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Old 03-11-2016, 03:18 PM   #21
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Richard,
You wrote in post #16 "We switch to the start bank to start, stay that way for 10-20 minutes while the windlass raises the anchor and we get the start bank recharged, then switch to the house bank."

Why do you do that?
Do you want a tad more speed on the anchor winch?
Are you afraid of running the start batt down?

I always switch the start selector to house right after starting. I have a Xantrex as pictured in Al's post above. May be different but when we bought the Xantrex 10 years ago they said it would take care of that and the start batt remains charged .... always. And even when it's cold in Alaska I never employed both banks to start the engine.
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Old 03-11-2016, 05:57 PM   #22
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Asking what DC system setup you have is like asking "how do I drive from NJ to California?"


Are you riding a motorcycle? What Time of year? Transporting a 45 foot cruise on a flatbed? Riding with 5 young kids?....holy cow...what a question.

Depending on loads, engines, alternative charging sources, choice of separating systems or not, etc, etc.... will determine what people have set up.

There are at least a couple ways to set up every single boat out there.

Just depending on how you boat, where you boat, what you are willing to spend...etc...etc...may determine how it is done.

Like expensive home remodeling or landscaping...designing a DC electrical system for a decent sized cruiser might require the "knowledgeable" person to be connected to your hip till it is done. It will be neither right or wrong...just hopefully suited for your needs.

Many have very limited knowledge of what it really takes to cruise, recharge and wire a decent setup...so beware of too many suggestions for YOUR desired application.
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Old 03-11-2016, 06:58 PM   #23
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The OP questions were much more specific than your post suggests. Here's another look at the OP's questions:

"how many keep a 2 seperate banks of batteries? 1 for house and 1 for starting an engine?

Do you have a different charging source for each set of batteries?
ie: automotive style alternator for starting battery and a "smart alternator/ Voltage control regulator" for the deep cycle ones?"
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Old 03-11-2016, 07:31 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyWright View Post
The OP questions were much more specific than your post suggests. Here's another look at the OP's questions:

"how many keep a 2 seperate banks of batteries? 1 for house and 1 for starting an engine?

Do you have a different charging source for each set of batteries?
ie: automotive style alternator for starting battery and a "smart alternator/ Voltage control regulator" for the deep cycle ones?"
My boat has three banks: house, starboard engine, and port engine/generator. The house bank is made up of deep cycle batteries and the engine banks of cranking batteries.

Each engine charges its own bank and I a switch that can combine the house bank with either engine bank for charging the house bank while under way (and when using the windlass).

The charger has three charging outputs, one for each bank, for charging from the genny or shore power.

I would like to split the generator battery from the port engine starting bank but I need a way to keep it charged with the charger.
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Old 03-11-2016, 07:44 PM   #25
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Barker,
Your experience is exactly what I'm trying to avoid. I hope to build a simple boat. This whole charging system knowledge has me in a flap, cause I know too much..
You could do what I do. I have a vintage vessel with an inscrutable past. My strategy: Get a Xantrex, follow the instructions, and then let the ghost in the machine sort it out. Thereafter, I just bring the batteries water, light a candle, and take their temperature with a voltmeter.

If there are no sudden flashes or black dips in the intervals, I anoint myself a genius.
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Old 03-11-2016, 08:07 PM   #26
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I keep two separate banks. The start battery is always isolated. The exception is the ACR. If the ACR senses a charge on either battery (shore powered charger or alternator) it will combine the batteries. Once there is no charge present, it will isolate them. If I run the house down to "0", the start battery should still crank the single diesel.

I used to have the 1-2-both switch, but replaced it. Too easy to drain both batteries if my attention slips....
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Old 03-11-2016, 08:17 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by FlyWright View Post
The OP questions were much more specific than your post suggests. Here's another look at the OP's questions:

"how many keep a 2 seperate banks of batteries? 1 for house and 1 for starting an engine?

Do you have a different charging source for each set of batteries?
ie: automotive style alternator for starting battery and a "smart alternator/ Voltage control regulator" for the deep cycle ones?"
I have a starting battery and house battery. They are charged by the engine's alternator, and when the inverter is working, from the AC dock current. No genset here.
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Old 03-11-2016, 10:55 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Xlantic View Post
I would like to split the generator battery from the port engine starting bank but I need a way to keep it charged with the charger.
Have you considered a combiner like a Blue Sea ACR or Yandina combiner? Since your stbd alternator charges your start batt, when you another start batt to the port side, the charge can be shared with the new port start batt through a combiner/automatic charging relay. They tie together when the charge is present and split when the charge stops.

I currently (no pun intended) have a single start 8D battery for both engines. When I replace it with a couple Group 31s, I'll charge both with the port alt through a combiner. They work great without the need to throw switches.
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Old 03-12-2016, 12:28 AM   #29
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"house" Battery charging

I'm changing from two medium-sized combination start/house banks to a large (1,248-AH) house bank and single 8D AGM start battery for both engines and the genset.

I'm replacing the original 70-amp alternators, one of which was dedicated to each bank, with 100-amp externally regulated alts. The smart regulators are Balmar MC614Hs and, with a Centerfielder, are designed to take the output of two alts and optimally charge the eight 6-volt AGM J305s in the house bank. A Balmar DuoCharge will ensure that the start bank is also charged and I'll be able to start the engines or genset from the house bank if necessary. Also planning to add solar to this setup and the upgrade will include new cabling, conduit, breakers, fusing, etc. Finally, I've installed a Magnum MS2812 inverter charger and will retain the existing Xantrex 40 as a backup. The genset will be able to power either charger.

This setup is comparatively simple and based on systems successfully used by other Defever owners. I'm doing most of the work myself under the guidance of a marine electrical systems designer (per ABYC standards) and will have a marine electrician idiot-check my work. Doing it myself is fun, saves a ton of money and is the best way I know to get a thorough understanding of my electrical system.

I'll post some photos eventually.
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Old 03-12-2016, 12:42 AM   #30
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I'm changing from two medium-sized combination start/house banks to a large (1,248-AH) house bank and single 8D AGM start battery for both engines and the genset.

I'm replacing the original 70-amp alternators, one of which was dedicated to each bank, with 100-amp externally regulated alts. The smart regulators are Balmar MC614Hs and, with a Centerfielder, are designed to take the output of two alts and optimally charge the eight 6-volt AGM J305s in the house bank. A Balmar DuoCharge will ensure that the start bank is also charged and I'll be able to start the engines or genset from the house bank if necessary. Also planning to add solar to this setup and the upgrade will include new cabling, conduit, breakers, fusing, etc. Finally, I've installed a Magnum MS2812 inverter charger and will retain the existing Xantrex 40 as a backup. The genset will be able to power either charger.

This setup is comparatively simple and based on systems successfully used by other Defever owners. I'm doing most of the work myself under the guidance of a marine electrical systems designer (per ABYC standards) and will have a marine electrician idiot-check my work. Doing it myself is fun, saves a ton of money and is the best way I know to get a thorough understanding of my electrical system.

I'll post some photos eventually.
Angus, you're my hero! Sounds like the perfect system for your circumstances. If I didn't have to fish, I'd have more money to throw at my electrical system. But, since I do...

Goodonya!!!
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Old 03-12-2016, 04:35 AM   #31
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Angus, you're my hero! Sounds like the perfect system for your circumstances. If I didn't have to fish, I'd have more money to throw at my electrical system. But, since I do...



Goodonya!!!

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Old 03-12-2016, 06:06 AM   #32
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I set my single engine boat up with 2 separate batteries and 2 alternators. The start battery (only for the engine) is a single AGM that is charged off the engines original 75 amp alternator. The house bank is 1000 amp hours of T105 Trojan deep cycle batteries. They are charged by a 220 amp Leece Neville alternator with a Sterling 3 stage voltage regulator. Everything including the 3KW inverter / battery charger runs off the house bank. There is a battery switch that allows the 2 banks to be combined in the event of an alternator failure or dead engine starting battery. Pretty simple system with no switching required in normal operation.

Generator has it's own battery and alternator and can recharge the house bank through the inverter / battery charger.

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Old 03-12-2016, 08:34 AM   #33
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My boat is a single engine, and I have a house bank, and start battery for the engine, and a start battery for the generator.

I think my system is pretty simple in that I have a three bank AC charger that I run off of the generator or shore power when not running the engine. The three bank AC charger charges the house, main engine, and generator. When running the engine, a charge relay directs charge to either the house bank or the main engine start bank.

If I have to combine the house with the main engine start circuit, I have a battery switch for that purpose. The charge relay is the key to the system, and so far I've been very happy with how it works.

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Old 03-12-2016, 09:45 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by prairieoyster View Post
how many keep a 2 seperate banks of batteries? 1 for house and 1 for starting an engine?

Do you have a different charging source for each set of batteries?
ie: automotive style alternator for starting battery and a "smart alternator/ Voltage control regulator" for the deep cycle ones?

I have been reading Nigel Calder's textbook, and I wonder how much of his theory is actually in practice?
I have a start bank (one battery) and a house bank (four batteries). They are charged by the engine alternator and connected and separated by a battery combiner (automatic charging relay).

Simple but it works all by itself. No switches to remember.

Nigel Calder's book? It's OK but I'm not fond of his style.
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Old 03-12-2016, 09:56 AM   #35
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Then I found the 30A charger insufficient so I replaced it with a single bank 55A charger connected directly to the house and via Yandina combiner to the start.
Al, I am about to ADD a charger to my boat. Why did you REPLACE yours instead of add one??? You could have had 85amps of charging instead of 55?
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Old 03-12-2016, 10:52 AM   #36
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Al, I am about to ADD a charger to my boat. Why did you REPLACE yours instead of add one??? You could have had 85amps of charging instead of 55?
John,

I wanted to jump in here and let you know that I once had the same idea, but was told by the manufacturer, Xantrex in this case, that the only way this will work is if the chargers are 'stackable' meaning they synchronize their charging profiles (bulk, absorption, float etc.) and voltages. This prevents one charger from assuming a fully charged battery because it mistakenly ‘reads’ the voltage of the other charger.

I would absolutely check with both manufacturers if different, and get the advice of their tech support folks before making the connection. I would also want them to be in warranty
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Old 03-12-2016, 01:54 PM   #37
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Richard,
You wrote in post #16 "We switch to the start bank to start, stay that way for 10-20 minutes while the windlass raises the anchor and we get the start bank recharged, then switch to the house bank."

Why do you do that?
Do you want a tad more speed on the anchor winch?
Are you afraid of running the start batt down?

I always switch the start selector to house right after starting. I have a Xantrex as pictured in Al's post above. May be different but when we bought the Xantrex 10 years ago they said it would take care of that and the start batt remains charged .... always. And even when it's cold in Alaska I never employed both banks to start the engine.
Hi Eric,

The whole boat runs from and charges to whichever bank or banks we are switched to. We have a Xantrex Link 2000 which monitors both start and house banks. No combiner or genset. The start bank needs some recharging after cranking our fairly large diesel. With the engine running we're generating 50 amps or more. The windlass runs very well on the start bank with engine running.

Usually by a few minutes after the anchor is up the Link shows the start bank recharged. Then we switch to house and forget it until the next time we need to start.

Only time we switch to both is the rare occasion of the start bank not being fully up to snuff for one reason or another.

Seems to work. Does that make sense to you?
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Old 03-12-2016, 02:03 PM   #38
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John,

I wanted to jump in here and let you know that I once had the same idea, but was told by the manufacturer, Xantrex in this case, that the only way this will work is if the chargers are 'stackable' meaning they synchronize their charging profiles (bulk, absorption, float etc.) and voltages. This prevents one charger from assuming a fully charged battery because it mistakenly ‘reads’ the voltage of the other charger.

I would absolutely check with both manufacturers if different, and get the advice of their tech support folks before making the connection. I would also want them to be in warranty
I actually am not doing the work. A friend is. And he is probably the best marine electrician in this area. I would assume you could somehow isolate what the chargers charge and what they read by the way you wire it. But electrical is my absolute worst system knowledge so that is why I am farming it out. I seriously doubt he is just wiring the two to jam current into the batteries...but I do not know. I will ask him. He is the one who suggested it because I thought the exact same thing as what you are saying.

Ultimately, I am adding an inverter. There are very few choices in the "inverter only" market. No offense, but Xantrex is not very high on my list. And he agrees. I have owned them...and have had to replace them. He suggested Magnum Energy(MS2000) which is an inverter/charger. It has 100amp charger and a 2000 watt True Sine Wave inverter along with a controller and monitor. Not cheap stuff. I already have a Charles 80amp Charger. My battery bank is 525a/h. AGMs can handle up to half of their rated storage and by talking on the phone to Odyssey, my battery's maker, they say you WANT a lot of power going into the bank to charge because that is how AGMs desulfate. She flinched when I said I "only"" had 80amps to charge this bank. Now I will have 180 and that will likely be better for the health of the batteries as well as charge much quicker. In the end, this is not about the charger. It is about getting an inverter.

But if you want an explanation on how he is gonna wire this up, I will ask. He says he has done it on numerous boats. He is actually a member on here, but not active.
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Old 03-12-2016, 03:06 PM   #39
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Ultimately, I am adding an inverter. He suggested Magnum Energy(MS2000) which is an inverter/charger. It has 100amp charger and a 2000 watt True Sine Wave inverter along with a controller and monitor. Not cheap stuff.
John, I'm interested to know how you like the inverter part of the unit. I have the ME3112 inverter charger which is a modified sine wave unit. The Nepresso machine and the microwave don't like it, and I will be adding a TV shortly. For $1,450 I can replace it with the MS2812, for supposedly pure sine wave. Would really like to hear how well your unit works with frequency sensitive equipment, before switching

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Old 03-12-2016, 03:13 PM   #40
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John, I'm interested to know how you like the inverter part of the unit. I have the ME3112 inverter charger which is a modified sine wave unit. The Nepresso machine and the microwave don't like it, and I will be adding a TV shortly. For $1,450 I can replace it with the MS2812, for supposedly pure sine wave. Would really like to hear how well your unit works with frequency sensitive equipment, before switching

Ted
Will let you know. It should be done by the end of next week. I did read as many reviews on the web as I could find and they are all very good. I did not see anything less than 4 stars and the very vast majority is 5. Search amazon for it and you can read some reviews. I hear that Magnum is the people from Heart that fled when Xantrex bought Heart.
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