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Old 31-08-2017, 21:54   #1
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Electrical Question

Hi everyone! New to this site but love love love all the advice and support you share among each other. I am also fairly new to the world of sailing. We have had our 2011 450 for about a year now and just love spending time on her. I am in need of some electrical knowledge on how the 2011 is wired.

My question is: Do both engines, when running, charge the house batteries? It seems like they do individual tasks like the PS for the windlass and the SS for the water heater, but what about the house batteries? I have scoured the manual and nothing. There are 2 battery chargers on board. A 60A and 40A and they are of course located in the SS engine compartment. Soooooo can one of you very savvy electrical Lagoon 450 guys help a girl figure this out?

J
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Old 31-08-2017, 22:43   #2
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Re: Electrical Question

As long as the switches are in the correct positions then both engines/alternators are capable of charging the house bank. The drawing should be here:

http://www.cata-lagoon.com/site_agen...rop_450_uk.pdf

This was January 2011, which should cover most 2011 production. Look at the "Synoptic" on page F24-1 and the schematic on F25-1. The purple lines on the synoptic are the charging cables from the alternators. They go to junctions/isolators 117 and 118. From there both junctions have a line that goes to switch 105, which is the house bank disconnect. As long as 105 is closed (and the junctions are working properly) either or both engines/alternators should charge the house bank as well as their own starting bank.
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Old 01-09-2017, 03:40   #3
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Re: Electrical Question

"PS for the windlass and the SS for the water heater"

The windlass is powered by the house battery bank, but has an interlock relay that will not let it operate without at least the Port engine running.This serves two purposes, one you do not drag boat forward with windlass but instead drive it forward with engine, also ensures high enough voltage available to operate the windlass correctly is available.Water heater has nothing to do with electricity when heating off the port engine, it is being heated by the engine cooling system transferring heat into hot water tank.
"Dsanduril" is correct re both engines charging house batteries.
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Old 01-09-2017, 10:32   #4
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Re: Electrical Question

Dsandurl,
Thank you, thank you, thank you! What a gem to have on board. Thanks also for the info from Oz. I did' know that is how it is wired to work.

Soooo this leads to my next question... I want to change out the alternators. So this is what I know, or think I know, what iare on her now are Hitachi automobile 80 amp alternators. They don't put out much and takes forever to charge to batteries. Plus the windlass doesn't run well unless we run the engine around 1500 rpm's. Has anyone put a marine grade higher output alternator in and if so can you point me in the direction to look? Thanks guys I really appreciate your expertise!

Jeanette
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Old 02-09-2017, 14:06   #5
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Re: Electrical Question

Simplest solution is to contact Balmar for upgraded high performance alternators. Do you have solar? Do you have a generator? If you are not plugged in all the time and don't have a generator, I would recommend you put solar on. Unless you will have a dock with power every night.
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Old 02-09-2017, 15:08   #6
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Re: Electrical Question

Hi jbinbi,
Thanks for taking time to respond. We have looked at Balmar and Electromaxx. Was really curious who else had done this and what their experience with the brand and model they chose. We do not yet have solar on board. Have you looked at the array Catapault put on? That setup is amazing!! That is what we are shooting for on solar. We do have a generator I believe it is a 11Kw. It works great, puts out a good charge and the house charges relatively fast. But when making two or three day passages we are not running the generator and have to motor to recharge the house batteries. I read that by installing a high performance marine alternator can actually give you sort of a backup generator. We stay away from docks unless it is absolutely necessary. I think I will start a new thread to get some attention to alternators. Have a great holiday weekend!

J
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Old 02-09-2017, 19:40   #7
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Re: Electrical Question

Maybe I shouldn't say this, but just me personally, I'd avoid electromaxx.
I base this only on reports from here, seems to be a lot of complaints.
Balmar seem to be the Gold standard, and you pay for that too.
More important than the alternator is the regulator.
I run a Balmar 614, but with a Mark Grasser alternator myself.

Maybe do a Google custom search on Electromaxx?
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Old 05-09-2017, 01:00   #8
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Re: Electrical Question

IMO: If you have a generator, use it rather than run the engines.

It is MUCH higher output for charging, and uses much much less fuel. (in my limited experience !). Also a lot lot quieter.

Also, engines like to be run and loaded, rather than sit around.


So far I've found the Alternators do fine running things at sea and charging, (though will be better when my damn solar panels show up !. ) But when anchored / stopped anyplace, generator is much better than firing up an engine.


Regards

Mark.
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Old 05-09-2017, 01:39   #9
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Re: Electrical Question

Agree with Catapult, the generator is a cheaper electrical energy source than your engines, something you'll appreciate at service time.
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Old 05-09-2017, 06:41   #10
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Re: Electrical Question

Not quite sure why you say this about the engines vs. generator. The generator uses the battery charger. I don't know what charger comes with a 450, nor did you say how big your battery bank is. On my 380 I have 540AH bank with a 40A charger. OTH, I have 2 80A alternators. If I run both those engines for an hour, I am getting 160AH into the battery vs. 40AH. Now sitting on a mooring, I really can't run both engines in high neutral say at 2300 rpm for 2 hours, people are going to get a bit annoyed. But for me, I can get ALOT more power from the engines than a genny. And you are talking about putting in 120A Balmars, so potentially you get 240AH per hour vs. say maybe 40/60?

The point being, if you doing coastal cruising, day sailing, you probably need to run your engines for an hour every day going in and out of a harbor. And if you have solar, then this might be all you need. If you want to run AC, microwave for 10 min, etc., then maybe a genny is for that rather than re charging the batteries. Just my 2c, I might be wrong in this calculation. I think there are other threads in the electrical section that either answer this or you can pose it.
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Old 05-09-2017, 06:55   #11
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Re: Electrical Question

It depends on what batteries you're charging. If your 540AH bank is WetCell then they won't accept 160 amps to recharge probably closer to 130 or 140 so your excess capacity is wasted if engines are not also producing thrust at the time.
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Old 05-09-2017, 07:33   #12
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Re: Electrical Question

OK. so I am getting 130 to 140 from engine vs. 40 from my charger when on AC. Granted, I could get a 60-80A+ charger, but I am not going to be getting 120 when I am at 50% SOC.

A genset costs 7k for parts, plus installation. So 8 to 10k for me for a 3.5kw genset. My thoughts are if you need continuous AC power in the large amounts, a genset is worth it. To fully recharge the battery, because the amount you can put in after it reaches 80% SOC drops dramatically, you would need to run the engine quite a bit, say 4 hours. This is where a genset and a larger charger would come in. Or if sunny, solar would top off the battery. I have chosen to do the latter.

As mentioned, I don't know what size charger is in a 450 nor battery bank size. But look at this.
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Old 05-09-2017, 10:36   #13
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Re: Electrical Question

Engines typically have alternators fitted which produce DC charging current. Alternators are approx. 35-40% efficient. This means that in order to produce 100A charging current at 14V (1400W or ~2 hp), the engine must develop around 5 hp at the pulley.

Generators produce AC current and typically are more efficient. The Honda 2000 for example uses a 3 hp engine to produce 1,600W so it is 70% efficient. Bigger generators are just as efficient but only at Max rated power. Now, this AC current needs to be converted to 14V DC charging current, so you lose another 10% in this conversion. Rounding up, we can say that you need 3 hp to produce 100A DC charging current with a generator but you also need a powerful and heavy charger.

So what are the options?

If you have a relatively small engine (up to 21 hp, smaller boat), the best option for me is to install a heavy duty alternator, say 160A, a Balmer or equivalent charger that allows flexible setting of charge current. If running at anchor, you go to fast idle, produce up to 160A, loading the engine with 7-8 hp which is a considerable load (reduces glazing). If underway and you need the power for propulsion you use the small engine mode on the regulator to reduce the alternator power takeoff. I have a similar setup on my boat, 13 hp engine, 80A alternator (capped at 80 since my batteries cannot take more).

If you have a bigger engine (40-60 hp) then no matter what you do, you cannot load the engine in a meaningful way with the alternator in fast idle. Either you need to charge under way or accept that glazing will occur. In this case the generator option becomes highly desirable.

Still, generators are typically used to meet household AC needs. In order to use a generator mostly for charging one needs to have a similarly sized charger and batteries. A setup that may work would be a 5 kW generator, 4 kW charger (300A+), 1000 AHr battery bank to accept the current... seems daunting to me. Of course you can use the generator below it's rated output but then the efficiency goes down (unless it is an inverter generator).

Last point, glazing is not so bad after all. It can easily be fixed if you know how to work on your motor and can be done in place. So one way to deal with glazing is that every few years you take the head off, inspect the cylinders, grind them with the glazing tool, may be do a valve job on the head, then reassemble. I did this on my Yanmar engine and it is not so bad, less than $500 if you do it yourself. On a bigger engine it will be more but no where close to the cost of a new diesel generator plus install. Not for everyone though
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Old 05-09-2017, 13:48   #14
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Re: Electrical Question

Quote "As mentioned, I don't know what size charger is in a 450 nor battery bank size"

Standard is a 60 amp plus a 40 amp = (100) amp Christechs.

Standard Battery bank is between 3 & 6 x 120 Gel / 140 LA amp/hr = 720/840 amp hour.

In my case I added a Quttro 3000 watt inverter with a 120 amp charger so have the potential to put in up to 220 amps from the generator via chargers.
Plus 2000 watts of solar. Fed into 1400 amp/hour battery bank.

Is this enough, power is like money and good wine you always want 15% more than you have available.

You will never ever hear anybody complaining at sun downers that they make to much power. The more power you have the more comfortable you can cruise and live on the boat.
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Old 09-09-2017, 02:55   #15
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Re: Electrical Question

Here's our setup which was built from advice on here and has been working pretty well if you want to live onboard and avoid marinas.

We changed the original electrical system to something that was more suited to live aboard.

Original setup was 6x 140ah lead acid batteries and charging via both alternators or by AC from shore power or genset from the Cristech 60a and 40a chargers in your ss engine bay.

We have a 6.5kva genset which has good and bad points. Good - it's very quiet and can hardly be heard in a completely silent anchorage. Bad - you can always use more power. Your 11kva will be more than enough.

We added a Victron Quattro 5000 inverter which I think has a 120a charger and gets the batteries to the absorption phase very fast. We do not use the lagoon chargers. If the generator is on, then it's charging via the Quattro. We also added 1000w of solar which seems to input typically 500w for most of the sunlight hours. Solar is our main means of charging the batteries and we only run the generator to supplement poor solar or for example washing day as we will make water (AC) while the washing machine (AC) is on (the washing machine uses water as fast as we can make it).

An example. It's 11:40am and cloudy. We have not run the generator or the engines for 24 hours. Batteries are at 13.0v from 300w solar and the mrs is ironing via the inverter while a couple of camera batteries are charging and the laptop is plugged in. We are slowly learning how our system works, the dream of not having to consider power is almost impossible on a boat but we are pretty close.

I don't want to run the engines to supply the boat with power. The more they are not running the better!
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