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Old 04-16-2012
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Advice on Designing Battery Systems

Hello Everyone!

My partners and I are redoing the battery systems on our new to us 1978 Catalina 30. I have attached a simply schematic showing what were were thinking of doing for the battery banks.

In addition to critique and advice of the overall system, I have two additional questions....

1) Will the echo charger work properly if the House Bank is made up of two 6 volt T105 batteries wired in series and the starting battery is a normal deep cycle 12 volt?

2) The boat came with an AC charger. It is a Guest 20amp Dual output charger GUEST 20 Amp Dual Output On-Board Battery Charger at West Marine

Can we use only one of the outputs of this charger in order to charge the House Bank? The charger says that it is ok for wet cell batteries 2-12v......is there any problem using it on the House Bank of 2x6volts?

Thanks for all your help! Electrical is my weak point, so it's been a bit of a struggle so far.
cheers!
greg
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Old 04-16-2012
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Re: Advice on Designing Battery Systems

Greg

Yes the Echo will work fine. 2 batteries in series to produce 12 volts is the same as a 12 volt battery.

I am not sure about the charger. The manual is here http://www.marinco.com/files/support...uals/2622A.pdf
and on page 10 they say
"Connection Warnings: Output 1 and output 2 may be connected in parallel or series at any time."
I believe that both outputs have to be connected to a battery but it can be the same battery.

Your diagram makes sense. There is a simpler way though. Use only 1 of the switches, put house bank on 1, start battery on 2. This allows you to start on either bank and use either for house loads. The only choice it eliminates is the ability to use both banks for different uses at the same time.

I would use 1 switch and start on the house bank, leaving the start battery as an emergency battery. Saves a switch and some large wires and makes both the installation and the use of the system simpler.

Don't forget to fuse the positives, both main feeds to the switch and charger output near the batteries.
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Last edited by mitiempo; 04-16-2012 at 02:35 PM. Reason: add
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Old 04-16-2012
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Re: Advice on Designing Battery Systems

Greg.

Another option, which I favor, would be to simply replace the engine 1-2-Both-OFF switch with a simple ON-OFF battery switch (like the Blue Sea Systems #6006). It's redundant anyway, since if you put the house battery switch in the BOTH position it will combine the two banks.

The advantage is that you start the engine with the start battery and the EchoCharge keeps that battery charged. There is no danger of low voltage or voltage spikes while starting affecting the electronics. When the engine is not in use, simply turn the ON-OFF switch OFF.

Leave the house battery switch in the position which connects the house load to the house batteries only (#2 position in your diagram or #1 in the diagram below).

Brian is right: don't forget the fuses....ANLs or MRBFs only.

Here's a diagram showing how this would look:
Basic12VDC

Also, you might want a fuse in the start circuit even though ABYC recs don't require one. It's nevertheless a very good idea and can save a fire. Again, only ANLs or MRBFs for this purpose.

Bill
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Re: Advice on Designing Battery Systems

Thanks everyone for your replies so far.

Bill --
You said, "Another option, which I favor, would be to simply replace the engine 1-2-Both-OFF switch with a simple ON-OFF battery switch (like the Blue Sea Systems #6006). It's redundant anyway, since if you put the house battery switch in the BOTH position it will combine the two banks."

What I think you are saying is that if I have the House 1-2-Both-OFF switch set to Both, and the Engine Switch to On, than the engine would be drawing from both the Starting Battery AND the House Bank? If that's the case, than I totally agree with you about how to wire the system. The goal of having two 1-2- Both-OFF switches was so that you could start the engine off the House batteries in case of emergency......but if the one switch basically wire the two banks in parallel even though the load is not on the common pole of that switch, than that solves the problem! Is that correct?

Thanks again for your help
best
greg
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Re: Advice on Designing Battery Systems

Greg

There is no reason to combine batteries - if one is unable to start switch to the other one.

In the schematic Bill linked to you can leave the on/off switch off and select both on the other switch to start from the house bank by itself.
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Re: Advice on Designing Battery Systems

Aaaahh, yes, I don't know why this is so hard for me to wrap my head around
But I think now I see how Bill's schematic is pretty perfect. Fantastic!!
Thanks again everyone
greg
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Old 04-16-2012
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Re: Advice on Designing Battery Systems

Basic Battery Wiring Diagrams

and

http://forums.catalina.sailboatowner...d.php?t=137615

These should help you get your head around the issues.
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Re: Advice on Designing Battery Systems

Brian and Bill are right. Get rid of one switch. You only need one. Simplify, simplify, simplify. the more complex a system becomes the more that can go wrong. I don't particular like mixed types of batteries, that is, 12 volt and 6 volt. It makes charging more complex. I don't believe that two 6 volt deep cycle batteries are any better than one 12 volt deep cycle battery, but that is just my opinion. Some people swear by 6 volt golf cart batteries.
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Re: Advice on Designing Battery Systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by peikenberry View Post
Brian and Bill are right. Get rid of one switch. You only need one. Simplify, simplify, simplify. the more complex a system becomes the more that can go wrong. I don't particular like mixed types of batteries, that is, 12 volt and 6 volt. It makes charging more complex. I don't believe that two 6 volt deep cycle batteries are any better than one 12 volt deep cycle battery, but that is just my opinion. Some people swear by 6 volt golf cart batteries.
Charging is not more complex because the 6 volts are wired in series - the same as the cells in a 12 volt, but in 2 cases instead of one.

And they are more durable. As an example Trojan's t-105 will handle more cycles than any other 6 volt they make and between 2 and 5 times more cycles than their 12 volts. Anytime you have a 66 lb battery with only 3 cells it is bound to be more durable than a 66 lb battery with 6 cells with the same manufacturing quality.
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Old 04-16-2012
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Re: Advice on Designing Battery Systems

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Basic Battery Wiring Diagrams

and

1/BOTH/2/OFF Switches Thoughts & Musings - SailboatOwners.com

These should help you get your head around the issues.
Yes this covers it. I just followed this advice and redid my own system following this (literally installed the switch and automatic relay today). Previously I was switching 1 to both to 2 to 1 to both to off every trip. Except when I forgot multiple steps in that process.

You can't beat the simplicity this provides. Turn the switch to 1 when you get on the boat and leave it.

I went with these:
M-Series (Mini) Battery Switch Selector
Automatic Charging Relay (Starting Isolation)

Along with battery cable from GenuineDealz (The switch and relay have 3/8 terminals).
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