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Old 01-23-2013, 07:47 PM   #1
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Best Battery Setup

Okay, just went for about 2 months without running the ole Mud Hippie and batteries were DEAD! So here's my question, I understand that running independent battery tender chargers to each battery is the best setup for charging, but is there any disadvantage to the operation of separating the batteries (as set out in these diagrams)?

The way I'm planning on setting up my batteries for installation of battery tender chargers:


As opposed to the way the batteries are presently set up:
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:01 PM   #2
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Re: Best Battery Setup

My van and all diesels w/2 starting batteries charge the batteries in parallel. And that includes the 2 house batteries from one charging system.

Nothing wrong with doing it that way. In fact it is difficult to separate them in order to charge them independently. The only real advantage is the ability to find one battery starting to fail a little earlier - but since you should replace both batteries at the same time that is not a big advantage.

Mike
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:05 PM   #3
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Re: Best Battery Setup

Thank you Mike. I bought a 2 bank battery tender. Now I'm wondering whether I should leave it parallel and go with the single charger.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:05 PM   #4
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Re: Best Battery Setup

Not the figure 7 hookup. You can't use or hook your batteries up like the first picture cause that's a 24 volt system. That is unless all the DC stuff in your van is 24 volt and the house system isn't hooked to your vehicle battery system.

I wouldn't use twin chargers on a parallel 12 volt system but an all in one two bank tender can be used I guess; its just defeating the purpose of the charger.
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Old 01-24-2013, 02:17 AM   #5
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Re: Best Battery Setup

Thanks Dave. You guys have saved me.
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Old 01-24-2013, 11:47 PM   #6
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Re: Best Battery Setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chopperguy
Okay, just went for about 2 months without running the ole Mud Hippie and batteries were DEAD! So here's my question, I understand that running independent battery tender chargers to each battery is the best setup for charging, but is there any disadvantage to the operation of separating the batteries (as set out in these diagrams)?

The way I'm planning on setting up my batteries for installation of battery tender chargers:


As opposed to the way the batteries are presently set up:
That's not a good way to charge batteries for a 24 volt system, because the "top" charger will see 24 volts (actually more than that, twice whatever the charger's max voltage is, probably 13.8 volts) at the rectifier output, because the chargers will share a ground connection through the AC neutral or ground wire. Since it's intended to be a "12 volt" charger, the charger diodes may or may not be able to withstand the peak reverse voltage they will see, or their lifespan may be severely reduced.

That kind of connection is common with transformer-coupled circuits, but a bad idea without a transformer isolating the input. You have no way of knowing if the charger you intend to use in fact isolates the input and output ground connections.
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Old 01-25-2013, 03:27 AM   #7
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Re: Best Battery Setup

I believe he is using a single all in one battery charger that are typically used in Bass boats. Those generally toggle between 12 and 24 volt charge voltages. But it doesn't really matter, cause he doesn't have a 24v system to begin with. But I understand your point...it's a poor diagram
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Old 01-25-2013, 12:21 PM   #8
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Re: Best Battery Setup

I don't see the problem there. The diagram shows ground at the bottom, and the middle connection is floating. Both chargers are charging individual 12V batteries in a 24V system. Similar to using two 6V batteries in a 12V system.

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Old 01-26-2013, 02:23 AM   #9
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Re: Best Battery Setup

It might (not related to Chopper's post) if they were different make chargers...ya think?
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Old 01-26-2013, 10:31 AM   #10
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Re: Best Battery Setup

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ford_6L_E350
I don't see the problem there. The diagram shows ground at the bottom, and the middle connection is floating. Both chargers are charging individual 12V batteries in a 24V system. Similar to using two 6V batteries in a 12V system.

Mike
In the top diagram (stacked chargers) the middle connection is **only** floating if the chargers don't share an internal ground connection between input and output sides. You can find out with a multimeter, by checking resistance between input and output grounds of the chargers. If not connected, that hookup works. If they **do** connect input and output grounds, then they are sharing a ground via the AC neutral, and the "top" charger will definitely see the combined voltages at the rectifier output.

That schematic assumes there is no internal ground connection in the chargers -- but there may well be. In which case, it doesn't represent reality. Add a wire between the two output grounds to the diagram, and you can see see what really happens in that case.

You'd have the same problem with two 6-volt batteries in series, if you tried to charge them with a pair of 6 volt chargers stacked like that. But most people use a single twelve volt charger attached to each end of the string, which is the right way to do it.

The other issue with stacked chargers is you have to make sure the AC sides are in phase, either by checking for correct hot and neutral connections in the outlets if the charges have 3 prong plugs, or by making sure they are plugged in the same way, in the case of two-prong plugs. Otherwise you will have circulating currents back and forth between the batteries as the chargers work against each other.
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