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Old 04-09-2009, 04:33 PM   #1
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Introduction to Batteries and Charging Systems

I found this document on the Surepower website. I found it to be an interesting explanation of a battery system. It also has some nice tables in it for temperature effects on batteries, wire gauge for voltage drop etc.

http://www.surepower.com/pdf/ebr_int.pdf


I have no ties to Surepower

Greg
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Old 04-10-2009, 12:01 PM   #2
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Re: Introduction to Batteries and Charging Systems

Nice link Greg. That's pertty good information. I saved a copy of it. The only thing I don't like about it is they lead you to believe that installing a isolator will completely protect your system. I understand they are pushing their product though. Obviously any isolator or separator can fail causing major problems for owners. I still plan to add a high amp battery switch on my system one of these days that will bypass the separator. But I do agree that isolators/separators do a good job at protecting an expensive battery system. Thanks for posting the link. I'll probably add that to my web site electrical section.
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Old 04-10-2009, 01:23 PM   #3
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Re: Introduction to Batteries and Charging Systems

I agree, it was well written and simple to understand.
Thanks.
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Old 04-10-2009, 02:53 PM   #4
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Re: Introduction to Batteries and Charging Systems

Good stuff - there's a lot to know about electrical systems.

Another excellent resource is "Managing 12 Volts: How to Upgrade, Operate, and Troubleshoot 12 Volt Electrical Systems" by Harold Barre. Grab it from your local library. Provides an excellent description of systems, particularly charging. It's well worth the hour or two it'll take to read it - you'll come out knowing more, I guarantee!

http://www.amazon.com/Managing-12-Volts ... 849&sr=8-1

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Old 04-10-2009, 04:11 PM   #5
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Re: Introduction to Batteries and Charging Systems

My 2000 Chev van has a Delco K60 100 amp alternator in it. I use a SP 120 isolator. It works fine. Knock on wood
Prior to the Sure Power I went through a couple of JC Whitney isolators. Diode failures. If one dies it "just" opens the circuit and the battery stops charging. In both cases my van engine battery. In both cases it took me awhile to see the voltage gauge was heading south. In both cases I just re-wired the isolator to by-pass the diode system and everything was O.K. My isolator is mounted on top of the van battery so it is up front and easy to get at.
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Old 04-11-2009, 03:24 PM   #6
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Re: Introduction to Batteries and Charging Systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by LenS
Prior to the Sure Power I went through a couple of JC Whitney isolators. Diode failures. If one dies it "just" opens the circuit and the battery stops charging.
Could be why SMB stopped using isolators. Being in the back country you need the best you can get. Here is another companies view on it:
http://www.powerstream.com/battery-isolator.htm
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Old 04-12-2009, 12:20 PM   #7
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Re: Introduction to Batteries and Charging Systems

Dave,
I agree with you on the pushing of their isolator. This was probably written before they designed their separator or I'm sure they would tried to push that. I have thought of wiring in a switch or a solenoid like you said as a fail safe, but then I keep thinking when I need it the switch or solenoid won't work either. So my current plan is move the battery cables to the same terminal on the separator. It won't be as easy as using a switch, but hopefully I won't have to put this plan into place to often. I did put a switch on my auxiliary start line. It still goes to the ignition switch, but I can disable it if I want ( I have the V10, and don't have to worry about glow plugs). I usually disable it when using the SMB around town just to make sure I am not masking a starter battery going south.

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Old 04-12-2009, 12:45 PM   #8
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Re: Introduction to Batteries and Charging Systems

Greg, the problem I had was the solenoid failed to close during a long trip. I was unable to charge the house batteries while running the engine. I plan to add a switch to connect the system if the separator won't close. I'll probably put it under the seat close to the separator as it would only be used if needed. But after seeing what John posted I might wait to see if it fails again and try to jump it to see if it resets. I had never heard of that. BTW the day it failed I drove 60 miles into Fort Collins to purchase a marine grade switch. After I came out of the store with the switch in my hand the separator closed and never failed again. Go figure.
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