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5324Re: Charger options?

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  • Todd Martin
    Jun 1, 2009
      Hi Ken,

      I was in the same boat you are in last year. My work has 120V and I have 240V at home with a broken NLG4. I bought an NLG5 from Metric Mind and have been happy with it.

      A word of caution about the Manzanita Micro. A friend of mine bought one for use in his EV. The Regs failed one day and his batteries were fried. The charger failed at least 3 times before he ended up selling the EV. Each time, Manzanita fixed it (sometimes under warranty) promptly. His comments were that the charger is very powerful, but dumb and easy to break.

      Let me give you an example: When I bought my NLG5, I installed it myself and made a couple mistakes. First, I got confused and switched a control wire with a hot lead. The charger charged at 120V when fed 240V power, it did nothing when fed 120V. Other than that, the charger worked. Separately, I once fed the NLG5 240V juice when it was not hooked up to the battery pack. In that case, a little warning light came on to tell me what I did wrong.

      I believe if I had made the same sort of mistakes with the PFC, it would be cooked.

      Best regards,
      Todd Martin
      '97 Force, Elgin IL

      --- In solectria_ev@yahoogroups.com, Ken Olum <kdo@...> wrote:
      >
      > I was not able to fix my Brusa NLG4, so now I'm looking for a new
      > charger. I need to be able to charge on both 120V and 240V. The
      > choices seem to be these:
      >
      > Brusa NLG5: A straightforward replacement of the NLG4. There is even
      > an adapter cable so you don't have to make new wires. Presumably it
      > would treat my batteries very well, just like its predecessor.
      > However, it costs $4000 and does not charge very quickly on 120V
      > (albeit better than the NLG4). Probably 6A output current.
      >
      > Zivan NG3: Sadly, these chargers take a fixed input voltage, so I
      > would need 2. Even so, they are available for about $1100 each, so
      > this is still cheaper than the Brusa. The 120V Zivan charges more
      > quickly than the Brusa, but it draws 18A, raising a possible issue of
      > blowing circuit breakers. This is particularly an issue because my partner
      > works in a building whose garage is very well supplied with 120V
      > outlets, but we have not made any arrangement with the owners of that
      > building, and so would not have any way to reset a circuit breaker.
      >
      > The Zivan has a single temperature sensor, so I would have to either
      > guess which battery compartment is hotter, or devise some plan for
      > automatically switching to the hotter sensor.
      >
      > Manzanita Micro PFC-20, plus 13 individual bypass regulators: Since
      > the charger itself is not temperature compensated, the regulators seem
      > mandatory. The entire package costs about $2600. I wrote to Rich
      > Rudman and he does recommend this charger for gel batteries.
      > This charger has exactly the input stage I want. It can charge on any
      > voltage (60-240), and the input current can be throttled down with a
      > knob. I don't know if this would do a better or worse job than my
      > Brusa. The procedure is very different, but the batteries would have
      > individual regulators, so perhaps it would be better.
      >
      > If I used a PFC-20 I think I would have to shut down the charger when
      > the batteries were charged, rather than floating them. Again, I'm
      > not sure if this is better or worse, although there is the issue that
      > if you don't use the car for several days there is some drain.
      >
      > The PFC-20 is not isolated. This poses a danger if there is a current
      > leak to the frame of the car. In fact, I have such a leak, but it has
      > a very high resistance, and any case I ought to fix it. This danger
      > can be ameliorated by installing a GFCI, which I don't have now.
      > (There was a long discussion on this subject on the EV list in 2002,
      > under the title "Yet another charger question". See
      > http://www.mail-archive.com/ev@.../msg02942.html).
      >
      > I don't see any option I really like here. I'm leaning toward the
      > PFC-20, but I'd be interested in hearing opinions. Especially I'd
      > like to know if anyone has a PFC-20 on a Force.
      >
      > Thanks very much.
      >
      > Ken
      >
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