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Old 16-05-2012, 20:16   #16
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

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Originally Posted by Andina View Post
The Combiner100 is suitable for alternators up to 100 amps but the "fudge" factor is already built in to allow for the portion of charge going to the starting battery and the fact that a 100 amp rated alternator can't really put out 100 amps. The C100 can only carry higher currents (up to 400A) for short periods, the "continuous" rating is 85 amps.
Unless, as you mention, I have starting problems, accidentally discharge the starting battery or similar problem, the charging current through the Combiner to the start battery should normally start out 20-30 amps max and quickly taper down to 5-10 and keep falling. Sounds like well within the rating of the 100.


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Normally for alternators rated over 100 amps you should use the Combiner160. The only problem you could have is where you have had starting problems and the starting battery is very low while the house bank doesn't need much charge. In this case all the output from the alternator would be bypassing the house bank and going to the starting battery. This could overload the C100.
Have thought about this situation and the way I am wiring the system I can use the switch installed to connect the house batteries for emergency starting to manually parallel the house and start banks for high charge currents to avoid overloading the Combiner.

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However it is unlikely to do any damage. Yandina Combiners have a thermal shut down to protect them from overload so under overload conditions it would cycle on and off as the temperature got too high (about 85 C). This would eventually get charge into the dead battery but it would take much longer than the Combiner160.
Not doing damage, a good thing.


Thanks again.

Skip
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Old 16-05-2012, 20:39   #17
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

If you decide on the Blue Sea ACR and a manual combiner switch, take a look at their Add-A-Battery kit. It includes the SI-ACR and their 5511E switch.
Blue Sea Add-A-Battery Kit 7650
My Guest charger just destroyed my two 4D AGM batteries so I've decided to up grade my battery charge system. I'll combine the two 4D's into a house bank and add a small start battery. I'll let the ACR control the charging from my new 40 amp Newmar charger and the alternator.
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Old 16-05-2012, 21:02   #18
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

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Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
If you decide on the Blue Sea ACR and a manual combiner switch, take a look at their Add-A-Battery kit. It includes the SI-ACR and their 5511E switch.
Blue Sea Add-A-Battery Kit 7650
My Guest charger just destroyed my two 4D AGM batteries so I've decided to up grade my battery charge system. I'll combine the two 4D's into a house bank and add a small start battery. I'll let the ACR control the charging from my new 40 amp Newmar charger and the alternator.
I looked at the Add-A-Battery kit but as I understand the specs, the kit parallels the two battery systems to boost the start circuit. Am I correct?

If that is the case then 99.9% of the time that is probably fine but if the start battery is totally dead or shorted you could lose a lot of power into the dead battery from the charged one and possibly not have enough juice to crank. Better system would allow bank 1 or 2 individually instead of combined.
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Old 16-05-2012, 21:47   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skipmac

I looked at the Add-A-Battery kit but as I understand the specs, the kit parallels the two battery systems to boost the start circuit. Am I correct?

If that is the case then 99.9% of the time that is probably fine but if the start battery is totally dead or shorted you could lose a lot of power into the dead battery from the charged one and possibly not have enough juice to crank. Better system would allow bank 1 or 2 individually instead of combined.
I like the switch because it allows the house and start circuits to be completely isolated, which the A/B/off/both switches do not. You may combine with either switch, but I would never.
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Old 16-05-2012, 21:57   #20
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

Just a "heads-up" on any of these systems. Even though the positive charging lines don't need heavy gauge cables we like to see the negative cable between the two batteries at least as heavy as your starter motor cables so you don't melt it and risk a fire when the "other" battery has to start an engine or you switch to "BOTH".
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Old 16-05-2012, 22:04   #21
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

Skipmac, It only boosts the start circuit if you manually turn the switch.

The Blue Sea Add-A-Battery Kit # 7650 includes the Blue Sea Automatic Charging Relay (ACR) # 7610 and the Blue Sea Dual Circuit Plus Battery Switch # 5511e.

The ACR #7610 automatically combines battery banks when charging and isolates when discharging. It isolates the house loads from the engine starting circuit during engine cranking. This prevents your electronics from receiving low voltage during engine cranking.

The Blue Sea # 5511e Dual Circuit Switch will allow you to manually combine the two battery banks in the event of a low start battery. It will handle up to 1000 amps for ten seconds and 350 amps continuously.
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Old 17-05-2012, 06:34   #22
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andina View Post
Just a "heads-up" on any of these systems. Even though the positive charging lines don't need heavy gauge cables we like to see the negative cable between the two batteries at least as heavy as your starter motor cables so you don't melt it and risk a fire when the "other" battery has to start an engine or you switch to "BOTH".
Thanks, already on that. All battery connecting cables, +/-, house and start, are heavy gauge. Plan to power the starter from a 1/2/Both/Off switch, 1 from starter battery, 2 from the house bank, all connected with with 2/0 cable. Then can use either for starting if needed or if the start battery is seriously depleted and drawing a lot from the charging system, use "Both" to manually combine both banks.

Will use smaller cable from charging systems to the house bank and to feed the DC panel.
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Old 17-05-2012, 06:41   #23
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

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Skipmac, It only boosts the start circuit if you manually turn the switch.
Hello. I understand the switch is manual but looking at the specs and diagram on the Blue Sea web site shows Off, 1 or Combine options on the switch. No option for 2 only.

Maybe this logic is bordering on paranoia but "what if" the start battery is really dead or shorted. If you Combine, connecting house and start banks you are dumping your reserve battery power from the house bank into the dead or shorted start bank and may not be able to crank the engine.




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Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
The Blue Sea Add-A-Battery Kit # 7650 includes the Blue Sea Automatic Charging Relay (ACR) # 7610 and the Blue Sea Dual Circuit Plus Battery Switch # 5511e.

The ACR #7610 automatically combines battery banks when charging and isolates when discharging. It isolates the house loads from the engine starting circuit during engine cranking. This prevents your electronics from receiving low voltage during engine cranking.

The Blue Sea # 5511e Dual Circuit Switch will allow you to manually combine the two battery banks in the event of a low start battery. It will handle up to 1000 amps for ten seconds and 350 amps continuously.
All the rest sounds good and the package is a good deal also. Any chance they offer the same package but with a 1/2/Both switch?
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Old 17-05-2012, 06:47   #24
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

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I like the switch because it allows the house and start circuits to be completely isolated, which the A/B/off/both switches do not. You may combine with either switch, but I would never.
Not sure I understand what you are saying here. A standard Off/1/2/Both switch will completely isolate two battery banks, just like the Blue Sea Off/1/Combine (same as Both) switch. Either switch set to 1 will completely isolate battery 2 from 1. Either switch will connect batteries 1 and 2 when set to Both or Combine.
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Old 17-05-2012, 09:20   #25
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

Skipmac, I see what you are saying about not being able to connect the house bank directly to the starter without having to go through the dead start battery. I don't think it's much of an issue. It's like jump starting a car with a really dead battery. You hook the jumper cables to the dead battery and start the car before the dead battery can drag down the charged battery. If you're more comfortable with a 1-2-both-off switch, nothing wrong with that. It would give you an extra option. Options are good in emergencies. I'd have to give some thought as to how you would wire that type of switch with an ACR. They don't sell it as a kit.
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Old 17-05-2012, 09:50   #26
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

The majority of boats with dual battery systems already have an OFF,1,BOTH,2 switch. If you have the switch, a Combiner100 is usually just connected to the two battery terminals on the back of the switch with cables supplied, a 5 minute job.
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Old 17-05-2012, 10:08   #27
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

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Skipmac, I see what you are saying about not being able to connect the house bank directly to the starter without having to go through the dead start battery. I don't think it's much of an issue. It's like jump starting a car with a really dead battery. You hook the jumper cables to the dead battery and start the car before the dead battery can drag down the charged battery. If you're more comfortable with a 1-2-both-off switch, nothing wrong with that. It would give you an extra option. Options are good in emergencies. I'd have to give some thought as to how you would wire that type of switch with an ACR. They don't sell it as a kit.

That works fine if the battery in question is just dead or low. If it is in fact damaged from an internal short you will simply end up shorting your remaining good battery if you combine/parallel them. I made my own set up using (3) Blue Sea on/off battery switches. I can start the engine from either battery or both. Engine battery, house battery, and combine switches all have to be on to combine both banks. If I turn off the engine battery switch and turn on the house bank and combine switch I can start from the house bank only. I can also run my house loads exclusively from my engine battery if the house bank were to short out. Added to this I skipped the whole combiner/relay/echo charge and simply have 2 alternators with two external regulators. This leaves me with a lot of redundancy and two completely isolated systems. In fact right now im running a 4D Gel as my starting battery and (8) GC2 wet cells as my house bank. Only because the 4D Gel came with the boat and is still in good shape. Having separate systems with separate regualtors means I can charge the two banks on different profiles so they stay happy. Of course YMMV.
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Old 17-05-2012, 11:09   #28
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

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Skipmac, I see what you are saying about not being able to connect the house bank directly to the starter without having to go through the dead start battery. I don't think it's much of an issue. It's like jump starting a car with a really dead battery. You hook the jumper cables to the dead battery and start the car before the dead battery can drag down the charged battery. If you're more comfortable with a 1-2-both-off switch, nothing wrong with that. It would give you an extra option. Options are good in emergencies. I'd have to give some thought as to how you would wire that type of switch with an ACR. They don't sell it as a kit.
Like I said, maybe I'm a little paranoid or just over thinking the situation. However, I have had to jump start dozens cars and trucks over the years and have seen a number of times that with a totally dead battery the engine would not turn over right away when jumped from another vehicle, even with heavy duty cables. Had to wait as much as 5-10 minutes to get enough juice back in the dead battery to crank.

I can recall at least 1-2 times in boating when a 5 minute delay in cranking the engine would have left me in a really tough spot and once when I had a starter problem where I ended up taking out a piling at at pier (I swear it was already rotted).
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Old 17-05-2012, 11:51   #29
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

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The majority of boats with dual battery systems already have an OFF,1,BOTH,2 switch. If you have the switch, a Combiner100 is usually just connected to the two battery terminals on the back of the switch with cables supplied, a 5 minute job.
You either really love the Combiner100 or work for the company. Which is it?
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Old 17-05-2012, 12:41   #30
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Re: Xantrex Echo-Charge vs Blue Sea ACR

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You either really love the Combiner100 or work for the company. Which is it?
Does his homepage give you a clue?

Yandina Marine Electronics

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