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How Do I Pick a Battery Charger!

How Do I Pick a Battery Charger

Let me start with a disclaimer; BatteryStuff.com does not sell inexpensive off the shelf chargers such as the type often found at retail outlets and certain other online stores. We cater specifically to microprocessor controlled chargers, also known as Smart Chargers. All the chargers we stock are reviewed, tested, and selected based on function, reliability and durability. These chargers are designed to charge lead acid and other types of batteries based on computer generated algorithms. Simply put, the charger collects information from the battery and adjusts the charge current and voltage based on this information. This allows the battery to be charged quickly, correctly, and completely when using a smart charger. All The chargers we sell can remain connected to the battery(s) indefinitely and will not overcharge or damage your battery(s).

Here are some simple steps to aide you in selecting the correct charger for your needs.

Step 1

Determine what type of battery or batteries you will be charging. Maintenance Free, Wet Cell (flooded), AGM (absorbed glass mat), Gel Cell or VRLA (valve regulated lead acid). In most cases one charger will work for all types except for Gel Cell. However, some of our Gel Cell chargers will work well with the other battery types.

Step 2

Interacter Battery ChargerWhat size is your battery? What we mean is not physical size, but how many Amp hours does your battery store. As an example, a typical full size auto battery is about 50 amp hours, and it would take a 10 amp charger approximately 6 hours to recharge it if the battery were completely dead. Another example, a Marine Deep Cycle Battery may be rated at 100 amp hours, so it would take a 10 amp charger about 11 hours to recharge a dead battery to near 100% full charge, from a completely discharged condition. To calculate your total charge time, a good rule of thumb is to take the amp hour rating of the battery and divide by the charger rating (amps) and then add about 10% for the extra time to totally top off the battery.

Some folks need to size the charge for quick recharge, therefore requiring more amps from their charger. Others are not in a hurry and may select a smaller charger. The most important thing here is to make sure you have enough charger power to do the job you require in the time you allocate.

Step 3

NOCO Genius G1100Know your desired outcome. Some folks require a charger to keep their motorcycle, classic car, or aircraft battery charged during the off season. In such a case a simple low current charger will work fine. Others require a fast and powerful charger to quickly restore a trolling motor battery or a wheel chair battery set.

There are certainly other factors in selecting a battery charger, and it would be difficult to cover them all, but here a few. Input voltage, generally for use foreign countries. Exposure to elements, i.e. would you benefit from a waterproof charger? Perhaps you will need a charger that doubles as a power supply for a RV or some other application. Often people will need to charge multiple batteries simultaneously, so multiple bank chargers may be needed.

Following is a list of definitions of different types of batteries and their uses.

Flooded:

This is the traditional engine start, tractor and deep cycle style battery. The liquid electrolyte is free to move in the cell compartment. The user has access to the individual cells and can add distilled water as the battery dries out. Popular uses are engine starting and deep cycle designs.

Typical absorption voltage range 14.4 to 14.9 volts, typical float voltage range 13.1 to 13.4 volts.

Sealed:

This term can refer to a number of different constructions, including only a slight modification to the flooded style. In that case, even though the user does not have access to the cell compartments, the internal structure is still basically the same as a flooded battery. The only difference is that the manufacturer has ensured that a sufficient amount of acid is the battery to sustain the chemical reaction under normal use throughout the battery warranty period. Other types of lead acid batteries are also sealed, as explained below. Very popular uses are engine start and limited starting/deep cycle applications.

Typical absorption voltage range 14.2 to 14.7 volts, typical float voltage range 13.1 to 13.4 volts.

VRLA:

This stands for Valve Regulated Lead Acid battery. This is also a sealed battery. The valve regulating mechanism allows for a safe escape of hydrogen and oxygen gasses during charging.

Typical absorption voltage range 14.2 to 14.5 volts, typical float voltage range 13.2 to 13.5 volts.

AGM:

The Absorbed Glass Matt construction allows the electrolyte to be suspended in close proximity with the plates active material. In theory, this enhances both the discharge and recharge efficiency. Actually, the AGM batteries are a variant of Sealed VRLA batteries, just a more advanced design. Popular usage includes high performance engine starting, power sports, deep cycle, solar and storage battery.

Typical absorption voltage range 14.4 to 15.0 volts, typical float voltage range 13.2 to 13.8 volts.

GEL:

Battery Tender Plus Gel ProfileThe Gel cell is similar to the AGM style because the electrolyte is suspended, but different because technically the AGM battery is still considered to be a wet cell. The electrolyte in a GEL cell has a silica additive that causes it to set up or stiffen. The recharge voltages on this type of cell are lower than the other styles of lead acid battery. This is probably the most sensitive cell in terms of adverse reactions to over-voltage charging. Gel Batteries are best used in VERY DEEP cycle application and may last a bit longer in hot weather applications. If the incorrect battery charger is used on a Gel Cell battery poor performance and premature failure is certain. Battery chargers with gel profile will have information either on the unit, or in the manual, about gel compatibility.

Typical absorption voltage range 14.0 to 14.2 volts, typical float voltage range 13.1 to 13.3 volts.

Note about Gel Batteries: It is very common for individuals to use the term GEL Cell when referring to sealed, maintenance free batteries, much like one would use Kleenex when referring to facial tissue or "Xerox machine" when referring to a copy machine. Be very careful when specifying a charger. More often than not, what someone thinks to be a Gel Cell is really a sealed, maintenance free, VRLA or AGM style battery.


65 Responses,   4.5 Rating

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  • Excellent advice & removal of some of the mystery of how to pick the proper charger, and terms used.

    Thx,
    Mike

    Mike
    March 5, 2012 a 3:55 am
    • I had never seen this on your page before, well done!

      Tripp
      April 20, 2012 a 5:52 am
      • excellent website to know more about picking up battery charger,thanks.

        Amy
        April 20, 2012 a 1:09 pm
        • FAILS TO PROVIDE CRITICAL INFO ON AGM OVERCHARGING VIA A \‘SMART CHARGER\’ WHICH MAY FEATURE A \“VOLTAGE RAMP-UP\” PERIODICALLY [15-16 VOLTS] TO REDUCE ACCUMULATION OF SULFITES ON PLATES…HIGH VOLTAGE CREATES HEAT AND INDUCES WATER EVAPORATION…CAN\‘T ADD WATER TO AGMS…OR GELS. THE \‘RAMP-UP\’ MODE MUST BE DISABLED.

          ARTHUR SIMON
          July 7, 2012 a 12:44 pm
          • Not every smart charger will have the “voltage ramp up”. Those that do, such as the Soneil or Noco genius, the voltage spike is the first thing it does, to quickly remove fresh sulfation. This high voltage to a discharged battery will not overcharge it. Once the battery is full, it will keep and miantain it. The voltage will not spike to 15 or 16 volts when the battery should be kept at 13.2.

            Other chargers, such as Pulse Tech or Battery MINDer removes sulfation with high frequency pulses, not voltage pulses. This is safe, harmless, and effective in restoring battery life when used regularly.

            Tech
            July 9, 2012 a 9:40 am
          • I can recommend the La Crosse Technology BC-700 charger.

            This is a pretty sophisticated battery charger. I‘ve always just had simple ones but this one does far more. I‘m not even sure I understand all the functions and I‘m fairly techno-geeky.

            More info: http://best-gear.org/la-crosse-technology-bc-700-alpha-power-battery-charger/

            Brendan Kiely
            July 19, 2012 a 12:30 am
            • Yes, it looks like a very nice NiMH and NiCD battery charger. Thanks for sharing.

              Tech
              July 19, 2012 a 8:30 am
            • Super Informative. You saved me from ruining my batteries!!! Hat‘s Off To You!!!

              Shawn
              August 24, 2012 a 10:30 pm
              • I have a question. I have a 15 foot bass boat,first boat ever and do not know a lot about the difference in batteries and all I know is it looks like a sealed car battery. I do not have any idea which charger I should get ,would sure like to know so I get the right one

                Ronnie
                September 11, 2012 a 10:34 am
                • Is there any information on the battery at all? If so, please provide it and I can help determine what you need.

                  Tech
                  September 11, 2012 a 11:05 am
                • I currently have a 24V set-up in my bass boat for the trolling motor. I upgraded to Optima Blue top batteries a few months ago. I installed a new 3-bank, 10amp DualPro charger the same day I installed the new batteries. I fully charged the batteries before using the boat. About two weeks later we fished a 3-day tournament and promptly wore out two new, fully charged Optima batteries in 7-8 hours of fishing each day. Yes, I charged them all night before the first fishing day. My partner lays on the trolling motor well more than I do: however, killing the batteries wasn‘t really the issue. Well, other than listening to him gripe about it and how HIS Skeeter‘s 36V TM system lasts all day and THEN SOME.

                  Anyway – I plugged in between 4pm-6pm on day #1 day (at our lodging on normal electricity) to charge the batteries. By 5am THE NEXT MORNING…the batteries were STILL NOT FULLY CHARGED. Same thing happened on morning #2 and #3. The starting battery was was obviously fully charged each day; however, depending on the TM battery, one may have been about 90% charged; the other in it‘s final stage (like 98%). The next day one TM battery was like 80% and the other 90%…after 12 hours on the juice. Brand new batteries on a brand new charger. I don‘t get it!!

                  Optima “recommends” using 10A chargers on their blue top batteries (if not all their batteries). I‘m considering moving to a 36V trolling motor. Here‘s my question. I‘m going to have to upgrade to a 4-bank charger to do this. I don‘t want to trash two Optima batteries that I just bought. I also don‘t want to wait 12-hours to have fully charged batteries. The charger I want to go to chargers at 30A, and I don‘t think it has a regulator (Protournament 300 Quad). That said, will 30A charger HURT the Optima batteries?

                  10A is going to take 10-12 hours to recharge a depleted trolling motor battery…no biggie for non-tournament fishing…but when you need the boat ready to go 12 hours after you get out of it…12 hours to charge two 12V batteries ain‘t cutting it. Had I known it was going to take 12-hours to get a full charge I wouldn‘t have bought the Optima batteries. To hear my partner tell it, his Odyessy batteries are FAR SUPERIOR to Optima anyway.

                  Gordon
                  September 18, 2012 a 11:21 am
                  • What are the AH (Amp Hours) ratings on the Optima batteries? This will determine what I recommend as far as good charge rate goes. 10%-35% of the battery capacity is safe range to charge with. Also, what is the draw amount of the trolling motor? Maybe your batteries don‘t have the capacity to handle the motor for as long as you thought. At least, that‘s one possibility. Is your current 10 amp Dual Pro charger 10 amps per bank? Or 10 amps total of all three banks?

                    Tech
                    September 20, 2012 a 9:10 am
                  • Hello. I have a basic folding camper. The units were never factory fitted with electrics let alone a charging system. Which may well be a good thing as the most popular UK charging units fitted to caravans, campers and trailer tents only charges at 13.6V. So not only does it take an age to charge it never fully charges. My choice previously has just been to use a “dumb” charger. You sell intelligent chargers, now until recently I‘d never seen intelligent chargers with high single digit AH rates let alone double digit AH rates. Now I may well use a low rated intelligent charger to keep my battery conditioned when at home but what about on site? If I‘m on an EHU (Electric Hook Up not sure American term) I‘m not charging and running the battery in separate cycles. A whole range appliances may be plugged in whilst charging the battery. Does the use of appliances confuse the charger? How does it asses the battery if at the same time resistive loads, inductive loads or both are being taken out. The batteries used tend to be 80AH or 100AH “pseudo” leisure batteries. I say pseudo leisure batteries because there is some debate in the UK on how much thicker the plates are on these starter sized batteries as against the full thickness in 2V cells. Simple lead acid batteries or glass mat are generally used. The demands light (ish) lighting, audio, limited TV, water pump. To be honest as demand is low and temp reasonable battery life is quite good. More a case of being curious how intelligent chargers work if you‘re taking load at the same time? Thanks In Anticipation.
                    Kevin
                    October 4, 2012 a 4:26 am
                    • With smart chargers, if they are on and charging and they ‘sense’ a load applied to the batteries, they will automatically attempt to supply the load so the batteries will not be discharged. Most chargers are not rated to handle a full load and they can burn out. However, we have chargers that are also power supplies (converters).

                      Iota, Power Max, and Samlex are the brands of chargers that we carry with this capability. They can charge the batteries and at the same time supply a load to your applications up to the rated charge rate of the charger (in amps). For instance, a 12 volt 30 amp charger can supply a load up to 30 amps. If the load is higher, at that point the batteries will be used for the remainder.

                      Tech
                      October 4, 2012 a 8:36 am
                    • I lost the charger P/N 700150 for a Craftsman cordless hedge trimmer 24 VDC model 240.74802 I am looking for a replacement charger. Thanks

                      Moses
                      October 12, 2012 a 5:03 am
                      • That part number isn‘t one that we carry. Sorry. Is the charger for a NiCD battery? Lead Acid? Lithium?

                        Tech
                        October 12, 2012 a 9:16 am
                        • Have you located a place that does carry this charger, as I have a enew trimmer, Model number 240.74802, need a charger.

                          Kenneth
                          July 31, 2014 a 9:19 am
                      • I just purchased a new V Star Custom 650. The manual says it has a Valve Regulated Lead Acid Battery. It says not to use a Conventional Battery Charger. I have a Yuasa 1.5 Amp 5 Stage Battery Charger. It says to use it on conventional batteries and maintenance-free AGM batteries. What do I use for this bike????? Now I have to buy another charger? Thank you very much for your help.

                        Allen Dorak
                        October 20, 2012 a 4:20 pm
                        • Your Yuasa smart charger should be just fine for your VRLA battery. VRLA batteries are technically wet batteries, but they are sealed with an internal drip system to prevent the water from evaporating and leaving the cells. The electrolyte is not absorbed in a glass matte like an AGM.

                          Tech
                          October 23, 2012 a 10:26 am
                        • I live full time in a 1977 GMC motorhome. Three batteries/bank: 1 red top, 1 yellow top, and 2 6v golf cart. Red for the engine; yellow for the 6K genset (Onan); golf carts for the house. Solenoids separate all three until the ignition is on.
                          Converter, 40 amp, has never fully charged the three units with the ignition on; nor even the house and genset batteries with the ignition off. Now the converter is not operating. I need a converter/charger that will do the job through perhaps a change in wiring?

                          Don Eddy
                          November 13, 2012 a 12:06 pm
                          • Are you looking for a single bank charger/converter, or multi-bank?

                            Tech
                            November 13, 2012 a 12:44 pm
                          • Cool article, saved me a lot of time.
                            But I‘m not sure if I understood everything right, so I‘ll need some guidance.
                            I have a electric van, batteries: 18 in series per row, 3 of those rows in parallel, mounting to 54 batteries. They are AGM 12v 100Ah.
                            What type of charger and how many of them do I need?

                            Mohan
                            November 13, 2012 a 1:58 pm
                            • What is your total system voltage? 72 volts? Then I recommend a 72 volt charger for the entire thing configuration. With 300 AH, I recommend a 30 Amp charger. However, the closest we carry is an Eagle 72v 12 amp charger.

                              Tech
                              November 13, 2012 a 4:19 pm
                            • My battery charger (HP-1202B 24V2A) for my Phantom wheel chair does not work any more (I think it overheated). HP no longer makes this battery charger, so I ordered one from another supplier, but it did not work (though it had the above specifications). From where can I obtain one, and how do I know it will work. Thanks, Patrick

                              Patrick
                              December 5, 2012 a 2:16 pm
                              • We do not sell HP chargers. I do not know where you can find one.

                                What are the types of batteries your wheelchair uses? Lithium, NiCD, Sealed Lead Acid?

                                Tech
                                December 5, 2012 a 4:07 pm
                              • Can I use a standard (1-stage) charger, set on 2amps to charge my new AGM 12AH motorcyle battery for initial use until I get a smart charger? Also, is an AGM battery also a VRLA battery? The box the battery came in called it AGM but the instructions that came w/battery call it a VRLA??? It has the multi-bottles of acid that you put in and seal. I appreciate any info.

                                Bandit
                                December 15, 2012 a 7:33 am
                                • You may use a 1 stage charger, but watch it carefully to you don‘t over charge your new battery. If your AGM battery came with an acid pack, it requires activation. But once the cells are sealed with the cap strip, there is no need to ever open it up again. Valve Regulated Lead Acid is often associated with AGM batteries.

                                  Tech
                                  December 17, 2012 a 8:39 am
                                • I recently purchased a Schumacher SSC-1000a smart charger for my new AGM marine battery. I have monitored the charging cycle and see no evidence of a 3 step process whereby the regulated voltage is dropped back as the battery approaches full charge. I have monitored this voltage with my digital meter and the digital voltage reading on the charger itself and have noticed the regulated voltage increases more as the battery approaches full charge. On the 10 amp rate the regulated voltage is just over 16 volts near full charge. And on the 6 amp rate the regulated voltage is just under 16 volts near full charge. This happens the same on the standard setting with a lead acid battery.

                                  Is my charger working properly? Or is it not really a smart charger?

                                  Rocky
                                  December 27, 2012 a 7:46 am
                                  • 16 volts sounds like it‘s too high, even for high performance AGM batteries. The charger is suppose to be automatic, but it may be defective.

                                    Tech
                                    December 28, 2012 a 8:59 am
                                  • which charger would be used on a polaris sportsman 500 2008

                                    Steve
                                    December 29, 2012 a 1:35 pm
                                    • Pretty much any of our motorcycle chargers will work. Battery Tender is the most popular brand, but I personally recommend Pulse Tech. Please take a look at our 12 volt battery chargers. Anything 4 amps and under will work for you.

                                      Tech
                                      January 2, 2013 a 8:33 am
                                    • Great article! could you please help me out. i am making a go kart, planning to connect 4 12v 80Ah VRLA batteries in series. what kind of charger should i use?

                                      Gokartfreak
                                      January 8, 2013 a 9:42 am
                                      • I recommend a 48 volt charger, of course. Anywhere from 4 – 16 amps of charge rate should be fine. 8 amps would be my recommendation. Just make sure the charger is compatible with VRLA batteries (AGM if they are sealed batteries).

                                        Tech
                                        January 8, 2013 a 10:01 am
                                        • I was just wondering – theoretically would using 2 24v chargers or 4 12v chargers simaltaneously be better than a single 48v charger(besides the cost)?

                                          Gokartfreak
                                          January 10, 2013 a 6:35 am
                                          • If your 48 volt system is used as a single unit, it‘s best to charge it altogether the same way. However, you can charge the batteries independently using multi-bank chargers, or separate chargers. Just make sure your connects are correct. You can‘t stack two chargers on a single battery.

                                            Tech
                                            January 10, 2013 a 8:56 am
                                            • i just read somewhere and was confused if the charger is to be connected to the battery directly or does the controller have any role to play in the charging process?

                                              Gokartfreak
                                              January 23, 2013 a 8:52 am
                                              • Controllers are recommended for solar chargers. But standard AC plug-in chargers are micro processor controlled, there is no need for any additional controlling. Hookup directly to the battery is the best method of charging.

                                                Tech
                                                January 23, 2013 a 9:08 am
                                      • Very Informative page….I have a question regarding charge/absorption on a 24 volt battery bank. What is the highest voltage that should be used to charge a 230 AH/24 volt bank. I have been told a 48 volt charger can be used safely but sounds a bit suspecious to me….

                                        Bob
                                        January 24, 2013 a 5:50 am
                                        • 48 volts will not charge a 24 volt system ‘faster’. It will cause harm. My suggestion is that ~29.6 volts is the highest voltage rate I recommend for a 24 volt system. Now, amps is a completely other story. I advise that 25% of your capacity should be the max charge rate you should use. We recommend 10% unless you need the quickest charge time.

                                          Tech
                                          January 24, 2013 a 9:11 am
                                        • Love your site and your service. One question I have… I just purchased a Motocross YTZ14S from you folks for my Honda VFR800. I believe that the battery I received was an AGM, but I\‘m not sure. Its not listed anywhere on the battery itself, nor is it on the invoice. I\‘m using a Noco G1100 to keep it charged. As I\‘m sure you know, The G1100 can run in Normal mode, or Cold/AGM mode. Will it harm it to use the Normal mode for charging or do I have to use the AGM mode? The manual for the charger says that if your unsure of the battery makeup, use the Normal mode. What does the charger do differently in AGM mode? Thanks for any light you can shed on this.

                                          Mike
                                          February 4, 2013 a 6:05 pm
                                          • The YTZ14S from Motocross is an AGM battery. However, it is not on the same level as high performance AGM batteries, such as Odyssey or Optima. These AGM batteries actually recommend charging at a higher voltage than what is considered normal, or safe for the other battery types. However, because the Motocross is a standard AGM battery, I recommend using the Normal Mode.

                                            Tech
                                            February 5, 2013 a 12:09 pm
                                          • my girlfriend has a 2000 custon 1200 harley,she has a pigtail charger we cant find the plug in sorce for charging the battery on her bike ?

                                            Rick
                                            February 5, 2013 a 10:01 am
                                            • Many battery chargers, such as Battery Tender, Pulse Tech, and Battery MINDer use the 2 prong SAE type connector, which is popular for pig-tail style installations.

                                              Tech
                                              February 5, 2013 a 4:26 pm
                                            • I am installing a backup sump pump using a deep cycle marine battery with inverter. I have a 1.5amp trickle charger to maintain battery charge. We are not anticipating this pump to be used very often. Is a 1.5amp trickle charger large enough to maintain charge?

                                              Steve
                                              February 7, 2013 a 12:33 pm
                                              • For trickle charging, I recommend using 3% of your battery capacity as the charge rate for maintenance. Therefore, if you are using a 1.5 amp charger, I think that will be okay as long as your current battery is no more than 50 Amp Hours.

                                                Tech
                                                February 7, 2013 a 1:49 pm
                                              • Thank you for this great information! After studying many articles and web sites, including those specifically from authors writing about my own area of interest in batteries, I believe I found most of my answers (or at least solid confirmations and clarifications) here. But I still have a couple of questions because some of those other writings contradict each other and your material in a couple of ways. In addition, your information doesn‘t really address low amperage usage over cycles that are several hours long.

                                                What I am hoping to do is use a ready-made portable power pack to run a telescope and hiker‘s GPS unit from a 12VDC cigarette-lighter style socket, a couple of USB powered items, and finally a laptop and possibly a little more from AC sockets provided on the same unit.

                                                Expected consumption would be as follows:

                                                Telescope (12VDC) ~0.7 amps for 5-12 hrs/night
                                                GPS unit (12VDC – not sure, but probably very low draw and only for 5-10 min no more than 2x/night)
                                                Laptop (110VAC) ~2.0 amps for 3-8 hrs/night
                                                Cell phone (USB if available on power unit, AC adapter if not ~200mA not every cycle, but when needed ~2 hr recharge)
                                                Tablet computer (AC adapter probably not used every time – 2000mA for 3-5 hrs when used)

                                                Several places in your material and others I‘ve read, the statement is made that one should get the highest Ah rating they can. I think these materials have been about higher and possibly shorter-term draw in all cases, but I‘m not sure. Other material says, for the type of low power/long usage above, one should use something with an Ah rating of only about twice what they would probably use in one session on average, so as not to draw the battery down too much in one night, but enough of the total so the cycling is deep enough to preserve battery life by the proper amount of cycling (or something like that ;-). Still other places, I‘ve read that it is better to draw down the battery less (5-10% of capacity) to increase the lifespan of the battery. All of this has me confused.

                                                I am trying to figure out two last things before I can figure out what I need:

                                                1.) Should I limit my choice of Ah rating to a lower number (twice my need per cycle) for my kind of usage?

                                                2.) This may be outside your subject matter expertise, or depend on specific unit features, but I also need to know if built-in inverters draw power when nothing is plugged into them. I haven‘t been able to find anything on that question.

                                                E-astronomer
                                                March 9, 2013 a 8:48 am
                                                • The truth is, the less you draw down on the battery, the more cycles the battery will provide. There is no golden rule. If you only use 10% capacity at a time, then I say you have spent more money on battery power than you‘re utilizing. If you draw 90% at a time, then have too little battery power and you will find yourself replacing it very prematurely. 50% depth of discharge per cycle is our recommendation because it‘s the most cost effective solution.

                                                  Having any sort of connection (even unplugged) to a battery will technically cause a very minimal discharge, but it is so insignificant, that I wouldn‘t worry about it if I were you.

                                                  Tech
                                                  March 11, 2013 a 10:01 am
                                                • Hello! Your site is a fantastic resource!
                                                  I‘m trying to size a multi-bank battery charger for a boat. It will float charge 2 lead acid starting batteries, one generator starting battery, and a house bank consisting of (6) 220AH 6V golf cart batteries connected series-parallel (The house system is 110-120VAC). I have a 5000W inverter and a 7500W gas-powered Kohler generator to produce AC when anchored/underway. The load on the house bank batteries will be no more than 20a (DC), but will vary over my intended use time of 12-16 hours between charging opportunities. Im looking for a fast charge time, because occasionally the charge source will be the gas generator, and the less that runs, the better.

                                                  I suspect my inverter is sized with a greater capacity than my battery bank can safely support. But it‘s what I have.

                                                  I would also love to be able to manually select the charging source for the house bank to switch between the engines’ alternators or a solar array in addition to the generator. Everything is 12V.

                                                  Two questions: Do you see any holes in my plan, and for the charger is my best option to get as many amps as I can afford?

                                                  Thanks in advance!

                                                  Audrey
                                                  March 17, 2013 a 7:33 am
                                                  • Thank you for such an informative site. I‘m trying to ascertain the best and best quality smart charger to buy from you for my motorcycle but have wondered if I need to worry about the fact that I live in a rural area with a lot of power surges. Is there any need to put a power bar/surge protector between the wall plug and the new smart charger? (and/or should this be done to protect the bike‘s expensive ECU ie: elctronic control unit?)
                                                    Thank you.

                                                    Barney
                                                    April 12, 2013 a 2:27 pm
                                                    • Yes a surge protector will be a good idea.

                                                      Jeremy Fear
                                                      April 12, 2013 a 2:36 pm
                                                    • Nice article because of simplicity. It is a great starting point for people that havent done alot of research, but for me, I had most of this info already. thanks for the article.

                                                      Clever Survivalist
                                                      April 14, 2013 a 2:09 am
                                                      • I have a c-pap machine that I use when dry camping. It is 5 amps, 600 watts. I need a battery that will give me 8 hours of power. Do you have any suggestions? Also, looking for right size inverter to handle the task along with good battery charger.

                                                        Thanks for your help

                                                        Tom
                                                        May 29, 2013 a 7:41 pm
                                                        • First, because this runs off of 120VAC, you would need an inverter. That will add 15% to the consumed wattage by the C-pap machine, for a total of 690 watts/hour. If you are running that for 8 hours, then your total wattage used will be 5,520 watts. In order to run that off of battery power you would need 883 AH at 12 Volts, ran through a 1000 watt inverter.

                                                          Jeremy Fear
                                                          May 30, 2013 a 8:11 am
                                                          • This seems excessive. Since the Law of the Conservation of Energy applies, then the input power (Wac) must be equal to the output power (Wdc), then since the input voltage in this case is 120Vac and output voltage is 12Vdc, the ratio is 10:1, which means that the current (Amps) must be in inverse proportion to maintain the equal power. In this case, the input current is 5Aac, so the output current must be 50Adc. Since the inverter apparently adds 15% to the power consumption, then the output current will then be 57.5Adc. Since the OP wants it to last for 8 hours, then it seems that the AH rating of the battery would only need to be 460AH (57.5Adc*8H), or a Reserve Capacity (RC) rating of 1104 minutes (8hr*60mins/hr=480mins@25A*2.3 [since the battery has to supply 57.5 A instead of 25A]).

                                                             

                                                            We would require more information about your situation.  Please contact one of our techs at tech@batterystuff.com

                                                            Rick W
                                                            July 21, 2014 a 1:57 pm
                                                        • For a given AGM battery type, find the voltage and constant current for constant voltage and constant current mode of any given volts and amp-hours.

                                                          Katie
                                                          December 9, 2013 a 3:02 am
                                                          • I have a Skeeter zx225 boat, 225 Yammy (03)and I run 2 hummingbird 997sihd electronics. I also have a minnkota 36V 101 TM on the bow. Previous electronics were older lowrance units and TM was a 24v system. I have recently upgraded my batteries to sears DH premiums 31m (AH 20/hr rate-100/capacity AH10hr/rate-92; CCA-1150; RC-205. Charger is a noco genius 4 bank (40 amp total). Previous set up had 2 positive wires (6g i think) coming from bow and connected to battery 1 + and the other to battery 2 +…why? I took the one off and just use the main + cable on battery 3 and the neg on battery 1 and +/- jumper between batteries 1/2/3. Does jumper have to be same size as main power wire? what guage do you recommned for jumpers? Does my system seem right…and what is the best way to test voltage output?

                                                            Scott Ivins
                                                            April 9, 2014 a 12:07 pm
                                                            • Dear Tech

                                                              I am experimenting with a machine that runs on 24v. I want to replace the power supplies for a battery pack. I need about 100 Ah, so Im thinking 2 12v 120 Ah connected in series. My question is: Will a 24V/13A charger do the job on recharging my setup? I don’t have that much experience with batteries. I think it will, but rather ask the expert.

                                                              SERGIO
                                                              June 17, 2014 a 5:43 am
                                                              • Yes, that charger is in the recommended range of 10-25% capacity.

                                                                Tech
                                                                June 20, 2014 a 12:11 pm
                                                                • great site i love it ya the best u rock i looooooooooooooooooooooooovvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeeeeee
                                                                  you!?!? 

                                                                  John
                                                                  July 7, 2014 a 5:47 am
                                                                  • I just purchased two AGM Optima Blue Top batteries (D27M) to use as house batteries on my houseboat (I live aboard). The Optima Blue Top batteries are replacing two wet cell batteries. I have been told I can’t use my current charger (Charles 9000 Series) with the Optima batteries. So now it looks like I need to buy and install a new battery charger. Do you agree? Or can a Charles 9000 Series also charge AGM batteries?
                                                                    My current charger has three “banks”. One for the house batteries (in series), one for the port engine, and one for the stbd engine. I also have a battery for the generator which is not on a charger. If I’m buying a new charger, I’d like to get one with four banks to cover all the batteries. The engine and generator starting batteries are all wet cell.
                                                                    Can you recommend some choices for a battery charger.
                                                                    From the SPEC Sheet for the Optima Batteries (http://www.optimabatteries.com/en-us/shop/bluetop/optima-batteries-8027-127-d27m-27-bluetop-marine-deep-cycle-starting/), recommended charging info is:

                                                                    Recommended Charging Information
                                                                    Alternator: 13.65 to 15.0 volts
                                                                    Battery Charger: 13.8 to 15.0 volts; 10 amps maximum; 6-12 hours approximate
                                                                    Float Charge: 13.2 to 13.8 volts; 1 amp maximum; (indefinite time at lower voltages)
                                                                    Rapid Recharge (Constant voltage charger): Maximum voltage 15.6 volts. No current limit as long as battery temperature remains below 125°F (51.7°C). Charge until current drops below 1 amp.
                                                                    Cyclic or Series String Applications:: 14.7 volts. No current limit as long as battery temperature remains below 125°F (51.7°C). When current falls below 1 amp, finish with 3 amp constant current for 1 hour.
                                                                    All limits must be strictly adhered to.

                                                                    Performance Data
                                                                    Cold Cranking Amps: 800
                                                                    Cranking Amps: 1000
                                                                    Nominal Voltage: 12 volts
                                                                    Open Circuit Voltage (fully charged): 13.1 volts
                                                                    Internal Resistance (fully charged): 0.0025 ohms
                                                                    Capacity: 66 Ah (C/20)
                                                                    Reserve Capacity: BCI: 140 minutes (25 amp discharge, 80°F (26.7°C), to 10.5 volts cut-off)

                                                                    Debbie
                                                                    July 30, 2014 a 3:05 pm
                                                                    • Due to the fact that we don’t have all the information for your system we would need you to contact us at tech@batterystuff.com so that we can ask the appropriate questions, to get you the answer that you may need.

                                                                      Admin
                                                                      August 15, 2014 a 2:45 pm
                                                                    • hi my camper currently runs 2 100ah agm batteries and 1 110ah flooded battery .i have just installed a 100w solar pannel and 10a regultor how should i set the regulator …..for flooded or agm ? my plan is to swap the flooded for agm when funds allow

                                                                      Dave Bort
                                                                      August 3, 2014 a 9:31 am
                                                                      • Due to the fact that we don’t have all the information for your system we would need you to contact us at tech@batterystuff.com so that we can ask the appropriate questions, to get you the answer that you may need.

                                                                        Admin
                                                                        August 15, 2014 a 2:46 pm
                                                                        • Hi, I have a new HP8204B (high power) 24vdc 5A charger, I am using it to charge my 2 × 12v numax SLG63 gel cell batteries.
                                                                          The light is supposed to turn green when the batteries are fully charged but I have to keep stopping as the batteries are bubbleing and getting hot ? is this ok ? I am not sure if the charger is a 3 stage or not ? some adverts say it is , some just say 24v ?
                                                                          Thankyou Steve

                                                                          Steve
                                                                          September 14, 2014 a 2:35 am
                                                                          • We recommend contacting the manufacturer regarding your charger. Your battery should not be hot to the touch, so the charger could be malfunctioning, or the charger is attempting to charger a battery that cannot accept a full charger and is not timing out.

                                                                            TECH
                                                                            September 25, 2014 a 11:01 am
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