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Old 02-11-2013, 05:33 PM   #1
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Battery Charge Current Question

I went to buy a 26 amp charger, and a factory rep told me it was too much current for a single Group 24 battery. I told him I was interested in a quick charge, and he said it would be too quick and cause harm to the plates. He said it would be fine for a bank of two or more, but that much current would create heat and destroy a single battery that size. It would appear to work fine but would create higher voltage ratings without providing the necessay amperage so the battery would run down much sooner than it should and at the same time warp the plates.

I couldn't argue or agree because I don't know much about batteries and charging. Does anybody have any experience with this type of situation?
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Old 02-11-2013, 06:53 PM   #2
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Member RoyBraddy can answer any battery question out there! If he does not post try a PM.
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Old 02-12-2013, 07:46 AM   #3
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Hey Dale - I think we have talked before... Don't know a whole lot on how the batteries actually work but have had alot of experience running those mounted on my past few trailers over the years.

A 26 Amp battery charger sounds about right size for a single battery if it has good DC VOLTAGE output control. Most of the converters/charger added to trailers using a single battery seem to come with a minimum of 25AMPs. Actually most of them are 35AMP and 45AMP sizes.

The batteries will only draw as much current as they need from the source depending on how much DC VOLTAGE is being provided. It doesn't really matter how much current capability the charger has until something drastic happens inside the battery that causes a SHORT CIRCUIT. Then of course if the source is a hugh 200AMP capable battery charger then the battery may explode on you. I have actually seen one explode back the old days where the battery charging concept was to hit the batteries with 20-30VDC running 100-200AMPS and get the quick 1 hour charge. Those batteries being charged were so hot you could not hold your hand on one...

This isn't done like that anymore... The battery I saw explode blew the top off the battery case which went way up into the air. Not a pleasant sight to see...

Progressive Dynamics has picked around 20AMPS per battery as the standard size battery charger. Consider this brochure report that is usually printed in most of the Progressive Dynamics converter/charger manuals..

"Progressive Dynamics ran this test on the amount of time it took a PD9155 (55-amp) converter/charger set to three different output voltages to recharge a 125 AH (Amp Hour) battery after it was fully discharged to 10.5-volts.

14.4-VOLTS (Boost Mode) – Returned the battery to 90% of full charge in approximately 3-hours. The battery reached full charge in approximately 11 hours.

13.6-VOLTS (Normal Mode) – Required 40-hours to return the battery to 90% of full charge and 78-hours to reach full charge.

13.2-VOLTS (Storage Mode) – Required 60-hours to return the battery to 90% of full charge and 100-hours to reach full charge."

Notice that they are using a 55AMP battery charger for this test...

Today's deep cycle batteries seem to like those three voltages listed in the brochure report when re-charging them which is called SMART MODE CHARGING technology these days.. You should purchase a smart mode technology type battery charger like the Black and Decker VEC1093DBD 40AMP SMART MODE Battery Charger. This seems to be the battery charger of choice among the RV deep cycle batteries.

My battery bank currently consists of three GP24 85AH Interstate Batteries connected in PARALLEL that are usually shipped with the new trailers. This is providing me with a 255AH battery capacity system. I have two GP24 batteries connected in PARALLEL in one battery bank and only one additional GP 24 battery in the second battery bank. I used to have two in this bank but one of them recently went south on me (after 4 years of service) so this second battery bank only has one working battery it now. These three battery are all controlled by two master bank battery switches where ALL or NONE of the batteries are connected in parallel. Then I have a third four position battery switch that selects each battery bank OFF-BANK1-BOTH-BANK2.

I maintain these three batteries with a Progressive Dynamics PD-9260C Converter/Charger unit. I am using one of these homemade BATTERY MONITOR Panels that monitors the 12VDC VOLTAGE coming from each battery bank as well as how much DC current is being drawn by the trailer. I can also monitor how much current the batteries are using when being re-charged by the same DC current meter.
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When I am using my PD9260C converter/battery charger 60AMP unit to re-charge my three batteries I see the following results on my three meters. The two BANK 1 and BANK 2 DC VOLTMETERs show 14.4VDC being used on the initial start-up of the smart mode charge procedure. My current meter is now showing around 52-53 DC AMPS being drawn by the three batteries connected in parallel. This will relate to around 17AMPS being drawn by each battery. The current meter continues to show the 53 AMPS for about 10 minutes or so and then starts slowly dropping back which is telling me the batteries are taking the CHARGE. The DC current will eventually drop to around 8AMPs. The PD9260C smart mode charger is programmed to stay at the 14.4VDC charge level for around two hours time at which time it will drop back to 13.6VDC charge and my current meter will also drop back a couple of amps when this happens. The PD9260C will continue the 13.6VDC charge level from that point forward until it sees no current being drawn by the trailer at which time it will drop back to 13.2VDC. The three batteries will attain their 90% charge state about an hour after the PD9260C goes to its initial 13.6VDC charge mode.

If I remove SHORE POWER from the trailer after the batteries have been charged up to their 90% charge state I will see around 12.6VDC or so on the two BANK1 and BANK2 DC VOLTMETERs. now when I start running things in my trailer I will see a MINUS symbol showing up on the DC current meter which will be showing me how much current the trailer is now pulling from the batteries.

In a normal to us camping run off the power grid I will start out seeing around 12.6VDC on each battery bank 1 and 2. Usually between 8PM and 11PM is our biggest trailer draw time and I will see a MINUS 20AMPS sometimes on the DC current meter during this time but when we start going into our sleep mode and shutting down things in the trailer the DC CURRENT meter will show 1 or 2 AMPS for the rest of the night until 8AM the next morning. I can see the 12VDC levels of the batteries slowly dropping thru the night.

At 8AM the next morning I want to see the BANK1 and BANK2 batteries reading around 12.0VDC which indicates to me I am around the 50% charge state of the batteries. This is not a drop dead number but is where I want to re-charge my batteries to keep from doing damage to them. You of course can go lower then 50% charge state but to me I would like to not go below that number. A totally discharged battery is around 10.5VDC and you definitely don't ever want to go to this point. Damage to your batteries will most likely occur doing this. Damage occurs when crud starts building up on the inside battery cores. If the crud builds up enough to touch the other core next to it then its GAME OVER for that battery. The crud will also be growing on the cores all time when drawing current from the batteries but the trick is to keep the batteries fully charged which will dissolve the crud. There is name for this but its too long a word for me to remember it... I have also learned that I can cycle my batteries from the 50% charge state to the 90% charge state only so many times. After around ten re-cycle times my batteries start loosing a little proficiency and I have to do a FULL CHARGE to a 100% charge state to get the batteries back in good shape again. Of course this takes around 12 hours of 14.4VDC boost charge time and thats a long time to run the generator when camping off the power grid. Usually not allowed where we end up camping off the grid at. Thats usually when we pack up and head for the barn.

Bottom line to all of this is to purchase a smart-mode battery charger and not a charger that has poor control of the DC VOLTAGE output. The 40AMP model is perfect to me to use for up to four batteries in your battery bank

In your purchase mentioned listed above for a 26 AMP battery charger sort of tells me it was NOT a smart mode battery charger and indeed if the DC OUTPUT VOLTAGE went higher than 14.4VDC during the initial charge of a single battery then it could do some damage to the battery cores inside. A smart mode battery charger has excellent built-in DC VOLTAGE control to keep this from happening. i.e. it will never put out more than the BOOST CHARGE MODE (14.4VDC or so depending on charger manf)) and the internal resistance of the battery being charged should only demand around 17AMPS of DC current as was the case for the GP24 Interstate batteries I am using.

I learned all of this from staying in a Holiday Inn Select hotel in my many years of working...

If you want to go beat up someone for having to sit through all of this blame CRABMAN... hehe..

Roy Ken
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Old 02-12-2013, 09:07 AM   #4
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Thanks, RoyBraddy. We have talked bfore. You responded (along with Rustic Eagle) on some other electrical issues I needed info on about dry camping. I responded to both of you, but the post got buried under all the others. I do read and digest all the information you provide. Thanks again.

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Old 02-12-2013, 09:53 AM   #5
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Dale - Was that a smart mode charger you was looking at... Those are the only type of chargers that will re-charge a battery in a quick manner...

Since i upgraded my POPUP trailer with the smart-mode converter/charger I get great re-charges in a quick time using the 2KW Generator. We camp off the power grid with the thought in mind to have enough battery power to run all of the 120VAC and 12VDC items we want to run in a one day/night camping run and then be able to re-charge the batteries back up to their 90% charge state the next morning. If the batteries get back to at least 90% charge state then they perform almost as good as a 100% charger state and won't do any damage to the batteries if your re-charge to a full 100% charge state about every ten re-charge cycles or so...

This works good for us at any rate hehe... One of these days i want to get at least 120WATTs of solar power going then I won't miss out on the sun light to help keep the batteries charged. Seems like for us that is the trick - just keep the batteries re-charged all the time...

It hard getting all the stuff you really need. I got the 2KW generator right away and then started working on the rest of it one at a time until I got it all working for me. Now its almost a no brainer going camping off the power grid. Everything setup and ready to go... We would rather camp off the beaten path than at most camp grounds....

Roy Ken
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RETIRED DOD DOAF DON CONTRACTOR Electronics Tech 42YRS

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2008 STARCRAFT 14RT OFF-ROAD POPUP with PD9260C and three 85AH 12VDC batteries
2010 F150 FX4 5.4 GAS with 3.73 gears - Super Cab - Towing Package - 2KW Honda EU2000i Gen
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Old 02-12-2013, 10:33 AM   #6
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Roy, It's a very smart charger. It was the NOCO G26000 http://www.geniuschargers.com/G26000.

A representative from Interstate Battery (I have and SRM 24) said it might heat that battery enough to cause some damage. I'm going to go with the G7200. It's just as smart, only a little less potent. I'll have to be a little more patient to 90%, and then as you recommend, I'll do the equalization charge when I get home.

Solar is not in our immediate future. I like the idea of it, but we wouldn't use it enough. The Honda 2K will be our source of power for some time to come.

You also recommended blaming Crabman. That's a good idea, lets do that for everything.
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:15 AM   #7
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Dale - Its just me but that seems like alot of money to shell out for a portable battery charger. I have great luck with using a built-in smart mode converter/charger like the Progressive Dynmanic PD9200 series. The trailer built-in smart mode PD9200 series converter/charger provides the constant 13.6VDC for the trailer 12VDC power distribution 24/7 as well as a battery charger to keep the connected 12VDC battery charged up when the trailer is connected to shore power. This unit is in the $150 range available from AMAZON or BESTCONVERTERs... This will take care of your battery automatically when camping at electric sites and of course will re-charge your battery just fine when camping off the power grid using a 2KW Honda type generator. Just plug the trailer 30AMP shore power cable directly into the the 2KW Honda generator 120VAC receptacle when you need to re-charge the battery.

I don't have the info here for what you are currently using in your trailer for a 12VDC Power Distribution Panel and built-in converter/charger. My trailer is using the WFCO 8900 Series Power Distribution Ceneter for 120VAC Circuit Breakers and 12VDC Fuses and I use the PD9260C 60AMP Converter/Charger unit to support my trailer and multiple 12VDC batteries connected.

I am assuming you are going to permanently mount the NOCO G26000 unit in the trailer to replace the current provided non smart-mode converter/charger unit.. If this is the case the G26000 unit will be "ON" 24/7 when you are connected to Shore Power providing your 13.6VDC trailer requirements . Hopefully the G26000 will operate long term for you like the standard built-in converter/chargers are designed to do. Most portable battery chargers are NOT designed to be used 24/7.

I also carry a portable smart-mode battery charger being the B&D VEC1093DBD 40 AMP model which also cost around $150 AMAZON which will also do just fine re-charging my batteries when camping off the power grid using the 120VAC side of the 2KW Honda type Generator as well as when I am at home. I use my portable battery charger more as a backup PLAN B thing. Since my 2KW Honda generator is always sitting in the the tailgate corner of my truck having the good smart mode portable battery charger is a given. I can't say how many folks including myself has been rescued by having the smart mode battery along with the 2KW generator always available..

This is just me talking now but I would pickup the PD-9200 series smart mode converter/charger unit for the trailer built-in 12VDC requirements and battery maintainer. Then I would get the B&D VEC1093DBD smart-mode portable battery charger to carry around with the 2KW Generator to support your portable charging requirements. It looks like like you can cover both of these units for the around the same $$$ the NOCO G26000 battery charger is going to cost you.

Roy Ken
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Roy and Carolyn
I claim Horse Creek Country in Southern Ill - Momabear is from North Texas
We live in King George VA
RETIRED DOD DOAF DON CONTRACTOR Electronics Tech 42YRS

"We're burning daylight" - John Wayne
2008 STARCRAFT 14RT OFF-ROAD POPUP with PD9260C and three 85AH 12VDC batteries
2010 F150 FX4 5.4 GAS with 3.73 gears - Super Cab - Towing Package - 2KW Honda EU2000i Gen
K9PHT (since 1957) 146.52Mhz
"We always have a PLAN B"
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Old 02-13-2013, 07:56 AM   #8
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DALE - After reading some of the specs for the NOCO G26000 I see two items that is does that tells me this is NOT something to permanent mount in your trailer to provide your 13.6VDC trailer requrements..

These last two steps the unit does when charging will provide TOO HIGH of DC Voltage that if connected to your trailer when re-charging your battery will most likely do some harm to some of your trailer appliances. Nothing in your trailer should be operated above 14.4VDC otherwise it may blow some fuses or burn out something.

I see the NOCO G26000 unit is going to produce a 16VDC BOOST voltage as well as a 32VDC BOOST. You might survive the 16VDC BOOST but no way will the trailler appliances survive the 32VDC Boost output.

This may be where the NOCO rep is coming from on the 26AMPS heating up the cores to much on a single deep cycle battery. AS I stated earlier if I am using a well regulated 14.4VDC from a 60 AMP charger the battery itself with its internal resistance is only going to draw around 17AMPS of current. That amount of current according to Progressive Dynamics should not harm a single deep cycle battery. Now if you raise that voltage to 16VDC or worse yet to 32VDC then the same internal Resistance of the single deep cycle battery is going to demand ALOT more current to operate. It will most definitely be above 20AMPS being drawn by the single deep cycle battery.

NOCO G26000
Step 14: 16V Boost
The 16V BOOST mode is used to recover battery capacity from a stratified (sulfated) battery by applying a specialized high 16.5V (17V Max) voltage to soften and melt down sulfate from the battery plates so that the material becomes usable again.

Step 15: 32V Boost
The 32V BOOST is used to recover battery capacity from a stratified (sulfated) battery by applying a specialized high 33V (34V Max) voltage to soften and melt down sulfate from the battery plates so that the material becomes usable again.

IMO this NOCO charger should only be used as a stand-alone battery charger on your shop work bench with only the battery under test connected to it and never be connected to the trailer 12VDC system. Applying 32-34VDC to your trailer 12VDC electrical system will most likely damage some 12VDC appliances.

Roy Ken
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Roy and Carolyn
I claim Horse Creek Country in Southern Ill - Momabear is from North Texas
We live in King George VA
RETIRED DOD DOAF DON CONTRACTOR Electronics Tech 42YRS

"We're burning daylight" - John Wayne
2008 STARCRAFT 14RT OFF-ROAD POPUP with PD9260C and three 85AH 12VDC batteries
2010 F150 FX4 5.4 GAS with 3.73 gears - Super Cab - Towing Package - 2KW Honda EU2000i Gen
K9PHT (since 1957) 146.52Mhz
"We always have a PLAN B"
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Old 02-13-2013, 08:22 AM   #9
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Roy Ken, I cancelled the order for the G26000 because one of NOCO's reps told me it was too much current for a single group 24 battery. It's a shame because I found it online for $230 - still high, but a good price and it would pay for itself over time. I never intended to permanantly mount it. I was going to plug it into the portable generator for charging only. I have home uses for it as well. I'm going to go with NOCO's G7200. I can get it for less than $100 so that's better, but I know there will be a time when I wish I had more amps available while camping.

I finally got the concept of 12V camping. First, you get enough Ah's to cover your needs. Then you want to get your battery(s) back for their next use as quick as possible - without burning them up. Being a little patient beats burning up your batteries every time. What do you think of the G7200 http://www.geniuschargers.com/G26000/specs ?

Edit: BTW my TT came with a WFCO WF-7835P converter, 35 amp converter. It does a good job of charging.

Dale
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Old 02-13-2013, 09:41 AM   #10
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At least that one doesn't put out 32-34VDC hehe... Should be ok - It seems the masses like the B&D 40AMp version as their choice for a smart-mode battery charger...

I guess you are just planning to bringing along your 2KW Honda generator and a smart-mode portable battery charger to charge your one battery when camping off the power grid. That does work ok. I would probably have a disconnect switch installed in the battery line coming form the trailer side so I could totally disconnect the battery before applying an external battery charger to the terminals. Most folks that like to camp off the power grid alot uses two 6V DC Golf cart batteries connected in series to give them around 220AHs of battery capacity. The 220AHs is a good capacity to have and will only cost you around $80 each from COSTCO or SAMs CLUB. Your single 12VDC battery is most likely a GP24 85AH 12VDC battery. More AHs at the same cost is much better.

I personally think you are missing the boat big time by already having the 2KW Honda Generator. It is so easy for me to just connect the trailer 30AMP Shore Power Cable directly to the generator 120VAC Receptacle using a RV30A-15A "dogbone" type Adapter (Walmart). My 2KW Generator sits in the tailgate corner of the truck and when camping i usually just back in close to the tongue of the trailer.... Just grab the shore power cable and plug it in. Of course for this to do you any good you have to have a smart mode converter/charger on the trailer which you do not have.

I couldn't find any info on the older WF-7835P converter/charger unit. I am assuming it produces 13.6VDC constantly but may only put out 12VDC and probably has only four 12VDC automotive type fuses for the DC side and maybe one or two 120VAC Circuit breakers. Also this unit if it is putting out 13.6VDC constantly may over charge your single battery over time which may boil out the battery fluids. Using a smart mode converter/charger in your trailer is much better for your single battery. I had to check my battery fluids at least once a week and make sure they were at their proper level when using my older ELIXIR 30AMP unit. I still check the battery fluids out of habit but never find them low now after switching to smart mode copnverter/charger. My batteries are on charge 24/7 when sitting here at the house. Plugged into the garage 120VAC receptacle sitting in my back yard.

I had this same situation with my current 2008 Starcraft 14RT POPUP trailer with its ELIXIR 30AMP Power Converter installed. My POPUP has all the modern 120VAC and 12VDc appliances installed and only had two 120VAC Circuit breakers and three fused 12VDC circuits. Looking behind my ELIXIR Power Converter was the biggest wiring nightmare you ever saw... All the circuits were all divided up into the three fised 12VDC circuits and this created a hugh "RATS NEST" of wiring all twisted together using those large YELLOW twist nuts. This was the first I did MOD wise to my POPUP.

I pulled out the ELIXIR EX-30 unit and replaced it with the WFCO 8900 series power Distribution center that had five large 120V circuit breaker slots and eleven fused 12VDC circuit positions. This was not a hard thing to change over as all the cables already came to this location and all I had to do was separate them all out and wire each circuit to its individual Circuit or 12VDC fuse location. Took less then two hours to hook it all up. It took about that same amount of time to modify the panel hole to mount the larger WF-8900 series box into the cabinet position. Now I got a well behaved POWER DISTRIBUTION Center with many Circuit breaker (One LARGE 30A and eight 1/2 size circuit breaker slots along with eleven 12VDC fused circuits. When a fuse blows for whatever reason a small red light comes on showing which fuse is blown... This WF 8900 series unit is mounted in the same location with just a few mods to the cabinet to make it fit. My WF-8900 series unit is located just to the right of the table legs near the floor shown i this photo.
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I tried using the WF-8945 Smart Mode 45AMP Converter/Battery Charger that came with the unit but I could never get it to go into 14.4VDC BOOST power charge mode so I eventually abandoned that and purchased a PD9260C 60AMP Converter/battery charger unit. This PD9260C would have just replaced the WF-8945 unit inside the WF8900 series cabinet shown above (The bottom slot) but I decided to mount the PD9260C as a stand alone unit closer to to my batteries. It is now just five feet away from the batteries as you can see in my previous floorplan photo. This converter/charger works great sitting here in a stand alone position. The generator also runs it just fine when the shore power cable is connected to it.
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Now all I do is just connect the trailer 30AMP shore power cable to my generator and it re-charges the on-board batteries in a short three hour generator run time. I usually do this at 8AM each morning when we are having breakfast and this is also when I make up my coffee for the day while the generator is running...


This is the way I made it all much simplified for my setups...

Roy Ken
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Roy and Carolyn
I claim Horse Creek Country in Southern Ill - Momabear is from North Texas
We live in King George VA
RETIRED DOD DOAF DON CONTRACTOR Electronics Tech 42YRS

"We're burning daylight" - John Wayne
2008 STARCRAFT 14RT OFF-ROAD POPUP with PD9260C and three 85AH 12VDC batteries
2010 F150 FX4 5.4 GAS with 3.73 gears - Super Cab - Towing Package - 2KW Honda EU2000i Gen
K9PHT (since 1957) 146.52Mhz
"We always have a PLAN B"
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