Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 09-08-2012, 09:36   #16
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: South Carolina
Boat: Philip Rhodes Custom
Posts: 395
Re: Split Charge Diode Installing

Thanks for the clarification Bill.

A Combiner100 doesn't care which side the charging is coming from because it is bi-directional. The advantage of this is you don't have to mess with the alternator wiring on the engine to connect it to the house battery, it can be left on the starting battery and still charge the house battery with no power losses or voltage drop like you will get with a diode.

For simplicity of installation, 1/2 the price, 6 times the capacity, no power loss or heating and unconditional warranty I don't understand why you would want to use an echo charge?
__________________

__________________
Andina Marie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2012, 09:44   #17
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Chesapeake Region and Maine
Boat: 42' Bob Perry sloop
Posts: 4,038
Images: 4
Re: Split Charge Diode Installing

Easy: because in a modern boat with multiple charging sources (alternator, generator, shore-power charger, wind generator, solar panels, etc., etc.) it makes sense to connect ALL these to the large house battery bank, not the start battery.

Again, the start battery requires virtually no charging....just a tiny bit to maintain it's float level and to replace that <1AH used for engine starting.

It makes no sense to connect an upgraded alternator (100-350A capacity) to the start battery.

The EchoCharge makes very good sense. And, as SwissCraft pointed out, it's a voltage-follower device which has built-in protections from high voltage (e.g., a 14.4VDC cutoff irrespective of the charge voltage).

In those few cases where more charging power for the start circuit is required -- e.g., where there are big fans or other devices wired to the starting circuit -- then a Balmar Duo-Charge makes sense. It's programmable and can carry up to 30A for the auxiliary (start) battery charging.

Bill
__________________

__________________
btrayfors is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2012, 10:05   #18
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: South Carolina
Boat: Philip Rhodes Custom
Posts: 395
Re: Split Charge Diode Installing

You don't connect multiple charging sources to the starting battery, they remain on the house battery. Only the engine alternator is on the starting battery. That way the starting battery has priority after starting the engine, it doesn't have to wait for the house battery to get a charge.

Since the starting battery typically requires little charge within seconds all the alternator output is going to the house battery BUT if you have had starting problems the starting battery gets priority.

If you have a higher current alternator you can use a larger Combiner. In the event you have starting problems and a discharged starting battery, you will not be limited to a 15 amp charging rate for the starting battery.

A Combiner100 is more than a parallel switch. As well as being a voltage follower it acts as a regulator to limit the load on the alternator to a safe level. If the house battery is very low or has failed the Combiner will protect the alternator from overload. All Combiner100s have the 14.2VDC cutoff which can be enabled or disabled depending on your electrical environment to protect sealed batteries from lead-acid or equalizing voltages.

A big advantage of a Combiner is you no longer need multiple output chargers. Why limit each battery to a portion of the charger output when 100% can be available to the battery that needs charging.
__________________
Andina Marie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2012, 09:36   #19
Registered User
 
Stu Jackson's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Cowichan Bay, BC (Maple Bay Marina)
Posts: 6,387
Re: Split Charge Diode Installing

This "alternator to start battery" discussion has been hashed to death. The skippers in the UK have this "thing" about their start batteries not getting charged. In the past two years Maine Sail and others have had this discussion over on the Yachting and Boating World - Sailing and motor boats for sale, forums, news | ybw forum and have simply given up, while the nice skippers there have finally realized that the USA and the UK do things differently. If you do the math, with say a 60ah start bank, you can start your engine anywhere from 30 to 50 times before you reach a 50% SOC. Priority for the start bank from the alternator makes little sense to me, but millions swear by it.

Whether you have a combiner, ACR or echo charger, the start bank will receive a charge when any charging source is present including the alternator, because these devices kick in when voltage is present.

The priority to the house bank is also a simple design philosophy: the house bank is always the one that requires more charge.
__________________
Stu Jackson
Catalina 34 #224 (1986) C34IA Secretary
Cowichan Bay, BC, (Maple Bay Marina) SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)
Stu Jackson is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2012, 10:16   #20
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Seattle
Boat: Cal 40
Posts: 2,401
Images: 7
Re: Split Charge Diode Installing

The Echo charger makes sense on a system with an aggressive 3 stage charger. Balmer's 612 has a program where the bulk charge is limited at a high voltage, say 14.8 (it's programmable). If you have a large house bank that is fairly well discharged it could climb to that voltage and stay there awhile. Your start battery which is already charged up early on is now subjected to a high voltage it doesn't need with a combiner. If you have an Echo charger with the alternator to the house bank, the Echo charger will limit the voltage to the start battery to about 14.3 volts.


John

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andina View Post
You don't connect multiple charging sources to the starting battery, they remain on the house battery. Only the engine alternator is on the starting battery. That way the starting battery has priority after starting the engine, it doesn't have to wait for the house battery to get a charge.

Since the starting battery typically requires little charge within seconds all the alternator output is going to the house battery BUT if you have had starting problems the starting battery gets priority.

If you have a higher current alternator you can use a larger Combiner. In the event you have starting problems and a discharged starting battery, you will not be limited to a 15 amp charging rate for the starting battery.

A Combiner100 is more than a parallel switch. As well as being a voltage follower it acts as a regulator to limit the load on the alternator to a safe level. If the house battery is very low or has failed the Combiner will protect the alternator from overload. All Combiner100s have the 14.2VDC cutoff which can be enabled or disabled depending on your electrical environment to protect sealed batteries from lead-acid or equalizing voltages.

A big advantage of a Combiner is you no longer need multiple output chargers. Why limit each battery to a portion of the charger output when 100% can be available to the battery that needs charging.
__________________
cal40john is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2012, 10:40   #21
Registered User
 
Stu Jackson's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Cowichan Bay, BC (Maple Bay Marina)
Posts: 6,387
Re: Split Charge Diode Installing

Quote:
Originally Posted by cal40john View Post
The Echo charger makes sense on a system with an aggressive 3 stage charger. Balmer's 612 has a program where the bulk charge is limited at a high voltage, say 14.8 (it's programmable). If you have a large house bank that is fairly well discharged it could climb to that voltage and stay there awhile. Your start battery which is already charged up early on is now subjected to a high voltage it doesn't need with a combiner. If you have an Echo charger with the alternator to the house bank, the Echo charger will limit the voltage to the start battery to about 14.3 volts.
John, Not quite. The Balmar MC-612 and the newer 614 have programmable voltage and TIMES for each phase, but most use the factory default of 23 or 36 minutes for bulk phase charging. It WILL "climb up to that voltage and stay there" because it is supposed to do that. That's what bulk charging is. Bill is right about batteries accepting what they can and will. You will NOT overcharge the start bank.

You may be incorrect about the echo charge, it provide a maximum of 15 AMPS to the reserve bank. The voltage will be based on whatever the charging source is providing, whether from an intern or external regulator or a shorepower charger or anything else. It doesn't make volts, it passes amps.

Maine Sail wrote this (to me!) on another forum:

Originally Posted by stu jackson c34
Sam, glad you survived. Instead of the ACR you might be better off with an echo charger. The toggle is on the ground line from my combiner to avoid overcharging the reserve bank when motoring for long periods. With the echo charger limiting the charge amperage to the reserve bank to 15A, you won't need one.
Stu,

I am shocked to hear you of all people spout this misinformation about an ACR. This is a misunderstanding and common myth that folks who know little about how electrical systems work, or how batteries charge, feel about how an ACR works. What you stated above, about over charging a start battery, is not possible with an ACR. The only way for this to be possible if you are also over charging the house bank. You can not over charge the start bank with an ACR, or by combining them with the BOTH feature.

Here's an excellent example of why that myth is just that, a myth.

The old start battery on our boat was charged for 2800 engine hours, with a DUMB REGULATED alternator and 5 solid years of solar during a 5 year world cruise. Our friends Norm and Judy did this once in a lifetime cruise on our boat boat before we bought her.. The batteries were purchased at the beginning of the cruise were combined during charging with a Yandina combiner.

When we bought the boat the batteries had been used for five straight years 24/7 with over 98% of the time spent on the hook cruising. That is a LOT more abuse than most boaters do in a lifetime. for the average boater that is 28 years of engine use!!!!! Over charge? The battery banks still worked when we purchased the boat at year six. I retired the house bank but the start battery was still actually fairly healthy so I gave it to my brother for his Mako. It started his boat into the batteries 8th season before finally getting weak enough to be of concern.

That battery was combined every day for five straight years via either solar or the dumb regulated alternator.

The bottom line is that current simply flows where it is needed, batteries will take what they need when batteries are combined, and the voltage becomes equal among the new combined bank. Unless your charger, alternator or solar/wind system is pumping out an incorrect voltage for you bank you will not over charge using an ACR.

A few weeks ago I had a customer over to my shop and was talking to him about an ACR. He regurgitated the same myth you just did. I had two batteries on my bench for equalization and they were both at varying states of charge but both above 80% SOC.

I connected them in parallel and then turned on the charger. I then put my clamp meter on each battery and each battery was taking a different level of current. One battery was near full and was taking just 2 - 2.2A the other battery was taking about 11 - 11.3A. The"combined" bank, both batteries, were at 14.4V but each battery was taking only what it needed. He immediately understood, by seeing it, that the batteries take what they need and only what they need in current.

I see and measure this stuff on a daily basis.. Had a house bank a month ago of Odyssey AGM's taking 120A of charge current from the alt. That bank was combined with a much smaller Odyssey starting battery. It was taking about 1.4A of charge current... All batteries in parallel and the house bank getting 120A and the start getting 1.4A. You don' need an Echo to limit the current the batteries do that on their own..

That said I do have a switch in the neg leg of my ACR. I use it to turn off the ACR so I am not burning amps in "combined" mode when charging off solar and so all the current can flow to my house bank without any "phantom loads".

I will be installing a Sterling ProLatch R soon, which is an ACR with near zero draw when combined, and a very, very low standby current. Once I get to that I won't need the switch in the neg leg... __________________
______
-Maine Sail
__________________
Stu Jackson
Catalina 34 #224 (1986) C34IA Secretary
Cowichan Bay, BC, (Maple Bay Marina) SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)
Stu Jackson is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2012, 10:50   #22
Registered User
 
swisscraft's Avatar

Join Date: May 2010
Location: on my boat
Boat: searching...
Posts: 172
Re: Split Charge Diode Installing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andina View Post
You don't Combiner100s have the 14.2VDC cutoff which can be enabled or disabled depending on your electrical environment to protect sealed batteries from lead-acid or equalizing voltages.
Andina,

maybe I'm missing a major part but checking the website it only seams that I can cut the Voltage at 14.2V if needed. But I think its important to point out that it is in no way a kind of a Battery Charger like an Echocharger etc.
Even the manufacturer is clear in his the FQA: Yes, since the combiner just places batteries in parallel, they are all at the same voltage. The charge level of each battery is a function of voltage, so they will all receive the same level of charge. The actual charge capacity is governed by their size, age, chemistry and conditionIts simply connects the Batteries without any further control.
He adds than some comments about how you can overcome that with further upgrades etc.

To be fair here, I may discuss that for my friends boat as he has just two small wet batteries and I think it would be a cheap solution for such a small system. But pretending that the Combiner100 is the same and cheaper than the Echocharger would be misleading. After spending hundred of bucks in batteries, sophisticated chargers of all kind I would never "just connect" two sized different banks in such an uncontrolled matter. Particular since some "regulation" seams to be happen in the wire resistance what they even admit: Anchor Alarm Project
swisscraft is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2012, 11:13   #23
Registered User
 
Stu Jackson's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Cowichan Bay, BC (Maple Bay Marina)
Posts: 6,387
Re: Split Charge Diode Installing

The summary? It is over VOLTAGE that will kill batteries. Amps will flow where they can based on battery acceptance.
__________________
Stu Jackson
Catalina 34 #224 (1986) C34IA Secretary
Cowichan Bay, BC, (Maple Bay Marina) SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)
Stu Jackson is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2012, 11:16   #24
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: South Carolina
Boat: Philip Rhodes Custom
Posts: 395
Re: Split Charge Diode Installing

Marco, please read Stu's excellent post that explains a commonly quoted myth I fight constantly. The battery(ies) are already being charged by a smart regulator. I see no need for a second regulator (echo charge) between the two batteries or any need to limit current. You can't overcharge one battery and not the other if they are at the same voltage. It is a common misunderstanding that each battery will share the charging current equally but in fact you can parallel a 250 AH battery with a 10 AH battery and each will get charged correctly with only a small fraction of the current going to the smaller battery.

The picture you showed reveals the consequence of installing incorrectly. With over 50,000 Combiners sold, over a 20 year period, and all with UNCONDITIONAL warranty (does Echo Charge have that?) that is the only return that we have received that self destructed. Even overloading a Combiner by 100% will not damage it. They have a thermal shut down that will cycle them off until they cool down and then re-cycle.

There is no need to re-regulate a regulated battery charger and a switch will do the job even cheaper than a Combiner so long as you remember to switch it.
__________________
Andina Marie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2012, 11:43   #25
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Seattle
Boat: Cal 40
Posts: 2,401
Images: 7
Re: Split Charge Diode Installing

I realize it is supposed to do that. I didn't say it was wrong to do so.

Actually the Balmar has 2 stages of what they call bulk charging, one is timed, the next is it looks at the % duty cycle of turning the field coil on and off to maintain the voltage. If you have programmed in the other parameters correctly this is an indirect way of determining the SOC of the battery. When the % duty cycle goes low enough, it means the battery is accepting a low enough amount of current the charger goes to the next stage.

RTFM of the Echo Charger, I have and have posted it before. The Echo Charger not only limits current it also limits voltage. It does not create voltage, it drops voltage.

The charge acceptance rate of a battery is dependent on voltage. Increase the voltage and you increase the current going into the battery. A discharged battery can be subjected to a higher voltage to increase charge acceptance with little consequence. Putting a high voltage on a charged battery will boil off electrolyte and heat the battery shortening its life.

Your example of an internally regulated charger doesn't apply in this case. The voltage is limited to 14.2-14.4 volts which most people say is a safe voltage for the batteries to held at for extended times, like a day or two of motoring non-stop, just like your car.

That's why I said in the case of an aggressive 3 stage charger you can be applying a high voltage to a battery that is charged when you don't need or want to. The Echo charge will allow the discharged battery to charge at a higher rate/voltage, and drop the voltage to the charged battery to the 14.3 voltage.


I disagree with the terminology, and I think Maine Sail has posted the same thing.

Bulk charge - alternator full on, voltage determined by battery

1st adsorption - timed voltage limited stage, followed by stage where % duty cycle to field coil to determine when to end stage (in the case of the Balmer 612, others might not do it this way.) This is what Balmer calls their bulk stage.

2nd adsorption - lower voltage, typically 14.4 volts.

Float -


John



John, Not quite. The Balmar MC-612 and the newer 614 have programmable voltage and TIMES for each phase, but most use the factory default of 23 or 36 minutes for bulk phase charging. It WILL "climb up to that voltage and stay there" because it is supposed to do that. That's what bulk charging is. Bill is right about batteries accepting what they can and will. You will NOT overcharge the start bank.

You may be incorrect about the echo charge, it provide a maximum of 15 AMPS to the reserve bank. The voltage will be based on whatever the charging source is providing, whether from an intern or external regulator or a shorepower charger or anything else. It doesn't make volts, it passes amps.
__________________
cal40john is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2012, 12:02   #26
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: South Carolina
Boat: Philip Rhodes Custom
Posts: 395
Re: Split Charge Diode Installing

Quote:
Originally Posted by cal40john View Post
<SNIP>

RTFM of the Echo Charger, I have and have posted it before. The Echo Charger not only limits current it also limits voltage. It does not create voltage, it drops voltage.

<SNIP>

That's why I said in the case of an aggressive 3 stage charger you can be applying a high voltage to a battery that is charged when you don't need or want to. The Echo charge will allow the discharged battery to charge at a higher rate/voltage, and drop the voltage to the charged battery to the 14.3 voltage.


<SNIP>

John
But the Combiners DO have the optional 14.2 volt cut off if you want to limit the starting battery from high voltage stages on the house bank.

Why would you want to pay twice as much just to get current limited to 15 amps? The charged starting battery will only draw a minimal amount of current anyhow with Echo Charger, Combiner or a switch.

PLUS Combiners are bi-directional so you get the bonus that the SAME device will charge the house bank from the alternator when the engine is running and not limited to 15 amps. Simple 3 wire hook-up, one lead on each positive terminal, one lead on negative. No changes to engine wiring and no risk of alternator overload charging a massive house bank. The Combiner will limit charging to a safe level to protect the alternator from over heating.

Ann-Marie
__________________
Andina Marie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2012, 13:21   #27
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Seattle
Boat: Cal 40
Posts: 2,401
Images: 7
Re: Split Charge Diode Installing

If you're talking about this product:
http://www.yandina.com/acrobats/C100Data.pdf
then yes I glossed over what you said before, it does have a 14.2 volt cutoff, this is uncommon. Most just have a much higher cut out voltage in case of regulator failure. To use the 14.2 volt cutoff you do have to re-wire the alternator to the house bank, then use the combiner to charge the start bank. That way the discharged house bank can be charged at the high voltage bulk stage, but this means you are not charging the start battery at all during this time. I think 14.2 is a little low, many devices acceptance voltages are at that or higher, so the start battery would not see charge until the float stage, unless you can program your 3 stage charger for an acceptance just below where the Combiner 100 just cuts out.

This combiner does not limit current, it does not protect the alternator. It does have internal temperature sensing that will turn itself off if it gets too hot.

John


Quote:
Originally Posted by Andina View Post
But the Combiners DO have the optional 14.2 volt cut off if you want to limit the starting battery from high voltage stages on the house bank.

Why would you want to pay twice as much just to get current limited to 15 amps? The charged starting battery will only draw a minimal amount of current anyhow with Echo Charger, Combiner or a switch.

PLUS Combiners are bi-directional so you get the bonus that the SAME device will charge the house bank from the alternator when the engine is running and not limited to 15 amps. Simple 3 wire hook-up, one lead on each positive terminal, one lead on negative. No changes to engine wiring and no risk of alternator overload charging a massive house bank. The Combiner will limit charging to a safe level to protect the alternator from over heating.

Ann-Marie
__________________
cal40john is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2012, 14:11   #28
Marine Service Provider

Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: South Carolina
Boat: Philip Rhodes Custom
Posts: 395
Re: Split Charge Diode Installing

Quote:
Originally Posted by cal40john View Post
If you're talking about this product:
http://www.yandina.com/acrobats/C100Data.pdf
then yes I glossed over what you said before, it does have a 14.2 volt cutoff, this is uncommon. Most just have a much higher cut out voltage in case of regulator failure. To use the 14.2 volt cutoff you do have to re-wire the alternator to the house bank, then use the combiner to charge the start bank. That way the discharged house bank can be charged at the high voltage bulk stage, but this means you are not charging the start battery at all during this time. I think 14.2 is a little low, many devices acceptance voltages are at that or higher, so the start battery would not see charge until the float stage, unless you can program your 3 stage charger for an acceptance just below where the Combiner 100 just cuts out.

This combiner does not limit current, it does not protect the alternator. It does have internal temperature sensing that will turn itself off if it gets too hot.

John
To answer your points.
1. It is not necessary or advisable to rewire the alternator unless you have a particularly smart one with an elevated bulk charge which is unlikely.

2. The high bulk rate will normally be from a shore power charger so the starting battery is limited to 14.2 volts.

3. Even if you did connect the alternator to the house bank, your statement that the starting battery will not get charged is wrong. As soon as the house bank gets to 13 volts but less than 14.2 charging will start and even on a deeply discharged battery they reach 13 volts quite rapidly.

4. EVEN if the house bank is above 14.2 the starting battery will still be charged. The Combiner continues to maintain 14.2 volts on the starting battery, it doesn't just turn off, it regulates the voltage to 14.2 with full current capacity, unlike the limit on an Echo Charge.
__________________
Andina Marie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2012, 14:45   #29
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Seattle
Boat: Cal 40
Posts: 2,401
Images: 7
Re: Split Charge Diode Installing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andina View Post
To answer your points.
1. It is not necessary or advisable to rewire the alternator unless you have a particularly smart one with an elevated bulk charge which is unlikely.

Every post I've made I've said the Echo is only needed with an aggressive high voltage set point regulator. That's all I have ever argued.


2. The high bulk rate will normally be from a shore power charger so the starting battery is limited to 14.2 volts.

See above.


3. Even if you did connect the alternator to the house bank, your statement that the starting battery will not get charged is wrong. As soon as the house bank gets to 13 volts but less than 14.2 charging will start and even on a deeply discharged battery they reach 13 volts quite rapidly.


Yes you are correct, while the house bank is between 13 and 14.2 the start battery will be charged, but my statement was while the charger is in the high voltage bulk phase the start battery will not be charged.

4. EVEN if the house bank is above 14.2 the starting battery will still be charged. The Combiner continues to maintain 14.2 volts on the starting battery, it doesn't just turn off, it regulates the voltage to 14.2 with full current capacity, unlike the limit on an Echo Charge.
You're right. I assumed the sense lead would be on the other battery. Putting it on the battery to be charged by the relay makes it nearly identical to the mechanical regulators found on my cars when I was younger. So you are in fact adding another regulator if you use the blue wire, a mechanical one where the relay is opening and closing several times a second once the battery reaches 14.2 volts. Relays I have worked with were supposed to be good for 10 million cycles.
__________________
cal40john is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2012, 22:14   #30
Registered User
 
Stu Jackson's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Cowichan Bay, BC (Maple Bay Marina)
Posts: 6,387
Re: Split Charge Diode Installing

Wow, you're really complicating a simple process. If you read any good charger manual or the Ample Power Primer (Ample Power Company Home Page) it explains the three stages or phases or charging: bulk, absorption and float. Rising voltage to a set point, voltage held steady as amperage decreases, float voltage at battery acceptance with steadily diminishing amperage.

All echo chargers or ACRs or combiners do is automatically connect two battery banks without having to use a switch.

What's so hard?
__________________

__________________
Stu Jackson
Catalina 34 #224 (1986) C34IA Secretary
Cowichan Bay, BC, (Maple Bay Marina) SR/FK, M25, Rocna 10 (22#) (NZ model)
Stu Jackson is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 18:48.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.