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Author Topic: Anticipating replacing Battery Charger - all systems option  (Read 256 times)

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britinusa

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Our Freedom Battery charger failed - again - this past weekend - got it charging again after applying external low pressure sudden shock treatment  (bare hand slap on the side)

It's not long for this world and they are obsolete.

So looking at replacing the battery charger.

Am I looking for the non-existent all systems charger / controller.

Our boat has a 100 Balmar Alternator (compass marine) - 350W solar power, 120v shore power and I'm thinking of adding a wind turbine.

Ignoring my choices (my boat ;) ) the ideal controller would do something like this.
  • Act as external Regulator for the Alternator
  • Accept input from Solar Panels
  • Accept input from Wind Turbine
  • Accept input from 120V shore power
  • and (just to make it universal) any other power source


ie. One device that would accept inputs from all sources and magically manage the charge of the two sets of batteries (House and Standby)

The device would have a battery monitor (with option to report 2nd battery info) and inputs from multiple sources.

Oh! And I do not discount LifePo4 batteries (with appropriate BMS's )

As far as my Freedom 2000 goes, it's also a 2kw inverter - not that we ever use it (if we need 120v we'll use shore power or our Honda 2000 i generator. we have a small 400W inverter for any small device that does not have a 12v option.)

Dreaming??

Paul
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Paul & Peggy
1987 C34 Tall Rig Fin Keel - Hull # 463

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mainesail

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Re: Anticipating replacing Battery Charger - all systems option
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2019, 05:02:11 AM »

A controller like this does not exist and won't likely exist for a long while. I know Charlie Sterling has been mulling over something along these lines for a long while, we've had a few conversations about it, and he is a very out of the box thinking electrical engineer. Unfortunately price & extreme complexity will likely make it a no-go.

Also, with one device handling all charging, if it goes teets-up, oops. With multiple sources you still have redundancy. We had a trawler customer who had solar, marine genset and an alternator. On a trip to Newfoundland & Labrador his solar died (cheap Chinese semi-flexible panels) and then his brand new Westerbeke genset crapped out. He could not find anyone in Newfoundland to repair it nor anywhere to "plug in" to shore power. The Balmar system we had installed saved the entire trip for them. Nothing wrong with a bit of redundancy.
« Last Edit: July 10, 2019, 05:03:52 AM by mainesail »
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britinusa

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Re: Anticipating replacing Battery Charger - all systems option
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2019, 05:43:54 AM »

Thanks mainesail, the redundancy issue had occurred to me.

My concern is: Do independent controllers (Alt Regulator, Solar/Wind Charger, AC Battery Charger, et. al.) work together? ie. If the Solar charger is pumping amps into the batteries, does the AC Battery charger or Alt Regulator behave correctly?

I would assume a single common charging device would behave.

Paul
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mainesail

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Re: Anticipating replacing Battery Charger - all systems option
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2019, 09:00:35 AM »

Thanks mainesail, the redundancy issue had occurred to me.

My concern is: Do independent controllers (Alt Regulator, Solar/Wind Charger, AC Battery Charger, et. al.) work together? ie. If the Solar charger is pumping amps into the batteries, does the AC Battery charger or Alt Regulator behave correctly?

I would assume a single common charging device would behave.

Paul

They are all voltage regulated sources and can play well together. During bulk charging all sources will contribute 100% of their capability. Once absorption voltage is attained the charge source with the most superior voltage will take over and the others will shut off until voltage falls back below their regulation point.. This is why we recommend your largest amperage source to have the slightly higher absorption voltage setting. In other words, if your alt is set to 14.6V then set your solar to 14.55V. This way the solar won't shut down the alt regulator and cause a game of ping pong.
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britinusa

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Re: Anticipating replacing Battery Charger - all systems option
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2019, 09:54:21 AM »

That's the clearest answer I have seen anywhere, Thank you mainesail !

Not being prepared to spend $1200+ on replacing the Freedom 2000, I'll need to purchase a battery charger (I already have one of your Alternators)
The Heart Interface external regulator module will have to go too.

I'm considering LifePo4 batteries, so the charger would have to be compatible for Flooded Cell, AGM and LifePo4

Looking suggestions of appropriate chargers & regulators

Paul

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1987 C34 Tall Rig Fin Keel - Hull # 463

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