BatteryMINDer Solar Charger

dwhdwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
So, poking around the net the other day, I found something I hadn't noticed before. It seems BatteryMINDer has a 12v 15a solar charge controller:

http://www.batteryminders.com/batterycharger/catalog/BatteryMINDer-Solar-Charger-Controller-Desulfator-12-Volt-15-Am-p-16141.html

It also looks like they've gone even more into the aviation sector with chargers designed for specific battery makes and approved by the battery manufacturers:

http://www.batteryminders.com/batterycharger/catalog/Aviation-Specific-Maintenance-Battery-Charger-De-Sulfators-orderby0-p-1-c-249.html

And look at this $900.00 24v bad boy converter/charger:

http://www.batteryminders.com/batterycharger/catalog/BatteryMINDer-28-Volt-Avionic-Power-Supply-Charger-Maintain-p-16170.html


I keep looking at their 8/4/2 amp charger for my camper. What I can't get over though, is that while from the reviews I've read, it does charge faster than a regular charger of equivalent size, it's really designed to slow charge/maintain and the desulfation benefits require the thing to be connected for days/weeks/months. If my truck was connected to shore power most of the time, I'd buy one, but for charging from a generator I just can't see it.

Comments

  • bryanlbryanl Solar Expert Posts: 175 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: BatteryMINDer Solar Charger

    I am evaluating a BatteryMINDer solar charger in an RV with a 100 watt panel. It is cost effective (~$90 including temp sensor) but its primary interest to me is that it doesn't just float the battery but uses the pulse charging desulfation technique.

    Since the RV spends most of its time sitting, a good maintenance oriented device is needed and this is not a feature of the typical solar charge controller.

    So far, the BatteryMINDer seems to be working well as a charge controller and its idiot lights provide good indication of what it is doing. Voltage and current monitoring indicate the battery bank is being kept in good condition.

    For your camper, what you need is a decent converter that does 3 stage charging and includes a good maintenance mode. The Progressive Dynamics IntelliPower with ChargeWizard sets the model on this. WFCO sells one that works similarly.

    As for decent charging via solar in an RV - that's not likely. It is very hard to get sufficient solar to get the current a typical RV battery bank needs to get a good electrolyte stirring.
  • dwhdwh Solar Expert Posts: 1,341 ✭✭✭
    Re: BatteryMINDer Solar Charger
    bryanl wrote: »
    For your camper, what you need is a decent converter that does 3 stage charging and includes a good maintenance mode.

    I don't think so. I think I need a two stage since generally there are DC loads running while the battery is being charged. (Normally, charged from the generator since I almost never camp where there are hookups.)

    Right now, I'm leaning toward this:

    http://www.samlexamerica.com/products/productdescription.asp?ProductsID=8001

    It can do up to three banks (15a total shared between banks) so I can hook up the engine and house batteries both to it. And it can do either two stage or three stage so I can run it two stage while actually using the camper, and flip it to three stage when the rig is parked at home with no loads.

    As for decent charging via solar in an RV - that's not likely. It is very hard to get sufficient solar to get the current a typical RV battery bank needs to get a good electrolyte stirring.

    For solar, I can get two KC-135 on the roof...three if I relocate the 14" roof vent to one side. If I end up doing that, then I'll use a SunSaver Duo to keep both the engine and house batteries charged and stirring won't be an issue since I'll replace the single FLA house battery under the hood with a pair of AGMs under the couch.

    That's plenty, since the camper is an old Class B bubble top van conversion and has no microwave. It does have an inverter, but the only thing I ever ran off it was my laptop and now I'm using a netbook with a cigarette lighter power supply so I haven't even switched on the inverter in months. My portable DVD player also has a 12v plug.

    That is IF I decide to keep this camper. It is quite old and a bit creaky. I'm holding off on spending much money on it since I'm keeping my eyes open for a good deal on a newer one. But even so, in the meantime I'd like to replace the antique Shumacher 10a charger that it has now with something a bit more capable.
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