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Old 05-30-2012, 05:50 PM   #21
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Begging to differ with rwidman, the boat does require some rewiring. I don't like having two house banks which are also used as start batteries. My way is one big house bank and a separate start battery. All charging goes to the house bank with a ACR or echo charge for the start battery. Worked great for us for six years cruising on a sailboat.

The original question was how to connects the two alternators. The answer seems to be an external regulator controlling the two alternators. That was the way we did the sailboat except that there was only one alternator. We also carried the original alternator and belt as spares.

I think all boats of that vintage have strange wiring problems which may have worked for the way the PO used the boat. On our sailboat there was a cable straight from the battery to the engine starter and from the engine starter to the load connection of the battery selector. So no matter the position of the battery selector, the DC loads where always connected to the battery.

Bob
I am only trying to help. My understanding was that your batteries didn't seem to be charging.

Rewiring the boat would be attempting to treat the symtom, not the problem.

Find the cause of the problem, fix it, and then if you still think you know better how it should be wired, have at it.

If you don't like my advice, just ignore it.
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Old 05-30-2012, 06:03 PM   #22
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Maybe I wasn't clear, the question was, how do others have their two alternators wired. So far the answers were a single external regulator driving both alternators with the outputs connected together or people didn't know how they were connected.

The issue with the alternators not charging is a different subject and will require some trouble shooting.

Rewiring the batteries into one house bank and a separate starting battery is my choice, done it that way before and it worked for us for six years.

I think two things came out of this discussion: old boats have strange electrical systems and don't change anything till you determine how it is currently configured.

I think that maybe your problem is that you jump in with answers without reading the question. A common problem with "experts".

"if you still think you know better how it should be wired, have at it." I think you seem to have an attitue problem.

Bob
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Old 05-30-2012, 06:36 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by BobH View Post
Maybe I wasn't clear, the question was, how do others have their two alternators wired. So far the answers were a single external regulator driving both alternators with the outputs connected together or people didn't know how they were connected.

The issue with the alternators not charging is a different subject and will require some trouble shooting.

Rewiring the batteries into one house bank and a separate starting battery is my choice, done it that way before and it worked for us for six years.
We have two alternators, 2-3 stage external voltage regulators and 2 independent battery banks; house bank and engine/engine gauges/system bank. No switches to combine them. They are independent systems. The alternators and voltage regulators are identical and we have a spare of each.

The generator has it's own starting battery and is an other independent system.

It's a simple system and has worked well for us.
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:09 PM   #24
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One alternator for the house battery and one for the engine battery? If that's it, what happens if you only run on one engine? My original question was two engines, two alternators charging one house bank, how do I connect them? I think I have the answer to that so maybe we need to close this thread and move on to something else.

Bob
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Old 06-04-2012, 07:32 PM   #25
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Different input/outlook. I have a commercial boat, and the following setup. I have two alternators one engine. I have deep cell engine start batteries 24V DC, charged from the main engine alternator. (130 amp), the port "engine" bank also has a shorepower invertor/charger hooked up to it for alongside charging as required. It only supplies the engine services + the Nav lights and one of our VHF radio's

The "house" batteries on the stbd side are charged from a engine belt driven alternator (160 amp 24v), there are four 12v heavy duty cells in pairs which can be switched single bank or double bank. This supplies all household lighting, the reserve VHF, MF/HF set + electronics package. Work is in hand to add a 10kva genset with 24v charging cct and 240 V A.C.+ additional solar panels on roof for both battery banks to independantly trickle charge them via a regulator when engine isn't running. Finally I have a third 24v emergency system that can be switched between the house or starting ccts as a "just in case"
IMHO u should have each engine alternator charging the start batteries, and split the load for nav lights on one side and everything else on the opposite side. Or a seperate third house bank if space allows splitting the charge cycle on one of your alternators between the starting cells and the houshold bank. With the new 3rd bank doing nothing but your household services.
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Old 06-07-2012, 12:49 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by BobH View Post
One alternator for the house battery and one for the engine battery? If that's it, what happens if you only run on one engine? My original question was two engines, two alternators charging one house bank, how do I connect them? I think I have the answer to that so maybe we need to close this thread and move on to something else.

Bob
Bob,

Here's what I recently did with great results. The combiner provides great flexibility.

Two alternators to one bank can be well managed with a Balmar Centerfielder.

Balmar's Centerfielder Dual Alternator/Regulator Controller

PM me if you'd like further details.

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Old 06-07-2012, 09:43 AM   #27
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If you take out the port alternator that is exactly what we had on our sailboat. I've looked at the Balmar Centerfielder and also as someone suggested, using an oil pressure switch to enable the alternator of the engine that is running and using just one external regulator.

Bob
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Old 06-15-2012, 08:43 PM   #28
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Combining Charge from Two Alternators

Bob: I am sorry to say there is a fair bit of mis-information on this thread around what is actually a pretty well-trodden path. In these days of smart external regulators and inexpensive quality inverters, it makes total sense to direct the charge from both alternators to the House bank and to charge the Start battery/bank from the House bank in a way that doesn't allow the Start battery to be discharged by House loads. To do this, you have to utilize a device which manages the outputs of the alternators and their regulators: you cannot simply hook both alternators' outputs to the House bank. Two world-class companies make such devices: Balmar makes the CenterFielder; and Ample has an equivalent product. To then on-charge the Start battery from the House bank, Balmar makes a Digital DuoCharger, which is smart enough to be set up for a different battery technology. This allows, for example, inexpensive flooded golfcart-type deep cycle batteries to be used for the House bank (one of the more preferred battery types for House banks) and spiral-wound AGM batteries to be used for the Start bank (very good for the thruster, too). The DuoCharger then ignores the charge curve being used for the House bank and applies an optimal charge curve for the AGM (or whatever) Start bank.

Balmar's diagram showing how all this hangs together is available at centerfielder II (CFII-12/24). Balmar and Ample both have superb customer service/technical advice people who can guide you.
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Old 06-16-2012, 05:54 PM   #29
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Aquabelle, I'm sorry I started this whole discussion. I've used Balmar alternators and regulators before but only on single engine/alternator configurations. I should have gone to the Balmar site first and it would all have been clear.

Bob
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