Redarc bcdc1240D

Submitted: Monday, Sep 25, 2017 at 14:36
ThreadID: 135641 Views:5668 Replies:14 FollowUps:24
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Hi Just considering increasing my solar/battery system in our van.
We have at present 300w solar on the roof, 100ah lithium battery and a 25ah solar reg and 35ah charger.
Our intention is to increase the solar to 600 w and the battery to a 200ah lithium.
To do this we intend to change to a redarc bcdc 1240D.which acts as both reg and charger.
My queries are: Has anyone used the abovementioned reg .
Will we have enough solar/ battery for extended outback camping in one spot for say 2 weeks ( assuming there enough sun around ). We carry a generator also
many thanks for any input
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Reply By: Member - mechpete - Monday, Sep 25, 2017 at 18:06

Monday, Sep 25, 2017 at 18:06
depends on what you intend to run off all that power
cheers mechpete
AnswerID: 613966

Reply By: Gronk - Monday, Sep 25, 2017 at 19:01

Monday, Sep 25, 2017 at 19:01
You will have enough solar and batt power for 6 mths in the one long as there is sun.
AnswerID: 613967

Reply By: Member -Flipper - Monday, Sep 25, 2017 at 19:53

Monday, Sep 25, 2017 at 19:53
Hi Mechpete and Gronk. Thanks for your reply. We bought this van with the 100ah and 300w solar but have found that on a trip up the WA coast and to Darwin and down the centre that the solar would not put enough into the battery to last overnight having to put on the genie or move on the next day. The weather was almost always sunny, about 32 /34 degrees so the fridge wasn't working THAT hard.
We run all led's, use the tv only at night ( sparingly) but have a waeco 190 Lr compressor fridge which I suspect is the culprit.
our previous van had similar except for a 3 way fridge.
I have always been a fan of " more is better" and don't like the thought of running out of power, hence the move to the proposed 600 and 200ah system.

AnswerID: 613969

Reply By: PhilD - Monday, Sep 25, 2017 at 19:54

Monday, Sep 25, 2017 at 19:54
It all depends on whether you park in the shade, and what you run off your system! You need to work out what you will be drawing out compared to what you might put in. However, you can top up with the generator if you have a need.
I understand the Redarc charges lithium at 14.6 volts, so you need to make sure this rate is compatible with the brand of batteries you are using.
AnswerID: 613970

Follow Up By: Member -Flipper - Tuesday, Sep 26, 2017 at 00:10

Tuesday, Sep 26, 2017 at 00:10

Thanks for your reply. yes the people at redarc advised me that not all batteries are compatible so I did check and the ones I am looking at are.
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Reply By: Batt's - Monday, Sep 25, 2017 at 21:14

Monday, Sep 25, 2017 at 21:14
I know these are different batteries but I have 2x 105 ah agm batteries charging via a Dual Imput Redarc bcdc 40 amp charger for around 2 yrs and I recon it's an overkill I should have gone with their Dual Imput 25amp charger. It can surge or draw over 50amps I know this because I initially used 50amp fuses I already had and it blew the one at the starter battery on a hot day in summer so replaced them both with the correct 60amp fuses. Also another very important thing to seriously consider is If your alternator is up to the job of supplying plenty of power. I have an 80amp alt which is not liking it I originally thought it would be fine but I will be in the market for an up grade sometime. Mine is not suited for Lithium batteries though or I may have been able to sell it to you or someone who is after a 40amp and buy myself the smaller unit.
AnswerID: 613972

Follow Up By: Member -Flipper - Tuesday, Sep 26, 2017 at 00:17

Tuesday, Sep 26, 2017 at 00:17
Hi Batts
I know there are a lot of chargers around. I chose Redarc because of their good name and people I have talked to seem to think they are of good quality.

I will take your advice on the fuses.

The alternator on the truck (2013 BT50 ) is a "smart" type new fangled thing but the guy at Redarc says the 1240D works well with them. I can only take his word on that but will mention it to my auto sparkie when he does the work

Thanks for your thoughts.
FollowupID: 884524

Reply By: Member - J&A&KK - Monday, Sep 25, 2017 at 21:19

Monday, Sep 25, 2017 at 21:19

I have just been through a similar excercise. For what it's worth here is my two bobs worth.

The Redarc BCDC1240d is a good unit. Beware input voltage is limited to 32VDC so your solar panels will need to be wired in parallel.

Your 190 Waeco fridge probably pulls around 10A according to Waeco website ( don't know your model). Assuming a 50% run time you will lose 50Ahr overnight (10hrs) without any thing else running. Your 100Ahr lithium can supply about 80Ahr before getting close to the danger zone. So in theory you should be OK for an overnight stop. However when you think about it you only have 30Ahr or 3Amps per hour in reserve. A 20" LCD TV draws about that.

Your 300W solar panels should produce around 12Ahr in full sun. So 7-8 hrs full sun will add say 90Ahr - but your Waeco will draw another 70Ahr during the same time. If your panels are wired in series, and/or you park in shade, the panel output will be degraded. So in theory you should be OK to fully recharge your Lithium if the stars align for you.

The addition of the 100Ahr lithium will solve your power storage issue. But the fine line on the power supply side remains.

Rather than install a further 300W of solar on the van I would suggest you look at 200W of portable panels. So you can camp in the shade but deploy the panels in the sun. When installing the Redarc just add another Anderson plug, that's easily accessible on the outside of the van, as another input to the solar side of the Redarc.

Cheers John
AnswerID: 613973

Follow Up By: Member -Flipper - Tuesday, Sep 26, 2017 at 00:31

Tuesday, Sep 26, 2017 at 00:31
Hi John

Thank you for reply to my queries.
I will be installing my panels in parallel as you suggest.
Didn't know how many Ahrs the fridge would draw, have seen some saying 6 - 7 but I feel your figure may be more accurate. I will check the model and look on the waeco site.
I knew the extra 100 amp battery would improve things along with the solar on the roof and I understand that if I'm in the shade my input will be less. I failed to mention that I also carry 150 w portable solar "just in case" so all in all we should be OK ? The van has the extra Anderson plug for portable solar.
Many thanks for your detailed help. Much appreciated. Richard
FollowupID: 884525

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Tuesday, Sep 26, 2017 at 12:52

Tuesday, Sep 26, 2017 at 12:52
Hi Flipper (Richard)

FWIW I agree 100% with J&A&KK.

I have similar fridge power needs as yourself. A 130 litre compressor fridge in the van and a 55 litre car fridge running as a minus 12 freezer, powered off the van when camped. Daily demand (two fridges, coffee machine, room hezter when it's cold, etc) is about 90 amp-hours.

I have 360 Ah of lithium, 200 watts of solar on the roof of the van, but only half of that is workjjng ATM, plus 240 watts of portable. My 340 watts of working solar easily keeps up with that in sunny conditions. Y

Your proposed 200Ah of lithium is equivalent to nearly 400 Ah of AGM in terms of useability. Based on my experience with my system, I have no doubt you will have enough battery capacity. Add to that your present roof top solar and John's recommended portable solar, and I think your system will be more than adequate.


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Follow Up By: Gronk - Tuesday, Sep 26, 2017 at 19:02

Tuesday, Sep 26, 2017 at 19:02
When people say 200A/H of Lithium is equivalent to 400 A/H of AGM's, they neglect to say that although you can use the extra capacity of the Lithium, it will take twice as long to recharge . Although the twice the capacity doesn't quite stack up as an AGM is usually only taken down to 50% and the Lithium can go to approx 20 or 30%, so not quite the double capacity often talked about.
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Follow Up By: Batt's - Tuesday, Sep 26, 2017 at 22:17

Tuesday, Sep 26, 2017 at 22:17
I read that Lithium is faster and more efficient at charging it takes less time to charge therefore using less power per each full charge. AGM's takes longer to charge especially to charge the last 20% of the battery therefore taking more time, using more power from your supply. There are sites that will explain all the tech side if your interested.
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Follow Up By: Allan B (Sunshine Coast) - Wednesday, Sep 27, 2017 at 11:15

Wednesday, Sep 27, 2017 at 11:15
Batt's, I don't think you have got that quite right.

Lithium batteries can be charged "faster" only because they will happily accept a higher rate of charge than AGM's. But that will only apply if you have a charging source that is capable of supplying the higher charge rate.

Each battery type will require replacing the same amount of energy in charging as was taken out in consumption. Electrical energy is rather like bucketfulls of Joules or Ampere-hours or jelly-beans. Whatever you take out you must put back. Its just that you can use a bigger bucket with Lithium.
Just don't use a metal bucket though! lol

As for your "last 20%" comment, the charge rate diminishes as the voltage difference between the battery and the charger tapers off, and applies to both lithium and AGM. This only occurs with a simple 'constant-voltage' charge source and does not apply if an appropriate multi-stage charger is used.

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Follow Up By: Batt's - Wednesday, Sep 27, 2017 at 17:24

Wednesday, Sep 27, 2017 at 17:24
I only went off what I read after looking at a couple of sites and the info they provided in the comparison between the 2 if their wrong about the results then maybe they should be removed so others are not mislead.
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Reply By: duck - Tuesday, Sep 26, 2017 at 08:24

Tuesday, Sep 26, 2017 at 08:24
Mine is a little more complicated than some as I did run 2 x bcdc charges 1 for 12volt & 1 for 24 volt but be wary I originally did wirer mine using the relay to change from vehicle charge to solar & use it as the regulator but the relay itself FAILED so many times & also so did 1 of the bcdc charges (24v) redarc supplied several relays & 24v charges in the end I did away with the relay & changed back to a solenoid charger for the 24V as I was sick of the problems & have not had an issue since (touch wood)

Redarc were great help even had there NSW rep Wayne come an check, photo etc. & in the end they gave me a package to make up for the problems I had

I have no issues with redarc they were helpful & never tried to pass on the problem & tried so hard to solve the issues
AnswerID: 613978

Reply By: Member - McLaren3030 - Tuesday, Sep 26, 2017 at 12:31

Tuesday, Sep 26, 2017 at 12:31
Hi Flipper, in my van I have a 190 Ltr Compr. fridge (Dometic/Waeco), LED lights, with 300 watts of solar on the roof & 2 x 160ah AGM batteries. So far, we have never run out of power, even sitting for over a week in one spot. I would humbly suggest your problem is battery capacity. I think your 300w solar should be enough to charge a 600ah Lithium battery, but if in doubt, just add another 150w panel to the roof. Macca.

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Follow Up By: Member -Flipper - Wednesday, Sep 27, 2017 at 09:44

Wednesday, Sep 27, 2017 at 09:44
Hi Macca. Yes I think you are correct in that my battery is not large enough. As some have said my lithium is equivalent to about 150/160 agm therefore half your capacity hence the thought to increase size to 200Ah.
I am not particularly happy with the 300 of solar as that gives me about 10 to 12 amps sitting in my driveway in full sun. I have my fridge (175lr ) on to test the batteries capability to handle this. No other appliances are on. I loose 23% or so of my battery overnight and it takes until early afternoon say 1pm to bring the battery back to full.
Maybe,as you suggest, adding one 150w panel and 200ah lithium will do the trick.
Many thanks for your advice.
FollowupID: 884550

Reply By: swampy - Tuesday, Sep 26, 2017 at 16:24

Tuesday, Sep 26, 2017 at 16:24
Fridge demand depends on weather
Bigger fridges seem to need around
600 ++++ watts of solar
3x120ah = 360ahtotal usable =180 ah for the fridge
Search this site and others and its what u will find

240v AC charger 35amp unit and gene to run it

need to transmit at least 40amp dc to dc
direct connect to altenator 35mmsq cable give good amperage at high volts above 14.oo. Below 14.oo volts slows recharge a lot
dc2dc charger preferably 40amp min

160 watt produces around 38ah
200watt produces around 48 ah

Using PSH peaksun hrs 5.5hrs per day at 100%
less 20% due to panel positioning , wiring ,controller etc
light outside the psh is unreliable this includes mppt
AnswerID: 613988

Follow Up By: Member -Flipper - Wednesday, Sep 27, 2017 at 12:54

Wednesday, Sep 27, 2017 at 12:54
Hi Swampy. We sure found out about the weather having an effect on the fridge last year on our trip to Darwin hence the decision to improve the battery to 200Ah lithium. Now keep the fridge on the lowest number setting ie #1 as opposed to #4.
The 1240 Redarc charger is a 40 amp dc/dc unit and the cabling will be increased as well.

thanks for your help.

FollowupID: 884557

Reply By: Sigmund - Wednesday, Sep 27, 2017 at 04:08

Wednesday, Sep 27, 2017 at 04:08
Cloudy day or panels quarter or more shaded means negligible power generated.

Assessing peak sun hours on average is essential. Down south in winter it can be down to 1-2.

Manufacturers' fridge draw figures can be doubled for safety. Or get an inline monitor and measure the draw yourself.

Every degree ambient warmer or every degree lower in the fridge mean another 5% of draw, so a setup that works in one season and region can easily fail in another.
AnswerID: 613995

Follow Up By: Member -Flipper - Wednesday, Sep 27, 2017 at 12:48

Wednesday, Sep 27, 2017 at 12:48
Good advice Sigmund, Thanks, We keep the fridge on the lowest setting ( warmest ) possible for the very reasons you mention.
FollowupID: 884556

Follow Up By: swampy - Wednesday, Sep 27, 2017 at 18:03

Wednesday, Sep 27, 2017 at 18:03
Ozzy official PSH stats list southern Tassie as around 3.0 to 3.5 hrs
Psh happens is measured at 100% sun intensity on cloud free days .

Cloud coverage is the enemy of all solar systems.

There is correct stats freely available .

FollowupID: 884565

Reply By: Member -Flipper - Wednesday, Sep 27, 2017 at 10:04

Wednesday, Sep 27, 2017 at 10:04
Thanks to all for your help and advice.
Going with what I am reading I will probably do this:
Increase the solar by one 150w panel,( gives me 450w ) install 200Ah lithium , increase reg to the redarc 1240D (40amp ), replace all the wiring which according to an auto electrician is too thin.
We will still carry our 150w portable panels and generator

Hopefully this will solve my power problems. Any further comments??
AnswerID: 614002

Reply By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Wednesday, Sep 27, 2017 at 10:53

Wednesday, Sep 27, 2017 at 10:53
On overall strategy (not component detail)....just as governments in Oz are wrangling various solutions to energy supply / reliability, the concensus among gurus seems to be having numerous 'egg baskets' ....charging from the car and fixed solar while mobile, plus fixed and portable solar when parked (augmented with the gennie) seems the only approach for free campers. I have 260w fixed and 100w portable solar, plus the pure sine gennie....batteries are 3 x 100Ah Full River deep cycles (Lithium would be nice...maybe one day). I often run the gennie for an hour around dark, if we've had a less than a full sun day. BTW...the portable solar is great for catching early and late direct sun. Good luck with it.
AnswerID: 614004

Follow Up By: Member -Flipper - Wednesday, Sep 27, 2017 at 12:44

Wednesday, Sep 27, 2017 at 12:44
Hi Darian, It seems to me from the consensus that my problem is the 100Ah lithium battery.
Most seem to have 3x 100 Ah agm batteries, or similar, and only up to 300w of solar on the roof, supplemented by portable panels ( in my case 2 x 75's = 150w ). The panels seem sufficient to keep the batteries full which suprises me a tad but we have proof in these replies, including yourself, that they do. Great, that will save me some money in installation costs for which I thank you.
As I have said previously, I will now consider putting only one extra 150 panel on the roof ( I just like the safety of an extra panel, but that's just me !!! ) Taking out the 25amp solar reg and the 35amp 240 reg and replace them with the redarc all in one, renewing the wiring to thicker as the ones installed by the manufacturer are too thin, along with the 200ah lithium should be OK. Thanks Darian for explaining your setup which works well.

regards Richard
FollowupID: 884555

Follow Up By: Frank P (NSW) - Thursday, Sep 28, 2017 at 07:49

Thursday, Sep 28, 2017 at 07:49
Make sure the Redarc lithium charging profile is suitable for your brand of lithium batteries. It is not programmable, so the lithium profile is fixed, with a rather high voltage unsuitable for some lithium batteries.

A more flexible unit is Enerdrive's DC2DC 45amp charger, which also accepts solar (MPPT). It has what I think is a generally more suitable lithium profile and in any case is programmable so you can tailor it as needed.


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FollowupID: 884577

Follow Up By: Member -Flipper - Thursday, Sep 28, 2017 at 14:07

Thursday, Sep 28, 2017 at 14:07
Hi Frank
having a redarc is not set in stone. Chose them because of the 40amps, all in one, and because they are made in Aus. and perceived quality. Always open to other suggestions though and will follow up yours. Thanks. Like the idea of being programmable and 45amps ( small increase but every little helps).
The guys at redarc say that most of their guys use Revolution batteries but they are a tad on the expensive side.

FollowupID: 884590

Reply By: HKB Electronics - Wednesday, Sep 27, 2017 at 17:44

Wednesday, Sep 27, 2017 at 17:44
What you need depends on your usage, from personal experience running a 40 ltr waeco and an 80ltr waeco as well as the usual lights pumps etc 450W of solar and 200Ah of lithium does the job providing the sun shines. I now generally work on 50% of the solar capacity as the max standard output.

If the sun don't shine then 5A from the fuel cell operated 24 hours a day just keeps up.

As for the Redarc personally I wouldn't go that path as the charge voltage is way to high. I'm currently charging my Lithiums to around 13.8V, this recharges them to a 100% and there is no need to charge them any higher, I could probably go down to 13.2V-13.5V and still have no issues. General consensus these days is less is better. I would opt for a charger that lets you adjust the charge voltage, current level at which to stop charging and no float stage as it is not needed with Lithiums. Also with at least .1 resolution etc.

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AnswerID: 614008

Follow Up By: Member -Flipper - Thursday, Sep 28, 2017 at 13:56

Thursday, Sep 28, 2017 at 13:56
Hi HKB Electronics
May I ask "other than redarc" reg what would you suggest. I chose them because they have a 40 amp reg including solar MPPT and because of their perceived quality and Aussie made. As I understand I require 40 amps because of the proposed 600w of solar and 200Ah of lithium. I may say that electronics is out of my league and know enough to be dangerous as they say. I am therefore open to advice from people who know their stuff as it appears you do.
I would, therefore, ask what brand/type would you suggest? I have not made a final choice yet but of course want to make the correct one. As they say, do it once, do it right.
FollowupID: 884589

Follow Up By: HKB Electronics - Thursday, Sep 28, 2017 at 16:25

Thursday, Sep 28, 2017 at 16:25
I'm currently using an Enerdrive unit myself, works well when working as a DCDC charger off the car, though I have found the solar MPPT function doesn't give any real benefit over my PWM solar controller. Might be different if I was running the solar panels in series but for redundancy purposes I'm, running them in parallel so that I can use the previously installed PWM controller if necessary.

When I looked around a few months back it was the only one that supported users selectable parameters at a reasonable price. Like the Redarc I would not use the default Lithium profile of this charger either if your not going to be using their battery units and then I probably still wouldn't advise it.

This charger does allow you to set the maximum charge voltage, charge current, absorption time, and turn off current level, maximum charge time etc. You can also set the float voltage but this is not used for Lithium's.

Can't say their most ethical company I have dealt with, like many companies these days they tend to push their own products and run other companies products down so some of the information regarding suitability of other brands to charge Lithiums I would disregard if your talking to them. I have found their support people to be a mixed bag, one gave questionable advice, another I found to be very knowledgeable.

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Follow Up By: Malcom M - Friday, Sep 29, 2017 at 06:34

Friday, Sep 29, 2017 at 06:34
Redarc BCDC20D charges LI at 14.6V
14.6 / 4 = 3.65v per cell which is a fairly standard cut off voltage for LI.
Certainly ok with my Winstons.

Don't give up on the Redarc until you have learnt a lot more about Li and what parts you are putting in your system if you go that way.
Its not just a charger driving a battery.

Your original question was regarding the BCDC1240D in a lead acid environment and not a Li discussion as such its perfect.
FollowupID: 884602

Follow Up By: Member -Flipper - Friday, Sep 29, 2017 at 10:09

Friday, Sep 29, 2017 at 10:09
Hi Malcolm M

Am I to assume that you have a redarc 1240D charging Winston batteries? If so you seem happy with that system.
I will ask the question re the Li battery's capability to accept this charger of course when I purchase the new 200Ah lithium.
Your input and advice is noted and appreciated. Thank you Malcolm.
I think if you read my original post you will see I speak of what I have at present ( 100Ah lithium ) and what I propose ie 200Ah lithium, there is no mention of lead acid batteries !!!!

FollowupID: 884604

Follow Up By: Malcom M - Friday, Sep 29, 2017 at 11:01

Friday, Sep 29, 2017 at 11:01
Actually I have the 1225D as the 40 didn't exist when I bought it.
I don't know what your knowledge level is but there is a lot more to Li than just buying a charger and plugging it in. You have to have a firm understanding of over and under charging which destroys the cells real quick. Battery monitoring systems and more...
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Follow Up By: Member -Flipper - Friday, Sep 29, 2017 at 16:51

Friday, Sep 29, 2017 at 16:51

I have talked with the importer of your batteries and discussed with him the redarc 1240D being used with his battery. He checked out the redarc site and said everything was OK.
I will, before purchasing, meet and have a more in depth chat, then confirm again with redarc and discuss further with the auto electrician who will install the charger. I'm sure this will allay any doubts.
The winstons certainly come up OK and I have decided to go with them, plus they are local to me so I can talk to a tech if necessary.
Thanks for the info.
FollowupID: 884618

Follow Up By: Malcom M - Saturday, Sep 30, 2017 at 08:12

Saturday, Sep 30, 2017 at 08:12
Hi Flipper
You'll get a much better Winston price at this guy in QLD
Plus he actually answers emails unlike other suppliers in WA.

Another great thing about the 1225D or 1240D is that they operate from an input voltage under 12v.
Lots of others (Ctek for one) do not operate from a standing battery, needs the alternator running.
I run my camper from the Aux battery in my truck when the solar is unavailable. Input cutout voltages can prevent that.

FollowupID: 884629

Follow Up By: Member -Flipper - Friday, Oct 06, 2017 at 13:55

Friday, Oct 06, 2017 at 13:55
Hi Malcom

I would be interested to know what under / over protectors you use with your system if you would be so kind as to let me know.
I have spoken to the Ev bloke in WA and he has an under voltage protector but not an over voltage protector. I have seen on the Winston site that they do a bms for $220, maybe that would be the way to go ?
I will look up the backshed again and give them a call.
Have made up my mind to put a 300Ah in which should give me plenty of power. I put one 150w solar on the roof 2 days ago and that gives me 450 watts, which today recharged my battery from -18.7amps to full in 2 1/2 hours. I have only the fridge going..just to try it I'm still at home.
Your views would be appreciated. Tried to find you so I could PM you but you didn't show up.
FollowupID: 884776

Follow Up By: Malcom M - Friday, Oct 06, 2017 at 14:10

Friday, Oct 06, 2017 at 14:10
Hi Flipper
Have a look at this - Zeva
Doesn't do a cell balance but there's a lot of arguments about needing that anyway.
They also do a more expensive system that does have built in cell balancing.

EV Power in WA sell cell balance modules
EV Power
FollowupID: 884777

Reply By: swampy - Wednesday, Sep 27, 2017 at 18:16

Wednesday, Sep 27, 2017 at 18:16
Battery lithium recovery from solar 80% discharge from 200ah =160ah
each 200 watt panel produces say roughly 9ah x 3 [600 watt ] =27ah
27ah x [PSH] 5.5 = 148.5 ah

Need accurate power consumption figures on the fridge.
AnswerID: 614009

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