Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 08-11-2015, 15:18   #1
Registered User
 
Swift Drift's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: ORYGUN
Boat: Catalina 34, Merit 25
Posts: 86
To echo charge or not echo charge.....

Here's the deal, I just replaced all of my house batteries aboard plus my windlass battery and have suspicion as to how the batteries are set up. Current set up is:

A) house bank consisting of (4) 6 volt golf cart batteries.

B) group 24 windlass battery forward.


My house bank is currently wired directly to my windlass battery (cables properly sized). Windlass battery is aprox 10' forward of house bank. There is a battery switch which allows me to disconnect house bank from windlass battery when/if I choose. My concern is that by having the group 24 windlass battery directly connected to my house bank, (made up of 6 volt golf carts) the entire bunch is being discharged simultaneously and is not only shortening the lifespan of my batteries but also allowing a windlass battery to be discharged which seems to be a bad policy in the event I need windlass power without engine started. Additionally, when I introduce charge, I would assume the charger would be confused by the mixed types of batteries which would decrease charge quality and further add to my concerns of shortening battery life.
On the other hand, if I leave the house and windless disconnected, there will be no charge to windlass battery. Of course I could function as is moving forward remembering the disconnect when discharging and reconnect when charge is present....but this allows for human error and doesn't address my charging concerns mentioned above.

My working theory is to simply place a xantrex echo charge (a unit which I am familiar with and confident in) between the house and windlass bank. I would also maintain the current switch system and leave in the off position, switching to the on position only when/if I have a weak windlass battery that needs more juice to operate in the moment via a direct link to house batteries receiving full charge current.

So, I'm hoping someone wiser than I can confirm, deny, or otherwise critique my logic. What say you?
__________________

__________________
Swift Drift is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2015, 19:07   #2
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 7,908
Re: To echo charge or not echo charge.....

How far from the windlass battery to the windlass?

If its only a total of 12-15' run from house bank to windlass then why bother with the windlass battery at all? Remove it and make a properly sized run from house bank to windlass (with appropriate high amp breaker of course). This simply eliminates all the issues and complexities above.

Mine, and many others, is set up this way and works just fine. Run engine while using windlass and that takes care of charging and extra amps as needed.

Re battery type confusion. Charger controllers no nothing about battery type...just what you set them to. Are the batteries all of the same type (FLA, gel, AGM...)? If so, then battery type is not an issue.
__________________

__________________
belizesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2015, 17:26   #3
Registered User
 
Swift Drift's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: ORYGUN
Boat: Catalina 34, Merit 25
Posts: 86
Re: To echo charge or not echo charge.....

Thanks for the feedback. Eliminating the windlass battery makes sense except for:

1) everything is already 100% set up and ready to go. Cables are properly sized, breaker box installed, etc, etc.

2) The run from house batteries to windlass is around 20' (+ or -). I would likely have to upsize cable to make it happen to avoid voltage drop.

Who knows, maybe I'll eliminate as you suggest as I agree in it being a much simpler (better) layout. Assuming I'm going to maintain current layout, would you introduce echo charge.

Oh yea, all batteries are Consistent type.... All flooded deep cell.
__________________
Swift Drift is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2015, 17:36   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: W Carib
Boat: Wildcat 35, Hobie 33
Posts: 7,908
Re: To echo charge or not echo charge.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swift Drift View Post
...
Who knows, maybe I'll eliminate as you suggest as I agree in it being a much simpler (better) layout. Assuming I'm going to maintain current layout, would you introduce echo charge.

...
Echocharge or similar should be a very easy solution to address your concerns.
__________________
belizesailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2015, 05:51   #5
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: To echo charge or not echo charge.....

A voltage sensitive relay combiner like those from Yandina and Blue Seas will also work well.

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2015, 06:04   #6
Marine Service Provider
 
Maine Sail's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Maine
Boat: CS-36T - Cupecoy
Posts: 3,060
Re: To echo charge or not echo charge.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
A voltage sensitive relay combiner like those from Yandina and Blue Seas will also work well.

Mark
Especially if there is already heavy gauge wire to the bow. A relay will pass a lot more charging current than an Echo (maxes at 15A but you will rarely see this), and a single G-24 is a pretty limited bank, so the extra oomph a combining relay can provide would be well suited to such a small bank... For thruster & windlass batteries I often use the Blue Sea ML-ACR which can be used both in automatic mode or manually closed, via a remote switch, if extra juice is required to the bow. They can handle 500A continuous and are extremely reliable......
__________________
Marine How To Articles
Maine Sail is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2015, 06:29   #7
Moderator
 
HappyMdRSailor's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: May 2008
Location: North Mississippi
Boat: 48 Wauquiez Pilot Saloon-C22 Chrysler Sunpiper- 19 Potter-Preparing to cruise w/my girl
Posts: 5,980
Re: To echo charge or not echo charge.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by colemj View Post
A voltage sensitive relay combiner like those from Yandina and Blue Seas will also work well.

Mark
Exactly what I was thinkin'!

And then Mr. Electro comes along and refines it...
__________________
In the harsh marine environment, something is always in need of repair...

Mai Tai's fix everything...
HappyMdRSailor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2015, 08:44   #8
Registered User
 
jstevens's Avatar

Join Date: May 2006
Location: On board Sarah, currently lying in Jacksonville, FL
Boat: Pearson, 424, 42', Sarah
Posts: 582
Images: 4
Re: To echo charge or not echo charge.....

You state that the existing cables are correctly sized for the windlass load. To me that would mean that the cables between the house bank and the windlass battery are capable of handling nearly the full load of the windlass in the situation where the windlass battery is heavily discharged. Assuming a 1000W windlass and a total of 25' run from the house bank to the windlass, those cables should be AWG 2 or larger.
If that is the size of your cables then neither the implementation of an ACR nor the elimination of the windlass battery would require a change in the cable size. If the cables from the house bank to the windlass battery are significantly less than AWG 2, and you don't want to swap out the cables, then the Echo-Charger is probably the way to go. In that case there may be situations where the windlass is inoperable until the windlass battery is recharged.

Of course all of that depends on the actual windlass load and the total length of the run from the house bank to the windlass.

John
__________________
jstevens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2015, 09:15   #9
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Anacortes
Boat: previous - Whitby 42 new - Goldenwave 44
Posts: 1,735
Re: To echo charge or not echo charge.....

I have installed many echo-chargers for exactly this setup, plus more for thrusters. While the voltage-sense relay would work it does make all batteries subject to the same charge regimen and you have different types of batteries in your house bank than the thruster. Most times (at least in the past) windlass batteries are thin-plate starter type batteries, and house banks should be deep cycle with thick plates.

It is nice to be able to combine the batteries should you find you don't have enough power at the windlass battery, but I would expect that to be an exception. Echo chargers are reliable (in my experience).

But both ways would work. However, if the relay is put in series with the cables going to the windlass battery, then if it fails you will have to force it to close or jumper around it to get the batteries in parallel for those times you might need it.
__________________
exMaggieDrum is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-11-2015, 13:26   #10
Senior Cruiser
 
colemj's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Presently on US East Coast
Boat: Manta 40 "Reach"
Posts: 10,049
Images: 12
Re: To echo charge or not echo charge.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by exMaggieDrum View Post
Most times (at least in the past) windlass batteries are thin-plate starter type batteries, and house banks should be deep cycle with thick plates.

It is nice to be able to combine the batteries should you find you don't have enough power at the windlass battery
The starter/deep cycle thing won't matter at all when charging with a combiner relay.

Some combiners have a forced combine feature that allows the house batteries to be used if the aux battery is low.

Mark
__________________
www.svreach.com

You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
colemj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2015, 00:25   #11
Registered User

Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: canada
Posts: 1,688
Re: To echo charge or not echo charge.....

whatever you choose, Echo or ACR, both ends leaving the battereies should have fuses. I doubt your cable does now. (and it should be fused if you leave just the cable too as it is)


one issue with the echo is it shuts down with high load. though I can't remember if that's the balmar or xantrax version. (or both) so when running the windlass, and trying to put more then 15a from house to windlass battery, the system thinks it's a fault and just shuts down charging. making the device a bad choose for windlass / bow thrusters etc. and only good for engine batteries.


personally I use ACR's for this. and as above. normally the 500a ones. but it depends on your current draw. normally I only see fwd batteries for bow thrusters where current is ~500a a windlass can proably be just fine with the regular 120a acr. and probably just fine with no battery at all. never seen anyone use a windlass battery before... windlass load is normally not that big.
__________________
smac999 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-2015, 06:56   #12
Marine Service Provider
 
Maine Sail's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Maine
Boat: CS-36T - Cupecoy
Posts: 3,060
Re: To echo charge or not echo charge.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by smac999 View Post


one issue with the echo is it shuts down with high load. though I can't remember if that's the balmar or xantrax version. (or both) so when running the windlass, and trying to put more then 15a from house to windlass battery, the system thinks it's a fault and just shuts down charging. making the device a bad choose for windlass / bow thrusters etc. and only good for engine batteries.
The Balmar Duo Charge does this but it is 30A vs. 15A. It will keep checking but if the current demand is more than 30A it will take a very long time of these short test pulses to get the charge current below that..
__________________

__________________
Marine How To Articles
Maine Sail is offline   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


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
[SOLD] Xantrex / Heart Interface Digital Echo-Charge pelagicII Classifieds Archive 3 27-10-2015 07:19
Small LiFePO4 (<100 AH) + Echo Charge for Windlass evm1024 Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 16 30-07-2014 14:46
Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR skipmac Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 57 17-02-2013 12:46
Heart Interface Digital Echo Charge Troublemaker Electrical: Batteries, Generators & Solar 3 19-01-2012 12:09
To Charge or Not to Charge... alexleclainche Engines and Propulsion Systems 2 12-06-2007 22:31



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 21:26.


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.