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Old 12-05-2015, 07:49 PM   #21
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Just an odd thought on the whole process of start/start lots of times per day with relatively small battery bank. If your battery is good for 1000 cycles (yes that is the optimistic end of the range), you could put some serious life shortening on them if you did 12 cycles per day regularly.

That said, I have read several places that the sooner a battery is recharged, the less wear it sees, but it was never quantified, and always had the caveat that the charging had to be back to totally full, which would not happen in this case.
Yes, for AGMs it would be interesting to know at what SOC the Voltrek is triggering. 1000 cycles at 50% discharge is typical dropping to 500 cycles at 80% discharge.

And you would need to bring them back to full charge regularly to prevent damage.

System clearly works better with lithium batteries but recent info indicates that they are adding an AGM to some lithium systems to get them to work correctly, not sure if this is related to Voktrek or not.
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Old 12-05-2015, 07:52 PM   #22
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Avanti,
True, but you will be in bulk charge mode if you are adding only 50 amp hours to the batteries during the 35 minute engine run won't you? If you ran longer and got out of bulk charge mode it would be different right. Or can't you put the full charge current in during bulk charge?
AGM batteries will take full charge rate to about 80% of capacity, and seem to go a bit higher than that if the charge is right away, and then they drastically slow down. The 185ah battery in a Zion claims 5C charge rate, but I would bet that is only when totally dead and at elevated voltage, but that really doesn't matter. If it will take 1C, which is very reasonable, but should have temp control, it could use all the alternator will do at idle, especially with the AC running. I don't know if Roadtrek has temp control on the Zion, but in a use like we are talking about with lots of charging and discharging, I would think it would be an absolute necessity.
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Old 12-05-2015, 07:52 PM   #23
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since i have the engine generator on a zion- 50 percent on it's tppl agm batttery would be about 93 amp hours.

Tppl agm charges alomost as fast as lithium-far faster than standard agm

the engine generator;supposedly' is 280 amp hours

so if air conditioner is running- the voltstart should easily fully charge the battery from 50 percent and and keep air conditioner running in 1/2 hour.

i have only tried my air conditioner once just using the battery for 20 minutes as a test. this was with the engine NOT running

i have had the air conditioner on for about 90 minutes while engine was running on a trip just to see it working-

However if i was ordering a zion today i would get eco400 and voltstart.

actually i would not order today until i saw someone with a 'successful' ecotrek400 and voltstart work. so far i have not seen one.


this explains tppl charging


http://www.oceannavigator.com/Januar...cit-reduction/
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Old 12-05-2015, 07:55 PM   #24
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Roadtrek has never used temp correction on chargers in the past but they may have started. Gerry Millette, is there a temp probe on your battery?
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Old 12-05-2015, 08:23 PM   #25
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Interesting article, even for me who is a bit challenged in this area. Nigel Calder has been pushing the envelope in marine electrical energy and propulsion systems for a number of years.

Elsewhere on this forum someone wondered "what if a boat manufacturer built RVs?" Now I think "what if an RV manufacturer hired a marine expert to design the RV's energy system". They seem to be out in the lead in understanding all this and figuring out how to make it work.
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Old 12-05-2015, 08:46 PM   #26
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Interesting article, even for me who is a bit challenged in this area. Nigel Calder has been pushing the envelope in marine electrical energy and propulsion systems for a number of years.

Elsewhere on this forum someone wondered "what if a boat manufacturer built RVs?" Now I think "what if an RV manufacturer hired a marine expert to design the RV's energy system". They seem to be out in the lead in understanding all this and figuring out how to make it work.
Nigel died in late 2014 by the way
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Old 12-05-2015, 08:47 PM   #27
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Roadtrek has never used temp correction on chargers in the past but they may have started. Gerry Millette, is there a temp probe on your battery?
i have no idea- however doesn't the Balmar thing do that?
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Old 12-05-2015, 08:53 PM   #28
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i have no idea- however doesn't the Balmar thing do that?
Yes, there would be a cable from the Balmer under the hood to a temp sensor probe on your Northstar battery.

There could also be a cable from the inverter/charger to a temp sensor on your Northstar battery.

They would not be sharing the same temp sensor so there could be two temp sensors, or one temp sensor, or no temp sensors...
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Old 12-05-2015, 08:55 PM   #29
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That is an interesting article, but in reality, the "high" charging rates he is talking about are lower than what we are talking about here. 195 amp alternator on 500ah of batteries is under .5C, 200amps on the 185 battery is over 1C.

There is no doubt you can recover a days usage very quickly, and we are also counting on doing exactly that with our new system, but in the article, he tended to isolate the fast recover capability from the need to top off the batteries to totally full, regularly. If you do the fast recovery, in the middle of the SOC range, you need to get them full maybe once a week. If you are doing 10 charge cycles a day, that could make it necessary every other day, maybe.

In the real world of RVs, anything except wet cells and maybe gels, will accept safely more amps than you can provide, if you have near 200ah of battery. The 185ah TPPL in the the Zion says 5C which over 900 amps, Lifeline says 4C for their AGMs which is just under 750 amps 250 amps from a huge alternator is nowhere near maxing the batteries out. Lithium really offers no advantage in charge rate, until you get into the topping off needed for AGMs, either TPPL or standard. At that point lithium is far and away better, as it will accept higher rates to full, and if you don't get full, no big deal.

IMO, the industry and we users are just starting to come to grips with the high rate charging, and we are finding it has some huge benefits, but it is not cure for everything, and still needs to be setup and used properly.
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Old 12-05-2015, 08:59 PM   #30
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Did anyone on Facebook ever address her questions?
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Old 12-05-2015, 09:04 PM   #31
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Did anyone on Facebook ever address her questions?
Jim has not answered her yet, probably at a hockey game...
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Old 12-05-2015, 09:53 PM   #32
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Nigel died in late 2014 by the way
Nigel Calder the British science writer died in June 2014

BUT, as far I know, Nigel Calder, the Contributing Editor to Sail Magazine, and author of The Cruising Handbook, Boatowners Mechanical and Electrical Manual, and Marine Diesel Engines: Maintenance, Troubleshooting, and Repair, and other books,and the author of that article in Ocean Navigator is still alive and well. Still listed on Sail Magazine's Editorial page and had a nice article in that magazine's October 2015 edition on wire selection.

Handy Wire Selection Chart - Sail Magazine
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Old 12-05-2015, 09:54 PM   #33
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FWIW, here are some sketchy real-life data about how my 270 amp second alternator (w/ Balmar 3-stage charger) behaves charging my 440 amp AGM battery while driving:

Starting at 61% SOC, I will initially see maybe 250 amps for a short period and then it will start to drift downward.

After an hour, I got to 94% and 40 amps.

After two hours, I saw 97% and 8 amps.

After three hours, I was at 98% and 3.8 amps.

Sorry I don't have data during the first hour--I will try to collect it sometime. As I understand it, it should be logarithmic, though.
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Old 12-05-2015, 10:00 PM   #34
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Yes, there would be a cable from the Balmer under the hood to a temp sensor probe on your Northstar battery.

There could also be a cable from the inverter/charger to a temp sensor on your Northstar battery.

They would not be sharing the same temp sensor so there could be two temp sensors, or one temp sensor, or no temp sensors...
Here are the terminals of the Balmar:

balmar.jpg

#5 and 6 are the terminals for the alternator temperature sensor
#7 and 8 are the temperature sensor for battery #1
#14 and 15 are the temperature sensor for battery #2.

All of these are optional. If there is a wire on any of these terminals, you have the corresponding temperature sensor.
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Old 12-05-2015, 10:02 PM   #35
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Nigel Calder the British science writer died in June 2014

BUT, as far I know, Nigel Calder, the Contributing Editor to Sail Magazine, and author of The Cruising Handbook, Boatowners Mechanical and Electrical Manual, and Marine Diesel Engines: Maintenance, Troubleshooting, and Repair, and other books,and the author of that article in Ocean Navigator is still alive and well. Still listed on Sail Magazine's Editorial page and had a nice article in that magazine's October 2015 edition on wire selection.

Handy Wire Selection Chart - Sail Magazine
good to know-i thought it was the same one
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