Battery Charger

Submitted: Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 19:04
ThreadID: 98274 Views:2691 Replies:4 FollowUps:1
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Aside from the Redarc BMS 1215, does anyone know if there is another product out there (c-tek, projecta etc) that works as a 240v charger, dc-dc charger, and a solar regulator all in the one unit?
I'm looking at options of setting up my camper trailer with an agm battery with the capacity to charge it either by 240v for when we have a powered site, or by vehicle auxillary battery via anderson plug, but also with the option to add solar to it down the track. I was thinking the projecta IC2500, but am unsure of its capabilities?
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Reply By: Tone and Hev - Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 20:46

Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 20:46
we set up our camper just as you described less the solar but have provision for it
We Installed a Cteck unit
Terrific gear
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Reply By: Nomadic Navara - Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 21:21

Thursday, Sep 27, 2012 at 21:21
The Projecta IC2500 is just a straight charger and does not have all the features or the BMS 1215. The Redarc unit is the only one I know of that has the battery booster, charger and solar regulator in the one box. It's handy to have all those in the one box. The 1215 is very expensive, you may care to compare the value compared to installing 3 separate components.

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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Friday, Sep 28, 2012 at 06:49

Friday, Sep 28, 2012 at 06:49
As has been mentioned, the BMS 1215 appears to be the only unit that comes all three input types in the one "box".

Is this a good thing?
It would depend on cost of separate units, but also having separate devices provides a more flexible solution.

Consider this scenario using Ctek products. (As that is what I have)

A D250S Dual dc-dc charger will provide inputs from the vehicle alternator and a solar array, at the same time if desired. The D250S will determine the best input at any given time and use that source while it is available.

Any one of the range of Ctek AC chargers can then be connected directly to the terminals of the remote battery (or batteries) for charging from a 240v source when available.
You could even install a charging circuit terminating in an Anderson connector and plug the charger into this circuit, rather than have the charger permanently mounted in the camper. This can then be easily used for other purposes when required.

My camper has both the D250S and a separate multi-stage charger permanently mounted.
I can (and do) also connect my 7 amp Ctek charger to the alternator input circuit by way of the Anderson connector and set its mode to "supply mode" which basically simulates an alternator input, albeit at a lower current rating. The D250S dual then manages the multi-stage charging of the batteries in the camper, while it's sitting in the shed. I do this every couple of months or so.

There is no distinct advantage in having all possible input sources in the one unit but it probably gets down to the cost of the Redarc BMS 1215 vs a D250S dual battery charger, plus a separate smart charger, such as the Ctek MXS15 240v charger.

Approximate cost differential.

BMS 1215 - $1640 (wow!)

Ctek D250S Dual dc-dc charger - $299
Ctek MXS15 ac-dc smart charger - $295
Total cost - $595 or thereabouts.

I'm not a knocker of the Redarc product and have an excellent Redarc remote head brake controller, but the prices above indicate why I chose the Ctek solutions for my setup.


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Reply By: Cravenhaven - Friday, Sep 28, 2012 at 08:55

Friday, Sep 28, 2012 at 08:55
Another 'issue' with the BMS1215 is that it selects only one of the three possible inputs to provide current to the battery and it does so in a predetermined manner. So if you have a relatively large and flat battery bank and want to charge it quickly, the most you can get from a BMS1215 is 15 amps even though you may have all 3 inputs available which may in total be capable of much more.
If you had 3 separate devices (dc-dc, ac-dc, solar) each capable of say 15 amps then you could get up to 45 amps into your battery.

I dont know if the CTEK D250s is any different, but I suspect it switches between inputs rather than combining all.

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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Friday, Sep 28, 2012 at 19:29

Friday, Sep 28, 2012 at 19:29

Yes, the D250S switches between either alternator or solar input (if both are concurrently available) and will choose the best input it detects.
The D250S will boost the voltage if it is lower than optimal, but the current output to the battery bank will be at a maximum of 20 amps.


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