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Beneteau 393
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Hi Folks

I am thinking of buying a Xantrex Echo Charger to charge my Start Battery off my house bank instead of charging it via the engine alternator.

I have read the owners manual.

Currently my Start Battery is connected to the alternator via the internal regulator.

Do I disconnect the Starter battery Positive Red lead from alternator?
So when the engine is on all the alternator output is going only, and directly to the house bank?


Thanks.


Mark
 

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Hi Folks

I am thinking of buying a Xantrex Echo Charger to charge my Start Battery off my house bank instead of charging it via the engine alternator.

I have read the owners manual.

Currently my Start Battery is connected to the alternator via the internal regulator.

Do I disconnect the Starter battery Positive Red lead from alternator?
So when the engine is on all the alternator output is going only, and directly to the house bank?

I can send you the wire diagram if you wish.

The regulator energizes the alternator field to produce amps... You should have a smart regulator which will manage the alternator out to match batts' needs (house bank).

Thanks.

Mark
Start battery has to be connected to starter thru a switch. Blue seas sells a combiner switch... it is essentially an on off start batt... and on off for the house bank and a combiner so they you can use the house to start with.

I think you are making a smart decision. Your charging sources charge the house and the house trickle charges the start batt.
 

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Are you implying that you currently have leads from both the start battery and the house bank connected to the alternator? If so, this needs to change.

I also think a combiner would be a better solution for you, particularly if you are keeping an internally-regulated alternator.

If you go with the echo charge, then your alternator output would go directly (and only) to your house bank, and the echo charge would sit between the house and start batteries.

The reason the combiner is better (assuming internally-regulated alternator) is because the echo charge drops voltage between the two banks. An internally-regulated alternator is already struggling to reach adequate charge voltage on the bank it is connected to - depending on battery type.

Mark
 

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Yes if alternator output is to be a significant charge source

get your alt output wired direct to House.

Properly sized wire and robust connections to minimize any voltage drop.

Measure voltage of that output at the House bank. If that is not within your House bank batt mfg spec, you need to fix that, try to get voltage output up to the high end of the spec range.

If a 1/2 volt drop between there and Starter is still within or very close to mfg spec for that batt

then Echo Charge will be fine.

A different ACR would be better if you need that bit extra higher voltage, or if you want to be able to self-jumpstart the engine from House.
 

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I will echo the points in this thread that I agree with;

  • Alternator output should go directly to the house (larger) battery bank positive terminal
  • House bank positive terminal should be connected through a switch to the starter and the main DC panel
  • Start battery positive terminal should be connected through a switch to the starter
  • The Echo Charge's RED wire should go through a fuse to the House bank positive
  • The Echo Charge's RED/WHITE striped wire should go through a fuse to the Start battery positive
  • All negative terminals should be connected to the negative bus
  • All wiring should be of adequate gauge for the length and load of the circuit.
 

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Hi Folks

I am thinking of buying a Xantrex Echo Charger to charge my Start Battery off my house bank instead of charging it via the engine alternator.
The Echo Charger is a one way device from HOUSE to START bank. Charge sources need to be fed to house so the Echo Charger can charge start from house. An ACR/Combiner/VSR is a bi-directional paralleling relay but an Echo Charger is not bi-directional.

Unfortunately many, but not all Beneteau's, have a bussed switch system where by HOUSE and START switches are permanently bussed together on the load side of the switches. Any time both red switches are turned ON both battery banks are in parallel. Many owners are unaware of this wiring scenario. If your boat has this wiring it is best to correct this issue.

Here is what it looks like and the issues, if your boat has this wiring scenario..
Link to full size image: http://www.pbase.com/mainecruising/image/166823461/original.jpg



Currently my Start Battery is connected to the alternator via the internal regulator.
If it is and you want to use an Echo Charger then you'll need to do a minor re-wire..

Do I disconnect the Starter battery Positive Red lead from alternator?
So when the engine is on all the alternator output is going only, and directly to the house bank?
If the alt has its own dedicated feed to the start battery, separate from the starter cable, then yes you can do this. If however your alt shares the same feed as the starter cable you'll need to run a new dedicated alternator wire.

The diagram below (drawn for a customer of mine) corrects for the Beneteau bussed switch system and adds alternator to house bank wiring plus an emergency parallel (the old negative switch), dedicated start and house banks, full isolation of each bank and full cross over and an ACR etc...

 

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Beneteau 393
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The Echo Charger is a one way device from HOUSE to START bank. Charge sources need to be fed to house so the Echo Charger can charge start from house. An ACR/Combiner/VSR is a bi-directional paralleling relay but an Echo Charger is not bi-directional.

If it is and you want to use an Echo Charger then you'll need to do a minor re-wire..
Thanks for the excellent advice and the drawings. I'll save them to the big computer and study them.

My main charging source is my solar panels and wind generator. Like most cruising boats.

It's very rare for me to need to change by the alternator. So at anchor or in a marina my engine will not ever be started.

So the Echo Charger can take the Solar power and trickle charge the starter battery when the house bank is full?

Mark
 

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So the Echo Charger can take the Solar power and trickle charge the starter battery when the house bank is full?

Mark
The Echo Charger input (solid red wire) must be connected to the house bank and feed/charge the start bank (red wire with white or yellow trace).

The Echo Charger turns ON automatically any time the house bank voltage exceeds 13.0V

The Echo Charger turns OFF automatically any time the house bank voltage drops below 13.0V

The Echo Charger is limited to a max of 14.4V to the start battery though it has some inherent voltage drop and you'll likely never see 14.4V being fed to the start battery.

The Echo Charger has a maximum output current of 15A to the start battery though you'll likely never see this either.
 

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Thanks for the excellent advice and the drawings. I'll save them to the big computer and study them.

My main charging source is my solar panels and wind generator. Like most cruising boats.

It's very rare for me to need to change by the alternator. So at anchor or in a marina my engine will not ever be started.

So the Echo Charger can take the Solar power and trickle charge the starter battery when the house bank is full?

Mark
absolutely... ALL charging sources are charging the HOUSE bank... house bank via the Echo charges the Start Batt. Here's my diagram to add to the others... You'll have regulators for each charging source (not shown)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The Echo Charger input (solid red wire) must be connected to the house bank and feed/charge the start bank (red wire with white or yellow trace).

The Echo Charger turns ON automatically any time the house bank voltage exceeds 13.0V

The Echo Charger turns OFF automatically any time the house bank voltage drops below 13.0V

The Echo Charger is limited to a max of 14.4V to the start battery though it has some inherent voltage drop and you'll likely never see 14.4V being fed to the start battery.

The Echo Charger has a maximum output current of 15A to the start battery though you'll likely never see this either.
Excellent!

That's exactly what I want.

The minor re-wiring (which I will get a professional to do) will remove a lot of beneteau/Sunsail stuff I don't like: a solenoid, weird writing and some relays (attached) that I have not idea what they do.
 

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Each of those two relays simply completes the circuit between the blue and brown wire. Do you have any idea what the blue and brown wires do? They appear to be 12 gauge (or smaller) wires connected to 30 A relays.
 

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Each of those two relays simply completes the circuit between the blue and brown wire. Do you have any idea what the blue and brown wires do? They appear to be 12 gauge (or smaller) wires connected to 30 A relays.
guess: those wires are connected to the key switch...

You do need to clean this up...
 

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Beneteau 393
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Do you have any idea what the blue and brown wires do?
No.

That's kinda the fricken point.

I want a system I understand. That simple. Fixable etc.

I have owned the boat for 10 years so it's not like they are an acute problem. But I am sure I get chronic loss both in the wiring and battery loss. So I want fewest connections, wires, boxes, etc.

So if the Echo Charger can simplify my set-up it's very, very worthwhile. ☺?☺

That's why I am very thankful for people's input ☺
 

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Mark..

Beneteau electric 12v should be no different from any other boat.

I have over time including one major re wire redone all the OEM stuff:

new alternator - high output - new adjuster bracket heavier
new smart external regulator Balmar 614 now
added electric monitor... now Link20
added solar w/ regulator
changed to 8D AGMs with new plywood batt box
new wiring and cables for 12v mains
new fuses 100amp
new battery switch

I have produced a series of wiring diagrams... I attached one previously

This IS a lot of work and expense.

Start with the right batt switch, upgrade wiring and batts if need be. Add the echo charge.

A high output alternator works for me because I don't use shore power or wind or a gen set or a lot of solar and my refer is engine drive so I am running it anyway... might as well make a lot of amps.

Do you have a circuit diagram for your boat? If so start there. If not.. make one.
 

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If it helps, this is MY boat's engine wiring diagram;


I strongly believe that every boat should have a diagram like this... and maintain it as a living document.

Note that I have an Echo Charger installed, and I have wired it to the back of the "1-both-2-off" battery switch.
 

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Mark..

Beneteau electric 12v should be no different from any other boat.

I have over time including one major re wire redone all the OEM stuff:

new alternator - high output - new adjuster bracket heavier
new smart external regulator Balmar 614 now
added electric monitor... now Link20
added solar w/ regulator
changed to 8D AGMs with new plywood batt box
new wiring and cables for 12v mains
new fuses 100amp
new battery switch

I have produced a series of wiring diagrams... I attached one previously

This IS a lot of work and expense.

Start with the right batt switch, upgrade wiring and batts if need be. Add the echo charge.

A high output alternator works for me because I don't use shore power or wind or a gen set or a lot of solar and my refer is engine drive so I am running it anyway... might as well make a lot of amps.

Do you have a circuit diagram for your boat? If so start there. If not.. make one.
Mine looks almost identical to yours except I have 6-6volt AGM
Great idea making a diagram as a living document of not only the battery charging connections but also of you panel
When I did my complete rewire it was way wY easier to do it from jump, and using it to trace flows made it easier to
Wiork on the project. Now if there's a glitch or issue it's easy to use the diagram to think and point
Agree with Mark too....simple for this stuff is better
After reading lots of Maine's threads and how to stuff it is important to match batteries, charging capacities , temp
Monitors with alternator charging . Along with an external regulator. You can waste a lot of needless money if
You don't match this stuff. You can fix for a couple years or have a long term plan

Also important here is proper care of your batteries, ie equalizing, desulfating and how to "train" them to carry the fullest charge so you don't program a Battery unwittingly to only max at 85% because you don't charge it fully time after time. To me this is the most neglected part of my friends electrical systems. Many of them moan or comp,ain't that they go through batteries every few years. They have generators, solar, and wind re charging and alternators, as well as shore power. In almost every case they have just ignored or never took the time to understand the concepts here. Yes I argue with them, you can spend more money, time and sweat replacing batteries, or maybe just understand what they have to do to prevent them from happening.

It's not rocket science....but it is science. We are lucky as Maine has given I fo and primers on making it easier for us.
 

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If it helps, this is MY boat's engine wiring diagram;

I strongly believe that every boat should have a diagram like this... and maintain it as a living document.
.
What did you use to make this diagram? it looks great and I'm wondering if its just MS Word or a purpose built electrical diagram software.
 
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