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Author Topic: Battery Equalizer - Why?  (Read 2136 times)
wagwar
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« on: January 28, 2013, 03:48:21 PM »

I have a Sure Power battery equalizer and a 12 volt center tap on my house bank. I've tested the EQ and it seems to be working, but the half of my house bank that has the center tap still gets out of balance from the other half. I've checked voltages, connections, etc. and I'm fairly certain I have it connected properly.

So, I'm thinking: Just get rid of the 12 volt center tap all together?  I can wire the EQ as a simple converter and draw my 12 volt loads directly from it. That way, I don't need to balance the batteries and I'll only have a singe 24 volt connection to/from the house bank.

Any problems with that?

I'm thinking - Why not do that on the bus start batt side too?  Just use the Vanner EQ as a converter and avoid the whole 12 volt center tap for the headlights? The Vanner is a 60 A unit and it can certainly handle the headlights.

Thanks for your thoughts.
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Brian Diehl
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« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2013, 05:26:11 PM »

Yes - I'm interested in this too since my batteries never drained down before I put in an equalizer .....
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Geoff
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« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2013, 05:49:13 PM »

You need to separate the 12v house system from the 24v center tap.  Get a 12v truck alternator to supply your 12 v needs and keep the 24v just for starting and the few 24v loads you have.  I don't know how far your electrical system has bought into the 24v B.S. about being more efficient, but house systems are meant to run on 12v.

--Geoff
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Geoff
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luvrbus
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« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2013, 06:10:36 PM »

Geoff is alive and well lol I agree Vanners are a PITA  ot here but how are you doing on Johns bus Geoff

good luck
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Brian Diehl
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« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2013, 06:44:25 PM »

I have only a couple of 12 volt loads including the electronics on the engine and the transmission.  I'm not running a 12v system just for them.  I'll await any more feedback on the aforementioned configuration of the vanner equalizer.
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belfert
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« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2013, 07:13:17 PM »

I run a Vanner equalizer on my house batteries and I've not noticed the two halves of the battery bank getting out of balance.  The Vanner doesn't seem to drain the batteries when everything is turned off and the charger is disconnected for a few days.

I have a 24 volt house bank because it matches my alternator and the wires to my inverter can be smaller.  I run 4/0 cable to my inverter and it is marginal for the distance.  I would hate to have to buy cable larger than 4/0 if I used 12 volt.  I didn't want to mess around with adding another alternator for 12 volt.
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Brian Elfert - 1995 Dina Viaggio 1000 Series 60/B500 - 75% done but usable - Minneapolis, MN
Tony LEE
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« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2013, 08:59:52 AM »

My MC8 was 100% 24V with no centre tap, so when I converted it I installed 24V stuff wherever possible.

For items not available in 24V - such as stove ignitors, propane HWS control, radio and the like, I just installed a 24V to 12V DC-DC converter to run them


Have a reasonably large solar system that handles most of the house supply, so if I did it again, I would probably go for an all 12V system for the house and if necessary, install a DC - to DC battery charger to allow on the road charging from the engine alternator.

« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 09:02:51 AM by Tony LEE » Logged

wagwar
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« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2013, 09:37:30 AM »

Thanks for the info and sharing, but back to the original question: Is there any disadvantage in wiring my Sure Power EQ as a simple converter vs wiring it as an equalizer?  It is not feasible or practical to change my system to be 12v especially since I have that big 4000w 24v inverter.

As for the Vanner, if I can wire it as a converter vs an equalizer, then it just seems like it would be much simpler and eliminate any possibility of unbalanced batteries?
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scanzel
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« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2013, 11:28:35 AM »

Have you tried the Vanner web site to see if you can talk to customer tech service ?
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Steve Canzellarini
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« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2013, 11:39:27 AM »

What you are trying to do is the reason Vanner make the VC series a 24 to 12 volt converter
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uemjg
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« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2013, 07:37:26 PM »

are there other brands other than Vanner that do the same? Cost?
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luvrbus
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« Reply #11 on: January 29, 2013, 08:10:40 PM »

The last 30 amp 24 to 12 volt converter I bought was around 120 bucks made by Samlex fwiw probably cheaper now
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scanzel
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« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2013, 03:19:27 AM »

So what is the general opinion, use a Vanner equalizer or use a converter. The reason I ask is my battery bank will be 24v with a 4000 watt Magnum inverter. But I will still have some 12v house needs like my Proheat unit and some other items so basically I need 24v & 12V from my battery bank.
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Steve Canzellarini
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« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2013, 04:28:12 AM »

Steve

In my opinion, anytime the 24v is made from two 12v batteries in series, the best way to get 12v would be the equalizer. If the 24v is a single battery or batteries in parallel, then the converter would be the best approach.
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Bruce & Nancy Fagley
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« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2013, 06:36:13 AM »

There is no need for a equalizer unless the system has a 12v center tap
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eagle19952
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« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2013, 07:28:05 PM »

ok the king of notknowing wants to ask....
if one has a huge 24v battery system, a huge 4k inverter and a tiny 12v demand, why can't he put in a small 12v AGM battery and a SMALL 110v AC 12v charger to maintain the house system?
« Last Edit: January 31, 2013, 03:00:33 PM by eagle19952 » Logged
wagwar
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« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2013, 09:42:40 AM »

I have several 24v loads and many 12v loads. I have a very large 24v bank of six 8D AGM's. So, I can't change any of that. The Sure Power can be wired either as an equalizer OR a converter. So, my main question is does anyone know whether there is any disadvantage to simply wiring it as a converter. I can't think of any downside, so my next question would be then why would one ever wire it as an equalizer? It seems to me that just complicates the picture with no compensating benefit.

Thanks for all your thoughts!
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Sam 4106
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« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2013, 01:16:10 PM »

I may be wrong, but my thought is that the best answer to your question would come from Sure Power. Why not call them and then share their answer?

Good luck, Sam
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« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2013, 03:18:57 PM »

There is always an advantage to having an equalizer connected to a set of batteries, since it does make sure the batteries are charging equally.  Even batteries without external loads can benefit.  I have a similar equalizer/converter hooked up as a pure 24 volt to 12 volt converter for my trailer lights, it works just fine.  If your need is simply a source of 12 volt power, then use it that way.  OTOH, I can't conceive of a downside to having it as an equalizer too, but maybe you have found one.  Here is a funny story - I set up my trailer lights and the 24 volt to 12 volt converter/equalizer and it was working perfectly.  Then, I turned the bus off while the trailer was still connected and as is my habit I threw the master disconnect.  Then, I stood back and tried to figure out why my brake lights were on.  24 volt brake lights, on because the parking brake was on, but I had the master disconnect off.  What had happened was my converter, which was a 24 volt to 12 volt or a 12 volt to 24 volt or an equalizer - was connected to my trailer battery, and it was powering up the bus 24 volt system by back-feeding 24 volts onto the master electrical bus...  I had to disconnect the 12 volt charge line to the trailer connector...

Brian
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luvrbus
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« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2013, 03:46:21 PM »

Buses are the only thing you see the equalizers on in the marine and construction world engines start on 24v everything else is 12v this is done with a parallel switch it charges on 12v and changes to 24v for starting only the system has been around for a long time 

This from a guy who doesn't care for equalizers people have yet to prove to me they really work and are worth the trouble JMO

good luck
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