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Old 20-07-2010, 11:37   #1
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24vdc Battery Bank

Coming from the military we use 24 VDC for everything. As some of you might know, the higher voltage allows lower current and possible use of higher gauge wires. My question is this.

Would there be any issues using a 24 VDC battery setup for th ehouse battery? I have a nice 1800 Watt Prosine Inverter I got from DRMO and repaired, but it is 24 VDC. I know the Solar Panel Array can be linked up to provide higher than that and then go through a MPPT charger.

Can wind generators be used on 24 VDC?

Just trying to save $$ if I can
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Old 20-07-2010, 13:06   #2
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Chief,

Sure, 24V DC can be used for the house bank. There are starter motors, alternators, generators, battery chargers, and such available in 24V variety.

Only problem you might have is with electronics and small appliances. Most of these work on 12V DC. One solution would be to get a 24V to 12V DC converter; there are several available in different capacities, depending on your needs.

Only way to answer your question definitively, though, is for you to do a detailed inventory of the equipment and appliances you plan to fit on your boat...now or later. Once you've done that, the answer should be obvious.

Bill
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Old 20-07-2010, 13:16   #3
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24VDC house banks are fairly common in larger boats, but usually doesn't make sense for boats under 45-50'.

A free inverter and smaller gauge wires will help save money in the short term, but that's where the savings stop. Things are harder to find for 24V and sometimes aren't available. When they are, they're usually more expensive than 12V.

Think of all the lights, fans, pumps, instruments, etc on the boat. You won't want to replace these, so you'll need a DC-DC converter for them. Your alternator will have to be rewound for 24V. You'll need a cross-charger for your start battery. The list goes on.

A ProSine 1800 isn't worth all that.
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Old 20-07-2010, 13:17   #4
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Do I have to use a 24 to 12 VDC converter, or could I just put th e12 vdc items across only one of the series batteries?
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Old 20-07-2010, 13:28   #5
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Do I have to use a 24 to 12 VDC converter, or could I just put th e12 vdc items across only one of the series batteries?
It would work, but it is very unhealthy for your battery bank. If you were going to do it that way, you should at the very least use an equalizer. An equalizer maintains your 12V bus at exactly half the voltage of the 24V bus so the two halves of the bank are discharged equally. DC converters are generally the preferred method. They have the additional benefit of putting out pure regulated 12V, which the lights and instruments like better much better than 14V+ charge voltages. My boat has an equalizer and (hopefully) it is working fine.
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Old 20-07-2010, 13:37   #6
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A friend has a boat that is basically 24v for the reason you state, weight. But there's now a parallel 12v system for all the cool 12v stuff. It's a huge heavy tangle. Tons of wire. Extra breaker panels. Lights, switches, meters, converters, complexity. A really bad idea it turned out to be.
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Old 20-07-2010, 13:38   #7
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Do I have to use a 24 to 12 VDC converter, or could I just put th e12 vdc items across only one of the series batteries?
Been there and tried that on a previous boat. Even with minimal loads it still trashed the battery with 12v coming off it. Changed to using small 24 > 12v converters.

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Old 20-07-2010, 13:45   #8
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24v is superior to 12v. Half the current for the same power, as you said. Less risk of fire, lighter wires, less power loss over cable runs, etc., etc., etc.

Disadvantages include less common and sometimes more expensive bulbs, pumps, motors, etc.

But it doesn't make any sense to do it in a half-azzed way. The boat should be designed for it, as ours is, and all possible equipment should be 24v. You lose all the advantage of 24v if you are converting it down everywhere -- that's just Mickey Mouse. So I can't imagine it's worth trying to convert an existing boat unless you are doing a complete refit of the electrical systems including replacing all of the electrical gear.

If the boat was designed for it from the very beginning, it's not an impossible tangle as someone suggested. There is a certain amount of extra complexity due to the fact that a few items have to be 12v (stereo, VHF, TV antenna, cigarette lighter outlets), but that can be handled with a couple of droppers and an extra bus bar.
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Old 20-07-2010, 14:01   #9
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Thanks everyone...appreciate the replies
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Old 21-07-2010, 02:28   #10
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P.S. --

I forgot to mention, that 24v has very large benefits to heavy power consumers like bow thrusters, electric winches, windlasses.

But relatively minor or non-existent benefits for lighter power consumers like lighting and electronics.

So one factor to consider is what type of equipment you have on board.
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