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Old 09-20-2016, 02:52 PM   #21
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There is a lot of misunderstanding regarding what the Duo will do and what it won't do:

"It will float the start battery when it senses it needs float." = INCORRECT

"It will charge the start battery with its own 3 stage charge profile." = INCORRECT


What you actually can control:

Turn On/Excite Voltage is adjustable. This is the voltage at which it activates and starts passing currenr to the start battery.

Output Voltage Limit/Cap can be reduced below the house bank voltage but it can not and will not go higher than house voltage. This is nothing more than a voltage limit for the start battery or output side of the DDC.

It will not drop to a float voltage unless the house bank has dropped to float.

An ACR works similarly only it is bi-directional, passes lots more current, but it can not have a voltage limit on the output side, meaning don't connect a GEL starting battery to a bank of Trojan's... If both banks charge with similar voltages the DDC really gains you very little.
Best explanation I have seen yet Rod, thanks.

I need to do some digging to find more information about my system's configuration. There are some major pieces that I haven't yet figured out.
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Old 09-20-2016, 03:48 PM   #22
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While it does sound complicated, and to look at it it can be confusing but the basic design I think is relatively simple. All charging sources go the house bank (separate bank of LA batteries). From there, each other battery has its own Duo Charger that will send up to 30 amps of charge current to it.

I do like this setup in that the charging profile can be configured for each battery individually which is nice when you have a mix of different types of batteries. In my case, I don't know that the PO ever changed the charging profiles when he changed out the batteries. While there doesn't seem to be any temperature compensation, the Duo Chargers mean that each battery can be setup with its own temperature compensation. My genset battery is in the ER but my thruster batteries are in the aft lazarrett. Entirely different temperatures.

The ACR that was added likely is there to solve a problem that the PO found with the Duo Chargers 30amp cutoff, ie if the charge demand is higher than 30 amps it shuts down. There is a feature in the Duo Charger than provides for a manual override for this cut off but the PO decided to go with the ACR instead. That is fine other than it means that my house bank and engine start battery are paralleled for charging purposes even though they are of two different types and in two very dissimilar locations.

The page below may indicate what the ACR is all about.

"All charging sources go the house bank (separate bank of LA batteries)."

Does that mean all the Chargers and alternators feed to the house bank?
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Old 09-20-2016, 04:14 PM   #23
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The page below may indicate what the ACR is all about.



"All charging sources go the house bank (separate bank of LA batteries)."



Does that mean all the Chargers and alternators feed to the house bank?

As near as I have been able to determine so far, yes the engine alternator and the charger feed the house bank.
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Old 09-21-2016, 10:55 AM   #24
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Hey Rod: great commentary, thanks!

Dave: in my setup, when the the start battery is isolated (99% of the time), it can only start the engine and run the windlass. In your setup, I would imagine the draw from the windlass could/would exceed the 30 amp maximum of the duo charge, thus the use of the ACR. The PO used the Blue Seas ACR to charge the start batteries, which were two deep cycle Trojan T-105s. In my "wisdom" I replaced them with high cranking Group 24's and I didn't realize the function of the ACR, which I had switched to "off", as I had thought the Duo Charge charged the start battery when in fact its role was to charge the thruster batteries. It was just coincidence,that I had an electrician go through my system to explain the setup to me that he discovered that I was not charging my starter batteries at all when the batteries were I combined with the ACR. I now have a Mastervolt voltage regulator to charge the house, starter and generator batteries from the alternator charging source. Actually the generator battery has its own dedicated Prosport charger so there is redundancy. I also have a Prosport charger on the starter batteries. The only occasion I use the Blue Seas ACR is to combine the house and starter systems when dropping and raising the anchor. We then switch it back to the "off" position. Combining the batteries is probably not necessary but the windlass is a large Plath, so it's what we do.


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Old 09-21-2016, 02:09 PM   #25
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Hey Rod: great commentary, thanks!

Dave: in my setup, when the the start battery is isolated (99% of the time), it can only start the engine and run the windlass. In your setup, I would imagine the draw from the windlass could/would exceed the 30 amp maximum of the duo charge, thus the use of the ACR. The PO used the Blue Seas ACR to charge the start batteries, which were two deep cycle Trojan T-105s. In my "wisdom" I replaced them with high cranking Group 24's and I didn't realize the function of the ACR, which I had switched to "off", as I had thought the Duo Charge charged the start battery when in fact its role was to charge the thruster batteries. It was just coincidence,that I had an electrician go through my system to explain the setup to me that he discovered that I was not charging my starter batteries at all when the batteries were I combined with the ACR. I now have a Mastervolt voltage regulator to charge the house, starter and generator batteries from the alternator charging source. Actually the generator battery has its own dedicated Prosport charger so there is redundancy. I also have a Prosport charger on the starter batteries. The only occasion I use the Blue Seas ACR is to combine the house and starter systems when dropping and raising the anchor. We then switch it back to the "off" position. Combining the batteries is probably not necessary but the windlass is a large Plath, so it's what we do.
Thanks Jim.

It does seem a little odd to me that my thruster/davit batteries are 2 x 8D Lifeline AGMs. That is over 500AH of batteries! They seem very happy however with the Duo-charger which tells me that they do not consistently ask for more than 30amps of charge. It may be possible that when both bow and stern thruster are being using a lot that the current draw is greater than the 30amps and the Duo Charge will stop sending charge to that bank. However, when done using the thrusters the bank must ask for less than 30amps since those batteries have always remained charged even though at times I have used the thrusters a LOT.

Of course, I just realized that I have absolutely no idea what battery is used to power the windlass. If I had to guess it would be the same bank that is used by the thrusters/davit.

For grins, I may change back to the Duo Charger for my start battery and see what happens. It is a simple change from the ACR as all the wiring is in place. If the Duo Charger is able to keep the engine start battery charged I see no reason to use the ACR instead of the Duo Charger. I do have a combining switch that will combine the 600AH house bank with the engine start battery if there is a problem with the start battery.

My guess is that I should probably look at installing some type of decent battery monitors. I have a monitor for the house bank, but nothing that I have found for any of the other batteries. Maybe I can do that when I install temperature sensors on the batteries.
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