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Old 05-08-2018, 08:45 AM   #31
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The Redarc BCDC1240D solution is very similar to the CTEK system, I would also throw in the KISAE DMT1230 This is a very cost efficient alternative to the Redarc and CTEK, All of these take 12 volts from the Battery/Alternator and Solar to provide 3 stage charging.

The Mastervolt combi combines an inverter/charger and a solar controller in the same unit, it does not contain a solution for the alternator charge.


Boywonder, I do generally agree with your conclusion that during float that the current used takes the driving force out of voltage drop., I would say that the beginning stages of absorption are a little more higher current, and the voltage level is also important. More importantly we try to make the system as efficient as possible.

-greg
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Old 05-08-2018, 04:11 PM   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flux View Post
Greg, I will inquire about that inrush thing and what exactly the issue is. I was not exactly sure how that could be, but he mentioned depleted batteries suddenly opened up to an alternator.
If the house batteries are very depleted, their resistance is low, hence lots of current flowing.......but with battery cable size of 2ga, 1ga, 1/0ga etc it shouldn't be a problem......and if the alternator can't supply the current, the voltage just sags until the battery gets some charge and it's resistance goes up lowering the current demand.

The downside of a manual switch is that you may forget to combine batteries when heading out of the driveway (no house battery alternator charging) for the weekend or forget to separate when partying at the campsite (starting batt dragged down too low to start van along with house batteries)....although plenty of vans, RVs and boats just have a switch.

A separator does all that for you...don't have to remember anything.

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Originally Posted by AndrewInSeattle View Post

Details are sketchy, but I've read that fresh-built SMBs charge only from the alternator when it's running, disconnecting the solar. This series of threads really has me wondering how to get around that, under the assumption that we'll mostly be camping in the shade, but driving between camps will be mostly on open road. Originally, I was even hoping the solar and the alternator would be additive, so a quick jaunt to a trailhead would be enough to recharge to max, but that seems like a holy grail with cherries on top at this point!
Most SMBs and vans here charge both from solar and alternator when running, although the solar is a trickle and the alternator is a fire hose.

If you wire the solar to your house batteries they will get charge current anytime the sun is out. If the battery separator is bi-directional (many are) the solar will also charge the van starting battery. For reference the surepower 1314 separator commonly used by SMB is front to back only and the 1315 separator is bi-directional. The 1314 won't charge the starting batt if the solar is connected to the house batteries. All of the Blue Sea ACRs are bi-directional.

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Originally Posted by 1der View Post

Lastly, I thought forum member Brent Haywood did some type of tricky alternator/charged setup on his van??? Maybe that was an AC alternator..... not sure...
Yup, I think it's a sterling power alternator to battery charger like this..mounted under his driver seat.

https://sterling-power.com/collectio...ers-up-to-400a
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Old 05-12-2018, 10:17 AM   #33
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A couple thoughts to add about cable size. First is if running two or more smaller cables to replace a large one, "parallel" make sure they are the same length. That way shorter cable with less resistance won't be doing more "work". Second is voltage drop happens quickly in short distance at 12v. So even if the load isn't that large wire size may come into play for voltage sensitive equipment or batteries that like to see optimal voltage for charging. I,m always impressed by the wealth of knowledge on this forum. Keep up the good work!
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Old 08-22-2019, 03:37 PM   #34
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Back to the topic of One Charger ti Rule Them all, Redarc has their Manager 30
product.
It has shore power, Solar and Alternator inputs. It also provides a battery monitor, supports a load disconnect relay. It would be nice if the charger was a little bigger and had more programmability.

-greg
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Old 01-29-2020, 11:26 AM   #35
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Bogart's SC-2030 does work as a DC-DC current limiting charger. Hook up any DC source that puts out 14 to 16 Volts to the solar side of the controller. It does not boost the voltage. The maximum charging voltage is the max source voltage. They have a video of a SC-2030 connected to a lithium pack and a Honda (Civic?) on their website - - Bogart Engineering
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