Recharge leisure battery

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by grasscutter, Jun 22, 2011.

  1. grasscutter

    grasscutter Funster Life Member

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    Can anyone advise as a rough guide how long it would take to recharge my 110 a/h leisure battery off of the vehicle engine/alternator.I see many threads on charging with solar and EHU but just wandered what charge I could get back in the battery when touring around.
     
  2. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi I asked a question like that a few weeks back but in a different format :BigGrin: Anyway the very rough answer was that the alternator pumps out about 50 amps per hour (in my case up to 100 plus ex ambulance /heavy duty alt ) so a good hrs run should charge your battery :thumb:
    We do not have any solar or anything,only like you the 110 amp hr battery but we can easy go 4 / 5 days without H/Up and not run out of power :thumb: (Thus my question at the time)It seems that all the running about to shops etc, that we do must be putting back in what we take out :Rofl1: but I must say it is very rare for us not to move each day once on site :BigGrin: I tend to use the van in much the same way I would use the car.
    terry
     
  3. hilldweller

    hilldweller Funster Life Member

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    Remember it's normal to discharge to 12V which is 50% of capacity to conserve your battery. So if you are doing this you have ball park figure of 2 hours.
     
  4. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    Alternators are not good chargers ..

    Alternators ARE NOT GOOD CHARGERS..

    Your van's alternator is designed to recharge the battery after slight discharging such as engine starting; the alternator is not designed for charging heavily discharged batteries, ie below 50%, nor can it charge to 100%.. Relying on the alternator to charge a heavily discharged leisure battery(s) can overload the alternator and cause damage. In such cases, use a battery charger instead.

    If you do a lot of wild camping and depend on the alternator for charging you should consider fitting an alternator to battery charger.. there are several on the market ..

    I appreciate that Sterling have a commercial interest in selling their wares but they make excellent products and are well respected in the marine world. I have no personal or commercial interest in Sterling .. only a very satisfied customer.

    Quote from Sterling site:..

    The problem

    Standard alternators are not designed to be good battery chargers; they are designed only to charge an engine start battery sufficiently to start the engine. Because of this inherent design problem associated with the standard regulator, a more advanced regulator is required which in effect converts the alternators from a constant voltage power supply to the latest 4-step constant current battery charger (see battery charger graphs). Because of this improvement in the alternator control system, these regulators dramatically enhance the alternator's charge rates by between 200 – 2000% depending on how poor the original system is.

    Read more here and here
     
  5. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    :Eeek: ??????????? Why then are they fitted to almost every vehicle made ? Come on Jim
    why would anybody want to pay x amount for the Sterling product when the alternator works fine in most cases ?The only time I have had trouble with it not charging is when either it was shot or the battery it was charging was shot :Doh: I did not see any Sterling product on my van when it was a ambulance (the wiring was unbelievable and had to be seen) and as such had more stuff at 12v than any camper and that lot relied on only the alternator :thumb:
    terry
    edit this reminds me of the question I asked -About gennys heehee and the van having a alternator and how fast it charges-- upshot was my van probably took an hour to put about 50 amps (100 amp hr) into each battery as opposed to a genny running 6 hrs or more giving about 4/6 amp hr
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2011
  6. bigmillie

    bigmillie Read Only Funster

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    I have fitted 100 amp cable via a 100 amp relay between the leisure batteries (2 x 110) and the vehicle battery, this will charge the leisure batteries at 40 amps with engine running been using this for 3 years no problems so far :Smile:
     
  7. scotjimland

    scotjimland Funster Life Member

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    you have answered your own question Terry. ... an alternator is primarily designed to power vehicle equipment .. not charge banks of batteries..

    I am not selling anything Terry, only pointing out the inherent problem of using an alternator as a sole method of charging .. I agree that for general mixed using (ie, charging on ehu , solar and or genny) an advanced alternator to battery charger is not needed.. but if you are a serious wild camper depending solely on the alternator for charging your leisure battery(S) it would be a good investment..
     
  8. JJ

    JJ Funster

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    Don't ask me for figures on charging graphs, amp inputs, wattage needed, four step, three step or two step cycles...

    ... but...

    My battery bank definitely charges up much faster with the Sterling battery to battery charger than it did before...

    My policy is to use my van as I want (lights on, not sitting in the dark "saving battery power", fridge on, computer on etc) and if I run out then I need more of something. (batteries, solar panels, charging system, genny)

    Touch wood, since the fourth panel went up on the roof and the old batteries were replaced (and I moved to sunny Portugal), I have so many amp/watts thingies that the local electricity board have asked me if I would hook up the Wagon to the national grid to help Portugal out of the mire..:Rofl1:

    JJ
     
  9. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi Jim I can see what you are saying but Grasscutter is like me only got engine battery and 1 leisure.If I needed more power then the way to go is to fit an extra L/B and see how that works not spend a fortune on a Sterling device that I may or may not need :BigGrin: admitted I may like one :Wink:Looking at it if it improves my charging by 200/2000 % I could run the engine for a few mins :thumb::Rofl1::Wink: Perhaps I could have the first hy-bred m/h :Rofl1::Rofl1:
    terry
     
  10. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Is it a case of over kill JJ :Rofl1: with all those panels you could have one wired to each battery :Rofl1: Out of curiosity how much was the desirable bit of kit
    terry
     
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