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Old 11-04-2004, 07:33 PM   #15
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Sulphur buildup is what kills many a battery. If the charger you have "shakes" the plates with pulses then it knocks the buildup off and allows it to be mixed with the battery acid. Some batteries are so coated they give the impression that they are bad and this is why the companies claim it can rejuvenate batteries. Of course, if you have a dead cell then nothing is going to help.
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Old 11-10-2004, 04:11 PM   #16
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Here's an update.

I took batteries to Interstate. They brought the batteries back to life: one 12.96v, the other 13.09v.

I called airstream. Yes, the LP detector bypasses the battery disconnect switch. I have a feeling that more than that bypasses the switch, like the carbon monixide detector.

This coming Monday I am having solar installed. One Kyocera EC80 panel on the roof and one on the ground (so I can point it at the sun). Included will be a Heliotrope controller with pulse desulfinization and HTTP (or HPPT) capability. I wanted a solarboost 2000 but they are larger physically and might not fit into allowed space.

The Airstrean solar pre-wiring is for a $400+ Specialty Concepts controller. My dealer doesn't even use them. They install a $100 controller, but were willing to order the $400+ controller.

The reason the detector(s) bypass the disconnect switch is that it is the LAW. Seems strange to force folks to have their detectors active while the unit is in storage, thus causing the batteries to die. So I would assume that most folks are now disconnecting the black negative battery wire when storing their (newer) units for more than a couple of weeks.

Now to decide if I need to buy a Honda 2000 generator for those cloudy days while out camping...............

Everyone, thanks for your help.
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Old 11-10-2004, 04:29 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jordandvm
Has it really made a difference in your batteries, Bob?
I have used a pulse charger for years when I had Ni-Cad rechargable batteries for my cell phone. It gave a few more months of life to batteries that could not hold a charge. New batteries had much more life.

I can say that the technology is valid.


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Old 11-10-2004, 05:12 PM   #18
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Neil,

Glad everything worked out ok. Be sure to post a picture of your PV panels when you get them.
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Old 11-11-2004, 05:43 PM   #19
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Let's try some math to bring my understanding up to date.

I have two Group 24 batteries, a total of 160 amp/hours. I believe they are rated at 80 amps each. Assume they are depleted 30% or about 50 amps.

I've heard that a tow vehicle's alternator will charge at the rate of 65-80 amps per hour. True/false? If so, then the 50 amps of charge to bring bastteries full should take less than an hour. True/false?

A trailer converter puts out about 8 amps/hour, thus would take 6.2 hours to charge the 50 amps. True/false?

A battery charger, say one rated for 15 amps/hour, could charge the 50 amps in 3.3 hours. True/false?

Thanks,
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Old 11-11-2004, 06:48 PM   #20
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Neil,

All are false. How much information do you want, and do you want something technical, or just the generally accepted guidelines without a lot of fuss.
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Old 11-11-2004, 08:30 PM   #21
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I want enough information to understand the charging rates of different modes of charging and the time it takes to charge different levels of discharge. And in understandable english. Is this too much to ask?

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Old 11-11-2004, 08:56 PM   #22
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Neil,

To your first question: you should limit the bulk charge phase to about 25% of the battery capacity. Some sources say 20%. So 50 amps is way too high. It will cause the batteries to overheat and start throwing off hydrogen and oxygen.

Second, once the batteries reach about 80% of full charge, you should switch to a voltage limited absorption phase. As the voltage of the battery and the voltage of the charger approach each other, the amps taper off. Kind of like Terry's two milk jugs, connected by a tube. As the level in the two jugs get closer together, the flow rate through the tube will slow down. Likewise, as the voltages get closer together, the flow of electricity will slow down.

Regarding the math problems. Because of thermal losses, you need to put about 20% more energy into a battery than you take out. So if you take out 50 ah, you need to put back in about 62 ah.

Battery charging is a non-linear function. It can get very complicated if you start to look at different temperatures and rates of charging and discharging. Then there's the 'Peukert' factor, which says the faster you drain a battery, the less total energy you get out.

A battery is a storage device, but it isn't just a bucket that you can put in and take out at a fixed rate. Going back to the milk bottle analogy, think of the battery as a bucket that you are trying to fill to the very top. You can fill it very quickly when it is near empty, but as you get toward the top you need to slow down or it will splash out over the top.
Here's a website I found useful: http://www.pacificpowerbatteries.com...AQ/dcfaq6.html
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Old 11-14-2004, 02:54 PM   #23
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Tomorrow I'm taking the trailer in for solar installation. But in the spring I may want to buy a Honda 2000 generator as backup for bad weather days. Rather than charge the battery from the generator to the batteries via the converter at 8a, I'm considering buying a 15a charger to connect from the generator directly to the battery posts.

With my 2 Group 24 Interstate deep cycle batteries, the major red wire connects to the plus post of one battery and the major black wire connects to the minus of the second battery. The two batteries are connected with a smaller wire, plus to plus and minus to minus.

With a battery charger in place, would the allegator clamps be connected to the major red and major minus posts (of different batteries) or connected to the plus and minus posts of only one of the batteries?

Thanks,
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Old 11-14-2004, 08:24 PM   #24
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I would connect to the major posts. The only reason is to put the juice back in the same way it came out. Really doesn't matter.
You want to make sure the batteries are the same size, brand and type-if one goes bad you should replace them both at the same time.
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