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Old 21-08-2016, 23:39   #1
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Posts: 169
Origin of power to equipment

Hi!

Googled for hours, and thought about this for at least a year. But the answer evades me.

Windlass on the bow.
Windlass battery near windlass, its own battery bank (behind relay).
Really thick cable from windlass battery bank to windlass.
Long thin cable from charging source (aft) to windlass battery.
100 A windlass.

Scenario 1:
Engine not running/no charge (let's imagine no solar, wind power etc).
Starting the windlass, it ought to draw 100% power from the windlass battery bank?
What it any of the other battery banks have higher voltage and the relay is hence open?!

Scenario 2:
Engine running, charge voltage higher than windlass battery bank voltage.
Starting the windlass, from where will it take its power? Will it be something like:
80% windlass battery bank
20% charging source (thin cable).
?

What I WANT to happen is that it should take its power from the windlass battery bank mainly.
With the voltage drop and resistance in the thin cable, it's preferable, right?

The question is not so much whether this configuration is appropriate, more what happens/how it works, please.

My second big concern, as well unanswered (not really, but getting contradictory answers) is whether the windlass battery should be a starter battery or a leisure. One retailer said go for Tudor Dual Purpose, which made me even more confused.

Because all of this (not knowing mainly!) I am actually considering buying cheap 2 AWG welding copper cable (untinned) on eBay and put double cables to get almost 70 mm2 from house bank to windlass (= can skip the windlass battery bank and the increased complications). Slightly more expensive than the other solution.

Tinned thick cable (total 40 m) is prohibetely expensive which is why I began considering the battery solution in the first place.



Cheers

Sent from my SGP511 using Cruisers Sailing Forum mobile app
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Old 22-08-2016, 18:53   #2
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Re: Origin of power to equipment

what do you mean by relay? is this an ACR / VSR? or just a normal relay? (actavated by what?)

if you only have thin cable, the echocharger is one option. this limits the charge to 15a.

with just a relay, the amount of current from either depends on a bunch of things. it could be half. 80, 90%. but those wires must be fused at both ends. for that wire size. if you have small wires and small fuses. they may blow while using windless.
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Old 23-08-2016, 12:52   #3
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Re: Origin of power to equipment

Quote:
Originally Posted by smac999 View Post
what do you mean by relay? is this an ACR / VSR? or just a normal relay? (actavated by what?)

if you only have thin cable, the echocharger is one option. this limits the charge to 15a.

with just a relay, the amount of current from either depends on a bunch of things. it could be half. 80, 90%. but those wires must be fused at both ends. for that wire size. if you have small wires and small fuses. they may blow while using windless.
Hi!

First, I'd like to express my sincere gratitude that you are willing to discuss this subject. Thank You very much!

I feel I need to expand on my target setup.

Will purchase the Sterling Alternator to Battery charger up to 130 A:
Alternator to Battery Chargers up to 130A | Sterling Power Products

The house bank output will connect to my GEL bank 300 Ah (bank 1).
The start output, I will connect it to two battery banks:
1 x START battery (bank 2). 1.5 m distance from Sterling one-way. Normal (not Gel).
1 x WINDLASS battery (bank 3). 10 m distance from Sterling one-way. Normal (not Gel).

I need to put a battery bank separating device after the START output of the Sterling.

I don't know much about those devices. I was thinking to put a cheap relay. I am by nature sceptical to the benefits of having high end VSR etc (but not sure what that is!).

The charging, especially of the WINDLASS battery, will suffer from the voltage drop of the 10 m cable.

This will be remedied by the fact that cranking the engine and running the windlass will not deplete those batteries much.

So, I will also have +500 W of solar panels and a wind generator. They will be connected to two high end MPPT regulators, to all battery banks. How to accomplish that? Sterling recommends you connect solar panels to MPPT regulators, not to the Sterling. The MPPT regulators will have temperature and, more important, voltage drop compensation cables.

But should I put the temp and voltage compensation at the START or the WINDLASS battery? START I suppose, but I want the WINDLASS battery to be fully charged as well, which it won't if it doesn't get enough Volts.

I have to figure out a way to make all MPPT regulators, will have 2 with high Amps, to all three battery banks. Similar to this: Solar panels with MPPT controller and 2 battery banks

I will buy two identical MPPT regulators and set them to the exact same rating as I will set Sterling to, determined by the Gel house bank, i.e. 14.4 V max.

If the Gel house bank breaks while cruising I will buy normal batteries to replace it, 300 Ah - 500 Ah or so.

I just read from the Sterling site:
Quote:
What other uses for this product?
This product could be used on any other product which has a current limit on it. For example, if you have an old fashioned constant voltage transformer based battery charger (or a constant current with low preset voltage controls and poor timer performance) which does not work very well, then simply attach this to the output of the old battery charger, and you will have the latest digital controlled 4 step charger, with all the programs, remote control and split output of the latest chargers on the market. Plus, at least a performance increase of about 500% (charger must not exceed the current rating of the device purchased).
This is great news! I can keep my old charger rated at 30 Amps! Another day I noticed the current at the house bank was +14.6 V which is not so good for the Gel house bank. This was when connected to shore power. The current battery charger does not have a setting for Gel. I was going to replace it but now I can just connect it to the Sterling!

Hail them!

What happens though if I have shore power connected = battery charger charging + crank the engine so the alternator starts producing? Will I break something or will Sterling handle the dual charge? Suspect the latter.

My alternator rates max 50 A so that would yield a theoretical max of 80 A into the Sterling which seems ok, as it's rated to 130 A.

At last, over to the last subtopic:
Quote:
with just a relay, the amount of current from either depends on a bunch of things. it could be half. 80, 90%. but those wires must be fused at both ends. for that wire size. if you have small wires and small fuses. they may blow while using windless.
Once mounted, I could measure current in the wires, but I need to know before purchasing.

I could make an experiment using small batteries and a cheap relay.

What I want:
Engine running when using windlass.
16 mm2 cables from charging source to WINDLASS battery should charge max what cable is rated for (will check out echo charger, thanks!).
Windlass should take all current it needs from WINDLASS battery.
Or.
Windlass should take all the charging power (= go to windlass rather than charging WINDLASS battery) from thin cable AND the rest from the battery.
No fuses should be blown.

Is this possible, does electronics exist to make this happen, please?

Easiest option is to put cheap welding cables and accept <1 V of voltage drop between house bank and windlass. I.e. no WINDLASS battery, just two banks.

Less electronics, in favour of cables sounds more KISS to me.

WINDLASS battery is cheaper (depends on what more aux electronic equipment I need) than extremely fat cables.

Cheers
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Old 23-08-2016, 19:21   #4
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Re: Origin of power to equipment

Windlass battery should be "starting" type - high current low duration, so small amp-hour draw down.

If you must have the battery remote, I'd recommend a Blue Sea ACR charging relay (or equivalent). Voltage drop is your enemy, and will ultimately cause early demise of the remote battery unless you take steps too charge it fully on a reasonably regular basis.
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Old 25-08-2016, 12:03   #5
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Re: Origin of power to equipment

Yes, seems a starting battery or dual purpose battery is the best, if only one battery.

Currently, the house bank is also starting the engine. I will change this, but I believe it's ok (or windlass) if the size of the bank is great enough. I got a 300 Ah house bank.

If I mount the Blue Sea ACR after the start output of the Sterling it will separate the START battery and the WINDLASS battery.

I will still have issues with voltage drop for the WINDLASS battery, and issues with current taking the wrong path.

Voltage drop might be solved by using an echo charger after the ACR.
Wrong path - no idea! From the Windlass' perspective: it needs high current, will it not try to take it from where it is easiest to get it? If however it tries to get high current from the thin cable, I might get blown fuses as you write. Need some kind of current limiting device.

Cheers
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