24v Battery chargers

Ratch

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While it's not painfully difficult to separate our 12v batteries and charge them individually, wouldn't it be nice to leave them in the generator and just plug in a charger to maintain them when not running?

Most 24v chargers are an arm and a leg. But, the ones designed for motorized wheelchairs are fairly cheap, and fairly smart. I ran across them while looking for chargers for my AGM batteries (AGM's should use an AGM charger).

So my plan is to install a female XLR connector wired to the starter solenoid or slave port, and mount one of these chargers in the control box of each MEP. If the charger blows up, I replace it quickly without having to hack wire off a new charger or even unscrew anything. The charger's AC power will run out to an extension cord, etc, through the AC wire port.


Hard to argue against these prices, especially for an AGM charger.

$15 for a 2amp charger.
http://www.amazon.com/Battery-Charg..._sim_sg_8?ie=UTF8&refRID=1S7DVNT7RRX5YYB0C8DC

$25 for a 4amp charger.
http://www.amazon.com/Three-Battery..._sim_sg_7?ie=UTF8&refRID=1S7DVNT7RRX5YYB0C8DC

$50 for a 5 amp charger (I'd probably get this for my 002 with the bad DC stator):
http://www.amazon.com/Volt-Amp-Main...sim_sg_16?ie=UTF8&refRID=1S7DVNT7RRX5YYB0C8DC



Just figured I'd share.
 
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gimpyrobb

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I picked up an automatic charger off egay for not too much money. It is pretty badazz. I'll have to look the model number once I get home.
 

PeterD

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I have a 1 amp wall wart (rated at 24 volts, but puts out about 28 no-load) that I use. Works wonderfully, and is cheap. Of course, not suitable for AGM batteries, but my MEP has regular LA batteries. If you limit your voltage to 27 volts, the current will self regulate... This makes trickle charging easier.
 

Glockfan

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I installed one of the Pulsetech 24v solar chargers on my 803. So far, so good. The batteries have not died yet. Sometimes these are available cheap on ebay. I wouldn't pay alot for a used one...
 

Glockfan

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and on the other end of the spectrum, the Pulse-Tech PRO-HD 12/24-Volt Pulse Charger 746X800 is the cream of the crop as far as chargers go... If you have the need for a **** good charger, you may find one of these at a better price than retail by going through GL or eBay...
 

Triple Jim

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I've been using Soneil chargers for 12, 24, and 48 volt applications for quite a few years now, and find them to be reliable and accurate as far as when to switch off the initial high-rate charge current and go to the steady maintenance voltage. They tend to be on the expensive side, but you can sometimes find them on auction sites or on sale. The 24v one I have is model 2408CAA and charges at a maximum current of 4 amps. You can leave it connected and powered long-term, since it won't overcharge a battery.
 

Ratch

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I installed one of the Pulsetech 24v solar chargers on my 803. So far, so good. The batteries have not died yet. Sometimes these are available cheap on ebay. I wouldn't pay alot for a used one...

How big is the panel? I bought a few fairly large 12v panels and controller for trailer-mounted commercial generators I have at work, and they're terrible. I'm lucky if they put out over 13v in full sun, forget any shade.
I've been wondering how well the little tiny solargizer the military uses on some of these generators works. I wonder if it actually works, or is a failed experiment. Or, like many government efforts, something that doesn't work, but is still mandated to be used.
 

Triple Jim

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How big is the panel? I bought a few fairly large 12v panels and controller for trailer-mounted commercial generators I have at work, and they're terrible. I'm lucky if they put out over 13v in full sun, forget any shade.
That's strange. A 12V panel made for battery charging should put out 18-20 volts open circuit. I have a 20" square panel on the roof of my Dodge van, with a charge regulator between it and the battery, and it'll charge 3 amps in full sun.
 

Isaac-1

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I found a study done by the army on the solargizers a couple of years ago, and have not been able to find it again since. As I recall it was done with a number of MEP-002a and MEP-003a generators at Ft Benning, GA, with generators scattered in various locations, some getting full sun, some in shaded areas. They were left in theses locations for a considerably amount of time (well over a year), and the solargizers (of the larger second generation type IS-24L), worked for all but 2 of the MEP-003a's which were in highly shaded locations. The failure was attributed to the larger batteries on the MEP-003a vs the MEP-002a and the shade.
 
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Ray70

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If you're just trying to maintain your batteries it's best to get a low amp maintainer ( 1.5 - 2 amp) with an automatic desulfation mode. I got some (12V units) from Northern tool on sale for $29 each. They say you can maintain up to 4 (12v) batteries off each one, but I only connect 2 at a time max.
Also, a 24V charger is not your only option, even if you leave the batteries connected together. If you find a 24V charger is overly expensive you can also use a 2 channel 12V charger, a pair of single channel 12V chargers or even a single 12V charger in a pinch ( although not the best method) and wire it in parallel to each battery. A single 24V unit might be a little easier to work with, but if you already have 12V chargers you can also make them work without disconnecting the batteries, especially in an emergency situation.
 

Ray70

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Yup, same charger I got from Northern Tool. Reg. $49 got 6 on sale for $29 Ea. they work fantastic! You really don't need to disconnect the dogbone, it will still act like 2 12V batteries even with the dogbone in place. However disconnecting it will prevent any discharging due to leaky Caps in the machine, but not necessary for charging purposes.
 

Ratch

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That's strange. A 12V panel made for battery charging should put out 18-20 volts open circuit. I have a 20" square panel on the roof of my Dodge van, with a charge regulator between it and the battery, and it'll charge 3 amps in full sun.
I don't know... I had bought two panels for two generators, and had an intern go through them. Both had the same behavior. I bought the same ones for home, but have not taken them out of the box yet. I'll find out soon I guess.
 
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