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Old 31-05-2010, 10:13   #1
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Distance of Batteries in the Same Bank

Hi all,
I have 2 12v deep cycle group 24 batteries in 1 bank and 1 starting battery separated by a typical 4-way (1,2,both, off) switch in the second bank. Both banks are being charged by a 20Amp, 12V, 2 Bank, 3 stage charger. The question I have is around adding batteries to the house bank. Due to room constraints under the starboard quarter birth, I would have to put the additional batteries under the port quarter birth. Figuring the wires would have to travel somewhere between 12 to 14 feet back to the original bank, would it be prudent to add them to the existing house bank without losing an unacceptable amount of power? As well, would the charger struggle to charge them at that distance even if it is rated to handle the additional batteries?
Thanks for your input.
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Old 31-05-2010, 10:34   #2
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All depends on the size cables you intend to use. There are a myriad of gauge size vs. voltage drop charts on the internet with which you can determine the proper size to use. If you do it properly, the voltage drop approaches negligible.
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Old 31-05-2010, 10:41   #3
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Of course it is better to have batteries in the same bank close together, as you already know. However, it can work OK with them separated as you suggest. Mine have been so for almost 15 years.

I have six golf-cart batteries totaling 675AH. Four are beneath the aft cabin berth to port, while two others in the same bank are located under the nav seat on the starboard side, along with a separate starting battery. All are flooded type.

My 1-2-ALL-OFF switch is wired in the conventional way, with the port-side batteries on position 1 and the starboard batteries on position 2. I LEAVE THIS SWITCH IN THE ALL POSITION, effectively combining all six golf-cart batteries into one bank. There is a separate ON-OFF switch for the start battery.

The banks are connected with AWG 1/0 wire, which is none too large. The trick in making this work is to use large cable. AWG2/0 would be better for a run as long as you're contemplating.

The 20A battery charger is a bit small, but shouldn't have any trouble at all maintaining three or even four group 27 batteries at dockside. If you were actively cruising and drawing heavily on the house bank, you'd probably want a larger charger (50-75A) for faster and fuller charging during overnite tie-ups.

Bill
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Old 31-05-2010, 10:46   #4
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Thanks for your replies guys, exactly what I was looking for.
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