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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance > battery charger
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Thread: battery charger Reply to Thread
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Topic Review (Newest First)
10-25-2007 10:05 PM
jackytdunaway TB, Dawg and Cam, thanks for clearing that up. i am about to install a TC-40+ and the above had me worried for a few.
10-25-2007 10:52 AM
camaraderie Ditto that TB and Dawg. I would fault either the installation/improper wiring and or lack of use in a marine environment as the likely cause. Of course, any product can fail or be defective, but there is simply NO evidence of a widespread problem AND it is unreasonable to expect a marine vendor to make good on a product that is 300% past its' warranty period...though at every boat show there are people that seem to feel embarrassment will get them something the are not otherwise entitled to. Unlike boat shows...this forum can't be used like a backpack to foist unsupported claims on the readership.

We have used Heart and Xantrex products for several DECADES without any problems and they consistently garner high marks from cruisers (SSCA) and magazines and also provide a high level of technical support that many other marine vendors would do well to emulate.
I highly recommend them as a quality supplier.
10-25-2007 09:51 AM
sailingdog Another part of the problem could be that the lack of use accellerated the corrosion of the internal parts on the Xantrex. Using a charger will generally allow the electronics to heat up and force out a lot of the residual moisture that may otherwise sit inside the case/housing. Letting it sit for the better part of three years probably wasn't very good for it.
10-25-2007 08:29 AM
TrueBlue jenry,
I have had a Truecharge 40+ on my boat for three seasons - which I installed after performing exhausting research on every charger on the market. This is the top rated charger for it's intended purpose.

Your claim is the first I have heard on this unit. Just did a quick internet search for any similar reports and could not find one report of burned units. It would be my educated guess that your husband installed it incorrectly.
10-25-2007 07:41 AM
jenry
Before purchasing a Xantrex - read this!

We purchased the Xantrex truecharge 40 amp for our sailboat. After having it for approximately 3 years and using it only a few times, we charged two batteries and the thing burned up. Our 33' sailboat could have easily burned down! We contacted Xantrex and they put us on hold for so long that I hung up and emailed them. It took them about 2 weeks to respond. Basically they said it was out of warranty but they would replace it at a 40% discount. Not good enough. We went to the Annapolis boat show recently and my husband had the battery charger dangling outside of his backpack with "Lemon" written on it, right below the burn markings. Numerous people came up to us and said they had similar experiences. We decided we'd cut our losses ($460.00 new) and even if they GAVE us another one, we wouldn't take it - our boat is worth a lot more than that! Please look into another charger.
08-22-2007 12:39 PM
stoutwench Seamyst

WOW, Good advise from everyone, BUT you have not stated the primary charging source.

You wrote: "I also have on genset for 110vt power." Will that be your primary or will shore power?

If you will be in a marina hooked to shore power every night, a Xantrex 20 is sufficient. You will be plugged in for 12+ hours overnight and that is sufficient time to charge your bank.

However, if you will be on the hook and using a generator, like a Honda 2000, the 20amp charger is not sufficient. The Xantrex 40 is the minimum. What will be the primary charging source and what other charging sources (wind, solar, generator) will you be using?

Roger
08-22-2007 11:33 AM
btrayfors Yes, the house battery switch in the "both" positions works well. Mine has been in this configuration for many years. However, be SURE you have very good clean and tight connections and that all cabling is LARGE.

The Iota's are the best buy on the market. They are serious technology from folks who make chargers for many other suppliers.

When you add a separate starting battery, you'll need a way to charge it when at the dock. Batteries go bad chiefly because of failure to keep them FULLY charged at all times. Have a look at the EchoCharge device...it's good technology and well worth the money. There's another very similar device...I forget the name...which also has a good track record.

Your alternator should be connected to the HOUSE bank, not the starting bank. Starting batteries require very little charging...they put out a lot of amps but only for a few seconds, with a total AH draw which is usually very small....alternators are typically way underused. The work for the first few minutes restoring the amps used for motor starting, then idle along the rest of the time. Makes much more sense on a cruising boat to use the alternator for charging the house batteries (especially with an external smart regulator which will get the most from your alternator), and use just a bit of the charging capacity to maintain the starting battery via an EchoCharge-like device.

Good luck,

Bill
08-22-2007 11:21 AM
seamyst Thanks, for all the help. I like the idea of using the selector switch to combine banks ans have total of 300 hrs. I'll add another battery for starting engine as it was part of the bank. I am looking at the IOTA chargers, and they seem to only charge one bank. So a starter battery on it's own will make sense, and have it charge by alternator.
08-22-2007 11:09 AM
btrayfors Seamyst,

Your questions have been asked and answered. To recap:

1. You need approx 40-60A battery charging capacity for a total bank of 300AH.

2. You did the right thing, IMHO, by using smaller batteries which won't break your back. HOWEVER, you need to be sure that they are connected together with LARGE wires -- 2/0 is my preference -- and, if possible, connect them together and use them as a single large battery bank rather than two separate banks. This is preferable for several reasons which have been discussed here and elsewhere. You can do this either by wiring them together directly, or using a 1-BOTH-2 switch and leaving it in the BOTH position.

You didn't mention a starting battery. I assume you have one and that it is independent of the house batteries, as it should be, and that it is switched separately (i.e., not connected to the selector switch for the house batteries).

The preferred way to treat such a system these days is to hook all charging sources -- battery charger, alternator, generator, solar panels, etc. -- directly to the HOUSE battery bank, and to maintain the starting battery separately using a device like the Xantrex Echocharge. This works very well.

Bill
08-22-2007 10:37 AM
SEMIJim
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paysay View Post
Cam, he has four group 24 batteries the way I read it.
That's the way I read it. He goes on to say "for 150 hrs each." 150AH would be right for two g24's. So he's got a total of 300AH, between the two banks, it seems.

Jim
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