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Old 07-07-2019, 01:06 AM   #21
Skippy and Emu
 
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Default Re: DC to DC charger compatibility

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Originally Posted by Perce View Post
OK, thank you all for you thoughts /advice, but at the end of the day what is the best option for my set up? I have two 140ah aux batteries powered by alternator, smart charger and solar. I do have a solar regulator, the smart charger for when Iím hooked up to 240v.
Many thanks Chris Percy
Assuming your batteries are lead acid type, then the setup you describe should work ..... provided the raw alternator output is within the specs. recommended by the manufacturer of your batteries.
Generally a 100% state of charge is difficult to acheive via the alternator output alone .
However, as you have solar input, this will usually enable you to continue the final stages of charging, when the alternator is not running.

My preferred setup :

Combination dc-dc and MPPT solar charger.
Smart AC mains charger.
A means of monitoring the battery SOC ( state of charge )
Optional, start battery maintainer. My Sprinter regularly sits unused for 2 - 3 weeks at a time.
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Old 07-07-2019, 08:11 PM   #22
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Default Re: DC to DC charger compatibility

I ended up using Votronic Triple charger that is made in Germany.

Its a Combination DC-DC, Solar and Mains, it also charges the main battery from Solar/230volts when the house is full

Its easy to monitor the battery with their monitoring panels, i ended up with the Jupiter panel, as i also wanted to monitor my water/waste tanks

It also allowed me to set a different charging profile for my 240ah Lithium house battery.
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Old 07-07-2019, 10:15 PM   #23
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Default Re: DC to DC charger compatibility

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perce View Post
OK, thank you all for you thoughts /advice, but at the end of the day what is the best option for my set up? I have two 140ah aux batteries powered by alternator, smart charger and solar. I do have a solar regulator, the smart charger for when Iím hooked up to 240v.
Many thanks Chris Percy
You mention a smart charger and I assume that is the mains charger.

I would say that the method of connecting the start battery and house battery is the only thing that may need attention and the addition of a DVSR as used in most rental vehicles would be the easiest and cost-effective solution.

This is how my sprinter is setup with 180A alternator, house and start 100AH AGM batteries, 150watt solar, Provista 15a MPPT, Ctec charger and BEP DVSR. We supplement the solar with a 160 watt solar blanket on the windscreen on cloudy days or long stays (2 week +).
This has worked for us for 5 years now, I have a Victron BMV700 power monitor to quantify how my house battery is travelling.
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Old 07-08-2019, 02:10 AM   #24
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Default Re: DC to DC charger compatibility

Quote:
Originally Posted by Perce View Post
OK, thank you all for you thoughts /advice, but at the end of the day what is the best option for my set up? I have two 140ah aux batteries powered by alternator, smart charger and solar. I do have a solar regulator, the smart charger for when I’m hooked up to 240v.
Many thanks Chris Percy
Hi Chris
There are some decisions to be considered to get "the best option" IMHO. Because it is like asking what is the best car to buy Depends on various things including your personal likes indeed.
Eric says use the Mercedes terminal, Yuana says use the Votronic triple charger, Skippy and Emu sensibly say "my preferred setup" is ... There might be a consideration given to the cost or even to whether you will do it yourself or pay some person to do it. So I will give my worth
If you drive a lot, possible every day or two, then you can just use the alternator only. Did that for years. To top that up a solar panel with a simple controller will keep things charged OK if you have enough. Done that too now.

As we do not stay at caravan parks a lot, I just have a 240V power supply that supplies the power we are using but does not charge the battery but prevents it from discharging ! IE a float charge voltage. Nothing complicated to go wrong.
So what I have is a 140AHr house battery, 150W solar with MPPT, the 120A alternator, both feeding into a VSR that charges the car battery first and then the house battery. I have a good dual voltage display to instantly check both batteries. Been working for 5 years like that. Also a 6A fridge power supply for the 250V input.
The normal usage is all 12V, a 12V compressor fridge, led lights, TV, radio, 12V chargers for computers and phones. Of course we use some normal 240V items if it is available. And cooking is disposable gas bottles. And/or the pub/club etc ! I hate the smell of smoke so fires are not used often, and we do not hunt for food either.

But if you stay mostly at caravan parks then just a 240V good charger will surfice. I do not trust the modern electronic stuff peddled for camping much, so having different ways to charge may have an advantage over a single multi unit out in the bush. If it fails, no one will fix it out there.
Cheers jaahn

PS This statement needs qualification; "Generally a 100% state of charge is difficult to achieve via the alternator output alone". Often said but it depends on the time for absorbtion. The normal older Sprinter alternators are large output and bring the bulk charge up fast. Perhaps too fast for a smaller capacity battery, but the constant voltage will topup the battery OK just like a multi stage charger if the motor is running for the time required.

Last edited by jaahn; 07-08-2019 at 02:31 AM.
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Old 07-08-2019, 08:53 AM   #25
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Default Re: DC to DC charger compatibility

If you intend to use the EK1 outlet under the seat just be aware that their fuses, 15A, 25A, and (I cannot remember), depending on each function. To charge the house batteries it is better to connect directly to the Start battery via a DVSR ( Dual voltage dependent relay) and 100A fuse as they can be charged over 50A on occasion.
I have run my system for over 8 years using the original batteries.

Cheers

Ross
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