Victron Blue Smart IP65 Battery Chargers

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Mar 28, 2002
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One of the various brand battery chargers I have been using for a few years is NOCO. I’ve been happy with them overall. One experience last summer showed me what I consider a weakness for my usage. I was at a weekend summer concert in my 80 and camped in a full service campground. I brought the NOCO Gen Mini 2 bank charger and hooked it up to both batteries so they would be maintained and I would not have to rely 100% on solar. 1st night I noticed one bank red and one green. Voltmeter check showed one float balanced and one not getting charged (system split with a ML-ACR). The fridge and vehicle was on the bank not getting charged and the start battery was floating nicely. Unplugged the charger and plugged it back in and all was charging again. Next night same thing happened. And the 3rd. I wrote Noco a note when back and they confirmed that it can not be used as a power supply as a constant load will cause it to shut off.

Tried it with my NOCO 7200 for the BJ74 (24V); I turned the fridge on and left it for the night and sure enough, in the AM the charger was off.

I read that Victron has a line of battery chargers that can be used as a power supply AND look after the batteries (as long as the load is not more than the rated capacity of the charger).

I ordered a 24V 5 amp Blue Smart charger and hooked it up to the BJ74. After a few days and when it was in storage mode I turned on the small Dometic I have in the BJ74. The charger kept maintaining the batteries in storage mode and supplied the 2.2amps needed for the fridge to run. I did not run it long term, but the short test seems a success. As I write this I realize I am not sure what amps are needed for the weekly absorption charge it talks about, so that is consideration for anyone looking for a charger to look after their batteries and have the fridge on. I'll have to try that at some point. Perhaps it would be as simple as the absorption stage lasting longer as it would have 3 amps available when the fridge is running, as opposed to 5.

For my usual intended use on the BJ74 I figure it will be fine though: Need the fridge cold for the AM, turn it on the night before and plug the charger in to act as a power supply and ensure the batteries are up in the morning.

The geek factor (much like the Blue Solar chargers) is pretty cool too.

hth’s

gb
 
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The display showing the phases after the charger was plugged in and doing it's thing for almost three days. Fridge not on.

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Took this picture after turning on the fridge when the charger was in storage mode. While in storage I could hear the charger clicking a couple times every minute as it cycled and the readout would go to .2amps for a bit.

When the fridge was on it jumped to just over 2 amps (fluctuated up and down .3amps or so) and maintained the battery bank in storage at 26.10V

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dogdaysindurham

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Aug 24, 2011
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@Greg_B Are you able to select the charging profile based on battery chemistry type? Like for SLA vs. AGM vs. LiOn? Do they offer a cell connected option so that you can remotely monitor the vehicle's charging? Thanks for posting about this system, I was curious to see first hand reviews of it.

I have the Victron Cyrix ct-240 dual battery combiner and like it a lot for my 100 series. I wish it had the wireless battery monitoring capability incorporated.
Cyrix Battery Combiners - Victron Energy
 
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Mar 28, 2002
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I happened to be at the shop yesterday for a short bit and checked. Not sure if I triggered the absorption cycle due to playing with the settings but from what I saw of the amp load when in the absorption cycle I think I will be fine with the fridge cycling (if I happen to have the fridge on and vehicle parked long enough to hit that cycle when in maintenance mode. This was about one minute into the absorption cycle.

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@dogdaysindurham This is the setting screen which shows a Li-ion setting. You can select advanced setting and adjust things but I have not delved fully into the settings screen so can not say more then what you see in the picture. Would likely be explained in depth in the manual. I'm running DP lead acid batteries so just left it on the regular settings.

That battery combiner looks interesting. I have the Bue Sea ML-ACR in 80 and have been happy with it thus far. Having the switch in the dash to control it as well as see at a glance if they are combined or not is good.

gb

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