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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > Electrical Systems
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  #1  
Old 03-20-2013
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Starting from scratch - need design input

As some may know from my previous threads I am restoring my 1981 Offshore Cat Ketch 33'. The original 5416 has been removed and I am stripping the engine compartment before installing the new Beta 25 with a 70amp alternator. This will include replacing the electrical system.

Here is where I need some design help.

Current equipment:
Original electrical panel
12 DC Breakers
6 AC Breakers
1 Main AC Breaker
Xantrex TruCharge Series 2 Battery Charger w/remote monitor
30 Amp Shore Power Outlet
Guess Battery selector Switch
House Bank: 2EA Deka Group 4D P/N 904D batteries (Ah = ?) (Wet Cells 4 years old that were gioven to me)
Starting battery: Smaller automotive size?

Things I know I need/want
Galvanic Isolator
Inverter
Battery Monitor
New hot water heater
Pressure water pump
Solar Charger
AC loads on the hook will be recharging battery powered devices and maybe running a shop vac.

Q1. How do I connect the batteries for charging from the alternator, the house bank is much larger than the starting battery and I don''t want to have to change my switch and risk damaging the alternator by having to cycle the battery selector switch while charging.

Q2. I want the inverter to pass shore power through when connected to the dock. Do I use a relay to isolate the inverter?

Q3. I want solar charging as part of the system. What system should I use?

Q4. Am I better off using a seperate battery charger and inverter or should I invest in a new common unit.

The system should be reliable and idiot proof, I have an electrical background and think I know the answers but want to make sure I am doing it correctly instead of testing my theories. All through hulls will be replaced with the new nylon? ones to eliminate potential galvanic corrosion problems.
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Last edited by katsailor; 03-20-2013 at 08:43 PM.
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Old 03-20-2013
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Re: Starting from scratch - need design input

I'm a little smarter now, found the extensive discussions on the Catalina 34 website including the thread on basic wiring diagrams submitted by Stu. Thanks for the great info.
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Old 03-20-2013
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Re: Starting from scratch - need design input

Quote:
Originally Posted by katsailor View Post

Q1. How do I connect the batteries for charging from the alternator, the house bank is much larger than the starting battery and I don''t want to have to change my switch and risk damaging the alternator by having to cycle the battery selector switch while charging.

Q2. I want the inverter to pass shore power through when connected to the dock. Do I use a relay to isolate the inverter?

Q3. I want solar charging as part of the system. What system should I use?

Q4. Am I better off using a seperate battery charger and isolater or should I invest in a new common unit.

The system should be reliable and idiot proof, I have an electrical background and think I know the answers but want to make sure I am doing it correctly instead of testing my theories. All through hulls will be replaced with the new nylon? ones to eliminate potential galvanic corrosion problems.
My preference is to route all charge sources to the house bank. The start battery can be charged by an EchoCharger, DuoCharge, or ACR. This makes the main switch one of use only and charging of both house and start batteries is automatic.

Any quality marine inverter of any size - Magnum, Xantrex, etc - will have a pass through for shorepower. Nothing else is required, the inverter switches from shore to invert or back in milliseconds.

Solar is a large topic in itself. Start with an energy budget to decide what you need in panel wattage. I do suggest you stick to controllers from recognized companies like Morningstar or Outback.

I'm not sure what you mean re charger/isolator in one unit. If you mean galvanic isolator I know of none that are combined with other devices, they are all standalone. As well many inverters have chargers built in, good sized ones as too.
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Old 03-20-2013
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Re: Starting from scratch - need design input

I agree with Brian 100%.

And, I think you meant charger/inverter, not charger/isolator. If so, there are several ways to go. The best inverter/chargers tend to be from Victron and Magnum. I like the Victron MultiPlus, but there are others. I would avoid Xantrex for anything except the EchoCharge.

Whichever inverter you get, be sure to get a pure sine wave model; they're not much more money than the "modified sine wave" models, and will work in any AC application.

If you want a charger only and a separate inverter, look at the ProNautic series by ProMariner AKA the Sterling ProCharge Ultra. They are first class chargers, affording you "world power", i.e., they can be used with 120V or 240VAC. Really nice chargers and worth the little extra.

For an economy charger on a diesel boat, look at the Iota DLS/IQ4 chargers. A lotta bang for the buck.

Both of these chargers come in several sizes.

Re: hooking up your 12VDC backbone, here's one way to do it which features automatic tending of the start battery -- no need to switch anything (just leave the selector switch in the #1 position all the time). It also shows an option from the #2 position which can be used in an emergency to start the engine from the house batteries. Also, if you study the diagram carefully you'll see that it is easy to isolate either the house bank or the start battery, or to combine all of them if you ever need to.

Basic12VDC

Bill
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Re: Starting from scratch - need design input

Quote:
Originally Posted by mitiempo View Post
I'm not sure what you mean re charger/isolator in one unit. If you mean galvanic isolator I know of none that are combined with other devices, they are all standalone. As well many inverters have chargers built in, good sized ones as too.
Ah fixed, should have read Inverter

Thanks for the input, I assembled a shopping list last night, time to find the best deals.

I plan on using the existing Xantrex battery charger until it fails, then adding solar and the inverter at a later date because with the new motor, bottom job, running rigging, and plumbing (which is entirely a different issue we shall explore later) I am seeing the boat bucks flow like water.
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