Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Iota charger

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Iota charger

    Hi everybody,

    I'm considering the purchase of a charger for my system as I don't want to drain my batteries too too much during multiple cloudy days. So, I looked at two Iota models (dls-45 and dls-55). Their website's description somehow got me confused about the IQ4 feature. I'm hoping for some clarifications here.

    So, my intended use is to give a good charge my bank (12V 464Ah) when the sun is somewhere else in the world or when I drained a lot of power during the day with power tools. On their website, Iota mentioned that even without IQ4, the charger will drop current when the battery nears full soc and move to a float charge. What is the point then to have IQ4? Anybody has experience with this feature?

    Also, I was thinking of an Iota charger because I know they are usually appreciated by their owners but I have to mention I find a bit bugging that it won't allow an EQ before seven days of floating. Mine will never be switched on for more than 5-6 or say 8 hours so the Iota's EQ function will just be useless for me. Does anybody knows of a similar reliable charger (120VAC input, 12V 40-55A range) that would have the same features but that would allow EQ as soon as the charger hits floating stage?

    Thank you all

  • #2
    Originally posted by SDC View Post
    that would have the same features but that would allow EQ as soon as the charger hits floating stage?
    That is backasswards, no chargers go to EQ after Float, its the other way around where after EQ it switched to Float.

    Anyway there are two methods to EQ with the Iota. If you do not opt from for the IQ option, you just plug in the 2-Step into the jack and it raises the voltage from float to about any voltage you want to EQ at. If you get the IQ4 option it will automatically go into EQ is the battery is not used in 7 days, or manually switch it in via software.

    Some other manufactures to consider are:

    Samlex
    Quick Charge
    Power Charge
    MSEE, PE

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Sunking View Post
      Anyway there are two methods to EQ with the Iota. If you do not opt from for the IQ option, you just plug in the 2-Step into the jack and it raises the voltage from float to about any voltage you want to EQ at.
      [/URL]
      Hi Dereck.

      I ordered the IOTA Engineering (DLS5413) 13 Amp 54V DC Battery Charger for occasional cloudy days charge and periodically EQ. I did not get it yet. how do I increase the voltage? do I have to open the unit to adjust some kind screw or jumper? Also what voltage I should set to EQ the 48 volt Rolls S-530 bank?

      Thank you.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Sunking View Post
        If you get the IQ4 option it will automatically go into EQ is the battery is not used in 7 days, or manually switch it in via software.
        Yes, but... the Iota "equalization" is NOT what we usually call equalization. It is just another bulk-absorb cycle at the bulk-absorb voltage. Iota claims that this "equalization" will stir up the electrolyte which becomes stratified while on constant float.

        Originally posted by paulcheung
        how do I increase the voltage? do I have to open the unit to adjust some kind screw or jumper?
        You must adjust a 10-turn potentiometer.

        Originally posted by SCD
        I'm considering the purchase of a charger for my system
        <snip>
        Also, I was thinking of an Iota charger
        The Iota is a cheap rugged charger. Where will you get the AC power for the Iota?

        I ask because the Iota has a huge inrush current and a low power factor which may be a problem for some generators. No problems running the Iota from the grid, however.

        --mapmaker
        ob 3524, FM60, ePanel, 4 L16, 4 x 235 watt panels

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by paulcheung View Post
          .....Also what voltage I should set to EQ the 48 volt Rolls S-530 bank?.....
          What is the AH capacity of your bank? A 13a chargeer will barely be able to EQ a 130ah battery.
          Powerfab top of pole PV mount (2) | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
          || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
          || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

          solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
          gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by mapmaker View Post
            Yes, but... the Iota "equalization" is NOT what we usually call equalization. It is just another bulk-absorb cycle at the bulk-absorb voltage. Iota claims that this "equalization" will stir up the electrolyte which becomes stratified while on constant float.



            You must adjust a 10-turn potentiometer.



            The Iota is a cheap rugged charger. Where will you get the AC power for the Iota?

            I ask because the Iota has a huge inrush current and a low power factor which may be a problem for some generators. No problems running the Iota from the grid, however.

            --mapmaker
            A lot of RV's use an Iota charger for the coach batteries and are suppose to work when the generator is running and there is no grid power.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by SunEagle View Post
              A lot of RV's use an Iota charger for the coach batteries and are suppose to work when the generator is running and there is no grid power.
              But I assume that the Iota charger is relatively small compared to the output capacity of the RV generator.
              SunnyBoy 3000 US, 18 BP Solar 175B panels.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by inetdog View Post
                But I assume that the Iota charger is relatively small compared to the output capacity of the RV generator.
                Most chargers are around 50amps (232Ah battery) and the generators are around 5500 watt for an RV that has a 50 amp grid connection cable. So I would say the charger is not small compared to the gen set.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by SunEagle View Post
                  Most chargers are around 50amps (232Ah battery) and the generators are around 5500 watt for an RV that has a 50 amp grid connection cable. So I would say the charger is not small compared to the gen set.
                  A charger that pushes 50 amps into a 12 volt battery (at up to 15.5 volts) is 775 watts into the battery. Even if the charger is not very efficient and has a poor power factor, it would be a small load on a 5500 watt generator.

                  Some of the larger Iotas that charge at less than 1000 watts have been too much load for a number of "2000 watt" generators, including the Honda eu2000.

                  --mapmaker
                  ob 3524, FM60, ePanel, 4 L16, 4 x 235 watt panels

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Mike90250 View Post
                    What is the AH capacity of your bank? A 13a chargeer will barely be able to EQ a 130ah battery.
                    The banks are 350 amps and 400 amps, they can be charged separately, When I charge the batteries with the Magnum charger, the end absorb amps get to 8 to 13 amps, I want to use the smaller charger to continue to charge over night with ~10 amps. Below is copy from Rolls battery manual.

                    METHOD
                    Corrective equalization can take a very long time depending on the degree
                    of sulfation.
                    1. If you have a recombination cap, remove during equalization.
                    2. Set the charging controls to the recommended equalization settings according
                    to voltage.
                    3. Charge at a low DC current (5 A per 100 AH of battery capacity). If grid power is not
                    available, use solar panels or a good DC source when possible. At high voltages,
                    charging with generator can be difficult and hard on the inverter.
                    4. Once every hour, measure and record the specific gravity and temperature of a test
                    cell. If the temperature rises above 46ºC and approaches 52ºC, remove the batteries
                    from charge.
                    5. If severely sulfated, it may take many hours for the specific gravity to rise.
                    6. Once the specific gravity begins to rise, the bank voltage will most likely drop, or
                    the charging current will increase. The charging current may need to be lowered if
                    temperature approaches 46ºC. If the charge controller was bypassed, it should now
                    be used or put back in line.
                    7. Continue measuring the specific gravity until 1.265 is reached.
                    8. Charge the batteries for another 2 to 3 hours. Add water to maintain the electrolyte
                    above the plates.
                    9. Allow bank to cool and check and record the specific gravity of each cell.
                    The gravities should be 1.265 ± 0.005 or lower. Check the cell electrolyte levels and
                    add water if necessary.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I use the IOTA DLS-30 with built in IQ4 with my EU2000i, I run it on eco mode and it runs at lowest setting RPM when the charger is on Bulk. When charger goes to float you can hear a slight decrease in RPMs but not much.

                      From the technical spec sheet that came with my IOTA is that mine has 30 AMP output (400Watts) and max input is 7.3 AMPS. The DLS 45 and 55 Max AC current is 11 and 13.4 amps so twice what mine uses.

                      I have only used it in my system for a weekend so I do not have any hard data to say if it is better than something else, but I liked the clean power it gave when running. If I didn't need the EU2000i to run power tools, I think the EU1000I would be more than adequate for charging.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        OP remember there are other manufactures out there. Iota makes a great FLOAT charger, but that is really just one Mode, and essentially the Iota device is a single mode Float Charger, and as an after thought came up with a couple of ways to give customers a way to adjust voltage.

                        Having said that for Off-Grid Folks or anyone who cycles batteries all you need is a Single mode to do PM, fast charging on cloudy days, and periodic EQ. All you gotta do is open it and set the voltage to what ever value you want from anywhere in from Float to EQ voltage output. Just make sure the model you use is at least a C/10 and try not to go over C/8, higher than C/7 and you are asking for trouble with a FLA product. Point is when you are running a genny, you want to make the run time as short as possible and the only way to do that is to charge with as much current as you can within limits. C/10 is an expensive charger, C/8 is an real expensive charger. Basically Iota is just a adjustable 12, 24, 48 volt power supply. I know wham operators who use their 12 volt charger as a power supply. I use a DC power supply to keep my radio batteries charged in a Float config.

                        For you others I would not recommend an Iota. You would want to look at a 4-Stage Smart Charger. For that luxury you get to cough up some bucks once you start getting above 10 amps.
                        MSEE, PE

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by mapmaker View Post
                          A charger that pushes 50 amps into a 12 volt battery (at up to 15.5 volts) is 775 watts into the battery. Even if the charger is not very efficient and has a poor power factor, it would be a small load on a 5500 watt generator.

                          Some of the larger Iotas that charge at less than 1000 watts have been too much load for a number of "2000 watt" generators, including the Honda eu2000.

                          --mapmaker
                          You are correct. For some reason I just used the generator output amps (~48) and compared it to the charger amps (50). I should have calculated the charger wattage. Dumb mistake on my part.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Sunking View Post
                            That is backasswards, no chargers go to EQ after Float, its the other way around where after EQ it switched to Float.

                            Anyway there are two methods to EQ with the Iota. If you do not opt from for the IQ option, you just plug in the 2-Step into the jack and it raises the voltage from float to about any voltage you want to EQ at. If you get the IQ4 option it will automatically go into EQ is the battery is not used in 7 days, or manually switch it in via software.

                            Some other manufactures to consider are:

                            Samlex
                            Quick Charge
                            Power Charge
                            Correct me if I'm wrong Sunking you are talking about what Iota names a dual voltage jack. Right? According to their documentation, that allows the user to select output voltage of 13,6V or 14,2V. As other mentioned, 14,2 is nowhere near EQ voltage for FLA.

                            Anyways, I've looked at the models you've suggested and as you said, although they look really nice, they are pretty darn expansive (especially the Samlex). With the exception of the Power Max which is actually cheaper than the Iota. Would you suggest going with Power Max instead and if yes, why? (I'm concerned about reliability)

                            Also, I'm hesitating between the 45A and 55A models (Samlex solved that questions pretty good by making a 50A model but I just don't want to spend the extra money and be obligated to sell the cabin! ) So, 45A brings me to C/10,3 which as acceptable and the 55A model brings me to C/8,4 which is close to the limit... I'm scratching my head now! As you said, I want to run my generator for the shortest possible period of time so I tend to go with the 55 but at the same time, I don't want to mess the batteries... Your opinion on this?

                            So, if I get it correctly, the IQ4 turns the charger into a real 3 stage charger. Without IQ4, it is just a kind of manual charger (13,6V or 14,2V, selectable) that has some kind of a float function in order to avoid to toast the batteries in case you leave the charger on without attending. Right? So, as far as I will be there when the generator runs (and monitoring the batteries), I don't really need IQ4. Right?

                            Finally, for those of you who are concerned about the generator loading issue, I have a Honda EU3000is. It has a maximum continuous output of 2800 watts @ 120V (23,3 amps). Iota claims that its 55 amps charger will draw a maximum of 13,4A @ 108V so I honestly really don't see how that could become a concern... That being said, it is a good reason why I'm considering the Power Max model (55A also) as it's manufacturer claims a maximum draw of 7 A (780W) @ 108V. Although the EU3000 can power both chargers, I don't see why I should burn more gas to deliver the same charging output (not mentioning the fact that usually, when the generator runs, I kind of take advantage of it and run as much power tools and other heavy consumers as I can, so having a less hungry charger would leave me extra watts to power other stuff.)

                            That's about it...for now! Thank you everybody for the answers btw.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Sunking View Post
                              Point is when you are running a genny, you want to make the run time as short as possible and the only way to do that is to charge with as much current as you can within limits.
                              For me the point is to make the fuel cost as little as possible. I usually advise folks to get a smaller generator, and have a [B]longer[/B] run time to charge the batteries.

                              The reason is that most generators are more efficient when they are fully loaded, and a smaller generator is easier to keep fully loaded than a large generator. The smaller generator will have to run longer to charge the batteries, but it may use less fuel to deliver the kwh needed to charge the battery.

                              If there are large AC loads using most of the capacity of the generator, most full featured inverter/chargers will cut back the charging current so as not to overload the generator.

                              --mapmaker
                              ob 3524, FM60, ePanel, 4 L16, 4 x 235 watt panels

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X