CTEK charging

Submitted: Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 11:51
ThreadID: 109017 Views:3165 Replies:5 FollowUps:5
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Hi all
A question for the electrophiles if I could please. I have an Anderson plug connection between the car and the campertrailer. The front cable from the car connection goes though a CTEK dual to the trailer battery.
Question: Do you think I could add an Anderson plug connection to the leads of a CTEK 240V battery charger and thus charge my trailer battery by connecting the 240V charger to the battery via this front cable. i.e the CTEK dual will be between the 240V charger and the battery I am charging. Make sense?
cheers
Kevin
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Reply By: Peter T9 - Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 12:25

Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 12:25
Hi Kevein

You would have to have a charger with a capacity it excess of what the CTEK supplies ie 20amps and the voltage would have to be adequate for it to cut in. Not sure if voltage on most chargers on power supply mode would be high enough or not.

Alternatively you would have to connect to the solar input which should allow a reduced current and voltage to be used however this would probably defeat the purpose as you will need a separate cable.

Peter

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Follow Up By: Peter T9 - Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 12:28

Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 12:28
Sorry for typo in your name Kevin, fingers have gone mad.
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Reply By: Keir & Marg - Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 12:33

Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 12:33
Kevin,
I presume you have the CTEK 250S dual which is a DC-DC charger and can accept an input at about 12-14V from the car or other source, and also it has an MPPT for solar power input. This is the same as I have in my Jayco; I also run a solar panel.
I have wired it up via heavy cabling and an Andersen plug to the car so that the car charges the camper trailer battery while we are driving. The CTEK could be connected to the Centurion 240V/12V transformer in the van so that the CTEK also charges the battery when the van is plugged into 240V (as mine is, with additional wiring and switches). However, you need to check how everything is wired, because the Centurion (or similar) may also feed 13.6V float charge to the battery and 12V to the remainder of the van for the lights. If it does this, you may end up with the CTEK trying to charge the battery whilst the battery at the same time is connected to a fixed voltage supply (which the CTEK won't like). Alternatively, the van battery may try to charge itself via the CTEK when it is not connected to the car or 240V. It may be safest to consult a competent electrician. Alternatively, I can send you a wiring diagram for how mine is set up.
Cheers, Keir
AnswerID: 537148

Follow Up By: Keir & Marg - Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 12:35

Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 12:35
Forgot to add that my Centurion is 30A so can supply the 20A that the CTEK might draw if the battery charging requirements are high
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Reply By: Member - RUK42 (QLD) - Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 12:45

Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 12:45
Thanks Peter and Keir
So .. Peter. Your suggestion is that the solar input to the DC-DC charger should be compatible with the output from the AC-DC charger. This would be fine for me as I have a merit plug connection for solar to the DC-DC charger and all I would need to do is make a similar connection from the AC-DC charger.
Kevin
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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 13:14

Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 13:14
Hi Kevin,

The Ctek instructions specifically state that if a mains operated charger is used it should be connected directly to the auxiliary battery. By inference, that means not connected through the Ctek dc-dc unit. I can perceive several reasons why they would make this requirement..... certainly a multi-stage battery charger could be confused if it were connected to other than a battery, unless it were operated in "Supply" mode where it produces a fixed 13.5 volt output.
Despite the above, my experience tells me that it is unwise to proclaim that anything "Will Not Work" as unconventional arrangements sometimes do work! So you could try it and see..... it is doubtful any harm could come from it.

A simple and far better arrangement that will definitely work is to follow the Ctek advice and fit another Anderson plug connected directly to the battery (via a suitable fuse at the battery) and connect your mains battery charger directly via this plug. A consequential advantage is that this new Anderson plug is available to connect appliances such as a campsite light.

Cheers
Allan

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AnswerID: 537152

Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 13:21

Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 13:21
I have a Ctek250 unit and my 240v intellicharger will not work through it, they all just seem to get confused with each other and do nothing (like a politician)

I have run a seperate lead from battery terminals to an anderson plug and connect my 240v charger to that
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Follow Up By: Member - RUK42 (QLD) - Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 14:11

Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 14:11
Thanks Allan
I can live with that - like the idea of an extra lead attached to the battery. Problem solvered.
cheers
Kevin
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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 19:30

Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 19:30
As Allan has stated, the 240v charger should be connected directly to the battery, but there is a way to utilize them both if you desire.

If you place the 240vAC Ctek into Supply mode, you can simulate the voltage input from a source such as an alternator.
Supply mode will output 13.6v at whatever the rated amperage of the AC charger is (7a or 15a, etc.) and bypassing any smarts of the charger. The dc-dc Ctek will accept the 13.6v as input and boost it to the 14.2v optimum voltage level and use the multi-stage charging process of the dc-dc charger. Note that the normal 20 amp rate this charger would normally give, will not be realised as the limiting current is the supply current. (ie that available from the 240vAC charger)

To test this, you can connect the AC charger to the input of the D250S using one of the other modes. In a very short period of time, the error indicator will flash.
Now place the AC charger in supply mode and observe the indicator lights on the D250S and you will see a normal charging process.

So yes, you can connect the AC charger to the input circuit of your caravan or camper, via the Anderson connector and the dc-dc charger will happily see the voltage input as a constant supply source and operate in its normal matter, albeit at a lower current, which simply means it will take longer to charge the camper battery bank fully.

I have a 7 amp Ctek charger which I bought another end connector (black/orange plug) and exchanged the clamps with an Anderson connector to do exactly what you wish to do.

It is a good way of maintaining your camper battery bank when at rest in the shed, or wherever you store it. This is a practical solution where you cannot easily get to the battery bank to connect an AC charger directly and the camper doesn't have an onboard AC charger.

Bill


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Reply By: olcoolone - Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 16:19

Monday, Aug 04, 2014 at 16:19
No you can not do it but you could use a Ctek charger that has a supply mode at 13.8v and preferably a 25amp or greater 240v to 13.8v supply.

The problem with using a battery charger is it has to see feed back from the battery to enable it to start charging, no battery no charge.... the Ctek on your trailer will not allow feed back so the charger will thing there is no battery.
AnswerID: 537164

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