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Article by Val Rigoli ©, free advice freely given, my personal thoughts and advice gathered from in-excess of 40 years of practical hands-on experience, learned skills, and industry knowledge.
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Battery charging with a generator?
you may be thinking that the best way to charge your batteries is via
outlet that most generators
And it gets worse, these are what we call a linear charger, so as the voltage rises in the battery, the current backs off, so the battery may be only half charged and the generator might be only putting in 3 amps per hour, REDUCING continually!! As I said, a waste of time really.
much better way
is to connect a 240v Smart Multi Stage Battery Charger up to the
generator and re-charge the battery at a much faster rate.....Like if
it's a 25A charger, then that's what it puts into the battery, continuously,
until the battery doesn't want/need to take any more......This is real
here is how it works...
Please note both the ePOWER chargers by Enerdrive, and the CTEK brand are very good and reliable chargers, though both have different case types, the CTEK units are built a bit more for tossing around in the dirt and don't mind a bit of sand and rain etc, while the ePOWER units are little more civilized and better suited for permanent mounting away from excessive dust and moisture.
Chargers, 20A, 40A, 60A
Charging times with different sized battery chargers.
So as an example lets say you have taken out 100Ah from a 200Ah battery and want to recharge it by running the genset and a 240v battery charger. And if your only taking 50Ah out of say a 120Ah battery, you could halve these times, or with a larger battery, maybe only run the generator once every 2 two days, there are many ways to adjust things to suit your particular needs, the main thing is to size things up properly and get it right the first time.
Using a CTEK 7A charger it will take about 15 hours running the genset to get the battery back up to about 90% charged.
Using a CTEK 10A charger it will take about 10 hours running the genset to get the battery back up to about 90% charged.
Using a CTEK 15A charger it will take about 7 hours running the genset to get the battery back up to about 90% charged.
Using a 20A ePOWER charger it will take about 5 hours running the genset to get the battery back up to about 90% charged.
Using a CTEK 25A charger it will take about 4 hours running the genset to get the battery back up to about 90% charged.
Using a 40A ePOWER charger it will take about 2.5 hours running the genset to get the battery back up to about 90% charged.
So as you can see, the larger the amps out-put of the charger, the faster the batteries will be charged, and the shorter the generator run time will be.
This is assuming that you have batteries that can take the larger charging currents, like AGM's (Adsorbed Glass Matt), or a larger battery bank that is capable of taking the higher charging currents.
a word of warning
generators run out
of fuel, it's best not to let the genset run out of fuel while the
battery charger or any other electronic device is attached, have you
ever heard a small petrol engine as it is running out of fuel, and how
it revs up and slows down and then revs up again etc.
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Copyright © FRIDGE & SOLAR 2002-2017. Last revised: March 2017