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Old 19-11-2014, 08:25   #1
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Battery Charger?

Hi all, I have a bank of 4 batteries...1 start and 3-110Ah lead acid deep cycle batteries for house bank. I want to install a charger for these...can you guys give me some recomendations?
Thanks a lot...PLEASE...keep the knowledge coming!!! I really have a new found respect for all of you as there are soooo many things on a sailboat to know and learn!!! It can become overwhelming...
Thanks a lot
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Old 19-11-2014, 09:25   #2
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Re: Battery Charger???

I'm not the expert to advise you. I'm still figuring it out for myself. But the experts will want a bit more info from you about how you will use your boat. Are you asking about charging at the dock or at anchor? Assuming dockside, how long are you at the dock and how fast do you need to charge? Live aboard, cruising, or daysailing and occasional week ends?
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Old 19-11-2014, 09:25   #3
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Re: Battery Charger???

I guess price would be a good thing to consider, not sure what you are willing to pay.

I'd say a marine charger with at least two charge outputs, one for the start, one of the house.
Temperature sensor is good to have.
I went with a Sterling Pro Ultra, been good these past 2 years, but others will have differing opinions.

Hopefully someone more expert than me (not too hard to achieve) will suggest what rating of AH charging would be good for your system.
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Old 19-11-2014, 09:36   #4
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Re: Battery Charger???

Several brands of marine battery chargers that are recommended. Newmar, Mastervolt, Sterling and Victron are a few that come to mind but be prepared for a high price tag.

Two charger outputs can be handy if they are truly isolated but you can get by easily with one output connected to your deep cycle house batteries and add a combiner to link in the start battery. Using a combiner like the Yandina or Blue Sea is actually a better option as this allows you to use multiple charging sources (like the engine alternator, solar, etc) to charge both banks and still keep your start battery totally isolated from the house bank so it isn't accidentally discharged.
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Old 19-11-2014, 10:12   #5
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Re: Battery Charger???

RE: charging connections to batteries, yes, as Skipmac says, a better option is to connect ALL charging sources to the house battery bank, and use a combiner or (better in my opinion) a voltage follower device like the Xantrex EchoCharge or the Balmar DuoCharge to keep the start battery happy. This is done with NO switching required....completely automatic.

RE: chargers, the aforementioned Sterling Ultra Pro is an EXCELLENT charger...actually, my charger of choice these days for many boats. The Promariner Ultra Pro or similar name is the exact same charger, but with a shorter guarantee period. These chargers come in different sizes up to 60 amps or so, I believe.

Another option which is less expensive is the Iota charger series...they come in sizes up to 90A and, with the IQ-4 option, are good smart chargers for flooded and AGM batteries.

RE: charger size, if you plan to spend a lot of time plugged in at dockside then a smaller capacity charger will work fine. However, if you plan to use the charger only sporatically during short tie-ups or with a generator power source, then a larger capacity charger is better.

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Old 19-11-2014, 11:08   #6
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Re: Battery Charger???

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrlee View Post
Hi all, I have a bank of 4 batteries...1 start and 3-110Ah lead acid deep cycle batteries for house bank. I want to install a charger for these...can you guys give me some recomendations?
Thanks a lot...PLEASE...keep the knowledge coming!!! I really have a new found respect for all of you as there are soooo many things on a sailboat to know and learn!!! It can become overwhelming...
Thanks a lot
One mistake often made in buying a charger is to get one that is too small.

You need to allow for "normal" loads while at the dock - 10-20 amps (lights, fridge?, 12v outlets etc.) and then after that the excess is used to charge the batteries.

I went with a Promariner 12/40.

People buy a 20 amp charger, load it up at the dock and wonder why the batteries aren't charging.
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Old 19-11-2014, 11:17   #7
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Re: Battery Charger???

Wiring a new charger From Maine Sail: Marine Battery Chargers - Installation Tips & Considerations - SailboatOwners.com

Basic Battery Wiring Diagrams This is a very good basic primer for boat system wiring: http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,6604.0.html

This is another very good basic primer for boat system wiring: The 1-2-B Switch by Maine Sail (brings together a lot of what this subject is all about)
1/BOTH/2/OFF Switches Thoughts & Musings - SailboatOwners.com
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Old 19-11-2014, 12:32   #8
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Re: Battery Charger???

Just a quick note on the Sterling Pro Ultra.
(by the way, excellent write up by Maine Sail)
After I installed it, and was testing the system, I tried the Equalisation Mode, but could not get the charger to go into this mode.
Phoned Mr. Sterling (hoping he was in a good mood), and he explained that they had removed this due to cock ups made by customers. This change was not mentioned in the instructions.
Please note, this was a charger purchased in the UK, may be different in other markets.

Best work around was to use the custom settings, which I think can be set to an upper limit of 15.5V (uncorrected for temp)
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Old 19-11-2014, 12:44   #9
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Re: Battery Charger???

Wow, thanks for all the replies y'all...Well, now I have the info...time to do my homework. I'll keep you all posted and I may have a follow up or two...
Thanks again amigos...
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Old 24-11-2014, 17:28   #10
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Re: Battery Charger???

Go for a charger that meets at least 25% of your bank rating.
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Old 11-09-2016, 17:57   #11
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Re: Battery Charger???

Hmmm, I have converted my house bank to 6 golf cart batteries, 660 amps, I also have one 220 amp 8 d start battery. My mechanical advised I should upgrade my 30 year old 3 wire battery charger to a smart system. Any recommendations? I cruise and spend days at anchor, charger batteries wwith gen set/ charger for an hour am and pm, I only run refer and freezer when Gen set is on or underway.

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Old 11-09-2016, 18:14   #12
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Re: Battery Charger???

I have a used but good condition xantrex 40 amp charger for sale asking $110 includes shipping
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Old 11-09-2016, 20:47   #13
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Re: Battery Charger???

I understand I need at least 150 amps to properly hot charge the

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Old 11-09-2016, 20:48   #14
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Re: Battery Charger???

660 amp bank

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Old 11-09-2016, 20:58   #15
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Re: Battery Charger???

Quote:
Originally Posted by MVDarlin View Post
Hmmm, I have converted my house bank to 6 golf cart batteries, 660 amps, I also have one 220 amp 8 d start battery. My mechanical advised I should upgrade my 30 year old 3 wire battery charger to a smart system. Any recommendations? I cruise and spend days at anchor, charger batteries wwith gen set/ charger for an hour am and pm, I only run refer and freezer when Gen set is on or underway.

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Could I politely ask you to read this post:

Amps v Amp hours v Amps/Hr

and learn the difference between Amps and Amp hours before you go any further.
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