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Old 12-23-2015, 03:48 PM   #21
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I agree that you're probably not getting the most out of your alternators. I'd tie one to the house bank then the other alt to one start battery (1). The other start battery (2) can be charged by a combiner from start battery 1. Connect start bat 1 to the alt on the engine you'll typically start first so it gets recharged by the first engine started. This way both alternators get tapped to charge separate banks and all 3 banks get charged without the need to throw switches.
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Old 12-23-2015, 03:59 PM   #22
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How about this, set the genset up so it has its own group 31 starting battery and does not feed the DC panel.

Then set up one group 31 starting battery that can start both engines but is only charged by one engine. Link that battery to the genset start battery by an on/off switch that will act like jumper cables if you need to boost the engine start battery.

Hook those two batteries to the AC charger you have now.

Then set up the other engine with a high amp alternator and charge regulator to feed the new large capacity house battery bank. Also have the house battery bank connected to a inverter/charger to charge the house bank off the shore or gen power.

You could do all this in stages.
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Old 12-23-2015, 04:26 PM   #23
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[QUOTE=SteveD;398034]Sterling Power Alternator to Battery Chargers are just the ticket. They trick your stock internally regulated alternator into putting out more current by lowering the voltage that they see and then charge your batteries properly by regulating the increased output current. It is truly magic and it works. You can also connect up to four alternators. The batteries and an alternator is protected by temperature sensors. I have one and it is great!


Second the Sterling Alternator to Battery Charger. Works great.
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Old 12-26-2015, 12:30 AM   #24
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Before you go buying a high amp alternator and creating problems for the volvos, figure out if u really need a high amp alternator. I have 95 amp units on my 3208s and spend weekends out. We normally run the AC so the generator is always running, but when we don't, I only need about one hour or genset time a day to charge the banks back to prime. I have a Tripplite inverter with a 30 amp charger plus a 50 amp three bank charger. I have dual starting banks which consist of 31d agms from SAMs club. 169 each. Then 4 31d s for the house bank. I normally bridge the port bank and house bank since they are all the same when we Are On the hook. I always leave the stb bank isolated so I can start the mains even if I kill the house. I also have a fourth bank, that is just a single optima 31d for the generator. Only way to tie that one in is via a normally tripped circuit breaker. Keep it as simple as possible! Setup 2 31ds as a starting bank. Setup 2 to 4 31ds as a house bank, and have a single 31 d for ur generator! With both ur engines running at 1000rpm you should be putting out around 100 amps. If u really want more, crank the genset and let the ac charger pour more in! Personally I leave the house bank disconnected while heading in (2 hour trip in). I prefer to let the smart charger charge them from shore power vs stressing belts, cables, breakers etc if I don't have to.
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Old 12-26-2015, 07:23 AM   #25
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" I only need about one hour or genset time a day to charge the banks back to prime."

Perhaps , but may I suggest you install a SOC (state of charge) meter if you decide to go cruising with days of quiet anchoring?
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Old 12-26-2015, 08:21 AM   #26
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I have no plans, at all, to buy bigger alternators. Heck, if you saw the setup, I doubt I could get a bigger one in there. I am, however, considering a stand-alone battery for the genset that isn't in the charging system for the rest of the boat. I suppose I would have to remember to start it up often enough to keep it charged or keep jumper cables/starter box onboard should I need it.
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Old 12-26-2015, 09:30 AM   #27
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I have no plans, at all, to buy bigger alternators. Heck, if you saw the setup, I doubt I could get a bigger one in there. I am, however, considering a stand-alone battery for the genset that isn't in the charging system for the rest of the boat. I suppose I would have to remember to start it up often enough to keep it charged or keep jumper cables/starter box onboard should I need it.
According to your diagram you have a 3 output charger. Just leave the new genset battery connected to that.
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Old 12-26-2015, 09:45 AM   #28
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I am surprised that your alternators are tied together. Nothing "wrong" just surprising as IMO the usual factory set up is three independent systems on the engines and gennny for fail safe operation. The three systems are then charged by their own alternators and one charger.
That way any dead battery can be charged by the genny for emergency starting purposes. The only thing I would have added to the above was a switched connection to a main battery for the genny if its battery was dead. I carried jumper cables instead.


BTW capt Bill makes a very good point that main cutoff switches should be accessible outside the ER,
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Old 12-26-2015, 10:21 AM   #29
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Sterling Power Alternator to Battery Chargers are just the ticket.... I have one and it is great!
Second for Sterling Products!!

I have used the Sterling CVSR for my application - I do like their products and their tech support was good.
I bought mine through RC of Compass Marine - In addition to being a very knowledgeable resource, he's a Sterling supplier and I decided to throw him the business to help reward him for his excellent sharing of "How To Articles". As a side benefit RC reviewed my application, wiring diagrams and commented on the applicability and appropriateness of the unit for my application.
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Old 12-26-2015, 05:09 PM   #30
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............ I still believe it is good practice to ask for opinions based on what has and has not worked on other boats. While you can look at Calder's book as a textbook, and even a guide, there is STILL no substitute for experience. .
But you have no way of knowing who has real experience and who got lucky. And even talking to a real marine electrician, it would be easy for one of you to misunderstand the other.

If looking at your new to you boat, it seems something is wired (seriously) incorrectly. it would probably be best to have a real marine electrician figure it out, not to rely on advice from strangers on the Internet.
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Old 12-26-2015, 07:22 PM   #31
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I have no plans, at all, to buy bigger alternators. Heck, if you saw the setup, I doubt I could get a bigger one in there. I am, however, considering a stand-alone battery for the genset that isn't in the charging system for the rest of the boat. I suppose I would have to remember to start it up often enough to keep it charged or keep jumper cables/starter box onboard should I need it.
My genset battery has a dedicated 25W solar panel with a simple regulator and is always charged.
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Old 12-29-2015, 09:20 PM   #32
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Here is an option I am considering.

Adding a "dedicated" starter bank using two dual purpose 12v.

Splitting house to two 4xGC2 banks providing 880Ah

Under normal running and in marinas, 1/2/B/O switch in position 1 and on/off set to on. At anchor, 1/2/B/O switch to position 2 and on/off set to on.

Alternators moved to house banks

Genset system isolated to dedicated starter battery charged by a CR relay or Duo Charger.
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Old 12-29-2015, 09:46 PM   #33
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Never been a fan of having to charge battery switch positions in routine operations. Also, not clear as to the advantage of splitting the house bank. Why not build the start bank for both motors as you describe with one alternator charging it. Use the other alternator to charge one large house bank. Add a battery switch to combine the two for a battery failure or alternator failure.

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Old 12-29-2015, 10:00 PM   #34
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I think you are making it overly complicated. And I'm not a fan of hooking multiple alternators together without the proper isolation.
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Old 12-29-2015, 10:18 PM   #35
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If your charge and load circuits are not already split, I'd do it. Wire your charge straight to the batts. Then you'll never have to move the load switches during normal operation and the ACRs will share the charge as needed.
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Old 12-29-2015, 10:28 PM   #36
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I think you are making it overly complicated. And I'm not a fan of hooking multiple alternators together without the proper isolation.
I am trying to keep it as simple as I can with what I have to work with already. I don't want to reinvent the ENTIRE system and spend days and days and lots and lots of money buying and making new wires and connectors. Been there... Done that. This design only requires minor changes. Look at the picture of the switches in my first post. Major reconfigs of the wiring will be a huge PITA.

Besides, this seems to be an improvement. With the switches in the marina/underway setting described above. None of the alternators are tied together. I think.
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Old 12-29-2015, 10:35 PM   #37
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Never been a fan of having to charge battery switch positions in routine operations. Also, not clear as to the advantage of splitting the house bank. Why not build the start bank for both motors as you describe with one alternator charging it. Use the other alternator to charge one large house bank. Add a battery switch to combine the two for a battery failure or alternator failure.

Ted
I only see the switches changing when I reach an anchorage. And don't all the rules kind of change then anyway?

As to your build idea, I am not opposed to it, but like I told Bill, I don't want to reinvent the wheel here. I just don't have the time, money, or willingness YET, to undertake it. There are more pressing issues at hand.

Thanks for the reply, sir.
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Old 12-30-2015, 08:22 AM   #38
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As to your build idea, I am not opposed to it
I know quoting myself is in bad taste

BUT, I will try to reconfigure it with two starter/dual purpose banks and on big house bank that won't be too much of a pain to do.

Thanks again.
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Old 12-30-2015, 10:49 AM   #39
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... Also, not clear as to the advantage of splitting the house bank. Why not build the start bank for both motors as you describe with one alternator charging it. Use the other alternator to charge one large house bank. Add a battery switch to combine the two for a battery failure or alternator failure. Ted
We have a starting bank and a house bank. One alternator/voltage regulator for the house bank and one for the starting bank. Nothing to switch unless there is an issue and there hasn't been. I guess what I'm trying to say is one large house bank is simpler than 2 smaller ones and less risk of drawing down a set of batteries in a split house bank.
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Old 12-30-2015, 11:05 AM   #40
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one large house bank is simpler than 2 smaller ones and less risk of drawing down a set of batteries in a split house bank.
After giving it some thought, I think I am beginning to agree. However, I need to find a way to reconfigure the system in a simple-ish way.
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