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Tractor Talk Discussion Board

Re: LJD and others, Deep Cycle Battery Use

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Posted by LJD on October 07, 2012 at 15:15:06 from (

In Reply to: LJD and others, Deep Cycle Battery Use posted by John T on October 07, 2012 at 09:00:08:

First - about the AC to DC converter itself. Yeah . . many if not most are loud, buzz and I hate them. I recently yanked out my 30 amp charger/converter and installed an Iota 45 amp unit. It is ABSOLUTELY silent. A huge difference.
The DLS Iota is suited for up to 45 amps - running the DC power in the RV and/or charging the "house" RV batteries. I've got three RVs and all had built-in converters that buzzed something awful. Now I use the Iota. You could stick your ear to it and not hear anything.
There are also smaller and larger Iota models. You should buy the size that matches your battery bank size.

About the deep cycle batteries, life and charging? And automotive alternator cannot charge them properly. But it keeps the up well enough for those times when you are driving. But the peak voltage and charge rate is set wrong in an auto alternator. Whenever parked - you should have a charger hooked to them that is designed to charge them properly. I assume the Trace must be correct for it. A three stage charger is fine except it cannot give an "equalize" mode.

About the "Equalize" mode. Most companies used to it should be done at least once every 6 months. It over-volts the batteries and churns up the electrolyte and suspended minerals so it's more "equally" mixed and thusly enhances battery life. At least in theory. Some battery charger companies now are reluctant to mention it because the pricey AGM (absorbed glass mat) batteries are easily ruined by the "Equalize" process. Trojan now says to measure the electrolyte gravity after the battery is fully charged. If below a certain threshold - the battery must be "equalized." Info at the end of this post.

To equalize, a charger has to be big enough to bring a battery up to 15-16 volts. Not too difficult with one or two batteries - but when you've got 6,8, or 10 of them it takes a huge charger. My Trace charger/inverter can charge at 120 amps.

Equalizing (flooded/wet batteries ONLY) - this info from the Trojan battery company.

Equalizing is an overcharge performed on flooded/wet batteries after they have
been fully charged. Trojan recommends equalizing only when batteries have low
specific gravity, below 1.250 or wide ranging specific gravity, 0.030, after fully
charging a battery. Gel or AGM batteries should never be equalized.
• Confirm that the batteries are flooded/wet
• Check electrolyte level to make sure plates are covered with water before
• Check that all vent caps are secured properly on the battery before charging
• Set charger to equalizing mode
• The batteries will gas (bubble) during the equalization process
• Measure the specific gravity every hour. Discontinue the equalization charge
when the gravity no longer rises
WARNING: Do not equalize gel or AGM batteries.

This info about automotive voltage regulators and why they cannot charge deep cycle batteries properly.

Car voltage regulators will not work well in deep cycle
applications. The regulator makes its decisions based
only on the system’s voltage. This is fine with the
average car battery which is cycled to less than 1% of
its capacity before being refilled. However, the deep
cycle battery is almost empty when it is recharged. The
car voltage regulator attempts to instantly bring the
system’s voltage to 14–15 Volts. A 12 Volt deep cycle
lead-acid battery will not reach a voltage of 14 Volts
until it is almost filled. The net result is that the car
regulator dumps the entire output of the alternator into
the batteries until they are full. This is almost always
too much energy too fast for a fully discharged battery.
To compound the problem, the car regulator’s voltage
limit is set too low for deep cycle service. This low
voltage limit means that the batteries are charged too
slowly when they are almost full, resulting in many
extra hours of generator operation to totally fill the
battery pack. Since the car regulator is set at about 14
Volts, we are unable to raise the system voltage up to
over 16 Volts for the essential equalizing charges.

Go here to read about the Iota DLS power-supply/battery chargers. Available in 15, 30, 45, 55, 75 and 90 amp.

I've got the DLS 45 and love it. It runs house DC power, gives three-stage normal charging and and "equalize-over-ride" mode.


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