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Old 20-01-2016, 19:48   #1
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AGM, Inverter Charger, Alternator Setup

seeking help, informed opinions,... what would you do???...I have just acquired a 2009 Magnum MS2812 2800w inverter charger 120 amps, very little use, couldn't resist the $300 price... came out of an expensive RV, ie not a boat...appears about new...I need to buy the Remote Display panel....have the battery temp sensor
Install will be..in a month or 2...in my 40 yr old, good condition, 36' sloop, acquired not long ago
* currently have 2 optima blu top Batteries; group 31 75AH 1125 MCA less than 2 yrs old. ...900 CCA.
*just installed 90 amp Marelli industrial tractor alternator, standard belt drive on 20 yr old, low hours perkins 3 cyl. 30 hp diesel
* 30 amp single shore power
* rehabbing old engine driven holding plate refer/freezer/box..
* installing electric anchor windlass, in 14 months or so...

USE,Plans, going forward....

docked, plugged in shore power, non liveaboard for next 21 months, then.... full time cruise liveaboard, 95% of the time at anchor, 2 nights a month in a marina.... Keys, Bahamas, Caribbean..

Inexpensive is a key word, as simple as possible, limited budget, I have Many upgrades, improvements, fixes to do before leaving, steady modest monthly income upon leaving...small reserve fund...
so...should I add 4 more AGMs ?
should I dump the AGMS and get 6 volt parallel golf cart batteries?
I will add simplest solar panels w/ controller... at modest expense though, hate wind generators..
Really would prefer to avoid $$$ balmar,$$ pulley belt setup..if possible?
I'm cheap... tho I fear I'll be forced to upgrade belt/alternator...?
Go easy on me fellas...
when I split 35 yrs ago, spent 5 years sailing the Bahamas ,Caribbean.. I had 4 golf cart deep cycle batteries, a vhf..4 interior light bulbs, propane solenoid..15 hp diesel, SSB receiver, no shore power, an autopilot, (could hardly call it that) that worked only in flat calm...no frig, icebox only..no hot water, ummm.. oh yea...a cassette deck....nuthin else...
informed replies greatly appreciated....thanx in advance...
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Old 21-01-2016, 10:36   #2
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Re: AGM, INVERTER CHGR, alternator SETUP

Dump the AGMs.

Long discussion here about this: http://forums.sailboatowners.com/ind...choice.124973/

Spend you money on solar panels, good wiring and a good controller PWM or MPPT.

If you were going somewhere short on sun upgrading g the alternator might be worthwhile. For the Caribbean better would be to get spare alternator.


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Old 21-01-2016, 10:52   #3
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Re: AGM, INVERTER CHGR, alternator SETUP

Keep the Magnum, buy the remote panel, without it it's nearly useless, or better said it is much better with the remote, you need it. You got a screaming deal. I have one, and paid a little more for it.
I'd keep your batteries till they die, but when you go to replace them, you can't get an AH cheaper than in a golf cart battery, plus they are durable and last a long time. AGM costs big bucks and their advantages for most do not outweigh the disadvantages.
I have a 660 AH AGM bank as GC's wouldn't fit without major modification to the boat.

Get an external regulator for your alternator, I'm not familiar with the one you have, but believe some can be modified for use with an external reg. Mark Grassers are I believe not as expensive as most, yet appear to work well.

On edit, don't buy batteries until you leave
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Old 21-01-2016, 18:53   #4
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Re: AGM, INVERTER CHGR, alternator SETUP

A group31 optima agm gas 75 AH
A group31 USbattery claims to have 130AH capacity
A group31 Trojan has 125AH
A group31 Lifeline GPL-31XT has 125AH.

Besides good marketing, I am surprised Optima batteries ever get used where capacity is a prime consideration.

The best flooded group31 battery, likely the Trojan, will have only half the rated cycles as their T-105 golf cart battery. Their group31 costs more than the their t-105 in my area.

I'd say if the Optimas are still healthy, keep them for engine starting duties and get 4GC batteries for house loads.

Proper recharging, which means promptly back to 100% full as often as possible, is the key to battery longevity.

Getting from 80% to 100% charged is always going to take about 4 hours, no matter how powerful a charging source might be.

Achieving the correct absorption voltage for the particular battery at their particular temperature and holding it for the duration required to max out the specific gravity is the prescription to getting a full charge and excellent battery life.
Trojan recommends a 14.8v absorption voltage at 77F.

Costco/Sams club sells 6v GC batteries for less than a t-105. Better than most any 12v flooded battery, but not on the same quality level as a T-105.

The more solar, the better. A solar controller with adjustable absorption voltage and duration and adjustable float voltage is recommended.

Getting 14.8v absorption voltage from your specific alternator is not something I feel I can comment on.

Do you have a generator capable of powering the 120 amp magnum inverter/charger?
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Old 22-01-2016, 10:09   #5
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Re: AGM, INVERTER CHGR, alternator SETUP

Adeli, thank you for your reply...A64 and SternW, .... current thoughts/ plan is to keep the 2 AGMs...1 for diesel start and 1 for electric anchor windlass, a must have for my ole back...these AGMs are only 18 months old.
a knowledgable boat friend suggested UPS 12 volt batteries?..about 120 AH each?.....I would get 4 of these...OR....the GC batteries...I have room to mount 4 batteries, in addition to the 2 AGMs...
I am going to install the remote display panel for the Magnum Inv/chgr..
I am going to install an external regulator for the alternator.
I am going to install solar panels with appropriate controller.

I would prefer not to have a small generator...i.e. Honda 2000
I do not have one now; if forced, I would buy used...

so will the 90 Amp alternator keep up?...
solar panels will not be huge..but still a help to replenish amps...
thoughts? suggestions?
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Old 22-01-2016, 10:28   #6
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Re: AGM, INVERTER CHGR, alternator SETUP

You cannot get an Amp Hour for less money than a Sams club Golf cart battery, if you can I haven't found it.
And they are actually a decent battery too, so you get a good battery, cheap.

Without an external/ temp compensated regulator your alternator isn't really going to charge anything as it's almost certainly going to hold 13.8 to 14.2 volts.

So if your away from shorepower, best put your best foot forward in Solar, and or see if you can get that Alternator adapted to connect an external regulator
For $165 this one works well, its the one I have and it has so far been trouble free
Mark Grasser - DC Power Solutions

That Magnum charger is a real workhorse let me tell you, huge and heavy, but a great charger, at max power output it will draw almost 20 amps AC though, but it can either be turned down or it has a setting so you tell it the max draw allowed on shorepower and it will ramp down charger output to stay below that limit. For $300, you got a heck of a deal.
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Old 22-01-2016, 10:34   #7
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Re: AGM, INVERTER CHGR, alternator SETUP

Oh, that Magnum needs to be very close to the battery bank and it requires huge cables to connect it too. If not close cable cost gets expensive

On edit, make sure that alt can be modified to use an external reg before you buy.
90 amps is all over what a single belt can hold, I had belt dust issues at 80 amp, and serpentine belt kits are $$, but necessary I think to go bigger than what you have.
If money is an object, I think better to put into Solar first before new Alternators, external regulators and serpentine belt kits. You don't want your engine to be the primary battery charger


You know if your going to be on the hook almost all the time and without a generator, might be best to sell that Magnum, should be able to get way more than you paid for it, just thinking it's probably way more inverter than you need and the charger can only be used two days a week
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Old 22-01-2016, 10:37   #8
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Re: AGM, INVERTER CHGR, alternator SETUP

Quote:
Originally Posted by JTHAW View Post

SNIP

so will the 90 Amp alternator keep up?...
solar panels will not be huge..but still a help to replenish amps...
thoughts? suggestions?
You said: USE,Plans, going forward....docked, plugged in shore power, non liveaboard for next 21 months, then.... full time cruise liveaboard, 95% of the time at anchor, 2 nights a month in a marina.... Keys, Bahamas, Caribbean..

The one thing you haven't shared is your daily amp hour draw/load.

But, if you get an external regulator for the alternator, and follow a64s advice on the golf cart batteries, your 90 A alternator should be just fine. The trick is getting it to work properly, which an external regulator will do somewhat better than an internal. Here's why: How Alternators & Regulators Work PLUS External vs. Internal Regulators (by Maine Sail): Musings Regarding External Regulation | SailboatOwners.com Forums
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Old 22-01-2016, 11:45   #9
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Re: AGM, INVERTER CHGR, alternator SETUP

One of the best upgrades is to replace your lighting with led bulbs to cut your power usages.
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Old 22-01-2016, 12:17   #10
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Re: AGM, INVERTER CHGR, alternator SETUP

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One of the best upgrades is to replace your lighting with led bulbs to cut your power usages.
Don & others,

In my energy budget and actual use, interior lighting is such a small proportion of my daily load, that I've always wondered about this claim, repeated endlessly on boating forums. I have a fridge, with a daily load of 100ah, more when sailing at night, of course.

The swap to LEDs in the nav lights made more sense and impact than interior lighting. I can't justify the cost of LEDs even now that the prices have come down. I'll switch when lamps burn out.

At home, I've ended up like my parents with me, following the kid around turning off lights in unoccupied rooms!

Do you find that this makes a big difference in the overall daily budget?
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Old 22-01-2016, 12:29   #11
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Re: AGM, INVERTER CHGR, alternator SETUP

All my lights were 12W each, so 1 amp each. If the Wife left four or five on, then I had as much draw in the lights as my fridge which seems to draw 5 amps or so.
I changed to Marine Beam LEDs and now I have to have ten of them on to get a 1 amp draw.
Now she can leave them on and I don't worry about it
I think it depends on how much do you use your lights, and if someone is bad about leaving them on.
I also changed out Nav lights with Marine Beam fixtures as my old fixtures were about shot anyway, lenses appeared almost white.
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Old 22-01-2016, 13:33   #12
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Re: AGM, INVERTER CHGR, alternator SETUP

And keep the fridge demand down.
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Old 22-01-2016, 22:26   #13
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Re: AGM, INVERTER CHGR, alternator SETUP

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Don & others,



Do you find that this makes a big difference in the overall daily budget?
It does if the admiral is a night owl--my wife says she does her best thinking between 10pm and 2 am.
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Old 22-01-2016, 22:58   #14
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Re: AGM, Inverter Charger, Alternator Setup

A64 and Stu, thanx...to reiterate: I AM getting an external regulator, my new 90 amp alternator CAN be modified to accept an external regulator...it is going to be done. xternal regulator for sure...

A64..."sell the Magnum inverter chger"....mmm I thought of that...mmm...maybe will...
and use the proceeds for very good solar system.... lite bulb on minute!

*** my true concern and focus is for OUT cruising.....NOT plugged in at the dock...
to get the boat ready for being out on the hook is my obsession...

Stu, only rough guesstimate on daily amp draw... 80 amps a day? rough guess...40 amp draw holding plate fridge freezer is the biggi..only other draws are engine start, led lights, propane solenoid, GPS color touch screen. digital depth finder....very low draw AP, electric windlass will have engine on when running,''it will have its own AGM.

I have some interior Leds now...all mast, nav lights WILL be LED...

probably will go with the sams club GC batts.....

hummmmmm...sell the Magnum....? yes? ....maybe...
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