Battery Overcharging: Yanmar Tractors  -- Other Tractor Brands Discussion Forum and Review Battery Overcharging: Yanmar Tractors -- Other Tractor Brands Discussion Forum

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 12-05-2008, 09:30 Post: 158386
auerbach



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 Battery Overcharging

For a vehicle in dead storage over the winter: would a 1-amp charger eventually overdo it? If so, would, say, 2 wks on, 2 wks off be about right? (Don't have one of the new "smart" chargers.)






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 12-05-2008, 12:14 Post: 158390
Murf

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 Battery Overcharging

It would depend on several things.

First and foremost the output rate (in volts) of the charger, next the state of the battery itself.

All we've ever done is put a regular battery charger on a cheap lamp timer. We set the timer to come on for the minimum duration, usually about 1 hour every 24 hour cycle and have it cycle about 4am - 5am that way the battery is getting charged at the coldest point of the day.

I know several people who bought those fancy automatic chargers and left them on full-time all winter long. Almost every single time the battery was deader than you-know-what come spring, and in several cases the dead battery had then fried the pricey charger to boot!!

Chargers work purely off the principal that voltage goes from high to low. If the battery has the same voltage as the charger, no charge, if the battery drops, the charge comes up to try to equalize things.

In my own case I have a wood rack onto which all the batteries from stored machines go for the winter. There is a single charger and a load tester that live on a shelf just above that rack, and every week or so each battery is tested and if necessary, charged for a little while. Some of the batteries are 10+ years old.

It works for me.


Best of luck.






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 12-05-2008, 12:43 Post: 158393
AnnBrush



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 Battery Overcharging

Quote:
Originally Posted by Murf | view 158390
Chargers work purely off the principal that voltage goes from high to low. If the battery has the same voltage as the charger, no charge, if the battery drops, the charge comes up to try to equalize things



Present charging circuitry for most if not all "smart" battery chargers is considerably more complex than this. They include algorithms that control current flow and voltage applied based on the battery type, rate of internal discharge, charge resistance, differential charge resistance, temperature of the environment and a slew of other factors. If you don't believe me open up your smart charger and take a look at the circuitry - there is much more than a rectifier and a relay in there. Simple chargers from yesteryear wreck modern batteries built to deliver greater performance at more exacting standards. These batteries require more sophisticated charging technology.

While simple cheap chargers have circuitry that tends to looks more like the suggested situation a decent smart charger with appropriate features for this type of operation (battery charge maintenance) should not damage an otherwise working battery.

My smart charger has often indicated battery problems are imminent long before the battery fails.

In short use the right tool for the job - Murf's set-up works for him - that's great, I would feel 100% confident using my smart charger to do the same thing. If yours has a battery charge maintenance function and you read the manual on how to use it you should be just fine, your battery may thank you for it.






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 12-05-2008, 12:55 Post: 158394
earthwrks

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 Battery Overcharging

Another critical thing is the type of vehicle; does it have a need to keep certain electronics alive i.e., it is always in a state of discharge.

Murf I'm confuthesed.
I'm no battery expert but if I take your statement at face-value about voltage equalling out to a no-charge condition, doesn't it follow that batteries like your buddies who keep the charger on would not be damaged (implying it's due to overcharging)? Perhaps the batteries are bad to begin with.

And if I take my logic one step further, a vehicle that is continually charging or let's say maintaining charge, its battery is doomed to having a bad battery?






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 12-05-2008, 13:33 Post: 158396
Murf

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 Battery Overcharging

Quote:
Originally Posted by auerbach | view 158386
Don't have one of the new "smart" chargers.



I wasn't referring to 'smart chargers' because Auerbach specifically stated he didn't have one, but was instead talking about those little 'power supply' style 1 amp trickle chargers with a regulated ~12.5 volt output.

Jeff, don't forget that in a vehicle, be it a car, truck or tractor there is not just a constant charge, but a constant (and varying) load on the battery. The location of the battery near a warm engine and/or radiator, and the fact that it is in a moving vehicle (keeping the liquid from separating) all contribute to a much healthier location for the battery than sitting frozen (at least in our case) for several months while in a dormant state.

Years before the advent of 'smart chargers' a neighbour who was an electronics repairman by trade made his own crude version. A series of relays and a timer module that alternated light loads (an 1157 light bulb that alternated high & low circuits) and charge cycles from a small charger. I have no clue if it really worked or not, be was convinced it kept his unused batteries alive a lot longer than without this arrangement.

Best of luck.






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 12-05-2008, 15:54 Post: 158403
earthwrks

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 Battery Overcharging

Does any of this revolve around---and the term escapes me--when a battery "collects" or whatever, something on the plates (sulfidication? scale? dunno) that degrades or prevents a battery from charging. My smart charger has a mode that supposedly reverses this whatever "this" is.






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 12-05-2008, 16:17 Post: 158405
Murf

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 Battery Overcharging

Jeff, I think the term you are thinking of is 'sulfate precipitation', and yes, when a battery is left discharged for a long period of time the sulfates can form crystals and greatly reduce the performance of a lead-acid battery. In severe cases it can short plates together causing a total failure.

Temperature is another issue, the liquid in a discharged battery will freeze and buckle the plates or break the case.

Best of luck.






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 12-06-2008, 08:52 Post: 158426
cutter



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 Battery Overcharging

I've had two different "smart" chargers on my boats and the better ones completely shut down when the bank is fully charged. Some even have a fourth stage that "condition" the batteries every so often by applying an overcharge to clean the plates.

The biggest problem I have seen, at least in the marine world, is that people don't maintain the electrolyte levels.

Prior to installing my first automatic system, I used a trickle charger, but that was a pain switching between banks every time they required a charge. Other than doing something similar to what Murf does, the newer smart chargers are the way to go for long-term maintenance IMHO.








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