Sorry for the delay - busy here.
First, I will sell the 1021a regulators including the sensors - I have no spare sensors.
Because I had two regulators, and hence two sensors, I put one on the house bank and one on the starter battery and paralleled them, which should have caused them to regulate to the higher voltage (usually on the starter battery). I remember it was recommended that I wire it that way, but haven't given it a thought since then. It seemed to work fine.
I have always used separate isolator diode packs for the alternator, wind generator
, and solar panels
. The alternator and wind gen diodes are silicon junction diodes, and the solar panel diodes are schottkys for lower voltage drop. The advantages to the diodes are that they require no manual intervention to assure that both banks get charged, they are very reliable, and they prevent shorts in the source from dumping battery current back (and potentially start a fire). They are inexpensive as well. The downside is a small loss in efficiency, and the regulators must sense voltage at the batteries. If you have diodes, and you want to keep the costs down, just use the diodes.
It is very tempting to feel that you need the latest and greatest solutions, but that simply isn't so. The concept
of "good enough" is appropriate. A basic multi-step regulator for the alternator is worth installing, not just for the faster charging
but for the better care of the batteries. I also like using diodes rather than counting on remembering to rotate the selector switch. A basic solar charge controller is also needed to prevent damage to the batteries, and something similar for the wind gen as well. Beyond that there are modest gains in efficiency to be had, but at a price
. If money
is tight: don't spend it. You don't need a battery combiner, or an MPPT
controller for the solar panels, or even a battery monitor
(just keep an eye on the voltmeter!). Down the road you can upgrade if some money
is burning a hole in your pocket.