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Sterling Pro Charge overheat?

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ajoviken View Drop Down
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    Posted: 24 July 2022 at 18:49
Hi. Just bought a 355 and getting to learn the boat step by step. Really happy with many things so far. With a portable 120W solar panel and some engine generator I have not really gotten to use the battery charger. When I did the four days ago it acted weird. Did not get it to bring up the voltage as much as expected but only stayed at dock for a few hours. In shore again today I decided to figure some more out and started digging. First of all it seems to do only absorption reaching about 13,6-7V and giving about 20-22 A. But after only a few mins it shuts of goes black and stops charging. My guess is overheating and itís warm but not hot. After 10-20 min it restarts and Groundhog Day starts all over. I have no manual for the charger and canít find any online. Itís a ProCharge20 12V/30A. Any ideas? I canít even figure out how to operate it - donít find any buttons on it. And oh - there is a black small cable coming in the same bunch on cables to the charger that is not connected. Measuring it is electrically connected to minus on the batteries. There are no empty connectors on the charger? Could it be ground? Iím lost, very happy for any help. 

Andreas
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H8jer View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote H8jer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 July 2022 at 18:58
Hi

You can find a manual at Sterling.

My Sterling ProCharge 50 Amps does sometimes also hibernate but at least there is always light in the AC Power Led-light.
Do you loose all 240v to the boat or is it only the Charger?

Btw. When the Charger is working hard, a fan is running, but it does not run when the charge current is low.
Hanse 370#487 30HP 3-cabin
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ajoviken View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ajoviken Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24 July 2022 at 22:42
Thanks for answer. I did find these manuals but they are very brief to say the least. For the one most resembling mine The mentioned switches I canít even find, perhaps I need to open something. 

I have the charger still connected and all other 220v current works as expected. It seems it still goes on and off, and I guess I will very slowly fill my batteries up. I heard a pretty load Click once when it shut off, sounded like a disconnect of sorts. Question is how I can resolve although I am likely to buy a small portable next week. 
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H8jer View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote H8jer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 July 2022 at 07:31
Hi again

The manual for your ProCharge20 (old Pro Charge C) model does indeed hold very little information. When comparing to the manual for my Pro Charge Ultra it really shows the difference. Pardon but it looks like your charger is a old budget product, that lacks the lights for feedback in case of faults.

One important information from the manual is that it Resets/Cycles when the voltage is below 11.5volts

How many battery banks are connected to the Charger? I guess Consumer and Starter and Thruster
If so could you with a cheap multi-meter (voltmeter) measure the voltage across the battery-banks?
My guess is that your charger brings up the voltage on one bank to 13.8v then it wants to charge the second bank, but here the error begins. Perhaps the other bank is almost Short-circuited or It might be having a much higher voltage than expected if the Solar is also charging this bank.
Another issue could be if there is some battery-splitter/diode involved.
To see if the Charger is faulty I would disconnect the other battery banks from the charger and also disconnect the Solar-charger.
Then try and see if it completes a full charge/absorption-cycle and is able to stay contentiously at float state.
Beware there might be a fire-hazard if you have a faulty battery bank.  
Hanse 370#487 30HP 3-cabin
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ajoviken View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ajoviken Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 July 2022 at 10:09
Hi Thanks much for further answers. I will out in my investment list to replace charger. The charger has two banks connected - Consumer and Charger. I donít think starter is part of this system actually but will need to look deeper to be sure. In any case the wiring supports two bank charging set up. 

I let the system be for a few days in harbour, also needed to tend to other issues, and over time it charged up both banks. My hypothesis is now overheat due to broken fan (canít hear any fan running, but not sure maybe they are fan less) and that batteries that can absorb as much as 20+ A will overheat charger and trigger overheat protection. As batteries are very slowly getting filled they will be less taxing for the battery and after 1-2days it stayed on 13,7V float. I never reached 14V with me observing it. 

I charge much more throug generator and foldable solar (need to change also the perm solar) so energy has not really been an issue even for 4-5 out of harbour. And the energy levels are making me think both batteries are good, but will test when back home (took my new boat directly out on a 4w sail along the Swedish west coast). 

In the process of this I found the battery bank separator is bridged so I think ultimately only have one bank atm. I will try to further investigate. Assume battery separator is broken and therefore both banks connected. 

Ah the mysteries of learning to understand a new boat. At least is less difficult the third time. 
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S&J View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote S&J Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 July 2022 at 12:12
You should have a smallish (80Ah) battery in the engine compartment plus one or two target domestic batteries (160Ah each) under the port settee.
As far as I know these should not be connected directly.
Not sure if the charger is connected to the engine battery or if that is just charged from the alternator.
If you have a bow thruster this will have a separate battery charged via a B2B charger.
H458 #159 Primal Mediterranean cruising
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Brufan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 August 2022 at 10:40
My Sterling Charger lost its fan very soon after delivery. 
Although it's quite this way it also overheat fast especially when temp excess 25įC
Just let the bench opened and it fixes the issue (did it for the last 8 years).
I plan to upgrade battery charger and fit it in a very bad place but will put fans to push & pull air around it
Bruno

hanse 355 - 57

S/Y Spicy Ginger

White hull, 2 cabins, Volvo D1-30, Selden rig, removable mainsheet track system (modifications done now), Simrad-Jefa autopilot.
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ajoviken View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ajoviken Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 August 2022 at 10:47
Thanks both for advice. I well test with bench open to see if prolongs the time to shut off. If so that should settle it. 

@S&J too much stuff in the boat atm to do the deeper due dilligence but agree, there battery banks should be disconnected. Have not seen a B2B charger but on the other hand I have no idea of how such look 😀. I do have a thruster but as far as I understand this was not there from factory. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kox Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 August 2022 at 11:08
I wrote Sterling about the original charger on my Ď07 315 a few months ago. They replied within a day. Good thorough answers. 
Hanse 315, Ella, Hull# 640
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ajoviken View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ajoviken Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 August 2022 at 09:15
Good  advice Thanks
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