Battery charging

Submitted: Sunday, May 01, 2016 at 16:05
ThreadID: 132287 Views:2153 Replies:4 FollowUps:5
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Storage bummer, looks like I've left a light on in camper over a quite a few months , any way weather the batteries are bugged or not it's worth trying out your systems & looks like I've found a weak link . I have 2 x 90 amp marine batteries & are 4 years old in July, I've plugged in the already wired in 5 amp ctek charger & fail alright try one battery fail , but my old 6.3 amp from the shed cupboard doing very well , looks like a bigger amp charger is reqd ? Any tips on brands & where
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Reply By: Notso - Sunday, May 01, 2016 at 16:15

Sunday, May 01, 2016 at 16:15
The Ctek charger is smart and it doesn't like charging dead flat batteries.

If the "Old Style" charger has raised the voltage of the batteries you could try plugging the Ctek in again and it may well work!
AnswerID: 599406

Reply By: The Bantam - Sunday, May 01, 2016 at 16:44

Sunday, May 01, 2016 at 16:44
All of these smart chargers have problems with batteries in other that perfect condition....

You may stick some charge into ya batteries with a plain old dumb charger ........ but if they are buggered, they are buggered.

If you don't have a battery load tester, battery analiser, or a carbon pile ammeter .......

Charge the batteries up as best you can however you can, if they have been hammered it may take a couple or 3 days for them to come back up.

I hope you have an accurate voltmeter.
Then take them off charge .... leave them rest for at least an hour..... measure the voltage.
over the next week, check the voltage every day ...... if it drops much below about 12.3ish volts .. with no load ..... no. its not good

finally load the battery up with a headlight or spot light or such ....... if the voltage drops below 12 volts ...... its not good.

If they are 4 years old and they have been hammered ..... they are probably buggered.

just go and buy some new ones.

cheers

AnswerID: 599409

Follow Up By: ray t1 - Sunday, May 01, 2016 at 16:50

Sunday, May 01, 2016 at 16:50
Thanks bantam, that's a great answer , I know that the out come was probably never going to be good, I've never had the system so run down, so always got to try out your gear with out the home comforts cheers
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FollowupID: 868626

Follow Up By: TomH - Sunday, May 01, 2016 at 17:04

Sunday, May 01, 2016 at 17:04
Just as an aside the battery in my sons car got run right down. due to a faulty switch.

Was on 1.6 V when tested. Took it to Battery World who charged it slowly over 3 days and it came up fine. Has been going for over a year since that happened.
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FollowupID: 868628

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, May 01, 2016 at 17:30

Sunday, May 01, 2016 at 17:30
Yeh sometimes you can be lucky ........ believe me I have tried my share of battery recusitation ......... most times they simply don't come back ...... or not very well anyway.

But ya gota try eh.

cheers
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FollowupID: 868629

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Sunday, May 01, 2016 at 17:08

Sunday, May 01, 2016 at 17:08
Notso is correct re a smart charger not recognising a dead flat battery.
However, your 5 amp charger is way too small for practical charging of your 180Ah battery bank. It would take ages.
Rule of thumb is an current rating of 25% of total Amp hour rating, so you could go as high as a 25 amp charger, but a 15 amp charger is much cheaper and will perform well.
I have a 15 amp Ctek Charger in my Camper, to support a 200Ah battery bank.

Worth getting your batteries load tested to see if they are recoverable, but you need to attempt charging them first.
A dumb charger will suffice to initiate the charging process until a reasonable charging current has been applied, but a smart charger with a multi-stage charging process is still the best for the most efficient and effective maintenance of your camper batteries.

Bill


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AnswerID: 599410

Follow Up By: Gronk - Sunday, May 01, 2016 at 19:09

Sunday, May 01, 2016 at 19:09
A 5A charger is fine for home charging.....doesn't matter if it takes 2 days to recharge, but obviously if you stopped at a van park to top up the batts, then it would not perform overnight.

Approx 10% of a/h rating is accepted as the norm for a charger, as some AGM's don't like 25% or more being shoved in.

Yes, a 15A charger (or 25A ) would be better, but if only recharging at home after a camping trip is all you do, then the 5A charger will be fine....no need to spend money when not needed.
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FollowupID: 868639

Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Sunday, May 01, 2016 at 19:28

Sunday, May 01, 2016 at 19:28
Gronk,

I don't disagree with your comments but look at the practical aspect.

An onboard charger needs to provide more charging current while stationary than what is being drawn.
With the OP having 180ah of storage, one would assume there is a heavy current drawing device, such as a compressor fridge, in the equation.

My advice is simply based on practicality and personal experience.

My setup also incorporates a dc-dc smart charger to maintain a healthy 12v charging regime when driving and solar input when away from 240v supply.
A 5 amp charger won't cut the mustard trying to put back enough current, when "on the road".
Bill


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AnswerID: 599416

Follow Up By: Gronk - Sunday, May 01, 2016 at 21:40

Sunday, May 01, 2016 at 21:40
A 5 amp charger won't cut the mustard trying to put back enough current, when "on the road".

I agree......but "on the road" means only when 240V is available.......and as I said, if he only charges at home after a camping trip, the fridge won't be running and he would have plenty of time to recharge !!

As always, without all the facts, sometimes we can only generalise !!
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