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Old 05-04-2021, 07:13   #1
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Upgrading a 2-bank charger to a 1-bank charger/inverter

Hello,


I currently have a Xantrex TRUECharge2 12V 60A, which is connected to two battery banks, a 4 house battery bank and the starter battery. Well, the charger is toast, and so I was considering upgrading to a charger/inverter combo.


I like the Xantrex Freedom XC 2000 for many reason that fits my needs. Unfortunately, the above is only a one-bank charger (the inverter part is great, and the 80 amp charger is plenty fast for my needs).


My question is, will it make much difference if I simply connect the two positive battery wires that currently run into two separate terminals of the TRUECharge2, and connect them both to the one positive terminal of the Freedom XC, effectively converting my two bank set up into a one bank set up?


I assume that if I start my engine, it will always act as a "combine" battery start, using juice from all batteries, not just the start battery, correct?


I apologize if this subject has been dealt with before, but I could not find it. And I also apologize if my questions are two basic, but any help would be greatly appreciated.


Thanks!
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Old 05-04-2021, 10:17   #2
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Re: Upgrading a 2-bank charger to a 1-bank charger/inverter

Doesn't the Freedom have an echo charge built in?
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Old 05-04-2021, 10:21   #3
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Re: Upgrading a 2-bank charger to a 1-bank charger/inverter

Pardon my ignorance, Stu, what is an echo charge?
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Old 06-04-2021, 20:55   #4
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Re: Upgrading a 2-bank charger to a 1-bank charger/inverter

NO you do not want to combine batteries. You want 2 banks.

How do both banks charge from the engine?

Normally you’d have the inverter charger + an acr. So both the inverter and the engine can charge both banks.


Inverters have not had echo chargers built in for about 10 years.
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Old 06-04-2021, 21:05   #5
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Re: Upgrading a 2-bank charger to a 1-bank charger/inverter

Quote:
Originally Posted by smac999 View Post
NO you do not want to combine batteries. You want 2 banks.

How do both banks charge from the engine?

Normally you’d have the inverter charger + an acr. So both the inverter and the engine can charge both banks.


Inverters have not had echo chargers built in for about 10 years.
Thanks smac999.

The Batts are charged from the alternator via a regulator. I don't know what type of alt I have, as I cannot get a view of the part number.

The regulator is a Belmar reg.

If I want two banks, and this makes sense, how do I split the charger to charge my two banks if the charger/inverter is only a one bank? Should I add a manual switch to charge one bank and manually change it to charge the other?
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Old 06-04-2021, 21:24   #6
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Re: Upgrading a 2-bank charger to a 1-bank charger/inverter

Quote:
Originally Posted by RodrigoDC View Post
Pardon my ignorance, Stu, what is an echo charge?

What are ACRs, Combiners & Echo Chargers? (by Maine Sail) [scroll to the top]
http://forums.catalina.sailboatowner...d.php?p=742417 and http://c34.org/bbs/index.php/topic,9....html#msg70131

Making Sense of Automatic Charging Relays (2019)
https://marinehowto.com/automatic-charging-relays/
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Old 06-04-2021, 21:26   #7
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Re: Upgrading a 2-bank charger to a 1-bank charger/inverter

Quote:
Originally Posted by smac999 View Post
NO you do not want to combine batteries. You want 2 banks.

How do both banks charge from the engine?

Normally you’d have the inverter charger + an acr. So both the inverter and the engine can charge both banks.


Inverters have not had echo chargers built in for about 10 years.

I think you meant the charger.


Thanx for the update. Another good thing the vendors stopped doing.
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Old 08-04-2021, 05:59   #8
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Re: Upgrading a 2-bank charger to a 1-bank charger/inverter

Does anyone have any other suggestions? Are there any counter arguments to use only one battery bank instead of two in my set up?
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Old 08-04-2021, 09:47   #9
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Re: Upgrading a 2-bank charger to a 1-bank charger/inverter

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Originally Posted by RodrigoDC View Post
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
If I want two banks, and this makes sense, how do I split the charger to charge my two banks if the charger/inverter is only a one bank? Should I add a manual switch to charge one bank and manually change it to charge the other?



Quote:
Originally Posted by RodrigoDC View Post
Does anyone have any other suggestions? Are there any counter arguments to use only one battery bank instead of two in my set up?

No, that's NOT what we're saying.


What we've told you is to keep two banks, AND that there are products on the market that will AUTOMATE combining the two banks WHEN CHARGING SOURCES ARE PRESENT, and will disconnect them automatically when charging stops.


It is just like using the B on a 1-2-B switch.
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Old 11-04-2021, 05:30   #10
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Re: Upgrading a 2-bank charger to a 1-bank charger/inverter

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Originally Posted by smac999 View Post
NO you do not want to combine batteries. You want 2 banks.

How do both banks charge from the engine?

Right, two banks, I get it, and that's what I want.


The alt charges both banks via a regulator and then what I believe to be a combiner (I say I believe because some things are hard to get to and I cannot see for sure). However, the alternator does charge both banks, I know that for sure.


Quote:
Originally Posted by smac999 View Post
Normally you’d have the inverter charger + an acr. So both the inverter and the engine can charge both banks.
My issue is the new charger/inverter, which now has only one battery positive and one battery negative terminals, and I would like it to charge both banks. The old Xantrex charger had three positive battery terminals to independently charge up to three banks.


I happen to have a spare Blue Sea SI-ACR (https://www.westmarine.com/buy/blue-...relay--8646283), which has only two terminals.



Could I use the above ACR by connecting one terminal to the charger/inverter AND the house battery bank and the other terminal to the starter battery bank? Will that enable the charger to charge both banks giving priority to the house bank?


Here's one additional kink that puzzles me. All batteries (i.e., both banks) are connected in parallel, pos to pos and neg to neg. I'm not sure how these act as two separate banks when they are actually connected to each other. I'll be happy to include a rough schematic of what I have when I go back to the boat, but unless my diagram includes some device to separate the two banks even though all batts are in parallel, this confuses me.



Again, I apologize if my questions are basic, but I'm trying to learn.


Thanks.
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Old 15-04-2021, 16:23   #11
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Re: Upgrading a 2-bank charger to a 1-bank charger/inverter

If the batteries are all connected then you only have 1 bank.

A starter battery could be elsewhere in boat though. And maybe you are looking at house bank only.

You really need to figure out exactly what you have.

That is why I asked how they charge from engine. If you had 2 banks already charging by engine. Then you may already have an acr or simular wired between them. Which would also charge both from the inverter charger.

Where did the old battery charger wires go?
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Old 15-04-2021, 16:46   #12
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Re: Upgrading a 2-bank charger to a 1-bank charger/inverter

Quote:
Originally Posted by RodrigoDC View Post
Right, two banks, I get it, and that's what I want.

The alt charges both banks via a regulator and then what I believe to be a combiner (I say I believe because some things are hard to get to and I cannot see for sure). However, the alternator does charge both banks, I know that for sure.

My issue is the new charger/inverter, which now has only one battery positive and one battery negative terminals, and I would like it to charge both banks. The old Xantrex charger had three positive battery terminals to independently charge up to three banks.

I happen to have a spare Blue Sea SI-ACR (https://www.westmarine.com/buy/blue-...relay--8646283), which has only two terminals.

Could I use the above ACR by connecting one terminal to the charger/inverter AND the house battery bank and the other terminal to the starter battery bank? Will that enable the charger to charge both banks giving priority to the house bank?

Here's one additional kink that puzzles me. All batteries (i.e., both banks) are connected in parallel, pos to pos and neg to neg. I'm not sure how these act as two separate banks when they are actually connected to each other. I'll be happy to include a rough schematic of what I have when I go back to the boat, but unless my diagram includes some device to separate the two banks even though all batts are in parallel, this confuses me.

Again, I apologize if my questions are basic, but I'm trying to learn.

Thanks.

We understand your questions and appreciate you being frank with us about your abilities. Please remember, none of us was born an electriian, so we all understand the learning process. We're here to help. Before we can, I think those of us responding to this thread will encourage you to learn faster by slowing down.

For example, solving a puzzle doesn't mean throwing a "spare ACR" at it.

The VERY FIRST THING you MUST DO is determine what it is you actually have.

If both banks are being charged by the alternator, either of two things are happening: 1) you don't HAVE two banks, or 2) you do have a combiner already.

It seems to me to be that simple.

What that means is you must overcome your "...some things are hard to get to and I cannot see for sure..." syndrome.

Go find out. Please. Or else all of us are just whistling in the dark.

While you're in there, draw a wiring diagram. Don't know how to do a wiring diagram? Draw what you see. Wires simply connect one thing to another. Figure out what the things are and draw a line connecting them, label the colors of the wires, too.

It confuses us, so I guess we're all in the same boat. We've been helping folks in your boat (pi) here for a long time.

Keep at it, we'll get there.
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Old 25-04-2021, 21:06   #13
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Re: Upgrading a 2-bank charger to a 1-bank charger/inverter

Thanks a bunch, Stu.. I understand your frustration and appreciate your patience.

I have spent endless hours understanding my set up and finding out what's "hard to see".

Here's what I know for sure.

I have two separate banks, a single starter battery and 4 house Batts.

The alternator charges both banks via a Belmar regulator, and a ProMariner Proisocharge, 1 alternator, 2 bank isolator (https://www.amazon.com/ProMariner-Pr.../dp/B004VBGUBC).

My Xantrex charger/inverter can charge only one bank.

So, going back to my original question, how can I charge both banks using my Xantrex charger?

1. Could I use the ProMariner Proisocharge isolator to connect the Xantrex charger positive terminal into the Promarinet input terminal, at the same time I have the alternator connected to the same ProMariner input terminar?

2. If not, can I use the Blue Sea Systems ACR to combine both banks while also use the ProMariner isolator with the alternator? Could using both at the same time create any issues?

I hope the above is clearer.

Again, thanks a bunch for your patience.
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Old 26-04-2021, 12:38   #14
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Re: Upgrading a 2-bank charger to a 1-bank charger/inverter

I would get an xantrax echo charger or a dc to dc charger like a victron orion smart to charge the engine from the house bank.

you can definatlly not put the inverter charger through the isocharge. and I would not use both the isocharge and ACR. although I'm not sure I'd want the isocharge and dc to dc as well... as you'll get current loops with the engine running.

as feed back I have had many issues with isocharges failing. something to watch out for. sometimes all the lights turn on and they are "frozen" or sometimes the relays go crazy and click constant on / off when the key is on. I have replaced a number of them. one option would be to remove it and put an ACR in only. and allow the acr to charge batteries from both the alt and the charger. you can mount it in same spot. just connect the alt and house lead to same post and engine lead on 2nd post. so the alt charges the house first. or you can rerun the alt direct to the house bank and just have the acr between batteries. electrically both options are the same.
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Old 26-04-2021, 13:17   #15
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Re: Upgrading a 2-bank charger to a 1-bank charger/inverter

The difficulty you are running into is that the cables that connect the "charger" portion to the battery are the same as the ones that power the "inverter" portion from the battery. With that configuration there is no easy way to connect the charger to two batteries. There is no separate "charger output" that you can connect to a your Promariner isolator. So, you have two options:

a) just connect the inverter/charger to the house bank and call it done. Why do you need to charge the start battery from the inverter/charger? The alternator will take care of this when you run the engine. Unless you leave the boat sitting for long periods of time there is likely little need to charge the start battery from the charger - although it could be desirable/necessary if the boat sits for long enough that self-discharge is a problem.

b)use any one of the methods above (echo charger, ACR, DC-DC, ....) to combine the batteries when the charger is active. You might even be able to make the Promariner handle this function if it genuinely switches state when the ignition stud has voltage and it will work in "reverse", but the manual is silent on this subject so it would require testing. The simplest in this case would be as smac says:
Quote:
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...one option would be to remove it and put an ACR in only. and allow the acr to charge batteries from both the alt and the charger. you can mount it in same spot. just connect the alt and house lead to same post and engine lead on 2nd post. so the alt charges the house first. or you can rerun the alt direct to the house bank and just have the acr between batteries. electrically both options are the same.
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