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Old 19-09-2012, 17:44   #1
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Batteries and 12vdc Systems

Helia 44 - 12 volt switch panel by port side nav station
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Old 06-06-2013, 14:31   #2
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Re: Batteries and 12vdc Systems

Do any of the Helia owners have the "eco cruising monitor" (battery monitor) from the factory? I am wondering about make and model so I can research it and see what you get for $1685 US.
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Old 27-06-2014, 11:49   #3
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Re: Batteries and 12vdc Systems

My understanding of the engine/battery charging setup for a Helia is:
- Starboard engine charges the house battery bank
- Port engine charges the starting battery
Please let me know if I am wrong on this.

If my understanding is correct, what would it require to allow either and/or both engines to charge the house bank. Why would we not want to charge the house battery bank when running the port engine for hot water or motorsailing? I would also imagine that if properly regulated, the house battery bank would charge more quickly with the input from 2 alternators. Charging my Helia house battery bank seems very slow from the starboard engine alone.

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Old 27-06-2014, 12:03   #4
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Re: Batteries and 12vdc Systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by onthehook17 View Post
My understanding of the engine/battery charging setup for a Helia is:
- Starboard engine charges the house battery bank
- Port engine charges the starting battery
Please let me know if I am wrong on this.

If my understanding is correct, what would it require to allow either and/or both engines to charge the house bank. Why would we not want to charge the house battery bank when running the port engine for hot water or motorsailing? I would also imagine that if properly regulated, the house battery bank would charge more quickly with the input from 2 alternators. Charging my Helia house battery bank seems very slow from the starboard engine alone.

Onthehook17
We have the same setup on our FP Mahe 36.

Just turn on your Emergency Start switch and that will connect your House batteries to your other alternator and start battery. This makes your house and other start battery all as one.

We have had our Emergency Start switch on for years. Just have to be careful not to run your batteries low as you will not have any power to Emergency start your engines.
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Old 27-06-2014, 18:39   #5
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Re: Batteries and 12vdc Systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cotemar View Post
We have had our Emergency Start switch on for years. Just have to be careful not to run your batteries low as you will not have any power to Emergency start your engines.
This seems a little too stressful to me. There must be some way to charge the batteries with either/both alternators and still leave the engine start battery isolated from house loads.
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Old 27-06-2014, 20:17   #6
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Re: Batteries and 12vdc Systems

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Originally Posted by onthehook17 View Post
This seems a little too stressful to me. There must be some way to charge the batteries with either/both alternators and still leave the engine start battery isolated from house loads.
No worries. It's just what some of us do. Our batteries are working just as well as they did 6 years ago.
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Old 27-06-2014, 23:54   #7
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Re: Batteries and 12vdc Systems

Yes, there are systems that sense the voltage and link the batteries when charging and separate them when discharging.
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Old 28-06-2014, 00:19   #8
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Re: Batteries and 12vdc Systems

The simple and cheap solution is a voltage sensitve relay which parallels the batteries when the voltage on one battery rises above say 13v. Our Athena has this. Better would be a Sterling Wildside which fools the engine charging the start battery into delivering a lot more amps to the house battery while keeping the start battery on float charge. Claimed to reduce charging times by 5 fold compared to a standard alternator and uses a modern multi stage charge regime.
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Old 28-06-2014, 04:58   #9
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Re: Batteries and 12vdc Systems

Cyrix-i Battery Combiner - Victron Energy

A completely no stress solution. I paralleled my emergency start switch with this.
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Old 06-07-2014, 19:12   #10
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Re: Batteries and 12vdc Systems

Thank you, this Victron battery combiner appears to be the perfect solution.

Next question: Has anyone done a 24 hour load calculation for their Helia? Take for example 2 liveaboard people cruising in the tropics. What would be their 24 hour amp usage on the 12v system.
The most challenging calculation is the refrigeration usage. My total refrigeration draw when all 3 appliances are running seems to be about 23.6 amps at 12.6v. I just don't know how many hours a day they are running.

Thanks for your help.
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Old 06-07-2014, 19:29   #11
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Re: Batteries and 12vdc Systems

You may want to think about adding an ice maker also. The factory solar will not keep up with the Helia 44 energy demands, so think about adding more solar panels.
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Old 06-07-2014, 19:45   #12
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Re: Batteries and 12vdc Systems

Based on my experience with the Orana and using theoretical calculations

At the boat (all in A/H per day)

190l Fridge 58
90L Freezer 46
Waeco 120l Freezer 17
General 150 250 (day) / 50 (night) (as per my Orana)

Total 272

Solar capacity at 600W is expected to be 200

Assuming no motoring will need to run generator for 1 hour every day or 2 hours every second day. Probably need to do this to generate water anyway.

Away from the boat

190l Fridge 58
90L Freezer 46
Waeco 17
ISOTemp 5

Total 126

The solar should handle this relatively easily.

Nasa would be able to provide actual real world data I expect.
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Old 06-07-2014, 19:47   #13
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Re: Batteries and 12vdc Systems

I don't see replacing / adding to the standard solar for at least a year after moving aboard full time. I see 3 sources for charging the batteries and I will be curious to see how sufficient the total charging amps will be to keep the batteries charged
Sources:
1. 110v watermaker requiring 2 hours a day of genset time or 3-4 hours every second day.
2. Two 110 v alternators on Volvo D2-40 running during the inevitable motorsailing time.
3. Solar that seems to produce about 260 watts (19.5 amps x 13.4 v).

No doubt the factory solar will not meet the demand. I am just curious what is the 24 hour demand?
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Old 06-07-2014, 19:58   #14
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Re: Batteries and 12vdc Systems

FP standard is inadequate. I calculate 600W to be OK, but may need to ramp this up to cope for tropical climes. I will probably put 2 flexible solbians (240W) on starboard side and three fixed 150W (450W) on port side. This will generate about 50A peak and around 300A/H per day in the tropics.

My main concern is leaving the boat on the hook for a few days. Do not want to come back and see all my frozen food spoiled.
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Old 06-07-2014, 21:06   #15
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Re: Batteries and 12vdc Systems

I think the Helia has the same 2 drawer Stainless drawer as fitted to the Lipari Evolution made by VitriFrigo. I have just had the meter on for the last few days. It is still Queensland Winter so cool but not Freezing and not hot. Daily 24hour draw was depending on settings on the fridge from 28AH for 24 hours to 30AH.

I'm still running another test today so will have better info tomorrow. I can publish the graphs if anyone is interested. Fridge temp measured at the top of the fridge is approx 7 degree C and I have been making sure it stays in the 7 to 9 range while testing. Is measuring at the very top of the fridge so is the worst case temp.

I have been testing the effect of compressor speed on power usage, temperature and cycle time. Very interesting numbers. The EvaKool 60 Ltr freezer was very efficient on economy mode with temps at minus 16-18 C using less than 18Ah. The little EvaKool 45 "Bar fridge" ok at 15.4 but it does get opened more than the freezer. All three fridges use Danfoss BD-35 compressors.

Slowly working around the boat to see what the actual usage is on each component/circuit.
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