Arkpak Charger

Submitted: Thursday, Dec 17, 2015 at 20:53
ThreadID: 131149 Views:1591 Replies:3 FollowUps:5
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Hi all, have been reading lots of threads here about solar and charging deep cycle batteries for months now.

In the last couple of threads especially, the point of a charger rated to at least 15 amps has been recommended for a 120 AH battery. Member Swampy pointed out to look at manufacturers recommendations which I have just done via Century's website. The advice given by Swampy tallies with the makers .

My question is why do Arkpak sell a item designed to charge a 120 ah battery with a charger that only produces 6 amps ?

Am I damaging my battery by using this charger?

Nowhere have I been able to find out an explanation of WHY it is recommended to have 15 amps minimum. I understand you have to replace charge as quick as possible whilst the battery is under load ( fridge ) but at home with nothing on what is the problem having a small output smartcharger?
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Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Thursday, Dec 17, 2015 at 21:14

Thursday, Dec 17, 2015 at 21:14
No the 6 amps is fine, as long as it charges up the battery in the time it has (driving or ignition on if using the 12v one), they use a pretty good inbuilt smart charger.

In saying that, I hate the blasted Arkpak I have now, 2 12v chargers have now ceased working . . . and if I had my time again I would have just bought a plain battery box and just charge from the alternator via isolator / HD dual core wire, just as a second battery type of fitment.

A couple of 12v ciggy points and you're away.

Alternatively, if using a solar panel in camp etc, consider a Ctek250s as it will handle and regulate it all for you.
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Follow Up By: GREG T11 - Thursday, Dec 17, 2015 at 22:51

Thursday, Dec 17, 2015 at 22:51
Thanks Les, I wondered how something that puts out the same bulk and float levels ( according to specs. ) would harm a battery, perhaps it is the longer period of time on charge you have to consider ( heat build up ? ) that damages the battery over time.

Must be a valid reason why they say 15 amps minimum, after all if you have access to 240 v whilst away in your travels like a caravan park you would hook fridge up to mains along with everything else and leave your low output charger to refresh the battery in its own time. Qouted at approx. 18 hrs if discharged to a low level. That is of course that having already driven a while to get there where the alternator has already given it a boost.

There is must be something I am missing here, otherwise why bother outlaying X amount for a big ass 240 v charger if you don't really need it.

I bought the Arkpak with the idea of portability but since have purchased a s/hand camper trailer wired up with a 90 ah which works well for what it has to power SFA at the moment but have been looking at fridges hence my interest.

All I think I have to do is wire an Anderson plug to the towbar ( the vehicle has a redarc isolator already and 12 v to a 12 pin plug must have towed a caravan at some point ) I also have a 120 w folding panel which is yet to be put to any serious test.

The fridge is the next quandary after I work out what I can run, was thinking max 60 ltr. We don't require a t.v or a hairdryer nor washing machine or a microwave afterall it is called camping and all that defeats the purpose. I love the K.I.S.S principle but after 25 years of living out of eskies and gas lights and dreaded mantles we deserve to spoil ourselves.
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Friday, Dec 18, 2015 at 09:16

Friday, Dec 18, 2015 at 09:16
There's two Ark items in the gear collection - a gas bottle holder and a ratchet jockey wheel. They're both rubbish. Poor design and manufacture. I'll never buy Ark again.
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FollowupID: 862243

Reply By: Battery Value - Thursday, Dec 17, 2015 at 22:51

Thursday, Dec 17, 2015 at 22:51
Hi Greg,

a good charging rate helps to destroy nucleation sites.
Nucleation sites breed lead sulphate crystals every time amorphous lead sulphate is being deposited when the battery gets discharged.
These crystals are responsible for capacity loss commonly known as sulphation.
So there you have it.
AnswerID: 593914

Follow Up By: GREG T11 - Thursday, Dec 17, 2015 at 23:00

Thursday, Dec 17, 2015 at 23:00
Mate that sounds like a Colgate ad lol.

Seriously though thanks for making the effort explaining it in laymans terms.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Thursday, Dec 17, 2015 at 23:44

Thursday, Dec 17, 2015 at 23:44
Great idea to grab a battery charger that desulfphates the battery properly, and give it a good hit now and then at home.
I have seen them in various auto outlets at reasonable prices.
Most people do this with a normal charger to keep the battery in good cond, but desulphating restores a lot of batteries that people would just think are past their used by date, and replace.
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FollowupID: 862239

Follow Up By: Peter - Friday, Dec 18, 2015 at 08:26

Friday, Dec 18, 2015 at 08:26
If you have a lead acid older style battery the charge rate is set at about 10% of battery capacity.
If you go over this it wont accept the extra charge even when dead flat.

If you have AGM the will accept a lot larger charge .

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FollowupID: 862241

Reply By: Frank P (NSW) - Friday, Dec 18, 2015 at 10:09

Friday, Dec 18, 2015 at 10:09
Greg,

Charger and battery should be matched.

Not all batteries can take a high charging current, but some can. This applies to both sealed batteries (AGM and Gel) and flooded. What you should do is find the battery manufacturer's specified maximum charging current, then buy a charger that delivers that (or less, or perhaps a little bit more but not much).

In my previous tug I used a flooded dual purpose 110Ah battery as a second. Manufacturer's specified max charging current was 11 amps - in this case the 10% rule that another poster advised. I had a dc-dc charger that could be set to that. Some flooded deep cycle or dual purpose batteries will take high currents, but not this one.

In my current tug I have a 120Ah AGM second battery. Manufacturer's specified max charging current is 13 amps, so that is what the dc-dc charger is set to. Some AGM batteries can accept huge charging currents (is it Optima or Trojan? I don't know specifically) but not this one.

If you match your charger's output to the specified max charging current for the battery you will achieve the shortest charging time and help prolong the life of the battery.

My guess is that a 15 amp charger, though slightly above the 10% rule of thumb, would be ok for your 120Ah battery. But I would not consider more until I could establish the max charging current for that battery. The 7 amp charger won't do the battery any harm, it will just take twice as long to charge it as a properly specced charger would.

Cheers
FrankP

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