Brand recommendations for battery chargers?

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JeffinthePeace
Forum Guru
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:20 pm
My RE system: VFX3524 Inverter/Charger.
2 x FM80 Charge Controllers.
12 Trina PV panels: 365W, 48.0Voc, 9.3A Imp.
Total 4380W PV.
Midnight Sun Combiner Boxes.
Mate (Original) and Hub4.
TriMetric 2020 Battery Monitor.
1065 Ah Yuasa 85T-21 FLA 24V battery bank (10 yrs old).
10kW 120/240VAC Kubota/Stamford diesel generator.
PSX-240 Auto Transformer for generator charging.
No Utility Grid available.
Location: Peace Country, British Columbia

Brand recommendations for battery chargers?

Post by JeffinthePeace » Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:37 am

Hello -
I am currently (under)charging my 1065Ah battery bank (Yuasa 85T-21) with only 80 Amps (VFX5324), and am looking for make/model recommendations for supplemental battery chargers.

Option 1. Stacking:
Try to source another VFX3524 to add another 80 Amps.
Pro: It would be great to have a back-up inverter!
Con: Expensive. Also, apparently VFX3524s are discontinued and hard to find?

Option 2. Supplemental Battery Charger:
NOCO GX2440 - 40 Amp charger
IOTA DLS-27-40 - 40 Amp charger
Xantrex TrueCharge2-30 - 30 Amp charger

Any user experience input on these (or other?) brands would be much appreciated!!

Thanks
J

sparksalot
Forum Guru
Posts: 314
Joined: Sun Jul 17, 2016 5:31 am
My RE system: FLEXpower TWO VFXR3648A Grid-Tied and Battery Backup Hybrid, Mate3s
Using Two Midnite 200 Classic Charge Controllers

Traction battery FLA 48 volt 805Ahr.

32 SolarWorld 245w mono, 2x-4S-4P
6 REC 320w on micro-inverters

Re: Brand recommendations for battery chargers?

Post by sparksalot » Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:35 am

Well, with 10 year old lead acid batteries and all the other facts spelled out, you might be coming to a cross roads sometime soon.

Not an inexpensive solution, but the timing could be right to make the move up to 48 Volts.

Pros: Not discontinued model
Currents and wire sizes reduced by 50%
Newer battery technology
Less tedious cell upkeep across entire bank
Can size charging properly
Would gain spare or have redundancy with added second inverter/charger
Could eliminate auto-transformer
Sell un-needed discontinued and hard to find parts while still some demand for them exists
Peace of mind being set again for another decade or more

Cons: Big expense if done all at one time
System interuptions and frequent and lengthy generator use


Prolly missed a bunch others...but a good look, no less :smile:

mhoybook
Forum Whiz
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri May 12, 2017 7:56 am
My RE system: OFFGRID, Radian GS8048A, GSLC 175-PV-120/240, 6 FlexMax 80's, Mate3, OpticsRE, 19.7 KW Trina Solar Panels, 2500 Amp Hours FLA Battery Bank, 20 KW Kohler Generator.

Re: Brand recommendations for battery chargers?

Post by mhoybook » Thu Jan 03, 2019 7:54 am

I don't have an answer for this post but on this subject I would like to ask if anyone out there is actually supplementing their inverter controlled generator charging with a third party charger and thus charging the batteries with two chargers at the same time while the generator is running? WE ARE TOTALLY OFF GRID. When I have to run my 20 KW generator, my inverter uses less than 1/2 the capacity of my generator to charge my batteries so I would like to get another charger that would add an additional load on my generator of approximately 5000 watts AC which I believe would output approximately 75 to 100 amps at 48 volts DC. This would get my generator load up to about 75% of maximum rating. My battery bank, by the way, is rated at 3000 amp hours at 48 volts so I don't believe 200 amps DC total charge rate would be too much. So, my question is: "Can charging the battery bank with two chargers at the same time cause damage to either the batteries or the inverter or the second charger?"

blackswan555
Forum Emperor
Posts: 2637
Joined: Sat Aug 30, 2008 5:50 am
My RE system: Other peoples, VFX "E" versions, FLA`s, Generators.
Location: Ibiza Spain,

Re: Brand recommendations for battery chargers?

Post by blackswan555 » Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:16 am

So, my question is: "Can charging the battery bank with two chargers at the same time cause damage to either the batteries or the inverter or the second charger?"
No problem as long as they are all set up reasonably close to each other (V) and your second source also has temp compensation,

Tim
My comments are based on my experience and research, They are not endorsed or checked by Outback.I am an independent British electrician living in Spain, So please take this into account when reading /acting on my post`s.

JRHill
Forum Czar
Posts: 929
Joined: Thu Feb 17, 2011 11:12 am
My RE system: VFX 3648, FM80, 3k panels, Mate3, FNDC (retired), 8ea L16 mixed. Wonderful wife.

Re: Brand recommendations for battery chargers?

Post by JRHill » Thu Jan 03, 2019 10:36 am

The 1st thing that comes to mind is battery temperature, and isn't it season dependent?. Temp is less of a problem this time of the year for some of us but could become an issue if pushing large charging rates. Outback's temp sensor handles these problems for you when charging via their equipment but not if you're using an external source. I looked through the OpticsRE alerts and there is one for a battery temp sensor short but not for over-temp, whatever that value might be on your system. And using two charging sources simultaneously? Hmmm. If you have a huge battery bank and could justify looking for other charging sources it kind'of assumes you have matched the RE sources to the battery bank and it's generator season - you wish to be more efficient....

The formula for work is a constant, yeah, but other factors come into play - like spinning a genset at high idle just for a fraction of rated output. Sure, getting the load up would be more efficient but more fuel will be used as well. This all would be a curious matrix of cost/benefit/risk. For those with big battery banks who really want/need the charging amps when RE is not available or minimally, this is even more critical considering money invested vs. the benefit and risk. Batteries are frig'in expensive. For me, this is why God created the inverter generator, but it doesn't pan out for every situation, esp. with big charging demands.

Yeah, it would be cool to push more than 20 amps when on bulk charging via gen power (my system) and even good for battery health. But unless some safeguards were in place could the effort to get more efficiency backfire and maybe even dangerously so?

Think first,
Jim

While writing this Tim chimed in.

I spent too much time on this or did I not?

mhoybook
Forum Whiz
Posts: 25
Joined: Fri May 12, 2017 7:56 am
My RE system: OFFGRID, Radian GS8048A, GSLC 175-PV-120/240, 6 FlexMax 80's, Mate3, OpticsRE, 19.7 KW Trina Solar Panels, 2500 Amp Hours FLA Battery Bank, 20 KW Kohler Generator.

Re: Brand recommendations for battery chargers?

Post by mhoybook » Thu Jan 03, 2019 3:24 pm

Well, thank you both for your replies but Outback tech support just responded to me finally and said it could possibly damage my inverter and/or my batteries. So, I replied back to them asking if there is an alternative. I'm wondering if the response will be to add another 8048A inverter? That's not inexpensive! We'll see. I just wish I had installed a 12 KW to 15 KW generator. I probably could have saved more than $1000.

JeffinthePeace
Forum Guru
Posts: 102
Joined: Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:20 pm
My RE system: VFX3524 Inverter/Charger.
2 x FM80 Charge Controllers.
12 Trina PV panels: 365W, 48.0Voc, 9.3A Imp.
Total 4380W PV.
Midnight Sun Combiner Boxes.
Mate (Original) and Hub4.
TriMetric 2020 Battery Monitor.
1065 Ah Yuasa 85T-21 FLA 24V battery bank (10 yrs old).
10kW 120/240VAC Kubota/Stamford diesel generator.
PSX-240 Auto Transformer for generator charging.
No Utility Grid available.
Location: Peace Country, British Columbia

Re: Brand recommendations for battery chargers?

Post by JeffinthePeace » Thu Jan 03, 2019 5:30 pm

Option 3. Upgrade new to 48V system.
Option 4. Downsize to smaller generator.
Lots to digest here, thanks for the replies.
J

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