Powermania MV2 Series Charger: About the Charger & How To Use With Battle Born LiFePO4 Batteries
We at Battle Born Batteries are happy to have collaborated with Powermania out of the SF Bay Area. Powermania makes a line of sealed marine chargers called the Turbo MV2 series. These 12V chargers range in charging current from 12 Amps to 40 Amps, and can be applied for up to 4 banks. We have tested the M220V2 model, which is a 2-bank, 20 Amp charger.
Although the chargers are not directly programmable, 3 separate charging algorithms may be selected. These are labeled “Flood Lead-Acid/AGM” (14.5V absorption, 13.4V float), “GEL” (14.1V absorption, 13.8V float), and “AGM+” (14.7V absorption, 13.6V float). Of these three algorithms, the “Flood Lead-Acid/AGM” is the most suited to the 12V Battle Born line.
The graph below shows a charging sequence (beginning just after 100 min), preceded by a 50A discharge. The bulk charging stage occurs between 120 and 400 minutes at the max charge rate of 20A. The voltage increases to the absorption voltage of 14.5V, beyond which the charging current drops rapidly.
One notable aspect of this charging sequence is that the absorption step – where the charger holds a constant voltage of 14.5V while the current drops – is virtually non-existent. Instead, the charger almost immediately enters float mode when the applied voltage hits 14.5V.
After discussing with Powermania engineers, we learned that the trigger to enter float mode from the absorption stage is when the charging current falls below 3A. In this test, we used the charger to charge a single Battle Born 12V 100Ah battery. The current drop is more rapid than if we were charging multiple batteries in parallel. For example, if 3 batteries were being charged by this charger, the charger would not enter float mode until the current to each battery dropped below 1A.
So, although this charger is perfectly fine for charging Battle Born Batteries, the cells would have more time to balance at the top of the charge cycle if the charger were used for multiple batteries in parallel.
Another thing to note from the charging profile is that, since the float voltage of 13.4V is lower than the natural open circuit battery voltage, the actual voltage during the float stage is higher than 13.4V. What this means is that the charger is not actually doing anything during the float stage. This is exactly what we want, because we do not actually want the Battle Born batteries to float. So, generally, we can simulate the no-float algorithm in a conventional lead acid charger by simply setting the float voltage less than the natural open circuit voltage of 13.6V.
This charger can be purchased as a either a 2 bank or 4 bank charger. The 2 bank charger allows for charging of two Battle Born LiFePO4 batteries at once and the 4 bank charger allows for 4 Battle Born LiFePO4 batteries at once.
How to use with Battle Born LiFePO4 Batteries
Here is a step-by-step on how to properly set up the Powermania MV2 charger series with Battle Born LiFePO4 batteries.
Step 1: Properly Mount Charger (see charger user manual)
Step 2: Select Battery Type
On the top of the charger (opposite side of the wires coming out) there is a Battery Selector tip point. Typically, the charger comes preset to the Flood Lead-Acid / AGM setting that will work with our LiFePO4 batteries, but just in case it doesn’t follow these steps:
1.Make sure that the charge is unplugged from any batteries and AC power source
2. Loosen battery selector screws
3. Carefully pull the battery selector straight out and away from the charger.
4. Place battery selector back into the charger with the Flood Lead-Acid/AGM setting.
5. Screw the battery selector back in.
Note: The screws used for the battery selector must be 10mm or shorter. If the screws are any longer, there is a chance that the unit may be damaged.
Step 3: Wire Battle Born LiFePO4 batteries to Charger
The way that the charger is wired is dependent on the way that your battery bank is set up. Pages 13-16 of the user manual, demonstrate the different wiring methods.
Step 4: Plug Charger in to AC source and Charge your Battle Born LiFePO4 batteries!