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Iota DLS-30/IQ4 charging graph


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#1 Old Crow

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Posted 12 May 2022 - 05:52 PM

     A recent thread about shorepower charging reminded me that several years ago I found and saved an interesting graphic representation of how an Iota DLS30/IQ4 works.  (For newer WTW members, the DLS30/IQ4 is the AC-to-DC battery charger FWC has put in campers for quite a few years). 

 

Click to enlarge:

 

Attached File  IotaDLS30Chart.jpg   236.6K   23 downloads

 

This morning I tracked down the source.  It's buried in this thread in the Northern Arizona Wind And Sun Solar forum.  Specifically, it's the 'graphic' jpeg at the bottom of post #5.

 

That same post #5 recommends another thread and that one includes this helpful info (I edited it very lightly for readability):

 

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Bulk mode:
Begins with the full rated current (ampere) output of the charger. As the battery charges, the actual current delivered or accepted by the battery will decline and the voltage will increase. This is not an engineered function, it is a normal function of any battery being charged by any charger. When either the voltage hits 14.6 “High Trigger Point” or 225 minutes (3.75 hours) have passed, the charger will continue charging for an additional 15 minutes and then go into the absorption mode.
 

Absorption
This mode is a fully timed function for 8 hours or 480 minutes. The controller will regulate voltage to no more than 14.2 volts and the current delivered will decline as the battery charges. In a simple unregulated charger, voltage can exceed safe limits not only for the battery but for other electronic devices associated with the system. (Control circuits within refrigerators and furnaces). There are no trigger voltages functioning in this mode. It's 14.2 volts for 8 hours, period.
 

Float
This is a constant voltage charging mode. It's 13.6 volts for 7 days or if the battery voltage drops below a  “Low Trigger Point” of 12.8 volts. During the float stage, the charger is delivering 13.6 volts with up to the rated current output of the charger. Should the voltage drop below 12.8 volts either from normal discharge or a short term heavy discharge, the IQ4 will start the charging cycle all over with the bulk charging stage
 

Note: There is one additional mode mentioned in the IQ4 manual called EqualizationThis mode can not be initiated manually but is rather a function of time. If the battery remains in the float stage for seven days the IQ4 will start what they call an equalization charge. This is nothing more than restarting the Bulk mode charging cycle. When seven days have passed or the “Trigger voltage” drops below 12.8 volts an equalization - bulk charge is started followed by the absorption and float stage. The maximum voltage for either the bulk or equalization mode is 14.8 volts. The equalization charge is merely starting a complete charge cycle with the only difference being that it is initiated by a timed function rather than a trigger voltage. There is no real Equalization mode. Most batteries require 15 to 16 volts to equalization.

 

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Edited by Old Crow, 13 May 2022 - 01:08 PM.

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#2 Old Crow

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Posted 12 May 2022 - 06:20 PM

More on DLS30 and DLS30/IQ4 units....

 

 If you're into reading the threads I mention in post 1, keep in mind that the DLS30 has a 'dual-voltage jack'. This was originally provided to allow the owner to manually choose to charge at 13.6 volts (float) or 14.2 volts (quick-charge), depending on whether the dual-voltage plug is in the jack or not.

 

Iota developed the IQ4 Smart Charger to turn the DLS30 into an automatic three-stage charger.  It was originally a separately-purchased 'pendant' which plugged into the dual-voltage jack on the DLS30 to give it 3-stage charging (i.e., bulk, absorption, and float). 

 

Later, Iota began manufacturing the "DLS30/IQ4" model which put the IQ4's logic on a board inside the unit.  The DLS30/IQ4 is just an additional model, it does not replace the DLS30. Iota has market segments where the DLS30 is used as a power supply and the IQ4 isn't needed for that.

 

Iota not only kept the IQ4 pendant, they went on to develop 9 variants of smart-controller pendants for the various chargers they sell. Unfortunately, the ones for the DLS30 don't work with the DLS30/IQ4 as those don't have the dual-voltage jack.


Edited by Old Crow, 13 May 2022 - 02:52 PM.

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#3 HappyCampers

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Posted 16 May 2022 - 01:22 AM

Helpful and appreciated Old Crow! I haven't followed up on the on old threads yet, but plan to.

I had not been using shore power at home to recharge or tend the battery previously and we never use it on the road. Thanks to threads like this and contributions by other members, I have put much more informed thought into battery maintenance. I am hoping this helps sustain our new AGM battery for many years.

My current understanding is that the AGM-specific pendant (dongle) optimizes charging or reduce the chances of damage (non-IQ4 DLS30)? It's a nominal cost and would allow us to plug in here at home and just forget about it for weeks or months at a time. I'm just a bit surprised this is necessary since the camper was originally outfitted with an AGM battery and no dongle???
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#4 Old Crow

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Posted 16 May 2022 - 03:18 PM

Unfortunately, we don't know the answer to one of the critical questions:  Do Iota's AGM-specific and LIFEPO-specific pendants do a significantly better job than the internal IQ4 in an application like ours?  Or are the differences so minor that they're really just addressing a marketing issue rather than a technical one?

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