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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems
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  #1  
Old 03-07-2011
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House bank and things.

Finally! with "sailboat electrics" book under my arm today and yesterday I'm charging individually each of the 4 batteries in my boat. 2 -12 volt group 27 for the starting bank. and 2 6 volt, t-605s (thought I had t-105s)

Using a load tester, it seems so far that the house bank batteries are bad to very weak. charging them overnight, will test again. pretty sure they are bad. I think I'm going for 2 group 24, 12volt. and try for 200- 255 AHs.

My boat has the 1,2 all and off master switch. The starting bank seems to send power to the panel in 1,2, or all position of the switch even though the house bank is out of the boat now. Nothing is marked and I plan to label all the cables. re: Don Casey the alt should go right to the house bank. still need to trace out all the cables. starter, grouinds, alt. .. it's a mess, mostly all red cables.. House bank seems to be on #2,

I was looking at the on board charger, it has terminals for bank one and two. only one is being used with the wires going to the house bank.

Going to get a label maker! Geeze what a mess. Good news is all the wire is #4 marine grade fine strand
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Old 03-07-2011
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Denise
I don't think you will find group 24 batteries that many AH. Most group 24 are about 75 AH, so 2 gives you about 150 AH. Why not golf carts? Easy to get 225 AH or more from 2 in series and with about twice the plate material per cell they should easily outlast group 24s.

It does sound like your wiring needs a sort out. All red wires? Usually I see all black.

The best solution would be to wire the shore charger and alternator to the house bank (call it #1) and charge the start/aux battery (#2) with an EchoCharge. It is a battery follower and will supply the start battery up to 15 amps when it senses a charge current at the house bank. Without charging through the 1/2/both switch there is no forgetting to switch to charge both banks and you will never drain all batteries by mistake.

Battery Chargers | Auxiliary Battery Charger | Xantrex
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Old 03-07-2011
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Thanks Brian, Still sorting it all out. The house bank was golf cart bats What's odd is the starting bank is 2 big 27s for starting? seems like overkill. Because don't have a high output alternator I thought I need to stay around 255 AHs. I'd love to get 2 new T-105s
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Denise
You only need one start battery, Group 24 or 27 size.

Golf cart batteries are the way to go - but look at the Exide golf cart batteries. Comparable to Trojan in every way but price.

With 2 golf cart batteries in series you will have between 225 AH and 250 AH depending on brand. When in series the AH stays the same but the voltage doubles.
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Old 03-08-2011
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Not buying yet,, but get this.. I started searching.. there's a Trojan Battery Dealer right here in my home town area! Northeast battery. go figure.! t-105s from them are around $160 each. most others are around $150 But shipping is not free for flooded cell batteries. eh..

So the question is this, how do I determine if my alt can charge a 500+ ah bank? (if I get the t 105s)
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Old 03-08-2011
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Quote:
So the question is this, how do I determine if my alt can charge a 500+ ah bank? (if I get the t 105s)
Any alternator CAN charge any size of 12 volt bank it just takes longer if your alternator is a low amperage one. However as your bank looks like being a 225 amp hour assuming you use a pair of T 105s in series then your max charge rate should be about 30 amps. Almost all alternators will be capable of that.

You need a "SMART" regulator to make the most of your alternator output. Balmar use this one. Welcome to Balmar DC Charging Solutions I have one and it seems to do the job.

The made for the job smart regulators seem to cost around $300 US. It is possible to use a standard automotive regulator [ $10 ] with a manual overide to force the output to a preset figure regardless but do be aware that if you forget to switch this off you will overcharge your batteries and shorten their life.


N.B. Yes you can charge T105s at a higher rate but their life will drop.
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Old 03-08-2011
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Denise-
As Brian said, Group 24's won't give you that. Even a Group31 will barely be rated for 100AH, two of them makes 200AH, and of course at a 50% discharge you are back down to only 100AH useable again.

I'd also suggest one house bank, as big as you can, plus just one starting battery, big not needed. Your house bank can be 2x6V or 2/12, really doesn't matter, but if you measure carefully, sometimes you can fit a less common shape to get higher capacity. If you go to a battery distributor most do sell retail, and they'll be able to suggest the most AH to fit in the space, not just the common sizes that a retail store might have.

The external regulator should make a big difference in charging, but basically no matter how much battery you install, all that is going to happen is that they will "suck harder and longer" on the alternator. The alternator will run hotter but again...a 500AH bank at 50% will consume 250AH (plus overhead) and you can certainly fit a 75A to 100A alternator in most installations, so it would just take 2- hours to do a full 50% charge.

The thing is--as you probably know--the more battery you have, the less deeply you have to cycle it, and the longer it will last. So you do win, even if you have excess capacity. [read: safety margin against discharges]
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well I don't know about group and size but the 2, T605's that were in my boat fit in the group 24 boxes. they are rated 210 AHs. 2 new T-105s would make the bank 450 AHs .. guess it's not so terrible after all. I don't want to mess with alternators and regulators if I don't have too. Maybe I'll take the alt to a shop and have it checked over. It has a box on the back of it, so I assume that's the reg.

I just want enough to use the house bank on an overnight after a day of sailing. lights radio.. nothing heavy like TVs or microwaves on the inverter well maybe a laptop or dvd player. (dc to dc adapters for them someday)

One of my friends has a battery isolator and did away with the "switch" Looking at isolators/combiners seems to be a good way to go really separate the starting from the house bank. I really like the idea of a relay staying open except when the starting battery is needed.

I'm still reading the "book" and it's still cold out! GRRRS thank you everyone. love your help.
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Old 03-08-2011
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Originally Posted by deniseO30 View Post
2 new T-105s would make the bank 450 AHs ..
Denise,

Two 6V T-105's in series are 225 Ah's not 450 Ah's. You would need 4 T 105's in series/parallel to get 450 Ah's..

Series = Add voltage not amps

6V 225Ah + 6V 225Ah (series) = 12V @ 225Ah



Parallel
= Add Ah's not volts

12V 100Ah + 12V 100Ah (Parallel) = 200Ah's @ 12V
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Denise-
Most production boats are built for daysailors or weekenders, so there's no reason the electrical system would be built to "cruising" standards.
"well I don't know about group and size but"
The common "Group" designations just refer to a standard size/capacity. All you really need to know are the dimensions of your battery space(s).

" the 2, T605's that were in my boat fit in the group 24 boxes. they are rated 210 AHs." Well, something doesn't add up there, because two Group 24's couldn't provide 210AH and basically, no matter what else fits in the same space, if it is the same size, it has the same capacity, more or less. And here it is: the T605 is WAY TALLER than a group24. It may fit in the same footprint--but a box sized for the height of a Group24 wouldn't hold it. And batteries should be in a box that covers them, completely.
A Group24 is also a 12V battery, the T605 is a 6V battery.

"Maybe I'll take the alt to a shop" Get recommendations, and if the shop looks dirty--pick another one. Slobs do sloppy work. If there's a box on the back of your alternator, that sounds like an old alternator. Nothing wrong with that if it is in good shape but bearings and brushes do wear, that's worth checking. If it has an external regulator it is fairly easy to convert it from "automotive" to a proper 3-stage marine deep cycle type.

"I just want enough to use the house bank on an overnight after a day of" Sounds like two T105's would do that for you. Or even the two T605's. As folks have noted elsewhere...those damned expensive LED nav and cabin lights actually start to look cheap, if you consider how much less battery bank and charging time you may need if you switch over to LEDs.
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