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Best Way to Charge House Battery Bank

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by DOCKMASTER, Nov 25, 2019.

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  1. DOCKMASTER

    DOCKMASTER Senior Member

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    I already own 2(ea) Sterling 24v to 12v battery to battery chargers rated at 50 amp output on the 12v side. I installed these previously to charge dedicated 12v batteries running the DDEC stuff on my old Detriot's. These worked well. Looks like a simple option is to install these again and use them as a source to charge the house bank now that I no longer need the DDEC batteries. This way the power coming into the 24v batteries is from either a/c fed charger or engine alternators. I was considering this option already but wanted to explore all options. All the input is very much appreciated.
  2. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I'm talking about a Battery isolator, that allows 24 volts in, then it has 2 leads for 24 volt out, and 1 for 12 volt out. So must have a diode or something for the 12 volt out lead.
  3. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Please review #19 above. It's an isolator or a dc to dc converter. Think of a diode (isolator) as a one way electric check valve (one way, not the other). Same voltage only (less v drop for the diode). There are NO voltage dividers in this design.
    Diodes are cheap and have a voltage drop, designs improve from here.
    DC to DC converters are rather expensive (current = bux).
    Please review #19 above again. I feel your thinking of a DC to DC converter.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2019
  4. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    It is sold as a battery isolator. It looks like a battery isolator. The one I was familiar with has 2-24 volt leads and 1-12 volt lead.
  5. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Now, There is a dual relay system on Oceans and others. They engage to provide 24V to the mains starters, all else, the batteries are dual 12v banks.
    What a cluster Frak.
  6. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    Please send me a pic or schematic. We are all (me too) here to learn new stuff.
  7. Capt J

    Capt J Senior Member

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    I'm familiar with those bronze coffee can looking battery combiners ocean used. LOLOLOL

    I'm trying to figure out which brand and model the isolator is. Unfortunately, I know the current owner of the boat it is on, but don't work on the boat and don't want to hassle him trying to get him to find it and take a picture. If I come across which brand it is, I'll post it. It was on a 2018 62' Princess F. But the 2019 62' I ran, doesn't have it or the captain couldn't find it. It had a mastervolt 24 volt charger, they sent a single lead from there to the isolator then the engine battery was on lead 1(24 volt), house battery on lead 2 (24volt) and the generator battery on lead 3 (labelled 12 volt). It may have been made by mastervolt also, but I cannot remember for sure and their website is so poor you can't even find out.
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2019
  8. d_meister

    d_meister Senior Member

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    I think the "coffee cans" are actually serial/parallel relays, and the isolators you may be referring to are battery combiners like THESE. It gets confusing when manufacturers can't agree on a common product description, and it is worse in electrical products. Trying to find the serial/parallel relays on Google is a real challenge if you don't know the magic term. Nothing else will get you anywhere close (don't ask how I know :( )
    Anyway, Capt J is right about battery combiners being the best solution, since multiple charging sources can be tied to a battery. The devices sense charging current availability and route it from the source to the battery.
    I think avoiding a single point of failure with redundancy may be beyond the space limitations on the boat, though. That's mostly because of the size of cables involved. With big cables come big switches and circuit protection, not to mention minimum cable radius.
    In terms of the 12 volt supply to electronics goes, a dedicated battery is a must, charged by an AC powered battery charger, with a battery combiner tie in to the gen battery. With that, if the battery charger dies, the gen battery/alternator will keep things going, if the gen has an on'board alternator. Some don't. A good sized alternator charging external needs on an alternator could also play hell with the RPM, therefore AC frequency. A switched battery combiner tied to one of the 12 volt batteries in a 24 volt bank could be used as an emergency charging source, too. Ultimately, I think that the issue of fail-safe engineering will result in too much space demand and then require monitoring or alarm systems. Without monitoring a chain of redundancy, you will still end up with a single-point failure scenario. Ultimately, a good quality, long set of jumper cables could get you home.

    Edit forgot to include link for serial/parallel relays
  9. Oscarvan

    Oscarvan Senior Member

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    Always carry a few spools of 4 guage or heavier wire, wire terminals and the WHACK crimping tool. Have made some impromptu wiring changes over the year which, indeed, got us home.
  10. Capt Ralph

    Capt Ralph Senior Member

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    http://www.texasindustrialelectric.com/relays_1119844.asp
    The coffee cans are what I was meaning in #25 above.
    It will not work for the OP as he is set up. His mains and chargers (& main alternators) are already 24V.
    These relays are system fakers that drive 24V starters only and all else is 12Vdc.

    There are no diodes or electronics inside. It just changes a 2 battery bank from parallel (12V) to serial (24V) while starting a main engine.
    When the engine starts and is running it reverts back to an all 12V system.
  11. cleanslate

    cleanslate Senior Member

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    My head hurts...