Can I leave this connected for extended periods w/o supervision? Progressive Dynamics 12V 45-Amp Battery Charger

wired1

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
May 30, 2021
Messages
117
Hi Folks, I've put together a backup battery power cart with 4 x 12V-200 amp Ampere Time LiFePo4 batteries. I have this converter/charger and I want to run my refrigerator, freezer and wifi network when I'm away for weeks or even months off the batteries, then have the converter/charger recharge my batteries from the grid, as there's many outages where I am.

Question 1 is, will this unit hurt the batteries if left connected?

I do plan on adding an all in one and solar panels in the next year as well.

Question 2 is, right now I have a renogy 12 volt 1000 watt inverter. I am a bit concerned as the inverter shut down twice during our last outage and I manually turned it off and back on and it was ok till it happened again. It wasn't overloaded as I was only drawing 6-800 watts at the time. I'm wondering if I waited would it have reset itself or am I looking for trouble by relying on it?

Thanks for any thoughts.
 

Will Prowse

Admin
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Sep 19, 2019
Messages
1,926
Location
Las Vegas
Those are designed to be used in RV systems and connected to the house battery 24/7. So yes, it will work.

An engineer that works at a battery manufacturing facility said that he did not like using this charger 24/7 on LiFePO4 because the float voltage is very high. This could lead to faster degradation.

What you can do to fix this is use a wifi outlet switch to control how many hours the charger is left on over the course of a day. This will ensure that the situation above never happens.

What were you running with the inverter? Some inverters are more sensitive to certain types of loads.
 

wired1

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
May 30, 2021
Messages
117
Those are designed to be used in RV systems and connected to the house battery 24/7. So yes, it will work.

An engineer that works at a battery manufacturing facility said that he did not like using this charger 24/7 on LiFePO4 because the float voltage is very high. This could lead to faster degradation.

What you can do to fix this is use a wifi outlet switch to control how many hours the charger is left on over the course of a day. This will ensure that the situation above never happens.

What were you running with the inverter? Some inverters are more sensitive to certain types of loads.
Thanks Will, At the time of the shutdown, I had 2 -110V ceiling fans with 35 watt dc motors, my 14 CF Refrigerator, my router and laptop

Maybe I should add, I'm about ready to buy a bigger all in one and 4000+ watts of panels, because I'm loving having a fan and cold food when the grid goes down. I'm thinking of going to 24 volts, maybe 48, still researching best options (getting dizzie doing so).

I'll still need the grid as I run 4 mini splits at times, so I think I'll stay with a 120 Volt single phase unit, just to cover the necessities as I have a 12 volt backup water pump that I can use instead of my 240 volt well pump, and we can get by w/o hot water until I come up with a solar solution.

I'm very happy to have all of this knowledge available as I go through this. Thanks!
 
Last edited:

wired1

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
May 30, 2021
Messages
117
There are two versions of the PD 45 a charger.

For Lead Acid PD9245C (my notes. For $13 you can add a "charge Wizard" controller dongle to change charge modes manually.)
I'm using the PD 45a LA charger for my LifePO4 battery and it seems to be working fine -- I'm cheap and the LA charger may be even better for long term Lithium storage.

LA/AGM
BOOST Mode 14.4 Volts – Rapidly brings the RV battery up to 90% of full charge.
NORMAL Mode 13.6 Volts – Safely completes the charge.
STORAGE Mode 13.2 Volts – Maintains charge with minimal gassing or water loss.
EQUALIZATION Mode 14.4 Volts – Every 21 hours for a period of 15 minutes prevents battery stratification & sulfation – the leading cause of battery failure.

And PD9145ALV for Lithium
Input: 105-130 VAC 50/60 Hz. 725 Watts
Output: 14.6 Volts VDC 45-Amps
Dimensions: 8.25”L x 7.25”W x 4.7”H
Weight: 4.5 lbs.
Note: Units manufactured after August of 2020 have 2 stages. This applies to the PD9145ALV only. The second stage drops the voltage to 13.6 after The battery is fully charged.

Understanding the PD91xxALV Two-stage lithium converter/charger. Progressive Dynamics has added a two-stage lithium (LiFePO4) charging profile to some of our lithium rated converter chargers. The new converter/charger now incorporates our “Charge Wizard” technology designed to optimize your lithium charging experience. Our engineers and technologists working with lithium battery manufacturers and by observing customer usage have developed a comprehensive Charge Wizard profile to allow the converter/charger to safely power your RV and charge your lithium batteries. Charging Specifications: Charge voltage 14.6 VDC Idle voltage 13.6 VDC Charging operation: When power is initially applied at the converter/charger DC terminals, the Charge Wizard (CW) will run a startup routine then begin providing a 14.6 VDC charging voltage to the battery. The CW will begin to monitor both the current and the voltage of the converter to determine the correct output voltage required. The charging will continue for at least 1 hour. If the current generated from the converter remains high, the charging will continue for up to a maximum 8 hours. Once the charging current drops off or a total of 8 hours has transpired, the CW will reduce the output to an idle voltage of 13.6 VDC. When you are connected to AC power for extended periods of time, such as full time with hookup or seasonal storage with hookup, the CW will initiate the charge voltage to top off your battery and then return to idle. This will occur at 3 week intervals. The CW can be powered from any voltage present in the converter output circuit. This voltage could be supplied from either the converter or the battery. As long as the voltage is above 5 VDC, the CW will turn on. The CW will monitor current and voltage at the output terminals without AC power applied and tries to adjust the output accordingly. However, there will be no actual voltage change until AC power is applied to the converter. If the battery voltage drops below 90% static charge, the CW will switch to the charge mode and recharge the battery once AC power is restored
Thanks for your reply Spark!

I have the PD9145AL, there's no V in the model #. I did buy it mid 2021.
I read something similar on PD's site. My battery voltage does drop to 13.6V after leaving the charger connected overnight. If I unplug it and 10 minutes later plug it back in, I believe it will charge back up to 14.6V again.

(edit) Found this about the "V" on their site!

What does the V mean at the end of my model number?The V means "Retail Packaged"

I'm worried that for a month while I'm not there, let's say there's a 10 minute outage , (which happens often in this location), as soon as ac power is restored it will charge at least an hour. Will that end up being too much for the batteries if they're only down say 1%?

When I've been there and know this is the case, I keep the charger unplugged until the grid has been down for at least an hour+ or so. I read that the batteries will last longer if the charge stays between 20-80% for most of the life.

As far as the inverter shutdown, I can't count on my setup powering my refrigerators while I'm gone for a month until I either figure it out or buy a better all in one unit that is dependable.

I'm looking for suggestions for a good all in one?
 
Last edited:

Cal

Solar Addict
Joined
Apr 28, 2020
Messages
684
Charging at 14.6V sounds scary to me. In all probability the cells are not balanced. That means some cells will exceed 3.65V, which is considered max voltage.

I would remove the PD cover and look for the voltage adjustment pot. While the PD is outputting 14.6V adjust the pot to a lower voltage. 14.2V would be plenty.
 

chrisski

Solar Boondocker
Joined
Aug 14, 2020
Messages
3,258
Does that charger have different charge modes?

For example, my AIMS converter has these outputs:

1636301360643.png
I don't intend to leave it on all the time, but if I did, I like the idea of the lower GEL voltages. The few converters I have seen that are adjustable have a setting either for Gel or AGM that are lower voltage. Seems on this forum, the only one I use for lithium battery advice, members like lower charge voltages than what is considered standard in converters and SCCs.
 

wired1

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
May 30, 2021
Messages
117
Charging at 14.6V sounds scary to me. In all probability the cells are not balanced. That means some cells will exceed 3.65V, which is considered max voltage.

I would remove the PD cover and look for the voltage adjustment pot. While the PD is outputting 14.6V adjust the pot to a lower voltage. 14.2V would be plenty.
I'm pretty sure it just starts the charge at 14.6 and then senses the battery voltage and adjust the rate.
 

wired1

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
May 30, 2021
Messages
117
Does that charger have different charge modes?

For example, my AIMS converter has these outputs:

View attachment 71601
I don't intend to leave it on all the time, but if I did, I like the idea of the lower GEL voltages. The few converters I have seen that are adjustable have a setting either for Gel or AGM that are lower voltage. Seems on this forum, the only one I use for lithium battery advice, members like lower charge voltages than what is considered standard in converters and SCCs.
I have not seen any adjustments. The manual says it starts at 14.6 then tapers to 13.5 I believe. I'm not close to it at the moment.
 

time2roll

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Mar 20, 2021
Messages
3,449
I would not use the PD designed for LFP charging at 14.6 and floating at 13.6 volts. Much better with the old lead-acid algorithm.
Another alternative would be a battery charge protection controller where you can program the on vs off voltage to control power to your converter.

Example on eBay - shop around
 

Cdkipp

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Jul 29, 2020
Messages
1,888
Charging at 14.6V sounds scary to me. In all probability the cells are not balanced. That means some cells will exceed 3.65V, which is considered max voltage.

I would remove the PD cover and look for the voltage adjustment pot. While the PD is outputting 14.6V adjust the pot to a lower voltage. 14.2V would be plenty.
I haven't looked at Will's review of the Ampere Time battery but we should remember we have another player in this scenario and that is the battery's BMS. If there is a runaway cell the BMS should shut the battery down. I would try to create these scenarios right now and watch what happens. I don't think going to 14.6 and holding for an hour is a big deal as long as your BMS is operating properly. As others have said I think, ironically, the progressive lead-acid chargers are a better option for lifePo4 than their lithium charger and the best option is a charger/inverter combo that lets you put in your own settings ( a Victron or Magnum hybrid inverter charger could easily manage this situation). I would be worried about the Renogy also and recommend as with the battery that you intentionally create these scenarios before you leave so you can see how your equipment responds.
 

wired1

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
May 30, 2021
Messages
117
I would not use the PD designed for LFP charging at 14.6 and floating at 13.6 volts. Much better with the old lead-acid algorithm.
Another alternative would be a battery charge protection controller where you can program the on vs off voltage to control power to your converter.

Example on eBay - shop around
Thanks for the input.

I was thinking I would buy a battery charge protection controller at first, then I thought the BMS should provide protection and wasn't wanting to add another potential problem (if the protection controller malfunctions)?


I would like to be able to control the starting and stopping of the charge cycles just to make sure the batteries don't get charged excessively. Are the $5-$10 controllers reliable enough??

I am also searching for an AIO, to replace what I have as it's time to go bigger. I don't want to buy anything else that will become redundant when I make that next purchase.
 

chrisski

Solar Boondocker
Joined
Aug 14, 2020
Messages
3,258
I only have a small lithium battery now, and am putting together a 24 v 560 ah pack, but I must sayI have not found a solution for a charger plugged into the wall to keep and charge these batteries Weeks at a time.

I’m perfectly happy with my SCC’s settings, but without

Perhaps a Victron mulitplus is configurable or perhaps a AIO is configurable.

All the RV AC to DC converters either have:

1) pre-sets too high,
2) have a single adjustable voltage, bit will not drop to a lower voltage

I would like to be able to control the starting and stopping of the charge cycles just to make sure the batteries don't get charged excessively. Are the $5-$10 controllers reliable enough??
Is this a solar build? If so I have not figured out a way to avoid “micro-cycles” without risking going into night at a low SOC.

With the small lithium pack I have, I tried lowering the float voltage, but when set float voltage to less than the 24 hour resting voltage of the battery, started to not put as much back as I was using, so that put me in a situation where the sun goes down and I have a low SOC that won’t make it through the night. I do not want to have to pull the generator out at 3 am to charge the batteries for a couple hours to make it to where the solar provides power between 6 am and 10 am depending on the time of year.

All I could do was not set a high charge rate of 3.65 per cell, more around 3.45 which is still 95% full and find a float voltage that kept my batteries from going too low before sundown.

I hear micro cycling can be bad and avoid excessive cycling. I don’t know how you put settings into a SCC to avoid cycling and not go into the night with a low SOC. For me, more important to not kill the batteries overnight.
 

Cal

Solar Addict
Joined
Apr 28, 2020
Messages
684
I haven't looked at Will's review of the Ampere Time battery but we should remember we have another player in this scenario and that is the battery's BMS. If there is a runaway cell the BMS should shut the battery down. I would try to create these scenarios right now and watch what happens. I don't think going to 14.6 and holding for an hour is a big deal as long as your BMS is operating properly. As others have said I think, ironically, the progressive lead-acid chargers are a better option for lifePo4 than their lithium charger and the best option is a charger/inverter combo that lets you put in your own settings ( a Victron or Magnum hybrid inverter charger could easily manage this situation). I would be worried about the Renogy also and recommend as with the battery that you intentionally create these scenarios before you leave so you can see how your equipment responds.

The philosophy of over voltage protection is that there are two independent protections. The first line of protection should be the charger. It's max voltage should be less than 14.6V. The second line of protection is the BMS. The BMS will only kick in its own over voltage protection should the charger fail. Now you're saying to forget the two protections. One is enough. That's being a bit reckless.

The situation can be rectified. The PD has a voltage adjustment pot on the circuit board. Simply adjust the output voltage to 14.4V and all is well.
 

time2roll

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Mar 20, 2021
Messages
3,449
The situation can be rectified. The PD has a voltage adjustment pot on the circuit board. Simply adjust the output voltage to 14.4V and all is well.
Does the pot adjust the float voltage too?
 

Cal

Solar Addict
Joined
Apr 28, 2020
Messages
684
Float voltage will also drop. But who cares? The battery is better than 95% full. Any more and battery life is compromised.

I have a Iota converter that I've used for years charging a lead acid (GC2) battery. The boost voltage is 14.7V. Way too high for LiFePO4 use. I lowered the voltage to 14.4V.
 

time2roll

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Mar 20, 2021
Messages
3,449
I care. 13.6 continuous float seems slightly high. 13.0 to 13.4 zone seems better. Some RVs get left plugged in for long periods.

Would be great to have a thread dedicated to these modifications with pictures and model numbers etc. along with the revised specifications.
 

Cdkipp

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Jul 29, 2020
Messages
1,888
The philosophy of over voltage protection is that there are two independent protections. The first line of protection should be the charger. It's max voltage should be less than 14.6V. The second line of protection is the BMS. The BMS will only kick in its own over voltage protection should the charger fail. Now you're saying to forget the two protections. One is enough. That's being a bit reckless.

The situation can be rectified. The PD has a voltage adjustment pot on the circuit board. Simply adjust the output voltage to 14.4V and all is well.
None of this is ideal. I thought you were speculating a progressive charger's voltage could be adjusted. I had not heard that before. If you know that for a fact that would be a good step. Still not ideal with the inverter not cooperating.
 

Isaac-1

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 4, 2021
Messages
86
I am in much the same situation as the OP, just bought a pair of ReBel 200AH batteries (arrived an hour ago), and have a motorhome with a PD9260 converter/charger (60 amp version of the same series as the OP), specs state it runs for up to 4 hours at 14.4V after power on, then drops to 13.6 for bulk charging, followed by 13.2V for storage mode after 30 hours when it senses limited battery activity, with a boost to 14.4V for 15 minutes every 21 hours.

All of these settings can be temporary overridden with a push of a button on the Charge Wizard pendant
 

Isaac-1

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Nov 4, 2021
Messages
86
I mistaken stated a couple of messages ago that the OP and I have the same series charger, it appears I am confused on this, as the OP quoted a reply regarding a 9200 series, and then stated their model number as a 9100 series. This distinction is important as the 9200 and 9100 have different boost and bulk charging voltages.

The 9100 uses 14.6v boost followed by 13.6 bulk

The 9200 uses 14.4 boost followed by 13.6 bulk and after 30 hours of inactivityy 13.2 storage, then 14.4 for 15 minutes every 20 hours

p.s. I just went and measured actual output voltage the terminal on my PD9260 currently connected to a pair of 6V GC2 Lead acid batteries, actual measured output at 70F was right at 0.045V above spec listed above +/- 0.002V for all 4 output levels., ie highest output was 14.445VDC measured using a Fluke 87V in high res mode, confirmed to lower resolution with a Fluke 117. I neglected to measure AC input voltage. Measurement taken at the output terminals on the PD 9260
 
Last edited:
Top