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Old 22-12-2011, 05:21   #16
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Re: 3-stage charger problems when used with 2 bank combiner ?

Ours is also run through the house, but the start battery has it's own charging system. As the alternator is a Balmar twin post, the house and the start are wired separately so there's no "field" wire issues with both systems being charged separately.
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Old 23-12-2011, 12:31   #17
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Re: 3-stage charger problems when used with 2 bank combiner ?

You need to read the manuals.

1. The combiner manual suggests that the alternator output and the shorepower charging go to the house bank, NOT the start (reserve) bank. They explain why, too: 'cuz the house bank always needs a charge while the reserve bank doesn't. The suggested wire sizing for the combiner (in the manual) is NOT designed to carry large loads from the reserve to the house bank, but will carry adequate (small) amount of charge from the house to the reserve. The start bank is almost always full, it only takes 2-5 ah to start an engine, usually lots less.

a) You must change your thinking about your battery's state of charge. You keep thinking you'll be plugged in all week and start with full batteries and act accordingly. That's backwards. You have to think about your charging system when you are on the hook without shorepower being available. House bank used a lot, reserve bank just sitting there. What needs to be charged?

b) You wrote: "I just installed a Xantrex Freedom XP 1000 (charger/inverter) in my sailaboat, which is directly connected to 2 house batteries. I also have a starter battery that is connected to the house bank through a West Combiner. So, when the engine runs, it charges the starter first, and then any extra juice charges the house batteries. Conversely, when the shore power is hooked up, the house batteries are charged via the Xantrex, with extra going to the starter."

This seems inconsistent. The new I/C is fed directly to the house bank. That's correct. But your alternator output should go to the house bank, too. There should be no difference in priorities between charging sources.

2. The Link 10 manual is poor. I suggest you go to the Xantrex site and find and read the Link 2000 manual. It explains a lot more than the L10 manual, and the units have the same algorithms. Try this: http://www.xantrex.com/documents/Discontinued-Products/Link2000-445-0198-98-01_rev-1%28Vendor%29.pdf IIRC, it does say it takes about six cycles for the algorithm to learn your batteries.
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Old 23-12-2011, 12:59   #18
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Re: 3-stage charger problems when used with 2 bank combiner ?

I agree with Stu.

Also ACR's and combiners may chatter if the charging source is connected to the start battery - that is why the manual for the Blue Seas ACR recommends all charge go to the house (larger) bank.
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Old 23-12-2011, 13:44   #19
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Re: 3-stage charger problems when used with 2 bank combiner ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
You need to read the manuals.

1. The combiner manual suggests that the alternator output and the shorepower charging go to the house bank, NOT the start (reserve) bank. They explain why, too: 'cuz the house bank always needs a charge while the reserve bank doesn't. The suggested wire sizing for the combiner (in the manual) is NOT designed to carry large loads from the reserve to the house bank, but will carry adequate (small) amount of charge from the house to the reserve. The start bank is almost always full, it only takes 2-5 ah to start an engine, usually lots less.

<SNIP>
An update on Yandina Combiners.

In the early days of our Combiners (1992 through about 1996) the manual suggested connecting to the house bank to minimize load on the Combiner since that is where the majority of the charge would be going. That recommendation has since been dropped in more recent manuals based on 20 years experience and over 50,000 Combiners, all on unconditional warranty, and not a single failure from overloading. We now recommend that you do not alter the alternator wiring and leave it on the starting battery.

Quote:
Also ACR's and combiners may chatter if the charging source is connected to the start battery - that is why the manual for the Blue Seas ACR recommends all charge go to the house (larger) bank.
Yandina Combiners do not chatter. They don't care which side the charge source is on.
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Old 23-12-2011, 13:49   #20
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Re: 3-stage charger problems when used with 2 bank combiner ?

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Originally Posted by Seahunter View Post
Ours is also run through the house, but the start battery has it's own charging system. As the alternator is a Balmar twin post, the house and the start are wired separately so there's no "field" wire issues with both systems being charged separately.
Can you explain how the voltage works for you? Balmar had many issues with these dual output, often Lestek alts, because you had two banks but only one regulator, one stator, rotor and field but two outputs that you're trying to feed.

A quick call to Rick, Dale or Rich would result in the suggestion to jumper the two posts together and make it a single output alt. They would even send you the jumper for free.

Most of these dual output alts were field jumpered, across both outputs, to solve over charging issues, usually of the starting battery and a combiner, Duo Charger or Echo Charger added to charge the starting battery but not over charge it. With these alts you had to sense the alt in order to try and not over charge one bank but it did not always work so well, if the system had some voltage drop to the house bank, and by sensing the alt you lose the ability to properly sense the battery directly..

Neat idea but the execution let a little to be desired. I know a few folks who ran diodes in the start battery feed to drop the voltage or simply ran it though one side of an isolator as a band-aid...

Over the years I have seen and had to fix numerous voltage/charging issues with the "dual output" alts...
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Old 23-12-2011, 14:01   #21
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Re: 3-stage charger problems when used with 2 bank combiner ?

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Originally Posted by Andina Marie View Post


Yandina Combiners do not chatter. They don't care which side the charge source is on.
But I have seen them "cycle" on and off a few times if fed to a smaller bank first. There is a difference between relay chatter and relay cycling and I find folks often confuse the terminology.

When trying to combine and charge a larger bank, that has been deeply discharged, the bank can sometimes suck the combine voltage down again, and with some systems it can't bring the house up fast enough and the relay disconnects or cycles off. After the delay time is met it cycles back on and may or may not remain latched this time and can sometimes cycle again.

When I have witnessed this cycling they were properly wired Yandina Combiners with the 3' (if my memory is that good) of 6GA wire suggested. These were the small black Yandina Combiner 150 style relays sold by West Marine.

Due to this I much prefer the simplicity of feeding the house bank first, if it is a much larger bank. With both banks small it doesn't really matter. By feeding the house first when the bank comes up to combine voltage/time parameters, with the already nearly 99% charged start battery, and I don't get relay cycling and the relay simply remains closed.

The delays built into in the Yandina & Blue Sea relays prevent chatter. I can't say the same for the BEP combiner which apparently has no delay. The built in delays however don't always prevent the relay from cycling on/off a few times before remaining latched, when trying to charge a much larger bank.

Perhaps I missed something with the Yandina's, or did something wrong? Have the cut in/out voltages changed or the delay times changed? Are they cycle proof now too even when connected to a large bank..?

BTW I have a Combiner 150 that has an estimated 17,000 hours of charging/combining via solar, shore charger and alternator. Busted it open and the contacts looked brand new and I would be hard pressed to tell it from new. Very good and reliable products...
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