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Old     (grant_west)      Join Date: Jun 2005       04-07-2006, 1:32 PM Reply   
I feel pretty stupid. I should know this stuff. I was asking some stupid questions and found out that I might have not been charging my system the best way possable. I contacted some people that have way more experiance doing this sort of thing. Big charging system's like RV's and pleasure boat's with large multi battery bank's. I didnt know that Optima's have a completey diffrent charging regimen than other AGM battery's, Gell and flooded batterys aslo have a diffrent charging regimen. Unless you have a SMART voltager regulator/charger your AGM batterys will never reach a full 100% charge. A alternator has a internat or external voltage regulator but it throw's amps/and volts at what ever the batterys will accept and not what they need. Example a to re-charge a AGM battery back to 100% it will need a "Bulk charge" of 14.6 volts and lets say 40 amps for 45 min's then 14.3 volts at 30 amps for 20 min's then a float charge for 13.3 volts at 10 amp's for 5 min's These #'s are just a example but you get the point. A regular alternator does not charge the batterys back like this. This is why I was only getting a full charge after my boat was connected to a trickle charger for some time 3-4 day's. My HO alternator wasnt charging me back to 100% not because it didnt have enough power to do so but because it didnt know how. I was only getting about a 50% charge from my alternator
The charge needs to be in a step and set process.
Traditional flooded car batterys/golf carts dont need this type of chargeing regimen.

Another thing I found out, I think I need a larger 210 amp alternator.

I havent done a test but Im guessing my boat is pulling 50-70 amp's playing the system at mid to high volume. Ill do some testing to find out for sure. But traditionaly we park and play the system the batterys get low and I fire up the boat and start charging the system. This needs to be done for 2 reason's #1 If I let the batterys get to low my alternator will melt itself down trying to re-charge my battery's so I fire up just to prevent the voltage drop into levels that will kill my alternator. #2 Its not good for your equipment to try working at high volumes with low voltage, they get hot ect. So the scenario go's You park. You play. Your batterys get low and you fire up to charge your batterys back. Your still playing. All your doing is maintaining a flat battery, Your HO alternator is throw 70 amps continously, well guess what thats what my system is using 50-70 amps. So Im not charing 1 bit. Or if you push it you will do the alternator melt down. Now a larger 210 alternator could maintain my system and throw 50-70 amps back at the batterys all while playing and not going into melt down mode. but Like I said unless you have a smart regulator or charger it dosent even matter you can have a 310 amp alternator and you still not gonn hit 100% charge. Alot of the smart charger/regulators have a heet probe that measures the alternators temp at the case. The more amp's you make the more heet your gonna create. The smart regulators/alternators will or can cut it's output in 1/2 untill the temp drops so it dosnt have a melt down.

Now the bad new's This type of set up is not cheep Like $2000 or more and Im gonna need to upgrade to a dule 1/2 inc pully belt's to handle the extra strain the 210 alternator is gonna pull.

This is the eqipment I was look at.
Regulator
http://www.balmar.net/page67-ars5.html
Alternator
http://www.balmar.net/PDF/Alternator%20Drawings/94-seriesdimensionaldrawing.pdf
Duo Charge
http://www.balmar.net/page20-Duocharge.html

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