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Old 25-06-2018, 15:30   #1
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DC/DC converters and battery monitor

Hi to forum members.

DC/DC
I have a question regarding battery packs and DC/DC converters. I have 5 groups of batteries, 2 groups are 24V system. Next to them are 12-24V DC/DC converters. I assume they are charging 24V battery packs from service (biggests) pack which is 12V when not on AC power. Tnice there is one 24V charger installed too.

The issue is when the boat is on anchor for a longer time, there is no switch to disconnect DC/DC converters so they are all the time using energy which can be a problem.

Battery monitor
I have BM-1 Compact battery monitor. When charging via generator the current and voltage seems to be OK, but when it is in discharge mode (not charging) current I=0A all the time but separate analog instrument measures 5-10A.

I checked in everything is connected OK and it seems to be OK, in the end it does show charging current but not discharging. Any ideas on this issue?

Overall, the boat electricity setup seems to be quite complicated, I still am trying to figure it out so if someone is willing I can go into more details with videos and photos .
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Old 25-06-2018, 20:29   #2
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Re: DC/DC converters and battery monitor

Current will vary depending on where you are measuring.

BMs also fail.

Complex setups are very hard to troubleshoot remotely. I assume a big boat?

Step 1 is get a known-accurate systems map made, check all the connections while you're at it.

A smaller number of larger banks should be an eventual goal.
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Old 25-06-2018, 21:00   #3
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Re: DC/DC converters and battery monitor

Quote:
Originally Posted by blazeog View Post
Hi to forum members.

DC/DC
I have a question regarding battery packs and DC/DC converters. I have 5 groups of batteries, 2 groups are 24V system. Next to them are 12-24V DC/DC converters. I assume they are charging 24V battery packs from service (biggests) pack which is 12V when not on AC power. Tnice there is one 24V charger installed too.

The issue is when the boat is on anchor for a longer time, there is no switch to disconnect DC/DC converters so they are all the time using energy which can be a problem.

I can go into more details with videos and photos .
Pictures do help
It is normal to put a breaker switch on the DC/DC convertor once you understand which way it is converting (24 to 12 or 12v to 24v?)

The manual should exlain which way it is coverting as my Victron manual does

Is your House Battery a 24v system for lights etc as it is quite normal on larger boats that the majority of services are 24v and 12v is reserved for Radios and sailing instruments/electronics that tend to be 12v

You can see my breaker on lower right on a 24v sub panel.
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Old 30-06-2018, 12:41   #4
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Re: DC/DC converters and battery monitor

It is 54DS Sun Odyssay. Primary installations are on 12V.

Lets do 24V system

24V DC are:
  1. windlass and bow thruster - 4 batteries in bow of the boat.
  1. winches in cockpit

I guess they made 2 battery packs for redundancy and for battery to be closer to electrical consumers. It makes system more complicated but I think that is the only downside + there is once DC/DC converter more.

As for battery monitor and other things I will try to make
electric scheme of it first and share it here. I am sure I can do improvements of the system next winter.

For example bilge pump is connected over main dashboard and if I disconnected main switch bilge pump is not working. For example I believe that bilge pump should be a stand alone system?

Thanks.
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Old 30-06-2018, 17:47   #5
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Re: DC/DC converters and battery monitor

So, I am assuming your house bank and battery charger(s) are 12v?
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Old 30-06-2018, 18:27   #6
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Re: DC/DC converters and battery monitor

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Originally Posted by blazeog View Post

For example bilge pump is connected over main dashboard and if I disconnected main switch bilge pump is not working. For example I believe that bilge pump should be a stand alone system?

Thanks.
Re direct wiring of bildge pumps to batteries, I know many Owners are inflexible about doing this, but I just wonder if it is really necessary?

I have every DC consumer wired to its dedicated breaker (52) so I can identify any fault that may occur within that connectionClick image for larger version

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Bilge pump Master and Emergency Pump (engine driven crash pump) have their own dedicated breakers.

With the DC board wired up clean and tight right beside my Positive and Negative Bus Bar, I just wonder if routing small cables direct to the battery for pumps is in itself a potential weakness or liability?

I have long small cables for voltage sense and temp running direct, but seems to me that heavy gauge cables from battery bank to buss bars is a more resilient connection solution.

I would only turn the main breaker off if I needed to work on the buss bar, but for service and cleaning of bilge pumps (never needed as my bilges are clean and dry) or for testing, the dedicated breaker for pump seems more convenient and is always left on when I am away from boat.
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Old 30-06-2018, 19:42   #7
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Re: DC/DC converters and battery monitor

Super-essential load consumers should simply not be part of automated or "convenience global" shut-offs.

On simpler setups just means a small Essential Loads buss "behind" those connections.

But I would still have a manual Service / Emergency master shutoff mechanism.

Everything is Up to You as owner, long as ramifications are understood.
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Old 01-07-2018, 01:57   #8
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Re: DC/DC converters and battery monitor

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Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
Super-essential load consumers should simply not be part of automated or "convenience global" shut-offs.

On simpler setups just means a small Essential Loads buss "behind" those connections.

But I would still have a manual Service / Emergency master shutoff mechanism.

Everything is Up to You as owner, long as ramifications are understood.
Trying to understand what you mean John.

I have a 4 pole Master Battery switche for each BatteryBank: 24v House, 12V Radio, 24V Start.
All with appropriate fuses.
The House Bank Master is only turned off if I needed to work on the DC distribution panel or Buss Bars.
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All other consumers are turned off at their dedicated breaker.
The Bilge Master is never turned off, but draws it's power from the Buss bar via its breaker.

I always felt that a central well designed switchboard and avoidance of unnecessary wiring, made more sense.

Perhaps if I had a leaky wooden boat, I would be more afraid of someone turning off the Bilge Master, but my steel bilges are totally dry and all thru hulls are turned off when we are not sleeping onboard
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Old 09-07-2018, 07:46   #9
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Re: DC/DC converters and battery monitor

Thank you for constructive discussion.

I have to add buss bars to the system because some previews upgrades and changes are just added on a battery which is not good. Also some rewiring of some systems is needed and bilge pump is one of those. It is a lost of reverse engineering to do during the winter.

I am planing to upgrade light systems, maybe add some LED lines and dimmers , do you have any suggestion for light dimmers 12V?
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