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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > battery bank dual charger or triple charger?
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Topic Review (Newest First)
06-29-2013 10:16 AM
Maine Sail
Re: battery bank dual charger or triple charger?

Quote:
Originally Posted by deniseO30 View Post
Ah.. ok. so Charging input from just about anything like solar, wind, should always connect to.......?
House bank.. Solar, wind, alt etc...
06-29-2013 08:12 AM
chef2sail
Re: battery bank dual charger or triple charger?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LinekinBayCD View Post
I'm not familiar with ACR's so I checked out Blue Seas website. If I'm understanding iwhat I read correctly, the ACR will not charge either battery optimally making the use of different battery types a problem? I thought that was one of the advantages of an echo charger system. Not sure what I'm missing here.
That is true, but I don't mix battery types and have all AGMs
06-28-2013 09:19 PM
deniseO30
Re: battery bank dual charger or triple charger?

Ah.. ok. so Charging input from just about anything like solar, wind, should always connect to.......?
06-28-2013 11:55 AM
Maine Sail
Re: battery bank dual charger or triple charger?

Quote:
Originally Posted by deniseO30 View Post
"Requires the "start isolation" feature to be wired if solar or other change sources exist"

Guess I need to explore that MS.
There is a terminal on the BS ACR that you wire to the starter solenoid wire or start button. When the starter is engaged it drops the relay so you don't pull more than 120A through it.

99.5% of them I see installed never connect this wire, even factory installations on boats that factory ship with them, and I have never had a single failure of a Blue Sea ACR. That said I do use the SI feature when there is a source that could have the banks at "combine" voltage...

On my own boat, for experiments sake, I never connected SI feature and the relay survived many hundreds and hundreds of starts without any failure. They are well built relays..
06-28-2013 11:44 AM
deniseO30
Re: battery bank dual charger or triple charger?

"Requires the "start isolation" feature to be wired if solar or other change sources exist"

Guess I need to explore that MS.
06-28-2013 08:11 AM
Maine Sail
Re: battery bank dual charger or triple charger?

There are a lot of misunderstandings out there about Echo's, Duo's (B2B's) and ACR/VSR relays. I suppose I need to write an article on this subject...


Echo Pro's:

*Easiest installation and least additional installation expenses if charge sources already flow to HOUSE bank.
*Simple
*Can mix some battery types, but not all
*Ideal & simple for just keeping a small start battery "topped up"

Echo Cons:

*Voltage drop
*Limited to 15A max
*Is a one-way device
*Could, in-theory, potentially over charge a "start" battery if house bank stays at a high absorption for a long enough period of time (never seen it, likely due to the voltage drop).
*Reliable
*POS factory fuses & poorly executed crimps MUST be replaced
*Voltage limited to 14.4V and non-adjustable (Trojan's & US Battery prefer higher charging voltages than 14.4V)
*WILL-NOT do float independently of the house bank. The manual lies and misleads owners to believe it will. It is simply a voltage follower and follows the house bank minus any voltage drop.
*All charge sources MUST be wired to the HOUSE bank if not already wired as such. This little tid bit can make an Echo or Duo charger cost a LOT more than an ACR installation.


ACR Pro's

*Bi-Directional - current can flow equally both ways
*Bi-directional voltage sensing - turns on when either bank is charged
*Significantly higher current capability
*Both banks are charged at the SAME voltage thus both banks reach absorption, float etc. at the same time.
*Impossible to have one bank with a higher voltage than the other for more than the first few seconds
*Extremely reliable
*Large studs (Blue Sea ACR's) allow MRBF bank fusing to be installed on ACR if close enough to bank
*Completely sealed/potted unit
*Better choice when owners decide to "alternate" house banks (this is not advised but people do it)
*Great choice for windlass or thruster banks (more available current)

ACR Con's

*Requires more expense because wiring is significantly larger gauge
*Requires more expensive fusing
*Not the best choice for mixing battery chemistry
*Requires running alt to house bank if banks are of unequal sizes
*Requires the "start isolation" feature to be wired if solar or other change sources exist





The Echo is very often the easiest to install but not necessarily always the best choice. I install boat loads of both B2B's and VSR's it just depends upon the application.
06-28-2013 01:51 AM
Alex W
Re: battery bank dual charger or triple charger?

I agree that the ACR is a simpler but not better solution than the Echo Charger. It also isn't that much cheaper ($146 vs $96 with no account at my local store).

The ACR works by combining all batteries together when there is a charge, but keeping them isolated when there is not.

The Echo Charger is a DC-DC charger that charges the starter battery from the house batteries. It only charges from the house batteries when they have >13v (so normally only when they are themselves charging).
06-27-2013 10:08 PM
LinekinBayCD
Re: battery bank dual charger or triple charger?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaduction View Post
The ACR is simply a switch that combines or disconnects 2 separate batteries or banks of batteries. If the ACR detects a certain charging voltage on 1 bank then it combines the other bank that it is connected to. It disconnects the banks when the voltage drops below a preset level. It cannot set a voltage for battery type; the charger must do that.
Does not sound like it is a better set up than an echo charger. I switch manually between banks based on which needs the charge. The ACR doesn't care. Seems like that could kill one battery or the other.
06-27-2013 08:04 PM
Seaduction
Re: battery bank dual charger or triple charger?

Quote:
Originally Posted by deniseO30 View Post
Seaduction, I got a "You do not have permission to view this album." on your link

I need to rewire my engine panel because the Amp meter is connected from the switch and then to the starter; a bad thing in the older Universal diesel panels.
Sorry, I posted some photos here on my profile page to sort of show what was generally done.
06-27-2013 07:23 PM
Seaduction
Re: battery bank dual charger or triple charger?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LinekinBayCD View Post
I'm not familiar with ACR's so I checked out Blue Seas website. If I'm understanding iwhat I read correctly, the ACR will not charge either battery optimally making the use of different battery types a problem? I thought that was one of the advantages of an echo charger system. Not sure what I'm missing here.
The ACR is simply a switch that combines or disconnects 2 separate batteries or banks of batteries. If the ACR detects a certain charging voltage on 1 bank then it combines the other bank that it is connected to. It disconnects the banks when the voltage drops below a preset level. It cannot set a voltage for battery type; the charger must do that.
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