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Old 09-25-2013, 08:42 AM   #1
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Desulphating battery charger and converter

If I plug in an external 1.5 amp desulphating battery charger on my house battery, will it play nice with the converter, or is there a possibility that the pulsing/desulphating/whatever it is process could damage it? The options are to have the external charger on and (a) leave the TT plugged in so both the external charger and converter are charging the battery, (b) unplug the TT so only the external charger is working, or (c) flip the battery disconnect so that the battery is totally isolated from the converter. I want to desulphate the battery, but not damage my converter in the process.

Thoughts?
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:02 AM   #2
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I always disconnect my battery when its on the external charger. I don't know for a fact that it would cause a problem to have the converter going to the battery at the same time, but figured why find out? Seems like if you invested in the better charger, just isolate the battery from the converter.
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:37 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taranwanderer View Post
If I plug in an external 1.5 amp desulphating battery charger on my house battery, will it play nice with the converter, or is there a possibility that the pulsing/desulphating/whatever it is process could damage it? The options are to have the external charger on and (a) leave the TT plugged in so both the external charger and converter are charging the battery, (b) unplug the TT so only the external charger is working, or (c) flip the battery disconnect so that the battery is totally isolated from the converter. I want to desulphate the battery, but not damage my converter in the process.

Thoughts?

If you have the unit plugged in to 110v, do not put an external charger on it. The converter will charge it just fine. IF the batt voltage level does not drop to far, you will not have to worry about desulphating your batt.

Isolate the batt if you want to do desulphating with the charger, but you run the risk of over charging your batt and burning up the plates and cells to the point that it will not keep a charge, hense defeating what you want to do.
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Old 09-25-2013, 10:48 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taranwanderer View Post
(c) flip the battery disconnect so that the battery is totally isolated from the converter.
This is what I do.

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Isolate the batt if you want to do desulphating with the charger, but you run the risk of over charging your batt and burning up the plates and cells to the point that it will not keep a charge, hense defeating what you want to do.
Les, how would the process burn up the plates assuming that they have added distilled water to each cell to the level appropriate for their battery? I guess, it could be dependent on the charger but I don't see how the pulse action of a decent charger with a desulfator mode would burn up the plates.
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Old 09-25-2013, 11:37 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Triguy View Post
This is what I do.



Les, how would the process burn up the plates assuming that they have added distilled water to each cell to the level appropriate for their battery? I guess, it could be dependent on the charger but I don't see how the pulse action of a decent charger with a desulfator mode would burn up the plates.
In reading about desulfating a battery, bursts of power are asked for to get the sulfate off of the plates. It takes a long time to do this to get the sulfates off. Keep a batt on a charger for a long time at anything above a trickle charge can and will over charge a batt to the point of going in the same direction of where you do not want to be (bad batt). The bottom line is to keep you batt in the best shape (top voltage and amps) as long as possible (years). My view point is to just not let your batt get drained to the point of being so weak to allow massive formation of sulfates on the batt plates.

imo
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Old 09-25-2013, 12:44 PM   #6
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Keep a batt on a charger for a long time at anything above a trickle charge can and will over charge a batt to the point of going in the same direction of where you do not want to be (bad batt).
Agreed - but the battery chargers that I have used and read about compensate so as to avoid overcharging by desulfating the shortest possible time and without developing excessive heat (e.g., BatteryMINDer and Stanley chargers comes to mind). This is when they are using the pulses as you described earlier.

Earlier, you mentioned overcharging and what you seem to have been describing is the possible negative effects of equalization, which is a controlled overcharge and is done when there is low or wide ranging specific gravity (+/- .015) in cells after fully charging a battery. This process also helps to remove sulfate crystals that might have built up on the plates but is primarily used to reverse stratification (acid is greater at the bottom of the battery than at the top).

It certainly requires careful attention to gassing and battery heating and I can see where this could damage a battery.

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The bottom line is to keep you batt in the best shape (top voltage and amps) as long as possible (years). My view point is to just not let your batt get drained to the point of being so weak to allow massive formation of sulfates on the batt plates.
I also agree that it is not good to let batteries overdischarge (discharging more than 50% for example). But, my understanding is that sulfation is always occurring even in normal use (source and source) but the process is much faster with undercharged or discharged batteries. So, even when a battery is normally used and stored fully charged, sulfate will form and is a reason to pay attention to it and take the appropriate steps to maintain your batteries. Keeping a battery fully charged will not necessarily preclude that need.
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Old 09-25-2013, 05:34 PM   #7
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Thread's going off the rails here a little...

Just to be clear: the battery is not in any state of discharge, my converter has been plugged in non-stop for the last 4 months. Voltage is good. I'm also not worried about over-charging the battery by using a 1.5 amp desulphating Battery Minder--they're designed not to overcharge, just like our converters are. So it's not a question of over-charging, and I know that the best battery life will be to keep it charged as full as possible as often as possible. I'm not trying to charge, I'm trying to desulphate before winter. Its the "bursts of power" that I'm worried about possibly doing damage to the converter if both are left on, or if the battery isn't disconnected from the rest of the system during the process.

Thread back on track...
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Old 09-25-2013, 05:52 PM   #8
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Sorry about that.

As I say, I disconnect. But, I did talk to BatteryMINDer a while ago and asked about running their unit simultaneously with the WFCO. That tech told me that I could run their unit while charging through the converter. However, he wasn't able to explain to me exactly why that was so other than to say their unit would compensate. I'm not comfortable with that, but I didn't pursue it any further.
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Old 09-25-2013, 07:48 PM   #9
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I bought and installed one of these;
PowerPulse PP-12-L 12V Desulfator
Because of a recommendation on this forum.
My charger and converter do not have a desulfation setting or capability.
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Old 09-25-2013, 09:16 PM   #10
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Not meaning to distract from the main thread, just learning. Thank-you for the conversation. Does the 'BatteryMinder' (product name?) say that it is for desulphating a batt? I thought for the desulphating there needed to be a burst of high power to the batt for a short time and repeated periodically. Doesn't the 'Batteryminder' just have a steady charge that reduces as the batt becomes more fully charged?
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Old 09-25-2013, 10:31 PM   #11
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Les,

Yes, the charger I purchased is for both maintaining and desulphating any 12v battery. This is the one:

BatteryMINDer Onboard Battery Charger/Maintainer - 12 Volt, Model# 12151 - Amazon.com

At 1.5 amps, it could overcharge the battery if left on too long, except that it's also a smart charger that knows when the battery has reached full voltage and tapers the charge off to prevent overcharging. The Amazon reviews of the product were also very helpful in learning how it works. Hope that helps clarify.

At any rate, it seems the consensus is to flip off the battery disconnect while desulphating to prevent any converter issues or damage, so that's how we're gonna play it. Thanks, all!
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Old 09-30-2013, 03:30 PM   #12
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does anyone know the size of the converter and inverter used in the Crusader 290rlt?
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Old 10-01-2013, 05:46 AM   #13
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And in a 2 battery (parallel) configuration, hook up the Battery Minder/Tender to charge both batteries simultaneously?
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Old 10-01-2013, 07:07 AM   #14
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does anyone know the size of the converter and inverter used in the Crusader 290rlt?
I would think you might be able to find this info either in your manuals, or in an online spec sheet, or your dealer (admittedly, not likely.) Sounds like a new thread!

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And in a 2 battery (parallel) configuration, hook up the Battery Minder/Tender to charge both batteries simultaneously?
That's a good question! Sounds like a call or email to Battery Tender's customer service to see what happens if their device is hooked up to 2 batteries in parallel--or maybe an answer from Lou?
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Old 10-01-2013, 10:21 AM   #15
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And in a 2 battery (parallel) configuration, hook up the Battery Minder/Tender to charge both batteries simultaneously?
Monterra, the short answer is "yes".

Long answer: Batteries connected in parallel (positive to positive, negative to negative) are seen by the charger as "one" large battery of the combined amp-hour capacity of both batteries (Voltage stays the same while capacity increases). A properly sized charger will charge both simultaneously.

It is important you make sure that both batteries are the same size (same amp-hour capacity) and age. Since they will act as one when in parallel, they will try to balance out if different sizes/condition. One may be overcharged and the other undercharged.
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Old 10-01-2013, 02:52 PM   #16
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Triguy, what would you consider a 'properly sized' charger for 2 - 12 v batteries in parallel. They are new Interstate 'combo' batteries (RV/Marine - 550 CCA).

Also, does anyone have a recommendation for a desulphator. I was going to get a Battery Tender but that unit does not have desulphating capability.
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Old 10-01-2013, 03:12 PM   #17
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Triguy, what would you consider a 'properly sized' charger for 2 - 12 v batteries in parallel. They are new Interstate 'combo' batteries (RV/Marine - 550 CCA).

Also, does anyone have a recommendation for a desulphator. I was going to get a Battery Tender but that unit does not have desulphating capability.
See my Amazon link at the top of the page--that is a 1.5A charger from Battery Minder that DOES desulphate.
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Old 10-01-2013, 03:54 PM   #18
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Triguy, what would you consider a 'properly sized' charger for 2 - 12 v batteries in parallel. They are new Interstate 'combo' batteries (RV/Marine - 550 CCA).
For chargers other than BatteryMINDer...

Can you provide the 20-hr amp rate (if possible)? This rate might not be available since these are marine batteries. Just FYI, but the CCA number won't help here as CCA is a measure of how well the battery can start an engine in the cold but not a useful measure for our needs in powering a camper. You need the 20-hr amp rate or, at least, the reserve capacity.

Basically, with the 20-hr rate, there are a number of ratios put out there by different companies. Usually, they will say something like "flooded batteries can accept a charge rate of between 10-13% of capacity (Trojan says this).

Interstate says "up to 10% of capacity" (source). Capacity is the 20-hr rate so if you only can find the RC, than Interstate has a rough formula for turning that number into the 20-hr rate. For example, an Interstate battery with the part number MT-34 has 120 minutes reserve capacity. In order to calculate the amount of amp-hours in a battery, the rule of thumb method is to multiply the reserve capacity by 0.6. In the case of a MT-34, 120 minutes reserve capacity multiplied by 0.6 = approximately 72 amp-hours (at the 20-hour rate).

BatteryMINDer is different in that their chargers are 8amps or less. If you get a batteryMINDer than I suggest that you call them.

I hope that helps you. I know its not a direct answer, but its all I got.
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