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Electrics, Electronics & Hardware

Shore power trickle charger

by shibbs » 30 May 2018, 21:20

I have 2 batteries fitted, both connected to a switch giving the option of 1, 2 or both.
I normally run on both, for the sole reason that this means that both will get charged by the alternator when running.
These batteries very rarely get charged other than from the alternator.
My question is, is it possible to fit a trickle charger that is connected to the shore supply so when in marinas and connected up it will charge both batteries or can only one be charged at a time?
It would be ideal to be able to connect to shore supply and know that both are getting a good quality slow recondition charge.
I know nothing when it comes to electrickery! :?
Stu

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by ChrisH » 30 May 2018, 21:35

Could get a portable solar panel and use that too Stu..dont know anything a out mains trickle chargers though.

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by mlines » 31 May 2018, 09:24

We use a C-Tek charger, an intelligent charger that is rated highly on various Internet forums. Connects to one battery and then waits for the VSR (Voltage Switching Relay) to connect the batteries in parallel.

Being intelligent it carries out the function it senses is required (Rapid Charge, Float Charge, Pulse charge, Restore)

Here you can see it trickle charging the house and when the VSR cuts across giving the engine battery (which is then in parallel) a pulse

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by Ianfs » 01 Jun 2018, 10:49

The only thing I know for certain about batteries is that a starter battery should maintain at least 85% of its charge (or only discharge by 15%) before it goes flat and if it goes flat too often it might destroy itself. A house battery ought to be a proper deep cycle battery which can be hellishly expensive but a good one will discharge down to 15-20% before going flat and recharge thousands of times.

There are a lot of leisure batteries on the market nowadays which seem to do both and can discharge further than a starter battery but not as far as a real deep cycle battery, but I don't know much about these.


I like the sound of Chris's idea of having a solar panel to condition the batteries whilst at anchor and then Martins suggestion to get the intellicharger for top ups at the marina.
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by betty boop » 01 Jun 2018, 17:00

i use a c tek one mentioned , has saved me £100's in lost batteries I just move it from one battery to the other every week, one on croc clips the other is hard wired as it comes with a little plug to change over easily. was about £40 from Tanya batteries - up until then i was losing a battery a year . did think of trying to do something trickery but was to confusing :lol:
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by shibbs » 01 Jun 2018, 18:24

Which C tek battery is recommended for the 2 batteries? I looked on their website but to be honest, it confused the life out of me as I don’t understand it all! :lol:
The idea of a solar panel is good, I may look into it but I’d really like a trickle charger to condition them on the odd occasion when we are berthed over night. I have no power on my berth so other than bringing them home every now and again they only get charged when running.
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by ChrisH » 01 Jun 2018, 21:34

shibbs wrote:Which C tek battery is recommended for the 2 batteries? I looked on their website but to be honest, it confused the life out of me as I don’t understand it all!
The idea of a solar panel is good, I may look into it but I’d really like a trickle charger to condition them on the odd occasion when we are berthed over night. I have no power on my berth so other than bringing them home every now and again they only get charged when running.
Stu on your boat you can't be using much power can you. Once you've started that's about it . If you are at anchor and have the stereo running it should not draw very much per hour either.

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by shibbs » 02 Jun 2018, 14:12

To be honest Chris it’s more about keeping the batteries conditioned as they generally go down and stay down there on the boat without charge ( unless on the very rare occasion I can be bothered to bring them home) for the whole season.
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by ChrisH » 02 Jun 2018, 15:25

shibbs wrote:To be honest Chris it’s more about keeping the batteries conditioned as they generally go down and stay down there on the boat without charge ( unless on the very rare occasion I can be bothered to bring them home) for the whole season.
Fair point Stu.
Hope your ha ing some amazing boating in this lovely weather.

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by mlines » 02 Jun 2018, 19:54

We have owned boats since 2009 and they are left outside for the winter. We use a C-Tek charger and have never had to replace a battery.

There is no specific charger for dual batteries, the rating of the C-Tek reflects how quickly it can charge. So if it is left on the batteries all the time then a low rating can be used. If you only want to pop it on a battery which has a low charge and you want to to it up fast then use a higher capacity charger

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