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Discussion Starter #1
Hi Peeps

a
iam wanting to install a split charger kit to run a lots of LED"s/ amp/small cooler/fridge & when my wife feels the need to use her hair straighteners:clap,,,,,you"ll have to kind with me on this one iam not liking electrics:confused::),,,iam wanting it to cope with most stuff & i usually build things that are heavier than they need to be,,so any advice pics you can offerT:
thanks

also can you use a ordinary car battery inside the van Eg: gases they produce ?? i was thinking of locating it near the rear left/right where the rear bumper vents are all enclosed of course T:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Have a look here:
http://vwt4forum.co.uk/showthread.php?t=22263I::D

Edit: The wattage of the hair straighteners will dictate the size of 240v inverter you install.
I think you may be surprised on how much this may cost....
lol yeah it does look rather expensive & more like a BT exchange Box - the umbrella/Bt engineer,,iam not after a set up like that as such,from the looks i will after invest in inverter for 240v stuff but more wanting to run amp/led"s stuff thats in the rear from the second battary :)
 

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You definately need a leisure battery and not a standard car type. Leisure batteries are designed to be able to run completely flat and then be re charged this will damage a standard car battery.
you'll need a 100amp 12v relay. See ebay.
some tri rated (heat proof flexible) cable and a splice connector to enable the alternator to switch the relay when the engine is running.
You'll need enough cable to go from the battery compartment to the relay and then from the relay to your leisure battery position. Use 6 AWG size cable with the necessary crimp lugs also available on ebay.
Luckilly VW leave a spare outlet from the existing battery, you'll just need a suitable fuse.
The earth side of the battery can be connected locally to the chasis.
You'll also need a set of battery terminals.
Then you're away.
Just connect up your inverter to the new leisure battery. I would recomend fusing it though and not using the croc leads supplied with most of them.
If you need photos i'll try to post some later.T:
Cheers Al
 

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Obviously an undersized relay is bad, 100A just means that it will cope with up to 100A. I like to air on the side of caution. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You definately need a leisure battery and not a standard car type. Leisure batteries are designed to be able to run completely flat and then be re charged this will damage a standard car battery.
you'll need a 100amp 12v relay. See ebay.
some tri rated (heat proof flexible) cable and a splice connector to enable the alternator to switch the relay when the engine is running.
You'll need enough cable to go from the battery compartment to the relay and then from the relay to your leisure battery position. Use 6 AWG size cable with the necessary crimp lugs also available on ebay.
Luckilly VW leave a spare outlet from the existing battery, you'll just need a suitable fuse.
The earth side of the battery can be connected locally to the chasis.
You'll also need a set of battery terminals.
Then you're away.
Just connect up your inverter to the new leisure battery. I would recomend fusing it though and not using the croc leads supplied with most of them.
If you need photos i'll try to post some later.T:
Cheers Al
,,,,sounds good to me mateyT:
 

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cut from the Spriter forum but is a great to explain a few misconceptions.

There was a discussion about auxiliary battery charging on the "12V Refrigerator Questions" thread, and I think that topic deserves its own thread. There are many possible ways to charge auxiliary batteries, and the choices can get confusing. Please add your ideas to this thread on what auxiliary battery charging methods work well for your situation.

First let's cover the common types of auxiliary battery chargers we'd use in our Sprinters. I will extend my apologies in advance to those utilizing 230v AC power. I will stick to the 120v AC convention, but 230v AC also applies.

1) Chassis Alternators
Automotive alternators are the most common battery chargers. Typically, automotive alternators are connected to the auxiliary battery or batteries through a diode isolator or separator/combiner device. These devices prevent "house" electrical loads from discharging the chassis battery, but allow the alternator to charge both the auxiliary and chassis batteries.

Automotive alternators are good battery chargers, but not the best, because they employ constant-voltage regulators that decrease the alternator's current output as battery voltage increases. These are also referred to as "taper chargers," as the charging current tapers off as voltage increases. That's a good method for charging batteries as it prevents damage to the batteries or the alternator, and it does supply maximum current when the regulator senses battery voltage to be very low (i.e., the battery is highly discharged or there is a heavy electrical load). However, your Sprinter's stock alternator may not be sufficient if you are frequently discharging your auxiliary battery to low levels of charge state (appropriate battery discharge level is a subject for another discussion). There are more efficient battery charging methods than taper charging, and the more sophisticated devices employ multi-stage charging patterns, discussed below.

There are multi-stage regulators available for alternators, but I believe their use is typically in marine applications. A multi-stage charging device is one that has at least three distinct charging phases: bulk, absorption and float. During the bulk stage, the charging device puts out a near-constant current, ususally at the high end of its rated capacity if the batteries can accept the current, even as voltage increases. If the charger continued to do this as voltage increases past 13 volts, the batteries will gas and become irreparably damaged. So as the voltage approaches the gassing voltage, the multi-stage charger shifts to the absorption stage and behaves like a taper charger. The idea is that the charger will only output as much current as the battery will naturally absorb. When the battery reaches a highly charged state, and the amount of charging current absorbed by the battery is quite small, the multi-stage charger shifts into a float stage, where it attempts to hold the battery voltage just below the gassing voltage, usually somewhere close to 13.0 volts, depending on the temperature. Many multistage chargers will have battery temperature sensors for proper temperature compensation.

Pairing multi-stage regulators with automotive alternators can be problematic if the alternator does not tolerate being operated at the upper ranges of its rated current capacity for extended periods of time. For this reason, I think most of us will not modify our alternators.

2) Converters
No, not the people who turn our empty vans into usable work and living spaces. Rather, these devices convert 120 volt AC into a battery charging current. Most RV's have these devices, and they often have more than one 120 volt AC feed: one from the "shore" power connection, and one from a vehicle-mounted generator. Converters with more than one 120 volt AC feed have a device called an "automatic transfer switch" that keeps the two incoming power feeds separated from each other. Only one AC feed is connected to the converter's input at a time, and typically the generator input has priority. Many converters will have sub-assemblies dedicated to distributing 120 volt AC to circuits within the vehicle through circuit breakers and 12 volt DC to circuits through fuses. But the primary job of a converter is to convert 120 volt AC to 12 volt DC for house loads and charging the auxiliary batteries. So the converters will have a battery charging sub-assembly. For some converter models, the battery charging module is field replacable and upgradable.

Hopefully any converter installation you consider includes a multi-stage charger. It's still possible to buy converters with two-stage (taper/float) chargers, but in my experience, those will float the batteries at 13.6 to 13.8 volts, which when active for long durations will boil off water in flooded lead-acid (wet cell) batteries. An example of a taper-charging converter is the popular Parallax/Magnetek 7345. So if you have one of these taper-charging converters, don't leave them plugged into shore power for extended periods of time.

Converters can be sized to provide very high 12 volt DC currents. The Parallax 7345 model I mentioned is rated at 45 amps of 12v output. Xantrex TRUECharge RV converters are available in 40, 60 and 80 amp models with multi-stage charging.

3) Solar Charge Controllers
These are essentially multi-stage battery chargers using power generated from solar panel arrays. Blue Sky Energy's Solar Boost 2000e is a popular product. The solar panel charge controllers take the DC power input from the solar panels and regulate the voltage and current onto the 12v DC system. Unlike converters, whose job it is to convert 120v AC into DC power, the solar charge controller is performing a DC-DC conversion. Blue Sky Energy's and AM Solar's products employ multi-stage battery charging algorithms, but are typically supplying smaller currents to the batteries during the bulk charging stage than a converter plugged into shore power. I expect most Sprinter-mounted solar panel set-ups won't generate much more than 10 amps of charging current. The bottom line ... if you are installing solar panels on the roof of your Sprinter, you need to install a solar charge controller with multi-stage charging capabilities. One nice feature of the solar charge controllers is that they generally have a display panel that shows battery voltage and charging current. This basic display gives you a rough idea of the charge level of your batteries.

Of course, it is possible to have both a solar charge controller and a converter actively trying to charge your batteries at the same time. And if you have the vehicle engine running and the transmission in park, you might have the alternator contributing charge current as well. Each of the charging devices will contribute charging current according to its own algorithms and voltage readings. As long as none of these devices is trying to output too much current at too high a voltage, they should all work in concert to charge the batteries.

This is a good time for me to point out that gel batteries can be destroyed at charging voltages greater than 14.1 volts. Most multi-stage chargers have dip switches to select a charging algorithm suitable for gel batteries. From my experience on this forum, most of us use flooded lead acid (wet cell) batteries or absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries. If you use gel batteries, please be very careful to check the charging device settings, as most will default to AGM/wet cell.

4) Inverter/Chargers
An inverter's job is to convert 12v DC power to 120v AC power. They come in many sizes and with differing capabilities. Some inverters such as the Tripp Lite MRV2012UL and Xantrex Prosine and RS Sine Wave inverter/chargers combine the inverter function with a converter battery charging function. If you have one of these products, it is unlikely you also need a separate converter for your vehicle. These devices will have a automatic transfer switch that will isolate the inverter output from the 120v AC input feed. These modern inverter/chargers will have multi-stage charging patterns, and some offer charge temperature compensation using a remote battery sensor.

Higher-end inverter/chargers will also offer a display showing the battery voltage or a general indication of the batteries' charge state, similar to what is offered on the solar charge controllers. Features that most of these inverter/chargers lack which are found on converters, are the 120v AC and 12v DC distribution panels. If installing a inverter/charger, you will likely need to add a small 120v electric breaker box to distribute power to circuits within your vehicle, and you will need bus bars and fuse blocks for 12v distribution.

Also, if you have a vehicle-mounted generator in addition to a shore power connection, you probably will need a separate automatic transfer switch to provide a single 120v AC feed to the inverter/charger. Check your inverter/charger's specs to see how many AC input feeds it has.


(part 2 of 2)

5) Portable Battery Chargers
I'm sure some folks will use portable battery chargers when they need to charge a battery. There's a wide range of products out there. Some are bulk chargers that may or may not be equipped with timers to prevent damage to your battery. Others are trickle chargers that provide a small amount of current to keep batteries topped off. The high-current models will connect to your battery using a set of heavy-gauge cables and clamps. Trickle chargers often can plug into a 12v outlet. Make sure you plug the trickle charger into a 12v outlet that is connected to the auxiliary battery. Some trickle chargers are solar powered, and you can think of them as less sophisticated cousins of the solar charge controllers discussed above. Do your research when buying a portable charger. Most are like basic hand tools -- different types are good at doing specific jobs, but one usually doesn't do it all. If you can buy a quality multi-stage portable charger and connect it to your auxiliary batteries safely and conveniently, consider it an alternative to a dedicated converter or inverter/charger solution. I don't think this method will appeal to those who will have a shore power connector on their vehicle and who want a robust and reliable charging solution.

6) Generators???
Most vehicle-mounted and portable generators produce 120v AC power, and in order to use them for battery charging, the 120v AC generator output must be routed through a converter or inverter/charger. So I do not consider them to be a battery charger -- just a source of power for a battery charger. There are some 12v portable petrol-powered generators out there, but I don't know of any mainstream device that includes multi-stage battery charging capabilities.

Other Notes

Battery Considerations
If you have the need to charge your auxiliary batteries quickly and you have a multi-stage charging device that can pump out lots of amps, then AGM batteries are generally preferred over gel and wet cell batteries. But that is not universally true. A good quality, high capacity wet cell battery may accept a charge faster than a low-quality AGM battery. As usual, proper research is warranted before purchase.

Equalization Feature on Chargers (For Wet Cell Batteries Only)
Flooded lead acid (wet cell) batteries will accumulate sulfate on their plates during the normal charging process. Over time, the sulfate can harden and reduce the battery's capacity. While the sulfate is still soft, it is possible to convert it back into sulphuric acid through an electro-chemical process facilitated by a high charging voltage. This method is called "equalization." Higher-end multi-stage chargers have the ability to perform equalization. Usually there is a not-so-accessible switch to trigger this stage. Deep-cycle wet cell batteries that are often kept less than fully charged will benefit from equalization periodically. It's probably not worth the effort on bargain batteries. Do not attempt to equalize AGM or gel batteries, as this procedure will damage them.

I hope I didn't mangle any of the battery charging method descriptions.

Here's the plan for my NCV3 Sprinter van. It is equipped with a high-output 220 amp alternator (NAFTA Option Code BAJ). Power from the alternator will flow through a isolator/combiner to a pair of 12v AGM deep-cycle batteries (the auxiliary batteries). These batteries will be wired in parallel. The batteries will be connected to a 12 volt distribution system (bus bars and fuses) and to a 2,000 watt inverter/charger. The inverter/charger will have a 120v AC feed from a 30amp shore power connector. The AC output of the inverter will feed into a distribution panel with circuit breakers for each of the major appliance circuits. I will also have a smaller inverter with a dedicated outlet, probably a 400 or 600 watt model connected to the 12v system. When I need a small amount of AC power to run a laptop or watch TV, it will be more efficient to just use the small inverter, rather turn on the large inverter which feeds the major appliances, such as the microwave oven, 120v hot water heater, and Danhard AC. The larger inverter will have a significantly greater low-load power draw than the smaller inverter. I also plan to install a Xantrex LinkPro battery monitor that keeps track of all power into and out of the auxiliary batteries. The LinkPro acts as a very accurate fuel gauge for the batteries, it lets me program some low-discharge level alarms, and it keeps a history of discharge statistics. I've not used the LinkPro previously, but it looks like a good fit for my requirements. I will not use a vehicle-mounted generator. No solar panels, either. The primary uses of van will be as a daily driver, weekend tailgater, and long-distance touring van. I ran around the US and Canada for six years in a Class C RV, so I have very firm requirements for the new van.

Original posting link,. loads more info http://www.sprinter-source.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7333
 

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Discussion Starter #12

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I found this one on ebay: http://cgi.ebay.ie/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=280379343064&ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT

Which looks like it's going to do the job. 20 quid less than the kit posted above.

That combined with a 65Ah deep cycle battery from MDS batteries (http://www.mdsbattery.co.uk) I guess will do the trick. Hope to install that in the next week or so, will let you know how it goes.

/M
Just be carefull of the cable sizes in the cheaper kits. Copper is expensive so cheap kits have less of it. If a cable is undersized the resistance will be higher and it'll generate a lot of heat. Too much heat means FIRE!!!!:(
 

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this might sound thick but is their any other places to connect the wire thats supposed to go to the alternator :confused:
 

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this might sound thick but is their any other places to connect the wire thats supposed to go to the alternator :confused:
I joined mine to the blue wire that goes to the connector clipped on top of the starter. Its very close to the fuses in front of the battery so keeps all the wiring together (if you opt to place your relay on the firewall to the left of the air-filter). There's also a cable form going through a grommet into the cab close by to provide a route for your battery wire into the cab - it comes out just behind the glovebox......
 
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