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Old 09-06-2012, 19:23   #1
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Best setup for Alt. / Solar / Wind on 3 banks

I am looking for the best way to connect with what I have... I currently primary just use bank 2 for running everything and keep bank 1 as a backup. The starter battery is hooked only to the engine.

What I have:

Generators:
Engine Alternator - connected to the 3 banks via a battery isolator.
Windgen 400w - connected to bank 1 and 2 via its own charge controller.
Solar 660w - connected to bank 2 via its own charge controller.
Shore 12A charger - manually connected when docked to which every bank is low.

Batteries:
1x 115AH Starter Battery (bank 0)
2x 120AH Deep-cycle Batteries (bank 1)
2x 230AH Deep-cycle Batteries (bank 2)

There was a sterling charge controller hooked up to the Alt but recently the regulator on the Alt went out and when it was put back the technician said there was no need for it that it didnt do much?
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Old 09-06-2012, 20:23   #2
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Re: Best setup for Alt. / Solar / Wind on 3 banks

I would connect both house banks so as to make one big bank out of it and that is the only change I would do. One big bank is much more efficient than two small banks.

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 10-06-2012, 03:29   #3
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Re: Best setup for Alt. / Solar / Wind on 3 banks

@Jedi: Does it matter that the batteries are different AH and or different age? The 2x 120AH's are about 2-3yrs old (they seem to still hold a good charge though) the 2x 230AH are about 3-4months old.

Thanks
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Old 10-06-2012, 07:05   #4
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Yes, it does matter but I think it will still be better than separate banks. If you don't need the smaller, older bank, you could also remove it. If you do need it, you could replace it with new batteries of the same brand and type of he new bank. If you don't exactly know which way to go, I would connect them into one bank and see how that works for you.

cao!
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:11   #5
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Re: Best setup for Alt. / Solar / Wind on 3 banks

I am a fan of two separate house banks on a crusing boat. One of the big advantages is you can run separate battery ages and even chemistries. When the batteries are identical you can join the two banks together with a flick of a switch.
I have run batteries of different ages like this on two banks for several years without any problems.
Pukets equation does not have much impact unless you have very high demand devices.
The subtleties of managing two banks are a bit involved, but if follow two simple rules you will get good results in practice.
1.Join the banks together when charging
2 separate them when discharging.

When discharging try and run the batteries to similar soc. Good instrumentation helps, but roughly even is fine. In practice this will mean something like switch the banks over when you go to bed at night.

One of the advantages of batteries of different ages is they are unlikely to all fail at once,this can be helpful when crusing remote locations where batteries are difficult to get. Unlike other boat parts it is often not possible to ship them and battery life is always unpredictable.
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:20   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s/v Jedi
Yes, it does matter but I think it will still be better than separate banks. If you don't need the smaller, older bank, you could also remove it. If you do need it, you could replace it with new batteries of the same brand and type of he new bank. If you don't exactly know which way to go, I would connect them into one bank and see how that works for you.

cao!
Nick.
But don't mix battery types!

If you do eliminate a bank, I would run all charging sources directly to the house bank, and use an echo charger or ACR to keep the start battery topped off.
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Old 10-06-2012, 10:26   #7
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Re: Best setup for Alt. / Solar / Wind on 3 banks

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Originally Posted by Jbaffoh View Post
But don't mix battery types!

If you do eliminate a bank, I would run all charging sources directly to the house bank, and use an echo charger or ACR to keep the start battery topped off.
Indeed, don't parallel gel with agm or regular flooded lead-acid; keep the different chemistries apart. In this case I believe they are all the same chemistry but not 100% sure anymore

ciao!
Nick.
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Old 10-06-2012, 16:31   #8
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Re: Best setup for Alt. / Solar / Wind on 3 banks

Quote:
Originally Posted by noelex 77 View Post
I am a fan of two separate house banks on a crusing boat. One of the big advantages is you can run separate battery ages and even chemistries. When the batteries are identical you can join the two banks together with a flick of a switch.
I have run batteries of different ages like this on two banks for several years without any problems.
Pukets equation does not have much impact unless you have very high demand devices.
The subtleties of managing two banks are a bit involved, but if follow two simple rules you will get good results in practice.
1.Join the banks together when charging
2 separate them when discharging.

When discharging try and run the batteries to similar soc. Good instrumentation helps, but roughly even is fine. In practice this will mean something like switch the banks over when you go to bed at night.

One of the advantages of batteries of different ages is they are unlikely to all fail at once,this can be helpful when crusing remote locations where batteries are difficult to get. Unlike other boat parts it is often not possible to ship them and battery life is always unpredictable.
+1!. I agree. Except I keep them separated all the time and switch at local noon.

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Old 11-06-2012, 07:55   #9
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Re: Best setup for Alt. / Solar / Wind on 3 banks

When you connect them in parallel during charging, you eliminate 90% of the inefficiencies, I agree. But I still do not see the advantage of discharging them one after the other. I do see disadvantages though, like less power available for inverter etc.

cheers,
Nick.
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