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Author Topic: Iota battery charger opinions?  (Read 316 times)

Dooger54

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Iota battery charger opinions?
« on: June 07, 2018, 02:32:18 PM »
I am considering the purchase of the Iota DLS-55amp charger for my RV batteries.  It was also recommended to me to add the IQ-Turbo smart charge controller.  This Turbo unit is supposed to reduce the time is takes to charge a battery.  The current way I charge is by connecting the generator directly to my 30amp trailer connection and using the "on-board" converter/charger.  I have upgraded to the Boondocker Series 55amp charger sold by bestconverters.com.

I am interested in this unit so I can charge my battery bank (two 6v Trojans) using my 3100 watt Champion generator.  I normally don't like to run my generator more than 2-3 hours per day, so I am looking to optimize that time by using this Iota charger.

Does anyone have experience with this unit??  I fully understand that it is difficult to estimate charging times, but I wonder if this unit with the Turbo controller will cut times by 10%, 20%, 50% ???  If it's only 5-10% then it's not worth the $160 investment.

Thanks!
Doug & Jenell
Central IL (summer)
Tucson AZ ( winter)
2017 Coachmen Freedom Express 254DSX
2016 F150 Ecoboost Lariat Supercrew

Dooger54

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Re: Iota battery charger opinions?
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2018, 02:43:50 PM »
Addendum- just called Iota tech support.  Was told testing has shown that using the Turbo controller can cut charging times down by up to 50%.
Doug & Jenell
Central IL (summer)
Tucson AZ ( winter)
2017 Coachmen Freedom Express 254DSX
2016 F150 Ecoboost Lariat Supercrew

chuckbear

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Re: Iota battery charger opinions?
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2018, 08:44:42 AM »
I have been a marine service tech for over 30 years. I have used nothing but Iota chargers in my boats and now my RV. It is the only one I would consider. I have never had a failure and the boat charger has been in and constantly running for 7 years.  The Iota is a charger/converter so will operate the 12-volt system even if no batteries are attached. Chuck
Chuck and Susan
1999 Fleetwood Bounder 34J

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Iota battery charger opinions?
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2018, 09:45:53 AM »
The Iota with IQ is an excellent charger - I've used them myself. So is the Progressive Dynamics 9200 series, or the 9100 series with Charge Wizard, and the Boondocker 1255 that you already own.   They are all multi-stage "smart" chargers, capable of optimizing the charge rate for max performance and battery life.

As for the 50% faster claim, I would have to ask "faster than what?".  It may well be faster than  the DLS 55 without any IQ module, but the IQ Turbo isn't going to be much faster than the regular IQ module, which also make the DLS-55 into a multi-stage charger.  It can't be much faster without shortening battery life. Lead-acid batteries have certain limitations imposed by the leadacid chemistry and the laws of physics, and only so much can be done with smarter tech.

In my opinion changing your Boondocker 1255 to the Iota w/Turbo is a waste of money. I would be very surprised in you saw any improvement at all. If any, it can't be more than a few percent difference.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2018, 09:47:28 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
Gary
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Dooger54

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Re: Iota battery charger opinions?
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2018, 06:36:32 PM »

In my opinion changing your Boondocker 1255 to the Iota w/Turbo is a waste of money. I would be very surprised in you saw any improvement at all. If any, it can't be more than a few percent difference.

I wasnít planning on replacing my Boondocker, I would use the Iota to charge my batteries using my external generator.  Problem I am having is the Boondocker doesnít seem to be putting out enough voltage to charge it completely.  Iíve worked with Trimetric to try and figure out what is going on, they feel the charger is not capable of putting out enough voltage.

See my post about the ongoing problem here-

http://www.rvforum.net/SMF_forum/index.php/topic,114307.0.html

Here is the last email from the tech person at Bogart Engineering -

Doug,

It appears that your charger is not capable of delivering high enough current to quickly charge the batteries. Check the specifications to see how much current (max) they can deliver.

You may lower P1 or increase P2 as a short term measure. Long term undercharging of the batteries will greatly reduce their cycle life & useful capacity.

- Kedar

Doug & Jenell
Central IL (summer)
Tucson AZ ( winter)
2017 Coachmen Freedom Express 254DSX
2016 F150 Ecoboost Lariat Supercrew

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Iota battery charger opinions?
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2018, 10:34:49 PM »
You understand multi-stage charging, right?  Bulk, Absorption and Float?  And the voltages used with lead acid, flooded cell batteries?  Trojan recommends 14.8v for bulk charge of a T105 6v. See this document for full Trojan specs:

http://www.trojanbattery.com/pdf/datasheets/T105_Trojan_Data_Sheets.pdf

The Boondocker is a little lower than what Trojan recommends, a max of 14.6v in bulk mode (from what I see  in the product description).  I'm not sure that translates into much more time, though, cause the bulk stage doesn't last all that long anyway before the absorption and float stages.  2-3 hours of genset time probably isn't going to bring any battery to 100% charge, regardless of the charger brand.  The battery will only accept so much current once it reaches around 80% SOC, so the time gets lengthy beyond that point.
Gary
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Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

John From Detroit

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Re: Iota battery charger opinions?
« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2018, 06:42:49 AM »
When I got my Rig (2005) I noticed that it came with a Progressive Dymamics 9180 with Charge Wizard.. In researching I've yet to find a better converter.. than the PD Wizard controlled units..

The IOTA with IQ-4 however is ... Just as good as the 9200 without Dongle. and the Dongle is of limited use for some people  (I used it last year frequently but in 13 years.. that was the only time I needed it) the dongle lets you force modes manually.

I would recommend the IQ-4 unit be added to your IOTA But otherwise good choice.
Nothing adds excitement like something that is none of your business
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Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Iota battery charger opinions?
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2018, 07:43:40 AM »
From the Trojan Battery User Guide. [C/20 is the Amp-Hours @ the 20-hour rate, which is 225 for the 6v T105]
Quote
Trojan recommends a 3-phase I-V-I profile for charging its flooded batteries

o  Phase 1: Constant current bulk charge
A constant current equal to 10-13% of C/20 is applied as the voltage slowly increases. 
The bulk phase ends when the voltage rises to the absorption voltage.
o  Phase 2: Constant voltage absorption charge
A constant voltage equal to 2.35-2.45 V/cell is applied as the current slowly declines. 
The absorption phase ends when the current falls to the finish current.
o  Phase 3: Constant current finish charge

A constant current equal to 1-3% of C/20 is applied as the voltage increases.The finish phase ends when the battery is fully charged.
http://www.trojanbattery.com/pdf/TrojanBattery_UsersGuide.pdf

Note that the voltage in Bulk charge floats, slowly increasing as the charge builds  up, so the charger voltage is not critical in bulk phase.  Bulk phase typically brings the battery to about 80% of capacity.   If your present charger is delivering 23-29 amps during the bulk phase, it is doing all that should be done.    Voltage becomes more critical in the Absorption phase, which is constant voltage.  Trojan likes anywhere from 14.1v to a max of 14.8v for that stage; your Boondocker appears to peak at 14.6v.   In the final Float charge phase, voltage again becomes of small importance and typically runs 13.3-13.6v, well within what the Boondocker provides.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2018, 07:48:04 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

Dooger54

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Re: Iota battery charger opinions?
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2018, 09:34:10 PM »
From the Trojan Battery User Guide. [C/20 is the Amp-Hours @ the 20-hour rate, which is 225 for the 6v T105]http://www.trojanbattery.com/pdf/TrojanBattery_UsersGuide.pdf

Note that the voltage in Bulk charge floats, slowly increasing as the charge builds  up, so the charger voltage is not critical in bulk phase.  Bulk phase typically brings the battery to about 80% of capacity.   If your present charger is delivering 23-29 amps during the bulk phase, it is doing all that should be done.    Voltage becomes more critical in the Absorption phase, which is constant voltage.  Trojan likes anywhere from 14.1v to a max of 14.8v for that stage; your Boondocker appears to peak at 14.6v.   In the final Float charge phase, voltage again becomes of small importance and typically runs 13.3-13.6v, well within what the Boondocker provides.

One of the differences is my Boondocker is in the rear of the trailer about 25 feet from the batteries.  It also looks like the cabling from the charger to the batteries is only about 6 gauge.  The Iota would be placed about 7-8 feet from the batteries. 
Doug & Jenell
Central IL (summer)
Tucson AZ ( winter)
2017 Coachmen Freedom Express 254DSX
2016 F150 Ecoboost Lariat Supercrew

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Iota battery charger opinions?
« Reply #9 on: June 12, 2018, 10:15:03 AM »
6 gauge wire will carry 50-60 amps nicely, even at 25 ft.  Besides, rarely will either the Boondocker or the Iota actually as much 50A into your batteries.  The "C" for your battery bank is 225 (the AH value), so the ideal bulk charge amps (C/5) will be 225/5 = 45 amps.   Most multi-stage chargers try to stick close to that, but if you haven't entered a C value to the charger set-up, it may be guessing what amp rate to use based on how the battery reacts to charge voltage..

What does your Trimetric say during bulk charge, i.e. when the batteries get down to around 50% SOC and you start re-charging?
« Last Edit: June 12, 2018, 10:17:11 AM by Gary RV_Wizard »
Gary
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Gary Brinck
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AStravelers

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Re: Iota battery charger opinions?
« Reply #10 on: June 12, 2018, 10:57:48 AM »
Using this calculator http://circuitwizard.bluesea.com/# specifying a 3% voltage drop for 25' (50' roundtrip required by the calculator) at 45amps and 12V  it specifies #2 wire.  The calculator doesn't have an option for 14 volts.  Additionally if I specify an 8% loss, it specifies #6 wire.

Using this calculator http://nooutage.com/vdrop.htm which has an option for 14V, using #6 wire, 25' and 45amps gives a 7.9% voltage drop. 

Note: this is not an opinion, it is from wire size calculators which should be accurate.
Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R
2009 Chevy Colorado 4X4

http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/

Gary RV_Wizard

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Re: Iota battery charger opinions?
« Reply #11 on: June 12, 2018, 06:55:09 PM »
I yield to the calculator (but I don't in my heart believe it).

With a chassis ground, the round trip distance is usually less than with straight wiring for hot & ground.  It's one of the reasons that vehicle use it. Even though the chassis is steel, it is essentially a many-0 gauge wire, so effectively zero resistance.
Gary
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Gary Brinck
Summers: Black Mountain, NC
Home: Ocala National Forest, FL

AStravelers

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Re: Iota battery charger opinions?
« Reply #12 on: June 13, 2018, 05:35:37 PM »
I yield to the calculator (but I don't in my heart believe it).

With a chassis ground, the round trip distance is usually less than with straight wiring for hot & ground.  It's one of the reasons that vehicle use it. Even though the chassis is steel, it is essentially a many-0 gauge wire, so effectively zero resistance.
Good point. 

Just make very sure you have a very good connection between the terminal connector on the wires and no corrosion occurs in the bare steel and the connection. 
Al & Sharon
2006 Winnebago Sightseer 29R
2009 Chevy Colorado 4X4

http://downtheroadaroundthebend.blogspot.com/

 

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