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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #11  
Old 11-16-2007
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I have the link 2000 and a freedom inverter/charger and they work fabulously together, on the hook or at the dock. I still haven't figgered out all that the 2000 can do, and just generally use it for state of charge, amp hr usage and so forth. Overall it's a nice system, but the 2000 can be wacky at times. Starts reading strange voltages and won't turn on the charger. When that happens I have to reset it. I've had it replaced once and still the same, so I suspect it's a design issue or something weird about my wiring.

Word of warning about aux power (solar/wind): remember to switch it off while charging or it can screw up your charger into thinking the battery is at capacity.
And if you get a voltmeter, remember that there can be as little as 1 volt difference between a battery that's charged and one that's almost dead.
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  #12  
Old 11-16-2007
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post

I am still wondering what idiot told you that you couldn't use the Link 10/20 with the RS2000.
Xantrex's website did:

"Not recommended for use with Xantrex MS or RS Inverter/Chargers"


http://www.xantrex.com/web/id/237/p/1/pt/5/product.asp

I spoke with the contact provided by Cap'n Hand, however, who suggested that the strangely named "Xamtrex Battery Monitor XBM" (what? no cryptic alphanumeric designation?) would do what I need at half the price of a Link 2000:

http://www.xantrex.com/web/id/96/p/1/pt/7/product.asp

So that's what I think I'll get.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoffaLives View Post
Word of warning about aux power (solar/wind): remember to switch it off while charging or it can screw up your charger into thinking the battery is at capacity.
Do you mean while charging from shore power, or while charging via alternator? The general plan is to charge the house batteries (a large 4 x 8D bank) via solar and wind, and to charge the starter and the windlass via the alternator. In essence, two charging circuits to separate banks when I'm motor-sailing in the sunshine.
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Interesting... I was going by the owner's manual for the Link 20, which doesn't mention it at all.

BTW, I believe that Hoffa means that you should shut down/disconnect the solar/wind if you're charging the batteries on shore power using the Xantrex. The higher voltage caused by the solar/wind sources can fool the Xantrex into thinking the batteries are actually fully charged when they're not.
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Old 11-16-2007
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Either case. If your aux power sources are supplying power while you are also charging it via alternator or shore power, the voltage from the aux source can fool either circuit that the battery is fully charged.

FWIW, I'm not sure how realistic it is to keep a large bank charged with aux sources, unless your A hr consumption is crazy low. And unless you have a great regulator, you still have the problem of improper charging regime for the batteries.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailingdog View Post
Interesting... I was going by the owner's manual for the Link 20, which doesn't mention it at all.

BTW, I believe that Hoffa means that you should shut down/disconnect the solar/wind if you're charging the batteries on shore power using the Xantrex. The higher voltage caused by the solar/wind sources can fool the Xantrex into thinking the batteries are actually fully charged when they're not.
I think the logical thing to do in that case might be to simply shut off the inverter, let the sun and wind charge the batts, and power the AC side from the shore. I can switch over when the sun goes down, unless it's windy.

Part of my design ideas is extensive switchability as the key to redundancy: I want to have the ability to vary charge sources based on availability, but not necessarily to combine them, which I agree, on a breezy noon hour, might prove a little rich for the system to absorb along with shore power.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HoffaLives View Post
Either case. If your aux power sources are supplying power while you are also charging it via alternator or shore power, the voltage from the aux source can fool either circuit that the battery is fully charged.

FWIW, I'm not sure how realistic it is to keep a large bank charged with aux sources, unless your A hr consumption is crazy low. And unless you have a great regulator, you still have the problem of improper charging regime for the batteries.
I don't know about crazy low, but the 4-5 amp NovaKool fridge, plus the SSB radio and the radar (both occasional) would be the biggest draws. We are installing new water tanks and fixtures that will allow both pressure water and foot pump water...the pressure water use offshore will be rare. I plan on going all LED or flourescents...no incandescents, before we go, and the use of the inverter underway for items such as the microwave will be brief. Some of our entertainment choices will be chargeable, such as laptops and DVD players. These will be charged off the inverter in "prime times" of full sun and/or good wind. Speaking of wind, I am considering a DuoGen or something similar: a wind generator that is also towable in the water...yet another way to avoid using the diesel to make amps. I don't object to the diesel making headway, or making amps during making headway, but making amps at anchor at a fast idle is wasteful and hard on the engine. And loud.

I plan on having the ability to switch either the Honda 2000 or the alternator into the house batteries if needed, but between the combined wind and three, possibly four 130 W solar panels, I suspect I'll be covered. If not, there's always room on the diesel for a bigger Balmar, but as I said, I would prefer to have a large bank I can keep full with one input or another to reduce cycling.

Thanks for this discussion, guys. It's helping me focus on what is a complex way to achieve a simpler life.
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Good ideas all around Valiente... I like the Duogen units... although there are better windgens...but none quite so versatile.
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Valiente-

Might want to look at this battery monitor as well. A bit less expensive than the Link 20, and does two banks.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
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  #20  
Old 11-17-2007
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It's really important to sit down and work out a power budget, and be scrupulous. There are small systems that are running and are easy to forget about, like a sniffer, a propane shut off solenoid, radio, and so forth. To be realistic you should list everything and to be safe double it, and you'll probably be closer to real consumption. And you likely are aware that these alternative power sources very rarely achieve anything close to their rated output. That's why it's important to have the best charging system you can afford.
And while redundancy is a very good idea, remember that reliability tends to suffer the more complex the system is.
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