Navitron Renewable Energy and Sustainability Forum

Energy/Electricity Storage and Use/Grid Connection => Off-Grid, Batteries & Inverters => Topic started by: SimonD on October 06, 2014, 01:06:27 PM



Title: forklift battery charger
Post by: SimonD on October 06, 2014, 01:06:27 PM
Hi,

My second Victron 48v 50amp charger has just died. I returned it to the seller and they tell me that Victron say they cannot repair it, it's out of warranty (only just) and have offered me a new one for 660 (less than half price). They don't say what's wrong!

Can anyone think of a reason why I should not use a forklift battery charger (340 new with 3 yrs warranty) to charge my forklift batteries?


Title: Re: forklift battery charger
Post by: camillitech on October 06, 2014, 01:47:12 PM
I guess it depends on the battery type really, probably fine for FLA but perhaps not so good for VRLA or gel and much depends on the charger too, some are bit brutal. I don't really know much about fork lift chargers, Knighty or CM are the chaps, but they are designed for forklift cells which are very forgiving of abuse.

Good luck, Paul


Title: Re: forklift battery charger
Post by: oliver90owner on October 06, 2014, 03:24:17 PM
I think I would be asking for a second opinion on the repair. Over 660 ought to get it repaired properly!


Title: Re: forklift battery charger
Post by: SimonD on October 06, 2014, 04:43:13 PM
Hi,

The charger is with Victron in Holland I think! I sent it to the company from which I bought it in the UK and they sent it to Victron, without telling me. Victron will charge me a fortune just to get it back. I'm becoming less keen on their expensive kit now that two of their chargers have failed. I thought when they offered a cheap replacement after the first one failed that they were being generous, but with no feedback info regarding the cause and the second one failing after less than 2 years I'm looking for cheaper more robust options, especially as 660 is also about the cost of a years red diesel for the generator. Any suggestions for cheap robust 48v 50amp chargers would be greatly recieved? I can't afford the solar panels yet!


Title: Re: forklift battery charger
Post by: camillitech on October 06, 2014, 06:08:45 PM
Sorry to here your tale of woe Simon, we've used Victron chargers for upwards of ten years 24/7 without any trouble, and I don't just mean one. The ships I've worked on had around 5 each for all the 24v kit and I've never heard of one failing. They even use them on the main engines instead of engine driven alternators because they're so reliable. Is the charger in a well ventilated area? If you are charging batteries with it whilst a DG is running can you not just fit a big 24v alternator? There are plenty of those about on trucks that will put out far more than 50 amps if you wish.



Good luck, Paul


Title: Re: forklift battery charger
Post by: clockmanFR on October 06, 2014, 06:25:02 PM
Knighty has given me 2 48v Forklift battery chargers.

see http://www.navitron.org.uk/forum/index.php/topic,23388.30.html (http://www.navitron.org.uk/forum/index.php/topic,23388.30.html)

I have had them apart. The single phase is very brutal 80a and runs flat out from the first, but I have not actually switched it on yet to se what the actual output voltage is.

The other is 3 phase 60a and has stepped charging.  But the 3 main transformers have many tappings so I suspect that it can be a bit more gentle, but loads of electronic gubbings.

I have 1300ah at 48v batteries so I am not that worried, and the charger will be only used like a standby generator when the batts get a bit down.   (Paul that's going to be fun setting those SI relays up  banghead:).   


Title: Re: forklift battery charger
Post by: Tinbum on October 06, 2014, 07:08:06 PM
Hi,

The charger is with Victron in Holland I think! I sent it to the company from which I bought it in the UK and they sent it to Victron, without telling me. Victron will charge me a fortune just to get it back. I'm becoming less keen on their expensive kit now that two of their chargers have failed. I thought when they offered a cheap replacement after the first one failed that they were being generous, but with no feedback info regarding the cause and the second one failing after less than 2 years I'm looking for cheaper more robust options, especially as 660 is also about the cost of a years red diesel for the generator. Any suggestions for cheap robust 48v 50amp chargers would be greatly recieved? I can't afford the solar panels yet!

I'm into Eltrek flatpack chargers, expensive chargers but do come up cheap sometimes. I'm  running 5x 175W, 4x1kW and 2x 2kW at the moment all switched automatically by my diverter.


Title: Re: forklift battery charger
Post by: Fionn on October 07, 2014, 09:20:01 PM
48v systems are used extensively in the telecommunications area.
A 48v Eltek Flatpack2 can be picked up new for well under 1k and individual 2kW rectifiers can be plugged in to make it either an 8kW or 16kW system. They are really flexible systems and fully programmable for charge voltage & current, low battery disconnect voltage,  multi tap battery voltage sensing, temperature sensing etc.
There are other brands also and plenty of working equipment is scrapped as operators upgrade to newer kit.


Title: Re: forklift battery charger
Post by: SimonD on October 09, 2014, 09:13:37 AM
Hi Guys, Thanks for all the info. Victron have come back with some info: they think it was caused by moisture. The charger and batteries are in a half underground shed that is very well ventilated, possibly too well ventilated as the day the charger failed the hill on which we live was surrounded in cloud and mist, so I'm guessing condensation from that caused the problem. I may have no choice with a new charger and have to go with a new forklift battery charger because of the cost. They are forklift batteries after all! Thanks again