Bench-top Charger recommendation?

FilterGuy

What, me worry?
Joined
Nov 26, 2019
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4,710
Location
Los Gatos CA
Does anyone have a good recomendation for a benchtop charger for charging/testing LiFePO4 Batteries. Ideally it would be switchable to work on both 12V and 24 Volt banks. However, I could use 2 different chargers if needed.
 

krby

Solar Addict
Joined
Nov 2, 2019
Messages
192
You should look at a quality programmable charger from the R/C hobby. Most of the recent ones either have a LiFePo4 profile or can be programmed to do LiFePo4. Nearly all of the high quality ones are DC-DC chargers, so you'll need a AC->DC PSU. Lots of folks like MeanWell as a PSU brand.

I have the Dual PL8 (a two channel version of the link @Picasso posted). Revolectrix makes really good chargers. They make it REALLY difficult to do something wrong. One problem I occasionally run into with Revolectrix is that it can be difficult to convince the charger to charge high capacity batteries without letting the charger do the balancing. The other brand I would recommend is Junsi / iCharger. I have an X6 from them that I built into an ammo can and really like it. It is less powerful, but more flexible than the PL8, so charging something with a balance lead is easier to setup. But the small GUI interface is a bit harder to navigate while setting up profiles. If you're only ever going to have like 2-3 profiles, then this is no big deal. You can get larger (and more powerful) chargers from iCharger as well.

Both the PL8 and X6 will handle 12V and 24V. I forgot the exact specs, but the PL8 is designed for a max of 8S LiPo (4.2V per cell) so it probably maxes out somewhere around 34V. The X6 is designed for a max 6S LiPo so probably about 26V max.

@FilterGuy : How much power to you want the charger to deliver to the battery? If you're looking for something like 50A or more at 24V (1200W), that limits the field to what tend to be high-end chargers.
 
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