All engines come from the engine
manufacturer with the alternator connected directly to the starting battery, typically via the starter cable. The boat manufacturer can then connect however they like. The most common boat setup (especially for small boats) is just a starting battery. If a little more fancy the engine is connected to an off,1,both2 switch so either battery would be charged directly. Under most circumstances it makes little difference. Our Combiners are standard equipment
some boats but usually an owner add-on.
Our Combiners regulate the load on the alternator by using differential voltage detection and timing circuits. They are designed to roughly deliver 1 amp-hour of charge on each relay closing until the second battery voltage gets over 13 volts. It is heat that kills overloaded alternators, not the actual current flowing. By cycling once or twice a minute "packets" of charge are delivered and the rate of delivery
depends on battery voltages and alternator capacity.
Do not confuse it with a VOLTAGE regulator
, voltage regulation is left entirely up to the charging source. It is a CURRENT regulator
. Devices like the echo charge are secondary voltage regulators and unlike a Combiner, they attempt to emulate a charger
Thanks for the vote of confidence
. Your lightning
damaged combiners are covered by our UNCONDITIONAL warranty and will be replaced free of charge if you still have them.
You can set your own priority by how the Combiner is connected. My personal preference as a live-aboard for 14 years is that being able to start an engine is more important than TV.
The comparison was being made to diode isolators. A diode isolator charges the lowest battery first and adds the other battery(ies) while the lowest is still at peak bulk load. If the alternator on the engine was designed for handling monster house banks then no problem but frequently stock alternators were part of an automobile or truck package and intended for a much smaller battery bank and can suffer from overheating
on large battery banks.