed out that in addition to syncing, I must reset when I know that 0 current is running. Clearly, that was my problem, I must have reset it back in Rhode Island with a positive current from the solar panels.

Also, while theoretically you should wait 24 hours hours to get a true value on a rested battery, the actual value will be very close, within tenths of an amp, if you have no load for a little while.

Also, when I record the SOC numbers, I always record, the voltage, the current and the CE. That way, it gives me a sense based on the current draw how accurate the voltage is and therefore the CE and SOC.

Richard in NYC
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Old 10-02-2014, 08:38 AM   #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denloe1;

With all the new cheap Edison and quark gadgets intel is making I would expect some cool new charging systems that might even talk to the loads and batteries. I might have to create one!!!
Look no further than what is available for solar array systems with battery back up. Reuben Trane can and has waxed eloquent on this subject.
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Old 10-02-2014, 09:21 AM   #57
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Al, this is a good read about various methods used to measure the house battery system SOC and the variable pitfalls. It also tries to describe the latest BelMar SOC and how it works. It's backed up with some intensive logical testing.
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