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Old 03-02-2012, 09:01   #1
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Advice on Adding Starter Battery

I hope this is not a redundant question for the forum but I want to add a starter battery just for that purpose to my existing two deep cycle batteries. At this time I have the typical battery switch for each battery as a separate bank: battery 1, both, battery 2. A common suggestion is to put in parallel both deep cycle batteries as one bank and and add the starter battery as the second bank. I have a Zantrex truecharge2 40amp charger. My questions are:

1. is this the best way of setting it up?
2. can I set up the alternator to charge both starter battery and
house bank under power or do I need to add another switch solely for
the starter battery so I can switch over to either bank?
3. if a starter battery switch is needed, any suggestions?

I will be in the near future adding a 135W solar panel to the system with a charge controller if this will make a difference.
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Old 03-02-2012, 18:16   #2
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Re: Advice on adding starter battery

I would suggest that you connect all charging systems to the house bank. Connect both house batteries to make on large bank. Install an echo charger from the house bank to the start battery. That's it, simple and no switches to change. You can connect the house bank and start battery to the battery switch to use if the start battery goes dead and you need an assist from the house bank to start the engine. Chuck
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Old 03-02-2012, 18:47   #3
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Re: Advice on adding starter battery

What Chuck said! Here's how to implement it:

Click image for larger version

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Only thing I'd add is an ANL fuse in the starting circuit. Even though it's not mandated under ABYC guidelines, it's a very good idea to prevent fires. A 250A ANL should do the trick.

Also not shown in the simplified diagram are the two small inline fuses on the positive leads of the EchoCharge.

While there are a couple of other ways to implement this, the way shown in this diagram will completely isolate the starting circuit from the house circuit -- and avoid any voltage drop or spikes on the house circuit -- and will avoid any need to change the position of the combo switch....leave it in the #1 position when you're on the boat.

And, leave the ON-OFF switch for the engine OFF unless you're away from the dock or mooring and planning to use the engine.

Bill
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Old 03-02-2012, 18:48   #4
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Re: Advice on adding starter battery

That's what I did waterwks, and added a xantrex echo charge from the house bank (2 Grp 31 FDC in parallel) to a start battery. Just turn the switch to "1" when I show up, and off when I leave.

I bought my house batteries at Batteries Plus in New Bern. Mine are the basic flooded type but they were priced right. Got start battery at NAPA

Chase
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Old 03-02-2012, 18:59   #5
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Re: Advice on adding starter battery

I'll echo the advice already given. BTW - I also talked with btrayfors and got some advice on this same question. Started with the diagram he posted and modified it a bit to suit my needs. Here's an attachment showing what I ended up with. Just finished the install last weekend. Am very pleased with the result.

Enjoy!
Attached Files
File Type: pdf PaperbirdElectricalSchematic.pdf (31.2 KB, 230 views)
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Old 03-02-2012, 19:22   #6
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Re: Advice on adding starter battery

One other point - my Heart inverter had a built-in echo-charge circuit, so I didn't need a separate echo-charge device. BTW, the above diagram is what I eventually configured, after removing a battery combiner switch and a solenoid that put the house and start in parallel.
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Old 03-02-2012, 19:52   #7
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Re: Advice on adding starter battery

I have a bluesea automatic charging relay between my house and starter; it works really well. Same idea: when there's enough voltage (indicating a charge) it connects the banks. When the charge goes away it breaks the connection.

Amazon.com: Blue Sea Systems Solenoid SI Series (120A 12/24V ACR): Sports & Outdoors

Wire all the charging sources to the house bank.
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Old 03-02-2012, 20:36   #8
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Re: Advice on adding starter battery

Ditto Rebel Heart. I have a 740 AH house bank (4-6 volt L16 flooded batteries), a pair of group 32 12 volts as a starter (and High-Draw) bank, all charged with a Magnum 2000 inverter/charger and a Blue Sea Combiner. I also use Pulse-Tech desulfators to keep the batteries happy. The Starter/High Draw bank is completely separate from the House bank. When I depart to go cruising I will add the latest version of high efficiency photovoltaics, along with the appropriate MPPT controller and (maybe) a wind charger. I have a Balmar 80 A charger (sized for the Yanmar 3GM30) and the external regulator. Batteries are really a system, not a unit.
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Old 03-02-2012, 22:57   #9
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Re: Advice on adding starter battery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy M View Post
Ditto Rebel Heart. I have a 740 AH house bank (4-6 volt L16 flooded batteries), a pair of group 32 12 volts as a starter (and High-Draw) bank, all charged with a Magnum 2000 inverter/charger and a Blue Sea Combiner. I also use Pulse-Tech desulfators to keep the batteries happy. The Starter/High Draw bank is completely separate from the House bank. When I depart to go cruising I will add the latest version of high efficiency photovoltaics, along with the appropriate MPPT controller and (maybe) a wind charger. I have a Balmar 80 A charger (sized for the Yanmar 3GM30) and the external regulator. Batteries are really a system, not a unit.
Can you drop some science on me about those things?

PowerPulse 12 Volt Battery Desulfator @ Survival Unlimited .com - PulseTech
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Old 03-02-2012, 23:15   #10
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Re: Advice on adding starter battery

I have the exact same set up and plan to make my two 4D batteries into a house bank and add a starting battery. I will use the Blue Sea Add a Battery kit to automate the charging and still be able to use the house bank to start with if I have to. http://bluesea.com/files/images/products/7650.jpg
I'm also going to throw away my junk Guest charger and install one of the new ones made by Blue Sea Systems.
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:33   #11
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Re: Advice on adding starter battery

I use a combiner also, but it is the one described in Calder's book that is just a solenoid relay powered by the ignition switch.

One drawback to combiners versus echo/duo charger is if you have a 3 stage regulator. The Balmar ARS-5 in one of its programs (wet cell) uses 14.8 volts as the bulk charge limit before dropping to 14.4 in absorption mode. It stays in bulk charge mode until the duty cycle to the field coils drops below a certain percentage. If your house bank is low, the regulator could be at the higher voltage for a time, so your start battery which probably topped off in the first 15 minutes is now mostly outgassing and getting warm overcharging.

Not all 3 stage chargers have a separate voltage setpoint for bulk phase.

John
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:55   #12
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Re: Advice on adding starter battery

John;

It's an issue (over charging the starting battery), but not that big of a deal to me. The house bank costs nearly 10x the single starter, the house can start the engine if need be, and it's just filling up water on a every-few-months schedule that I'm on regardless.
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:13   #13
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Re: Advice on adding starter battery

Rebel Heart, go to pulsetech.net, in the lower right corner is a section entitled "Our Technology. Click on the MORE button to receive a three page synopsis of the results. If you wish an even more thorough explanation, ask Pulsetech to send you a CD of the complete study. It's pretty intense stuff if you haven't a background in physical chemistry. They also sent me a very interesting page showing the side by side comparison of four years of testing on eight batteries, all subjected to the same charge discharge cycles. Each year a pair was removed from service and their plates photographed. In the control group one can see the steady buildup of sulfation. In the pulsetech group the plates are virtually clear over time.

My own testing, conducted many years ago with the earlier version of the product, was much simpler. I gathered up discarded flooded batteries, used a battery capacity tester to confirm they weren't shorted, topped them off with water and left them in a corner of the shop for a couple months, put them on an overnight charge, then tested again with a specific gravity hydrometer and the capacity checker. Most of the batteries displayed full charges and retained their charges. I began using the precursor
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Old 04-02-2012, 10:20   #14
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Re: Advice on adding starter battery

(sorry, technology and large finger disfunction on smartphone issue)
As I meant to say, my batterries went from lasting three years to fourteen. The succeeding set lasted only eleven due to a screwup on my side. The current set is about five years old.

By the way, I also use Hydrocaps to keep the waterlevel topped off.
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Old 19-07-2012, 08:51   #15
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Re: Advice on Adding Starter Battery

This may be impossible to digest for some, but even Panbo likes Pulse-Tech products: Panbo: The Marine Electronics Weblog: Xtreme QuadLink, and the Victron N2K Skylla charger

Oh well, new ideas take forever to become accepted.
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