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Problem with Sterling charger

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Timeout View Drop Down
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    Posted: 30 November 2009 at 13:30

I have a Sterling 1250 CED battery charger with 3 channels which is connected with 3 separated battery banks.  All banks have AGM  80 amps batteries. 

Bank 1: is the start battery.
Bank 2: 4 batteries for general  consuming.
Bank 3: 3 batteries for  bow thruster, electric winches and the webasto heater is also connected to this bank.
 

The problem is when connected to shore power.  When I start using electricity (usually lamps and heater) the charger start to deliver power. But bank 1, which is the start battery, reaches often a voltage of 15 volt! If the voltage reach 14,9 volt there is also displayed an alarm icon on the panel. The two other banks usually reaches a voltage under 14 volt (13.7 - 13,9). The start battery is in practical 100% full charged. Why does this bank charge with such a high voltage? And why so low voltage on the other to banks?  

When no electricity is used, all three banks show a voltage between 13,4 to 13,7 volts.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote lukemi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 November 2009 at 17:09
I believe I have the same charge on my 370e. I also have the same arrangement of batteries. The voltage on all the batteries runs about 13.9 volts. Note that there are switches (total of 4 positions) on the Sterling for various types of batteries. Is it possible that one of your switch settings is set for an Incorrect battery type? There is a configuration shown on the charger but if your boat is similar to mine, you will not be able to read the instructions. If possible, consult the Sterling Paper Manual and check to ensure the switch setting are correct.
 
Mike
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peter-Blake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 November 2009 at 17:18
I have also this sterling charger on my 370.
 
Bank 1 start battery
Bank 2 three general batteries for consuming
 
I did not measure the voltage so far. But i always see a diffrence some time after charging the batteries, also without using any power:
 
Bank 1 is most of the time at 100 % (all 5 LED are on)
Bank 2 is always less than the start bank (3 of 5 LED)
 
Next time i am on my boat i will measure it.
Blake 370
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Timeout Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 November 2009 at 18:12
[QUOTE=Timeout]

I have a Sterling 1250 CED battery charger with 3 channels which is connected with 3 separated battery banks.  All banks have AGM  80 amps batteries. 

Bank 1: is the start battery.
Bank 2: 4 batteries for general  consuming.
Bank 3: 3 batteries for  bow thruster, electric winches and the webasto heater is also connected to this bank.
 

The problem is when connected to shore power.  When I start using electricity (usually lamps and heater) the charger start to deliver power. But bank 1, which is the start battery, reaches often a voltage of 15 volt! If the voltage reach 14,9 volt there is also displayed an alarm icon on the panel. Batteries should to my knowledge not be charged with such a high voltage.  The two other banks usually reaches a voltage under 14 volt (13.7 - 13,9). The start battery is in practical 100% full charged. Why does this bank charge with such a high voltage? And why so low voltage on the other to banks?  

When no electricity is used, all three banks show a voltage between 13,4 to 13,7 volts. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Timeout Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 December 2009 at 14:13

Here is my answer from Sterling. To my knowledge no other battery chargers use this kind of logic?

Sterling:

Its just the way electric works, because there is no load on that battery and its 100% full  its easy to raise that surface voltage without any resistance, you will find there is no current flow, or a very small load will pull the voltage down, but as i said before there will be no charging taking place

 
Hi!
Thanks for a fast reply. I will check the temperature. But I find it strange that the voltage on the start battery is so high when I start consuming electricity on the other two battery banks.....?
 
Sterling:

Its just a surface voltage, if the charger was overcharging the battery the battery would get warm, please check the temp of the battery

 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Peter-Blake Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 December 2009 at 14:46
hmmmmmmmmmmmmm? Ermm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Allison Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 13 December 2009 at 13:18
We've had (have) the same and seen it on our battery voltage meter for past year or so.  Got same answers from my localy electrician as you've got from Stirling and true to form - battery 1 is not overheatng - and drops back immediately any load is placed on it.  It is therefore not something that worries us. 
JOHN
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tobo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 February 2010 at 14:36
Be happy guys, your charger is still working. Mine has blown already (3 years old on a Hanse 470, Sterling 50Amp). Possible reason: too much moisture during winter time; in fact condensation water is collecting right on the construction sill underneath (s. pic). Replacement: As Sterling is a No Go name in the Southern Mediterranean ("too complicated, too much electronics") my electronic dealer suggested Quick (SBC 700 ADV, s. http://www.damarine.com.cy/ProductDetails.aspx?ProductId=59&ProductTypeId=39 ). Triple the price of a Sterling and hopefully more reliable. What's your guess?

Remark # 1 on the side: To get access to the screws of the cover on the rear wall, we had to unscrew the whole sofa. Ouch

Remark # 2: Looking at the rusty screws of the sofa (only galvanised!!!, see pic) I learned another lesson how Hanse is trying to save money. (Hanse slogan: "The Quality People in Yachting" Ouch).





Edited by tobo - 08 February 2010 at 13:23
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Timeout Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 February 2010 at 15:17
Yep, its not very service friendly. I had also to remove the sofa to get into the charger. And its very narrow. I guess they installed the charger and another electrical things and then build the furnitures.
I have had several Quick chargers earlier and I can confirm that they are good chargers.
You can buy here for export and the price is about 650 euro (ex vat) for the Quick adv 700: http://seatronic.no/batterilader-c-60
 
 But you have to be aware that these chargers are larger in size and this room is very narrow. To make it simple I would have ordered a new Sterling 1250 from England.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tobo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 11 February 2010 at 10:22
A sailing friend, familiar with electronics, reckons that the damage could have been caused by the upside-down mounting of  the charger producing a wrong air flow of the fans (sucking in warm air instead of cool one). What do you think?The product details of this Sterling charger (50A) states that it's suitable for 250-500Ah Gel batteries. We have 8 pieces at 80Ah. Too small?


Edited by tobo - 11 February 2010 at 13:58
Thomi
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