Iota DLS 90amp IQ4 Charger AC connection / 30amp Receptacle

Hi folks,

Just purchased the above, beautiful charger. The question I have is, where do I get a receptacle to plug this thing into? The specs for the unit say it needs a 30 amp circuit, max AC current @108Vac is 21.8 amps.

The 30 amp circuit is no problem, my generator has a 30 amp 125 volt L5-30 twist lock receptacle. The Iota charger has a standard 3 prong plug on the end of the cable, one suitable for 15 amp house receptacles. I've taken the unit to Electrical suppliers in my area and they've informed me that there is no such thing as a 30 amp "standard" 3 prong receptacle.

So has anyone had experience with the 90 amp charger from Iota. I really don't feel like cutting the plug off and replacing with a appropriate plug. The other option I suppose is to open the unit and replace the whole cord and plug. This I'm sure will void the warranty either way. Any help / thoughts would be appreciated. I feel this should be a lot simpler and I'm over looking something, just don't know what. I've sent an email to Iota, no response yet.

Glen
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Comments

  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Iota DLS 90amp IQ4 Charger AC connection / 30amp Receptacle

    :confused: 90 Amps @ 12 Volts is 1080 Watts. Basically on 120 VAC it's 1/10 the current (plus a bit to run the charger). There is no way this charger should require a 30 Amp AC input.

    Plug it in to a standard outlet. If it draws more than 15 Amps the circuit protection would be tripped.
  • MuskokaMuskoka Solar Expert Posts: 103 ✭✭
    Re: Iota DLS 90amp IQ4 Charger AC connection / 30amp Receptacle

    I realize the math doesn't add up, but in the literature there are 2 asterisks beside the 21.8 amp current rating and at the bottom it states that it requires a 30 amp breaker. Now, I did try it the other day (20 amp receptacle) because the math didn't add up, and nothing happened. I was just curious why they "print" that, and if there was something I could purchase to satisfy that requirement. It's rated at 1200 watts max continuous.

    The exact wording is "Maximum AC current (@108Vac)" then under the DLS-90 spec it says, "21.8 Amps**", and at the bottom of the page it says beside the 2 asterisks, "Requires 30A breaker".

    I'll just carry on the way I have it.

    Glen
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: Iota DLS 90amp IQ4 Charger AC connection / 30amp Receptacle

    The IOTA DLS - 75 has a 20 Amp plug on it and it has one blade crossways. There is no way a DLS-75 will run on a 15 Amp circuit , so I know a 90 won't.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Iota DLS 90amp IQ4 Charger AC connection / 30amp Receptacle

    If it plugs into a 15 Amp outlet, it runs on a 15 Amp outlet. Otherwise they made it wrong.

    75 Amps on 12 Volts is less than 10 Amps @ 120 so there's no reason it should need a HD outlet.

    Now, if it was 75 Amps @ 24 or 48 Volts that would be different.
  • MuskokaMuskoka Solar Expert Posts: 103 ✭✭
    Re: Iota DLS 90amp IQ4 Charger AC connection / 30amp Receptacle

    I saw that in the paperwork for the 75, the 90 just has a regular 3 prong "house" plug. I don't know the trade name. I've read elsewhere that guys are cutting the plug off and replacing with a 30 amp, didn't want to have to resort to that.
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: Iota DLS 90amp IQ4 Charger AC connection / 30amp Receptacle

    You can read on the NAWS site what it says. It tells you what plug is has.


    http://www.solar-electric.com/ioen12vo90am.html
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Iota DLS 90amp IQ4 Charger AC connection / 30amp Receptacle

    :confused: If this thing has so much operating overhead that it takes <10 Amps and pulls it up to the 30 Amp neighbourhood then it is no good in my book. I will no longer suggest them, as that is just ludicrous.
  • MuskokaMuskoka Solar Expert Posts: 103 ✭✭
    Re: Iota DLS 90amp IQ4 Charger AC connection / 30amp Receptacle

    So, 30 amp breaker on my generator, that's good, and I installed a 20 amp receptacle so I'm ok there as well, I guess? When it ran it the other day I couldn't even hear it. Others I have tried and seen made all kinds of noise. These units really are nice. Thanks for the help.

    Glen

    Edit: Thank you for that link, I didn't buy it here, and that's the first bit of literature I've seen about the supplied plug or requirements being 20 amps.
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: Iota DLS 90amp IQ4 Charger AC connection / 30amp Receptacle

    The way I have it figured it pulls about 2-3 amps over a good PF corrected Charger of the same size. It has a fan, I guess that figures into it. The Real but is, that it will put out the true Labeled amperage from start to finish. No cut backs because of overheating or anything else. In the long run, you'll save more in fuel costs to more than pay for the offset from the amp draw and it's cheaper than most chargers of it's size.
  • MuskokaMuskoka Solar Expert Posts: 103 ✭✭
    Re: Iota DLS 90amp IQ4 Charger AC connection / 30amp Receptacle

    The 90 has 2 fans on it. The other day when I tried it for a bit I had to get my ear beside it to see if it was on, there was absoloutly no noise. It wasn't hot enough to start the fans yet and the only way I knew it was wotking was looking at my battery meter to see if the voltage was rising, and it was. My other converter/charger I could hear 20 feet away, all the time. This should work nice with my 840 amp hr. battery bank when the sun doesn't want to bless my panels.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Iota DLS 90amp IQ4 Charger AC connection / 30amp Receptacle

    If you have a Kill-A-Watt plug this charger in to it and get some numbers for current and power factor.

    If you don't have one, get one; everyone should have one. :D
  • MuskokaMuskoka Solar Expert Posts: 103 ✭✭
    Re: Iota DLS 90amp IQ4 Charger AC connection / 30amp Receptacle

    Yes, I do have one, will get some numbers. The last three days have been pure sun, no need for charger, although the temps haven't been too nice. It was -34 the other night, -26 celsius right now.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Iota DLS 90amp IQ4 Charger AC connection / 30amp Receptacle
    Muskoka wrote: »
    It was -34 the other night, -26 celsius right now.

    Oh yes; know those temps. Right now, though, it is balmy in BC. :D
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Iota DLS 90amp IQ4 Charger AC connection / 30amp Receptacle
    Muskoka wrote: »
    Yes, I do have one, will get some numbers. The last three days have been pure sun, no need for charger, although the temps haven't been too nice. It was -34 the other night, -26 celsius right now.

    I think that they may just be taking a very conservative view of the inrush current to the transformer if the switch is thrown or the plug is inserted right at the wrong point on the AC waveform AND the battery is at zero SOC at the same time, AND it is a bad day. :-)
    Figure 108 AC in and 14 DC out without too high a ripple, so the transformer ratio may actually be lower than 10:1, or else it has a really large capacitor or series inductor on the output side.
    Maybe if you flip the switch off and on again with just the wrong timing??
    They might be worried that the instantaneous trip feature of the breaker is too sensitive, maybe?
    As everyone else has said, it does not make sense if you are an optimist or a pragmatist.
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • MuskokaMuskoka Solar Expert Posts: 103 ✭✭
    Re: Iota DLS 90amp IQ4 Charger AC connection / 30amp Receptacle
    inetdog wrote: »
    I think that they may just be taking a very conservative view of the inrush current to the transformer if the switch is thrown or the plug is inserted right at the wrong point on the AC waveform AND the battery is at zero SOC at the same time, AND it is a bad day. :-)
    Figure 108 AC in and 14 DC out without too high a ripple, so the transformer ratio may actually be lower than 10:1, or else it has a really large capacitor or series inductor on the output side.
    Maybe if you flip the switch off and on again with just the wrong timing??
    They might be worried that the instantaneous trip feature of the breaker is too sensitive, maybe?
    As everyone else has said, it does not make sense if you are an optimist or a pragmatist.

    I think I get your point.:D
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,642 admin
    Re: Iota DLS 90amp IQ4 Charger AC connection / 30amp Receptacle

    I have forgotten the details (there is a post/thread here with some measured numbers)--But the Iota are probably around 80% efficient and 0.67 power factor... A 90 amp @ 14.5 volt charging on a 117 VAC generator would look like:
    • 90 ADC * 14.5 VDC charging * 1/0.80 charger eff * 1/0.67 PF * 1/117 VAC = 20.81 amps @ full load and 117 VAC (My estimate of the numbers)

    So--The numbers are about right. For NEC, you should only pull 80% of a circuit's power continuously. Or oversize the circuit by 1/0.8=1.25x the continuous current draw.
    • 20.81 AAC * 1.25 NEC derating = 26 amp minimum rated branch circuit/fuse/breaker

    We have a very good thread on how to pick the "ideal" charger and why efficiency and power factor matter:

    Question about battery charger selection with EU2000 generator.


    If you want the ugly details.

    -Bill

    PS: Using the above equation, an Efficient and PF Corrected charger would draw around:
    • 90 amps * 14.5 VDC * 1/0.90 eff * 1/0.95 PF * 1/117 VAC = 13.0 AAC

    Or, you could drop down to an Honda eu2000i (1,600 watt) genset if you could find the "exact" match
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • MuskokaMuskoka Solar Expert Posts: 103 ✭✭
    Re: Iota DLS 90amp IQ4 Charger AC connection / 30amp Receptacle

    Thanks guys,

    I was using my Honda 2000 with a 35 amp charger, nowhere near big enough for my battery bank. The generator was running for hours and the voltage never got high enough to give them a good charge. Now at 90 amps it sized just about right. Seeing as my other generator has a 30 amp breaker "circuit", and I have a 20 amp receptacle installed as per this sites recommendation.

    "Available with built-in IQ4 ($29.90 more). Note - this battery charger comes factory supplied with a standard 20 Amp AC plug that may not plug directly into standard household 15 amp wall plugs. You will need a 20 amp socket. It also requires a 30 amp breaker."

    I should be good to go. When the suns out I get about 90 amps / hour with the panels I have up now, and I will have the same when cloudy from the charger, of course depending on battery state.

    Glen
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,642 admin
    Re: Iota DLS 90amp IQ4 Charger AC connection / 30amp Receptacle

    You can monitor the AC Current going through the Iota--And if you wish, once it gets below ~13 amps, you could fire up the Honda eu2000i and continue the charging... If you want to equalize the battery bank--The smaller Honda should do well (you only need around 20-40 amps DC of current to equalize the bank (a whole 'nother issue about adjusting the Iota for >15 volts to equalize.

    From my simple point of view, I would only suggest the IQ4 module/option if the charger is plugged 24x7 into utility power. I am not sure if the IQ4 can run a "true" equalize voltage or not.

    For your needs, you are going to shut down the charger once the battery is over ~90% SOC and you don't need any of the timer/float/rebulk options that would be automatic with a grid connected system (such as a UPS/Backup power setup).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,642 admin
    Re: Iota DLS 90amp IQ4 Charger AC connection / 30amp Receptacle

    Also, you can get 15/20 amp rated sockets too (two vertical blades=15 amp; one vertical/one horizontal=20 amp; on vertical/one mixed Hort/Vert = 15/20 amp socket). I would think it is not to code to install a 15/20 amp socket on a 30 amp circuit.

    Attachment not found.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: Iota DLS 90amp IQ4 Charger AC connection / 30amp Receptacle

    Numbers are Numbers and they may look great on paper, but in real life they can come up short. I have a Magnum Inverter / Charger that has that wonderful 93 % PF. The only problem is that that it will rarely keep it's 70 amp output for more than a couple minutes at a time, most of the time it's putting out 50 amps cooling it's self down. Doesn't sound like a big deal, but it drives a Honda EU2000 crazy raising and lowering the throttle. Yes, I tested it on Grid power, it does the same thing. Magnum tech says, is what it is.

    No where do I see a real life test of that Meanwell PB-1000. At 60 amp output and 12 amp input it would extrapolate out to 90 amps @ 18 amps. How does it test out ? It has a weird algorithm, but maybe it's ok.

    The IOTA will put out it's full rated continuous output hour after hour with never a blip. Yeah, the PF might not be great, but in the end, it's about the current you can deliver to the batteries not some number on paper.

    I just got a new OB GFX 1312 that I am going to test the charger in, if it's no better than the Magnum it be heading to E-Bay to.
  • MuskokaMuskoka Solar Expert Posts: 103 ✭✭
    Re: Iota DLS 90amp IQ4 Charger AC connection / 30amp Receptacle

    Here's the plate that's on the unit (system won't let me upload a small jpeg file ?). Input watts 1500 (13.888 amps at 180Vac), which is a long way from the rated / specd 21.8 amps in the literature. It is confusing to say the least, and makes it tough when deciding which hardware to purchase for installation.

    Edit: No response from Iota yet concerning this "issue". Will report back with what they have to say.
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: Iota DLS 90amp IQ4 Charger AC connection / 30amp Receptacle

    Here are the specs off their site.

    DC Output Voltage (No Load) approx. 13.6V (DC)
    Output Voltage Tolerance (No Load) + or - .7%
    Output Amperage, Max Continuous 90 Amps
    Output Voltage (Full Load) approx. >13.4V (DC)
    Maximum Power Output, Continuous 1200 Watts
    Ripple and Noise <150 mV rms
    Input Voltage Range 108-132V (AC)
    Input Voltage Frequency 47-63
    Maximum AC Current @ 108VAC 21.8 Amps*
    Typical Efficiency >80%
    Max Inrush Current, Single Cycle 40 Amps

    *Requires a 30A breaker

    http://www.iotaengineering.com/dls90.htm

    IOTA is just like the rest of the RV converter makers that have turned to the charger business as the RV market turned south. They are trying to make their stuff better and still hit a price point. They are all a " Me Too " and copy each other. It's hard to believe all their marketing hype.
  • MuskokaMuskoka Solar Expert Posts: 103 ✭✭
    Re: Iota DLS 90amp IQ4 Charger AC connection / 30amp Receptacle

    I've seen, and have those numbers. Problem is, how are we to understand / make decisions based on the plate that's attached to the unit that says, "Input Watts - 1500 Watts". That's nowhere close to 21.8 amps. These are the questions I need answered, the discrepencies are just too great. I'm either fine with a 15/20 amp receptacle or I'm not. If not, what do they suggest I use with the plug that was supplied on the unit. I think my concerns are valid and most warranted due to the discrepencies in specd literature and the information that's attached to the unit, and the plug that was supplied.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,642 admin
    Re: Iota DLS 90amp IQ4 Charger AC connection / 30amp Receptacle

    You can try and send Stevek a private message and ask. It has been a year and a half since he last logged on here.

    Me, as an engineer, would tell you that 21.8 amps is over 20 amp socket rating and well over the rating for a 20 amp circuit. Must use the next larger rated outlet. And, you cannot use an outlet "keyed" for 15 or 20 amp output on a 30 amp branch circuit.

    Normally, as a guy who has more than once done stuff not to code for playing around in the back yard, 21.8 amps on a 20 amp is not the end of the world.... However, for basic power in a home/cabin/emergency power/etc., you don't want to mess around with this stuff and go under rated. Particularly for battery chargers. Chargers are some of the "worst" loads because they operate at rated input power/current for hours on end--Something that most other loads will not (saws, pumps, refrigerators, etc. all cycle or typically run at well under max input current except for starting surge current).

    You don't want to be debugging cooked outlets/plugs, false tripping of breakers, circuit that used to work fine for a few years, then fails (I have seen breakers and fuses that operate near ratings such as electric water heaters and central furnaces that simply fail after years of use and need replacement--or in the case of the time delay fuse, simply blew while everything else was just fine). I live in a major metro area--I can find multiple sources for replacement parts 7 days a week. For folks that live in the bush--driving hours/day or more to replace an undersized part is just not worth any savings.

    The whole Power Factor thing is a real issue... From Stevek's generator thread, the estimated Iota Power Factor appears to be 0.65 ... or 1/0.65=1.54 times more current in your wiring/generator vs what the "Watt" rating would suggest.

    Power = Voltage * Current * Power Factor

    As Stevek found out, there is very little hard information out there. And some chargers have pretty good Power Factor near 100% of rated output, but the power factor falls off as the charger's output current falls off... I think Outback's inverter/chargers behave this way (Not power factor corrected, but at 100% of charger output, PF is better than 0.9???) so this prevents you from sharing generator output (vacuuming, running a washer, etc.) even though the battery bank is mostly charged and cutting back on power needs--The PF start to go "south" and still draws significant current from the genset during this time and not leaving much free generator capacity for other loads.

    The name plates usually list the input voltage range and the maximum input current... But, from years of experience and comments from others here, the input ratings are almost next to useless for planning out solar power systems. They are usually not rated at "average power" but worst case input. So you see a 120 to 240 VAC input with 5 Amps maximum... And that 5 amps may be measured at 117 VAC or 100-109 VAC and would be 1/2 that on a 240 VAC circuit--But they don't state the conditions.

    And then there is function--While the Iota's input ratings leave a lot to be desired for running off a genset--At least their output appears to be rock solid (if not very programmable/easily adjustable).

    For Iota--Their main market appears to be for Grid Based applications. So, the customer only "pays" for kWH used--So bad PF just requires a bit more copper wire, a larger breaker, and away they go. And any generator runtime is just for a few hours to a few days to ride through a power failure at a data center/backup power usage. Not for usage by off-grid folks that have to supply power for 3 months during winter, and while the solar charge controller is in for repairs/replacement for a middle of nowhere installation.

    A couple of people have used the Meanwell chargers--And they seem happy so far... Sorry, I don't have any further information.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,642 admin
    Re: Iota DLS 90amp IQ4 Charger AC connection / 30amp Receptacle

    I forgot to add--I sometimes have problems uploading a JPEG file too... It appears that the dialog box will not take a file name/link if the post is too short... I type out the rest of the post (or even type some junk in) then try to insert the JPEG in the middle of the post. Usually will "fix" my problem

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Iota DLS 90amp IQ4 Charger AC connection / 30amp Receptacle
    BB. wrote: »
    A couple of people have used the Meanwell chargers--And they seem happy so far... Sorry, I don't have any further information.
    read: http://forum.solar-electric.com/showthread.php?17909
    BB. wrote: »
    And some chargers have pretty good Power Factor near 100% of rated output, but the power factor falls off as the charger's output current falls off... I think Outback's inverter/chargers behave this way

    I can't find it now, but I recall that Crewzer tested the PF on Outback chargers. I also recall (perhaps correctly) that they had pretty good PF as long as they had a good sine wave input. I think they didn't get along too well with cheap generators.

    --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: Iota DLS 90amp IQ4 Charger AC connection / 30amp Receptacle

    I have nothing against the Meanwell PB-1000, in fact @ $249 they are probably a good deal. @ 60 amps output they just didn't fit the 75 Amps I needed. I have a Meanwell TN-1500-24 that is a direct solar input ( aka, Solar Support 30 amps ) Inverter and it's been flawless so far.
  • MuskokaMuskoka Solar Expert Posts: 103 ✭✭
    Re: Iota DLS 90amp IQ4 Charger AC connection / 30amp Receptacle

    Iota kindly responded today, here it is.

    "The main reason for the present cord/plug arrangement was a request from an early customer of the 90A unit.

    Unlike the 75A unit, the 90A unit does not have a UL listing and is not required to have a specific termination on the power cord.

    We continue to supply the unit with the NEMA 5-15 plug as a convenience to our existing customers.

    Since the 90A unit does not have a UL listing, the customer is at liberty to change the cord end termination; some customers hard wire the connection and some install a NEMA 5-30 or NEMA 5-50. In addition, other customers have had been satisfied with the present plug into a NEMA 5-20 outlet.

    The 21.8 amp current requirement is at 108Vac; the requirement at 120Vac is typically less than 20A."


    Guess I can do as I like with the cord, gives me options. I like options.

    Glen
  • MuskokaMuskoka Solar Expert Posts: 103 ✭✭
    Re: Iota DLS 90amp IQ4 Charger AC connection / 30amp Receptacle

    Well, I had a few chances to try the charger out, and it performs beautifully, and as advertised. Battery bank was at 75% SOC the other night, thought I'd test out the charger for a couple hours. Fired up the generator, had the television on, computers charging, lights were on, all drawing from the battery bank inverter, and the net charge rate from the Iota was +82 amps on my TM-2025. Pretty good if you ask me. After a while the charge rate began to slowly decrease, and I shut it off as we were expecting sun the next day, no need to waste fuel. Quite happy with the purchase so far.

    Glen
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 3,003 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Iota DLS 90amp IQ4 Charger AC connection / 30amp Receptacle

    ... As has been discussed in previous Threads here, the IOTA chargers do seem to lack an Inrush Current-Limiter. This 50cent part would most probably elinimate the requirement for the 30 A breaker, and in some cases noted, reduce stresses on in-line switch contacts.

    Often, the Max current on the nameplate is worst-case, as seems to be the case for this charger.

    So BB Bill, you seem to be saying that with a 30 A breaker, and conductors rated at 30 A, that one MUST NOT connect those conductors to a receptacle rated less than that of the circuit ?? (and meed Code) ? If that is what you are saying, is this because the receptacle could be overloaded?

    Thanks, Vic
    Off Grid - Two systems -- 4 SW+ 5548 Inverters, Surrette 4KS25 1280 AH [email protected], 11.1 KW STC PV, 4X MidNite Classic 150 w/ WBjrs, Beta KID on S-530s, MX-60s, MN Bkrs/Boxes.  25 KVA Polyphase Kubota diesel,  Honda Eu6500isa,  Eu3000is-es, Eu2000,  Eu1000 gensets.  Thanks Wind-Sun for this great Forum.
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