Charging and Equalization problems with Iota smart charger

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  • PlowmanPlowman Solar Expert Posts: 203 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Charging and Equalization problems with Iota smart charger
    atz111 wrote: »
    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).
    I was going to ask how you're going to wire five 6V batteries then realized they're probably 12V. Trojan 27TM? Wiring those in parallel might be problematic.

    I've been having to use my generator a lot lately. Have set my Iota DSL45 to 14.8V by turning the potentiometer. If I want to equalize I can insert the dongle, which raises the voltage to around 15.3. I have an external IQ4 unit but haven't been using it---might play around with it to see if it works better.

    I just let it run for a few hours two or three times a week. I consider the batteries charged when the amps go down to ~2% or so of my bank's capacity, measured with a clamp meter. I also check the SG religiously, but I'm not confident about my temperature compensation since temps have dropped into the 40s F and colder.

    This is working adequately, but not perfectly, and I'm sure is less than ideal. I suspect I'm shortening my batteries' life, mostly by going too long between full charges and maybe charging at too high a voltage during bulk. But I'd rather take a year off the batteries' life than the generator's life.

    My batteries do get some solar, but not much right now. I try to do a bulk charge with the generator late at night or in the morning so the panels can trickle in the amps during the absorption phase.

    I set up my solar panel system late in the spring and was getting full sun all day, but last month I started seeing some large trees to the north shading them for an hour around noon. The shade has since grown to most of the day as the sun gets lower in the sky. Might be in full shade by winter solstice :cry:

    Luckily my system is portable, so when I move I'll hopefully be able to find a better location for it. I keep the generator in the trailer, too.

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  • CDN_VTCDN_VT Solar Expert Posts: 492 ✭✭✭
    Re: Charging and Equalization problems with Iota smart charger
    atz111 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.


    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.

    Model # and a picture would help . Then on my travels , if I do see one , Ill have a good look & open one up.

    VT
  • cosmicraycosmicray Registered Users Posts: 24 ✭✭
    Re: Charging and Equalization problems with Iota smart charger
    Plowman wrote: »
    I've been having to use my generator a lot lately. Have set my Iota DSL45 to 14.8V by turning the potentiometer. If I want to equalize I can insert the dongle, which raises the voltage to around 15.3. I have an external IQ4 unit but haven't been using it---might play around with it to see if it works better.
    Which raises (at least to me) an interesting question. I was always under the impression that the 10-turn pot was merely to calibrate the unit, such that it produced an expected voltage. I have never thought that the IQ4 would depend on what voltage the unit was calibrated to, but instead had it's own way of telling when the output got close enough to 14.2 to believe that it was time to drop back to 13.6. I really don't know which way the IQ4 would behave if it sees a much higher voltage than 14.2.
  • CDN_VTCDN_VT Solar Expert Posts: 492 ✭✭✭
    Re: Charging and Equalization problems with Iota smart charger

    IQ-4 has no Voltage correction . I set my / many DLS90 to 14.5V , use the bypass wire to 15.2 or the IQ4 to 15.9 or so .
    This in not left on for days / hrs , Just as We / I use them in a Non Solar area.

    VT
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