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Generators & Electric Motors General Discussion Antique Generators and Old Electric Motors: Questions and answers about restoring and showing old power generation systems.

Generators & Electric Motors General Discussion

Multi Stage Battery Charging Odd Application


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  #11  
Old 04-18-2018, 04:10:35 PM
cornbinder89 cornbinder89 is offline
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Default Re: Multi Stage Battery Charging Odd Application

They are OTR semi tractors, I run between Iowa and north west, SLC, Montana etc.
Because of where I run, I don't often need air conditioning at night, so don't have a APU. I did build one years ago when I did heavy haul all over the US.
SO I have an Ammonia cycle "fridge" that will operate off 110, 12 volts or LP.
During the cooler weather I run it off LP at night and plugged into an inverter during the day, in warmer weather I run it exclusively off the inverter. I keep the 12 volt as a back up, as it doesn't have a thermostat on the 12 volt heater.
In cool weather I have an Espar (diesel fired coolant heater) that circulates thru the heater core and back to the block. I get 1st crack at the heat, and whats left goes to keep the engine warm. The Espar draw around 4 amps and another 5 amps for the (trucks) heater blower motor.
Most nights in the summer, up in Montana, I can get by with screens in the windows and a small "table" fan run off the inverter.
All these loads run between 10-12 hrs with the engine off, and then get a full 11-12 hrs of recharge time.
The truck with the biggest battery box has a 620 amp/hr pack.
The next one down has 540 amp/hr
Both these trucks have air start, so there is no need for any other battery other than the deep cycle bank
The last truck doesn't have room for an air start tank, or would have to have a custom one made, so for it I bought the Maxwell super capacitor I detailed elsewhere on the "stak". It has 465 amp/hr pack.

To be sure I have over spec'd the battery packs, I have run the Espar and heater continuously overnight ( most times I have to cycle the blower on and off to keep from getting to hot) in -19 deg weather and not run out of charge, and this was on the truck with the smallest pack.
What started me down the path of the multi staged regulators, was the battery pack would not return to full charge over the week. it would come close if I returned on Friday, had no loads on it over the weekend, and charged it all day Monday before loading it again Monday night.
I initially kept the voltage on the low side 13.8 volts, than tried 14.2, 14.4 and finely reaching 14.6 as the needed setting for them to fully recover.
From all I've read, 14.6-14.8 is acceptable for flooded lead acid for bulk charge, but needs to taper back for absorption, and further for float.
In the cold weather, 14.6 does fine for a single set regulator, but in warmer weather I notice the current taper to about 5 amps and after awhile start to climb back toward 7-10 amps and water consumption increases. All telling me that the voltage is too high for the temps.
That is what has lead me to look into these multi-staged regulators.
Aren't you sorry you asked?

---------- Post added at 03:10:35 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:00:49 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by gnucklehead View Post
Any regulator with on-battery voltage and temperature monitoring should be an improvement.. Multistage regulators are great, but better suited for very long runs. Any real regulator/alternator pair should have no problem charging a battery while supporting a load Personally, I like Balmar. I don't know big rig trucks, but I do know marine systems.
Balmar and Sterling (from the UK) seam to be it in terms of regulators.
I think I'll go with the Sterling as it can either control the positive or the negative to the field. The Delco's are set up to control the negative, and while not a big deal to change, why?
Interestingly Sterling claims you can leave the stock reg in place, set it to "float voltage" and parallel the Sterling reg with the OEM. It is why they make their unit function on either system. One of the advantages is if one of the regs fails, the other will keep it operating to some deg until repairs can be made.
I don't know, I've never tried to parallel reg before, I would think they would "fight" each other but the Tech rep say no?
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  #12  
Old 04-18-2018, 05:35:07 PM
cornbinder89 cornbinder89 is offline
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Default Re: Multi Stage Battery Charging Odd Application

Ordered a reg from Sterling USA, I'll report back when it is installed and operating.
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  #13  
Old 04-18-2018, 05:44:56 PM
gnucklehead gnucklehead is offline
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Default Re: Multi Stage Battery Charging Odd Application

I think you are correct on the pos/neg field (type A vs type B circuit).. Combined internal and external regulator is possible. Balmar alternators have an internal regulator that somehow works with the external, but they are matched pair.. Maybe not so friendly to other equipment, so chalk one up for Sterling.

A good battery monitor might help keep track of your state of charge/discharge or take measurements after you turn off the engine, and just before starting her up. I still use 6V golf cart lead-acids on a home backup system so I have long periods to charge/float, but if you need to get more energy into a battery in a shorter period of time, true AGM batteries are the way to go. If you are charging at C/10, then it'll take roughly +/- 8 hours @ 50 Amps to charge your +/- 500Ah battery when down to 20% charge state... You don't want to let it discharge to less than 11.5 Volts.

I haven't been thinking DC systems in awhile, so thanks for stirring up the mush
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  #14  
Old 04-18-2018, 06:03:12 PM
cornbinder89 cornbinder89 is offline
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Default Re: Multi Stage Battery Charging Odd Application

From all I've read and know you really want to try and keep the discharge level to no more than 50% to get the best life out of stuff.
I'm either old school or cheap (which ever way you want to look at it) and am sticking with flooded cells, I think they are more forgiving of abuse/ mis applcation than other types.
I worked on Manlifts and forklifts that were battery powered, but all that stuff was charged after the work day had finished and used SCR controlled chargers with a "board" to control the rate/voltage.
I think I have enough time in for "proof of concept" on it, and with the single stage reg set at 14.6 it recharges in 1/2 a days running. Most nights don't deplete the bank anywhere near the 50% level, so run time is not so much an issue.
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  #15  
Old 04-18-2018, 07:57:45 PM
Wayne 440 Wayne 440 is online now
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Default Re: Multi Stage Battery Charging Odd Application

A solar panel on the roof might be worth consideration for weekends if you park outside.
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  #16  
Old 04-18-2018, 08:22:57 PM
cornbinder89 cornbinder89 is offline
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Default Re: Multi Stage Battery Charging Odd Application

naw, I have no capacity problem in the bank or the charging system, solar wouldn't be worth the trouble.
I know the military does that with their equipment, but not worth my trouble.
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  #17  
Old 04-28-2018, 07:45:18 PM
cornbinder89 cornbinder89 is offline
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Default Re: Multi stage Battery Chargeing Odd Application

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vanman View Post
Hmm, if they do not employ a means of determining charging current, then they would be tailoring the charge profile based on time and voltage alone. Load in addition to that of battery charging should not materially effect proper charging, only the required duration to reach full charge. The exciting current is going to vary over a wide range as generator speed varies, and so would not be a viable method of determining output current. Indeed I have a really nice inverter charger that does not pay attention to battery charging current as regards the charging profile. If I had DC loads on the system, it would simply take longer to reach the absorption stage. No harm otherwise.
Ok I read thru the paperwork that came with the reg. It uses an algorithm to set the time based on how long the battery take to go from start up of the engine to .3 volt below bulk charge voltage, the amount of time that takes determines how long the units timer runs for Bulk charge and how long on absorption before it goes to float. The longer it takes to get to that .3 volts less than reg setting, the longer the unit holds it at bulk charge voltage and the longer the absorption voltage before for going to float.
Given that, it sound as long as the truck loads are on in the start-up phase, they will be taken into account for the timer.
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Old 04-28-2018, 08:39:42 PM
Vanman Vanman is offline
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Default Re: Multi Stage Battery Charging Odd Application

That is interesting. More sophisticated than my Trace Engineering inverter charger, which just has a user adjustable timer for absorption. I think it comes set for three hours. I suppose it doesn't really matter if it's longer than necessary, as long as it is long enough.

It would appear that other loads on your truck will lengthen the time spent at the higher voltage, but I don't see that that is really going to hurt anything. Might help to equalize the cells a bit.
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Old 04-28-2018, 09:37:59 PM
cornbinder89 cornbinder89 is offline
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Default Re: Multi Stage Battery Charging Odd Application

It will be a week or so before I get it installed and can report. I am using Delco 25SI's (gray ghost) that are semi-sealed, while not "explosion proof" all the diodes and regulator are in a sealed compartment, the cooling air runs over the compartment before going over the field and stator windings. I intend to keep it sealed, so need to fit some "feed thru's" in the case.
I will set the internal voltage regulator at float voltage 13.6 voltage and that will be the fail safe setting, the Sterling will set the bulk at 14.8 and absorption at 13.8-14.2.
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Old 06-24-2018, 07:50:41 PM
cornbinder89 cornbinder89 is offline
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Default Re: Multi Stage Battery Charging Odd Application

Did I say a week, more like a month or so.
Got it installed today and run long enough to hit the "timer" on the high charge voltage. So far so good, in a week or so should have it out on the road for a real test. I'll report back.
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