Battery Charge Through Car

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Re: Battery Charge Through Car

Postby teardropper » Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:29 pm

This was all absolutely fascinating...

...but I'll tell you this. I bring several batteries with me, AGM and flooded lead/acid. When I want to charge one of them, I plug my charger into the larger battery pack that's on the solar panel through an inverter and use that to charge my battery. I know that it will do it safely and properly. I lose some efficiency in the inverter, but the charger knows what to do.

You guys actually seem to understand this. I have a very simplistic, plumbing model of electricity. The rest is magic...
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Re: Battery Charge Through Car

Postby FIGJAM » Tue Jan 10, 2012 8:02 pm

teardropper wrote:This was all absolutely fascinating...

...but I'll tell you this. I bring several batteries with me, AGM and flooded lead/acid. When I want to charge one of them, I plug my charger into the larger battery pack that's on the solar panel through an inverter and use that to charge my battery. I know that it will do it safely and properly. I lose some efficiency in the inverter, but the charger knows what to do.

You guys actually seem to understand this. I have a very simplistic, plumbing model of electricity. The rest is magic...


That 's exactly how I thought about it!

Say your going to fill your kitchen sink with water. (water=12vdc, Battery=sink)

You can crack the tap so you get the water to drip,drip,drip which will take all day to fill the sink.

Or you can turn the tap on all the way and fill the sink quickly.

Alternators are engineered to charge your battery safely, and if your battery is low, it will push the max amps that the alternator was designed for till the battery gets to 80%! 8)

Some trucks come standard with 150 amp alternators.
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Re: Battery Charge Through Car

Postby FIGJAM » Thu May 10, 2012 12:04 pm

Here's an exelent debate on the focus of this thread.

http://rvitch.com/forum/index.php?topic=73520.0
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Re: Battery Charge Through Car

Postby Joshua! » Tue May 15, 2012 11:33 am

Just a note to say that I believe alternators to have a rpm cut-in. Seems to me like your auto has to be running around 1800 to kick up the charge.

I could be wrong, and this may be manufacturer specific, but there it is.

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Re: Battery Charge Through Car

Postby FIGJAM » Tue May 15, 2012 2:16 pm

Depending on the vehicle, my research is showing that a lot of alternators are putting out 40 amps at idle. (600 rpm)
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Re: Battery Charge Through Car

Postby Foxfur » Wed May 16, 2012 4:34 pm

Here's a real world example of mixed capacity (in Ah), mixed chemistry batteries of common voltage charging (and not exploding) in peace and harmony.
Anyone who has a camping trailer most likely has this setup and hundreds of thousands are currently on the roads.
I'll use mine as an example.
My truck, 1996 Kia Sportage, has a primary starting battery, 12 volt maintenance free lead-acid flooded cell 65Ah capacity. The alternator is rated 80A @ 1800RPM.
My trailer has a house battery, 12 volt lead-acid flooded cell 85Ah capacity. It is non-maintenance free meaning I can top up the water in each cell.
I have an additional house battery, 12 volt sealed (gel-cell) lead-calcium 24Ah capacity, wired in to the trailer in parallel to the main house battery.
All three are seen by the current source (the alternator) as one battery that is of 174Ah capacity. There will be tiny differences due to lead length between starting battery and house batteries. I only mention this to avoid nitpicking.
When the trailer is hooked up to the truck, all three batteries charge simultaneously. When I use the trailer lights and am unhooked from the truck, the house batteries are drawn down. Upon plugging back in to the truck, the batteries begin equalizing with the starting battery. Imagine three cups with different amounts of water joined by tubes at the bottom, the levels will equalize, simple physics, we've all seen the demo in school. Once I start the truck, all three will begin charging from the same current source, the alternator. This causes no harm to the batteries, the alternator, or to any endangered species. The only difference is in the charging times of the batteries. This is similar to having a garden hose flowing at 1 gallon per minute filling a 5 gallon bucket. When filling one bucket it will take 5 minutes. When filling 2 5 gallon buckets it takes twice as long. There? Three times as long.

The trailer's house batteries are connected by a 20 foot run of 12ga wire run through a self-resetting circuit breaker directly to the alternator output (at the underhood OEM fuse enclosure). There is no need for any extra regulation. The regulator is built into the alternator as is nearly universal in late model cars (1985 - present). Vehicles with an external regulator require no difference in wiring. The charging current is regulated by the terminal voltage of the battery or batteries. When the combined terminal voltage reaches a certain threshold, ~14.0 - 14.4v, the current is virtually nil. The output current, not voltage, is linearly regulated by the regulator, external or internal.

Another good example is a battery charging bank at a battery retailer, a real one. To keep batteries from going flat or to top up batteries that have dropped while on the sales floor, batteries, shitloads of 'em (dozens at a time) are hooked to a common bus bar, both terminals, which is fed by a single 12 volt current source, typically a 12 volt 100 amp battery charger. Batteries that are fully depleted can be hooked up right next to batteries that are fully charged. You cannot overfeed a battery. You just can't do it. You CAN supply too much voltage to a battery, say, 24 volts to a 12 volt battery but then you're just paying the stupid tax. A battery will not draw more current than it needs. It's as asinine as saying you can't use a 12 volt 1 watt bulb on a 100Ah battery.

Espressodude's trailer has a breakaway battery, 12 volt at ~6Ah capacity, that is wired to his truck battery. It is the way it is because that's the only way to charge it. He could have it arranged so that he has to hook up a wall powered battery charger but why? Because it is not necessary and requires more work as well as running the risk of it being dead when it is truly needed. The reason it is the way it is is because it it the correct way to do it and has been engineered that way. Hook his trailer up to any tow vehicle and it will work.

Trust me. Trust him. We have both had long careers in electrical engineering as well as uncountable hours of personal time working with batteries on projects. FOGBANK, the sound cannon, charges from vehicles or wall powered chargers. Both work and are functionally equivalent.
Trust Yiggy and Figgy. They have lifetimes of experience and decades of hands-on project experience with batteries and chargers.
None of this is guessing or "I think it just might work". It's plain simple physics, Ohm's law, and universal truth. If you're getting info that id much different than what I, Edude, Yiggy, or Figgy have put out there, either the source is trying to sell you something or plain doesn't know what they're talking about.
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Re: Battery Charge Through Car

Postby EspressoDude » Wed May 16, 2012 5:07 pm

about the only way to cook batteries is from an unregulated alternator. Note that the amp rating on alternators is the maximum design output into a low battery or with a big crapola sound system. Alternators and their regulators are designed to produce up to the maximum amps in order to create a voltage equal to the regulator design voltage ( with the 80% factor considered) and most are temperature compensated, producing a lower voltage as they (and the under hood battery) get warmer.

when the design voltage is reached, the alternators turn off(or reduce current to near zero)
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Re: Battery Charge Through Car

Postby gyre » Wed May 16, 2012 8:40 pm

Optima's advice on dual batteries is to use identical batteries.
Even same lot, deep cycle.

For my truck, if I can mount them, I will use two semi cranking batteries.
I have used this type for cycling before.
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Re: Battery Charge Through Car

Postby ygmir » Wed May 16, 2012 9:32 pm

what is a "semi cranking battery"?
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Re: Battery Charge Through Car

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed May 16, 2012 9:35 pm

ITYM semi-cranky battery. Typically that's a battery that's been woken up too early and wasn't given any coffee.
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Re: Battery Charge Through Car

Postby FIGJAM » Wed May 16, 2012 9:37 pm

Thanks guys!!!

The only other concern some parts guy brought up was that the alternator may heat up if your just letting the vehicle idle while recharging.

But 1000s of police cars idleing 24/7 with all their bells and whistles don't seem to have mass alternator replacement problems. 8)
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Re: Battery Charge Through Car

Postby gyre » Wed May 16, 2012 10:22 pm

ygmir wrote:what is a "semi cranking battery"?

Commercial truck battery.
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Re: Battery Charge Through Car

Postby AntiM » Mon May 21, 2012 8:11 am

FIGJAM wrote:Thanks guys!!!

The only other concern some parts guy brought up was that the alternator may heat up if your just letting the vehicle idle while recharging.

But 1000s of police cars idleing 24/7 with all their bells and whistles don't seem to have mass alternator replacement problems. 8)



A tiny nitpick, if I may. One more concern... do you want to idle your vehicle? Not that is uses up enough fuel to matter, but if you're parked so your exhaust fumes are obnoxious to yourself or others, or you're in a camp such as Hushville, where idling is not permitted, then it is an issue.

Sorry, married to a "no idling unless it really matters" fanatic.

We never have used our larger solar panels, the 13w briefcase panel has been sufficient if the deep cells needed topping off. Not that we run anything but lights.
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Re: Battery Charge Through Car

Postby some seeing eye » Mon May 21, 2012 8:56 am

Just guessing the original poster figured it out. Battery charging and discharging are a nonlinear analog process. Each battery chemistry is a little different. The charge controller is engineered for the battery and I would send the 12-14V of the vehicle through that, ideally with some noise suppression. Think I've said many times, visit the AEZ camp or ask on their message boards.
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Re: Battery Charge Through Car

Postby FIGJAM » Mon May 21, 2012 9:19 am

AntiM wrote:
FIGJAM wrote:Thanks guys!!!

The only other concern some parts guy brought up was that the alternator may heat up if your just letting the vehicle idle while recharging.

But 1000s of police cars idleing 24/7 with all their bells and whistles don't seem to have mass alternator replacement problems. 8)



A tiny nitpick, if I may. One more concern... do you want to idle your vehicle? Not that is uses up enough fuel to matter, but if you're parked so your exhaust fumes are obnoxious to yourself or others, or you're in a camp such as Hushville, where idling is not permitted, then it is an issue.

Sorry, married to a "no idling unless it really matters" fanatic.

We never have used our larger solar panels, the 13w briefcase panel has been sufficient if the deep cells needed topping off. Not that we run anything but lights.





Spot on AntiM!!!

Last year I idled my truck for 1 hour twice durring the whole week, and only in the middle of the day when the niaghbors were out and about. 8)
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