Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Maine Coast
Thanked 365 Times in 285 Posts
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Re: Charge Controller Conundrum
Start with knowing your daily consumption and how long you want to be able to go between shore based or internal combustion based recharging events. A good system design is critical as is an understanding of DC systems. Read and continue to learn how these devices work & how they should be wired together before you go spending money.
The battery wiring and switching and charging are all part of the "foundation" that you build upon. Without a solid foundation the house falls down.
It seems you have two banks. Most boats do have two banks house & start and many boats have solar. For your configuration one solar controller is all that is necessary. The solar, alternator, shore charger, wind etc. will all feed the house bank and the start battery is fed, via the house bank, by a charge management devices such as an ACR/Combiner/Voltage Sensing Relay, an Echo type charger or a "battery to battery" charger. Diode isolators are a poor choice today especially with alternative energy systems.
You need to draw the foundation, which includes bank wiring, wire gauges, busbars, over current protection, always on load bus, switched load bus, battery switching and negative distribution bus etc. etc.. From here you can then move to charge sources and ultimately the rest of the DC system design.
There are plenty of good charge controllers out there, Morningstar, Genasun, Victron, Midnite, Blue Sky, Western etc. but you need the foundation laid out before you begin purchasing products.
-Maine Sail / CS-36T
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Last edited by Maine Sail; 09-24-2016 at 05:08 PM.