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Old 02-05-2006, 13:45   #1
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Need help sorting out my configuration

I need a bit of help sorting out my particular electrical configuration. Here are the basics:

Batteries:
starter battery - flooded cell automotive type
house bank - a pair of 97ah sealed West Marine
Sea Gels
Alternator:
Hitachi 55A internally regulated (14.5v plus or
minus .3v) stock unit on 1988 Yanmar 3GM35.
Charger:
1988 Pro Mariner 30 amp multiple bank
Monitor:
Xantrex Battery Monitor

Prior to this year, all charging of the batteries was accomplished with the engine alternator. (Shore power is something I virtually never have available.) I recently purchased a Honda eu2000i AC generator and connected it via the shore power input. When I turn on the Pro Mariner battery charger, the voltage at the battery rises to 13+v. The battery charger's meter reads current flow, but the Xantrex monitor (connected via a shunt on the battery's ground) does not register a change in amperage. (It simply continues to read any discharge amperage for whatever load may be on the circuits at the time.)

Should this be? (When the engine is running and the alternator is feeding the bank, I show a positive flow.)

If not, what could be amiss?
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Old 02-05-2006, 14:42   #2
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I left one component out of the equation listed in the previous post. I also have a Blue Sea BatteryLink ACR (automatic combining relay) wired between the house and starting banks (combines for charging, the decouples).
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Old 02-05-2006, 15:05   #3
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It sounds like your battery charger ground lead is attached to the battery side of the shunt instead of the load side.

Some monitors have a plus side shunt. Check your positive cable from the alternator where it approaches the battery bus to check for that. Otherwise, your alternator ground (possibly routed through your motor block to the ground cable at the starter) connection feeds back to the load side of your shunt.

hth...

Phil
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Old 02-05-2006, 18:26   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepFrz
It sounds like your battery charger ground lead is attached to the battery side of the shunt instead of the load side.

Phil
Phil,

That was the problem. The ground lead from the charger was attached to the battery side.

Now, on to the bigger issue. The 18-year-old Pro Mariner charger on the boat has got to go. Being an older technology, it seems only suitable for those who can just leave the thing plugged in at the dock and be satisfied with four or five amps being fed to the batteries. (The only time you get anywhere near rated output is with a completely flat battery. The voltage quickly rises and the current supplied to the battery for most of the charging cycle is less than 10 amps.)

Does anyone have recommedations for a good multi-stage, multiple bank charger that can deliver 30 to 50 amps? (Charger only. I don't need any inverter functions.) I've looked at the Xantrex XC Multi-Chemistry charger. Any feedback on that model?
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