DC - DC Chargers - Which one? - Page 4





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  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by jthuynsma View Post
    Question
    I have a BC charger from Jean under the seat and had bee using streat to my 2nd battery and it really works well.

    Now i got a one of those National Luna boxes with the controls on the side plus a battery and was wondering if I can just connect the charger to that unit instead of directly to my battery ?
    If the charger is under the seat, where is the battery and how long are the leads.
    Cheers

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    If the charger is under the seat, where is the battery and how long are the leads.
    Under normal circumstances it is behind the seat so that lead is about 300mm, if I have to put it on the back of the bakkie there is an additional link of 3meters.
    Jan


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  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by jthuynsma View Post
    Under normal circumstances it is behind the seat so that lead is about 300mm, if I have to put it on the back of the bakkie there is an additional link of 3meters.
    OK, it may just be worth pointing out that the DC-DC should be as close as possible to the battery, one of its primary functions is to overcome cable voltage drops.
    Cheers

    ZS5KAD
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    The frogs are starting to notice that the water is getting warm but it is already too hot to do anything about it.....

  4. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by RossJ View Post
    Will running the fridge - max 6 amp draw - at the same time as trying to charge the battery from the vehicles alternator confuse the dc to dc charger into it not knowing how much to give the battery if the fridge kicks in or out .
    The fridge will be connected after the charger in the layout.
    Ross
    No, the charger automatically senses the increased demand and adapts to it seamlessly. It affects the battery's charging time far less than you would expect.


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  5. #65
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eggie View Post
    No, the charger automatically senses the increased demand and adapts to it seamlessly. It affects the battery's charging time far less than you would expect.


    [From NGepi in Caprivi.]
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    Cheers

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    The frogs are starting to notice that the water is getting warm but it is already too hot to do anything about it.....

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    I know... the hippos are out here at night.
    Eggie.

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    Can only give my opinion on the C-Tek charger.

    I have mine rigged up so I can remove it from the 4x4 trailer and plug it into the Jeep either way in order to keep the spare batteries charged up.

    I think the fact that it can charge at 20Amps is a must. Otherwise you will have to drive around for hours just to get a bit of charge into the bats.
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  9. #68
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    The CTek's 20A is great, but as many have pointed out before, it often sounds better than it really is. 20A is only 20A if the battery accepts it.

    My experience with the CTek is that the solar input is a great feature, but the MPPT does not perform the way it should. Often the current delivery is lower than one would expect, even from a non-MPPT type.
    Eggie.

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    It is also worth mentioning that some alternators delivery 14.4V (or more) and way in excess of 20A. In that case, a DC charger is more of a hinderance.

    I tested the D250 as a MPPT controller and measured 7A peak from a 85W panel and 11A peak from a 140W panel. That's excellent. (I should add that there was a pretty hefty load [25A] on the battery in order to drop the battery voltage and drive up the charge current, but nevertheless, that's what was measured)

    Eggie, what have you experienced?
    Todd

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eggie View Post
    The CTek's 20A is great, but as many have pointed out before, it often sounds better than it really is. 20A is only 20A if the battery accepts it.

    My experience with the CTek is that the solar input is a great feature, but the MPPT does not perform the way it should. Often the current delivery is lower than one would expect, even from a non-MPPT type.
    The MOST efficient solar charger under almost all conditions, is connecting the solar panel direct to the battery - period.

    The danger is overcharging the battery.

    If you are in a position where you are completely reliant on solar panel and the battery is getting progresively flatter on a day to day basis, disconnect the charger/controller and connect the solar panel directly to the battery.
    Cheers

    ZS5KAD
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  12. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by Todd View Post
    It is also worth mentioning that some alternators delivery 14.4V (or more) and way in excess of 20A. In that case, a DC charger is more of a hinderance.

    I tested the D250 as a MPPT controller and measured 7A peak from a 85W panel and 11A peak from a 140W panel. That's excellent. (I should add that there was a pretty hefty load [25A] on the battery in order to drop the battery voltage and drive up the charge current, but nevertheless, that's what was measured)

    Eggie, what have you experienced?
    Field conditions with limited equipment, not tested fully.

    The D250S is apparently triggered into a "full" charging cycle by a utility battery voltage of around 12,1V or lower. If the starting voltage (morning after a night's use) is higher, the D250S will only raise the charge voltage to 13,6V and remain there.

    In a full charge condition with 2x87W panels connected and a hazy sky, I kept measuring 5A to 7A charge at a battery voltage of around 13,2V. Then by connecting the panel directly (bypassing the D250S) the current increases to 8A. Difficult to understand and accept.

    Worth mentioning is that the MPPT function needs time to settle. It takes a minute or two before the CTek settles to a reasonably stable current.
    Eggie.

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  13. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by jthuynsma View Post
    Question
    I have a BC charger from Jean under the seat and have been using staightt to my 2nd battery and it really works well.

    Now I got a one of those National Luna boxes with the controls on the side plus a battery and was wondering if I can just connect the charger to the input of that box and if I will have the same experience or if the NL controller and the BC charger will contradict each other ?
    The NL box solenoid will not kick in if you have a DC-DC charger, that is why I modified my NL Box and installed the D250S on the side of the box.
    Last edited by mfuwefarmer; 2012/08/24 at 10:47 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jdjoubert View Post
    Can only give my opinion on the C-Tek charger.

    I have mine rigged up so I can remove it from the 4x4 trailer and plug it into the Jeep either way in order to keep the spare batteries charged up.

    I think the fact that it can charge at 20Amps is a must. Otherwise you will have to drive around for hours just to get a bit of charge into the bats.
    Also want to go this route. Want to link a Ctek dc-dc charger to the two batteries that is situated right at the back of an Imagine Trailvan. Will this work or could the voltage drop be too much? Have a fridge/freezer in both the cruiser and imagine. Proper cabling already installed right through cruiser to imagine from 2nd battery under bonnet? Thx
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  15. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eggie View Post
    Field conditions with limited equipment, not tested fully.

    The D250S is apparently triggered into a "full" charging cycle by a utility battery voltage of around 12,1V or lower. If the starting voltage (morning after a night's use) is higher, the D250S will only raise the charge voltage to 13,6V and remain there.

    In a full charge condition with 2x87W panels connected and a hazy sky, I kept measuring 5A to 7A charge at a battery voltage of around 13,2V. Then by connecting the panel directly (bypassing the D250S) the current increases to 8A. Difficult to understand and accept.

    Worth mentioning is that the MPPT function needs time to settle. It takes a minute or two before the CTek settles to a reasonably stable current.
    Eggie, I think the problem is not the MPPT function, but rather the multi stage charger function. I mentioned that I had to connect a 25A load in order to drop the voltage to 12.2V to get the max current reading... That was because the D250 was seeing an almost fully charged battery at 14V and limiting the current.

    Sometimes smart chargers are too smart!

    The higher current without the D250 is due to the bigger voltage differential between the panel and the battery.
    Todd

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    I have a Raylite Ultimate as a starting battery and a Delphi DC next to it. Under the dashboard sits a DCDC12A from HcdP Electronics. In the caravan is a 220 volt fridge being fed from a 500 watt inverter connected to a 70 ah Varta DC which is connected to the Delphi by means of a > 5 meter long cable. This combination works like a charm when driving.

    The DCDC12A can also accommodate solar.

    I also went the solenoid route at first. Me thinks - those singing the praises of the solenoid system have not discovered DCDC as yet.

    The charger has a cooling fan, which comes on when the charger kicks in, therefore one can hear when charging takes place. Whilst towing with the fridge and 12v freezer switched on charging kicks in about 50% of the time.
    Last edited by Poen; 2012/08/26 at 12:14 PM. Reason: Placed a c in the kik.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poen View Post
    I have a Raylite Ultimate as a starting battery and a Delphi DC next to it. Under the dashboard sits a DCDC12A from HcdP Electronics. In the caravan is a 220 volt fridge being fed from a 500 watt inverter connected to a 70 ah Varta DC which is connected to the Delphi by means of a > 5 meter long cable. This combination works like a charm when driving.

    The DCDC12A can also accommodate solar.

    I also went the solenoid route at first. Me thinks - those singing the praises of the solenoid system have not discovered DCDC as yet.

    The charger has a cooling fan, which comes on when the charger kicks in, therefore one can hear when charging takes place. Whilst towing with the fridge and 12v freezer switched on charging kicks in about 50% of the time.
    Poen, that charger is "kicked in" all the time as long as the DC1212 is connected. The fan that you hear only comes on when needed, i.e. when there is sufficient heat build-up in the unit. The fan cools it down and then stops again untill needed again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mfuwefarmer View Post
    The NL box solenoid will not kick in if you have a DC-DC charger, that is why I modified my NL Box and installed the D250S on the side of the box.
    I have not opened the NL box is it fairly easy to bridge out or bypass just the solenoid. Can I then still do the input in the Red bradharrison on the box ? as I have fitted my charger with BH connectors.

    2nd question, can I then add my 3rd battery using the output BH of the NL box or will that just be daft ?

    To summarise

    I have a cranking battery connected to the BC dc-dc charger under the seat, this i want to tcharge the battery in the NL box behind the seat and then I want to put another battery on the being fed from the NL box.

    Any Ideas how I should wire this. Should I start a new thread with all my questions.
    Jan


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    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    OK, it may just be worth pointing out that the DC-DC should be as close as possible to the battery, one of its primary functions is to overcome cable voltage drops.
    Never thought of it that way luckily I have wired the vehicle that I can move both the charger and the battery if needed


    Thanks
    Jan


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    Haven't read the entire fred. I changed from the solenoid to the ctek 250 dual because an alternator may not charge a deep cycle efficiently which I needed for some extra capacity. 2 hours drive per day is now enough to run a 60l fridge 24 hours and keep the battery full. I still use a solenoide in the FJ but with a high cycle and small fridge. ( The ctek charged much longer on full current than a alternator before tapers off.)
    Johan Kriel

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    See comments in red

    Quote Originally Posted by jthuynsma View Post
    I have not opened the NL box is it fairly easy to bridge out or bypass just the solenoid.Yes, even I managed Can I then still do the input in the Red bradharrison on the box ? as I have fitted my charger with BH connectors. Yes, red to red!

    2nd question, can I then add my 3rd battery using the output BH of the NL box or will that just be daft ? Havent tried, but you will double the charging time with 2x batteries, what is your DC-DC rating?

    To summarise

    I have a cranking battery connected to the BC dc-dc charger under the seat, this i want to tcharge the battery in the NL box(Will not work as stated earlier unless you remove the NL solenoid or connect the DC-DC directly on to the terminals, but then it becomes messy) behind the seat and then I want to put another battery on the being fed from the NL box.

    Any Ideas how I should wire this. Should I start a new thread with all my questions.

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