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Old 06-17-2014, 10:14 PM   #1
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Carver 355 Battery/Charger setup

I have owned my Carver 355 for several months now and am beginning to make my punch list of things I want to change/fix. One issue that has caused me more than a few headaches is the battery setup and the charger for the batteries. It took me a while to figure out the factory setup, and it does not make a lot of sense as to why it is setup this way. There is zero documentation I can find about the setup either. There is a battery selector switch (1,2, both, off), two batteries, and one charger. It appears to be factory wired to pull the house draw as well as engine draw off of whatever battery selected. Additionally, the charger will only charge whichever battery is selected. This means that if I have the selector in the "1" position, all house and starting drain comes from this battery...additionally it means that only this battery is being charged. Last issue that I have....at least from a battery/charging perspective, is that when running off of the 7.3Kohler, the batteries will not charge. From what I have read, some chargers do not work well with marine generators...something about sine wave. To test my theory, I plugged in my Honda 2000 generator (made to run sensitive electronics) and the charger kicks in and starts charging. All of that being said, I need some advice. I was thinking of adding a house battery and wiring house load directly to battery, excluding the selector switch. Additionally I was going to purchase a 3 bank marine charger and wire directly to each of the three batteries...excluding the selector switch. Thoughts? Any major issue with not having multiple batteries to switch between for house load (other than amount of run time before charging?)

Thanks - Scott
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:58 AM   #2
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I think carvers of that vintage had a simple charger that had connections to each of three batteries. Also each engine charged it own battery via a master cut off switch including the genny ( doesent it have its own starting battery??).

The 123 switch just distributed the accessory loads but had nothing to do with the charging. A separate breaker panel had breakers for each charger output. Now all that being said what a previous owner changed is unknown and anything is possible. If the charger only has one output the PO may have decided that he wanted to control which battery got the charge and that way put all the juice into one instead of dividing it.

Really surprising that the charger wont run off the genny. Will it rum off shore power? Are you sure that the genny is connected to the charger?? There may be another circuit breaker for that.
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Old 06-19-2014, 02:40 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response! I did some digging and I think I figured out what my issue is. Charger is a Xantrex TrueCharge 20+ with three banks for charging. Confession time...I have had the boat for a little while and this is the first time I have seen the starting/house batteries. The PO installed an inverter and placed 6 6V batteries on a board above the 3 starting/house batteries....so to examine the starting/house battery...it is a lot of lifting. Poor excuse though. But, back to the topic... The 3 banks exiting the charger go to the switch panel and connect directly to 3 circuit breakers. 1 exits the breaker and goes directly to the single generator battery. The other two tie into the #1 and #2 battery input side of the selector switch. This may be my issue, but the boat has always operated using "both" as the selected option on the switch, and I have continued to operate it that way....even under generator power. So, I think as an experiment, I will use position #1 or #2 instead of "both". Not sure that will make a difference, but it would make sense as when in "both" mode, that means that there are 2 banks of power being dumped to two batteries through a common wire. Grabbing at straws here though. I will let you know what I find.
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Old 06-19-2014, 02:54 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n36511 View Post
Last issue that I have....at least from a battery/charging perspective, is that when running off of the 7.3Kohler, the batteries will not charge. From what I have read, some chargers do not work well with marine generators...something about sine wave. To test my theory, I plugged in my Honda 2000 generator (made to run sensitive electronics) and the charger kicks in and starts charging.
Thanks - Scott
-----------------------------------
The Xantrex TrueCharge series does not like older generators period.

If you have the Xantrex remote monitoring panel you will see your charger go to "Standby Mode" after a few minutes of charging. Mine would charge for about 20 minutes on my Onan 7.5 and then it would switch. If my batteries were way down it might actually charge for an hour on the generator. I had an electrician check out my generator and while brushless, it does a lousy job of maintaining a clean 60 cycles and 120 volts under light loads.

PS: I would have an electrician look at that setup. . . my three charger leads go directly to each battery bank, not the switch. If I understand what you are saying correctly, if your battery switch was turned off, then your charger would be disconnected from your batteries??
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Old 06-19-2014, 06:51 PM   #5
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When I bought my Californian, the loads and chargers were controlled in unison with a single Perko 1-ALL-2-OFF battery switch. I split the alternator and charger charges to go directly to the batteries, regardless of switch position. The 1-ALL-2-OFF switches now control load only...one for start, one for house. I have full ability to isolate or parallel banks as needed. The charge goes to each bank from it's respective alternator.

If I need to combine for charging purposes, (i.e. both alts to both banks to increase house charge when underway or charge both banks with my single bank charger) I have a combiner to do that which automatically splits the banks when the charge ends.

Loads are only controlled by the Perko switches which remain isolated to their own battery banks unless needed in an abnormal case. That only happened once when the house got too low due to a failed battery charger while out for a week. I tied the start batt to the house bank to finish making my coffee in the morning. Emergency averted!

If you're trying to charge a 6-Battery 6V house bank with a 20A charger, you're going to need lots of time. I have a similar 660AH bank which was poorly matched to my 30A charger. I upgraded to a 55A charger which saves gen run time, but my Honda 2000 prevented me from getting a larger size. Ideally, I should have a 120A charger, but don't have a built-in genset to support it on the hook.

Is there any way to move that new house bank away from the stacked position? If your batteries are lead acid wet cells, that could make servicing the lower batteries very difficult to the point that proper servicing techniques might not be followed.

Here's an old schematic with the old 3-bank 30A charger shown, but it illustrates the split systems.

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Old 06-19-2014, 07:33 PM   #6
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Just an FYI many inverters are also chargers. Can you tell me what inverter is in the boat? Also I have seen many inverters wired directly off the AC main breaker legs and when you go over to generator there is no AC input to the inverter/ charger.
As for the True charge if it is a Yellow cased unit they don't behave well on some generators. The new Xantrex chargers operate over a large range of hz and voltage. They are considerably better than the old original Xantrex TruCharge.
A little more information will be helpful.
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Old 06-30-2014, 08:43 AM   #7
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Just an FYI many inverters are also chargers. Can you tell me what inverter is in the boat? Also I have seen many inverters wired directly off the AC main breaker legs and when you go over to generator there is no AC input to the inverter/ charger.
As for the True charge if it is a Yellow cased unit they don't behave well on some generators. The new Xantrex chargers operate over a large range of hz and voltage. They are considerably better than the old original Xantrex TruCharge.
A little more information will be helpful.
Bill
The inverter is a Xantrex Freedom 458 2500 watt inverter with charging capabilities. Yes, it is an older yellow xantrex True Charge 20 three bank charger. I was out this weekend and it just didnt want to charge the batteries while under generator power. I think I will have to start shopping for a new one .
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Old 06-30-2014, 08:58 AM   #8
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Have you checked the basics such as is the genny connected to the charger??
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:06 AM   #9
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Then the inverter/ charger should take care of charging the house bank or any battery connect to it. The Freedom should give you between 120-130 amps of charging ability for the house bank. There is one caveat many inverter/ chargers are wired before the AC generator switch so once you throw the generator breaker it won't charge while underway. If the inverter/ charger is wired after the generator/ AC dock power breakers then it will charge while underway if the generator is running. As long as the inverter is not being used.
I hope this helps some?
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:11 AM   #10
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If your older Yellow Xantrex 20 amp charger is working you probably got past what is commonly known as the bathtub curve meaning it will probably continue to work for you. No need to replace something that isn't broke.
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:16 AM   #11
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Have you checked the basics such as is the genny connected to the charger??
I wish it was something that simple. Yes, it has been verified...even watched the charging status while under generator power to see if it was dumping amps to the batteries.
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Old 06-30-2014, 09:43 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by n36511 View Post
The inverter is a Xantrex Freedom 458 2500 watt inverter with charging capabilities. Yes, it is an older yellow xantrex True Charge 20 three bank charger. I was out this weekend and it just didnt want to charge the batteries while under generator power. I think I will have to start shopping for a new one .
It depends which charger you are talking about. The large inverter./ charger should be rewired to have it's AC inputs wired to the panels AC feeds to include running while the genset breakers or switch is engaged.
As far as the Yellow charger make sure that is also properly wired, I assume you have a breaker labeled charger off one of the AC 30A feeds?
This might be a simple AC wiring issue and not a generator issue.
I don't have enough information to be able to properly diagnose this issue.
Bill
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