Iota 75 Amp Battery Charger

Model DLS-75

 

I've got solar panels, so what's a battery charger for?  In my case, it would be used after a major event.  The most likely being a hurricane here in central FL.  A hurricane can bring days of rain.  No clear skies = no solar charging.  I can plug the charger into the grid if available, otherwise, I can use my Yamaha EF2400iS generator to do the job.  The generator is rated at 16 Amps continuous at 120VAC.  This charger is rated at 75 Amps at 12VDC.  That's about 7.5 Amps at 120VAC.  So that's about a 50% load on the generator. 

 

Lot of wires hanging on my alt-power board.  The Iota charger is located on the upper left corner.

It's connected to the buss bars via an Anderson 175A connector.  This allows it to be easily removed from the system, and charge other batteries independently if needed.

A brushless muffin fan is attached to the charger.  The fan will only run as needed.  Not uncommon to find it not running while charging - don't panic!  When the charger starts to warm up, it'll kick on.  I did buy the optional IQ module, converting the basic charger into a 3 stage charger.  The green LED indicates the system is working.

When the grid is down, I have solar.  When a storm blocks the sun, the generator gets some use.  Good to have options!

This charger has two easily accessed fuses.  I've added a few of these to my spare parts, just in case.

 

Radio Shack doesn't carry much hardware anymore, but they still carry a few fuses.

After discharging the battery bank during an overnight test, the Iota charger was switched on.  It's rated at 75 Amps.  Got that, plus a tad more.  This figures drops over time as the battery bank is recharged.

The neat thing is I can use a combination of solar and the Iota charger simultaneously to recharge the battery bank.  During this test, the total charge going into the battery bank exceeded 100 Amps.  75 Amps from the Iota, ~25 Amps from solar.

By combining these power sources, I can reduce the amount of fuel needed for the generator, and reduce the time needed from solar power alone.

 

Iota chargers are designed for the RV industry.  Often mounted in storage bays, subjected to heat & humidity.  A lot like the climate inside my garage.  I bought mine on Ebay, gently used.  Paid a bit over $100.  Think I got a very good deal.

 

Here's what Iota says about their optional IQ Controller:

The IQ Controller allows the DLS Charger to operate as an automatic 3-stage "smart charger." This gives the customer the benefit of Bulk, Absorption, and Float stage charging, increasing the charging capacity of the DLS charger and decreasing charge times, insuring proper and safe battery charging and minimizing over-charging. This "smart" technology monitors the battery at all times. If the DLS voltage remains in the long term stage for more than seven days, the IQ will automatically deliver a boost charge for a predetermined time, then automatically return to the normal float stage.

 

I now have the ability to recharge the battery bank, despite what the weather is doing.  I don't need it often, but it could be very useful after a few days of heavy rain.

 

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Last updated 04/24/11    All rights reserved.