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charging batterys

Hi, I would like know if using my engine would beter, than using a generator. I have x 6 2v 480amp @c5 traction batterys with a 60amp sterling ultra pro charger. I run the generator for 11 hours which does not charge to float, but the amps reduce to 3.8 and I feel thats long enough for a generator to be on for.
Would it be beter to use the engine which has a 240amp alternator, with a alternator to battery charger regular(I havnt put that on yet). Also maybe put on a large inverter so the sterling charger can run at the same time. This way I would get hot water free, but clock up more hours on the engine. I wondered if it would be quicker to charge them this way.
many thanks anthony

Asked by: anthony spanswick  | 6.16pm, Friday 6 February


WW says:

Since your alternator can supply a greater charge current than the charger, it will certainly be quicker to charge the batteries by running the engine. It used to be the case that running the engine merely to charge batteries accelerated wear, but modern high output alternators load the engine sufficiently not to cause these problems and you will get hot water as well.
It would not give any benefit to run an inverter to drive the charger whilst running the engine, the alternator will only produce so much energy and the inverter would most likely draw power from the battery to....... charge the battery, which is a pointless waste of energy.
The problem with running your engine or a generator for a relatively short period, is that the batteries never end up on float charge. This will shorten their life, but can be rectified either by connecting the charger to a land line, or by cruising for a couple of decent days.
You do seem to have a decent set of batteries and it does pay to look after them.

Rupert Smedley  | 8.01PM, Friday 6 February


Readers say:

Thankyou for your advise, I will have to connect the alternator to battery charger and give that ago.
many thanks anthony

anthony spanswick  | 1.35PM, Saturday 7 February

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