orbital 1 hr charge batteries ?

Submitted: Wednesday, Mar 08, 2006 at 22:40
ThreadID: 31560 Views:4349 Replies:6 FollowUps:2
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looking to parrell my aux battery in car and c/t, in 2 minds whether to go 2 x 90amp d/c bateries or to go with 2 x 50 amp exide orbital batteries ,the short charge time orbital offers is very appealing , 1hr each i am told? and smaller battey size, as space is at a premium, compared to the acid batteries ,but the idea of greater amp hours is also attractive. Planning trip around oz in June, but on return most of my trips will be 4-5 day stays, running 70ltr reefer fridge. Any feed back would be appreciated. Thanks Tony.
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Wednesday, Mar 08, 2006 at 22:57

Wednesday, Mar 08, 2006 at 22:57

I have an Orbital as an auxiliary battery but would have to state I haven't noticed how long it takes to recharge the battery. I would be surprised if it only took an hour however.

My sole reason for buying the Orbital is that it offered a reasonable capacity (55AH) in a compact size, which I needed to fit into the auxiliary cradle in the engine bay.

Whatever batteries you get, it sounds like you need AGM style. (which the Orbital is)

My advise to you is to shop around and compare prices of different brands of AGM batteries in the size you require. (Do you really need 180AH capacity?)

If most of your trips will be 4-5 day stays, you may be better off with one battery of say 100-120AH plus a solar panel to provide a recharging source whilst you are drawing from the battery.


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AnswerID: 159422

Follow Up By: Mainey (WA) - Wednesday, Mar 08, 2006 at 23:18

Wednesday, Mar 08, 2006 at 23:18
I'm not sure where you can buy AGM Deep Cycle batteries at reasonable prices, L0L :-)
So what do you think about your Reefer fridge?
FollowupID: 414029

Reply By: Rob Ackland - Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 13:42

Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 13:42
I have been field testing orbital batteries for several years now and I can assure you that there is no such thing as a one hour charge on them.

We are presently using a new smart charger developed and marketed by Redarc which is the only one able to deal correctly with the new calcium construction batteries as well as recognising all the variations with sealed lead acid (SLA) that currently exist in the market. It automatically boots up with a request to switch for either lead antimony or calcium construction battery types, then checks that the switch request is correct to the type of battery (internally) and then charges it accordingly. This charger is more a computer battery management tool and the price reflects it but you can also leave it on the battery virtually permanently as it is clever enough to "float charge" the battery without damaging it. the Redarc Smart Charger also continues to perform automatically a full battery test to ensure the battery is not faulty. If a failed cell is detected then the charger will notify the operator by a special LED display. The charge process is a four stage step system.

In general a deep cycle battery will require at least a 12 hour charge cycle to bring it to 100% state of charge. Charging amperages are generally around 4-5 amps during this process.This time frame (of course) depends on the initial state of charge, age, temperature and condition of any sulphation build up on the positive plate. Some SLI batteries may take over 24 hours to charge to a 100% state. Only one battery can be charged at a time using the computerised Redarc Smart Charger.

The ability of any battery to take a charge is dependant on a wide range of variables including the age and condition, particularly of the plates and so the internal resistance within.

The decision to parallel dual batteries is always an interesting one and for a start both batteries must be exactly the same construction type and installed at the same time or you will end up deficit charging the weakest one and this then leads to the sudden,untimely and expensive death of both of them. Normally at a rather inconvenient time and place.

Orbital battery construction and all true deep cycles have a quite different capability and are designed to take lots of flattening without damage and then recover. Whereas a starting battery can only take a quite limited number of flattening before cell grids become fatigued.

The whole issue of second batteries seems to be something of a never ending discussion point and I hope this goes some way to helping clarify the matter

Enjoy the challenge and keep it simple

AnswerID: 159499

Reply By: Robin - Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 16:40

Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 16:40
Did Something like that Tony.

Have low camping electrical requirement here , with just couple lights and small fridge.

Don't want complexity/weight etc with 2nd battery , but standard Patrol N70
battery really only gives about 10ah of accessory power want with typically charging up to only 70% and that for reasonable life don't like to discharge
more than around 20% (70*70*0.2 approx 10ah)

So changed main Patrol N70 battery for exide orbital.

Its lower internal resistance meant that it charged faster, and it really does.

Seems like it goes to above 90% on a regular 2hr trip I do.

Also kicks out more current into the winch to according to my clampmeter.

Estimate easily get 22ah now, so a simple ,but not cheap, bolt in mod has
doubled capacity without adding weight

I like it

Robin Miller
AnswerID: 159532

Reply By: Mike DiD - Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 18:39

Thursday, Mar 09, 2006 at 18:39
Below are quotes from the "Exide Orbital Battery Technical Information" sheet.

"Fast Charging: Appropriate for emergency boosting only
o Maximum Current limit: 30 amps
o Maximum time: 1 hour
o Limitation: Not recommended for deeply discharged batteries."

Sure, you can boost cahrge any battery, but be aware that trying to charge any Lead Acid battery in an hour will shorten its life.

"Constant Voltage Recharge: Appropriate for infrequent cycling use
o Voltage set-point: 14.6 volts (A)
o Current limit: 20% of nominal capacity (15 amps for most Orbital sizes)
o Recharge time: 8-18 hours or when current reaches < 2% of capacity (1.5 amps)"

Constant Voltage Charging is what your Alternator does - EXCEPT that it can't regulate the current to this value, so Alternator charging will shorten battery life, compared with 3-stage charging.

"Higher (warmer) temperatures may reduce life. Maximum operating temperature is 45ºC (113ºF)."

In summer I've measured the air temeprature in the Engine Compartment at 60 degrees.

AnswerID: 159554

Reply By: wheeleybin - Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 12:26

Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 12:26
Batteries are very intrigueing.
I ran 4 batteries in a Coaster a Yellow top spiral AGM for cranking 2 x US 2200 for house and an N70ZZ for extras such as HF all off the alternator.

When I sold the Coaster the radio came out the N70ZZ became the cranker and the US2200 stayed with house.

The Yellow top was then put in my 3.1T Isuzu along with the HF Radio and connected in parallel with the existing N70ZZ.

The yellow top is now 6 years old and still going strong so it appears to me that in this instance the match and dont mix theory has worked against advice.

Regards Wheeleybin
AnswerID: 160062

Follow Up By: Mad Dog (Australia) - Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 13:05

Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 13:05
There's a lot of theorists out there but you wheeley are a praticalist. There's a lot to be said for "suck it and see".
FollowupID: 414699

Reply By: wheeleybin - Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 13:48

Sunday, Mar 12, 2006 at 13:48
Thank you Mad Dog I do a lot of sucking and a lot of seeing and also a lot of listening and I hear you well but I hope I can glean some benefit out of all the theorising with practical application after all Jules Verne was a theorist and if he was here today he would be in his glory.
AnswerID: 160071

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