Arrid Twin Charge and AGM's?

Submitted: Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 08:58
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Gday all,

would anyone know which AGM's are capable of accepting the 15 volt output of an Arrid Twin Charge unit?

I would prefer to fit an AGM or Gel in my new camper as the Arrid unit will, due to its output, gas a standard wet-cell pretty quickly so my preference is for a sealed unit to minimise gasssing. All the AGM's I have thus far been able to source are not recommended by their manufacturers to exceed 14.1 to 14.6 volts (the Arrid maxes out at 15 volts).

Thanking you all in advance,
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Reply By: Notso - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 09:03

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 09:03
I just bought an Arrid twin Charge and at the time they asked what type of battery I was charging with it. Apparently there are two or three different models that are designed for different types of batteries?
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Follow Up By: Member - Craig D (SA) - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 09:08

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 09:08
Well, when I rang them yesterday they never mentioned different models. You're not talking about their three-stage chargers are you?
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Reply By: Notso - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 09:14

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 09:14
I actually rang the manufacturers and got to speak to a tech after a bit of discussion with the reception person.

The tech said that there are different models identified by a model number inside the unit behind the plastic plug in the end?

I haven't checked mine but it is charging a sealed lead acid so the one for an AGM would probably be different?
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Follow Up By: Member - Craig D (SA) - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 09:17

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 09:17
Cheers Notso...I'll give them another ring later today (time difference!).
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Follow Up By: Member - Craig D (SA) - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 09:46

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 09:46
Notso, just rang "All About 12 Volt" in Vic and they confirm taht there are different models. He's lookinh into it for me and will ring back later today with further info. Thanks for the heads-up on the model 'differences' mate.

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Peter McG (Member, Melbourne) - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 10:20

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 10:20
I looked into this issue a few months back for charging the battery in our Ultimate camper. As I understand it Arrid are able to adjust the output voltage to the required charging voltage, hence the need to specify battery type. I then double checked the volatge at the battery when the car is running and it was over 14v. Checking the charge range for the AGM - Fullriver from Alco - and this is fine. So I didn't fit the twincharge. The AGM charges much better than teh Exide Extreme I had earlier.

Peter
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Follow Up By: Member - Craig D (SA) - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 10:27

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 10:27
Hi Peter, my alt spits out 14.2 volts and the main batt to camper wire run will only be about 3 to 4 metres max, so with the 6-8 AWG cable I intend to use I would expect to see 14 volts at least at the camper end. If I decide to go with an AGM then I dare say that the Arrid I bought a while back will become a redundant item at will therefore be shortly in the Trader section :)
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Follow Up By: Peter McG (Member, Melbourne) - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 10:40

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 10:40
Craig,

That's the conclusion I came to. Plus the AGM never needs to be topped up, it charges fast - by far the best alternative. I got mine through Member - Mainey who arranged for me to collect from Alco. I think they are in all States. Cost me $198 for the 90AH battery.

Good luck
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Follow Up By: disco1942 - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 11:38

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 11:38
Peter – you say your alternator puts out over 14V
Craig – you say your alternator puts out 14.2V

I take it that you measured those voltages not long after starting a reasonably cool motor. Have you remeasured the alternator voltage after towing for half an hour?

The modern alternator has temperature compensation. The reason for this is that a battery needs a lower voltage to charge it when it is hot – or the corollary to this if you do not drop the voltage of the alternator as things heat up under the bonnet then you will boil the battery dry. The system voltage in my Disco starts at around 14.5V and 20 minutes down the road it has dropped to 13.8V or less – these voltages vary slightly depending on the temperature of the day.

To test the performance of your charging system get any old or new cigar lighter plug, wire it to your multi meter, insert the plug in the cigar lighter socket and observe the meter occasionally whilst you drive. There are several ways you can wire this up – if you have (or can get) plugs the same as the ends of your meter leads make a permanent test lead or just simply attach a couple of wires to the cigar plug you can wind around your meter lead probes.

Some alternators drop to 13.5V when up to running temperature (my first Disco did.) If you have one of these and you do not have any voltage boost then you will be cycling your battery over the range of around 20% - 55% of its maximum capacity. This is inviting sulphation to form – not good for the battery.

I suggest you do these checks before you dispose of your Twin Charge.

My Twin Charge has a 14.5 V output. I have disconnected it as I think it may have contributed to the demise of my low maintenance battery which requires less than that for effective charging. I have not removed from the van as I can simply replace the fuse and give the van battery enough charge for one nights lights without having to run the car's engine.

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Follow Up By: Member - Craig D (SA) - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 12:07

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 12:07
Your right in that my alt spits out a maximum of 14.2volts. This is one of the reasons I went for the Twin Charge, and also to negate running heavy cables to the camper.

After having a bit of a mull over things this morning I am tending towards something like a Delkor 100a/hr jobby and the Twin Charge - the 'maintenance-free' Delkor will fit in the intended space in the camper, would be charged 100% by the Twin Charge, but more importantly not gas to an explosive level (which does worry me).

I'll check the alternator voltages with a meter tonight, both cold donk and after/during a run.
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Reply By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 10:47

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 10:47
Gel cell batteries and calicum-calicum batteries will accept about 14.8v easily, counting for eneffciancies and voltage drop, that'll probally work out PERFECT. I wish I had 15v comming out of my alternator, I'm lucky to get 14v! Bugger it.

The advantage is with Calcium-Calcium is that they are good if kept charged at the higher voltage, have hybrid crank and deepcycle capabilities, very rearley loose water (hence a lot of them stamped maintenance free) and are REALLY CHEAP to buy. You should be able to pick up a 105amp hour for less than $120. The arrid you only have to buy once. I don't care who you are, or what fandangled battery you reckon you're using, you're going to be buying batteries forever! Being able to use the cheaper batteries and have good service life out of them by charging them correctly outways the initial price of the Arrid IMHO.
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Follow Up By: Member - Craig D (SA) - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 10:58

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 10:58
Thanks Jeff. Looking at something like a Delkor DC27 IF I keep the Twin Charge or a FullRiver DC90 if I DUMP the Twin Charge. What I don't want, and the reason for the initial questions, is to have hydrogen build-up in my camper from correctly charging a DC wet and open battery from the Arrid. Max in, max out. Oh and I forgot to mention, the Carry Me Camper is what I have and as it's designed to be removed from the tray-back the battery system must stay with the camper to keep the Engel running and the beers cold :)

Thanks
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Follow Up By: Member - Jeff M (WA) - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 11:28

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 11:28
I can't remeber the exact voltage, but the calcium-calcium batteries to not gas under 15v (I think!).

I have 2 x 105 amp/hr calcium-calcium. One under the bonnet as the main aux and a secondary aux in my MDF storage box in the rear cargo area of the car in a battery box. I leave it on a 14.7v three stage charger whenever it is parked up at home (I have a charge socket in the front grill) as my alternator doesn't put out enough volts to keep them 100% charged.

I havn't blown up yet... So I reckon you'll be right? ;-)

I don't use an arrid twin charge, just a simple arrid smart relay. I charge a wetcell 700cca starter and the two calcium-calcium batteries while the car is running.
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Follow Up By: Member - Craig D (SA) - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 11:32

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 11:32
Cheers Jeff.
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Reply By: Grungle - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 12:08

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 12:08
Hi Craig,

The best way is to get a data/spec sheet from the manufacturer of the batteries instead of Arid. Most battery manufacturers have data/spec sheets on their website listing charge profiles, discharge rates, etc of their batteries and as all batteries are different so will be the charge rates. Then once you know this you can find a charger etc to suit. You also have to remember that brand X AGM could have a different recomended charge profile to brand Y AGM.

For example I bought some Dynasty AGM batteries and downloaded the data sheet for that model from Dynasty. It suggested bulk/absorbtion charge of 14.1V and float of 13.4V as the recommended charge profile. Higher that this could reduce the battery life depending on how much over these recomended voltages you went. I then found a solar regulator that I could adjust to these figures.

I would say that if the Arid was 15V max then you would shorten the lifespan of your batteries by overcharging.

Regards
David
AnswerID: 179441

Follow Up By: Member - Craig D (SA) - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 12:13

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 12:13
Thanks Grungle. I did that for the Full River DC90 where the data sheet states 14.5~14.9V for the boost stage, then lower volts for the float stage so I reckon the Twin Charge would still be suitable. All I could find on the Delkor DC27 was that it won't gas until above 15volts. PS: the height of whatever battery/s I use is an issue for I want to fit as is the gassing issue.

Regards,
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Follow Up By: Peter McG (Member, Melbourne) - Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 18:05

Tuesday, Jun 20, 2006 at 18:05
Craig,

it is on the basis of the charging data from the fullriver site that i decided against using the twincharge. i still think you'll find tne regular output from the alternator will be plenty to charge tbe agm while on the road. then use a three stage charger when home.

peter
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Follow Up By: Member - Craig D (SA) - Wednesday, Jun 21, 2006 at 07:58

Wednesday, Jun 21, 2006 at 07:58
Cheers Peter. I have been yacking withe a local battery supplier and they have been really helpful, and agree totally with your comments above. Their advice is to stay with a wet battery, but one doesn't gas until the charging voltage is well above 15volts - this will allow the Twin Charge to do its job as designed. Thank you all for you input into this matter. Safe Travels!
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