What battery charger?

19111911 Registered Users Posts: 44 ✭✭
I am building a portable charging station for portable radios. When on the road I plan to use the solar panels....when not in use the system will be stored in my basement and plugged into the wall to keep the battery healthy.

i orderd two Sunworld 100w panels, 12v 84ah battery, 30a pwm charge controler, suresine 300 inverter....

what charger do I need to keep the battery healthy when not in use on the road?

Comments

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,490 admin
    I have had good success with BatteryMinder brand of float chargers:

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B005EKY1EM (I have a couple on cars)
    https://www.batteryminders.com/ (mfg website)

    So far (for a few years or more), they have kept the batteries charged and have not used any water... The cheap float chargers I have gotten before, they would "boil" the car battery dry (below the tops of plates) in 6-12 months or so.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • 19111911 Registered Users Posts: 44 ✭✭
    Well, i just ordered another 2 panels....so I now have 4 x 100w panels coming. I think I may order another 84ah battery also.

    would the expansion of the system change the recommendation for the battery charger? 
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,490 admin
    I have this one for my in-laws' car (they don't drive that much).

    https://www.batteryminders.com/batteryminder-model-128cec1-12v-2-4-8-amp-charger-maintainer-desulfator/

    Expensive but works fine too.. This is adjustable so you can do AGM/GEL/FLA and 2/4/8 amps... For two of your batteries in parallel, you might want the higher float current (4 amps).

    But it seems to me that even the 2 amp and two batteries in good shape should be fine... The above link at 8 amps will "support 8 batteries", so 2 amps should be good for "2 batteries".

    Going back to the Amazon "cheap" model in the previous post, says good for "6 batteries" @ 2 amps.

    The cheap version is 1/2 the cost. I never had any problem with it.

    The adjustable ones, when disconnected from the battery, they go back to default (GEL at 2 amps) and you have reset them to different values, if needed.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,490 admin
    edited September 2019 #5
    Costco has a small battery charger at Costco for $45 in store.
    I guess you can set multiple battery types.
    Fla
    Agm
    Gel
    Lithium
    I cannot find any detailed specifications.
    Costco return if doesn't do what you need.
    Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,137 ✭✭✭✭
    Keep in mind that 20% of all Costco stores are in California and that their inventories are different than other areas. I was shocked at how much more some big, heavy items cost in Colorado. And how much better our micro brewery beers are than some other areas.  
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,490 admin
    edited September 2019 #7
    Same charger is available online for $49.99 ...
    It is fun to go to other states (and countries') Costco stores... The local products (from ketchup to hydraulic oil for tractors)--Lets you know you have left "the California Zone".
    -Bill :p
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,137 ✭✭✭✭
    Doesn't seem to me like Costco online is all that big. Costco is one of few stores where shopping is almost a pleasure. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • EstragonEstragon Registered Users Posts: 4,478 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I haven't been in a Costco for >20yrs.  Back in the day, I bought tractor feed printer paper (!) cheap there, if they had it.  Some weeks they'd have mountains of it, some weeks, none.

    If shopping there is a pleasure now, maybe they've changed.  Or maybe our definition of pleasure has  :)
    Off-grid.  
    Main daytime system ~4kw panels into 2xMNClassic150 370ah 48v bank 2xOutback 3548 inverter 120v + 240v autotransformer
    Night system ~1kw panels into 1xMNClassic150 700ah 12v bank morningstar 300w inverter
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 30,490 admin
    edited September 2019 #10
    They do leave you alone... But they can move product randomly through the store once a week (trying to get you to impulse buy) and there is almost no products that are there year in and year out...
    The Costcos in Taiwan are amazing (put ours in the USA pretty much to shame). Much wider variety of product--And FFFOOOOODDDD products on multiple floors...
    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,137 ✭✭✭✭
    Estragon said:
    I haven't been in a Costco for >20yrs.  Back in the day, I bought tractor feed printer paper (!) cheap there, if they had it.  Some weeks they'd have mountains of it, some weeks, none.

    If shopping there is a pleasure now, maybe they've changed.  Or maybe our definition of pleasure has  :)
    I live in the rugged boondocks and pick up supplies every two weeks. That might be why I don't mind out. Most Costco people are very pleasant though my last trip yielded a couple idiots. Seems to be something in the air in 2019? Never seen idiots like 2019 idiots. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • LiFePo4batteryLiFePo4battery Registered Users Posts: 5 ✭✭
    If this is a Lithium battery. Need to find out if NCM battery or LiFePo4. NCM battery 12v with nominal voltage 11.1v. Charger voltage should be 12.6v; if it is LiFePo4, the nominal voltage is 12.8v. Charger voltage should be 14.6v. Then check how much current does your battery support maximun. Just make sure charger current less then battery max charging current is ok.

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  • garynappigarynappi Registered Users Posts: 80 ✭✭
    edited September 2019 #13
    I use a number of AGM batteries and charger / maintainers... a lot :-)

    I'm a motorcyclist (2 bikes), and I have an all electric boat with three batteries. Initially I went the route of one charger and kept moving connections to keep them charged, went to "Battery Tenders" with two charger ports, same issue moving to the third battery. One port failed on my bikes and cost me a new battery.  

    For my boat I bought a 3 bank "Pro Mariner Pro Sport" 20 (20A divided amongst the three batteries or all current to one) which ran VERY hot even at float / maintenance level, had no indication of the state of each battery, and the cables for the minimal 3 bank charge rate were very heavy and unmanageable and I returned it.

    Finally I bought a NoCo Gen 3 12A (4A available per bank) and it's smaller than the Pro mariner, runs cooler, has cable gauge appropriate to the charge rate, AND has the state of each battery bank displayed... charging, charged, fault / reverse polarity.  

    On a budget or for one battery, the Battery tender brand is OK but the charge rate is very low if you present it with a less than fully charged battery, and reliability on the two I've owned has not been stellar. The NoCo brand is the best I've found. I'd hate to 86 an expensive battery because a cheap charger / maintainer did not work. They have chargers appropriate for just about any battery installation. 
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,137 ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2019 #14
    Just bought a Duracell brand battery charger at Costco for $45. It is 4 amp and claims to be good for lithium and AGM. Just started using it yesterday so much to be learned. 


    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,137 ✭✭✭✭
    edited September 2019 #15
    OK - if charging lithium batteries the Li-Ion button needs to be pressed for two seconds. Seems to be a pretty nice charger for the price. 

    Duracell Model DRMC4AC   Not available at Amazon or Ebay. 
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
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