Charging and Equalization problems with Iota smart charger

atz111atz111 Registered Users Posts: 8
Background

Two Trojan L16 Batteries....6 volts each to make 12 volt system @420 AH
Iota 90 amp smart charger
No solar.....batteries recharged each day with genset...for a small ecolodge

I estimate batteries go to 50% discharge before recharging...no less than 60%

Charger starts off fine 14.2 v and 70 amps

Within 30 minutes down to 30 amps and in an hour 20 amps....so not putting a lot of juice back in quickly...talked to Iota and nothing they can do...they say...at this discharge level I should be needing 200 amps @12v, but at this rate get about 120 in in an hour and then to get up rest of way at diminishing amps would take another 3 hours which is really inefficient..so wind up each day with the max charge at about 75% because to get to even 90% would take another three hours...I am afraid i am screwing up the batteries, plus means i need to run genet a lot more often

Question...is there anyway i can bypass the amp decline for a bit and get in 50-60 amps for say two hours?

As an ancillary problem...the charger need goes to the promised equalization stage which it is supposed to do periodically and so I am concerned about that and sulfating. Any way I could get to the equalization voltage
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Comments

  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: Charging and Equalization problems with Iota smart charger

    I am guessing it has IQ-4 built in ?? The so called " Equalization Stage " only happens every 7 days if the charger has power during that time ( using a generator, your's doesn't ). It's not really a EQ the way we think of it, it's a 7 hour @ 14.8 volt charge, but it will do some good at that voltage and time. The problem is they remove the 2 stage jack plug on a charger with IQ-4 built in. You can unplug the IQ-4 board from the mother board, but you still do not have the jack to plug in.

    How old are the Batteries ??
  • VicVic Solar Expert Posts: 3,112 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Charging and Equalization problems with Iota smart charger

    Hi atz..,

    You are seeing the way that discharged batteries accept charge. The current does diminish over time, BUT you really need hours of recharge at the Absorb voltage to complete the charge.

    You are correct to worry about the health of your batteries. Deficit charging is damaging to the batteries, over a period of time -- they will become Sulfated and experience electrolyte Stratification, without this long Absorption charge stage. You should bring the batteries to full or nearly full charge about once per week. On a generator this is very tedious, and relatively expensive.

    Do not know where you are, but have you thought about adding a PV array to do most or all of the charging (on an average day, at least)?

    Inverter generators, like the Honda EU series, can reduce fuel consumption and noise on these long recharge cycles.

    FWIW, 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.
  • atz111atz111 Registered Users Posts: 8
    Re: Charging and Equalization problems with Iota smart charger

    Thanks to both of you. Yeah, I am under no illusions that i am beating up there batteries and will have to pay the piper. Solar is not a great option..have 5 months where is cloudy most of day (maybe 2-3 hour sun to charge) and the other months where OK to charge 70 % 0f the time. So need some decent size panels to get help front that.

    Batteries are 20 months old...get charged every day, many times 2x...I estimate DOD is 40% on average and they get to 85% max. Even that is a hump with the genset as after the first hour putting in 20 amps. Spoke with Iota about a work around and not really helpful. Where I bought charger (here) "adjusted" the settings to charge at max for longer than normal, but that is still way too short. The charger has the plug connected into the external port...and on the other end is a small box...I assume that is the external "smart " module. When I disconnect that chord, charge falls to 13.2 volts and low amps...so that is not a help..

    I am having problems with batteries going to low charge pretty quick...they take charge OK, but drop fast. I am guessing that is likely a good sign that they are about shot? Will have too replace as the tourist season is upon us and I need this system...so wanting to see if a better way for the next set, or if there is anything i can do to make these last a bit longer.
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: Charging and Equalization problems with Iota smart charger

    Then you do have the " Standard Model " with the plug in IQ-4 Module. You should have received a plug, it is taped to the charger. It's a plug with two green and black wires in a loop. If you plug it in the charger jack it will output it high voltage until the plug is removed. Unfortunately the 75 and 90 amp models cannot have the voltage adjusted like the smaller ones can to do a true equalization.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Charging and Equalization problems with Iota smart charger

    I hate to say it but if this is an installation that will have only AC based charging you will be better off in the long run to dump the Iota and get an inverter with a built-in programmable charger that can be properly set for your particular batteries' needs. It will add to the life of the batteries if they can be at the right Absorb level for the right amount of time and EQ'd as needed.

    The Iota is fine for Bulking batteries on a solar-based system but it lacks the flexibility to adjust to any particular battery.
  • atz111atz111 Registered Users Posts: 8
    Re: Charging and Equalization problems with Iota smart charger
    Then you do have the " Standard Model " with the plug in IQ-4 Module. You should have received a plug, it is taped to the charger. It's a plug with two green and black wires in a loop. If you plug it in the charger jack it will output it high voltage until the plug is removed. Unfortunately the 75 and 90 amp models cannot have the voltage adjusted like the smaller ones can to do a true equalization.

    I do have that plug. Wonder shy iota guy never asked me about it...well I know now. I assume that will give me equalization volts? How do I monitor what I am doing with that to keep from battery damage....by time on the high volts?

    I also have access to a 55 amp iota with built in smart charge...of any use here.

    Thanks...
  • Mountain DonMountain Don Solar Expert Posts: 494 ✭✭✭
    Re: Charging and Equalization problems with Iota smart charger

    I agree with CaribooCoot. If the sole charging is from a generator the batteries will always suffer. They will never be brought to full unless you burn a whole lot of fuel.

    The plug in device on the Iota raises the voltage to 14.2, a voltage better for charging but a long ways from EQ. The Iotas can bring a battery to full charge when run long enough. I use an Iota to keep the travel trailer batteries up when it is parked at home. It's plugged into the grid.
    Northern NM, 624 watts PV, The Kid CC, GC-2 batteries @ 24 VDC, Outback VFX3524M
  • atz111atz111 Registered Users Posts: 8
    Re: Charging and Equalization problems with Iota smart charger

    Do you have a suggestion for brand or model inverter that will do this? In the long haul need to do it right. I am afraid these batteries are on the way out. I am going to try to equalize as black cherry has suggested I might be able to do with my current iota...but do not know if that will do much good...I think my plates pretty sulfated by now. Hopefully if I can get a good voltage I. The batteries and maybe bang them around a bit I can extend the useful life a bit till I can get the right gear for batteries

    Is there a stand alone charger that can be adjusted?

    I live in Nicaragua, so some things are a bit more difficult to get done here...to say the least
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: Charging and Equalization problems with Iota smart charger

    As was said having the plug won't get you to the voltage you need (15.5v ). The dsl-55 won't help because it has the IQ-4 built in.

    Normally you can adjust the output of the dls -15, 30, 45, 55 models with the plug in the jack and the potentiometer inside the charger up to 15.5v, The 75 & 90 amp models do not have the potentiometer. The cheapest way is to buy one of the other models. You use to be able to get a DLS-30 for $100, but now they went up and are around $150 in the last 2 months.
  • cosmicraycosmicray Registered Users Posts: 24 ✭✭
    Re: Charging and Equalization problems with Iota smart charger
    atz111 wrote: »
    When I disconnect that chord, charge falls to 13.2 volts and low amps...so that is not a help..

    With the plug not inserted, you should be getting 13.6V out of the DLS. With the 'dumb' plug (with the little jumper wire) inserted it should go up to 14.2V. Measure the voltage at the lugs on the back on the DLS with the batteries disconnected. If you see that voltage, then the DLS is acting as designed.

    What size wire are you using between the DLS and the batteries ? I have a DLS-30, and I recently upgraded my (relatively short) connection to 6-ga, as I was seeing too much drop across the 10-ga.

    Have you checked the SG of the battery cells ? That might be a clue as to what is happening here.
  • jcheiljcheil Solar Expert Posts: 722 ✭✭✭
    Re: Charging and Equalization problems with Iota smart charger
    atz111 wrote: »
    Do you have a suggestion for brand or model inverter that will do this?

    Outback (V)FX line. They are rock solid, but not cheap (about $1750 USD). But in the long run you will be WAY happier.
    Also, when you buy the Outback inverter you will need a MATE (attachment) at least for the time needed to program the inverter. You can borrow one from someone to program it or just buy it and use it as the monitor for your system.
    Off-Grid in Central Florida since 2005, Full-Time since June 2014 | 12 X Sovello 205w panels, 9 X ToPoint 220w panels, 36x ToPoint 225w panels (12,525 watts total) | Custom built single-axis ground mounts | Complete FP2 Outback System: 3 x FM80, 2 x VFX3648, X240 Transformer, FLEXnet-DC, Mate-3, Hub-10, FW500 AC/DC | 24 x Trojan L16RE-B Batteries 1110ah @ 48v | Honda EU7000is Generator and a pile of "other" Generators | Home-Made PVC solar hot water collector | Custom data logging software http://www.somewhatcrookedcamp.com/monitormate.html
  • Mountain DonMountain Don Solar Expert Posts: 494 ✭✭✭
    Re: Charging and Equalization problems with Iota smart charger
    atz111 wrote: »
    Do you have a suggestion for brand or model inverter that will do this?

    I like the Outback inverter/chargers. One reason is because of their "soft start" when the generator is started. When generator power is fed into the inverter AC inputs their system ramps up the generator power rather than slamming in to full on right off the bat. What size depends on your power needs. Getting a new inverter/charger is also a good opportunity to reassess the battery bank voltage. Changing to 24 volts with all batteries in series can also be a battery life enhancing move.
    Northern NM, 624 watts PV, The Kid CC, GC-2 batteries @ 24 VDC, Outback VFX3524M
  • atz111atz111 Registered Users Posts: 8
    Re: Charging and Equalization problems with Iota smart charger
    cosmicray wrote: »
    With the plug not inserted, you should be getting 13.6V out of the DLS. With the 'dumb' plug (with the little jumper wire) inserted it should go up to 14.2V. Measure the voltage at the lugs on the back on the DLS with the batteries disconnected. If you see that voltage, then the DLS is acting as designed.

    What size wire are you using between the DLS and the batteries ? I have a DLS-30, and I recently upgraded my (relatively short) connection to 6-ga, as I was seeing too much drop across the 10-ga.

    Have you checked the SG of the battery cells ? That might be a clue as to what is happening here.

    Interestingly…with the "Smart" plug and dongle in the 90 amp charger it does 14.2…with plug out it does 13.8… volts…have not tried the plain plug taped to the machine, but will…

    volts out of charger measured at charger out connectors..and at the same time she measured at the inverter in leads…about 14.1…so a bit of a drop across the batteries, which seems normal??/

    Charger leads are 2 gauge, about 4 feet....all other wire in the system is 0 gauge and nothing longer than 3 feet.

    Somehow I need to do a final check on the batteries…my hydrometer is broken right now and hopefully will get another…so with that i assume charge till "full" on meter…then wait 4 hours and take reading….If I took to a automotive battery store can their load tester tell me anything? Right now with meter and charging as much as I can stand, the meter reads 12.6 max after a two hour rest…so that also seem to be OK as for me "full charge" is likely 90%.

    Then I need to try to equalize the batteries somehow in hopes of coaxing a bit more life out of them

    i am not home now so all this has to wait a few days….any and all advice is welcome
  • Alaska ManAlaska Man Solar Expert Posts: 252 ✭✭
    Re: Charging and Equalization problems with Iota smart charger

    With my AGMs I can dump a lot of amps into them (Low internal Resistance), but even they absorb for hours. It was another lesson I learned by jumping before I looked. I have a Xantrex Freedom series inverter/charger that has a 150Amp charger built in and it still takes me 6-8 hours depending on DOD to get a 100% charge on my bank. The PVs really help with the conservation of fuel. When the sun shines, which is about 3 months away. ;-)

    This time of the year one could say my system is like yours just batteries and a generator.
  • cosmicraycosmicray Registered Users Posts: 24 ✭✭
    Re: Charging and Equalization problems with Iota smart charger
    atz111 wrote: »
    Charger leads are 2 gauge, about 4 feet....all other wire in the system is 0 gauge and nothing longer than 3 feet.

    The NEC guide says that 2-ga AWG wire has a resistance of 0.2 ohms per 1k feet. Your wires are 8 feet total (2 wires of 4 feet each). That gives me a net resistance of 0.0016 ohms. At 90 amps current, I see a voltage drop of 0.144 volts. That is about a 1% voltage loss, to wire resistance.

    This is the same reason I upgraded my wire from 10-ga to 6-ga, to minimize my voltage drop.
  • PNjunctionPNjunction Solar Expert Posts: 762 ✭✭✭
    Re: Charging and Equalization problems with Iota smart charger
    Alaska Man wrote: »
    With my AGMs I can dump a lot of amps into them (Low internal Resistance), but even they absorb for hours. It was another lesson I learned by jumping before I looked.

    I'll second that! AGM's lower internal resistance and ability to accept up to 0.25 to 0.3C make it a better fit for locations like yours and atm111's. Thus they charge faster, get out of bulk faster, and that means less fuel burnt by the genny. It also places a larger load on the genny, which usually means more efficient operation than with flooded.

    Of course sizing properly is everything, and if you have the budget for winter operations, then you put up more panel. You can even go with specialized AGM's that are not the typical lead-calcium types (with the 0.25 - 0.3C limitation), and can really hammer them with current in a short amount of time - such as Concordes.

    Of course this all ups the solar budget quite a bit, but if it is REALLY important, you can go that route. In areas with limited solar insolation, agm's make total sense.
  • rplarryrplarry Solar Expert Posts: 203 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Charging and Equalization problems with Iota smart charger

    ATZ111
    One thing I notice about your battery bank is that you are using Trojan L16 420AH batteries. I didn't see anything just now in a search I just did on the Trojan site, but in the past those batteries were recommended to be charged to 7.4v (14.8v for a 12v system) and your Iota is only charging to 14.2 which would seem to be undercharging a flooded L-16 battery. Do you know what voltage Trojan recommends those batteries be charged to?
    Larry

    Is this the battery you have? http://www.trojanbattery.com/pdf/datasheets/L16HAC_Trojan_Data_Sheets.pdf
    If so then they still recommend 14.8v, depending on how hot it is down there it could be a few tenths of a volt less.
  • atz111atz111 Registered Users Posts: 8
    Re: Charging and Equalization problems with Iota smart charger
    rplarry wrote: »
    ATZ111
    One thing I notice about your battery bank is that you are using Trojan L16 420AH batteries. I didn't see anything just now in a search I just did on the Trojan site, but in the past those batteries were recommended to be charged to 7.4v (14.8v for a 12v system) and your Iota is only charging to 14.2 which would seem to be undercharging a flooded L-16 battery. Do you know what voltage Trojan recommends those batteries be charged to?
    Larry

    Good point Larry...

    I am back in Nicaragua today and started charging the batteries with the Iota and just going to burn some gas until I get them full. On the voltage, I had 14.6 at the start and went back to 14.4 after about 2 hours. Measured at the lugs on the back of the charger. I am not sure how much to knock off the charge for the heat but if 0.2 looks like voltage is decenly OK.

    Charging now...5 hours and putting 9 amps in @14.4. I will stop in 2 hours and wait and get a reading on the battery voltage. Then crank up again...i figure I have another 3 hours, maybe 4.

    I have a Xantrex Truecharge...60 amps I use someplace else (on AGMs) and will try to run equalization on the batteries after i get them to full charge. Trojan recommends 15.5 on equalization and the Xantrax does 16....will do anyway and watch heat, etc. Hydrometer I thought I had has had the guts taken out so i only have a syringe.....so have to do without for now. May get one next week. My load test will basically be an empirical one...running what i have to run and seeing how batteries do.

    I am hoping against hope...I think my batteries are pretty well shot and for the time they have run and how treated, I have few complaints.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,018 admin
    Re: Charging and Equalization problems with Iota smart charger

    A good round number is -0.005 volts per degree C per cell (-5 mVolts per C per Cell):

    The charging voltage for a 35 C bank would be (35C-25C ref temp = 10C rise):

    14.6 volts - (0.005 v/c/C * 6 cells * 10C rise) = 14.3 volts temperature compensated for 35C bank

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • rplarryrplarry Solar Expert Posts: 203 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Charging and Equalization problems with Iota smart charger

    I think if I was in your place I would get some hefty agm batteries, a good inverter charger, some solar panels and a good charge controller with a remote temp sensor. Run the gen in the mornings if necessary and let the solar panels do the charging the rest of the day. I understand that it is easy for me to say this but for you down in central America it is not so easy or cheap to get all this stuff.
    Good luck
    Larry
  • CDN_VTCDN_VT Solar Expert Posts: 492 ✭✭✭
    Re: Charging and Equalization problems with Iota smart charger
    Then you do have the " Standard Model " with the plug in IQ-4 Module. You should have received a plug, it is taped to the charger. It's a plug with two green and black wires in a loop. If you plug it in the charger jack it will output it high voltage until the plug is removed. Unfortunately the 75 and 90 amp models cannot have the voltage adjusted like the smaller ones can to do a true equalization.

    true , since I have 55,75,90 amp units times many

    Small hole yellow paper on the backside reveals a micro pot , adjust as needed. I run some at 15.8 V just to do my work , I tone down after Im done.

    VT
    As was said having the plug won't get you to the voltage you need (15.5v ). The dsl-55 won't help because it has the IQ-4 built in.

    Normally you can adjust the output of the dls -15, 30, 45, 55 models with the plug in the jack and the potentiometer inside the charger up to 15.5v, The 75 & 90 amp models do not have the potentiometer. The cheapest way is to buy one of the other models. You use to be able to get a DLS-30 for $100, but now they went up and are around $150 in the last 2 months.

    The IQ-4 is an external Telcom wire add on ONLY , it has a small brain but needs one week to complete it. Written in it. Small jumper is set to take 13.8V for 12 volt unit to 14.2 , IQ-4 will top out at 14.2 , As Above the trimmer pot Hi Cap output overrides basic setting but the spread difference with the IQ-4 is the same.
    Gent's been playing with these since 1998 for why they were brought into production , & it wasn't for solar.

    VT

    Edit add , If were all electronic "Geeks" here, 90 amp /12 volt Iota / midytronics unit CAN NOT be powered buy a 120V AC 15 Amp circuit , 75 is 20 amp 120 volt. Guessing here on amount

    VT

    Edit , I must of misread what BC posted , The IQ-4 WAS / has been separate .
    I haven't run into a combined unit
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: Charging and Equalization problems with Iota smart charger
    CDN_VT wrote: »
    Not true , since I have 55,75,90 amp units times many

    Small hole yellow paper on the backside reveals a micro pot , adjust as needed. I run some at 15.8 V just to do my work , I tone down after Im done.

    VT


    The IQ-4 is an external Telcom wire add on ONLY , it has a small brain but needs one week to complete it. Written in it. Small jumper is set to take 13.8V for 12 volt unit to 14.2 , IQ-4 will top out at 14.2 , As Above the trimmer pot Hi Cap output overrides basic setting but the spread difference with the IQ-4 is the same.
    Gent's been playing with these since 1998 for why they were brought into production , & it wasn't for solar.



    VT
    Well, i don't know when you bought your chargers, ( 1998 ) ?? They have made many changes over the years. I have tried to adjust the DLS-75 and the pots are gone. If you have a new one, show me the pot.

    This where they were back in the day.

    Attachment not found.


    This is where the Potentiometer is today on the dls-15,30,45 & 55. If anyone has a new dls-75 or 90 please post a picture of the pot, because I can't locate it.


    Attachment not found.


    The IQ-4 is now available two ways, as a built in or as the modular pendant. If you get the IQ-4 as a built in , there is no jack.
  • CDN_VTCDN_VT Solar Expert Posts: 492 ✭✭✭
    Re: Charging and Equalization problems with Iota smart charger

    Just this year I installed 4 or more . We use these on Hoists to maintain battery voltage on these new Ifone type cars. two per hoist per Tech , one for the car on the hoist Live bay & one for the car beside the hoist Dead bay . All have the jumper removed & the pot tuned to 14.5 V . Sometimes on trying to program a old P2 the jumper is required to raise it to 15V .Main controlling computer is in PWM and stopping the EEPROM from receiving new burn data. On hoist DLS75 , dead bay is DLS90 with a 30 amp feed . I have seen the new 90 with the internal pot , same as some of my inverters , I set my inverters to 125Vac , some are as low as 109 Vac (these are the MSW cheepy ones)

    VT
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: Charging and Equalization problems with Iota smart charger

    The problem is we post about what can be done with the IOTA Chargers and someone will buy one thinking they can do the same after spending $300. Someone on another forum posted that the 48v model can only be cranked up to 59.9 volts. I never tested one so I can't say you can or can't.

    Again, if anyone has a DLS-75 or a DLS-90 of recent vintage, please post a picture of the Potentiometer or at least tell it's location.

    This from is the IOTA web site about the IQ-4
    The IQ4 is available as an external accessory that plugs into the DLS charger, or as an internal unit already built into the DLS

    http://www.iotaengineering.com/power.htm
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Charging and Equalization problems with Iota smart charger

    As is so often said: "Specifications subject to change without notice."

    Depending on which model you buy, you could be getting one made years ago instead of last week.

    As it is the Iota's are fine for Bulk charging to keep the batteries above sulphation level, but not really suitable for full charging of deep cycles (even discounting the large inrush current). They are re-purposed RV converters basically.

    For a system that is generator-dependent for full charging you really need to go with a programmable inverter-charger like the Outback. Otherwise it will be compromised performance and battery life.
  • Blackcherry04Blackcherry04 Solar Expert Posts: 2,490 ✭✭✭
    Re: Charging and Equalization problems with Iota smart charger

    I like them for what they are Cheap charging. Since they went to China there are a lot of differences inside, even if the outside looks the same. Old stock is for sure a possibility, that external adjustment has been gone for 4 years or more.


    They must have learned from Aims on how to make it work. If a resistor is a problem, just clip it. Doesn't even look like the same value as the rest.

    Attachment not found.
  • cosmicraycosmicray Registered Users Posts: 24 ✭✭
    Re: Charging and Equalization problems with Iota smart charger

    Throwing my 5-cents into the thread ...

    The Iota DLS chargers (basic, 12V model) are capable of putting out 3 voltages (low, medium and high). Nominal values low 13.6V, medium 14.2V, high 14.8V. Those voltages will be lower when the unit is producing maximum current, because the load (the batteries) are able to absorb maximum current, and the unit is effectively power (i.e. watts) limited. As the batteries build up a charge, the voltage will rise towards the nominal value.

    The 10-turn pot is used to calibrate the unit so that the voltage presented at no-load, is what it is supposed to be spec'ed at. My DLS-30 came out of the box slightly below spec and slightly outside of documented tolerances, so I tweaked it up to where it was supposed to be.

    The small jack on the back is a 4P4C jack, sometimes referred to as a RJ-9 or RJ-22. This is the same physical jack used to connect an old style telephone handset to the dial unit. Of the 4 possible connections on the jack, only 3 are being used (at least on my DLS-30). If someone has a DLS, and sees all 4 being wired to the mainboard, I would like to know more about this. On my DLS-30, one wire is ground, one wire is presenting the DLS output voltage, and one wire is (presumably) a control line. The dumb plug that Iota supplies shorts the control line to ground. No plug inserted gives you the low voltage output, control line shorted to ground gives you the medium voltage. I have a hunch what the control line wants to have sent back to cause a high voltage output, but I've not had time to test my theory yet.

    Turning the 10-turn pot up, to get a higher than high voltage, when the circuitry thinks it is producing a low or medium, makes me think something not so good may result.

    The IQ-4 is (for all intents) measuring the output voltage, and enforcing certain time duration constraints, and manipulating the control line to switch the voltage between low/medium/high. It is a one-size fits all algorithm. For batteries which are being float charged continuously, it may be a fine algorithm. For batteries being used as a portable store of energy it may not be the best algorithm. My batteries are connected to the DLS-30 for ~14 hours every 12-14 days. So I would never expect to engage the high output voltage (even if I did have an IQ-4, which I do not).

    Based on my research, Iota has produced the DLS (12V, IQ-4 capable), DLS-27 (24V, IQ-4 capable), DLS-36 ( discontinued, presumably fixed voltage, no IQ-4), DLS-42 (36V, discontinued, suspected to have some IQ-4 capable), DLS-48 (no IQ-4 capability), and DLS-54 (48V, requires a special version IQ-4). Beyond that, there are a few models that use 220V AC input, and one model (presumably discontinued) that would convert 48V DC to 12V DC.
  • CDN_VTCDN_VT Solar Expert Posts: 492 ✭✭✭
    Re: Charging and Equalization problems with Iota smart charger
    cosmicray wrote: »
    Turning the 10-turn pot up, to get a higher than high voltage, when the circuitry thinks it is producing a low or medium, makes me think something not so good may result.


    cosmicray , I have never had a problem trimming the units . I have probably done hundreds DLS55's since they were a required tool for (From Audi-to-Volvo)in 1997 and later . Since we now have Digital Computer cars that have more gismos & Ying-yaks , the power requirements have increased to make us use the 90 amp units while working on the onboard electronics . I also have done hundreds of these also .75A units were a 2 year stepping stone and done many (30-50) of these.

    My IQ-4 is for 12 & 24 volt I believe , & since I know a gent who has a 24V Iota with a jack I lent it to him for a while , I saw it blink 12 times , meaning it registered 24V or 12 cells ?

    Your Line of "It is a one-size fits all algorithm " is so true , I bought it to test & see , used it once , lent it out more.

    We / ( im involved) / All European cars have a new upcoming system in 2015 , and I know there is a new battery maintaining protocol with this system.


    These Iotas as Coot posted are for the RV crowd , good maintainers , but NOT a real charger as Per-se, Better than the old battery charge of the 70's-90s that looked like an ARC-Welder with a lab scope ^^^^^^||^^^^^^^^||^^^^^^^ ripples & dirty power to the max , almost would fry the radio :-)


    All I was trying to say was, You can adjust the Iota for the Voltages you require , I know there is a new style coming for the euros next year. Im sick of doing the electron dance & prayer as it is. Stable Clean Power ..


    VT

    Edit add , BCherry , nice trimming resistor , dang that is weird ..
    I have bought a few Asian made inverters , they have the most unusable type of thinking, 14 gauge wire output to the receptacle but it connects to a 18 or 20 gauge to the board . I needed to replace them due to the insulation melting off the copper.

    VT
  • atz111atz111 Registered Users Posts: 8
    Re: Charging and Equalization problems with Iota smart charger

    To recap what finally happened. Got hold of a hydrometer. Used a Xantrex 60 amp charger not the Iota and this one has indicators for charge amps going in and that is supposed to be related to battery charge state. Charged for 5 hours and amps in dropped from 90% to 40%, and no more drop. On this charger you can program equalization, but batteries need to fully charge before that will kick in. Stopped charge to see what i had. After overnight, on e battery all 3 cells at 12.70. Other battery...one call not on scale and others at 1.18...so got one decent battery and one shot. I figure the xantrax got "stuck" on the charge as confounded by the bad cells. I have to say, that as bad as these batteries were treated the service I did get was decent. I can fix some of the problems but likely the next round will be less than optimum as well. So needed to factor that into the purchase....not $250 100 AH AGMs for sure.

    Since the season is upon us need power now. Bought five 105 AH flooded Trojans. Got a great price (and the selection here is not limitless). Going to use the Xantrex which gets charge in better...but still a slow process at the end of the charge. In the busy season will have to charge daily, but in off season every other day will do it so that will reduce cycles a bit. Looks like by lengthening the charge time by an hour I can get to 90%. Once in two weeks I will get to 100% and will equalize every other month. This may not be optimal, but is 3x better than other battery treatment. So i figure two years and will have to change up batteries again....hat is not all that bad...25 bucks a month amortized.

    I am scouting out a place to cut some trees/limbs so I can use solar. For six months I can likely get full 4-5 hours sun almost daily. Other months about 1/3 of that. In a year, savings on gas will pay for the system. In this regard, if I get a 100% charge in the day from solar and go down to 80% at night and back to 100% next day with the solar.....is that a full "cycle"...or something less as not very discharged?

    Thanks for the input on this...
  • atz111atz111 Registered Users Posts: 8
    Re: Charging and Equalization problems with Iota smart charger

    Turning the 10-turn pot up, to get a higher than high voltage, when the circuitry thinks it is producing a low or medium, makes me think something not so good may result.


    How do I do this oon my DLS 55...has smart charge built in...his would give me a way to CAREFULLY equalize my flooded batteries in a more reasonable fashion.
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