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Old 16-11-2014, 12:56   #1
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Battery combiner not working with low voltages

Hello all,

I've been having an issue on and off and have been to a few electricians who are all scratching their heads. I've also asked people on the dock, more on that in a second.

My issue is that when I allow the batteries to fall to say 12.1v-12.2v and I go to charge from the engine the battery combiner I have (A Victron Cyrix 120A-225A) won't allow any charge to flow to the house bank.
The starter battery gets charged just fine but the combiner won't then open to allow charge to house as well.

As far as I know all the Battery Combiner is doing is waiting until a set voltage for the starter battery and then opening to allow charge to both starter and house.

Now on the dock a few people have said that if you allow the voltages to drop too low the combiner won't then allow any charge to flow.
This sounds crazy to me as that's exactly the time you need to be able to charge.

Does anyone have any ideas on this? I have GEL batteries and like I say most times things are working fine. It's only when I allow the bank to drop pretty low that I see this issue.

I've also replaced the combiner as the old one had a different fault but the issue still remains.

What's going on?

Regards,
Simon
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Old 16-11-2014, 15:29   #2
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Re: Battery combiner not working with low voltages

According to the manual there is a delay in connecting depending on the voltage of the battery.

http://www.victronenergy.com/upload/...N-NL-FR-ES.pdf

Below 13v the realy stays in dosconnect. 13-13.2 it delays 10 minutes.

Maybe the delay is what's got you messed up?
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Old 16-11-2014, 15:38   #3
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Re: Battery combiner not working with low voltages

I'm not sure I understand. So below 13v the combiner will never allow charge to the house bank? That makes no sense. I did run the engine for a good 30mins but saw no charge going into the house bank
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Old 16-11-2014, 15:42   #4
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Re: Battery combiner not working with low voltages

In my world the alternator feeds the house. When the voltage rises to a certain point the combiner allows current to flow to the start batt. Do you possibly have your voltage sensing leads configured improperly?


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Old 16-11-2014, 15:45   #5
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Re: Battery combiner not working with low voltages

Quote:
Originally Posted by simonpickard View Post
Hello all,

I've been having an issue on and off and have been to a few electricians who are all scratching their heads. I've also asked people on the dock, more on that in a second.

My issue is that when I allow the batteries to fall to say 12.1v-12.2v and I go to charge from the engine the battery combiner I have (A Victron Cyrix 120A-225A) won't allow any charge to flow to the house bank.
The starter battery gets charged just fine but the combiner won't then open to allow charge to house as well.

As far as I know all the Battery Combiner is doing is waiting until a set voltage for the starter battery and then opening to allow charge to both starter and house.

Now on the dock a few people have said that if you allow the voltages to drop too low the combiner won't then allow any charge to flow.
This sounds crazy to me as that's exactly the time you need to be able to charge.

Does anyone have any ideas on this? I have GEL batteries and like I say most times things are working fine. It's only when I allow the bank to drop pretty low that I see this issue.

I've also replaced the combiner as the old one had a different fault but the issue still remains.

What's going on?

Regards,
Simon
Hi is the voltage sencing side of the combiner connected to the start or house bank ?
I simply installed a combiner designed for four wheel driving in my system, simple and basicly bullet proof, the only requirement is that the voltage sence has to be the battery that is charged by the engine.
Good luck.
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Old 16-11-2014, 15:48   #6
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Re: Battery combiner not working with low voltages

I had the same issue with my Blue Seas ACR and after much searching, found that it does something similar.


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Old 16-11-2014, 15:56   #7
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Re: Battery combiner not working with low voltages

So how did you fix it?



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Old 16-11-2014, 15:57   #8
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Battery combiner not working with low voltages

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
Hi is the voltage sencing side of the combiner connected to the start or house bank ?
I simply installed a combiner designed for four wheel driving in my system, simple and basicly bullet proof, the only requirement is that the voltage sence has to be the battery that is charged by the engine.
Good luck.

There is a wire from the combiner that goes to the house bank.



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Old 16-11-2014, 15:59   #9
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Re: Battery combiner not working with low voltages

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
In my world the alternator feeds the house. When the voltage rises to a certain point the combiner allows current to flow to the start batt. Do you possibly have your voltage sensing leads configured improperly?


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I was told that the starter battery should always be charged first for safety. As far as I know there is no sensing cable that goes to the starter battery. The combiner is a good 2m away from the starter battery, it's placed next to the house bank.

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Old 16-11-2014, 16:00   #10
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Re: Battery combiner not working with low voltages

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
In my world the alternator feeds the house. When the voltage rises to a certain point the combiner allows current to flow to the start batt. Do you possibly have your voltage sensing leads configured improperly?


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In the UK they have this quaint idea that the start bank needs the charge more than the house bank. They've been doing it that way for years, most likely 'cuz their engines don't start reliably!

Seriously, it's just the way they like to do it, makes no sense to many of us.

The issue being reported is most likely the delay. It could be that the start bank is knackered and won't take a charge so the voltage isn't rising enough to close the combiner.
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Old 16-11-2014, 16:11   #11
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Re: Battery combiner not working with low voltages

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Originally Posted by simonpickard View Post
There is a wire from the combiner that goes to the house bank.



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Im guessing that the battery that is charged by the engine is not the one that has the sensing wire connected, therefore the combiner will never connect the two unless the other bank is above the sense threashold.
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Old 16-11-2014, 16:39   #12
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Re: Battery combiner not working with low voltages

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
Im guessing that the battery that is charged by the engine is not the one that has the sensing wire connected, therefore the combiner will never connect the two unless the other bank is above the sense threashold.
I'm with Uncle Bob here, at least until we get any additional information.

Also, the starting battery should always be charged first for 2 reasons-

First, as you may guess it is the more critical of the two. Being able to reliably start the main engine should be the first priority.

Second, the starting battery is usually a bit smaller in capacity than the house batteries, so it will take less time to charge up to where the overage can then go to the house. If it were the other way around it might take quite a bit of charging before you can begin to top off the starting battery.
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Old 16-11-2014, 16:39   #13
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Re: Battery combiner not working with low voltages

Quote:
Originally Posted by simonpickard View Post
I was told that the starter battery should always be charged first for safety. As far as I know there is no sensing cable that goes to the starter battery. The combiner is a good 2m away from the starter battery, it's placed next to the house bank.

Regards,
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If there isn't a sense wire on the start battery then the combiner has no way of knowing that the start battery is receiving a charge......ergo it won't combine the house bank to receive said charge.


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Old 16-11-2014, 16:42   #14
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Re: Battery combiner not working with low voltages

This is actually exactly how it is supposed to work. Your first battery gets charged until the threshold voltage is reached and then the second bank is connected to the system.
Just because you turn on the engine, there is nothing saying that you will magically see over 13V at the battery. The state of charge of the battery determines that voltage. If the battery is discharged enough and the alternator is small(ish) then the battery will simply suck down the voltage supplied by the alternator. The length of time the voltage stays below the 'combine' threshold is determined by the battery state of charge, the battery condition, the battery capacity and the capacity of the alternator.
The function of the automatic combiner is to charge both batteries and I would expect that if you run your engine long enough that is exactly what happens (primary battery first and when sufficiently full the secondary battery gets switched into the circuit)
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Old 16-11-2014, 16:47   #15
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Re: Battery combiner not working with low voltages

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
If there isn't a sense wire on the start battery then the combiner has no way of knowing that the start battery is receiving a charge......ergo it won't combine the house bank to receive said charge.


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But it does work most of the time. It's only when the house bank gets low. Say 12.1v. Then I can't get the house bank to charge.




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