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Author Topic: Will This Battery Charger work for charging my "Future" house battery bank??  (Read 1066 times)
Gary LaBombard
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« on: February 27, 2008, 02:47:31 PM »

I just lost my lengthy write up as you know I can do.  Forgot to make my text in Microsoft program, oh well!!  Well, now I just want to get away and cool down but want to run this by you.  Will this battery charger I own be sufficient to charge a battery bank of say 6 /8 12 volt batteries??  I am talking when connected up to shore power and using an inverter that does not have the charging feature built in?  This is a good question for me to be answered by you electrical guru's I envy.
Thanks ahead of time.
Gary
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Gary
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« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2008, 03:12:34 PM »

YOu want one that put out enough amps to get yourself a full charge in a reasonable time.  YOu also want one that won't fry your batteries by putting out too many amps, and heating the battery and causing outgassing.  That will shorten the life of your batteries a lot.

It looks like it can put out enough amps, if the 275 is any indication.  Although the 120 volt cord you use should be a large enough gauge to not over heat as well.

The better chargers have a temp gauge to attach to the batteries so they don't charge at too high a rate. 

Its a good sign that it says microprocessor controlled, so it looks like it tapers down the charge as the voltage increases.

So its something you can use, although its not perfect, and it sure is plenty large.  There may be better alternatives, but if you have this one, it may be better than spending a lot of $ for a better one.
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Jim Stewart
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« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2008, 04:15:20 PM »

Gary,
   What is total capacity of your battery bank in amps?  Most of what I have read recommends charging at a rate that is about 20% of your total capacity.  This allows a fairly rapid charge without overheating the batteries.  If you are going to be plugged in to shoreline and not trying to charge as fast as possible, I would opt for a little slower charge rate to prevent overheating the batteries.  Jack

PS: We plan to be your neck of the woods sometime around the end of March.  We will call you when we know what days we will be in the area.  Jack
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« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2008, 04:37:14 PM »

 Of course it can be used! However you are experimenting with about $500 worth of batteries to try and get everything right!!!!
 After reading as much as I could find and a little experimentation. I quickly saw the wisdom of purchasing a quality (not the most expesive) inverter charger. I use a Trace DR3624 about $700 when I purchased it 7 years ago.
 It has adjustable settings for different size battery banks there is also a temperatur sensor that can be added.  I'm still on my original set of batterys..
                                                                  Only my opinion Jim
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« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2008, 06:29:49 PM »

Gary...going by photos and search Sears....I believe this link is what you have.
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/p_10153_12605_02871234000P?vName=Automotive&cName=Batteries+%26+Chargers&sName=Battery+Chargers+%26+Boosters

This is Microprocessor-Controlled Battery Charger with Tester and GFCI Outlets.
Engine starts at 275amps for 12v and 125 amps for 6volts provides emergency starting power.
It said 60 amps rapid charge and 20amps fast charge and 2 amps slow/Maintenance charge.

It a good charger. However because of several batteries in parallel will require longer time to recharge due to low output.

Rapid 60 ampere setting is better...BUT it going to take allots longer charging then with 1 battery. Which mean the charger is going to get very warm or too hot but if you keep your checking power cord & plug to not get too hot or smelling rubber cooking. Use your IR gun on charger's transformer. Never go over 280 F. If so let it cool and restart.

Fast charge 20 will be safe setting but it is along time to bring it up. It depend what is batteries state of charge is will determine how long to bring it up.

Bottom line is that you will not heat bank of batteries as fast as you can with one unit. Again IR gun check it...never let it get over 125 F. to get max life.

Also 20 amps charging rate is dividing by the number of batteries...which mean slow still charging batteries.

I e-mail to Sears about model #71234 manual. They are having problem in their website for not able to download manual.

FWIW

Sojourn for Christ, Jerry
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Jerry Liebler
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« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2008, 08:56:00 PM »

Gary,
    The best answer to your question is yes if you stand there and measure the voltage of the batteries every few minutes to make sure it doesn't go above 14.4 volts and lower the setting if it does, but no if you expect it to charge them without supervision.  This type of charger is notorious for boiling batteries with sustained overvoltages.  You'd be much better off getting a true 3 stage charger.
Regards
Jerry 4107 1120
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Gary LaBombard
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« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2008, 09:06:02 PM »

This is only one of the reasons I love this bb'd.  I feel confident now I was on the wrong track and glad I asked you all what I should do for charging my batteries.  I will get the sears model off my mind and concentrate on the 3 stage as you have recommended. 

One other question, dumb I know but worth asking.  would it be safer to remove you battery caps when charging at any time or leave them intack??  I know it is a stupid question but is it really??  Is it better for the boiling gases to excape when charging at a 20% rate as recommended??

Thanks again guys, I knew you would steer me right.

Gary
« Last Edit: February 27, 2008, 09:17:59 PM by Gary LaBombard » Logged

Gary
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« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2008, 09:10:59 PM »

Gary,
    One of the best values in a suitable charger is the Iota IQ series.  They come in several capacities, the largest is 90 amps, I think.  Here is the Ebay item # for a 75 amp version,  190201213165.
Regards
Jerry 4107-1120
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Jerry Liebler
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« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2008, 09:17:39 PM »

Gary,
    I didn't read all the way through your post and missed the question about caps.   It is recommended by most battery makers that caps be left on except during equalization charges.  When you take them off during charging there is a lot more splashing of acid over everything. 
Regards
Jerry 4107 1120
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Gary LaBombard
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« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2008, 09:32:23 PM »

Jerry,
Thanks also on the information for removing of the caps.  I was questioning this as I was not sure what difference it would make with 6-8 batteries and the rate of charge that would be needed to fill all to 95% at the same time.  I just knew there would have to be a much higher volume of push to get all the batteries the same amperage of charge.  The splashing would surely be a problem no one would want to have happen.  You see, now everyone knows for sure not to do this now!!

Got to go to bed now. Thanks again Jerry, give our best to Sharon.
Gary
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Gary
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