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Old 08-04-2021, 05:01 AM   #1
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30 amp replacement charger/converter for agm battery

1996 Catalina 22' class c
I replaced the old flooded lead acid batt with agm battery for coach.
I've heard it's a good idea to replace the charger/converter.
Photo of existing c/c attached.
Suggs?
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Old 08-04-2021, 05:14 AM   #2
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Smart move!

Progressive Dynamics is who I use - they have drop-in replacements for MagnaTekís.
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Old 08-04-2021, 06:03 AM   #3
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If you don't need to worry about mounting the new one exactly into the place of the old one - i.e., same mounting bolts, same shape, etc. - then I like this one:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

I replaced my old 30amp MT with this 55amp model. Charges the batteries faster.
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Old 08-04-2021, 07:03 AM   #4
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Magnatech 930

Magnatech 930 specifications:
12.0 volts min @ full load
14.1 volts max @ no load

14.1 volts with no load is too high for most AGM batteries. 14.1 volts will cause venting and thus loss of storage capacity. Definitely turn the charger "off" when not in use. Get a modern one to replace it as soon as possible.

14.1 volts for 4 hours on a deeply discharged AGM battery is usually OK. Voltage needs to be lowered to 13.6 or less after that. 13.2 volts is optimum for long term storage of fully charged ("no load" voltage) lead acid batteries.

12.0 is low for charging at 30 amps. Modern chargers do a lot better.
I have an inexpensive WFCO 30 amp charger/converter.
Maximum 30 amps at 14.4 volts for 4 hours maximum.
Drops to 13.6 after 4 hours and stays there.
After 4 days on constant low current (in storage) it drops to 13.2 volts.
If current changes (light turns "on") voltage jumps back to 13.6

The WFCO is simple to use. It has precision microprocessor control. It has no complected settings to fiddle with. Of course many people like complected setting, so pick your poison.

I wish you good luck and happy trails ahead!
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Old 08-04-2021, 11:15 AM   #5
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Be careful of how high of an amperage you go to without verifying wire size between the converter and the batteries. This Blue Sea information and chart is very useful.

https://www.bluesea.com/resources/1437

My trailer had a WFCO multistage converter (WF-9845) installed in the place of the Parallax converter when I bought it, but after experimenting with it, I found it acted just as I had read that they do, and would not drop to the 13.2 volts and sometimes even stuck on the bulk charge mode long after it should have dropped. I scrapped it and installed a Progressive Dynamics 4600 series as that was a drop in fit for the Parallax panel. As you have a "deck mounted" converter and not one contained in a power panel, I suggest the Progressive Dynamics 9200 series as it is stand alone deck mount and suitable for lead acid and AGM batteries, with multistage charging.

https://www.progressivedyn.com/pd9200-converter/

The PD 9245-CV is the retail version of the 45 amp with the remote charge wizard pendant included. The charge wizard pendant allows you to force it into bulk charge mode when it doesn't normally want to, allowing charging in a shorter period of time while running on a generator. Normally you never touch the charge modes and let them do their thing.

If by chance you have one of the Parallax/Magnatek power centers and someone merely installed a deck mount charger to replace the original you can install a PD4600 series in the hole where the original was.

https://www.progressivedyn.com/pd4600-converter/

This converter is also designed to be removed from the box and used to replace certain WFCO models in WFCO power centers (the metal box is discarded). In a Parallax/Magnatek power center, the 4600 series also includes a new fuse panel that is much better than the original.

Charles
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Old 08-05-2021, 07:58 AM   #6
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Thank you Charles. I agree with most of your analysis.

"This Blue Sea information and chart is very useful.
https://www.bluesea.com/resources/1437"


The chart is for
"Critical circuits, with 3% allowable voltage drop, include

Panel main feeders
Bilge blowers
Electronics
Navigation lights

Non-critical circuits, with 10% allowable voltage drop, include

General lighting
Windlasses
Bait pumps
General appliances"

It is not for home 120 volt AC wiring (1.5% voltage drop) or for lead acid battery charging. 14.4 fast charge voltage - 11.5 discharged battery voltage = 3 volts pushing current through the battery.

You would need remote voltage sensing for the battery charger to use such small wire. I have a 20 amp remote sensing marine battery charger. It works with smaller wire. I don't use it in my RV.

RV chargers usually sense voltage inside themselves and assume little or no voltage drop so short large capacity wires are required.

"My trailer had a WFCO multistage converter (WF-9845) installed in the place of the Parallax converter when I bought it, but after experimenting with it, I found it acted just as I had read that they do, and would not drop to the 13.2 volts and sometimes even stuck on the bulk charge mode long after it should have dropped."

Parallax converters are excellent converter/chargers. Some even come with an inverter and a transfer switch built in. An excellent choice.

I have a WFCO. It does work as advertised. WFCO makes a line of converter/chargers that all use the same microprocessor control program.

You must fully understand the logic to be able to interpret the results. "Bulk", "Absorption" and similar words are imprecise and sometimes redefined by various people, so I use actual terminal voltage.

WFCO has posted a very good description of how the microprocessor works. Check their web site. I tested mine. It does what WFCO says it does. However, imprecise testing can lead to false conclusions.

The WFCO will drop to 13.2 volts when output conditions are met. Current must be low for 4 days (poor memory?). Current must be constant. Turning on a light will cause it to jump up to 13.6 volts. An automatic "on" light when you open the battery bay door will cause the jump. An automatic device like a water heater control that uses 12 volts will turn "on" periodically and cause a current change. That will cause it to jump to 13.6 volts.

In any case 13.6 is a safe voltage for most AGM and flooded cell lead acid batteries. 13.2 is optimum for storage.

The WFCO will rise to 14.4 volts provided output meets processor criteria. Current must be high, but not above charger maximum capability. It will only continue at 14.4 volts for 4 hours.

If high current does not drop below maximum charger capability, it will not reach 14.4 volts in 4 hours and will stabilize at 13.6.

Mine does this because I am using a 30 amp WFCO intended for a 70 amp hour battery to charge a 200 amp hour battery bank. I would need a 50 or 60 amp capacity WFCO to get it to raise to 14.4 volts in the first 4 hours.

"The PD 9245-CV is the retail version of the 45 amp with the remote charge wizard pendant included. The charge wizard pendant allows you to force it into bulk charge mode when it doesn't normally want to, allowing charging in a shorter period of time while running on a generator."

Actually, forcing the charger to "bulk" mode will not charge lead acid batteries faster. It will increase the current into the batteries. But, lead acid batteries have a limited ability to absorb the current being forced into them.

Excess energy is used to turn water into hydrogen and oxygen gas. Some of it used to cause "grid corrosion". That is why the best chargers normally drop to 13.6 volts after an initial 14.4 volt "fast" charge phase.

I wish you good luck and happy trails ahead!
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