Closed Thread
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
 
Old 11-06-2013, 09:04 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
deryk's Avatar
 
Name: deryk
Trailer: 2012 Parkliner 2010 V6 Nissan Frontier 4x4
New Jersey
Posts: 1,891
Registry
PD4045 smart chargers and batteries!

Ok I admit ignorance because this is my first non homebuilt caravan.

In my ParkLiner I have a PD4045 Power control center. From the little bit of reading I have been doing it seems that when useing the Optima batteries they charge at a lower voltage then the regular lead acid batteries and this could be why people have been haveing problems with the Optima's. ParkLiner said they are no longer useing them...Super Start batteries are shown in the photo's on their FaceBook page

So in 2.5 weeks Im heading down for my new tongue mounted battery box (and was told 2 new batteries since mine are not holding voltage long) what would I use and how to install it? What changes to the pd40405 would need to be made?

thanks
__________________

__________________
deryk

All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost.... J.R.R. Tolkien
deryk is offline  
Old 11-06-2013, 09:52 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
Name: asdf
Trailer: asdf
Alabama
Posts: 346
The answer to your question is not simple. A "smart" charger can be anything from marketing fluff to real technology or anything in between.

From what I can tell, PD was a dumb charger until they added a little microprocessor and suddenly they are a "smart" charger. And in fact, they are actually a "smarter" charger.

In the old system, they simply supply a fixed voltage, about 13.75 volts at the output of the charger. Again I will preface this by "AFAICT" they simply never change that voltage. So that is AT THE OUTPUT of the charger. What happens X feet away at the battery? That depends.

It depends on the length of wire, the gauge of wire, the number and quality of crimps and other connections etc. It also depends on the state of charge of the battery. If a battery is completely discharged, it will accept huge amounts of current. If it is fully charged, it will accept small amounts of current. It will depend on the TYPE of battery. A golf cart battery has a small number of thick plates (small surface area), whereas a "marine" battery has a larger number of thinner plates (more surface area). The more surface area, the more current that the battery can accept and the faster it will heat up.

I am not intentionally obfuscating the subject, I am just demonstrating that it really and truly depends on a LOT of different things. Suffice it to say that in any event, simply applying a fixed voltage is not a desirable thing. If the battery is dead, COMPLETELY discharged, then it will accept a huge current, limited by the current source capabilities of the charger AND the surface area AND the actual voltage that ends up at the end of the wires... AT the battery terminals. It is just about impossible to say but you can rest assured that the current is in fact extremely large. With a PD4045 it may be 40 amps or so. That much current is going to rapidly heat up the battery. With a PD60 it could be 50 or 60 amps.

A sealed (AGM or "Glass mat") battery wants to be charged (more) slowly than a wet cell battery. The reason is precisely because all of that current causes heat. Heat causes the water to evaporate and even to separate into the elemental gasses. Because the battery is INTENTIONALLY sealed, if it is charged slowly the oxygen and hydrogen gasses created inside the battery will recombine into water. If it is charged rapidly, the battery is designed to pop a little overpressure valve and the fluid (in a gas state) escapes. It is ONE WAY, the fluid is permanently gone, and the battery is damaged.

A wet cell OTOH is designed to allow the gasses to escape. You (the owner) are expected to understand that this will happen and refill the battery occasionally with distilled water. So the wet cell is designed to allow faster charging, and it doesn't damage the battery. In fact it is good for the wet cell battery for a couple of reasons. The rapid charging causes the battery fluid to "boil" (kinda), causing the fluid to stay mixed. The fluid is water and sulfuric acid. Sulfuric acid is denser than water and therefore tends to separate out and sink to the bottom of the battery. Rapid charging keeps it mixed up.

Another reason (true for both types) is that the longer a battery stays at a discharged state, the more sulfation that occurs on the plates. You really do want to discharge ANY battery as small amount as possible and get it charged back up as quickly as possible.

Yea, this is getting long!

What you should be seeing by now is that a "one size fits all" charger cannot possibly correctly charge both an AGM (sealed) battery and a wet cell battery. They need different methods of charging, slow (AGM) and fast (wet cell). In any event, a FIXED voltage isn't good for either of them!!!

Enter the "smart" charger.
__________________

__________________
jwcolby54 is offline  
Old 11-06-2013, 10:10 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
deryk's Avatar
 
Name: deryk
Trailer: 2012 Parkliner 2010 V6 Nissan Frontier 4x4
New Jersey
Posts: 1,891
Registry
So John, if I contact the manuf, after my battery tongue box is done with the length of the run from the pd4045 to the battery and what gauge wire then they should be able to give me an idea of what the voltage would be?
__________________
deryk

All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost.... J.R.R. Tolkien
deryk is offline  
Old 11-06-2013, 10:27 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Name: asdf
Trailer: asdf
Alabama
Posts: 346
So what is a "smart" charger? The battery manufacturers realized that the batteries should be "bulk charged" with a high current to get back up to an 80% or so charge state, then switch to a somewhat slower (lower) charge current to get up to 100%, then switch again to a "float" charge to keep the battery charged up. The problem becomes how to tell when to switch out of the bulk charge state.

The answer is that an electronic circuit needs to apply a FIXED (and high!) voltage and a "large" current and then watch that current. It turns out that the battery will decrease the current that it accepts as the battery charges. As the current accepted by the battery drops, at some point the computer (or circuit) needs to drop the voltage to a lower (fixed) voltage to drop out of the bulk charge state and into the second slower charge state. Again watch the current and as the current drops to almost nothing, go into the float state.

It is this "watching" and adjustment of the charge voltage / current which makes the charger "smart".

Yea, but...

What if the charger simply TIMES the bulk charge state? Let's say the algorithm says "apply bulk for 5 minutes then drop to the second stage. Well... that may be fine for battery A which can only accept a small current to start with. But what about my golf cart batteries which need a long bulk charge? And what about an AGM which needs a lower bulk charge voltage to start with so that it doesn't over heat?

Again, a "one size fits all" smart charger suddenly isn't so smart any more. They can CLAIM to be smart, because they do in fact have multiple stages but are they really CORRECTLY charging YOUR SPECIFIC battery? Almost certainly not.

A true "smart" charger needs the ability to set a voltage and monitor the CURRENT and use the current flow to dynamically decide when to switch from stage to stage. As a battery ages, the amount of current that it can accept changes (drops) as well. A real smart charger (monitoring the current) can adapt to that. A "timed" smart charger cannot.

Furthermore the temperature that the battery is surrounded by (the weather) affects things as well. A cold battery cannot accept as much current so needs to be charged longer, and will not overheat as readily. A hot battery can accept more current and will thus overheat even more rapidly. Thus you really need a temperature sensor right on top of the battery so that the smart charger can adapt the current available depending on the environmental temperature.

All of this is why I cannot recommend any specific charger. It all depends on YOUR situation. Your battery (type), your battery box, the seasons that you camp in, and so forth. "One size fits all" just doesn't. If you have a wet cell Marine battery then you may find a specific charger that works well and is optimized for that, but try using that on my golf cart batteries and you might damage my batteries. My charger might damage yours. If you have an AGM (sealed) battery then you truly need a charger specifically adapted to that type because they MUST be charged at a lower voltage and lower current.

Truly smart chargers use a lot of computational horsepower to try and dynamically figure it out without you worrying about it but AFAICT for AGM batteries they usually must be TOLD that it is AGM (via a switch or something).

This discussion has barely covered the basics. Just know that a dumb charger is really really bad. A barely smart charger is not really much good either and fools you into thinking that you have a solution when you may or may not. And a smart charger is going to cost money. But your caravan cost money and your batteries cost money as well.
__________________
jwcolby54 is offline  
Old 11-06-2013, 10:34 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Name: asdf
Trailer: asdf
Alabama
Posts: 346
Quote:
Originally Posted by deryk View Post
So John, if I contact the manuf, after my battery tongue box is done with the length of the run from the pd4045 to the battery and what gauge wire then they should be able to give me an idea of what the voltage would be?
Yes, for any specific state of (dis) charge. Remember that if a battery is completely discharged, then the current is huge and the voltage drop is large. If the battery is entirely charged, then the current flow is small annd the voltage drop is small.

that is the reason that we really want REMOTE VOLTAGE SENSE wires, wires dedicated to just delivering the voltage AT THE BATTERY back to the computer. Since no current flows on those wires, the voltage at both ends is identical annd suddenly the computer knows what the ACTUAL VOLTAGE is at the battery.

Knowing that, then the objective is to modify the voltage out of the charger so that the voltage AT THE BATTERY is what the charger computer wants it to be.

The PD does not have these wires, so it hasn't a clue what the actual voltage at the battery is. The best it can do then is to set its voltage AT THE CHARGER and hope that translates to something usable at the battery.

Hmmmmmm.......

I don't like hope.....

Deryk, I was helping a "homeless" man build a solar system. We bought him a pair of golf cart batteries, the exact same ones I have. Before he got his solar panels, we were swapping batteries. I could NOT convince him to stop using his batteries at the "1/2 way" point so I would get the batteries back from him absolutely dead.

The PD in my scamp does not have the "smart" dongle so it was putting out 13.75 volts. I have a little monitor inside of the scamp that shows the voltage AT THE CHARGER. 13.75 volts as expected. At the BATTERY it was 11.4 when I got the batteries and hooked up. It immediately jumped up to 11.65 volts as soon as I hooked up. That is a TWO VOLT DROP across the wires between the charger and the batteries. As the batteries charged, the voltage AT THE BATTERY rises to 13.75 volts! A ZERO VOLT DROP at the battery when charged.

All of that makes sense when you consider the dynamics - HUGE current flow large voltage drop, no current flow, no voltage drop.

Now go back to your question... "what the voltage would be"
__________________
jwcolby54 is offline  
Old 11-07-2013, 05:06 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
P. Raz's Avatar
 
Name: Raz
Trailer: Trillium 2010
Vermont
Posts: 2,302
John, do you have the schematic for the PD 4045? Raz
__________________
P. Raz is offline  
Old 11-07-2013, 06:18 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Name: asdf
Trailer: asdf
Alabama
Posts: 346
Quote:
Originally Posted by P. Raz View Post
John, do you have the schematic for the PD 4045? Raz
Nope. I have their manual for the one in my coach, but that didn't include a schematic.

I did download the only thing I could find about the smart dongle thingie, which was mostly marketing fluff but which indicated that they put out 14.4 volts for a specific time period for the bulk phase, then dropped back to the lower charge phase. And that is for the dongle, not the base charger.

Do you have the schematic?
__________________
jwcolby54 is offline  
Old 11-07-2013, 07:11 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Name: bob
Trailer: u-haul ct13
New York
Posts: 2,504
I just looked in the manual for my PD4045, no schematic, only the wiring diagram. I did find a caution note,quote "it is important that the fluid level of any connected batteries be checked on a regular basis. all batteries will "gas" and lose some fluid when continuously connected to any charging source." The manual also notes that there is a reverse battery protection circuit to protect the converter in the event the battery is hooked up backwards. Interesting battery info you have provided John, thanks. We will be hooked to shore power fo 3 months, any idea how the 4045 will work in that situation with only some use of 12 volt lights.
__________________
mary and bob is offline  
Old 11-07-2013, 07:18 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
Name: asdf
Trailer: asdf
Alabama
Posts: 346
Bob,

If you have the smart charger dongle then you are probably OK. Again however, what kind of battery and what external temperature? If you are flooded cell and can keep an eye on the water level then you will likely be good to go. AGM it is harder to call. After all, they are sealed so how can you "keep an eye on the fluid level".

If you start from a charged state, then the PD (with the dongle) will do very little damage.

I hate being put on the spot!
__________________
jwcolby54 is offline  
Old 11-07-2013, 07:40 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
Posts: 3,946
First, there is no "Dongle" for the smart charging feature in the PD-4045. It's built in and without provision for the remote pendant found on stand alone PD converters.

In as much as this is Parkliners show, I would suggest sending them an advance note telling them that you expect them to also do any changes needed in the wiring.

Most likely they will pick up the charging line from the TV connector, connect that to the new battery location and, maybe, add another ground wire from there to the PD-4045. They will then have to clean up the existing wiring where the batteries were removed.

If we were planning a mission to Mars I could see some concern about voltage drops in an additional 8 feet of #8 or 10 wire, if not, NBD.
__________________
Bob Miller is offline  
Old 11-07-2013, 07:42 AM   #11
Senior Member
 
Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
Posts: 3,946
Prologed Parking/Charging

Quote:
Originally Posted by mary and bob View Post
I just looked in the manual for my PD4045, no schematic, only the wiring diagram. I did find a caution note,quote "it is important that the fluid level of any connected batteries be checked on a regular basis. all batteries will "gas" and lose some fluid when continuously connected to any charging source." The manual also notes that there is a reverse battery protection circuit to protect the converter in the event the battery is hooked up backwards. Interesting battery info you have provided John, thanks. We will be hooked to shore power fo 3 months, any idea how the 4045 will work in that situation with only some use of 12 volt lights.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

I leave my PD-4045 plugged in 24/7 and don't even think about it. I have noticed a very slight drop in electrolyte level about almost 6 months of down time. Just check the batteries now and then and everything should be happy.
__________________
Bob Miller is offline  
Old 11-07-2013, 07:52 AM   #12
Senior Member
 
Victor Benz's Avatar
 
Name: Vic
Trailer: Fiber Stream 1982 16 ft
Alberta
Posts: 298
Registry
Quote:
Originally Posted by deryk View Post
So John, if I contact the manuf, after my battery tongue box is done with the length of the run from the pd4045 to the battery and what gauge wire then they should be able to give me an idea of what the voltage would be?
Deryk;

I also have a PD4045 that I retrofitted into my Fiber Stream. Now the battery is inside the trailer shell, not on the tongue, but I used the longest length, 4 gauge booster cables that I could find for the run between the PD4045 and the battery to limit wire run voltage drop.

Vic
__________________
Victor Benz is offline  
Old 11-07-2013, 07:58 AM   #13
Senior Member
 
rabbit's Avatar
 
Name: Jack
Trailer: '98 BURRO 17WB
Delaware
Posts: 2,530
The following excerpted from the Inteli-Power PD9200 series manual for my PD9245 with the remote manual override pendant:

"The Inteli-Power 9200 series converters have the Charge Wizard charging module built in. The Charge wizard is a microprocessor-controlled device incorporated in Progressive Dynamics 9200 series converters. It constantly monitors the RV battery, and then automatically adjusts the converter output voltage based on its charge status" [my emphasis].

If we assume that the 4000 series is comparable in design and operating principle to the 9000 and differs mainly in adding a distribution panel to the product, the excerpt should apply to the 4000 series also. The excerpt implies that there is a feedback loop which allows changing charge modes based on the state of charge rather than time at a particular rate of charge.

The remote pendant is both an override and an indicator light for the charge mode in use at any time. The manual says:

"Your Inteli-Power 9200 converter/charger may have been supplied with a Remote Pendant. The Remote Pendant is optional on OEM but is included with all retail models and plugs into the accessory port of the converter/charger.

While the built-in Charge Wizard automatically determines which operating mode is best suited to recharge or maintain optimum battery condition, the Remote Pendant allows for manual override and has indicator light(s) to indicate mode of operation"[my emphasis].

The above statements from the manufacturer are certainly relevant to evaluating the assertion that the PD converters are smarter but not by much. Particularly telling is the statement that the "Charge Wizard" automatic control is in every PD whether or not supplied with the remote control pendant and status monitor.

My subjective sense from watching both idiot light on the pendant and voltmeter is that boost and normal modes are not timed. The periodic desulfation is of fixed duration; 15 minutes at 21 hr. intervals.

jack
__________________
rabbit is offline  
Old 11-07-2013, 08:27 AM   #14
Senior Member
 
Name: Bob
Trailer: 1973 Hunter Compact II
California
Posts: 3,946
Boost and Normal modes are dependent on sensed battery voltage.
(Please, NO diatribes on the words "sensed battery voltage")

I installed 9200 series converters on 4 Toyota Motorhomes, including one of my own, and, in general, the pendants were seen as little more than a gadget. In all cases, when the owner thought that a different charging mode might be needed, checking the pendant indicated that it had already been selected by the system. Perhaps for this reason they don't bother including it in the 4045 & 4060 power chassis. In other words TMI....
__________________

__________________
Bob Miller is offline  
Closed Thread


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Check your batteries' trickle chargers! Panoz77 Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 24 01-13-2011 11:35 AM
Progressive Dynamics PD4045 Carl G Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 4 06-06-2010 06:56 PM
Converters Batteries Chargers Ami P Problem Solving | Owners Helping Owners 2 05-09-2009 04:34 PM
Convertors/battery chargers Gina D. Electrical | Charging, Systems, Solar and Generators 8 03-17-2007 10:01 PM
Battery Chargers Legacy Posts Care and Feeding of Molded Fiberglass Trailers 3 08-21-2003 02:31 PM


» Upcoming Events
No events scheduled in
the next 465 days.

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

RV & Travel Trailer Communities

Our RV & Travel Trailer sites encompasses virtually all types of Recreational Vehicles, from brand-specific to general RV communities.

» More about our RV Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002-2012 Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:41 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Fiberglass RV News Delivered to your Email!

Stay up-to-date with Fiberglass RV info to your inbox!

unsusbcribe at anytime with one click

Close [X]