Battery charging on the run

Video Battery charging on the run

DC on-the-run battery charging gives nice advantages if it suits your fishing model

From the Complaints You Will By no means Hear division: “I fished within the wind all day and nonetheless have too darned a lot energy left in my trolling motor batteries!”

You’re more likely to listen to a sob story about how nice the fishing was till the trolling motor batteries died.

I like to recommend powering your trolling motor with the highest-capacity deep-cycle batteries that may slot in your boat’s battery compartment for a number of causes — crucial being that the deeper their depth of discharge on every fishing day the less seasons they final.

It isn’t typically doable, however when you might equip your boat with trolling motor batteries so massive that they solely ran all the way down to 50 p.c of a full cost throughout every fishing day they’d final greater than twice so long as batteries that have been fully discharged.

Deep-cycle batteries lose capability as they age, and producers take into account a battery’s service life over when its capability drops to 50 p.c of what it had when new.

The variety of discharge/recharge cycles a battery can full earlier than reaching that 50-percent level is taken into account its service life.

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I nonetheless have an outdated Interstate Marine and RV battery upkeep information that spells out the impact that depth of discharge has on service life. A deep-cycle battery that’s discharged one hundred pc every time would possibly final 325 cycles; the identical battery discharged solely 75 p.c lasts 550 cycles. Discharged 50 p.c, the identical battery lasts 1,000 cycles — and discharged solely 25 p.c it lasts 2,200 cycles.

Minn Kota and some different corporations perceive all this and have give you a method to make use of our engine’s alternator to partially replenish our trolling motor batteries as we run between fishing spots. Nonetheless, these chargers can’t convey the batteries again to a full cost until our engine has a monstrous alternator and we run it at excessive RPMs for as many or extra hours than we fish.

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I consider them as a method so as to add a form of mini cost between fishing spots that mitigates the fixed battery draw-down liable for a deeper depth of discharge over the entire fishing day.

The precise cost supplied is determined by alternator output at your engine’s cruising RPM and the way lengthy you run between fishing stops. Idling round doesn’t depend for a lot as a result of alternators output little or no at low RPM. And an angler who races to a spot 5 or 10 minutes from the ramp, fishes there all day, after which runs the 5 or 10 minutes again is just not going to understand any benefit from one in every of these chargers as a result of he solely runs the engine lengthy sufficient to place an amp or 2 again into every trolling motor battery.

However a fisherman who runs to 10 spots miles aside and solely fishes each for an hour or much less will most likely discover that his trolling motor feels simply as sturdy on the final spot because it did on the first. And, minimizing the depth of discharge to every battery implies that when he will get residence and plugs in his onboard AC charger, it is going to prime off the batteries in a comparatively brief time.

I’m not an enormous fan of the DC chargers that function as easy battery isolators and hyperlink all our cranking and trolling motor batteries collectively in parallel the moment the engine’s ignition secret’s turned on: I would like the cranking battery to get what it wants first, and that quantities to extra charging energy than it did in years previous.

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Our cranking batteries now energy extra electronics than ever, and normally run livewell pumps and timers, shallow-water anchor methods and different equipment whereas the boat’s predominant engine is shut down.

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Once you begin your engine, the Minn Kota DC chargers learn the voltage throughout the beginning battery and won’t start charging the others till that cranking battery is above 13.6 volts. It additionally stops charging your trolling motor batteries if the beginning battery voltage drops under 12.8 volts; it then applies all its charging energy to the beginning battery till it’s again above 13.6 volts.

Minn Kota calls its charge-on-the-run merchandise DC Alternator On-Board Chargers, and one in every of them could be put in proper alongside your plug-into-the-wall AC onboard charger. The 2 charging methods function at completely different occasions utilizing completely different energy sources and won’t intrude with one another.

Separate fashions can be found for 12-, 24- and 36-volt trolling motor methods. Wiring one in is easy: You connect one set of optimistic and adverse results in the cranking battery and one set to every of the trolling motor batteries. You don’t must take away any 24- or 36-volt jumper wires between the batteries as a result of these chargers are designed to deal with every battery independently with separate adverse grounds. There’s additionally a purple wire that runs to a optimistic terminal anyplace within the boat that’s solely sizzling when the engine’s ignition swap is turned on.

The Minn Kota chargers are designed to place out 10 amps of charging energy to every trolling motor battery, however they’ll solely do this in case your engine’s alternator has sufficient output to provide that a lot surplus energy. The corporate says this implies you want an alternator with an additional output (above what your engine wants) of not less than 12 amps for the MK-1-DC 12-volt trolling motor system mannequin, a minimal of 25 additional amps of output for the MK-2-DC 24-volt system charger and a minimal of 35 amps for the MK-3-DC 36-volt system mannequin.

A few of right now’s outboard engines have sufficient electrical gas and gas injection pumps, powerful-enough digital ignitions and different needed equipment to make use of as a lot as half of their alternator output simply to run themselves at peak load intervals.

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Nonetheless, the truth that 24- and 36-volt motors are extra apt to be put in on larger boats with bigger outboard engines having alternators with increased charging outputs makes it extraordinarily probably that the alternator in your boat will likely be large enough to cost your trolling motor batteries. And, the chargers robotically compensate throughout these peak load occasions when much less surplus energy is accessible to scale down the quantity of energy going to the trolling motor batteries. Additionally they robotically scale back their output if the trolling motor batteries don’t have to be charged.

These DC charging methods are additionally useful for tenting fishermen who don’t have an AC energy supply out there for his or her common onboard chargers however do have sufficient gasoline to run their engines lengthy sufficient to stretch out their trolling motor’s operating time.

Remember the fact that all battery sorts can’t be charged with the identical charger. The Minn Kota fashions are designed to cost flooded, wet-cell batteries of both the complete upkeep or maintenance-free sort, they usually additionally cost maintenance-free, absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries.

They aren’t designed to cost gel batteries, and that requires a bit extra rationalization. I’m frequently shocked to listen to in any other case educated anglers consult with Optima and different AGM batteries as “gel” fashions. They aren’t gel fashions, and chargers designed for moist cell and AGM batteries work simply fantastic on them.

Hitting a real gel battery with a charger arrange for moist cell and AGM batteries can actually burn it up.

Go to for extra data on Minn Kota’s DC and AC chargers.

Please see more summary list Best trolling motor battery charger ranked by customer satisfaction.


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