updated 2019

Battery Charging Quickly and Deeply

Battery charging quickly and deeply by a generator is totally possible but you must know how to do it. This article reveals all. It explains why and how. The article refers to 230-volt generators but is equally valid for 110-volt generators.

All 230 volts generators have a 12 volt dc socket. Some generator makers label it ‘Battery Charger’ but this socket is meant for running small 12 volt devices, such as a TV directly – without needing a battery. Its output is a typically unregulated 13.6 volts and drops under load (to 12.6 volts or less). That voltage is far too low for full and speedy charging.

It will half-charge a flat (say100 amp-hour) RV battery within six or so hours. From there on charging progressively reduces. It may take another full day to bring that battery much over 70%. And even more to fully charge it.

Battery charging quickly and deeply by a generator can be made to work

The solution is simple and effective. Charge the battery by a 230-volt battery charger from the generator’s 230-volt outlet. The size charger required (and its safe charging rates) varies with battery capacity and types. This is particularly so for LiFePO4 batteries. You can safely charge them at very high current, but you will damage them if over-voltage.

Do not skimp on that battery charger. Any savings are lost by more fuel needed to run the generator longer. As a rough guide, a good caravan battery charger will cost you much the same price as the battery (or battery bank).

Our book Caravan & Motorhome Electrics explains all this and much more in-depth: See also Article Lithium-ion batteries in caravans and motorhomes on this website.

Please also see Solar That Really Works! (for boats, cabins and RVs) and Solar Success (for homes and properties).

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