Home Forums Truck Camper Adventure Forum electrical power center

Viewing 7 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts
    • #52333
      Larry Beck
      Participant

      I have an WFCI 8725-p power center in my North Star 850sc pop up camper. I have read that others have had problems with them charging slowly. Mine is this way also. It takes forever to charge my battery’s when plugged in to AC. I have researched the Progressive Dynamics power centers and it sounds like that’s the product that would work better. My question is, could I just disconnect the charging system in the WFCI panel and install my own charger that I trust to do the job or is there and issue with this train of thought?

    • #52335
      Phil
      Participant

      Well, I’m not all too familiar with the WFCO unit, but assuming you can disable the charging function of the WFCO, A PD charger would do nicely, especially with the optional ‘Charge Wizard’ dongle which (via led and button) will allow you to monitor the charge cycle and even drive it into the higher 14.4v boost mode…

      The main reasons that lead acid type batteries have lower charging efficiencies (meaning longer charging times than say a Lithium aka, LiFePo4) is because of inherent chemical sluggishness, and because of the timely absorption charging phase in which voltage is then lowered to 13.6v to finalize the charging, and this wasted inefficiency manifest itself in the form of heat…

      BTW, when selecting a new PD charger, know that they seldom output their advertised rated amperage (usually only about half…) so in my view (assuming more than one battery) it may be for example best to upsize from say a 45a to a 60a unit.

      Other things worth considering would be sufficient size (AWG Gauge) of the charging wire, and to add solar to help reduce the depth of discharge (DOD).

      Phil

    • #52338
      Larry Beck
      Participant

      Phil
      Thanks, that’s help full. The PD charger doesn’t come as small as mine so I have no other choice to go bigger. Good to know I could even up size a bit more. I do have solar and am going to upsize the wire from the truck alternator if that’s what you are talking about.
      Changing out the whole power center seemed a little more of a project than seemed necessary but I’m sure it would be a lot cleaner.
      Thanks for your opinion
      Larry

    • #52340
      Phil
      Participant

      Hi Larry, for clarity maybe consider the possibility of keeping the present WFCO power center intact as is, but if you have sufficient room (say, beneath a cabinet) adding a PD charger (charger only – not an entire PD power center) to supplement the WFCO. Also, to ensure that the wire size coming from the charger to the battery is not undersized. Sorry for the confusion. As far as the charging rate goes for conventional lead acid, a charging rate of about 20% or so of overall battery capacity is what’s normally recommended…

      Phil

    • #52365
      Larry Beck
      Participant

      Hey Phil,
      That makes more sense to me than a complete change out. Would I want to disconnect the WFCO charge wire you think?
      Thanks
      Larry

    • #52366
      Phil
      Participant

      There’s a few variables worth considering such as, total battery capacity, charge wire size (and length if excessive), battery type and total available charging amps from all sources…

      For example, often a lithium battery (LiFePo4) is capable of a maximum charge rate as high as it’s amp/hr capacity (say, 100amp/hr capacity receiving 100amps current – though this uber high rate somewhat at the hidden cost of longevity), which makes Lithium the King of the Hill for rapid charge acceptance, an especially important attribute when considering solar harvesting (e.g. exploiting the ‘peak harvesting hours’ window)…

      Though lithium may or may not be in your future (??), either way the best place to start would be to understand what ‘the system’ is really doing and go forward from there – JMHO… So my first step would be to install a good shunt based SOC meter (assuming you don’t already have one?) so that you can ‘actually see’ the activity traveling in and out of your battery, and know the battery’s current SOC (state of charge), etc. This will better help you arrive at a more proper diagnosis, and in the long run serve you well indeed in seasons to come…My personal favorite’s are Victron’s BMV 712, or their ‘Smart shunt’ both of which are smart phone capable and lithium compatible, the latter (as lithium prices continue to drop) in the event you later decide to change battery types…

      A good SOC meter (Li compatible, such as Victron) will use both a coulomb counter and an embedded ‘look-up’ table to help arrive at an accurate SOC…

      Phil

    • #52369
      Larry Beck
      Participant

      So I have 2 100ah 12v AGM battery’s and a battery monitor with a shunt. Not a Victron but I think it works OK. I think I will try going charger only if I have the room.
      Thanks for all your help. I appreciate it when I can talk to somebody knowledgable about these things.

    • #52372
      Phil
      Participant

      So I have 2 100ah 12v AGM battery’s and a battery monitor with a shunt. Not a Victron but I think it works OK. I think I will try going charger only if I have the room.

      Thanks for all your help. I appreciate it when I can talk to somebody knowledgable about these things.

      Ha, Your plan sounds like a solid one to me, and glad you already have a SOC meter but trust that I’m still a work in progress having earned a ‘Master’s Degree in mistakes’ (Ugg – the best teacher EVER!!)…

      Phil

Viewing 7 reply threads
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.