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Old 03-05-2018, 11:22 AM   #1
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Charging house batteries with truck alternator

Do most people just use some sort of isolator between the bus batteries and house batteries for charging off the alternator while driving?

Or does anyone use some sort of secondary charge controller (one for solar/one for alternator) to better control the charging from the bus system?

Iím just wondering if the bus alternator has sufficient charge control built into its regulator. We will be driving long days for the first few months on the road (8-10 hour days) and want to run our inverter and charge the system as much as we can off the bus system.



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Old 03-05-2018, 04:11 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Mgulley82 View Post
Do most people just use some sort of isolator between the bus batteries and house batteries for charging off the alternator while driving?

Or does anyone use some sort of secondary charge controller (one for solar/one for alternator) to better control the charging from the bus system?

Iím just wondering if the bus alternator has sufficient charge control built into its regulator. We will be driving long days for the first few months on the road (8-10 hour days) and want to run our inverter and charge the system as much as we can off the bus system.

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It depends a bit on which house batteries you have, but generally, charging them directly with an alternator is not a great idea.

To get the most charge in, and the longest life out of your house batteries, they require a three-stage charge and an alternator can usually only charge at its fixed regulated voltage of 14.2-14.4V

The way to do this is to get hold of a charger that will take that input, and convert it to the charge voltages best for your batteries. They are out there, but they are not cheap.
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Old 03-05-2018, 04:16 PM   #3
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It depends a bit on which house batteries you have, but generally, charging them directly with an alternator is not a great idea.



To get the most charge in, and the longest life out of your house batteries, they require a three-stage charge and an alternator can usually only charge at its fixed regulated voltage of 14.2-14.4V



The way to do this is to get hold of a charger that will take that input, and convert it to the charge voltages best for your batteries. They are out there, but they are not cheap.


So basically hook up a second MPPT charge controller is the best route for the life of the batteries


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Old 03-05-2018, 04:29 PM   #4
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So basically hook up a second MPPT charge controller is the best route for the life of the batteries


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The best route is to make sure your batteries are being charged by a three-stage charger. I haven't investigated fitting solar yet so I can't comment on that set-up.

You can get chargers that will take a 12(ish) volt input and charge correctly. For flooded lead/acid batteries that would mean a bulk charge rate of 14.8V, and a bit more with temperature control.
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Old 03-05-2018, 04:31 PM   #5
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The best route is to make sure your batteries are being charged by a three-stage charger. I haven't investigated fitting solar yet so I can't comment on that set-up.



You can get chargers that will take a 12(ish) volt input and charge correctly. For flooded lead/acid batteries that would mean a bulk charge rate of 14.8V, and a bit more with temperature control.


Like this is the one I will be using for my solar array (12v)

Iím assuming it will take any 12v Signal and regulate the charge and running two in parallel isnít a problem.


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Old 03-05-2018, 04:31 PM   #6
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https://www.amazon.com/SolarEpic-Cha.../dp/B07429RK43


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Old 03-05-2018, 04:47 PM   #7
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I had something like this in mind:

https://www.amazon.com/Sterling-Batt.../dp/B019BVKR6U

Make sure that if you do buy one it has the correct charging profile. Many are limited to 14.4 or even 13.8V.

For FLA you need one that will bulk charge at 14.8V
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