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Old 11-23-2020, 11:50 AM   #1
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Battery water fill schedule with upgraded boost charger.

Hi all,

No one responded in the full time RV section. These batteries will be charged daily off grid or continous while at parks. So the main question - Will the faster 4 stage w/ bulk charge dry/boil my batteries out faster vs slow oem converter/charger? For example you have to top off a golf cart every day to couple days as per the consensus on karts go wild forum.

Our 12v demands:
We are full time and use the 12v system a lot for lights. Our 5er has 12v bed and couch fans, bath fan, 19 LED lights bulbs in 4 areas inside, and 2 under cabinet 12v fixtures and they are all used daily. I was not seeing our voltage go over 12.7v on our 4 batteries even after a nights sleep so I upgraded the charger. If you have a multi stage converter/charger with bulk charge, how often do you top off your batteries vs your old oem charger? I don't think I will be boiling that much with my large bank, but I just don't want to run dry. Having an idea for worst case would be handy to set in my phone calendar if I am boiling a lot. I can then adjust maintenance accordingly after a few checks. We will be plugged into 50 amps for another month so it will be charging things up well.

My setup:
I have 4 golf cart batteries wired in series and parallel to get 12v. We have a full-time rig. We were off grid for 6 months and in a park for the last 6 months. I'm switching our oem slow charger to the 70 amp progressive dynamics 4 stage 9200 series converter. I didn't want to go bigger thus needing 20 amps input. I got the 15 amps/1250watts version and it charges 1 battery in 2-3 hours to 90% on the bulk mode. That's the largest I wanted to go with for my off grid generator and solar inverter. I know there is a general rule of thumb (# of batteries vs amps needed) but off grid I want to have a smaller generator. It's more than double the 30 amp oem charger I had. I'd like a larger one (bank account/generator/gas tank/inverter/converter/ you name it), but alas this is now what I have.

Thanks guys!
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Old 11-23-2020, 05:57 PM   #2
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We have a Progressive Dynamics four-stage PD9270 converter and two 12 VDC marine batteries that are about 1 1/2 years old. We're rarely on batteries alone, just for power transitions from/to generator or shore power. The motorhome is plugged in all the time when stored in the driveway. The time off the converter is maybe a couple of hours in the last year.

In the last year, three times, I've had to add water to just one cell at each six-month check. The plates were not exposed. All other cells, including the chassis battery, the one that starts the engine, have not needed any water. I actually was checking the batteries at three months but soon extended that to six months. Needless to say, I think this thing is great for how we use batteries.

Ray
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Old 11-24-2020, 10:07 AM   #3
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That's good to know while I'm still in parks. Thanks!

I'm thinking they will get drier when I go off grid again. When I draw the batteries down the boost cycle will kick in at 14.4v and boil the batteries more and require more fuild more often. I wanted the boost cycle so the generator doesn't run all the time, and solar could charge all the way up while the sun is out, but like a golf cart I think the batteries will get their workout off grid.
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Old 11-25-2020, 07:34 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stewfish View Post
That's good to know while I'm still in parks. Thanks!

I'm thinking they will get drier when I go off grid again. When I draw the batteries down the boost cycle will kick in at 14.4v and boil the batteries more and require more fluid more often. I wanted the boost cycle so the generator doesn't run all the time, and solar could charge all the way up while the sun is out, but like a golf cart I think the batteries will get their workout off grid.
I asked Progressive Dynamics if I needed to adjust anything on the PD9270 if I switched from two 12-volt marine batteries to 6-volt golf cart batteries and they said no, it just works.

The PD9270 goes into "boost" mode of 14+ volts for fifteen minutes each day to help reduce plate sulfation anyways. I can tell when it happens because the lights inside get brighter. Normally it's at 13.0 or 13.1 VDC.

And of course, it goes into Boost mode briefly whenever we transition between generator and shore power due to the converter losing 120 VAC input power for a few minutes.

Ray
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Old 11-25-2020, 08:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NXR View Post
I asked Progressive Dynamics if I needed to adjust anything on the PD9270 if I switched from two 12-volt marine batteries to 6-volt golf cart batteries and they said no, it just works.



The PD9270 goes into "boost" mode of 14+ volts for fifteen minutes each day to help reduce plate sulfation anyways. I can tell when it happens because the lights inside get brighter. Normally it's at 13.0 or 13.1 VDC.



And of course, it goes into Boost mode briefly whenever we transition between generator and shore power due to the converter losing 120 VAC input power for a few minutes.



Ray
Thanks.

It looks like I was in normal.mode the past few days and now its in storage mode after last night with no power being used. It's flashing once every 5 seconds.
Hopefully it equalizes my yr old batteries now. I didn't read anything about it equalizing every 21 hrs if in any other mode besides storage.
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Old 11-25-2020, 08:30 AM   #6
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Just as a general data point, water use will increase as a battery ages and is cycled. So for the first few years with a proper charge profile water use will be very minimal. But if you get complacent about checking it, that's when you "discover" they're dry and damaged. A new/good battery may only need topping off once a year, but a "well seasoned" one may need it once a month.

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Old 11-25-2020, 08:47 AM   #7
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In a year I have added water to my golf cart batteries twice. In the motorhome which bulk charges at 100A I have not added at all in 12 months. But I rarely run off batteries only because I have a residential fridge. As the batteries get older they may require filling at increased frequency. I try to check mine monthly because itís easy, and batteries are expensive.

Best thing is to watch the levels and develop your own fill schedule from your own experience.
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Old 11-25-2020, 09:01 AM   #8
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Thanks guys

After a yr I noticed the center cell on 2 of them were down 1/4" less than the others. That's it
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