Charging AGM Batteries with PowerLab8 - RC Groups
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Apr 16, 2011, 03:29 PM
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Charging AGM Batteries with PowerLab8


I'm purchasing an ODYSSEY AGM battery PC1500 (or the Sears equivalent) to power my sailplane winch. On the Odyssey web site they recommend using a charger that can bulk charge at 25 amps or more and includes the following three phases:
  • Bulk Phase - Fast charges the battery up to 14.7V and gets the battery to about 80% state of charge.
  • Absorption Phase - Finishes off the charge in no more than an additional 4 to 6 hours after completion of bulk charge.
  • Float Charge
More details can be found here - http://www.odysseybatteries.com/acce...er-charger.htm
and here on page 13 - http://www.odysseybatteries.com/files/techbook.pdf

This technical document goes into pretty good detail. You can see a summary of the charging profile on page 12 in Figure 6.

Seems to me my PowerLab8 should be able to handle this easily but I don't see any presets for AGM batteries and I've really not learned how to use the more involved functions. Additionally, I've read that AGMs require different charging profiles from old style Pb batteries but I don't really understand what those differences are.

If anyone can share some experience with this it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Louis
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Apr 18, 2011, 01:35 PM
President, FMA, Inc.
Tim Marks's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathelo
I'm purchasing an ODYSSEY AGM battery PC1500 (or the Sears equivalent) to power my sailplane winch. On the Odyssey web site they recommend using a charger that can bulk charge at 25 amps or more and includes the following three phases:
  • Bulk Phase - Fast charges the battery up to 14.7V and gets the battery to about 80% state of charge.
  • Absorption Phase - Finishes off the charge in no more than an additional 4 to 6 hours after completion of bulk charge.
  • Float Charge
More details can be found here - http://www.odysseybatteries.com/acce...er-charger.htm
and here on page 13 - http://www.odysseybatteries.com/files/techbook.pdf

This technical document goes into pretty good detail. You can see a summary of the charging profile on page 12 in Figure 6.

Seems to me my PowerLab8 should be able to handle this easily but I don't see any presets for AGM batteries and I've really not learned how to use the more involved functions. Additionally, I've read that AGMs require different charging profiles from old style Pb batteries but I don't really understand what those differences are.

If anyone can share some experience with this it would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!

Louis
Hi:

The AGM presets are already in the library of the PL8 V2 Charge Control Software.

1) Click a preset you wish to over-write (or empty preset)
2) File > FMA Default Presets > Open File to Preset #

In the Lead Acid (Pb) folder, you will find the AGM preset you need.

Yes,the AGM preset does conform to all 3 phases you listed in your inquiry.

Tim Marks
Apr 18, 2011, 05:29 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Marks
Hi:

The AGM presets are already in the library of the PL8 V2 Charge Control Software.

1) Click a preset you wish to over-write (or empty preset)
2) File > FMA Default Presets > Open File to Preset #

In the Lead Acid (Pb) folder, you will find the AGM preset you need.

Yes,the AGM preset does conform to all 3 phases you listed in your inquiry.

Tim Marks
Hi Tim,

That is really good news. I was all prepared to spend 100 to 200 on a dedicated AGM charger and then realized I should be able to do the same with this. Excelent!!!

Also, can you tell me how v2 has changed from v1? It sounds like there are hardware changes required to get to the full 40amps.

Louis
Apr 18, 2011, 07:27 PM
President, FMA, Inc.
Tim Marks's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathelo
Hi Tim,

That is really good news. I was all prepared to spend 100 to 200 on a dedicated AGM charger and then realized I should be able to do the same with this. Excelent!!!

Also, can you tell me how v2 has changed from v1? It sounds like there are hardware changes required to get to the full 40amps.

Louis
Hi:

There are no significant hardware changes between v1 and v2. We upped the input wire gauge a fraction, but we endurance tested on v1 at the full 40A and everything looked good. We DID update the output Stackable Banana cables from 30A capacity to 40A. This would matter if you were trying to charge 1 pack at the full 40A current, but if you are parallel charging 2 or more packs, it is not material.

Tim Marks
Apr 18, 2011, 09:32 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Marks
Hi:

There are no significant hardware changes between v1 and v2. We upped the input wire gauge a fraction, but we endurance tested on v1 at the full 40A and everything looked good. We DID update the output Stackable Banana cables from 30A capacity to 40A. This would matter if you were trying to charge 1 pack at the full 40A current, but if you are parallel charging 2 or more packs, it is not material.

Tim Marks
The larger AGMs expect 40 amps in the bulk phase so I'd be pushing this at the max. Sounds like it would be reasonable for me to upgrade the wiring.

Louis
Apr 19, 2011, 04:34 PM
Registered User
Hi Tim, I guess I must of missed it when it was added, but the float charging is a recent addition, correct?

I see it was requested here:
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...0&postcount=19

But wasn't aware it was added.
Apr 19, 2011, 10:35 PM
President, FMA, Inc.
Tim Marks's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeteB
Hi Tim, I guess I must of missed it when it was added, but the float charging is a recent addition, correct?

I see it was requested here:
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...0&postcount=19

But wasn't aware it was added.
Hi:

I think the confusion is in my own mind, or maybe I don't fully understand the request. I know the AGM presets float charge, but I think it is part of a 3 phase process. I was under the impression that the request was for a separate "float charge only" feature. Honestly, I'm not sure how or if that is implemented, and so I added the request onto the new features ss to remind me to speak with the chief engineer about it later.

What are your thoughts on the matter? Perhaps we already supply what was requested?

Tim Marks
Oct 23, 2012, 07:28 PM
Registered User
Going to dig up an old thread here. Just bought an AGM but only have an iCharger 306b right now which has no AGM profile . Am I correct to assume that if the PL8 has an AGM profile the PL6 does as well? The PL6 would meet my needs so if I can save a few $$$ that would be preferable.
Oct 23, 2012, 07:36 PM
President, FMA, Inc.
Tim Marks's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by grimbeaver
Going to dig up an old thread here. Just bought an AGM but only have an iCharger 306b right now which has no AGM profile . Am I correct to assume that if the PL8 has an AGM profile the PL6 does as well? The PL6 would meet my needs so if I can save a few $$$ that would be preferable.
Hi:

If you follow the instructions of post #2 from this thread, it'll work the same for PowerLab 6 as for PowerLab 8. The AGM preset is out there in the library.

Tim Marks
Oct 23, 2012, 08:09 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim Marks
Hi:

If you follow the instructions of post #2 from this thread, it'll work the same for PowerLab 6 as for PowerLab 8. The AGM preset is out there in the library.

Tim Marks
Guess I'll be placing an order for a PL6 then. Thanks.
Oct 23, 2012, 08:24 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by grimbeaver
Guess I'll be placing an order for a PL6 then. Thanks.
Huh?
Oct 24, 2012, 07:45 AM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohmic
Huh?
You want points for most pointless response ever? I fail to understand how you could be at all confused.
Oct 24, 2012, 08:26 AM
Registered User
Sorry, Thought you had a PL8 already.
Last edited by Ohmic; Oct 24, 2012 at 09:40 AM.
May 06, 2017, 07:22 AM
Registered User

PL8 Dual


Hi Tim
I have a dual PL8, Version 1.1, and have been through all the menus to try to find the AGM charging. I have also looked through the software. Any chance of sending screen shots so I can charge a deep cycle battery I have.
May 08, 2017, 02:26 PM
President, FMA, Inc.
Tim Marks's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by towball
Hi Tim
I have a dual PL8, Version 1.1, and have been through all the menus to try to find the AGM charging. I have also looked through the software. Any chance of sending screen shots so I can charge a deep cycle battery I have.
Hello:

I just replied to your email. Please check it!

Sincerely,

Tim Marks
President
FMA, Inc.

Revolectrix Partner


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