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Old 17-12-2014, 19:12   #1
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Battery Isolator Cole Hersee

Oye! Does anyone have any experience they can share about this device to preserve your starting battery by isolating it from drains on the house bank?
Electrical needs have been met by the 4 golf cart batteries that came with the boat but their age is unkown and they needed a LOT of electrolyte. They are of mixed brands and specs. they are 2 pairs of 6v connected in series. Still they seem to hold adequate charge. Added a 100 watt solar panel to keep them charged while she's in a boatyard drying out.
At some point when I upgrade, I'm considering 4 - 6v trojan golf cart batteries, 2 as the starting bank isolated from 2 for the house bank. This is for sailboat with a Yanmar 2GM deisel.
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Old 17-12-2014, 21:22   #2
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re: Battery Isolator Cole Hersee

I think it depends on which Cole Hersee switch you are thinking about. They make probably 20 different battery switches.

Start battery is better to be a single Group 24 start battery. It doesn't take a deep cycle battery to start a 2GM. Then use your 4-6V Trojans as a single house bank.

A good system has 3 switches total. One for each of the start and house bank and one as a cross connect so you can start the engine from the house bank.
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Old 17-12-2014, 22:29   #3
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re: Battery Isolator Cole Hersee

If you need to keep topping up the batteries with distilled water, it indicates there is something not quite right, ie overcharging can cause water loss. Although you mentioned you need to add "electrolyte", does it mean you tipped the batteries on its side and the electrolyte was lost that way? Is a battery case cracked? Before you add anything next time check the 'resting' voltage (that is battery voltage with nothing going in or out for 12-24 hrs), and also the SG (specific gravity). A good battery should show (in your case) 6.3 to 6.4 Volt, and SG should be 1.277 as per Trojan specs see website: Trojan Battery Company

I would not select 2 Trojan batteries for starting a relatively small 16(?) HP engine. An overkill.

Four-way switches like the '1-2-both-off' type are commonly used, but be aware that may not be the best solution.
One should not change position of such switch while the engine is running/alternator is charging, unless it has a field disconnect built-in that switch as well.

I would prefer 3 separate switches as Transmitterdan suggested.
This can be used on their own or with battery management devices.
If using such device, then often using switches is not required at all. Software does it all.
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Old 18-12-2014, 07:15   #4
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re: Battery Isolator Cole Hersee



Some helpful info in this video
I am not connected to this company.
FYI only
Cheers / Len
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Old 18-12-2014, 08:09   #5
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re: Battery Isolator Cole Hersee

Quote:
Originally Posted by deblen View Post

Some helpful info in this video
I am not connected to this company.
FYI only
Cheers / Len
Please keep in mind that much of the information in that video is based on a small fishing boat with equal or close to equal sized banks. That information does not apply well or translate well to cruising boats with large cycling banks.

There are both pro's and con's to the Dual Circuit Plus switch and folks would be wise to investigate them.

As was said earlier the best option if starting from scratch is to use three On/Off switches "properly wired" to provide isolation, redundancy and simplicity. Course this is not always easy to retrofit...

As for two banks of 6V batteries combine them into one large bank and use a small G-24 as a starter... Using two 6V as a starter is a waste of good usable capacity and creates a lot of unusable "dead lead" to carry around.....

To charge the starting battery a VSR/ACR/Combiner can be used or a Xantrex Echo or Balmar Duo Charger. Diode isolators have not been used by good marine electricians for a long while.

There are umpteen ways to wire battery switches and some might find this interesting..

1/BOTH/2/OFF Switches Thoughts & Musings



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Old 18-12-2014, 08:43   #6
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re: Battery Isolator Cole Hersee

I wouldn't have manual switches on a boat to manage battery charging. Battery combiners (Automatic Charging Relays or "ACR"s) are inexpensive, simple to install and do everything automatically. Manual systems just about guarantee that you will forget something and not charge the batteries.

Switches to disconnect the batteries for servicing or emergencies are a good idea.
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Old 18-12-2014, 09:15   #7
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re: Battery Isolator Cole Hersee

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I wouldn't have manual switches on a boat to manage battery charging. Battery combiners (Automatic Charging Relays or "ACR"s) are inexpensive, simple to install and do everything automatically. Manual systems just about guarantee that you will forget something and not charge the batteries.

Switches to disconnect the batteries for servicing or emergencies are a good idea.
Yep! I call this HEF (Human Error Factor)

This past season alone I had 7 alternators to R&R for blown diodes due to "switching" issues. With four of these customers I had already discussed reconfiguring the switches and automating charging of both banks all four put it off for last season..... Adding an Echo or ACR costs less than the R&R of the alternator...

I had three customers towed in (2 power, 1 sail) due to dead banks because they charged and then left them in BOTH. No matter how much I explain to customers not to discharge below 11.XX V "loaded" (depends on bank and systems average loads) they still draw down to 8V and think nothing of it.... Computers and iToys seem to be the biggest culprits these days. I have one customer who often has four MacBook Pro's on-board, his, his wife's and two kids.. He also has a number of iPads. He had no idea they were consuming far more energy than his DC refrigeration. Some folks get it, and never have issues, other just murder batteries...

Heck I had one customer years ago who blew the alternator diodes three times before he let me wire his alt output direct to the house bank and add an Echo charger. Would have cost him a LOT less if he had allowed me to do it before he blew them the first time, as I had recommended....

The situation on that boat was that the switch had been located in the quarter berth. It required left handed, semi-blind, switching and he's a right handed and was 76 years old at the time and not very flexible..

All that said the vast majority of boaters I know use the ubiquitous, and usually maligned 1/2/BOTH switch and never have a single issue. God forbid the six or seven customers I have who have circumnavigated using only a 1/2/BOTH switch for charge and use management... If you read the forums that clearly that can't be done....
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Old 18-12-2014, 12:46   #8
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re: Battery Isolator Cole Hersee

Blue Sea makes a battery switch that has two positions. Position 1 isolates the house and start batteries. Position 2 gangs them all together for emergency house use or for emergency starts.
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Old 18-12-2014, 13:02   #9
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Re: Battery Isolator Cole Hersee

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmschmidt View Post
Blue Sea makes a battery switch that has two positions. Position 1 isolates the house and start batteries. Position 2 gangs them all together for emergency house use or for emergency starts.
As Maine said in post #5 the Dual Circuit switch you are referring to is designed for and best suited to boats with equal size banks such as small fishing boats. It is not the best choice for boats with a large house bank and a separate start battery/
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Old 18-12-2014, 13:53   #10
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Re: Battery Isolator Cole Hersee

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Originally Posted by jmschmidt View Post
Blue Sea makes a battery switch that has two positions. Position 1 isolates the house and start batteries. Position 2 gangs them all together for emergency house use or for emergency starts.
Consider what happens when one bank loses a cell internally and now becomes a 10V battery instead of 12V? While rare this can and does happen. With the Dual Circuit Plus switch you are now forced to parallel the good bank with the bad bank and the bad bank goes to work killing the good bank....

With a three On/Off switch config, or even a 1/2/BOTH this does not happen and a bad bank can be isolated and taken off line with the simple flip of a switch..

In any system on a cruising boat I prefer to be able to isolate any bank 100% if it is needed. I also want to see the system be able to use the remaining batteries for starting and house loads in an emergency situation.

While the Dual Circuit Plus switch is simple it is not without faults and lacks the ability to isolate a bank.
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Old 18-12-2014, 16:41   #11
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Re: Battery Isolator Cole Hersee

With 3 switches I ways put the parellel on the battery side of the main switches, so it can 't be isolated anyways. So it's the same ad the dual circuit. If a battery goes bad That is what a wrench is for.

Putting the parellel switch on the load side is dangerous. If I want an engine to go dead to work on it. The engine switch should 100% kill it. But in your case if the parrell is left on it won't be.

the chances of a battery going bad is smaller then someone turning a switch off and thinking a load is dead but is not.

The best would be a pair of 1-2-all switches feeding the house and engine. Then you can isolate and combine or power from either battery or both same battery. But that would be more confusing and lead to wrong selecting and draining
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Old 18-12-2014, 18:47   #12
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Re: Battery Isolator Cole Hersee

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With 3 switches I ways put the parellel on the battery side of the main switches, so it can 't be isolated anyways. So it's the same ad the dual circuit. If a battery goes bad That is what a wrench is for.
Sorry but isolation of a bank is of prime importance in any good system design. Take a close look at the pre-wired Blue Sea three ON/OFF switch panels, such as the 8280 or 8370, and the parallel is on the LOAD side of the switches so a bad bank can be 100% isolated and done so without wrenches. Perhaps you could email Wayne and tell him he's wrong on this..

Quote:
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Putting the parellel switch on the load side is dangerous.
You only created this "dangerousness" in your own mind. Putting it on the battery side is dangerous because it allows for zero isolation of a bad, internally shorted or faulty bank when the parallel switch is made, without physically disconnecting them with wrenches. There are many owners I would not trust with a hair brush let alone wrenches near batteries while at sea.. Putting it on the load side allows ALL options with the simple flip of a switch...

Quote:
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If I want an engine to go dead to work on it. The engine switch should 100% kill it.
And it does unless the parallel switch is made and the HOUSE switch is ALSO made. If you were going to turn off the START switch you instead turn off the EMERGENCY PARALLEL and it achieves exactly the same isolation. But remember this EMERGENCY PARALLEL switch is for emergencies and would be a rare occurrence.

Quote:
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But in your case if the parrell is left on it won't be.
Your argument is that you turn off the START or main battery switch to kill the engine to work on it.. Good practice and I agree 100%!

So in a situation where the start bank has failed (remember an emergency situation and rare) that switch is already OFF. Now you simply move your fingers 2" to the left and turn off the EMERGENCY PARALLEL switch and you are at the SAME PLACE having done the same exact thing isolating the engine. This is a straw mans argument if I ever heard one....

Quote:
Originally Posted by smac999 View Post
the chances of a battery going bad is smaller then someone turning a switch off and thinking a load is dead but is not.
If you turn off the EMERGENCY switch, just as you would the START switch, the human movement and actions are EXACTLY the SAME. With the DCP you have to kill both banks to work on the engine. With the three switch you only kill the START. Unless there is an emergency situation then you would turn off the EMERGENCY PARALLEL instead, to work on the engine.

I have seen many, many banks go bad. While rare it does happen. This is why smart folks like Wayne Kelsoe of Blue Sea Systems designed their three switch panels with the parallel on the LOAD side, because they get it and understand that isolation of a bank is a critical feature to have, when it is possible.

Any good tech or boat owner checks what they are working on or kills all battery banks. Hell better than 70% of the cruising boats I work on have an alt fed direct to the house bank. The vast majority have been done by folks who don't install an alt service disconnect.. In my installs I do install a clearly labeled engine room service disconnect for the alt feed so teh alt is not live when you may not expect it to be..

Quote:
Originally Posted by smac999 View Post
The best would be a pair of 1-2-all switches feeding the house and engine. Then you can isolate and combine or power from either battery or both same battery. But that would be more confusing and lead to wrong selecting and draining
You got that right.... Hell most folks can't even figure out a single 1/2/BOTH and now you want two of them.....
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Old 18-12-2014, 21:54   #13
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Re: Battery Isolator Cole Hersee

Oh really? I have 460AH in two banks of 2 each for the house and one 115AH for starting and the Blue Sea it works just fine. So does charging on shore power or alternator.
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Old 19-12-2014, 02:40   #14
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Re: Battery Isolator Cole Hersee

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Oh really? I have 460AH in two banks of 2 each for the house and one 115AH for starting and the Blue Sea it works just fine. So does charging on shore power or alternator.
Yes it will work fine, and easily, until there is a problem in a bank, such as an internally shorted battery. Ask yourself how are you going to switch to using the other bank without having that bank also getting sucked down by the shorted battery, when your only option requires combining/paralleling a bad bank with a good one.

There is also the issue of relay cycling, in disproportionatly sized banks, that is not covered by the instructions that come with the DCP kit... BSS does have a technical sheet on this, but most miss it..

https://www.bluesea.com/support/arti...harging_Relays

The ACR portion of the DCP package is a great tool and can be purchased separately and added to any dual bank configuration regardless of which switch you have..

DCP Switch = Simple ON/OFF
DCP Switch = No ability to isolate a bad bank in an emergency
DCP = Requires you to parallel a good bank with a bad one for emergencies

Not all emergency situations are suitable for combining banks.

I mention these issues because I have had customers affected by them in the real world. For most boaters this will never be an issue but like anything on a boat, and that guy Murphy, it could be an issue..

Just four weeks ago 4D battery failed/shorted internally on a commercial boat I work on in Portland. It was forcing the charger into bulk and eventually fried it.
(12V charger trying to charge a now 10V battery)

If the boat had been at sea this battery could have easily been isolated and the engine started and run from the other bank until the 4D was replaced.. If the only option was to combine/parallel the results could have been bad seeing as this boat has a 160A alt that would have been feeding the shorted battery.

This owner was told in the spring this battery was bad, he chose to wait and luckily it only cost him a charger...
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Old 19-12-2014, 07:08   #15
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Re: Battery Isolator Cole Hersee

Wow, thank you all for your input. most of the talk has been about the A/B switches so I'm bringing back to the original question about the cole hersee isolator that I already bought.

I think I'll go with the suggestion for the G24 starting battery and I'll isolate the remaing 4-6v golf cart batteries as a house bank. The cole hersee isolator apparently can be used with any combination of batteries and it does not have the diode voltage issue of older technologies. I wont have to remember to do anything - the starter always gets priority charging, I can drain the house bank accidentally and still have starter. the boat has been working fine on the current setup of 4-6v deep cycle battery bank.

question: 12v batteries are too heavy for me, can I substitute a bank of 2 6v in series? for an 18 hp diesel why don't i use golf cart batteries? Not sure yet whether to connect alternator directly to house bank - I have a lot of reading to do and must integrate with the existing electrical panel which has a Tripp inverter and a 100 watt solar panel.

question: If my house draw increases (extra laptops, tv etc) can I simply switch to a more powerful alternator? The current Hitachi is 35 amp but the fuse buss is rated for 80 amp...

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxK...ew?usp=sharing

Thanks again!
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