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Old 10-06-2019, 23:28   #1
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Advice on Existing Battery System Please

Good Day!

I have 1984 C&C33 in a slip and we're on the boat for 5 to 6 weeks on average per year.

I'm puzzled by the current electrical configuration in that the AC 12V charger is connected directly to the battery switch (at least I think that's what's going on). I've attached an image that shows the existing configuration to the best of my knowledge.

I'm also not sure about the Xantrex Pathfinder VSR wiring as it conflicts with the recommended configuration in the manual.

Any comments on the current configuration would be most appreciated - thanks! I've attached an image.

My plan is to add 200W solar (refrigeration, lights, stereo, phones etc) and am considering 2 x 110AH 12V AGM batteries and separate starter battery. I will likely get new 12V charger and want to figure out the optimal way to put it all together.

Can a solar controller also be connected to the Off-1-All-2 switch?

Thanks!

Andy
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Old 10-06-2019, 23:47   #2
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Re: Advice on Existing Battery System Please

Stat here. https://marinehowto.com

Run all charging direct to the house batteries vsr to the start battery. Switching is a matter of opinion but you can make it work with your own 1/2/b switch.
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Old 11-06-2019, 07:39   #3
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Re: Advice on Existing Battery System Please

1-2-B switch should not direct the charge but a load circuit between banks.

as above, follow Maine Sail's lead

http://forums.sailboatowners.com/ind...-2#post-891581

http://forums.sailboatowners.com/ind...0#post-1346247

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/....php?p=2863989

http://www.cruisersforum.com/forums/....php?p=2860503
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Old 11-06-2019, 07:42   #4
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Re: Advice on Existing Battery System Please

Charge sources should be wired directly to House.

The VSR / ACR / combiner then keeps Starter topped up, a trivial task with a proper setup.
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Old 11-06-2019, 08:46   #5
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Re: Advice on Existing Battery System Please

The charger and path finder are totally normal and correct. They are not connected to the switch. They are connected AT the switch to the batteries . Just follow the wires. And you will understand.

You could physically connect the solar AT the switch. But you’d have to pick which battery it is connecting too. It it would be connected TO a battery.

It would be more normal to connect to a battery.
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Old 11-06-2019, 09:31   #6
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Re: Advice on Existing Battery System Please

Nothing seriously wrong with your setup, Andy. Your charger is directly connected to each battery via the battery terminals on the 1/2/both/off switch according to your drawing. The switch is not directing the AC charging. The charger presumably has an output for each bank?

The VSR supplies alternator current to both batteries when the engine is running. Never turn the switch to off when running the engine. But turning it off is important when servicing the alternator to avoid shorting the +12V lead from the alternator to ground.

The fused solar controller charging output should be connected to House as said above, and there should be a disconnect switch between the panels and the controller so the controller wakes up before the panels deliver power to it.
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Old 11-06-2019, 21:00   #7
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Re: Advice on Existing Battery System Please

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Originally Posted by Boston Blackie View Post
.......and there should be a disconnect switch between the panels and the controller so the controller wakes up before the panels deliver power to it.
This is not necessary and really doesn't make sense. The controller is connected to a battery so is "awake" already.
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Old 11-06-2019, 23:18   #8
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Re: Advice on Existing Battery System Please

Quote:
Originally Posted by smac999 View Post
The charger and path finder are totally normal and correct. They are not connected to the switch. They are connected AT the switch to the batteries . Just follow the wires. And you will understand.

You could physically connect the solar AT the switch. But you’d have to pick which battery it is connecting too. It it would be connected TO a battery.

It would be more normal to connect to a battery.
Potentially, the battery cable connected between the switch and the battery could have some kind of resistance and cause the charger to mis read battery voltage correctly. More connections more potential.
I agree the AC12vt Charger leads go directly to their respective terminals at the batteries.
Some brands of chargers require that the leads lenght not be altered.
SV Cloud Duster
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Old 12-06-2019, 00:33   #9
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Re: Advice on Existing Battery System Please

If you fit 200w of solar you may not need a new AC charger if the existing one works, even if its a old single stage charger. Having fitted solar we rarely use the expensive mains charger now. However, adding a battery monitor (NASA BM1/Smart Gauge/Pro Mariner etc) would be good to see what is going with charging and discharging.

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Old 12-06-2019, 08:51   #10
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Re: Advice on Existing Battery System Please

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Originally Posted by Boston Blackie View Post
Nothing seriously wrong with your setup, Andy. Your charger is directly connected to each battery via the battery terminals on the 1/2/both/off switch according to your drawing. The switch is not directing the AC charging. The charger presumably has an output for each bank?

The VSR supplies alternator current to both batteries when the engine is running. Never turn the switch to off when running the engine. But turning it off is important when servicing the alternator to avoid shorting the +12V lead from the alternator to ground.

The fused solar controller charging output should be connected to House as said above, and there should be a disconnect switch between the panels and the controller so the controller wakes up before the panels deliver power to it.
Thanks Boston Blackie!

With my configuration then I suspect the battery switch should always be in the all position. I've attached a recommended configuration from Xantrex Pathfinder manual - do you think this wiring configuration will achieve the same results?

Regards,

Andy
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Old 12-06-2019, 10:52   #11
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Re: Advice on Existing Battery System Please

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Originally Posted by APWTryfan View Post
Thanks Boston Blackie!

With my configuration then I suspect the battery switch should always be in the all position. I've attached a recommended configuration from Xantrex Pathfinder manual - do you think this wiring configuration will achieve the same results?

Regards,

Andy
Only real problem with that setup is you have no way to kill power to your starter even when away from the boat outside disconnecting the battery or should should starter fail open (unlikely). If you have any parasitic draw or bad ground the results will be very apparent in short order i.e. dissolved shaft/prop from electrolytic corrosion and/or dead batteries from parasitic draw. But a second switch would resolve that.
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Old 12-06-2019, 14:03   #12
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Re: Advice on Existing Battery System Please

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If you fit 200w of solar you may not need a new AC charger if the existing one works, even if its a old single stage charger. Having fitted solar we rarely use the expensive mains charger now. However, adding a battery monitor (NASA BM1/Smart Gauge/Pro Mariner etc) would be good to see what is going with charging and discharging.

Pete
Hi Pete thanks for the reply,

I have 2x12V AGM 110AH batteries (can't make 6V fit without messing around) and would like to add starter battery. I would connect the 2x12V in parallel and then isolate starter battery with VSR for charging. What I'm not sure of is if I could use a 2 bank battery charger (1 bank for 2 x 12V parallel and 1 bank for starter), or if I need a 3 bank battery charger.

Andy
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Old 12-06-2019, 14:12   #13
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Re: Advice on Existing Battery System Please

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Originally Posted by APWTryfan View Post
Hi Pete thanks for the reply,

I have 2x12V AGM 110AH batteries (can't make 6V fit without messing around) and would like to add starter battery. I would connect the 2x12V in parallel and then isolate starter battery with VSR for charging. What I'm not sure of is if I could use a 2 bank battery charger (1 bank for 2 x 12V parallel and 1 bank for starter), or if I need a 3 bank battery charger.

Andy
No youd be fine with a 2 Bank with the vsr. Only catch is that with most vrs/arc/dc2dcs is you cant mix battery chemistry so youd (should) be committed to an agm start battery as well. There are smarter combiners that allow mixed use but they cost a bit more. If you want real flexibility for the future Id just get a 3 bank, you can combine unused output and have it there for future expansion.
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Old 12-06-2019, 14:26   #14
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Re: Advice on Existing Battery System Please

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No youd be fine with a 2 Bank with the vsr. Only catch is that with most vrs/arc/dc2dcs is you cant mix battery chemistry so youd (should) be committed to an agm start battery as well. There are smarter combiners that allow mixed use but they cost a bit more. If you want real flexibility for the future Id just get a 3 bank, you can combine unused output and have it there for future expansion.
Thanks again for the quick reply and good feedback.

3 bank 12V AC charger makes good sense and not that much more expensive than 2 bank.

I also need to consider my planned solar. I have 2 panels to single MPPT controller (Epever 30Amp) which would connect to 2 x house 12V AGM. I would probably be OK with 2 x 12V AGM for house and start but piece of mind to have 3rd starter battery.

Do you think 2 x house AGM's should be charged just with solar or should they also charge by engine?

Sorry for the gazillions of questions I just want to make sure I get this right before I commit to anything!

I think I'm getting pretty close to putting a diagram together.

Andy
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Old 12-06-2019, 14:37   #15
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Re: Advice on Existing Battery System Please

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Thanks again for the quick reply and good feedback.

3 bank 12V AC charger makes good sense and not that much more expensive than 2 bank.

I also need to consider my planned solar. I have 2 panels to single MPPT controller (Epever 30Amp) which would connect to 2 x house 12V AGM. I would probably be OK with 2 x 12V AGM for house and start but piece of mind to have 3rd starter battery.

Do you think 2 x house AGM's should be charged just with solar or should they also charge by engine?

Sorry for the gazillions of questions I just want to make sure I get this right before I commit to anything!

I think I'm getting pretty close to putting a diagram together.

Andy
All charging to your house bank, the start battery uses very little ah when starting and the vsr will top it up quickly. If you run high loads off your start (windlass, thruster) you may want to switch to an arc for higher charge capacities (assuming your current vsr is around 15amp or so?) A second back up start battery is ridiculous imo and if you wanted more capacity make it a 3 battery house bank.
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