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Old 23-02-2012, 15:31   #1
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Advice Sought - Solar and Battery Monitor Installation

All, My head REALLY hurts! Please, I need some help in sorting out wiring!!!!!

I am currently working rewiring my batteries, as well as adding a small solar panel and a battery monitor. I wanted to bounce a few things off people.

Generally speaking, I have a VERY simple system. But the setup right now is not...totally safe..... plus, the batteries have been wired to a 1-2-All selector, which I don't need. Since there is no starter battery (manual pull start on outboard) I want to combine the batteries to help prolong their life (always drawing from the pair, rather than potential deep hits to one or the other if someone mistakenly leaves the selector to "1" or "2".

To make this more simple, I will put all of my key components into a list:
  • ProSport 12 AC battery charger (1st generation)
  • 2 Group 27 Deep Cycle Batts (210Ah total), soon to be wired in parallel
  • Victron BMV 600 battery monitor
  • One 30 Watt solar panel
  • One Genasun GV4 MPPT controller for the solar
  • 6A trickle charge to batts comes in from the outboard
There is no starter battery, no genset and no inverter. My whole AC system entails two GFCI wall plugs....one of which I use to power the ProSport 12 charger.
I came across MaineSail's AWESOME how-to pages that have many of these same devices...and he cleared up a ton of confusion, but I still feel a little hesitant on a few points.
I have attached a wiring diagram for the main components described above. This is my guess at how things should look. Note - the diagram is INCOMPLETE...I am missing a host of devices that tap into the DC system, but the basics are there...items that need power at all times, items that feed power back in, and connections to the AC. Once I have the principles worked out, the rest of the connections to devices should be easy.

My questions are as follows:
1. The ProSport 12 charger has two sets of output charging wires. Once I make the described change to parallel batteries, do I have to cap off one set of the charging wires? My theory is yes, since hooking the two pos. and two neg. charging wires to the batts would now lead to a short in the charger??
2. Have I set the connections for the bilge pump and solar panel correctly to allow the battery monitor to see them, while ensuring power at all times?
3. The outboard trickle charger really stumps me. Does the diagram look right for where it should feed in? (I believe the line is fused near the outboard)
4. For power that is feeding back into the batteries (outboard, solar and AC charger) does it matter which battery they tap onto?
5. Lastly, can a 1-2-All-Off switch be made into a simple On-Off switch by simply leaving off connections to one of the terminals on its back? It would be nice if I didn't have to buy a new switch...

Any help you might be able to provide would be GREATLY appreciated.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Wiring_Diagram.pdf (68.9 KB, 91 views)
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Old 23-02-2012, 15:51   #2
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Re: Advice Sought - Solar and batt monitor installation

I will let the electrical experts weigh in, but I will just comment that I will assume you meant to include various fuses in various things that are always on like the outboard starter line, the solar panels and the bilge pump--I have had these things short out and fry themselves and/or the wiring.
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Old 23-02-2012, 16:15   #3
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Re: Advice Sought - Solar and batt monitor installation

Looks about right to me. Throw in a fuse in the bilge circuit. All the loads I presume will be fused @ the dc panel. Yes, the 1,2,off switch can be changed to 1 and off.
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Old 23-02-2012, 16:37   #4
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Re: Advice Sought - Solar and batt monitor installation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kettlewell View Post
I will let the electrical experts weigh in, but I will just comment that I will assume you meant to include various fuses in various things that are always on like the outboard starter line, the solar panels and the bilge pump--I have had these things short out and fry themselves and/or the wiring.
+1 Need fuses to protect ALL wires leaving the batteries (bilge, outboard, solar, ac-charger and monitor).
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Old 23-02-2012, 16:38   #5
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Re: Advice Sought - Solar and batt monitor installation

Some of your questions you will have to check that with product info. I would not connect anything to the battery other than the battery cables. First make sure your cables are big enough. I would go larger in the case your needs increase or you add more batteries then you wont need larger cables. After you connect your batteries you need to fuse the + just off the first lug going to your buss bar then continue to your + buss bar and your negative cable to the neg buss . Most battery monitors measure use from the negative line going back to the battery, so in between the neg buss bar you install your battery monitor shunt. make sure all negative goes through the shunt to get a proper reading. Now off the positive buss bar you run your battery cable and continue to your to your on off switch then to your breaker distribution panel. you then connect your chargers, solar and bilge pump to the +- buss bars. they are then always on.

In short your batteries are connected to the buss bar and everything runs off the buss bars.

Yes fuse and switch and label everything.

Your design is not complete and neither is my suggestion

This is worth what you paid for it and is not a substitute for professional advice
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Old 23-02-2012, 16:53   #6
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Re: Advice Sought - Solar and batt monitor installation

Your negitive buss looks great. I would Move the outboard + and bilge + to the + Buss and put your on/off on the line to your breaker panel. I also put a switch and fuse on everything so you can turn off things like solar while your working on them.
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Old 23-02-2012, 21:41   #7
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Re: Advice Sought - Solar and batt monitor installation

Thanks all, great info!
Yes, I do have fuses for everything shown in that diagram....just tried to keep it clean to get the general idea across. The outboard trickle, bilge pump, solar panel, AC batt charger and all loads in the main DC panel have fuses. The main positive wire coming off the batts to the switch will have a terminal fuse (MRBF) mounted right at the start.

Santa - YOU ROCK!!! It's so simple to just move that positive buss bar to the other side of the main switch. I honestly couldn't figure out how to keep 24/7 power to certain devices, while not having them attach right at the battery posts....or be blocked by a switch that would be set to OFF while I was away from the boat. ( I do feel like an idiot for not having figured it out though ).
I think I will still need to add another small + buss bar, which could go in-line after the main switch and before the Main DC Panel. This is because the DC panel is quite small. Things like the GPS, stereo, speed/depth all operate separately from the Panel.
Again, thanks so much.
Time to head off and dream about wiring.......
Mike
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Old 24-02-2012, 10:52   #8
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Re: Advice Sought - Solar and Battery Monitor Installation

Bus bars are our friends...;-)

Fuses too.
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