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DEEP CYCLE / CAR LEAD ACID BATTERY CHARGING

 

You can charge lead acid deep cycle or car batteries using a pedal power bicycle generator OR solar power or  wind power.   One type of configuration is to use a permanent magnet DC motor style pedal power bicycle generator through a charge controller as shown in the diagram HERE.  

 

You can tell if a battery is fully charged if you measure its voltage when it is not hooked up to anything.  It should read around 12.8 volts DC.    This is also known as its "state of charge"  which would be 100% if the battery is full.

 

You may be wondering how many DC Amps a lead acid car battery or deep cycle marine battery may draw at different charge voltage levels when you hook it up to a pedal power bicycle generator.  Graphs 1, 2, & 3 below show you some typical Amp and Watt values assuming you were to hook up your pedal power bicycle generator to a 100 Amp Hour lead acid battery. 

 

This information is based on two parameters.  (1) the battery's state of charge (SOC).  In simple terms, state of charge is how much power is left in your battery.   So if your battery is 50% full, it has a state of charge of 50%.    (2) The charge voltage.   If your pedal power bicycle generator uses a permanent magnet DC motor as a generator, when you pedal faster your bicycle generator will supply a  higher DC charge voltage.  And inversely, if you pedal slower, you will put out a lower DC charge voltage. 

 

 

For example, if your battery SOC or state of charge is 75% and you decide to provide 13.3 Volts DC from your bicycle generator then you will see a current draw of about 10 Amps.  That would be 133 Watts of power, which is quite challenging if your are not in good shape.   This would also tell you that your acid battery has a resistance of about 1.3 Ohms at that specific DC charge voltage level.

 

3d graph plot chart showing current draw amps vs state of charge SOC and charge voltage

 

 

 

The below 3D surface plot shows you Watts based on your SOC (State of Charge) and charge voltage.  A typical adult can sustain 50 to 100 Watts for an hour.  So a typical 100 Amp - Hour battery may take a person on a pedal power bicycle generator 10 - 15 hours to charge from a 50% state of charge.

 

 

 

If you like looking at a 2D graph or chart instead of the 3D version you can refer to the charts below which show a single case of where the lead acid battery is at an assumed state of charge (SOC) of 75%.   The horizontal graph axis is your charge voltage or the voltage you decide to put out of your bicycle generator.  If you pedal faster your bicycle generator will supply a higher voltage.  And inversely, if you pedal slower, you will put out a lower voltage. 

 

75% state of charge amps and watts for a lead acid car battery

 

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