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  #1  
Old 06-28-2007
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solar panel and two battery banks to charge

I have two battery banks (deep cycle housing and starting) and one solar panel with charge controller. What's the best practice for switching between the two banks. Can it be done automatically? Can I wire the charge controller with the main battery switch - i.e. whatever is on will be charged by solar panel, if both on then both are charged.

Also, are there any battery monitors that come with charge controllers?
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Glen-

Why not wire the two banks with a battery combiner, like the BlueSea ACR, and then when the panel is active, it will charge both banks automatically. I don't know of any solar charge controllers, even MPPT ones, that are also battery monitors.

You should check this website regarding more info.
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Try this:
Echo Battery Chargers
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Old 06-29-2007
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Hmm, just a thought (or my thought):

Why not put the charger on a 1-2-both switch?

I know you are asking why??? But here is my reasoning: If you have the ability to choose what you want charged, it will give you more control over anchoring. For example: Maybe your engine battery has been setting low for a while and you want to charge it up. By being able to focus all of your power only into the small engine battery, you would charge it faster. The same could be true of the house - where you will use the majority of your juice. Focus it completely there and not bother with the engine.

I personally have my tub wired so I can pull the house bank into the engine or the engine bank into the house. It is an easy wiring job to do and adds another level of redundancy. Depending on how your house bank is wired, you probably have a 1-2-both switch on your house bank (which, in my humble opinion, should not be and should only be on a large parallel). Thus, if you did parallel your house onto one leg of the 1-2-both, you have freed up the other leg for the engine bank. Maybe you could run your solar lead into that and be your own decision maker on what is charged and what is not. Plus, you have another level of redundancy.

Just my initial thoughts.

- CD
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