Trickle charging

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  #1  
Old 11-19-07, 10:05 PM
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Trickle charging

I've got an Optima red-top battery. It's recommended to trickle charge at no more than 1AMP as per Optima's FAQ's. I've got a brand new Automatic battery charger where I can trickle charge at 2AMP. What harm would be done if I trickle charge it at twice the amperage? I pull the battery out of the car for the winter(project car) and usually just leave it in the house until spring. I want to maintain it this winter on the charger, not sure what the best method to do it with a deep-cycle is and if this charger is applicable.
 
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  #2  
Old 11-20-07, 06:27 PM
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Are you sure 1 amp max? Boy, I hope your not in a hurry to use it. Personally I can't see where 2 amps would hurt it, but if your worried, wire a 12 volt bulb, or 2 to the post or wing nuts supplied on the battery. That will draw about 1 amp, and leave you with 1 for charging. By the way, some of those little solar chargers for your rear window, I think, charge at about .5-1 amp. (just an idea)
 
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Old 11-20-07, 06:41 PM
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Look at the FAQ'S again. I think you will find that they say a 10 amp max charge rate. Two amps is fine and will only charge your battery as needed to keep it ready to go.
 
  #4  
Old 11-20-07, 07:07 PM
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A constant 2 amps for months on end is not fine. The term "trickle charge" is used for "dumb" chargers which just keep the current flowing forever. This is not what you want, and certainly not at 2 amps. I wouldn't even do this with a standard lead battery, and definitely not a sealed one!

Now if your charger is a float charger this is a whole other story. If the charger only turns on when needed, 2 amps would be fine in this case and that's precisely what you want.

The solar charger solution already mentioned is a good option if you want to go that route.

Otherwise your best bet is to throw away that junk charger and get a decent yet inexpensive (< $50) charger with float, equalize, and desulfate settings.

(And guys, the 1 amp max was for sustained TRICKLE charging, not charging throughout the course of normal use.)
 
  #5  
Old 11-20-07, 07:20 PM
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I contacted Optima twice today and was told that 2AMP's is fine.

Mike.b - thanks, good suggestion.

goldstar - You're correct. My charger is a 75/12/2A. (75amp for engine starting, 12amp for quicker full charge, 2amp for trickle). If I was to use the 12amp setting to bring the battery to a full charge, it will only run at 12amps and gradually decrease to ~1 - 0. Can that damage the battery since I would be 2amps over the recommendation? Virtually the same question as my original trickle question.

core - I don't know if they define this one as a float charger. It was one of their more expensive ones, on sale. It's a 75/12/2A - 12V Automatic Charger, says "Automatic operation shuts the charger off when the battery is fully charged and resumes charging when the battery discharges". "2 Amp trickle charge keeps stored lead-acid batteries charged." "Cycles on and off when finished to maintain a full charge."

After reading the manual, it says it will shut off when the battery is full, and come back on when the battery begins to discharge. Does not say its a float charger or a trickle charger by definition, just says that its automatic and can provide a trickle charge. Sounds more like a float charger?
 
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Old 11-20-07, 07:37 PM
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Ok, so you have a decent float charger. 2 amps is fine.

And for normal-use charging I wouldn't worry about 12A vs 10A.
 
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