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Unread 04-07-2013, 07:49 PM   #1
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Cool Charger Test Question

I bought a used '96 TXT standard. I knew the batteries were useless when I bought it and also bought a set of new ones.
I have a multi-tester, but I do not have faith that this will tell me enough about the chargers operating condition. I did open the charger up, cleaned it and inspected it for obvious problems and found none.
Is there a test that I can perform on the 36VPowerwise charger that came with it to ensure that it will work properly and not damage the new batteries? Will I need to take it somewhere to have it checked out?
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Unread 04-08-2013, 08:03 AM   #2
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Default Re: Charger Test Question

Unless you have a Powerwise QE charger (Fins on case, no ammeter), the only damage it will do is not charging the batteries, which isn't being done at the moment unless you are using a different charger.

Plug charger into cart without plugging it into AC power.
You should hear a relay inside charger click.
If not, unplug from cart and plug into AC power.
Nothing should happen, but if transformer hums, the relay has been bypassed and charger needs a new control board.

If you did hear the relay click when plugged into cart alone, unplug from cart and plug into AC power.
Then plug into cart.
After a short delay, the ammeter should jump to 15A-20A.
The ammeter may stay that way up to half an hour or more and than start tapering off, eventually getting dow to about 4A or less and stay the way until the on-charge voltage climbs into the 44V to 46V range, at which point the charger shut shut off automatically.

It being the initial charge on a new set of batteries, it may last 12 hours or more.

Even if the relay is bypassed, the charger can be used to charge the batteries, you just have to shut it off manually (unplug it) when the on-charge voltage gets into the 44-46 volt range.

The actual charge profile is built into the matched Ferroresonant Transformer and Capacitor design and all the control board does is turn the charger on and off based on the pack voltage.
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Unread 04-09-2013, 06:57 AM   #3
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Default Re: Charger Test Question

Thank you Johnny. Very good then, if the charger passes the procedure that you have outlined I will monitor the first charge every hour until I see the voltage start to approach the 42-44 and from then on every half hour.
I use a smart charger on my motorcycles during any time that they may sit more than 30 days, or when the temps drop significantly. All of my bikes have AGM batteries and that charger is made for that type of battery.
I've seen a couple smart chargers for the 36 volt system on the buggie, but their costs are very high.
Is there a product out there that will allow me to use the Powerwise charger for the bulk of the charging (after use) and then connect a maintainer type charger that will keep the batteries in top condition while it sits for periods of 10 days or more. Hopefully one that will not need a pint of blood to get.
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Unread 04-09-2013, 10:18 AM   #4
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Default Re: Charger Test Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by 02FLHRSEI View Post
................
Is there a product out there that will allow me to use the Powerwise charger for the bulk of the charging (after use) and then connect a maintainer type charger that will keep the batteries in top condition while it sits for periods of 10 days or more. Hopefully one that will not need a pint of blood to get.
There may be some inexpensive 36V float or trickle chargers out there, but I haven't done more than give them a passing glance since I use DPI chargers that go into a float charge mode after the regular charge cycle completes.

Float chargers are constant voltage, so they do the best job of keeping the batteries fully charged while in storage.

Trickle chargers tend to be current limited rather than constant current and are a little tricky to get right.
Too much current and the pack voltage may creep up into the heavy gassing range and the batteries will use a lot of water.
Too little current and the batteries will just take longer to self discharge into the sulfation range.

To do it right, you have to know what the self-discharge rate is of you batteries and select a trickle charger that puts out that rate.
Than the self-discharge rate varies with temperature.
Like I said, float charging is best, and it is easiest.
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