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Batteries over charge on shore power


OU812

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Over charging two, 12 v batteries, when on shore power..... is the problem in short. Have shore power coming in to a power supply switch box (shore power or generator) and the on to a breaker box 120v and then on to a 120v ,fused, converter The converter is a Atwood 45 AMP, model 6345, CTL panel board. Out of the converter two leads Pos and Neg go to the batteries. No solar power. I found a charging wizard, inteli power 9100, but it has a plugin in it. Looks like a module. No wireing diagram. Need to hard wire a device in to my system. What kind of a regulator do I need? Over charging is the problem when on shore power. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you OU812

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Without the charge controller module you have a basic dumb converter, it won't overcharge your batteries so switching to it is a good idea.

 

You can buy the charge wizard plug in module to match your converter, it is a good investment. It will add a daily mini-equalize cycle, low voltage mode to reduce water use and a fast charge mode to bump you up fast when hooked to a generator or wanting to quickly recharge off shore power.

 

Just hook up the two power wires, a fuse on the hot battery end is a good idea too. On fuse size and wire weight I'd recommend going 50% larger than the rating on the charger, while it shows a specific amp limit that apparently applies into full batteries with minimal plug voltage. Fed a full 120 volts into low batteries my 9145 - 45 amp unit buried the needle on my 50 amp meter well past where 60 amps would have been marked on it.

 

When or if you get the wizard module it just plugs in with a phone type quick-connect jack and plug.

 

http://www.progressivedyn.com/power_converters_9100.html

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I cant speak to the quality of your existing Converter, but in the event its NOT a modern state of the art so called "Smart" Charger I would be tempted to do away with it and purchase a modern "Smart" 4 Stage (Bulk, Absorption, Float, Equalize) Charger and do away with your existing Converter. Some of the older technology Converters operated more like a constant voltage (around 13.5 or so) source and could over charge (cook and/or boil over) batteries if left on for extended time periods. I had an older NON Smart Converter/Charger which was fed its 120 VAC input from a 15 amp Circuit Breaker in my RV's 120 VAC Distribution Panel which all I had to do was switch OFF. Then I purchased a Progressive Dynamics Intelli 4 Stage (Bulk, Absorption, Float, Equalize) Model 9260 I believe Charger and wired its + and - charging output terminals to my battery bank.

 

I believe some of the older combination Converter/Charger with AC and DC Distribution Panels offer modern Smart Charger upgrades which enable you to leave some of what's already in place and simply replace the electronics (Converter). The thing is your existing system may???? have the 120 VAC Distribution Panel and 12 VDC Fused Distribution and Converter ALL IN ONE UNIT. If that's the case you could leave much of that and simply cut the 120 VAC Power Input to the old Charger,,,,,,,,Feed the new Smart Charger from a circuit breaker in the AC Distribution Panel with 12/3 wire (or just plug it into an existing or newly installed 120 Volt 15/20 Amp Receptacle),,,,,,,,,,,,,,Wire the new Smart Chargers + and - DC Output to your batteries (see note below) and as/if needed upgrade the existing DC Distribution Panel Input (which is from your batteries) and remove the old DC circuit from the old Charger as its no longer operative.

 

120 VAC TO NEW SMART CHARGER INPUT, AND ITS 12 VDC OUTPUT WIRES TO YOUR BATTERIES AND YOU DISCONNECT AND REMOVE OLD CONNECTIONS TO OLD CHARGER. Of course, the DC Distribution Panel needs its INPUT wired to your batteries and the new Smart Chargers OUTPUT needs wired to your batteries also so they can be charged WELL DUH...........

 

Wiring a new Smart Charger isn't rocket science. All it requires is 120 VAC INPUT, and two wire + and - DC Output which wires to your batteries. Mine had a 3 prong NEMA 5-15P 120 VAC 15 Amp Plug (Input) so all I did was plug it into a standard 120 VAC 15 Amp Receptacle. Of course, you could also wire it direct fed off a 15 or 20 Amp Circuit Breaker in your 120 VAC Distribution Panel with 12/3 (Hot, Neutral, Ground) Cord or Romex etc. The Smart Chargers DC + and - output terminals simply wire to the + and - battery posts.

 

I agree with Stanley, depending on how far it is from the Charger to Batteries, the two + and - charge wires (from charger to batteries) I would size with an ampacity of AT LEAST 50% and greater then your new chargers amp output rating. If your new charger were say 60 amps, the ampacity of the wire from charger to batteries I would use might be more like 100 amps to reduce critical voltage drop.

 

The answer depends on what you have now,,,,,,,what its problem is,,,,,,,,,,,,the current rating of the new smart charger,,,,,,,,,,,,,and a few other factors so the above is merely a guide and starting point NO WARRANTY as not being there Im a bit in the dark.

 

John T

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Lead acid batteries apparently like being at full charge. I would suppose that being hooked into line power would keep them there. From what I have read, lithium iron phosphate batteries may degrade at full charge (which is why the battery management systems keep the voltage to 3.4 V per cell instead of the 3.9 V per cell maximum voltage - and this 3.4 V per cell is where the cells are rated). This is discussed on the Technomadia blog where overcharging (and overheating) greatly reduced their battery suite capacity. We do not hook in and our battery suite generally drops to 60 or 70% SOC each night (when we run the Dometic on AC).

Reed and Elaine

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While lead acid batteries do best when fully charged they are sensitive to over charging, usually by using a lot of water. If that isn't caught and water added you soon have the plates exposed and are on the quick road to dead batteries.

 

The problem with old, dumb chargers is that they have only one voltage to charge at (which can vary a bit due to input voltage) and some aren't even adjustable. So you pick a low voltage for minimal water use but get slow and poor recharging, possibly never getting to 100% charge. You pick a high voltage so you do get to a full charge in a reasonable time but you have a lot of water use. Or you pick a mid level voltage and get better charging and less water use, avoiding the worst of the high and low settings but not avoiding the issues entirely.

 

With a smart charger like the Charge Wizard devices you have normal operation that keeps the battery pretty much charged and uses only a bit of water, you have idle mode that has a lower voltage that will maintain the battery but not really do much charging and uses almost no water and you have boost mode with a high voltage that rapidly recharges the battery but does use more water. The wizard switches between modes as it is programmed to try to match what is best for the batteries. It also has a timer that switches to an even higher voltage than boost mode for a short period, that uses more water but the benefits of keeping the battery at 100% charge and the cells equalized is worth the water use.

 

The equalize cycle is not like the one you'd get from an inverter/charger in that the voltage is lower, the duration is less and you do not need to disconnect the rig from the batteries to avoid damage to your 12 volt electronics from the 15+ volts the inverter/charger provides. However since it is run every day instead of every few months it seems to do a really good job of keeping the cells in balance.

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Thank you all for the input. I've been gone so now ....back to the project.. The converter I have is a series PPC 6300 ( 14 years old). They don't make it any more for several reasons, charging system is only one. so that said...I'm replacing the converter.... With a PPC 45TCRU. ($210) the information I got from PPC was that this would be the best for my power demands. Now I open for any suggestions for better..... If the converter will last another fourteen years..... well that makes the TC almost thirty years old.... The PPC 45 TCRU will auto regulate the battery charging as well as work better in hot tempters, and ect. I put up with the 6300 converter for years, but checking the water every day got old after a while. Just wanted to improve the old system. Thank you all for your input.....as always,... I learned something. Thank you OU812

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I believe that you probably had the old Magnetek 6300 which was very popular with RV manufacturers for many years because it was cheap and reliable, but it was never a very good battery charger and had almost no control. It was a single voltage output device which was usually set to operate at around 13.5V to almost charge the batteries without boiling them too much! :P At the time it was introduced it was fairly state of the art but they far outlived the state of technology.

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