48vdc Battry Chargers

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JRHill
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48vdc Battry Chargers

Post by JRHill » Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:11 am

I originally purchased an 8500 watt B&S gen set for charging batteries during the rainy/winter season but it doesn't like something about the VFX3648 or the FM80 - it'll immediately fry the voltage regulator upon connection. So for several years I've been left to run a 12kw Miller welder for the task. Not real efficient (but at least it heats the shop in the process ;) ).

So as to be able to use the 8500 B&S I was thinking about purchasing a 48vdc battery charger and connecting directly to the batteries. Before I do this, are there any words of wisdom or precautions? If OK, are there any suggestions as to which 48VDC charger is most economical and suited for the task? This is intended for daily charging but I'll still use big gen set connected to the VFX for the monthly equalization or for a backup generator.

Thanks in advance,
JR

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Re: 48vdc Battry Chargers

Post by dhamilton » Tue Dec 10, 2013 10:35 am

Hello JR,

My recommendation for a battery charger would be the IOTA DLS Series. http://www.iotaengineering.com/3648vdc.htm

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Re: 48vdc Battry Chargers

Post by BlackCherry04 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 12:56 pm

The IOTA is a great no frills 3 stage charger, as dhamilton suggested. You already own one of the best chargers, there are reasons to have a stand alone charger. You really need to figure out why your generator seem's to have a problem with your Inverter. Unless you have something wired wrong or the amp draw on the output is wrong, or the settings in the Inverter are wrong, there is nothing in the Inverter that would cause a problem based on what you explained. All the Inverter does when it is first connected to the input is sample the input to see if it within the set limits and then it will synchronize to it and then the transfer is made, 10-15 seconds normally, unless you changed them. If your close to the Inverter you'll hear the relays as the transfer is made. Since you other generator powers it one would assume the Inverter is OK.
Last edited by BlackCherry04 on Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 48vdc Battry Chargers

Post by mtdoc » Tue Dec 10, 2013 2:46 pm

How large is your battery bank in AH?

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Re: 48vdc Battry Chargers

Post by JRHill » Tue Dec 10, 2013 4:55 pm

BlackCherry04 wrote:You really need to figure out why your generator seem's to have a problem with your Inverter.
I couldn't agree more. But everything is wired correctly and the parameters set conservatively. But when turning on the B&S from the mate, the B&S immediately hunts to the extreme and consumes it's voltage regulator. I can't even shut it down fast enough to save it so it makes troubleshooting impossible. I've gone through three of them. But this doesn't happen with either the Miller 12k or even the toy 800 watt harbor freight unit I use on occasion. The most frequent answer to this was to preload the gen set and then connect. Although I disagreed with the logic I tried it - that was the 3rd regulator - the gen set has never been connected again. I might throw a few parts at a problem for troubleshooting if there was a sign of hope but there was not hope on this issue.

I'm a mechanical guy with enough electrical to be slightly competent but this one has thrown me. So I was looking to the charger. If you have the magic bullet I have the target ;-)

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Re: 48vdc Battry Chargers

Post by JRHill » Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:01 pm

mtdoc wrote:How large is your battery bank in AH?
A bank of Trojan L16RE-A Batteries": 360 @ 100

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Re: 48vdc Battry Chargers

Post by BlackCherry04 » Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:30 pm

JRHill wrote:
BlackCherry04 wrote:You really need to figure out why your generator seem's to have a problem with your Inverter.
I couldn't agree more. But everything is wired correctly and the parameters set conservatively. But when turning on the B&S from the mate, the B&S immediately hunts to the extreme and consumes it's voltage regulator. I can't even shut it down fast enough to save it so it makes troubleshooting impossible. I've gone through three of them. But this doesn't happen with either the Miller 12k or even the toy 800 watt harbor freight unit I use on occasion. The most frequent answer to this was to preload the gen set and then connect. Although I disagreed with the logic I tried it - that was the 3rd regulator - the gen set has never been connected again. I might throw a few parts at a problem for troubleshooting if there was a sign of hope but there was not hope on this issue.

I'm a mechanical guy with enough electrical to be slightly competent but this one has thrown me. So I was looking to the charger. If you have the magic bullet I have the target ;-)
.

Yeah, now I can understand it, if it's hunting like that with a load, then you have a issue. I'd cut the charger off and start out without any output on the Inverter and set the charger limits as low as you can and gradually begin to load it and see where it starts to hunt. You then can adjust the governor see if you can control it better. The issue is when you drop a 48V charger on it at 18-20 amps, that's a big load, hows it going to react ?? At least with the Inverter you can control the loading.

The other option is to invest in a Inverter Generator, Honda, Yamaha or something that is better suited. I have a old B&S 5000 w I haven't started it in 15 years, they are hard to use on a system we have.
Last edited by BlackCherry04 on Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:37 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 48vdc Battry Chargers

Post by mtdoc » Tue Dec 10, 2013 5:36 pm

JRHill wrote:
mtdoc wrote:How large is your battery bank in AH?
A bank of Trojan L16RE-A Batteries": 360 @ 100
The Iota chargers are very good - though not PFC. The problem is that I believe their 48V bank charger only puts out 13 amps continuous which would be a bit small for your bank - given that you generally want about 10% charge rate for bulking (36 amps in your case). You'd burn a lot of fuel bulking your bank with that charger.

For some reason it is hard to find affordable high quality, high output 48 V chargers.

If price is not an issue, a high quality, PFC charger you could look is the Manzanita Micro PFC 30 or PFC 40 chargers

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Re: 48vdc Battry Chargers

Post by JRHill » Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:59 am

mtdoc wrote:
JRHill wrote:
mtdoc wrote:you generally want about 10% charge rate for bulking (36 amps in your case).
That brings up a curiosity & bit of frustration: The VFX 3648 charge parameter (ADV/FX/CHARGER) maxes out at only 20 amps. Although the AC2/GEN setting can be set at up to 30 amps, only 20 is allowed for charging. This is another reason I wanted to go the route of charging the batteries directly so as to make better use of generator capacity.

And wow, you're right about the Manzanita chargers... I don't believe I'll be going that route.

Thanks for your input!

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Re: 48vdc Battry Chargers

Post by dhamilton » Wed Dec 11, 2013 12:19 pm

The 20 amp charge limit is AC amperage, not DC amperage. The VFX3648 has a Continuous Battery Charger Output of 45 amps DC.

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Re: 48vdc Battry Chargers

Post by blackswan555 » Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:27 pm

But when turning on the B&S from the mate, the B&S immediately hunts to the extreme and consumes it's voltage regulator
when you say immediately, How immediately ? As soon as the engine starts ? When the AC light go`s solid on mate ? or 30 ish seconds after that ?

Tim
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Re: 48vdc Battry Chargers

Post by bezalel » Wed Dec 11, 2013 6:56 pm

We've had success with these 48VDC 100A battery chargers from Quickcharge Corp for charging from grid / generators.

http://02a27d4.netsolstores.com/100ampchargers-2.aspx

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Re: 48vdc Battry Chargers

Post by JRHill » Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:26 pm

dhamilton wrote:The 20 amp charge limit is AC amperage, not DC amperage. The VFX3648 has a Continuous Battery Charger Output of 45 amps DC.
Oops. I guess I've gotten sloppy and lazy. WattPlot shows Buy 24 Charge 22 - I took this as literal amps but need to review. Thx for bringing this to my attention.
Last edited by JRHill on Wed Dec 11, 2013 10:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 48vdc Battry Chargers

Post by JRHill » Wed Dec 11, 2013 9:43 pm

blackswan555 wrote:
But when turning on the B&S from the mate, the B&S immediately hunts to the extreme and consumes it's voltage regulator
when you say immediately, How immediately ? As soon as the engine starts ? When the AC light go`s solid on mate ? or 30 ish seconds after that ?

Tim
Tim, as soon as the AC IN light goes solid. Immediately an RPM spike and dive, maybe again, then low idle - whether it was 120 vac or 240 vac via the step down xformer. Before you could disconnect the dreaded low idle meant another regulator was toast.

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Re: 48vdc Battry Chargers

Post by blackswan555 » Thu Dec 12, 2013 11:14 am

as soon as the AC IN light goes solid.
That sounds more like "something" else`s fault then, The FX does not start charging for 20 >30 seconds after light go`s solid, only passes through, Charge then ramps up in steps (you can hear it @ inverter) I would look at polarity on connections & your N > earth bonding in your gen,

Tim
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Re: 48vdc Battry Chargers

Post by tallgirl » Sun Dec 15, 2013 1:36 pm

I'd also look at the power factor on the inputs. I have a meter on the input of my twin stack, but it doesn't report all four quadrants or THD. I'd bet money there's something about the load from the inverters that's freaking out the poor generator -- too much reactive power, would be my guess.
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Re: 48vdc Battry Chargers

Post by JRHill » Thu Dec 19, 2013 11:30 am

blackswan555 wrote:
as soon as the AC IN light goes solid.
I would look at polarity on connections & your N > earth bonding in your gen
Polarity is correct. The B&S does have all outlets GFI protected and neutral is connected to the frame/ground. I was suspicious of this and temporarily lifted neutral from ground and bypassed the GFI. System ground was then in use and multiple neutral ties to ground eliminated. This did not work but in this case I did get the plug pulled before losing the regulator. At this point I was resolved to use the 12 kw Miller from then on and ordered the 240v stepdown transformer 'cause the gen set is 100' away in the shop. Getting that in place and verified the setup using the 12 kw. All good. Since the B&S was still in it's temporary mod state all I had to do was bypass the GFI on the other 240v leg so I could use the 30 amp 240vac outlet. This would now balance the load across both legs. I set the gen max amp draw low, 10amps as I recall. This didn't work either and did end up consuming the generator's voltage regulator. So, bottom line is (to me), there is some peculiarity/incompatibility with using this generator with the VFX internal charger. BTW, I did test the B&S with the charge rate set at 0. Upon connecting the generator, the VFX shut down and passed the power through as it should. It's only when I try to charge that the generator has problems.

I have noticed other posts that some people experienced problems with some gen sets. Hopefully they scan these forums before buying a generator that they're stuck with and not able to use.

Thx for every one's input. You folks are great!
JRH

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Re: 48vdc Battry Chargers

Post by tallgirl » Mon Dec 30, 2013 7:00 pm

JR,

That sounds like a power factor / reactive power issue. I have a four quadrant meter sitting in a box somewhere, I'll have to look at harmonic distortion and other fun things once I have it hooked up. If you can get a power quality meter, and another voltage regulator, that's where I'd start.
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Re: 48vdc Battry Chargers

Post by blackswan555 » Tue Dec 31, 2013 8:45 am

TG, looking at
as soon as the AC IN light goes solid . Immediately an RPM spike and dive, maybe again, then low idle - whether it was 120 vac or 240 vac via the step down xformer. Before you could disconnect the dreaded low idle meant another regulator was toast.
Put`s me off the PF/reactive that can cause problems when the OB is charging as it is not for some time after "Solid" it actually starts to charge, However a normal overload should not touch voltage regulator (and breaker "should" go) which does point to some kind of back/over feed from somewhere, hmmm ??? :-k

Tim
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