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Old 07-24-2021, 08:52 AM   #1
Kevin J
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Wouldn't it be nice........

Wouldn't it be nice if there was an indicator that told you when your RV converter changed from bulk to absorption mode?
That would be a useful indicator when to shut off your generator when not on shore power.
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Old 07-24-2021, 09:49 AM   #2
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Possibly hook up a ammeter gauge between the converter and battery’s
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Old 07-24-2021, 10:54 AM   #3
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For most people, it would wind up being the same as the "green leaf ECO monitor" on Ford's "hybrid cars"... A novelty to use at first that quickly becomes "something else to ignore or that breaks and needs fixing"....

If you really want "that information" get a voltage meter and wire it inline with the converter output. An ammeter, unless you significantly change the trailer wiring, wouldn't help since the charge amperage to the battery is "what's left over after user demand is met (in other words, the battery gets the amperage left after all the lights, furnace, water pump, stereo, refrigerator and water heater demands <controlled by the user> are powered).... So, to know "what's going to the battery" you'd have to know "what's being used before the battery".. That kind of monitoring wouldn't come from a simple ammeter on the converter output...

I find that if the trailer is "relatively quiet" I can tell the charge status of the battery by considering what all is "turned on in the trailer" and how fast the converter fan is turning. If no lights are on and the fan is turning fast, the battery is charging. If a few lights are on and the fan is not turning, the battery is charged, or close to it.

For me, that's about the extent of my "need to know" while camping. At home, plugged into shore power, I let the "genie in the converter" do its thing......
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Old 07-24-2021, 11:25 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by JRTJH View Post
For most people, it would wind up being the same as the "green leaf ECO monitor" on Ford's "hybrid cars"... A novelty to use at first that quickly becomes "something else to ignore or that breaks and needs fixing"....

If you really want "that information" get a voltage meter and wire it inline with the converter output. An ammeter, unless you significantly change the trailer wiring, wouldn't help since the charge amperage to the battery is "what's left over after user demand is met (in other words, the battery gets the amperage left after all the lights, furnace, water pump, stereo, refrigerator and water heater demands <controlled by the user> are powered).... So, to know "what's going to the battery" you'd have to know "what's being used before the battery".. That kind of monitoring wouldn't come from a simple ammeter on the converter output...

I find that if the trailer is "relatively quiet" I can tell the charge status of the battery by considering what all is "turned on in the trailer" and how fast the converter fan is turning. If no lights are on and the fan is turning fast, the battery is charging. If a few lights are on and the fan is not turning, the battery is charged, or close to it.

For me, that's about the extent of my "need to know" while camping. At home, plugged into shore power, I let the "genie in the converter" do its thing......
My mistake. I thought it would read the amps being put out by the converter/charger to feed into the battery..figured the amps would drop to 1.5 amp or something small when battery’s reached full charge
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Old 07-24-2021, 12:01 PM   #5
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My mistake. I thought it would read the amps being put out by the converter/charger to feed into the battery..figured the amps would drop to 1.5 amp or something small when battery’s reached full charge
There's a very detailed "theory of operation" on the WFCO website: https://wfcoelectronics.com/wp-conte...eration-v2.pdf

Essentially, the "amp/voltage relationship" dictates the operational mode of the converter/charger and as "house demands go up, the charge capability goes down"... There are "over-rides" to switch from absorption mode to bulk mode and "up the voltage from 13.6 to 14.4 VDC, but as stated on that link, "you can't read the voltage increase with a meter (or voltage monitor mounted on the wall) because the converter/charger output is regulated based on current, not voltage, so even though the output is 14.4 VDC, the "nominal output voltage remains at 13.6 VDC"....

It's not "smoke and mirrors" but rather the "charge profile management" which is used to protect "sensitive DC circuits from higher voltage where possible"...

An interesting read which "to me, more or less negates the hypothetical advantages of the Progressive 4 stage charger system". Without getting too deeply into "electronics theory", letting the WFCO "do its thing" is likely to be the best option for most users who don't have extensive electrical engineering and design backgrounds.... IOW, it gets way deeper than my brain can interpret in the "finite details".....
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Old 07-24-2021, 12:09 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by JRTJH View Post
There's a very detailed "theory of operation" on the WFCO website: https://wfcoelectronics.com/wp-conte...eration-v2.pdf

Essentially, the "amp/voltage relationship" dictates the operational mode of the converter/charger and as "house demands go up, the charge capability goes down"... There are "over-rides" to switch from absorption mode to bulk mode and "up the voltage from 13.6 to 14.4 VDC, but as stated on that link, "you can't read the voltage increase with a meter (or voltage monitor mounted on the wall) because the converter/charger output is regulated based on current, not voltage, so even though the output is 14.4 VDC, the "nominal output voltage remains at 13.6 VDC"....

It's not "smoke and mirrors" but rather the "charge profile management" which is used to protect "sensitive DC circuits from higher voltage where possible"...

An interesting read which "to me, more or less negates the hypothetical advantages of the Progressive 4 stage charger system". Without getting too deeply into "electronics theory", letting the WFCO "do its thing" is likely to be the best option for most users who don't have extensive electrical engineering and design backgrounds.... IOW, it gets way deeper than my brain can interpret in the "finite details".....
Thanks for the explanation John…they are a little more complicated then I thought..I will read up on them and I appreciate the link
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Old 07-26-2021, 06:51 PM   #7
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Thanks all.
I have a Victron smart shunt that I am still setting up but the main reason is to know when I am at 50% SOC and need to run the generator when off shore power.
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