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Go Back   SailNet Community > General Interest Forums > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems
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Old 01-25-2010
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Galvanic Isolator / Isolation Transformer recs?

Hi all,
I'll soon be installing a battery charger on board--in 26 years our boat apparently never had one. With the battery charger, I'd like to also install some additional protection from galvanic corrosion, since we'll start plugging in the boat more often (in the past, we didn't plug in much). I've read Calder's info on both, and understand why the isolation transformer might be better, though there is a price tag associated with that.

That said, what do you consider to be the appropriate practice here--is a galvanic isolator enough? If so, any recommendations on particular units? I'd like to get one with a capacitor (not just diodes). As for isolation transformers, looks like it's just the Charles units available, but I'm open to hearing about recommendations or otherwise on those as well. Is this overkill for a 34 foot cruising boat? I like the idea, but the expense is pretty high.

Definitely open to hearing what other SailNet members have to say on this subject, and any recommendations for particular devices.
Thanks!
-J
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Old 01-25-2010
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I think a galvanic isolator would be good enough, particularly if fitted with a capacitor. But, I would have on that has a montoring circuit so you can check it periodically for correct operation.
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Old 01-25-2010
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Thanks RF. Do you have any galvanic isolators in mind that are good buys that have the monitoring?
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Old 01-26-2010
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I have chargers and galvanic isolation from ProMariner Home Page.
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Thanks...I was looking at the ProMariner FailSafe galvanic isolators as a likely candidate.
-J
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Well that said, it's available here on SailNet at a respectable price...
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Old 02-22-2010
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I built my own, using diodes (actially bridge rectifiers), here's how I recall doning this:
You need 2 high current bridge rectifiers each capable of handling full shore power current. They are square devices with a bolt hole in the center and four spade connector terminals on the back 1 labeled +, one - and two usually labeled AC.
About 30 sq in of aluminium 1/8 inch thick for a heat sink.
Wire to make connections.
Stainess steel bolts and nuts to mount the rectiifers to the aluminium.

You're only ging to use the + and - terminals that are diagonally opposie eachother on the bridge recitfire, so cut off the other two terminals.
Mount the rectifiers on the aluminum heat sink with the bolts spacing the recitfiers at lest 4" apart. It helps to put heatsink grease in the cavity when mounting the recitfiers if you have it. You need the heat sink as the ground has to be able to handle the full AC current load... as that's what its for.
Hook one ground wire end to the + and the other to the - . Hook the second bridge in parallel. That way if one recitfer blows then the other will carry the load.
Yandina LTD had instructions on how to build one on thier website and I used that but they may have pullde it by now. There's an article on building one in the November Practical Boat Owner Practical Boat Owner a british sailing mag.
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