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Battery Charger Powerful enough?


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]Hi all,

 

I have a WAECO PerfectCharge IU1512, I believe it to be Model No 915-012TB I have been running three 110amp leisure batteries from it for years - one of those used as the starter battery.

I am going to replace the batteries and will be fitting 130amp or 140amp x three. I'm trying to ascertain if this model is powerful enough to do the job.

 

I emailed an agent for WAECO as can't contact them directly. They replied with this. So I'm guessing their answer is it won't do the job. If that's the case, it's strange how I've ran three 110amp batts off this for years, granted, one was the starter battery. So I'm guessing I'll need a more powerful battery charger??

 

 

 

 

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At 15a charging current it is a 'bit small', but as long as you take less than 15a 'out' then it will eventually fully charge the battery bank (it may take several weeks)

 

You could probably do 'better' if you sold it and got a 60-70A charger, it all depends on how much cruising you do, how much time on 'landline' and how much electricity you use.

 

We used to keep our 2x 110a batteries charged with a 4a charger - no problems and it kept the batteries in a better condition than trying to 'ram 100s of amps' into them.

 

Currently have a 60a charger keeping 'on top' of 6x 230Ah batteries - again - no problems.

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Yes not enough charge current to offer sensible re-charge times.

 

Would suggest a 50 amp multi-stage charger for your proposed configuration. Remember also you will likely need a little extra in reserve to cover drain on your DC system whilst batteries are being charged.

Edited by by'eck
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At 15a charging current it is a 'bit small', but as long as you take less than 15a 'out' then it will eventually fully charge the battery bank (it may take several weeks)

 

You could probably do 'better' if you sold it and got a 60-70A charger, it all depends on how much cruising you do, how much time on 'landline' and how much electricity you use.

 

We used to keep our 2x 110a batteries charged with a 4a charger - no problems and it kept the batteries in a better condition than trying to 'ram 100s of amps' into them.

 

Currently have a 60a charger keeping 'on top' of 6x 230Ah batteries - again - no problems.

Alan, thank you. It served very well feeding the three 110amps, but feel it may struggle on the higher amps. Most time spent in the marine, but next summer want to spend as much time as poss out of it. Also will add 600w of solar at some point.

Yes not enough charge current to offer sensible re-charge times. Would suggest a 50 amp multi-stage charger for your proposed configuration.

Thank you, it's starting to make more sense now

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Alan, thank you. It served very well feeding the three 110amps, but feel it may struggle on the higher amps.

 

You may be fitting more batteries, will you be changing how you use the power in them? If the charger has been OK replacing what you use so far, it should be the same in the future

 

Richard

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You may be fitting more batteries, will you be changing how you use the power in them? If the charger has been OK replacing what you use so far, it should be the same in the future

 

Richard

Yeah, hopefully planning to stay out of the marina much more next summer. But I'm guessing the battery charger only comes into its own when plugged into the shoreline, but my worry is the one I have will not put enough into the new more powerful batteries to maintain and keep them healthy

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From your first post table, you will notice that they are using the 'ten percent' rule guide, that is that the charger should be 10% of the battery bank capacity.

 

Now await the incoming laugh.png , there is also a guide that 15% is OK

 

So for a bank of 140 amp.hrs a charger of 42 amp or 63 amps would be OK.

 

Personally I run a 390 amp.hr bank and have 80 amp.alternator and a 50 amp charger (three stage)

 

Never seen 80 amps from the alternator, cannot run it fast enough and the charger only hits 50 amps for a fairly short time, depending on SOC of the bank.

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If your charger is effective in keeping your batteries charged then it's OK for you, but I suspect that most folk would like a bigger one. You do only need to keep up with what electricity you actually use,

My worry is that this charger will undercharge the new batteries and that will cause them damage in the long term

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My worry is that this charger will undercharge the new batteries and that will cause them damage in the long term

Why would it under charge them?

 

Your charger keeps up with your needs now so unless something drastically changes with your power consumption it will still keep up with a bigger battery bank connected.

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Any charger will charge any battery bank the only differing factor is time.

 

have a look here for a better explanation

 

http://www.smartgauge.co.uk/chargesize.html.

 

Lots of other good information on that site

Thank you, I'll go have a read

For shoreline use I'd keep the present charger, for generator use while cruising I'd get a bigger one to limit the time of generator runs, I'd also check that the solar is up to standard at least to do the later charging stages when the current is low.

HI, Author, I'm a little confused here. Was under the impression you don't use your battery charger when out cruising, as you need the inverter on to use the battery charger, which means running the engine to put power in etc. I'm guessing you're talking about using a generator only?

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Thank you, I'll go have a read

HI, Author, I'm a little confused here. Was under the impression you don't use your battery charger when out cruising, as you need the inverter on to use the battery charger, which means running the engine to put power in etc. I'm guessing you're talking about using a generator only?

You can run your battery charger from a generator.

 

You cannot run your battery charger from the inverter.

 

When your engine is running the alternator will charge the batteries.

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From your first post table, you will notice that they are using the 'ten percent' rule guide, that is that the charger should be 10% of the battery bank capacity.

 

Now await the incoming laugh.png , there is also a guide that 15% is OK

There is also a guide that says that 5% is ok too. It'll just take longer, treat your batteries more gently, and give a longer battery life.

 

As everyone else has posted, if his current charger has replaced his usage up to now there's no reason why it won't do so in the future if everything else remains unchanged.

 

Tony

 

Would a bigger charger help? Possibly, depends on his usage.

 

Does he need a bigger charger? Possibly, depends on his usage.

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Also if you are planning to add solar panels then they will contribute to the charging reducing what your charger needs to do. I go along with those who say " If you current charger is more than keeping up with what you use and you are not planning on using more energy with the new batteries then you should be fine with what you have. Just keep an eye on the system when you fit the new batts to make sure youget to full charge once a day, if not the fit a bigger charger.

 

BTW why fit bigger batteries, do your current ones do what you require? Are you planning to use a lot more electricity?

 

Top Cat

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Also if you are planning to add solar panels then they will contribute to the charging reducing what your charger needs to do. I go along with those who say " If you current charger is more than keeping up with what you use and you are not planning on using more energy with the new batteries then you should be fine with what you have. Just keep an eye on the system when you fit the new batts to make sure youget to full charge once a day, if not the fit a bigger charger.

 

BTW why fit bigger batteries, do your current ones do what you require? Are you planning to use a lot more electricity?

 

Top Cat

Hi Top Cat, I'm planning on spending much more time out of the marina and off shoreline next summer, so thought of having 130 or 140amp batteries, poss x3 leisure and going to have 600w of solar, hopefully then giving plenty of off shore power

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You could, instead, plan to use the available energy more efficiently -- by switching off stuff you don't need, then switching off stuff you don't really need, then switching off stuff you can probably do without, then changing filament bulbs for LEDs ....

 

But if you are cruising, the batteries are steadily getting charged anyway without you even thinking about it.

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Hi Top Cat, I'm planning on spending much more time out of the marina and off shoreline next summer, so thought of having 130 or 140amp batteries, poss x3 leisure and going to have 600w of solar, hopefully then giving plenty of off shore power

Bigger batteries doesn't 'give you' any more power, it just stores more. If you're planning on using more how are you planning to replace it? Lots more hours cruising?

 

Don't fall into the trap of thinking more batteries = more available electricity because it doesn't.

 

The procedure should be...

1. How much power will I use per day? (energy audit).

2. How much power will I produce each day?

 

If (2) < (1) then reduce (1) or increase (2) with a generator or more solar or more cruising.

 

Once (1) & (2) balance, multiply (2) by 3. The result is the size of bank you require.

 

Tony

Edited by WotEver
  • Greenie 1
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Bigger batteries doesn't 'give you' any more power, it just stores more. If you're planning on using more how are you planning to replace it? Lots more hours cruising?

 

Don't fall into the trap of thinking more batteries = more available electricity because it doesn't.

 

The procedure should be...

1. How much power will I use per day? (energy audit).

2. How much power will I produce each day?

 

If (2) < (1) then reduce (1) or increase (2) with a generator or more solar or more cruising.

 

Once (1) & (2) balance, multiply (2) by 3. The result is the size of bank you require.

 

Tony

 

And - if (2) is greater than (1) everything in the garden is rosy and no more worries.

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I'm finding that in good summer weather that 200W of solar power keeps up with our modest use, so 600W should cope in a larger range of conditions, but in the dead of winter on a grey day you could fill your roof with panels and not get enough input.

 

Thats very good advice to do a power audit and to look at minimising your power consumption. If you haven't already done it converting to LED lighting saves a lot of power but be aware that cheap units may interfere with radio reception.

 

 

Top Cat

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You can run your battery charger from a generator.

 

You cannot run your battery charger from the inverter.

 

When your engine is running the alternator will charge the batteries.

 

 

Well, you can but it will flatten the batteries so "do not" is probably a better phrase.

 

I agree with those who say if its OK now at covering the loads and charging the batteries it will be OK in the future unless the use changes. A cheap halfrauds 8 amp charger kept my batteries well charged while in Liverpool a couple of years ago.

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Bigger batteries doesn't 'give you' any more power, it just stores more. If you're planning on using more how are you planning to replace it? Lots more hours cruising?

 

Don't fall into the trap of thinking more batteries = more available electricity because it doesn't.

 

The procedure should be...

1. How much power will I use per day? (energy audit).

2. How much power will I produce each day?

 

If (2) < (1) then reduce (1) or increase (2) with a generator or more solar or more cruising.

 

Once (1) & (2) balance, multiply (2) by 3. The result is the size of bank you require.

 

Tony

Thank you, Tony. I'll take note of that. It won't be so much cruising, but more spending time on the bank away from the marina. Hopefully the solar will produce most of the charging, hence going for a larger system of 600w. All lights have been replaced with 12v led which should help

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And - if (2) is greater than (1) everything in the garden is rosy and no more worries.

Indeedy. I guess therefore that the bank size equation is actually better written "multiply (1) by 3".

 

Tony

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