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Old 08-12-2018, 05:05 PM   #1
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Wiring in a charger

I came across a Xantrex 40 amp charger and was interested in hard wiring it. Can someone describe the best way to accomplish this ? Can I just eliminate the converter ? This is not a inverter/charger. I already have an inverter hardwired, unfortunately.
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Old 08-13-2018, 01:43 AM   #2
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I am somewhat familiar with that battery charger as I once used a Truecharge 40+ for years. Yes, the converter could be eliminated. A two or three stage battery charger will charge battery banks up much faster than older stepdown transformer types. Some converters can simple be disabled by disconnected their AC input and nothing be done with the DC side. The battery charger can be installed in any location near the old converter or the batteries and accessible if it has switches for battery types and temperatures to include battery equalization.

The charger should be secured with fasteners in a suitable location. AC power can be run from the same circuit breaker that supplied the old converter or another suitable source. The DC output can be connected directly to the batteries as that is how the charger senses the charge rate for the batteries being charged. My Truechare 40+ had a switch to select a fixed 13.2V output so it could be used as a converter or a two or three stage battery charger, however it only did the function selected.

Ideally if possible, I would try to retain the old converter to power the coach, while the battery charger charges the batteries. That would be easy to do if the converter has DC output for the coach and DC output for the batteries, automatically disconnecting the batteries from the coach DC distribution system when plugged into shore power. Just disconnect the converter battery output in that case and be done. If the converter only has a single output, a separate 120V high current relay could be used to disconnect the coach batteries from the DC distribution system. The main reason I like retaining the old converter is due its lower DC output voltage around 13.2V. A battery charger can approach 14.8 DC volt output. That is great for charging batteries, but it is not so great for solid-state control boards for refrigerators, furnaces, or any electronic device in the coach that are 12V powered.

That charger would make a great project for a coach with an older inefficient converter allowing the old converter to power the 12V devices on shore power and 100-percent of the battery charger output to go to the batteries. A 45-amp converter with a 40-amp battery charger might approach similar performance to a newer style 80-amp converter/charge. It obviously will take some electrical knowledge and all wiring should be installed following NEC codes for health and safety.
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Old 08-13-2018, 09:50 AM   #3
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Thanks for the detailed and helpful response. I have a newer Heritage Glen and it's the 55 Amp WFCO converter and it says it has a 3 stage charger. I just upped my batteries to 4 GC2's and was under the impression the stock converter was not charging well, or completely. When I put a smarter external charger on, it seemed like the batteries would still take some charge. This may or may not be important. I just have to decide if adding this Xantrex is worth the effort. All things considered a inverter/charger would have been the smart way to go but since when am I smart.

I am adding a battery off switch too once it gets here, I noted the parasitic draw can take a real toll on the batteries when I am not plugged in.
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Old 08-13-2018, 03:52 PM   #4
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The WFCO will do the job, just taking longer because it basically runs a “dumb” charge schedule which works OK for smaller battery banks, but is not always optimum for larger banks. The smart charger will have the same or better batter charging current as the WFCO. When the smart charger was connected, it was then oblivious the batteries had not yet reached full charge. Perhaps given enough time (days) the WFCO would have achieved the same charge level as a smart charger. I still may install my old Truechage 40+ in my new coach having a Progressive Dynamics PD4060 that also runs a dumb charge schedule. It does OK, just not as well as a true smart charger that actually charges based on the batteries needs rather than a one size fits all schedule.

The reason I am not making the effort now is because I just run my generator longer, so my batteries are not having to support any electrical loads that would be discharging them. It is about the same as achieving a greater charge level with a smart charger, and using that extra battery capacity in place of generator power. Right now, it is a project for another day.
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Old 08-13-2018, 06:40 PM   #5
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Yeah I tote a duel fuel inverter myself and I think the charger will wait until I care enough.



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Old 08-14-2018, 06:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Splitshaft View Post
The WFCO will do the job, just taking longer because it basically runs a “dumb” charge schedule which works OK for smaller battery banks, but is not always optimum for larger banks. The smart charger will have the same or better batter charging current as the WFCO. When the smart charger was connected, it was then oblivious the batteries had not yet reached full charge. Perhaps given enough time (days) the WFCO would have achieved the same charge level as a smart charger. I still may install my old Truechage 40+ in my new coach having a Progressive Dynamics PD4060 that also runs a dumb charge schedule. It does OK, just not as well as a true smart charger that actually charges based on the batteries needs rather than a one size fits all schedule.

The reason I am not making the effort now is because I just run my generator longer, so my batteries are not having to support any electrical loads that would be discharging them. It is about the same as achieving a greater charge level with a smart charger, and using that extra battery capacity in place of generator power. Right now, it is a project for another day.
I too have a heritage Glen with a 3-stage WFCO converter/charger. It managed the charging quite well, so I disagree that it is dumb. It is also a 35 amp unit so has some grunt. Mine failed after 2 years and I replaced it with a Projector 7-stage unit, which works way better. Since then I have fixed the WFCO, discreet and obvious components made it easy.

You can completely remove a WFCO, both input AC and output 12v sides are reasonably easy to unwire from the control panel. I put my Projecta unit in the same spot.
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Old 08-14-2018, 10:57 PM   #7
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I disagree that it is dumb.
The WFCO three stage chargers/converters run scheduled programs unlike smart battery chargers that use Microprocessor-controlled, multistage charging algorithms to charge batteries based on the batteries needs rather than a “one-size-fits-all” “Dumb” schedules. There is a significant cost difference between the two types.

The WFCO specifications are here to reference WFCO charging schedules:
http://wfcoelectronics.com/wp-conten...ors-Manual.pdf

The Xantrex Truecharge2 description is here:
http://www.xantrex.com/documents/Bat...2-20-40-60.pdf

These basic charging schedules may work fine for smaller battery banks, however are not optimum for large battery banks as the larger banks can be undercharged that can lead to plate sulfation, reduced capacity, and early replacement of lead acid batteries.
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Old 08-15-2018, 01:05 AM   #8
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That's what I said, sort of.
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