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Discussion Starter #1
Morning all
Looking for a Battery to Battery charger for my Crafter ( smart alternator ). any recommendations most welcome.


Hoovie - Could you tell me the name of the new Victron model, please.
Cheers
 

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Morning all
Looking for a Battery to Battery charger for my Crafter ( smart alternator ). any recommendations most welcome.


Hoovie - Could you tell me the name of the new Victron model, please.
Cheers
Well, as you know (and just saying this to remind others who may not be ;) ), you cannot use a basic VSR relay system with a Smart Alternator.
Got two recommendations for you:
1) Ablemail 30A Charger - UK Designed and Manufactured, 2 Year Warranty. Extremely robust unit. After extensive testing and comparing the quality of the output, I prefer these to the more expensive Redarc units
2) The new Victron unit - the Orion-TR Smart DC-DC Charger - Not actually tried one of these yet, but I expect it to be of the same quality as other Victron products and so pretty good. This is a remarkably well-priced (for Victron) Product as well.

Links above are to the bare chargers - kits available as well ;)

Oh, just a extra note... with a VSR setup, when a Mains Charger or Solar is charging the Leisure Battery, it will also be charging the Starter Battery. This is not the case with a B2B. B2Bs are uni-directional (Starter ==> Leisure) only. If you want to be able to maintain the Starter Battery while the vehicle is parked up for weeks, then some kind of Trickle Charger is a good idea. Ablemail have just released their brand new Smart Alternator (and Lithium!) compatible "Battery Maintainer" - worth a look :D
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Hoovie, for the great advice. ( as always ).
I have more to research on the fitting side. A little confused regarding the ignition feed.
cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I had a look at the Redarc, with the inbuilt mppt solar charger.
would you recommend keeping the B2B and Solar charger separate.
 

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Thanks Hoovie, for the great advice. ( as always ).
I have more to research on the fitting side. A little confused regarding the ignition feed.
cheers
If you use the Ignition feed, you would just connect that to a circuit that only comes on when key is in. This is to 'get round' the smart alternator bit basically.

I had a look at the Redarc, with the inbuilt mppt solar charger.
would you recommend keeping the B2B and Solar charger separate.
How much solar are you looking at?
There are two limitations with the B2B/MPPT Combos:
1) the total solar allowed is limited - typically around 300-400W maximum.
2) the incoming voltage is limited to around 32V or so. In practice this means you can only use 12V panels (which are around 20V confusingly) and if you have multiple panels they MUST be in parallel, and never in series. If you exceed the quoted voltage some units will just shut down while the overvoltage is present (the Ablemail AMS does this I think), or the unit will blow up (the Redarc definately does this!)

The Combos are a good way to have a simple installation with limited solar needs and is very cost-effective in that way. I personally prefer separates but that is just a preference
 

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Discussion Starter #6
If you use the Ignition feed, you would just connect that to a circuit that only comes on when key is in. This is to 'get round' the smart alternator bit basically.


How much solar are you looking at?
There are two limitations with the B2B/MPPT Combos:
1) the total solar allowed is limited - typically around 300-400W maximum.
2) the incoming voltage is limited to around 32V or so. In practice this means you can only use 12V panels (which are around 20V confusingly) and if you have multiple panels they MUST be in parallel, and never in series. If you exceed the quoted voltage some units will just shut down while the overvoltage is present (the Ablemail AMS does this I think), or the unit will blow up (the Redarc definately does this!)

The Combos are a good way to have a simple installation with limited solar needs and is very cost-effective in that way. I personally prefer separates but that is just a preference
Thanks Hoovie
Was thinking 150W single solar panel, incoming 23.9V ( from what I have read). I only had 80W on my t5 and that just about done me ok.
Conclusion Ablemail AMS12-12-30E (built in solar charger)!
120 ah Leoch AGM battery
 

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Thanks Hoovie
Was thinking 150W single solar panel, incoming 23.9V ( from what I have read). I only had 80W on my t5 and that just about done me ok.
Conclusion Ablemail AMS12-12-30E (built in solar charger)!
120 ah Leoch AGM battery
23.9V in would work well with the AMS Combo (the key number to look at is the Voc - Open Circuit Voltage).
This is a photo of the AMS showing the parameters ...
IMG_20191029_090108_4 by David, on Flickr
The Battery Output Voltage max is programmable by the vendor and I'd set that to around 14.4V for the Leoch AGM


The MPPT electronics in the AMS will bring that high Solar Panel Voltage in down to whatever the battery needs (somewhere between 12.0 and 14.4V depending on state of charge and battery type) and the "excess" voltage in is converted to extra current into the battery. This is where MPPT makes a big difference over PWM... PWM instead of using the extra voltage, it just makes the incoming voltage drop so that extra available power from the panel is thrown away.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks again Hoovie. Great help, much appreciated.
Hi Hoovie
Is wildebus your site?
I’m about to buy the ablemail with solar but can’t seem to find fitting kit for it.
Probably not looking right.
Are there fitting instructions from you, apart from the ablemail ones.
Sorry for all the questions
 

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Hi Hoovie
Is wildebus your site?
I’m about to buy the ablemail with solar but can’t seem to find fitting kit for it.
Probably not looking right.
Are there fitting instructions from you, apart from the ablemail ones.
Sorry for all the questions
HI, yes that is my site.
I do have fitting instructions - you need to "buy" them (they are £0.00) in order to be able to download them. PM me your email address and I will send them to you.

You are quite right .... no AMS with fitting kit listed! Essentially same kit as the plain B2B but with one extra connection for the solar panel +VE cable (I would usually fit an MC4 connection. I'll need to add the AMS+Cabling kit into the shop :)
 

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Hi Hoovie
Is wildebus your site?
I’m about to buy the ablemail with solar but can’t seem to find fitting kit for it.
Probably not looking right.
Are there fitting instructions from you, apart from the ablemail ones.
Sorry for all the questions
I have this setup. 150w solar and a b2b with mppt input. Works great, dont need an ignition feed but need a separate 12v that won’t be affected by the load volts drop, so any other permanent 12v feed than the leisure battery cable.
 

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Added in the AMS B2B/MPPT Combo with Cable kit :)

I have this setup. 150w solar and a b2b with mppt input. Works great, dont need an ignition feed but need a separate 12v that won’t be affected by the load volts drop, so any other permanent 12v feed than the leisure battery cable.
It is not essential to add in a separate feed. It depends on the cabling you are using. I use 16mm cable for the 30A B2Bs generally which makes a voltage drop miminal, but having said that I do supply with the kit a separate 12V Sense cable that can be run in parallel with the main cable for a belts and braces approach.
 

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Added in the AMS B2B/MPPT Combo with Cable kit :)


It is not essential to add in a separate feed. It depends on the cabling you are using. I use 16mm cable for the 30A B2Bs generally which makes a voltage drop miminal, but having said that I do supply with the kit a separate 12V Sense cable that can be run in parallel with the main cable for a belts and braces approach.
true but my 10mm cable, on a flat battery still drops 0.2-0.3 due to it’s length. I like belts and braces....xavionic engineer!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
HI, yes that is my site.
I do have fitting instructions - you need to "buy" them (they are £0.00) in order to be able to download them. PM me your email address and I will send them to you.

You are quite right .... no AMS with fitting kit listed! Essentially same kit as the plain B2B but with one extra connection for the solar panel +VE cable (I would usually fit an MC4 connection. I'll need to add the AMS+Cabling kit into the shop :)
Morning Hoovie
that would be great if you could add the fitting kit to the AMS. I will purchase the lot from your site.
I will PM you my email address.
Thanks Hoovie
 
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