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Old 08-07-2008
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Experiences with battery isolaters?

Our Bene has four battery banks. One for the genset start, one for the engine start, the house bank, and one for the bow thruster.

The genset is entirely on its own circuit, and is charged from the genset alternator. Not connected to anything else on the boat.

The engine start likewise is on its own circuit, but gets charged via echo chargers on the battery charger (Freedom 30) and the alternator.

The bow thruster battery is on the same circuit as the house, but it's isolated using an isolater so that it's charged whenever the house bank is charged, but in theory does not get drawn upon by house loads other than the bow thruster.

This is a bit more complicated that we've set up on prior boats. Generally, I've kept it to two banks -- one to start the engine and genset, and one for the house that ran everything, with the banks separated but capable of being linked together in the event we needed to start the engine with the house bank.

I prefer our "old" method, if only because it's a less complicated setup and less to go wrong. But, considering that the new boat is coming wired the way I describe above, I'm not going to redo it out of the box, and am going to try to live with it for a while. The main area of question I have is how effective is the isolater for the bow thruster battery likely to be? I'm not overly worried about drawing on the house bank while using the thruster (which shouldn't happen anyway I guess) because we're not likely to be using the thruster except when the engine is running. But, am I going to find myself with an undercharged bow thruster battery?

Oh, all are lead acid batteries. And in case it matters, the house bank is made up of 4 4D batteries, and the bow thruster is a Group 31.

Thanks to you electrical gurus.
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