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Old 04-23-2017, 12:21 PM   #1
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House Battery Bank for everything??

OK, I am going to open a can of worms!! I have a 44' Gulfstar trawler, refitting, I am a newbie to big boats , but learning. The existing situation: I am forced to trace all wires to get this boat going, and I got to question some of the set ups. The existing batteries were 2 4D starting Batts for Perkins 6.354s, Battery for Windlass, Approx 14' from House Bank. Battery for Gen set, 8 interstate 6 volt for house bank.
Soooo! How about just one laaarge house bank of 12-14 6 volt batterys to run everything. I have room for 18 batteries, but may need less with the next generation, since I am presently planning on 50% discharge.
  • Get rid for The 4 Perko Switches
  • Understand the wiring on this boat.
  • Simple I know the diference in design of starting vs deep cycle, but would it really be th charging, same type of batteries
  • 1200-1400 amp hrs should crank anything, yes I know there is a difference in deep cycle vs starting.
  • New inverter/charger has to deal with one “battery”
  • Easier to work out larger Alternator plan and Solar.
  • With all the electronic monitoring, plus Solar panels, how could I get stranded? Also I could keep a starting battery with jumper cables for emergency. For got the dinghy!!
I know the difference in design of starting vs deep cycle, but would it really be problem with that big of a bank?
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Old 04-23-2017, 12:29 PM   #2
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Considering the same thing. Subscribing to thread.
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Old 04-23-2017, 12:34 PM   #3
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Interesting thought. But main reason for separation is if something in the 'house' shorts or something, and drains the batteries, you still have the start batteries to crank the engines - not so if one large bank that is dead
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Old 04-23-2017, 12:34 PM   #4
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I am going to enjoy reading this thread because when it comes to electricity I'm a pretty good plumber. Steve are you talking about having an inverter or just a 12 vdc boat?
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Old 04-23-2017, 12:40 PM   #5
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When I did mine, I pulled out all the wiring between the master switch and batteries, there was a lot. I now have a 1080 amp AGM bank for everything and one GP31 for my generator. I've never been below 75% before recharging. We anchor out 90% of the time.
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Old 04-23-2017, 12:46 PM   #6
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My opinion only.
I have used G.C batteries to start my single engine, a Cummins 555, which needs a lot of current, more than your engines. I now use all Gels.

They will work for that purpose although they do not like the high burst of power needed but over the whole bank you should be fine.
Your particular engines will require less power from them so as long as the bank is big enough , you are carefull to ensure adequate reserve to start the engines then you should be ok.

I do maintain separate engine start batteries BUT I have no Gen, and we used to winter boat in freezing weather so I either started or was stranded.

If you have a Gen. that will help so even if you flatten them too much you can start the gen as long as you ensure the gen has an isolated good start battery which is much smaller.
A lot will depend upon how you interconnect the 12 comb. how well they live with the number of batteries and connections you will have to use. Read the following site:
SmartGauge Electronics - Interconnecting multiple batteries to form one larger bank

Bank of this size require carefull set up or the minute ,to us, voltage differences, Vdrops , will add up to less than ideal performance.

You might also seriously consider talking to solar guys involved in house hold setups as they will encounter the problems with interconnections and proper wiring setups.

It would still be a good idea to maintain a separate start battery just in case.
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Old 04-23-2017, 12:49 PM   #7
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Inverter

I have one vice, I have std .refrigerator, I like my cold diet cokes! and lots of food. So I and stuck with 120 volt need. Installing new Xantrx 2500 invert today. But I am changing everything to 12 volts. I look for devices that have 12 volt transformers with the ideal of have 12 volts ports around the boat rather than wall warts.
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Old 04-23-2017, 12:57 PM   #8
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Thanks, I will read up .

Quote:
Originally Posted by C lectric View Post
My opinion only.
I have used G.C batteries to start my single engine, a Cummins 555, which needs a lot of current, more than your engines. I now use all Gels.

They will work for that purpose although they do not like the high burst of power needed but over the whole bank you should be fine.
Your particular engines will require less power from them so as long as the bank is big enough , you are carefull to ensure adequate reserve to start the engines then you should be ok.

I do maintain separate engine start batteries BUT I have no Gen, and we used to winter boat in freezing weather so I either started or was stranded.

If you have a Gen. that will help so even if you flatten them too much you can start the gen as long as you ensure the gen has an isolated good start battery which is much smaller.

A lot will depend upon how you interconnect the 12 comb. how well they live with the number of batteries and connections you will have to use. Read the following site:
SmartGauge Electronics - Interconnecting multiple batteries to form one larger bank

Bank of this size require carefull set up or the minute ,to us, voltage differences, Vdrops , will add up to less than ideal performance.

You might also seriously consider talking to solar guys involved in house hold setups as they will encounter the problems with interconnections and proper wiring setups.

It would still be a good idea to maintain a separate start battery just in case.
My bank set up is to pull + from one end and the - from the other. Batts are in pairs, 6 volt.
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Old 04-23-2017, 01:06 PM   #9
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I would keep one dedicated batt or bank for starting the mains and gen. One 4d would be fine. All three can share. Then house bank for everything else, including windlass. Just have an option to tie house and start together for starting redundancy. An ACR for charging house when mains are running. No need to get complicated.
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Old 04-23-2017, 01:10 PM   #10
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How do you plan to charge such a large single bank?
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Old 04-23-2017, 01:18 PM   #11
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This will be a very interesting thread to follow.
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Old 04-23-2017, 01:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ski in NC View Post
I would keep one dedicated batt or bank for starting the mains and gen. One 4d would be fine. All three can share. Then house bank for everything else, including windlass. Just have an option to tie house and start together for starting redundancy. An ACR for charging house when mains are running. No need to get complicated.


I agree with this. This isn't what I have, but it is the direction that I am thinking about moving.

Keep a separate start battery in case something happens to the house bank. Have the ability to cross-connect so you can start the mains/generator in case there is an issue with the starting bank.

An ACR would work, but so would an echo-charger or Duo-charger. The advantage of the latter is that the batteries can have different charge profiles.
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Old 04-23-2017, 02:12 PM   #13
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Bay Pelican has a 12 battery (six volt Golf Cart) house bank that runs everything. Sole exception a small (Group 24) 12 volt battery under the helm which serves the SSB and the backup VHF. The underhelm battery is isolated from the house bank and has a separate charger. It is also five feet above the water line in the event of flooding.

In ten years with this setup I have never needed the Group 24 battery to start the generator but it will do so. During that time I have started main engines and generators on three other boats with that battery.

Charging of the large house bank is done with two large (100+amp) chargers when on the generator. I use a remote battery switch to divide the bank into two banks so each charger charges six batteries.
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Old 04-23-2017, 03:45 PM   #14
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I appreciate the simplicity of the two alternators, shore power charger all charging the big house/start bank. No switching, no combiners, just one big system. A big bank of GCs will certainly start your Perkins particularly if you never discharge them below 50%.

But you do lose redundancy, not only by accidentally discharging your big house bank so low that it won't start the Perkins, but also system failures.

I would do as you say, but keep the genset start battery independent, assuming that your genset has a DC alternator. Then if something goes wrong, you can always start the generator and charge the house bank with your shore power charger, or worse comes to worse, jumper the genset's DC output to the house bank. It will take forever to bring it up as these alternators are very low output.

Or even better set up the genset with a Group 31 (or one of your 4Ds) starting battery and jumper it to your Perkins if something goes wrong. A Group 31 will easily start a Perkins.

I once had a brand new Mainship and hadn't yet figured out the electrical system when we anchored out overnight. I mistakenly assumed that the starting battery was isolated from the house battery and ran them both down. But I had a separate bow thruster battery which I was able to jumper to the engine and get it started. Even a little bit of redundancy can save your bacon.

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Old 04-23-2017, 04:02 PM   #15
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We have a single engine with 2 alternators with one that charges the house bank (10-T105s) and the other charges the 2 group 31s for the engine. There are independent with no interconnecting switches. I've carried a set of jumper cables for ten years and have never used them on Hobo. I have a 100 amp plus shore charger for the house bank. The start batteries are Optima Yellow Tops. I forget what the self discharge rate is but they've sat for 6 months and have never failed to start our FL SP 135. I did recently install an old Zantrex 40 and hooked it up to the house and start bank when we did redid the engine room just because we had it and have yet to use it.

Our Genertor has another Opitma with no shore side charging and that has never failed to start.

Simples has worked for us.
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Old 04-23-2017, 04:15 PM   #16
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Charging

I have a 100 or 140 amp charger, going to check paper work. Also have 2nd Xantrex inverter/charger that I may install. But again that makes thing more complex, but at least I would understand it because I put it in. My Gen Set is 8KW. Installing a continuous duty Alternator with 240Amps and my put another one on other engine. Then there is next year plan of Solar.
Again, my main drain on the hook would be the refrigerator, going to propane at some point, so Microwave.
I am using 6 volt Interstates now, when they fail I will look at AGM or whats new, because of 50% rule as well as the water maintenance.
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Old 04-23-2017, 04:50 PM   #17
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I my Monk 36 Single engine with one alternator, I think mine is 80 amp, and many of her sisters there is a main battery bank consisting of 2 8D batteries which run the house, engine start, bow thruster, and windlass. I have a separate battery to start the generator, this battery is charged only by the generator.
This has worked fine for us, we have a Magnum 2 KW inverter/charger. Days at anchor without cruising we crank up the generator for a while in the AM and again in the evening. Air conditioning when needed must be run off generator or shore power.
We have the Magnum Monitor and a Link monitor so we can see at a glance what the state of the battery bank is.
Some Monk owners have gone to 6 - 6V L/A or AGM batteries (they fit in the existing box) to replace the 8Ds which are very heavy and hard to handle at replacement time, and to get a bit more capacity. I haven't done this but probably will at next battery change out.
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Old 04-23-2017, 04:55 PM   #18
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We have a single 440 Ah bank of four Oasis carbon foam batteries that double as a starting bank for the twin FL 120s and our house bank. We have a separate group 31 batt for the generator. In 5+ years we've yet to "need" the separate gen battery (as in the house bank was run so low we couldn't start the engines), but it's good to know it's there in case.
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Old 04-23-2017, 05:11 PM   #19
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My KISS electrical arrangement!

House bank as well as twin screw engine starters: Four group 31 deep cycle LA batts in parallel. This bank also works both HD Raritan 12 v Crown toilets and a HD anchor winch.

One group 27 starter LA batt specific for gen set.

One group 27 starter LA batt isolated in separate box and kept at 100% charge as emergency. Long, heavy gauge jumpers just in case!

This simple set up works very well for us!
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Old 04-23-2017, 05:37 PM   #20
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Check out Odyssey's pure lead thin plate offering. They can deliver both high starting current and deep cycle (80% DoD) as well. I'm using the PC1800's - 6 in house bank and one each for port and starboard engines. I will soon rotate the start batteries into the house bank, and take a couple of for starting. Connected with Blue Seas ACR's and RBS. I have 4 x Interstate AGM's in the bow for thruster and windlass.

We got rid of god knows how many manual Perko switches - the PO had 2 x banks of 3 x 8D'd, plus 8D start batteries, plus 2 batteries for generator plus 2 batteries for windlass.
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