how is a battery charger used differently from a converter?

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how is a battery charger used differently from a converter?

Postby rlphoto » Mon Jul 04, 2005 2:33 pm

Just studying for my system I am about to build.

Can a smart charger say 15-20 amp take the place of a 12 volt converter? I understand that a converter will not charge batterys correctly so why does anyone use them at all?

If I run all my lights and fans on a 12 volt 100 AH deep cycle battery and I have a smart battery charger wired into the system full time.

So if the battery charger is hooked up to the battery and pluged into shore power and I am using 12 volt lights and stuff,

am I running from the charger now, or the battery? or both?

Thanks!

Randy
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Postby Arne » Mon Jul 04, 2005 2:48 pm

Do you mean INVERTER? That takes 12v and converts it to 115v for household appliance/tv/etc. use.....

I have a battery tender and solar panel to charge the battery and an inverter to turn 12 into 115v for some small draw stuff (not microwave or a/c).

When you are charging a battery, you are still running off the battery. If the charger is not putting out as much as you are drawing, the battery will eventually run down....
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Postby Ken A Hood » Mon Jul 04, 2005 2:50 pm

I bought a 30 Amp Iota Converter/Charger for that reason. It will do both in 1 unit. And I also bought the IQ Smart controller.
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Postby rlphoto » Mon Jul 04, 2005 4:31 pm

arnereil wrote:Do you mean INVERTER? That takes 12v and converts it to 115v for household appliance/tv/etc. use.....

I have a battery tender and solar panel to charge the battery and an inverter to turn 12 into 115v for some small draw stuff (not microwave or a/c).

When you are charging a battery, you are still running off the battery. If the charger is not putting out as much as you are drawing, the battery will eventually run down....


No, not an inverter. I understand inverters, at least somewhat.
I want to get a deep cycle battery and a smart charger and hook them up in my (now under construction) camper. And trying to do it the cheapest way possible. I can go to sams club and get a 100AH deep cycle battery. for 50-60 bucks.

And then buy a battery charger something like this.

http://www.batterychargers.com/details. ... 0A&catid=2

Now if I hook this up in my camper so it is on when ever I am plugged into shore power the charger is running and hooked to the battery.

Now.....I start running 12 volt fans and lights. I start drawing up to15 amps of power. This means that the 15 amp charger will keep up with my draw. as long as I dont go over 15 amps of draw. Which I doubt I will. IF I go over 15 amps for a short time it will just deplete the battery a little, but the charger will recover it once the draw drops below 15 amps.

And...all this will go on for days with out hurting the battery or charger right?

This is what I want to know. If this is how it works.

Also....The link are Arnereil's post links to a $175 30 amp device. How is this device different other than the 30 amp charge?
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Postby asianflava » Mon Jul 04, 2005 4:50 pm

I am using a battery charger in the manner you are discribing. When using shore power, it will float the battery so that I can use the 12V items.

I am using this charger:http://www.pmariner.com/productFeature.php?ProductNum=41206 I chose it for it's price and size. I am not up and running so I can't give a review.

Before buying that Schumacher charger, You may want to read the end of this thread. http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?t=1941&start=135
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Postby webbedouin » Mon Jul 04, 2005 4:57 pm

You can hurt a battery by over charging it. The batery solution will bubble and produce sulphuric acid gas, oh my! You'd end up adding water often AND be rewarded with a shorter battery life. Think you're talking about a charge controller when you say converter??? Or 120v ac to 12v dc to use as a charger. Anyway if you hook your charger up (whatever type it might be) through a charge controller to your battery and you will not have to worry about over charging. The charge controller will do it for you.
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Postby rlphoto » Mon Jul 04, 2005 7:54 pm

asianflava wrote:I am using a battery charger in the manner you are discribing. When using shore power, it will float the battery so that I can use the 12V items.

I am using this charger:http://www.pmariner.com/productFeature.php?ProductNum=41206 I chose it for it's price and size. I am not up and running so I can't give a review.

Before buying that Schumacher charger, You may want to read the end of this thread. http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?t=1941&start=135


I guess the cheap Schumacher chargers/maintainers cant handle it. :(

I looked up the cabellas model and it is 6 amp for $69.95

How many amps is enough?
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Postby rlphoto » Mon Jul 04, 2005 7:55 pm

webbedouin wrote:You can hurt a battery by over charging it. The batery solution will bubble and produce sulphuric acid gas, oh my! You'd end up adding water often AND be rewarded with a shorter battery life. Think you're talking about a charge controller when you say converter??? Or 120v ac to 12v dc to use as a charger. Anyway if you hook your charger up (whatever type it might be) through a charge controller to your battery and you will not have to worry about over charging. The charge controller will do it for you.


I am talking about charge controller. I was wondering why anybody would bother using a regular converter.
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Postby Woody » Tue Jul 05, 2005 12:12 am

You are forgeting one important thing about chargers of this type, most chargers can not handle the continueous demand of being run as a power supply, unless specifically designed that way. It will thermally shut down and protect itself and over time it will damage it and the battery with it
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Postby asianflava » Tue Jul 05, 2005 2:43 am

rlphoto wrote:I am talking about charge controller. I was wondering why anybody would bother using a regular converter.


Thought you were talking bout a 120V AC to 12VDC converter. Folks have been doing this with computer power supplies. http://www.tnttt.com/viewtopic.php?t=1713
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Postby rlphoto » Tue Jul 05, 2005 7:52 am

Woody wrote:You are forgeting one important thing about chargers of this type, most chargers can not handle the continueous demand of being run as a power supply, unless specifically designed that way. It will thermally shut down and protect itself and over time it will damage it and the battery with it


Just the info I was looking for. So really when a regular run of the mill battery charger is charging a battery, There should be no load connected to the battery at all. If I want a load duing charging, I need a charger that was designed to be used as a power source also.

Thanks for clearing this up.

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Postby Woody » Tue Jul 05, 2005 12:28 pm

rlphoto
If you read the documentation for most battery chargers types, it does point this fact out about NOT being used as a power supply. The charger senses the voltage drop from the load and thinks the battery needs a boost. Designed to maintain the battery at capacity it turns on and trying to keep up with the demand, it overheats and shuts down. Resets when cool and starts charging again, overheats again and the cycle just repeats. If the battery is drained really low, you need a bulk charger, to bring it up. Not the small trickle or maintenier type types can't handle that type of load either. A good 4 stage charger is in order.

What you need is a power supply that also act like a regulated battery charger or has the capacity. I know a while back there was a thread about power supplies of this type
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Postby rlphoto » Tue Jul 05, 2005 2:07 pm

Woody wrote:rlphoto
If you read the documentation for most battery chargers types, it does point this fact out about NOT being used as a power supply. The charger senses the voltage drop from the load and thinks the battery needs a boost. Designed to maintain the battery at capacity it turns on and trying to keep up with the demand, it overheats and shuts down. Resets when cool and starts charging again, overheats again and the cycle just repeats. If the battery is drained really low, you need a bulk charger, to bring it up. Not the small trickle or maintenier type types can't handle that type of load either. A good 4 stage charger is in order.

What you need is a power supply that also act like a regulated battery charger or has the capacity. I know a while back there was a thread about power supplies of this type


I just bought this at amazon.

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/de ... i&n=553294

I realize that it is not a power supply type, but it will charge my battery. And I got a good deal. I already own an old 6 amp radio shack 12 v power source that I will use when I am hooked up to shore power. It will run a fan and a few lights for now.

Once I see what I will actually be needing size wise, I will buy a real charger/powersource now that I understand what I am doing.

Now to figure out how to charge from the car alternator.

Thanks for the help. I learned a lot today.

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Postby Woody » Tue Jul 05, 2005 2:22 pm

rlphoto,
When I did my build I installed a battery tender/maintainer. It works fine for maintaining the battery. I leave it unplugged when I am using the 12 volt side of the trailer. If I am going to be away from the trailer for a period of time . I plug it in to charge or use it overnight when use is slight. Then unplug it when the system is in used during the day. Remembering to do do it, well that's a different story
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Postby cracker39 » Tue Jul 05, 2005 4:52 pm

Using a PC power supply is a good idea. I have a new 250 amp PS because when I bought my PC case that was on sale, it had an upgrade to 350 amps. So, rather than swap the PS, they sent the case with the 250 amp PS and the 350 amp PS in a box for me to swap out. I just have to plug it in and see which wires output the 12V.

One question though. With the PC PS, won't the power being outputed by the PS go to the batter as well? Or should an isolator of some type be used to keep the power from going to the battery? Or, would the power going to the battery hurt it? I am no expert in this area of expertise.

I had planned to use a 12V charger to, so I'm glad I read these notes on why not to do that. I do have another idea to run past everyone. I may mount the 12V battery for the camper in the back of my Pickup with a connector to the camper. I'll wire that battery to the truck charging system through an isolator. That way, whenever we go riding around, the camper battery will get re-charged.

Please express your thoughts on these questions.

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