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Old 09-09-2016, 09:37 AM   #1
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House Bank Batt Charger Breakdown

Our 1977 Tollycraft has good ol' Professional Mariner, 40 amp, 120 v single stage, house bank battery charger. Well... she went caput this Labor Day week on the water. So... batts no longer can be charged via using gen set, but rather with starboard motor's alternator.

All n' all that's OK if/when cruising for hour or more... but pia (and uses more fuel) when needing to run stbd engine every day while at anchor. That's what we did during mostly anchored days... while swimming, relaxing, and BBQing during this seven day vacation.

I'm seeking another really good single stage (in other words "on" or "off" full out put mode) battery charger. Would like to get into the 60 amp charger category this time. Don't know if single stage (on/off by breaker switch) chargers are even made anymore??

Reason for single stage is because we never leave our boat plugged into dock while away form it for any period longer than couple hours, and, we only want a charger on or off when we flip it's switch.

Any suggestions on the best quality "single stage" batt chargers??? The one that just went caput is 39 yrs used this year... pretty darn good if you ask me! Of course it might be the regulator that went bad... but what the heck... after 39 years a new charger is in the offing!

Photos show elect panel's gauges, charge amp inputs via engine alternator and via old charger. Seven year old wet cell House Bank reached well over 100% charge and settled down to 100% couple hours later.
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Old 09-09-2016, 09:52 AM   #2
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Dunno about single-stage chargers, but just about any 3-stage charger will probably work like a single if you flip the breaker manually.


Usually they sense a charge is needed and go directly into "full output mode" right away... and only enter the other stages after bulk/absorption charge has run its course.


-Chris
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Old 09-09-2016, 09:59 AM   #3
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Even when at the dock I'd say it's a good idea to have multi-stage...
do you have a SOC meter to know when to keep charging and you are at 100% and can shut off the single stage?

Occasional top off w/ a good multi-stage charger will prolong batt'y life and pay for itself over time

If you add a charger monitor - option w/ many multi stage chargers - you can monitor charge cycle and know when to turn it off if that's what you want
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Old 09-09-2016, 10:08 AM   #4
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When my engine runs the battery is charged off of the alternator. When shorepower is connected to the battery charger circuit then the battery charger charges the battery.

How did you get the Stbd engine to send power to the battery charger?? The setup sounds to me like your alternator was charging the battery bank on anchor.
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Old 09-09-2016, 10:22 AM   #5
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Quote:
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When my engine runs the battery is charged off of the alternator. When shorepower is connected to the battery charger circuit then the battery charger charges the battery.

How did you get the Stbd engine to send power to the battery charger?? The setup sounds to me like your alternator was charging the battery bank on anchor.
If I understand your post correctly, perhaps this will help: Two Engine/Alternator System
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Old 09-09-2016, 10:47 AM   #6
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If I understand your post correctly, perhaps this will help: Two Engine/Alternator System

I must be an idiot because that doesn't clear things up at all.

I assume whether it is a single alternator or multiple alternator with a Dual Alternator Controller (DAC) it would still be either 12vdc or 24vdc.

The post discusses a 120vac battery charger. Are you saying these are 120vac alternators powering a 120v battery charger putting 12vdc back into the battery bank??
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Old 09-09-2016, 10:48 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrew View Post
When my engine runs the battery is charged off of the alternator. When shorepower is connected to the battery charger circuit then the battery charger charges the battery.

How did you get the Stbd engine to send power to the battery charger?? The setup sounds to me like your alternator was charging the battery bank on anchor.
Sentence from my OP. "So... batts no longer can be charged via using gen set, but rather with starboard motor's alternator.

Didn't mean to have it sound as though stbd engine's alternator was charging through the boats batt charger - that only activates via gen set or shore pwr. You're correct... "alternator was charging the battery bank on anchor." With stbd eng running!
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Old 09-09-2016, 11:01 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bacchus View Post
Even when at the dock I'd say it's a good idea to have multi-stage...
do you have a SOC meter to know when to keep charging and you are at 100% and can shut off the single stage?

Occasional top off w/ a good multi-stage charger will prolong batt'y life and pay for itself over time

If you add a charger monitor - option w/ many multi stage chargers - you can monitor charge cycle and know when to turn it off if that's what you want
I keep things real simple. My SOC = Good Multi Meters with light up displays... wired directly into batt bank. Two upper level locations, each with same type quality meter. One in the salon and one in master stateroom. That way I know with flick of a switch what level my bank is at. And, can check accuracy of either meter against one another; with a third same type meter sitting unattached in engine compartment, right at the batt bank, for hands on batt level checkup if needed.

I'm going to begin googling my way through marine charger availabilities. What is/are the best quality charger manufacturer[s]?

Thanks all for your assistance!

Art
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Old 09-09-2016, 11:25 AM   #9
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Sorry,what confused me was the statement concerning the starboard engine,as opposed to charging off the port engine.Not all alternators for the purpose of charging are installed on the starboard engine.I also figured the engine running part was a given.
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Old 09-09-2016, 11:40 AM   #10
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Confirmation of my idiocy. I glossed over that last line in the first paragraph. Makes a huge difference!!!
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Old 09-09-2016, 11:43 AM   #11
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Art, look into Magnum Energy chargers. They are actually 4 stages....sort of. The 4th stage is not really a stage but it actually takes the charge off of the batteries and does not "float" all the time. Periodically, it will test the batteries and if they are still at top charge, they will not apply a charge. If they need a charge, they will apply it. This will add to the life of your batteries by not having a float charge on them 24/7...at least, in theory. Now the question is, does Magnum make a charger ONLY without an inverter portion...I do not know and I am inclined to say NO. But it is top notch high quality stuff...and the price reflects that.
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Old 09-09-2016, 11:44 AM   #12
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The post discusses a 120vac battery charger. Are you saying these are 120vac alternators powering a 120v battery charger putting 12vdc back into the battery bank??
And lets not go here. The alternators do not feed the battery charger, they are in parallel. The shore power would feed the charger,or the genny could thru the inverter.Input 120vac,output 12/24v dc. A 120v alternator(while the name is possible,is usually referred to as a generator.It would have to step down,and invert to dc.Big power loss.
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Old 09-09-2016, 11:50 AM   #13
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typo- convert to dc,not invert.
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Old 09-09-2016, 11:57 AM   #14
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does Magnum make a charger ONLY


yes, they do.
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Old 09-09-2016, 12:25 PM   #15
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Actually, upon further investigation, no , they don't. They make combos,or just inverters. Charles Industies marine makes just a battery charger.They are known to be of very high quality(such as transformers).That combined with a magnum inverter only seems like a winning hand.
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Old 09-09-2016, 12:42 PM   #16
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Art: Take a look at Iota chargers. There are a few TF members who are using them. I've never heard any complaints.

IOTA DLS Series Battery Chargers and Power Converters
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Old 09-09-2016, 01:09 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinped View Post
The post discusses a 120vac battery charger. Are you saying these are 120vac alternators powering a 120v battery charger putting 12vdc back into the battery bank??
And lets not go here. The alternators do not feed the battery charger, they are in parallel. The shore power would feed the charger,or the genny could thru the inverter.Input 120vac,output 12/24v dc. A 120v alternator(while the name is possible,is usually referred to as a generator.It would have to step down,and invert to dc.Big power loss.
Hi,
Just to make life interesting;

My house bank consists of 9 only 12 volt/200 ah batteries
The tag on the power supply on the main engine reads
Davidson Alternator
128 volt 80 amp

also has a LaMarche Constavolt powered by shore power
or generator.

Ted
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Old 09-09-2016, 01:20 PM   #18
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It's very important to point out here that Art has GASSERS! Many chargers including the Iota are not to be used in gasoline engine ER's.

Art, you seem intent to maintain the 1970's technology in your boat. Voltmeters vs. SOC, single-stage charger vs. multi-stage chargers. It's going to be hard to find operating, old technology equipment in our modern world. There's a reason folks have moved to 3- and 4-stage chargers...because they work.

I have a single bank Iota DLS-55/IQ4 that works well on my diesel boat. It was affordable (under $250) and with a switched Yandina Combiner, is able to share the charge with my start battery. But it cannot be mounted in your ER. Here's a quote from Iota in their installation manual.

DO NOT mount the unit in a zero clearance compartment.
DO NOT mount the DLS in the same compartment with flammable
items such as gasoline or batteries. There are no components within
the DLS unit that, during normal operation, produce arcs or sparks.
However, all electronic devices have some potential for generating
sparks in the event of failure which can result in explosion or fire.
DO NOT mount the DLS in an area that has the potential of dust,
debris, or other foreign materials to enter in through the DLS vents.
DO NOT place the DLS directly above the battery; the gases from
the battery can corrode and damage the DLS.
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Old 09-09-2016, 01:24 PM   #19
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Alternators are not limited to 12/24 output, in fact there are many configs. available, but the use on rec. boats is normally limited to a 12/24 dc output need. I was just trying to limit the conversation to this forums realm. Output with DC is usually referred to as an alternator, AC is normally referred to as a gen.,but an alternator by def. is a generator. Produces electricity by mechanical means.
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Old 09-09-2016, 01:30 PM   #20
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I believe the keyword would be ignition protected when it comes to gas , please correct me if I'm wrong.
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