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post #1 of 17 Old 04-29-2014 Thread Starter
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golf cart battery installation

After reading all the excellent advice in my previous thread (would you buy used AGMs?), I've opted to buy four new flooded golf cart batteries rather than the questionable AGMs I was asking about before. They're about the same price -- I got the GC115's from BatteriesPlus; with a quantity 4 discount they're $100/ea. My research suggests these are relabled Deka GC15s, and the BatteriesPlus rep confirmed this. They had a better Ah/$ rating than any other size I looked at, including the GC25.

So now comes the question of how do I install them. I bought four single-battery boxes from Defender, so I think physical installation is handled, but I'm wondering about electrical. My existing system is two "banks" of one Group 27 each, wired to a 1-2-both-off switch (separate positive and negative cable for each). I do not have a separate starting battery nor do I have space for one. I have never treated these banks as separate, the switch is always either off or both. Thus I intend to wire them as a single bank. It will also ease installation of my new battery monitor (Victron BMV-700, to better obsess over my new batteries, of course), which wants a shunt in the negative lead to the bank. Does this seem like a good idea?

I'm thinking jumpers between two sets of two batteries to make them 12V, then jumpers between the 12Vs and grounds, respectively, to form them into a single bank. I'll then connect my two positive leads to the combiner switch to one "corner" of the bank, and the two negatives to the other corner. What size wire should I use for the jumpers? My system is a mix of 1/0 (or maybe 2/0) cables to the bank plus 4/0 from the combiner to the inverter/charger. I'm thinking the jumpers should be 1/0 or 2/0 but I'm not sure which. They'll be very short, probably only about a foot.

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post #2 of 17 Old 04-29-2014
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Re: golf cart battery installation

I wired my 4 6V batteries into 2 banks because that is the way my boat was already wired. I don't have a 1,2, both switch like lots of boast and instead have a sepaerate breaker from each bank to the main DC panel. I also have another switch that selects which bank (1,2, or both) supplies the inverter and that same switch determines which bank charges from the alternator.

I normally run with both banks supplying the main DC panel and the inverter switch in both.

I have a Victron BM and all ground legs go though it before branching out to the 2 battery banks. The BM is programed for the total house battery capacity as that is what it is far as the BM cares. If I were to have to take out a bank all I would need to do is change the capacity volume in the BM.

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post #3 of 17 Old 04-29-2014
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Re: golf cart battery installation

Quote:
Originally Posted by rmeador View Post

So now comes the question of how do I install them. I bought four single-battery boxes from Defender, so I think physical installation is handled, but I'm wondering about electrical. My existing system is two "banks" of one Group 27 each, wired to a 1-2-both-off switch (separate positive and negative cable for each). I do not have a separate starting battery nor do I have space for one. I have never treated these banks as separate, the switch is always either off or both. Thus I intend to wire them as a single bank. It will also ease installation of my new battery monitor (Victron BMV-700, to better obsess over my new batteries, of course), which wants a shunt in the negative lead to the bank. Does this seem like a good idea?
Definitely wire them as one contiguous bank if you are using a shunt based battery monitor.. One large bank is also more efficient than two smaller banks.. It is easy enough for a battery monitor to get out of synch wiring two banks and using them as one via a switch will only lead to more eventual human errors and thus counting errors...

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I'm thinking jumpers between two sets of two batteries to make them 12V, then jumpers between the 12Vs and grounds, respectively, to form them into a single bank. I'll then connect my two positive leads to the combiner switch to one "corner" of the bank, and the two negatives to the other corner. What size wire should I use for the jumpers? My system is a mix of 1/0 (or maybe 2/0) cables to the bank plus 4/0 from the combiner to the inverter/charger. I'm thinking the jumpers should be 1/0 or 2/0 but I'm not sure which. They'll be very short, probably only about a foot.

Thanks!
If you have 2/0 use that, 1/0 would work...


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Same wiring just all batts in one box before it was epoxied.

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post #4 of 17 Old 04-30-2014 Thread Starter
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Re: golf cart battery installation

Thanks for the recommendations. I think I'll make a single bank using 2/0. Maine Sail, that's a beautiful wiring job in the top photo

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Re: golf cart battery installation

rm-
The quality of the crimps on the cable lugs is important, and making a good crimp can require an expensive tool. So if you weren't already set up for this, consider ordering the cables from genuinedealz.com, who will sell you marine grade cable with proper crimps installed, to order, for about the same thing you'd pay for the cable and fittings locally.

Some cheap rope cut up, or a tape measure, will make sure the lengths are right when you order. And of course, provide for proper primary fusing right on the battery bank at the same time.
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Re: golf cart battery installation

hellosailor, that's a good point. I was already planning on getting the cables from genuinedealz; I've always been very impressed with their service and prices. I hadn't really given thought to fusing the batteries. I see genuinedealz sells some battery terminal fuses that look like they'd work, but I don't see the blocks they're supposed to go with. Is there a particular fuse arrangement you'd recommend?

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Re: golf cart battery installation

Ask me first for a religion, or a wife.(G)

Mainesail found a number of no-name ANLs to be less than expected, so you might go to BlueSeas and check out what options they offer in the capacity you want and then consider if you want to may gen-you-whine prices, or explore options. And of course, get a couple of spares in case someone drops a wrench.
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post #8 of 17 Old 04-30-2014
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Re: golf cart battery installation

The easiest way to fuse the batteries is with Blue Seas MRBF fuses right on the posts. Gets the fuse as close as possible and eliminates the jumper required to a conventional fuse.

How-to here: Battery Bank Fusing Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com

MRBF Terminal Fuse Block - 30 to 300A - Blue Sea Systems
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post #9 of 17 Old 04-30-2014
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Re: golf cart battery installation

I'm in the midst of rewiring my battery systems and heartily agree with using these.
Battery Bank Fusing Photo Gallery by Compass Marine How To at pbase.com


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Re: golf cart battery installation

Excellent link, as Maine Sail's articles always are One thing neither it nor the posts thus far have addressed, to my reading, is where to fuse: does each battery in the bank get a fuse, or each 12V series pair, or just one for where the bank connects to the house wiring?

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