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Old 06-24-2016, 10:32 AM   #1
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Battery Charger, Charge controlers, and Monitors

I've already got the 6500 watt genset, three deep cycle batteries and inverters.

I'm trying to figure out what Charger, Charge Controller, and Charge Monitor to get. As usual cost and size are important. I'm also trying to keep the complexity to a minimum.

I see the Trimetric brand TM-2030 A or RV Monitor gets high marks around here. These seem to run about $150.00

So does the Bogart Engineering SC-2030 Charge Controller. I see these at about $120.00

Which battery charger would work with these? I suppose I'm looking for something greater than 50 amps.

OR ...

Is there an alternative to the monitors, controllers and chargers mentioned above?

Is there a reliable all in one (charger, controller, monitor) unit, priced about $300-$350?

Thanks
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Old 06-26-2016, 10:19 PM   #2
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Same research boat as you at the moment. I have some criteria on the system I want to have in place, but it's a matter of time/research. I'm gettin there myself...just gotta keep reading and searching.
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Old 06-26-2016, 11:04 PM   #3
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get an mppt charge controller, ive had the outback mx 60 for over ten years no problems. the bogart trimetric battery monitor is the bomb, if your living off batteries its a must.if you can swig it get the inverter/charger combo. makes charging by shore power or genny a snap.
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Old 06-27-2016, 11:06 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superdave View Post
get an mppt charge controller, ive had the outback mx 60 for over ten years no problems. the bogart trimetric battery monitor is the bomb, if your living off batteries its a must.if you can swig it get the inverter/charger combo. makes charging by shore power or genny a snap.
I'm not going to be living in our Skoolie full time, its mostly going to be a weekend kind of thing.

Also, I already have the inverters, they are new and were given to me when I started this project.

Based on what I have read here and other forums, I think I'm going to order up the Trimetric brand TM-2030 A or RV Battery Monitor and the Bogart Engineering SC-2030 Charge Controller. Like yourself, everyone that has them seems to give them VERY high marks.

Although I am a life long auto mechanic (and etc.), I have zero experience with this type of charging system and am relying on the collective voice of experience.

I'm looking for a battery charger that would be compatible with the Bogart/Trimetric units. I could just buy anything off the shelf at Walmart, but I would like to know what folks are using and have had success with. Cost? Maybe up around $100 to $150 would be OK.

My guess is that almost ANY 50 to 100 amp battery charger would work to supply the amps and the Bogart SC-2030 would properly control the charging process, but I really do not know about the compatibility.
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Old 06-27-2016, 06:48 PM   #5
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Old 06-27-2016, 09:35 PM   #6
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charge controller info, good reading.
MPPT vs PWM charge controllers by Blue Sky, Morningstar, OutBack and Xantrex
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Old 06-28-2016, 10:24 AM   #7
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Actually, I have read both of those ... they were recommended on a number of threads found on this forum. Good information here; it helped me make up my mind about the monitor and charge controllers I'll be using considering my need and the batteries I'll be using. UNFORTUNATELY these sources do not indicate which battery chargers the folks on this forum are using in a generator based (no solar at all), wet battery system, which is the question I'm asking.

As I mentioned, I've got the inverters already, so I'd like to avoid a combined charger/inverter unit.

I'd really like to get some feedback about which chargers will be compatible with my set-up. Also I'd like to hear from folks which battery chargers work and hold up well and which ones just don't cut it and need to be replaced after 6 months.
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Old 06-28-2016, 11:09 AM   #8
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i have a progressive dynamics 80Amp smart charger/converter in my bus. it seems to work fine, but i have complained about it on the forum before.

the smart charger is not what you want to see when you are charging up your battery. imo

it slows down as it charges, to compensate for over charging. it might start out charging at 40a, but its not to long before that drops to a much lower speed.

the just never finish charging, imo. i just unplugged my bus from charging for 2 weeks and the battery was only 60%. you can override the smart charge, but you have to keep an eye on it.

my battery monitor is this. its worked good. google "battery monitor bm-1"
and you'll find it.



good luck
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Old 06-28-2016, 05:43 PM   #9
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turf makes a good point about charge current tapering. The number quoted on a charger is its bulk charge maximum, but if you're taking good care of lead-acid batteries they'll spend most of their time at less than full bulk charge rate because they won't be discharged very deeply.

I didn't see any mention of the amp-hour capacity of your bank, only a mention of three batteries. I'll guess they're lead based 12v batteries less than 100 AH each. Check with the manufacturer, but they might recommend charging at max 0.1C -- 10 amps per battery or 30 amps for the bank. A 50 amp charger may be unnecessary because a) the batteries will get cooked and b) they'll spend so little time at 50 amp rate anyway you could have saved money by getting a smaller charger.

For portable use I have a Black & Decker 40 amp charger I really like. I can't make any recommendation for permanent installation though.
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Old 06-28-2016, 09:49 PM   #10
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a charger needs to bring the batteries to several set points dictated by the battery manufacturer. a regular battery charger will ruin batteries because of this. here
https://www.altestore.com/store/char...-3-bank-p9007/
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