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Old 08-02-2011, 06:35   #1
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Battery Bank Monitor

Asking for opinions. I know battery banks can vary depending on demands and equipment so I am looking for generalizations.

My boat is set up with 3 banks.
Bank1- 3 house batteries
Bank2- one battery for the engine
Bank3- one battery as backup for the engine

I have had a few boaters recommend the Pro-Link monitor, however, it will only monitor 2 banks. So to go with this system I could:

A) Connect battery 3 into the existing inverter/house bank, thus making one larger house bank consisting of four batteries

B) Use the remaining bank 2 battery for an engine starting battery

or

Just find a unit that will monitor 3 banks.

Bob
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Old 08-02-2011, 06:50   #2
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I would hook the 1 and 3 banks together Then have a sw that can connect them all in case the start battery quits on you You will be suprised at all the info the B M provides to you
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Old 08-02-2011, 13:19   #3
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Bob, I can't see a reason for Bank#3 since #2 should easily be able to start your engine. Depending on the age/capacity/condition you might combine #3 into something else, or just leave it unmonitored and get rid of it when it goes. Or sooner.

Paranoia can be a good thing, but there's no reason to buy into the PO's.
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Old 08-02-2011, 13:53   #4
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The house bank does need careful monitoring. AHs and Amps in and out etc as well as Volts are all helpful perhaps even essential to monitoring the bank and establishing the level of charge.

The engine batteries are a different matter, they will be discharged very little. A simple Voltage reading is all that’s required, even this is not really necessary. (especially as you have 3 banks to start the engine)

(If you do decide to monitor the engine battery check the shunt size is OK with the starting current.)
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Old 08-02-2011, 14:22   #5
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Bluesea VSM422 will monitor voltage on three banks. I have one (monitor just two banks, holding tank and bilge pump) and love the thing.
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Old 08-02-2011, 16:12   #6
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I am not sure what a Pro-Link battery monitor is. But if you want to monitor the amp charge/discharge rate and the amphours added or used, then you need a battery monitor like the Xantrex Link or similar.

You only need to monitor your house battery. As others said the starting batteries never get discharged unless the batteries are bad or the charging circuit is bad.

So, combine battery 3 with the house bank and only monitor the house.

David
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Old 08-02-2011, 16:43   #7
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I just, I mean just finished installing a Xantrex monitor (the smaller one) that monitors the house bank (amps in, amps out plus voltage) and the starter battery voltage. I have decided to go with 55ah AGM batteries from SAM's at about $155.00 a pop. I will have 6 for the house bank and 2 for the starter bank. I had 4, 4D AGM's and cooked them with an old engine alternator, big $$$ and pi$$ed of wife. At any rate I will am going with the smaller batteries due to their lighter weight and easier handling. All that said, you can monitor the voltage on any number of battery banks with on meter and the right number of switches (spring loaded normally off). It's pretty simple to wire up. As mentioned earlier I would and have gone with the two bank system. Good luck. Pat
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