Thursday, December 23, 2010

Battery Charger

I installed a IOTA DLS-55 amp battery charger to compliment my campers converter. A converter is really just a battery charger that puts out extra amps when you are using 12 volt power in your rv. A typical 55 amp converter will supply up the 55 amps when those amps are needed but only about 2 amps are dedicated for battery charging. Plus the voltage is not enough to fully charge the battery.

My converter is additionally handicapped by being at the rear of our trailer, nearly 35 feet from our batteries. With the voltage loss from the long cables, only .4 amps makes it to the batteries.

Trojan (our battery manufacture) recommends charging at 14.8 volts and most charger only charge at 14.3 volts. modifies the IOTA charger to charge at 14.8 volts and 15.4 volts when needed to equalize the batteries. Order their catalog, the first 30 pages is a "how-to" on "off-grid" before they even offer to sell you anything.
These people "walk the walk".

The charger is very simple to install (therefore no installation pictures), comes with standard three prong wire and you add your own 12 volt cables to the batteries and a ground wire for the case.

Use the small cable with phone jack end to plug into charger to up the voltage for equalization.

I hard wired the charger in a forward compartment a short distance from the batteries, ran the circuit through a switch to control its operation and mounted it in the lower part of the kitchen cabinet.

My Trimetric meter registered 54 amps when I threw the switch. The charge tapers off as the batteries are charging and by the time I decided to take a picture it was putting out 41.6 amps.

I can now read my Trimetric meter (fuel gauge for the batteries) and charge as needed via the switch. No hooking and unhooking needed. The charger cannot be on all the time or it will boil the water from the batteries. It works whether I am using campground power or our generator.

Camping with no electricity, no problem. Watch satellite tv using our inverter at night and run the generator to fire up the coffee pot in the morning and recharge the batteries at the same time.

I have a inverter large enough to run the coffee pot or microwave that is yet to be installed. Probably will wait to see if I install solar panels because I now need the generator to charge the batteries anyway so I might as well power the coffee pot also.

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