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Battery Charger use on Generator Power

Viking66

Registered
Last Subscription Date
04/30/2015
Hi all,

As many of you know from previous threads I have a Camp in the Swamp. I currently have my water system hooked up with a 12V pump so i can still use it on the nice days where I do not need power in the Camp.

I have a 4.0 CCK-3R wired for 120, which should give me close to 33 Amps. Right now I can easily run the 2 ACs I have and the lights with this setup.

I would like to know if I could hook up a Battery Charger to keep my battery charged while my Generator is running.

During the night of course we need lights and AC in the summer so the Generator is running during that time. This is when I would like to use the Charger. I have looked online and at the store about how many AMPS they pull when charging but have not really found the specs. Now I may be overlooking the obvious and tell me if I am but if it says say 6 AMP on the box, is that what it is pulling all the time, or just when the battery is low?

I will not be offended if you say I missed the obvious....LOL

If anyone has any suggestions on Chargers that would be cool. I can also go the Solar route, but figured if I am using gas, I might as well get the most out of it!!

Thanks
 

Leon N.

Registered
It depends upon how you want to use the battery charger. Is it for short term use or is it to be on 24/7 to maintain the battery at a fully charged condition? Nevertheless, as for loading on your generator, you should make load allowances for the charger 120 volt input amperes. No, the charger will only draw this input current rating when it is charging a depleted battery.

I have a cheaply 120 volt charger, model SE-1-12S by Schumacher. It is fully automatic on board battery charger/maintainer. The input is 0.4 amp@120 vac, the output is 1.5 amp @ 12 volts. It will float a battery at about 13 volts. The trick is to keep it on 24/7.
 

Viking66

Registered
Last Subscription Date
04/30/2015
Guys, Thanks for the replies.

I would only use it when the Generator is on. The Battery should not get to depleted because the water system is only in use when we are out there. My pump will shut off at 5o PSI and I also use a pressure tank so the pump does not run constantly when the water is needed.

Thanks for the info also! I think a charger will be the route I go.
 

len k

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
12/12/2018
If it's a small charger like walmart type, 6 Amp usually is the max amps it's rated for suppling the bat. The draw on the 120V line is alot less , by almost 10 times.

Usually when you hook it up to a low bat you'll draw high amps intitially, then amps tail off lower as bat charges. The better chargers (automatic ones) lower the charging voltage when bat is fully charged.
 

Viking66

Registered
Last Subscription Date
04/30/2015
I was thinking of buying a smart type charger, marine type. That way I can mount it under my Camp where the Battery is. I would rather have one of those than investing a bunch in Solar. My HF Solar package lasted 6 months, never do that again!!!

My Camp is 11' up in the air, so not exposed to water.
 

Viking66

Registered
Last Subscription Date
04/30/2015
The panels, and the controller got flooded during the last storm.

I noticed the panels not working well about a month after I put them up.
 

len k

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
12/12/2018
Was not impressed by anything at Harbor Fright..... all china junk. Only bought some cheap wire wheels for air die grinder, but I expect they will fly apart.

But can't really fault solar if it went underwater.
 

Viking66

Registered
Last Subscription Date
04/30/2015
I answered that wrong. The panels starting going bad quickly. The Controller is the only thing that went under...LOL
 

Isaac-1

Registered
Last Subscription Date
01/12/2014
For about the price of a good marine grade battery charger ($150 or so), you can get a good 50-70 watt solar panel and a high qaulity epoxy sealed charge controller, not that HF junk. I have a 55 watt solar panel on my sailboat to top off the batteries, it is 9 years old and still going strong.

Ike
 

Dave Edmonds

Registered
Last Subscription Date
01/27/2014
Does your generator not charge the battery while it's running? If so, an additional charger might not be necessary to bring the battery back to full charge while the generator is running.
Looks to me that, if you want something to keep the battery charged when the generator is not running, solar is probably your only option - assuming you have no other source of power available other than the generator. Solar battery chargers should do what you want, assuming you get good-quality equipment and install it properly.
Dave Edmonds
 

Viking66

Registered
Last Subscription Date
04/30/2015
I bought a small 1.5 Amp Charger Maintainer and it worked perfect.

My Genset will charge a battery, but it is 60' from the battery I want to charge.

I plugged it into my Camp wiring and it charged the battery perfect!

Thanks again for all the help!!!!
 

Leon N.

Registered
Just a thought to be aware of. If you have a 12 volt load connected to the battery circuit while the charger is on, the entire output of the charger will first power the 12 volt load and any reserve charger power will go to charging the battery.

Also if you deep discharge the battery Nd you only have a relatively short time to recharge it, that is when the gen is running, it would be preferable to use a relatively high out charger.
 

Magnetite

Registered
I have a 4.0 CCK-3R...
if it says say 6 AMP on the box, is that what it is pulling all the time, or just when the battery is low?
I also have a 4.0 CCK - in my RV. The amperage is the max output. I use an 80 amp 3 stage Progressive Dynamics charger converter. It costs about $200. I am a heavy user of 12 volt battery power with my inverter, which draws 100A when running full, which I occasionally do. My goal was to maximize the rate at which I can recharge the batteries (460AH bank of four 6 volts), to minimize gen run time. I charge at 80A when I'm below about 75% charge, and it tapers down to a few amps over the 1.5 hours of gen run time. The three stages are a high voltage (boost mode) to quickly recharge, a normal mode at lower voltage to finish off the charging and a float mode at even lower mode when the batteries aren't being used. If you want good battery life, at least some solar makes sense for you to preserve the batteries when you aren't using the cabin.. If you aren't getting charged with regular gen use, you can easily buy a charger. I would think more than 6 amps would be needed.
 

Viking66

Registered
Last Subscription Date
04/30/2015
The battery I charge is for my water pump, toilet flushing, and sink water. Normally while at the Camp, we run the generator a good 10 hours a night.

We used the pump for 2 trips out to the Camp before I bought the charger. The charger has a light that comes on when fully charged and it took around 3 hours for it to come on.

I think I will be fine? That's why I ask the experts here for opinions :D
 

rmchambers

Registered
Last Subscription Date
12/20/2014
I still say you may want to get a decent solar panel and charge controller. That will keep the battery topped off while you're not there and if you're not using the A/C and such it costs you nothing (gasoline or noise) to turn sunlight into power into the battery.
 

gnucklehead

Subscriber
Last Subscription Date
07/13/2019
As long as it gets green-light (fully charged) before you shut down the genny, you should be good to go. Doesn't sound like you have much load... Make sure your battery charger is suited to your battery type (AGM, gel, flooded).
 

reybo

Registered
For about the price of a good marine grade battery charger ($150 or so), you can get a good 50-70 watt solar panel and a high qaulity epoxy sealed charge controller, not that HF junk. I have a 55 watt solar panel on my sailboat to top off the batteries, it is 9 years old and still going strong.

Ike
Ike, there seems to be a lack of good solar chargers for 24v mil gens like mine. The "Solargizer" was discontinued by its maker, and near as I can tell, the hundreds of them on ebay are the failures that were returned. I tried two. The panels measured the proper 24.4 voltage but neither one charged the batteries, and the LED light showing an energized circuit never lit, indicating infant mortality, as they put it.

So what does the military use to keep 24v batteries charged in their stand-by equipment when they're in distant stations?

BTW, a 12v solar panel and controller I use to keep the battery charged on a collector car is rock-solid reliable, but the company limits its products to 12v. Maybe I should just buy a pair of those and a knife switch to de-couple the gen's two 12v batteries.
 
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