Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 17-09-2014, 23:17   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: San Francisco
Boat: Fuji 32 Ketch
Posts: 6
Alternator not charging

Hi,

My boat has a battery charging system that consists of a Xantrex TrueCharge20 charger, a Xantrex PathMaker battery combiner and a dual solar system with one ProStar-15 controller charging the starter battery and a Blue Sky Solar Boost 2000E charging the house and aux battery bank. There are 5 AGM batteries 2 house, 2 aux and one starter.

Normally the boat is connected to shore power when not being used (I sail mostly on weekends) but In August I sailed to Captiola CA and left the boat on a mooring for 4 weeks. During this time the solar was maintaining the battery charge adequately (mainly powering the refrigerator) and she was not connected to shore power.

However when I sailed home (back to SF bay) mostly under power, I discovered that the batteries were not charging from the alternator (a 100A Balmar).

All of the equipment is around 5-6 years old (I've had the boat for 2). It has all worked well until now.

I have two questions. First, is there a device that switches the charging current to the house batteries, or are all supposed to be contributing to charging at once? Second, is this likely to be a problem in the alternator or in some device that switches the source of charge (if so, what device and how to test?)

I would appreciate any advice, as I am obviously not an expert, but would prefer to learn than to just call my mechanic.

Any advice?
__________________

__________________
RonK is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2014, 05:27   #2
Don't ask if you can't handle it
 
sailorboy1's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: On the boat somewhere
Boat: Hunter 410
Posts: 12,311
Re: Alternator not charging

Most likely the voltage regulator. If you look at the manual for your balm at regulator it will a troubleshooting guide .


Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________

__________________
jobless, houseless, clueless, living on a boat and cruising around somewhere
sailorboy1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2014, 05:35   #3
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2012
Boat: Tayana 58 DS
Posts: 661
Re: Alternator not charging

When the same thing happened on my boat earlier this year -- charging worked from the battery charger but not the alternator -- the failure was ultimately traced to the charge combiner (Mastervolt, in my case).
__________________
accomplice is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2014, 05:57   #4
Marine Service Provider
 
Maine Sail's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Maine
Boat: CS-36T - Cupecoy
Posts: 3,060
Re: Alternator not charging

Adjust your Balmar regulator .2V higher than the solar controllers. Your solar system is likely shutting down the alt reg, when the batts are full, because their regulation point is slightly higher then where the Balmar is set. Easy way to test is to discharge the banks to the bulk range then start the engine... If the alt does not kick in then the reg, alt or wiring has issues..

Beyond that no need for HOUSE and AUX banks, combining them into one large bank will result in longer cycle life. You really only need one solar controller with a Pathmaker. Feed solar and alt to the house bank and all your banks will get charged.
__________________
Marine How To Articles
Maine Sail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 18-09-2014, 21:55   #5
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: canada
Posts: 1,699
Re: Alternator not charging

you'd have to know where the alt is wired too. maybe it's wired to the start battery. and working. but the path finder failed so the house bank doesn't charge. or maybe the alt isn't working. tough to know without knowing how it's wired. this takes on boat trouble shooting. with wire tracing and a volt meter.

as above. don't know what an "aux" bank is...
__________________
smac999 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-09-2014, 09:16   #6
Cruiser
 
svMarite's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Chesapeake Bay
Boat: Shannon 43 Ketch
Posts: 44
Re: Alternator not charging

Agree with solar issue. Need to turn of solar panels otherwise you regulator thinks there's 13.8v at the batts from the panels. Turn them off, alternator should be fine.
__________________
Smooth sailing and fresh warm breezes,
Tony & Lisa
sv Marite
'87 Shannon 43' Ketch
svMarite is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-09-2014, 09:47   #7
֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎֍֎

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 13,037
Re: Alternator not charging

"is there a device that switches "
If you are asking that, it probably will be best to call a marine electrician and have them go over the entire system to check it out. Then explain it to you. And at that time, you should be taking notes on how it all works, and keeping them with the ship's papers and manuals.

Otherwise, you may be futzing around with cables and testing for weeks.
__________________
hellosailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 20-09-2014, 10:17   #8
Senior Cruiser
 
Cheechako's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Skagit City, WA
Posts: 19,362
Re: Alternator not charging

Quote:
Originally Posted by hellosailor View Post
"is there a device that switches "
If you are asking that, it probably will be best to call a marine electrician and have them go over the entire system to check it out. Then explain it to you. And at that time, you should be taking notes on how it all works, and keeping them with the ship's papers and manuals.

Otherwise, you may be futzing around with cables and testing for weeks.
Yeah, you will need to get in there and understand your whole system. That will make life much easier. You may have charge combiners or who knows what in there.
__________________

__________________
"I spent most of my money on Booze, Broads and Boats. The rest I wasted" - Elmore Leonard











Cheechako is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
alternator, charging

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Alternator not charging issue prof_mariner Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 24 22-05-2014 16:14
alternator not charging sailorboy1 Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 11 04-11-2013 12:29
Alternator Tested Fine but not Charging svstrider Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 1 03-03-2010 04:13
Alternator Is Not Charging gonesail Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 4 28-12-2009 21:40
Alternator Not Charging Batteries pacmaann2 Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 14 01-09-2009 10:18



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:18.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.