DC - DC Chargers - Which one?





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  1. #1
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    Default DC - DC Chargers - Which one?

    I am considering replacing my NL dual battery system with a DC-DC system. I am stuck between the BC1212-15 and the CTEK D250S.
    I have read the various links, but would like some experience based opinions on the 2 options.
    I primarily use the Aux battery (130AH Deep Cycle) to drive a 40l NL fridge, and hate coming home from a hot day on the beach to warm beer...

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    I've got the bc1212 and very happy with it I dont know if the ctek has the load shedding function but on the bc1212 I like that the most.
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    BC1212-15. Is actually a no-brainer if you compare price.

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    Looks like the BC1212-15 is a 7.5amp charger. So you will have to drive quiet a way to get your 130 A/h battery fully recharged and if thats not possible you will still have warm beers!

    My opinion get the Ctek D250S

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    How many amps is the C-tek?
    Last edited by Unkredible; 2011/10/18 at 03:20 PM.

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    OK, done some reading, looks like the C-tek route needs a D250s and a Smartpass to work effectively...Read about this in the D250s Dual Manual... - becoming an extremely expensive option - may be cheaper to just get more batteries

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    I dont think the C-tek smartpass is necessary.
    The D250s Dual is also a MPPT solar regulator! Nice
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  8. #8
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    No you dont need smartpass.
    The D250S is a 20amp charger

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    Quote Originally Posted by mfuwefarmer View Post
    Looks like the BC1212-15 is a 7.5amp charger. So you will have to drive quiet a way to get your 130 A/h battery fully recharged and if thats not possible you will still have warm beers!

    My opinion get the Ctek D250S
    Not such a big difference, but still...
    The BC1212 is a 13.75A charger & about half the cost of the CTek
    The DC250S is a 20A charger

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eggie View Post
    Not such a big difference, but still...
    The BC1212 is a 13.75A charger & about half the cost of the CTek
    The DC250S is a 20A charger

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    This source states 7.5 amp, which is just to low for charging DC-DC
    Last edited by mfuwefarmer; 2011/10/19 at 06:40 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mfuwefarmer View Post
    No you dont need smartpass.
    The D250S is a 20amp charger
    Do you then just use a normal battery protector (like the one from Motormate) that will cut off the battery supply when the voltage is too low? Because this seems to be the only real benefit I can see to use the Smartpass. Or am I missing something?
    Last edited by pretorjn; 2011/10/19 at 07:34 AM.

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    Very happy with my Ctek. Charges very quickly.

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    This source states 7.5 amp, which is just to low for charging DC-DC
    The source you are reffering to is not correct. If you look at the picture you will notice it is a DC1212-10.
    I have a DC1212-15 with volt and amp meter installed. It is charging at 15 amp and 14,2 volt.

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    DC1212-15 is switchable between 7.5A and 13A, depending on what you want to charge. Cost is about 1/3 less.

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    Can you hookup solar with the BC1212-15?

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    Can you hookup solar with the BC1212-15?
    No need to, but if you want R250.00 will buy you a solar regulator. Still less than half the price of the C-Tek and you have backup.
    No need for smartpass either, low voltage cutout is build into the DC1212-15.
    Did someone mention load shedding on the 1212-15?

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    SO, I guess both have pro and con

    C-Tek - 20A = faster charging (but only if fridge can be switched to vehicle battery during charging), no need for solar rectifier (but this function is apparently power hungry)

    BC1212 - Load shedding and lower cost.

    Comes down to how much driving between charges.

    I think the BC is probably going to be an easier installation with the load shedding functionality and will save about the cost of a new battery...

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    What nobody is telling you and what you cannot, without proper measuring instruments see is that the battery will not accept charge at 20A for very long before the current draw drops even if you run an open voltage charger.

    As an example: On one of my Quantums the battery was run down completely when the radio was left on for the day. I hooked up my 7A Turnigy charger at a 7A current limit but open voltage rate to get the battery charged as quickly as possible. After 3 hours the battery voltage was up to 15.2V and gassing nicely but it wouldn't draw more than 2.5A from the charger even though it had 7A available.

    Please explain to me how a 20A charger will get the job done faster?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Koebelwagen View Post
    What nobody is telling you and what you cannot, without proper measuring instruments see is that the battery will not accept charge at 20A for very long before the current draw drops even if you run an open voltage charger.

    As an example: On one of my Quantums the battery was run down completely when the radio was left on for the day. I hooked up my 7A Turnigy charger at a 7A current limit but open voltage rate to get the battery charged as quickly as possible. After 3 hours the battery voltage was up to 15.2V and gassing nicely but it wouldn't draw more than 2.5A from the charger even though it had 7A available.

    Please explain to me how a 20A charger will get the job done faster?
    Yes and no (to the explaining). Very true about your 1st paragraph, still the 20A will beat the 7A by more than a just a few minutes, especially if you have a sizeable (100 ~ 130A.hr) deep cycle battery that is still in good nick, not an abused vehicle crank battery. It would make for a really interesting test to see just how much time can be trimmed off the charging cycle by starting at a 20A charge rate. Have you perhaps done this? Would love to hear the results of that type of testing.

    For anyone to stick his neck out and comment on the Quantum's battery - no thank you. Too many variables & unknowns. Who knows what that poor battery has gone through and where it has been?

    What I would like to know from you is what is this thing you call open voltage charger? What is the upper voltage cut-off or limit? And does it make any sense to have your battery go to 15V and beyond during a charge cycle? Apart from furious gassing, will it speed up charging to any degree? It sounds like this is just a danger zone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eggie View Post
    Yes and no (to the explaining). Very true about your 1st paragraph, still the 20A will beat the 7A by more than a just a few minutes, especially if you have a sizeable (100 ~ 130A.hr) deep cycle battery that is still in good nick, not an abused vehicle crank battery. It would make for a really interesting test to see just how much time can be trimmed off the charging cycle by starting at a 20A charge rate. Have you perhaps done this? Would love to hear the results of that type of testing.

    For anyone to stick his neck out and comment on the Quantum's battery - no thank you. Too many variables & unknowns. Who knows what that poor battery has gone through and where it has been?

    What I would like to know from you is what is this thing you call open voltage charger? What is the upper voltage cut-off or limit? And does it make any sense to have your battery go to 15V and beyond during a charge cycle? Apart from furious gassing, will it speed up charging to any degree? It sounds like this is just a danger zone.

    _____
    Eggie.
    Firstly I am hinting more at the fact that regardless of how much current is available a battery will only accept a high current re-charge for a very short period of time before current draw starts to taper off, this is especially true where you are dealing with a constant current constant voltage charger where both current and voltage levels are limited to safe levels but as this particular re-charge showed, even charging at insanely high voltage levels doesn't guarantee the battery will accept the current available. In this case I could have forced the battery to accept the 7A charge by increasing the input voltage limit even more but it was already gassing at a hell of a rate.

    Manufacturers recommend not charging lead acid batteries at more than 10% of the rated capacity. High current recharging creates heat which reduces charge effeciency which in itself is a waste of energy but if you take into account that in order to achieve a long period of high current re-charging you need to bump up charging voltage with the associated gassing(Bad for sealed bateries) as well then the argument for an overated charger becomes thin at best.

    However having said the above you can argue for a high capacity charger where it is in addition to charging the battery also supplying power to ancilliaries. In the case of the off roader this would probably be one or two freezers as well as an inverter for the chargers of camera batteries, laptops, radios etc.

    To answer your question about open voltage chargers. Open voltage chargers are usually devices where the current limit and voltage limit can be set by the user, also referred to as CC or constant current chargers these units are primarily used for commisioning of new battery banks where a constant high current charge(normally 10% of capacity is required over a 72 hour period to ensure the plates are well saturated with electrolyte) is applied to ensure the battery bank accepts the high rate of charge. These chargers put out a voltage far higher than what is accepted as normal and may be as high as 2.60V per 2V cell or in the case of 12V blocks 15.6V.

    Do note this limit is sometimes set even higher if required. The commisioning process is also somewhat more complicated than stated above but this is not what is being discussed and I would not recommend this hard handed approach to charging a battery you plan on keeping for a while.

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