Recommendations for on the move quick charging?

Discussion in 'Tech/Mech General' started by Emmenay, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. Emmenay

    Emmenay Read Only Funster

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    I have just returned from a trip around Spain and France and have come to realise the battery split charging system I have is wholly inadiquate. The problem I had was while wild camping for one night at a time and then moving on, the journey was not enough for the batteries to recover, to the point where I had to book into a site just for a good charge up.
    The current system comprises of a 120A/H alternator, a new 110 amp engine battery and three newish 80amp (if I remember correctly) leisure batteries. When charged at home for long enough all of the batteries receive and hold a healthy charge.
    Question: What is a good set-up for fast charging batteries on shorter journeys? :thumb:
     
  2. jollyrodger

    jollyrodger Funster Life Member

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    Personally I have one 110amp main and twin 115amph Aux`s, one of which is charged via alternator/zig the other via 80w solar even when mobile .when static via switching solar will charge both. no need for EHU :Wink: also runs 1000w Inverter when needed :thumb:
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013
  3. haganap

    haganap Funster Life Member

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  4. B-well

    B-well Funster

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    i`m not sure, but lately battery 2 battery chargers seem to be the latest setup. These appear to make a rapid 50 amp charge to leisure batteries in short time, with engine ticking over. not invested in one myself but noticed them at the summer show at exeter, at road Pro stand.
    sure a Funster with more knowledge of such products will enlighten us.
     
  5. B-well

    B-well Funster

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    i`m not sure, but lately battery 2 battery chargers seem to be the latest setup. These appear to make a rapid 50 amp charge to leisure batteries in short time, with engine ticking over. not invested in one myself but noticed them at the summer show at exeter, at road Pro stand.
    sure a Funster with more knowledge of such products will enlighten us.
     
  6. Armytwowheels

    Armytwowheels Funster Life Member

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    There's an echo on here!!:Rofl1:
     
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  7. B-well

    B-well Funster

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    Here here here here ............................
     
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  8. pappajohn

    pappajohn Funster Life Member

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    B2B charger.

    When your engine battery is fully charged the alternator all but shuts down, until something draws power (lights etc) which is why normal split charge isn't too brilliant over a short journey time.

    In basic terms, a B2B fools the alternator into thinking the engine battery is discharged so it whacks out loadsa amps to charge the leisure battery very fast.
     
  9. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    A 120 amphr alternator should charge your batts up in around an hour,or twos running --Is the cable from alternator/relay thick enough ? this will limit the charge allowed if not :Smile:
    I have also seen vans with two alternators fitted :Wink:
    Scotjimland usualy posts a link for cable thickness and lengh requirements --someone may have saved the link and post it :Smile:
    How big is the charger in your van ? as a rough guide you usualy need 10 x amp ie 20 amp charger will charge 200 amp hrs batterys 30 will do 300 etc,Obviously a smaller charger will just take longer to charge battery's if you get my drift
    terry
     
  10. Gray B

    Gray B Read Only Funster

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    C - Tec B to B charger with an added bonus!

    I have a c- tec battery to battery charger which also has a built in mppt solar panel regulator which takes care of my 80 watt solar panel.
    Done the split charging thing and the Zig unit, current system by far the best.
    Regards cable the thicker the better.

    Cheers for now Gray.
     
  11. Emmenay

    Emmenay Read Only Funster

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    Yes the alternator will charge the engine battery in very short time but when it comes to the others, well lets just say that over a non stop 300 mile drive yesterday they went from 12.2v to 12.4v which is next to useless for a heavy user like me.
    The charger itself is very good when on hook-up. :thumb:
     
  12. JeanLuc

    JeanLuc Funster

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    I'm not an auto-electrical expert, but I think you have something wrong there. A 300 mile trip should put a pretty decent charge back into your batteries. That distance would probably recharge my 2 x 110 Ah leisure batteries from almost flat. Are you sure the alternator is charging the leisure batteries at all? The 0.2V gain you registered could be no more than the batteries recovering from a rest during the journey!
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013
  13. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    I would agree, it would suggest that one or more of your batteries is or has failed.

    What is the voltage in at the leisure battery terminals with the engine running?

    As for DC - DC Chargers we have been fitting these for the last few months which are performing very well and are priced competitively at £222.26 retail
     
  14. Emmenay

    Emmenay Read Only Funster

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    When I arrived at Calais last night I checked all voltages with a voltmeter. The engine battey with engine running was registering 13.8v and all three aux batteries were registering 12.6 ish. Then came a drive to essex and parked for the night. This morning the engine battery at rest for the night was 12.9 and the aux batteries were 12.5 so a slight improvement on the usual 12.3/12.4 but it has taken half of france to get that. The batteries must be getting some sort of charge because I would have definitely totally flattened them now with the use of tv and lighting every day. Also bear in mind the batteries charge problem free when on hook-up charge.
    Eddie is the system you are fitting compatible with the regular sargent display as I have read of some gremlins with some outfits. Other than that I am very interested :Wink:
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013
  15. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    Hi you have missed a point ----check batteries without engine running then check with engine running --if everything IS charging all batteries should be showing 13.5 plus not just the engine battery.
    Not sure but you mention a Sargent charging system, does this allow engine battery to get fully charged before divertiing power to L/B s?
    If thats the case then you may have a fault in the system.If I was you I would buy a split charge relay for around 10/15 quid and wire that up then as soon as your engine starts you should be getting charge to your leisure batts
    It could well be the Sargent is too smart or you say LBs are showing 12.5 ? Disconcerting /then test one at a time, (individually) may well show a dead battery
    Terry
     
  16. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    I would guess that if you have three leisure batteries fitted, with a Sargent unit your split charge fuse is gone.

    Have you had to change the engine battery or had a flat engine battery recently ?

    If you could tell me the voltage at the leisure battery terminals I could help you more

    Regards

    Eddie
     
  17. cmcardle75

    cmcardle75 Read Only Funster

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    That is definitely not charging properly. There's no way you're going to have 1.2 volts between the leisure and engine batteries and have a working split charge system.

    Just a thought though, I know some systems were set up without relays, but with whopping great silicon diodes instead to avoid back leakage. The voltage drop across them makes them pretty useless. Perhaps you have such a system?
     
  18. Emmenay

    Emmenay Read Only Funster

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    I have been tinkering with this for the best part of the day and I think (fingers crossed) I may have it sussed.
    First I measured all voltages with engine off since last night. 12.7v at the engine and 12.4v at tha l/b's.
    Started the engine and recorded 14.4v at the engine and still 12.4v at the l/b's. Obviously there is no charge at all going to them. Checked all fuses all ok. Checked all wiring around the relay area and found a heavy red and yellow wire chafed through onto a metal bracket. Strangely no blown fuses and a healthy 14.4v still travelling through it.
    Next the relays. I have one for the split charge and one that seems to be for turning off the 12v system when the engine is running. Seeing as i know this relay is working I swapped the two over as they are identical.
    The 12v hab power came on with engine running suggesting it now held a dodgy relay, BUT, still no real gharge at the l/b's.
    Following the charge wire from the relay I tested the voltage at various stages which all read 14.4v until I got past the first in line fuse just before the first battery, a drop down to 12.4v.
    Played about with the connections and suddenly starte to get an average 13.5v at all three batteries, well chuffed.
    So a combination of problems that have been blighting me since I have had the van and prompted me to buy a new 120ah alternator and four new batteries may well be solved, I hope.
    Thanks to all for your suggestions and input. Now where do I get a split charge relay? :thumb:
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2013
  19. eddievanbitz

    eddievanbitz Trader - Funster

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    Your relay(s) will probably be OK you need to sort out the connections :Laughing:

    Eddie
     
  20. Terry

    Terry Funster

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    most caravan spares shop or ebay price ranges from £8 ish to about £20 ish :Wink:but do as Eddie says first :thumb:
    terry
     
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