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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have the duel battery system in my van and would like to have an option to charge my batter pack via the car's alternator while driving. I have a DC charge cable that came with the unit. Is it as simple as connecting that into any DC charge port? Or his this some super high amp stuff that needs big cable straight to the extra batter? I have read about a dc to dc charger, but not sure if I need that or not.

Chad
 

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The DC charger that came with your Bluetti will charge the unit, but slowly (100W), when the van is on or the DC plug is hot (ACC ON). No other wiring needed.

This will take a long time, however, given the relatively low wattage of the DC charger. You need to divide your Bluetti's Wh capacity/100W to determine how long it will take, plus some efficiency losses in coverting the 12v to the wattage of the battery itself (50V in a Bluetti AC200). The answer is a long time, which is why most use roof-top solar or an inverter wired to the CCP charge points in the van to increase the charging rate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The DC charger that came with your Bluetti will charge the unit, but slowly (100W), when the van is on or the DC plug is hot (ACC ON). No other wiring needed.

This will take a long time, however, given the relatively low wattage of the DC charger. You need to divide your Bluetti's Wh capacity/100W to determine how long it will take, plus some efficiency losses in coverting the 12v to the wattage of the battery itself (50V in a Bluetti AC200). The answer is a long time, which is why most use roof-top solar or an inverter wired to the CCP charge points in the van to increase the charging rate.
Thanks for the great answer! So I thought the battery would charge via DC from the car. Why would you convert this to AC to charge the battery? The DC input on the Bluetti is also the solar port and I thought that could charge at a much faster rate via solar panels or with the optional AC charger you can get for it. Sorry, this is kind of new to me so I might be asking the wrong questions.
 

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Thanks for the great answer! So I thought the battery would charge via DC from the car. Why would you convert this to AC to charge the battery? The DC input on the Bluetti is also the solar port and I thought that could charge at a much faster rate via solar panels or with the optional AC charger you can get for it. Sorry, this is kind of new to me so I might be asking the wrong questions.
So the charge rate for solar input on the AC200P that I have is up to 700W. I have 400 W of panels currently installed on my roof. This is definitely a faster charging method that the DC plug... also, the vehicle doesn't have to be running to access the power, the sun just has to be shining. The reason some choose to an inverter based charging is that for the AC200P, the wall charger can provide 400W of charging power IN ADDITION to the solar, giving you up to 1100W of charging. The challenge is that you cannot run an inverter that is capable of powering the wall charger off a standard 12V outlet... it must be hard wired into the high-power customer charging points (CCP) that are on the transit. I suggest spending some time reviewing the content on this site regarding inverter installation if you want to go that route... it isn't quite as simple as it sounds, so make sure you are comfortable and educated before proceeding.

For reference, I have both, but only turn on the inverter when I really need to (like a really cloudy day when I've already run the battery down), otherwise, solar is the cheapest and easiest route, other than just plugging into a wall outlet in your driveway (which I've done at times as well).
 

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Looking at the spec on the AC200P (not sure if that's the one you have), the "solar input" is "35-150v / Max.700W, max 12A" - so technically, that would require the solar panels be in 48V setup to get that 700W. No idea if that spec is accurate - but that's what their website says.

Semi-educated guess is that they aren't set up to handle more than that stated "max 12A" charging in any way - so probably using high voltage on the AC as well as the (theoretical / customer-supplied) solar.

Of course, it also mentions "dual AC adapters for 800W" so... that sounds like the way to do it. Get a half-decent ~1500W inverter and run two of their AC adapters. Or figure out what the actual input /after/ the AC adapters is and give it direct DC power (probably what it wants).

Yeah... looks like there are two "input" ports using two different types of connectors.
Max "solar" is 12A with 35V-150V - but also capped at 700W.
Max DC is 8.2A (100W in 12V or 200W in 24V).
Max AC charging is 500W - but it's actually using DC - looks like 48V? ("max 58.8 VDC")

So... I'd go with get the additional AC adapter and hit it with ~800W. Or use an AC inverter /plus/ a DC-DC charger running 48VDC into the "solar" port. That last would be your max possible charge rate.

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For reasons I won’t get into in detail because I’m typing on a phone; the Bluetti needs solar to be a viable alternative to a piecemeal battery/inverter build out. The parasitic losses from the battery management systems and 50>12 volt converter are material (200Wh/day). It’s a great option for a weekender like me, but if you are running a refrigerator all the time or otherwise need 24/7 12 volt power, solar is absolutely critical to keep the battery charged (unless you drive multiple hours every day).

If you can turn the battery off and leave it off, this is a moot point, but if you want full time 12v power, go solar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wow, so much great info. For the record I'm new to camping and the goal is to go on weekend trips for a couple days without doing anything to the battery pack until I get home. I'm just thinking of the best options I have to get it charged in an emergency. This is not for 24/7 living, however I wish I could pull off riding dirt bikes 24/7 and not have to work! I do have a 30amp connection on the side of the van that will let me charge the battery pack via 2 power bricks and that's a fast charge, around 700+ watts. I'm thinking I can get by with that, but won't know until I get some practice and see how much power I really use off this thing. Really learning way more about this than I planned.
 

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For reasons I won’t get into in detail because I’m typing on a phone; the Bluetti needs solar to be a viable alternative to a piecemeal battery/inverter build out. The parasitic losses from the battery management systems and 50>12 volt converter are material (200Wh/day). It’s a great option for a weekender like me, but if you are running a refrigerator all the time or otherwise need 24/7 12 volt power, solar is absolutely critical to keep the battery charged (unless you drive multiple hours every day).

If you can turn the battery off and leave it off, this is a moot point, but if you want full time 12v power, go solar.
If you can send a charge of over 1kW in from the alternator, then the solar shouldn't be an absolute. That ~200Wh would be replaced in less than 15 minutes of idling.

Clearly, I have no dog in this fight... you do you.

Power is power. See how much the losses are and the load / demand and accommodate charging appropriately.

All that said... I realize these things are a bargain compared to assembling one... but there's a reason. They're not a bargain; they're just inferior. Perhaps adequate - and nothing wrong with that for the price. It would cost a bit more and require more effort to assemble a good setup; and these are easy and cheap. You do you!

@chadman, I think you're good if you max the charging with a half-decent inverter connected to CCP2 and the two-AC adapter setup. Couple hundred bucks for a decent PSW inverter (not an assurance of quality, but perhaps more likely to be decent). I use this one: https://amzn.com/B07CKBJ9KP and they make less expensive but also decent ones like this: https://amzn.com/B07SJYR5G7 that should meet your need.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If you can send a charge of over 1kW in from the alternator, then the solar shouldn't be an absolute. That ~200Wh would be replaced in less than 15 minutes of idling.

Clearly, I have no dog in this fight... you do you.

Power is power. See how much the losses are and the load / demand and accommodate charging appropriately.

All that said... I realize these things are a bargain compared to assembling one... but there's a reason. They're not a bargain; they're just inferior. Perhaps adequate - and nothing wrong with that for the price. It would cost a bit more and require more effort to assemble a good setup; and these are easy and cheap. You do you!

@chadman, I think you're good if you max the charging with a half-decent inverter connected to CCP2 and the two-AC adapter setup. Couple hundred bucks for a decent PSW inverter (not an assurance of quality, but perhaps more likely to be decent). I use this one: https://amzn.com/B07CKBJ9KP and they make less expensive but also decent ones like this: https://amzn.com/B07SJYR5G7 that should meet your need.
Thanks! I'm starting to wrap my head around how this charging is working and now see how I can use the car to do a fast charge via an AC inverter with my 2 AC power bricks. I'm slow and took some time to understand why an AC charge is so much faster than DC for my application. With my limited camping experience I think this setup will work until I learn what's better from some trial/error. The goal is to have a dirt bike van that I can take out for a weekend to camp with my wife.
 

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Thanks! I'm starting to wrap my head around how this charging is working and now see how I can use the car to do a fast charge via an AC inverter with my 2 AC power bricks. I'm slow and took some time to understand why an AC charge is so much faster than DC for my application. With my limited camping experience I think this setup will work until I learn what's better from some trial/error. The goal is to have a dirt bike van that I can take out for a weekend to camp with my wife.
Sounds like you're right on track. If you later want to add a panel or two to it, it sounds like the Bluetti is setup for that. But you'd just be using less of the engine charge in exchange for solar charge. And getting 500W of solar isn't a small venture. That's quite a few square feet of panels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If you can send a charge of over 1kW in from the alternator, then the solar shouldn't be an absolute. That ~200Wh would be replaced in less than 15 minutes of idling.

Clearly, I have no dog in this fight... you do you.

Power is power. See how much the losses are and the load / demand and accommodate charging appropriately.

All that said... I realize these things are a bargain compared to assembling one... but there's a reason. They're not a bargain; they're just inferior. Perhaps adequate - and nothing wrong with that for the price. It would cost a bit more and require more effort to assemble a good setup; and these are easy and cheap. You do you!

@chadman, I think you're good if you max the charging with a half-decent inverter connected to CCP2 and the two-AC adapter setup. Couple hundred bucks for a decent PSW inverter (not an assurance of quality, but perhaps more likely to be decent). I use this one: https://amzn.com/B07CKBJ9KP and they make less expensive but also decent ones like this: https://amzn.com/B07SJYR5G7 that should meet your need.
So would I need a pure sine wave to power these to power bricks used to charge the batter? I have read that some do not recommend using a modified sine wave for battery chargers. If I get something great for the extra cash, great! If I only need the cheaper one and it will work just as well, sounds like a winner! The Bluetti will be powering everything and the invertor will be used to only charge the Bluetti.
 

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So would I need a pure sine wave to power these to power bricks used to charge the batter? I have read that some do not recommend using a modified sine wave for battery chargers. If I get something great for the extra cash, great! If I only need the cheaper one and it will work just as well, sounds like a winner! The Bluetti will be powering everything and the invertor will be used to only charge the Bluetti.
I don't trust those cheap PSW units to be what they claim. But I wouldn't trust anything much cheaper than a couple hundred dollars, either. Will Prowse had linked to that one as one he'd used for a couple years; that's enough for me. I'm running the 2200W, as are two other friends. I only use it to charge my batteries (providing ~1.5kW to my Victron Multiplus as "shore power" off CCP2) and it works great; two friends use them as their primary inverters. Here's a modified sine-wave unit by the same company that might work and isn't expensive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I don't trust those cheap PSW units to be what they claim. But I wouldn't trust anything much cheaper than a couple hundred dollars, either. Will Prowse had linked to that one as one he'd used for a couple years; that's enough for me. I'm running the 2200W, as are two other friends. I only use it to charge my batteries (providing ~1.5kW to my Victron Multiplus as "shore power" off CCP2) and it works great; two friends use them as their primary inverters. Here's a modified sine-wave unit by the same company that might work and isn't expensive.
That's what I was not sure about. Would the cheaper one work the same for my use case? I guess I'm wondering if it would have any negative affect on either the van or the Bluetti. If so I would pay the extra to be safe.
 

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If you can send a charge of over 1kW in from the alternator, then the solar shouldn't be an absolute. That ~200Wh would be replaced in less than 15 minutes of idling.

Clearly, I have no dog in this fight... you do you.

Power is power. See how much the losses are and the load / demand and accommodate charging appropriately.

All that said... I realize these things are a bargain compared to assembling one... but there's a reason. They're not a bargain; they're just inferior. Perhaps adequate - and nothing wrong with that for the price. It would cost a bit more and require more effort to assemble a good setup; and these are easy and cheap. You do you!

@chadman, I think you're good if you max the charging with a half-decent inverter connected to CCP2 and the two-AC adapter setup. Couple hundred bucks for a decent PSW inverter (not an assurance of quality, but perhaps more likely to be decent). I use this one: https://amzn.com/B07CKBJ9KP and they make less expensive but also decent ones like this: https://amzn.com/B07SJYR5G7 that should meet your need.
You're a bit OT, and frankly, don't know the entirety of which you are opining... so I'll be polite and say that my dual degrees in electrical engineering and applied thermodynamics and 20 years in the distributed power generation industry disagree with your assessment of the situation. But you do you.
 

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You're a bit OT, and frankly, don't know the entirety of which you are opining... so I'll be polite and say that my dual degrees in electrical engineering and applied thermodynamics and 20 years in the distributed power generation industry disagree with your assessment of the situation. But you do you.
Totally agree with you. You are clearly the expert. So... where's the part about how he should be best charging from the alternator? I thought it was obvious that I don't have that equipment and I'm trying to interpret the documentation - which ain't all that clear or even consistent. It seems to have two inputs - and require both simultaneously to hit max charge. No?
 

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I don't trust those cheap PSW units to be what they claim. But I wouldn't trust anything much cheaper than a couple hundred dollars, either. Will Prowse had linked to that one as one he'd used for a couple years; that's enough for me. I'm running the 2200W, as are two other friends. I only use it to charge my batteries (providing ~1.5kW to my Victron Multiplus as "shore power" off CCP2) and it works great; two friends use them as their primary inverters. Here's a modified sine-wave unit by the same company that might work and isn't expensive.
follow up to OP chadman how’d this turn out? I’m looking at doing the same thing with my Bluetti
 

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. IMHO the key is what Bluetti system does he have. I have the EB150 1500WH (fits my needs and $) and the max charging is 200w. The charging system the EB150 has is a 12v cig lighter plug receptacle for solar and a 110 adapter. The specs say 10 hours for full charge. I run a 500w inverter off the CCP and charge while I am driving, 200w portable solar when parked. It more than covers my needs.

EDIT: did not realize this post originally was 6 months old
 
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