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Old 04-05-2020, 09:06   #1
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Two Batteries, One Controller, One Panel

I am working on attaching 1 100w solar panel to my boat, and can't find a good answer on how to hook it up to two batteries.

I want to get the Victron charge controller, and it only has 1 battery output. How do I attach the classic two battery setup, one starter battery, and one house (deep cycle) battery to a charge controller with one output?

Do I need a solenoid controller between the two batteries, do I need to buy a different charge controller?
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Old 04-05-2020, 09:19   #2
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Re: Two Batteries, One Controller, One Panel

Why do you need to charge the engine battery? Does the boat sit for months without running and without being plugged in?
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Old 04-05-2020, 09:26   #3
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Re: Two Batteries, One Controller, One Panel

Just hook the solar controller to the house bank and let the engine alternator charge the starter battery. What is charging your house battery currently? You can always get a device that will allow the house battery to charge first and then charge the starter battery AFTER the house battery is charged using the single charge controller.
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Old 04-05-2020, 09:29   #4
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Re: Two Batteries, One Controller, One Panel

Also, look up battery isolators
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Old 04-05-2020, 10:20   #5
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Re: Two Batteries, One Controller, One Panel

Hi, I asked a not too different question a few months ago and got some helpful replies - see if that thread can provide some help.

https://www.cruisersforum.com/forums...on-230775.html
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Old 05-05-2020, 08:34   #6
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Re: Two Batteries, One Controller, One Panel

My solution to the same problem was to run power to both batteries through an issolation switch. Means I can have the solar charge either battery or set it to both. I set it to both if leaving the boat for a long period effectively storing the batteries as a single bank with the solar keeping them topped up. I used heavy cable and switches so that if the start battery is struggling I can back it up with the house bank. That was mainly because we get very cold weather sometimes rather than anticipating a discharged start batt
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Old 05-05-2020, 11:01   #7
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Re: Two Batteries, One Controller, One Panel

You want any of your charge sources to be charging both batteries as needed. If you spend any significant time motoring and away from the marinas, then certainly you want your alternator to charge both house and starting batteries. If you are at anchor you want your solar to maintain your starting battery and charge your house battery. If you leave the boat in a marina connected to dock power for weeks, then you want your house charger to maintain both your starting and house batteries.


For this you may get an FET battery combiner and connect all 3 charge sources to the input terminal. Each battery to it's own output terminal. This subject can be controversial but I like Victron's FET combiners. Very low voltage drop with these:


https://www.google.com/search?source...sclient=psy-ab
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