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Old 05-06-2016, 10:10 PM   #11
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Your idea of using the Lead Calcium settings on the Xantrex charger is an interesting one. One thing I did not find in the manual was how long the 15.5 volt charge was held before float. Usually it is 2 hours, I would want to check that out. Also I would set the Charge Mode to two, with your high charge rates there is no need to bother with equalization. Skipping that will eliminate any concerns about those rates.

Just for your information, the prior batteries from Interstate, that were replaced by the GC2, I believe they were the U series, did have a charge rate of 15.5volts. According to Interstate there was a chemistry change and the rate was lowered.

I would take Bob's advice and call Interstate. You can try Xantrex but I do not believe they have the stellar customer support that Interstate does. You might ask Xantrex about the custom feature of setting charging voltage setpoints.

A final point is, there will some off gassing. I would confirm that the vent from battery box to outside has an uphill slope, the vent opening inside the battery box is not blocked by the battery and that the seal (s) around the power cord are in place and the cover is secure. You may still have some smell.
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Old 05-06-2016, 11:46 PM   #12
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Thanks for the info but please bear with me.

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Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post
One thing I did not find in the manual was how long the 15.5 volt charge was held before float. Usually it is 2 hours, I would want to check that out.
It appears from the Xantrex manual pg. 29 where the charging process is graphed that absorption is intially a constant current (CC) and then shifts to constant voltage (CV). The constant voltage has a max of 5 hrs before timeout. The overall duration of CC and CV combined is max of 8 hrs before timeout.

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Also I would set the Charge Mode to two, with your high charge rates there is no need to bother with equalization. Skipping that will eliminate any concerns about those rates.
By two, I assume you mean two-stage charging. The only issue I see is that configuration will actually only eliminate the float stage. Absorption phase remains the same explained above whether set up as two-stage or three-stage charging. Equalization (@ 16V) is manually initiated.

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Originally Posted by fudge_brownie View Post
Just for your information, the prior batteries from Interstate, that were replaced by the GC2, I believe they were the U series, did have a charge rate of 15.5volts. According to Interstate there was a chemistry change and the rate was lowered.
The current literature I found for the GC2 states 15.3V for absorption.

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A final point is, there will some off gassing. I would confirm that the vent from battery box to outside has an uphill slope, the vent opening inside the battery box is not blocked by the battery and that the seal (s) around the power cord are in place and the cover is secure. You may still have some smell.
I assume this is a non-issue if the batteries are outside on the front tongue.


Just for context, this is being driven by the need to recharge every few days via generator (no solar yet) and wanting to maximize battery recharge in minimal time. My biggest concern with this swap is that the voltage supplied is also serving the DC loads. The 15.5V voltage could be too high during the absorption phase for the furnace. The Atwood 8012 manual states a maximum voltage of 13.6 with a note that high voltage can cause unbalanced combustion and excessive motor wear. Granted many converters out there would be higher than 13.6V (including the stock WFCO in 14.4V bulk mode), but when is it just too much? I guess this can all get a little crazy. I could always drop back to the Xantrex "flooded" battery setting with 14.4V absorption and make sure to not run the furnace when equalizing which is manually initiated. I'd still gain a quality unit and faster charging rate, even if not an "optimal" charging profile for the GC2's.
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Old 05-07-2016, 10:28 PM   #13
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It is still unclear to me after looking at the chart when does the charger step to the next level. It appears (without confirmation) that when the absorption stage reaches 15.5 it does not hold it but rather drops to the float voltage of 13.5 when using the lead calcium battery type.

You are correct the better option would be the three stage when setting the Charge Mode.

My final question is how long will you have to run the generator to even reach these levels? I do not have any generator experience but when using a 120 watt panel on a nearly full battery it will still take six hours of sun to reach 15.3 volts and hold it for two hours. With a battery at 80% I was not able to reach the charge rate of 15.3. Now there are many more variables with solar and the controller may have different characteristic but I sill wonder if one can fill the battery with a generator. Some one else will have to answer that.
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Old 05-08-2016, 01:45 AM   #14
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Thanks Paul.

My impression is that with the Xantrex constant current bulk charge you can get a lot into the battery fairly quickly. Once in the absorption mode I'd have to assume the algorithm has a minimum time duration. While on the generator the charger would be capable of providing 100% capacity (40A) minus any coincident DC loads. Given a battery bank of 232 amp-hrs I would limit bulk charge to ~29 amps based on the "C/8" rule. This would be a real decent charging rate. Obviously there are a few variables including how far the battery was drained, but the goal would be a "full" charge in 1.5-2 hrs. I would guess the absorption mode is cut short though.

This might not be perfect, but it appears to be light years ahead of the WFCO. The limiting factor being its constant voltage bulk mode. Ok if plugged in for a longer duration, but not going to fly when off grid and wanting to top up with a gen every few days.
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