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Old 02-07-2014, 07:05   #1
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Critique my diagram please

Hi...

I haven't posted here in a few years... but I've been hanging around reading. Anyway, I am considering a new-to-me boat purchase. It's a great opportunity, but will need ALOT of work. One of the areas I really want to go through carefully is the electrical. I have no idea how much of a mess it is right now from previous owners adding and subtracting.

Some of the equipment comes with the boat, and some are things I want to purchase. I don't mind doing the complicated work up front in order to set it up so it's simple to use, gives me a lot of control (like battery switching for example), and is understandable when needing to be serviced. I will label the crap out of each wire... in each location it's run, and will not put any "hidden" connections. I'm going to be pulling the floors up on the boat, so will run conduits at the same time to limit the rats-nest effect.

Anyway... if I could get some critique of my layout, that'd be awesome. It looks complicated... which is why I had to diagram it... and includes everything I may eventually want.

BTW, I used an app called Zamurai on my iPad... it's free, and is pretty slick for this sort of thing. I'm going to use it to diagram where each piece is located on the boat as well, and will do the same with plumbing eventually. If anybody wants my library of icons I used to draw this up, you're welcome to it.

Thanks.
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:27   #2
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Re: Critique my diagram please

Well, let me hit the high spots:

There is no advantage to having two house banks.

The engine alternator's output should be fed directly to the house bank.

The starting battery should be connected to the starter, the second output of the charger (almost all have two outputs for isolation) and to a battery combiner, ACR, Echo Charger, Duo Charger, etc to charge it once the house batteries get up to the mid 13s.

There is no need to have all of those 1,2,all switches, None. Put an on/off switch on the house battery's output (but after bilge pumps) and the starting battery. Try to make these switches accessible outside of the engine compartment in case of an electrical fire.

I am a big fan of combination inverter/chargers. Yes I know you are putting all of your eggs in one basket, but it makes for a cleaner installation. Some have a secondary charging output for the starting battery, like Freedom's Echo Charger.

In any case use an automatic transfer switch inverter and split your AC panel's buss so that the inverter can't power heavy loads like A/C or the water heater.

I am no expert on wind generators but I would be surprised if the same MPPT solar controller could also control the wind generator. They have entirely different control needs.

David
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Old 02-07-2014, 09:50   #3
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Re: Critique my diagram please

Hi David...

Thanks for your response. My current boat has only the Bluesea Duo Plus with the ACR. I like the simplicity of it... but have heard bad things about this set up.

I got my battery switches setup from: SailNet Community - View Single Post - Wiring Diagram Needed-1 Engine, 2 Switches, 3 Batteries. To paraphrase... any dead battery can be removed from the system... but for normal use it's a single set up. In this case... I'd probably have the two switches in battery compartment, but the BlueSea on/off switch on the board.

I do like the idea of an inverter/charger... but the boat comes with the charger already. I don't do much inverting... which is why I haven't hooked it up yet in my diagram.

Good idea about splitting up the AC's buss.

I've read that Morningstar's TriStar MPPT can deal with both wind and solar. To be honest, I would rather just do solar, but the boat comes with a wind generator, and no solar. If I can get it in a single device... then that simplifies things. Of course, you run into the same issue of a single point of failure kills two sources.

Thanks for your input... I appreciate it.
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Old 02-07-2014, 10:10   #4
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Re: Critique my diagram please

I agree with David.

You're also reinventing the wheel, yet again. You can compare your diagram to these, the only difference would be the physical layout on the diagram, but the connections should be identical to whatever you choose.

Basic Battery Wiring Diagrams This is a very good basic primer for boat system wiring: Basic Battery Wiring Diagrams

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 02-07-2014, 11:05   #5
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Re: Critique my diagram please

Quote:
Originally Posted by djmarchand View Post
Well, let me hit the high spots:

There is no advantage to having two house banks.

The engine alternator's output should be fed directly to the house bank.

The starting battery should be connected to the starter, the second output of the charger (almost all have two outputs for isolation) and to a battery combiner, ACR, Echo Charger, Duo Charger, etc to charge it once the house batteries get up to the mid 13s.

There is no need to have all of those 1,2,all switches, None. Put an on/off switch on the house battery's output (but after bilge pumps) and the starting battery. Try to make these switches accessible outside of the engine compartment in case of an electrical fire.

I am a big fan of combination inverter/chargers. Yes I know you are putting all of your eggs in one basket, but it makes for a cleaner installation. Some have a secondary charging output for the starting battery, like Freedom's Echo Charger.

In any case use an automatic transfer switch inverter and split your AC panel's buss so that the inverter can't power heavy loads like A/C or the water heater.

I am no expert on wind generators but I would be surprised if the same MPPT solar controller could also control the wind generator. They have entirely different control needs.

David
I will second all the above with one minor exception. I did keep one 1-2-B-OFF switch in my setup, the one that feeds the starter. It is wired starter battery - 1, house bank - 2 so I can start the engine with the house back in an emergency if the starter battery is dead.
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:08   #6
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Re: Critique my diagram please

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
You're also reinventing the wheel, yet again.
Yep. And it's the same old wheel, not even a new one.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Basic Battery Wiring Diagrams This is a very good basic primer for boat system wiring: Basic Battery Wiring Diagrams

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
This is great stuff and should be required reading for anyone that is considering any work on the boats 12V system.
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Old 02-07-2014, 11:50   #7
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Re: Critique my diagram please

Awesome...

Thanks guys. I haven't read these links yet (at work...).

The thing I like about having an ACR is I don't have to remember to switch batteries to charge properly. But I don't have confidence in switching to "both" to start the engine if needed. Which is when I discovered that link I posted above, and it seemed to solve this.

I'll read these links and re-post a new diagram.

Thanks.
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Old 02-07-2014, 12:11   #8
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Re: Critique my diagram please

Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticGringo View Post
The thing I like about having an ACR is I don't have to remember to switch batteries to charge properly.
Or worse, forget to switch from Both back to 1 or 2 and end up running down your start battery. Been there, done that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticGringo View Post
But I don't have confidence in switching to "both" to start the engine if needed. Which is when I discovered that link I posted above, and it seemed to solve this.
In regular use you should just have one, dedicated starting battery and never have to switch to BOTH except in an emergency in case your regular start battery dies for some reason.

BUT, it is generally better to not use BOTH selection at all. If one battery is dead or even shorted out then switching to BOTH can drain your backup battery as well. Best to use 1 or 2 only. The only exception, if you have two batteries that are very low but not dead then sometimes using BOTH will give you enough power to start the engine. Been there done that as well.
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Old 02-07-2014, 14:52   #9
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Re: Critique my diagram please

Great links... and I've learned a lot. I'm much happier having things be simpler. Here's what I have now for a diagram. I like this much better.

Any other thoughts?
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Old 02-07-2014, 15:12   #10
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Re: Critique my diagram please

Quote:
Originally Posted by MysticGringo View Post
Great links... and I've learned a lot. I'm much happier having things be simpler. Here's what I have now for a diagram. I like this much better.

Any other thoughts?
If I understand the diagram, you have the house and start batteries going to a 1-2-BOTH switch and the common to a + bus bar. From the bus bar feeding the starter and the DC panel?

That to me is very odd. With that setup you will be feeding the starter and the house loads all at the same time.

Better to have a battery dedicated to starting and feeding only to the starter, not to a common bus. I do have mine set up so I can feed the starter from the house bank but it requires switching, not from a common bus.
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Old 02-07-2014, 15:26   #11
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Re: Critique my diagram please

Rather confusing diagram. One thing , I wouldn't fuse an alternator output. They are self limiting anyway.

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Old 02-07-2014, 18:02   #12
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Re: Critique my diagram please

Dave:

It isn't the alternator output you need to fuse, it is the battery that it is connected to that you need to fuse that can source hundreds of amps of current.

David
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Old 02-07-2014, 18:54   #13
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Re: Critique my diagram please

Battery Fuse Sizing with tables (from Maine Sail)

Battery Fuse Sizing - How? - SailboatOwners.com
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Old 02-07-2014, 19:15   #14
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Re: Critique my diagram please

The second schematic is getting better -

- The B1 from the Victron shunt is attached to common. Should be attached on the house side of the 1-2-all switch. Currently when switch is set to "2" The Victron B1 will be measuring B2 twice.

- As noted above the common post should have 2 legs - a heavy leg direct to starter and a supply leg (30-40a) to the DC+ bus

- Charge supplies - You have 4 suppliers - Alternator, wind, solar and charger. Consider putting all charging sources on the House bank leg between the battery and switch. The ACR will charge the aux battery - this is a "no think" solution. I am putting in a "heavy" main bus between house and switch colocated with appropriate fuse levels. The common post will have 2 wires. One to starter motor and one to DC distribution bus - probably a 40 amp service once I figure out the total "peak" energy draw of the system.
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