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Automatic Charging Relay (ACR) and Dual Bank Battery charger-gctid372794

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    Automatic Charging Relay (ACR) and Dual Bank Battery charger-gctid372794

    I have two battery banks: a house bank of 250 Amp/hours and a single starting battery. Recently I installed Automatic Charging Relay (ACR) from Blue Sea Systems (http://bluesea.com/category/78/79/pr...e/overview/387), which automatically combines two batteries when it senses a charging voltage to either one of the batteries.

    I connected the ACR following recommendations from Rick (2850Bounty) and everything seems to be working correctly:

    http://www.baylinerownersclub.org/fo...and-Alternator

    I also have a dual bank battery charger (on the AC shore power) and I'm concerned if it interferes with the ACR. More specifically, when the battery charger is on, the ACR combines the batteries just as if the Battery Selector Switch is in "both" position. My Bayliner's manual specifically does not recommend charging batteries in this manner, saying that "batteries may not charge properly". I don't remember brand/model of my battery charger but it is the stock one that came with the boat (2000 Bayliner 2455 LX).

    At the same time, Blue Sea Systems wrote an article on the matter:

    http://bluesea.com/viewresource/503

    They say that using the ACR with a dual bank battery charger is OK if the charger is "single-program" and not OK if the charger is "multi-program". In the second case they recommend installing a relay which turns off the ACR when the battery charger is powered.

    Please help me understand if using the ACR with my battery charger is safe:

    1. How do I determine for sure if my battery charger is single-program or dual program?

    2. Assuming that my battery charger is single-program (which I suspect it to be), is it really safe to use it with the ACR as Blue Sea Systems claims it to be? What are the potential dangers that I'm facing and how it can affect life of my batteries?

    Thanks!

    #2
    Would need to know your charger to determine the answer. That said, it is most likely what you are calling a "single program" charger. Even with multiple bank charging, these chargers can be set for only one type of battery chemistry at a time. So, if you set it for a flooded cell battery, all banks (outputs) are set to that type battery. This type of charger does NOT allow you to use different battery chemistries at the same time, such as flooded cell (your standard lead-acid battery, both starting and deep-cycle) and AGM. Were you to use different types of batteries, you would need a charger that could be set to a separate chemistry for each bank. These are not as common, and certainly more expensive.

    All that being said, if you have a single program (all batteries the same chemistry) charger, then you do not need to worry about the combiner. It only becomes a problem when you mix battery types, and have the proper charger to do so, because different chemistries have slightly different voltages, and this can confuse the combiner when the charger is trying to apply these voltages to different battery banks & types. In this instance, it is recommended to disable the combiner while using the battery charger on two different type batteries.

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks Scott! Will look up the charger model as soon as I get to the boat. Honestly, I never really looked into what charger I have. I only know it is a "smart charger" type. I highly doubt that I have a multi-program charger as it is a stock one. I only used flooded cell batteries and didn't mess with the charger.

      What if batteries are the same type but different capacities. Would a single-program charger still charge them properly?

      Comment


        #4
        I stopped by the boat and I have ProMariner Flyback 10-3 charger.

        Comment


          #5
          paradise wrote:


          What if batteries are the same type but different capacities. Would a single-program charger still charge them properly?
          If the charger is equipped for two banks, and if it is connected correctly, and if the battery chemistry is the same......, it will sense each bank independantly and adjust the charge rate accordingly.

          The bank capacity will not make any difference.

          Are you asking if an ACR or VSR will affect this?

          .
          Rick E. Gresham, Oregon
          2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
          Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
          Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
          Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

          Comment


            #6
            When the combiner kicks in you are essentially connecting both charger outputs together (in parallel). It really depends on the charger circuitry. It could cause a problem. The best way to find out is to contact the charger customer service by email. Tell them what you have and ask if itÔÇÖs a problem.

            Most ACRÔÇÖs have a control wire that allows you to install a switch to shut them off. You can do this manually or install a relay on the shore power to automatically disconnect the ACR when shore power is plugged in.

            A simpler solution is to disconnect one of the charger outputs (probably the one to the starting battery) and let the ACR combine the batteries on shore power. For the most part the starting battery is pretty much always at full charge anyway so most of the current out of the charger will be going into the house bank and the trickle into the starting battery will keep it at float charge.

            Comment


              #7
              lolar3288 wrote:
              .......... A simpler solution is to disconnect one of the charger outputs (probably the one to the starting battery) and let the ACR combine the batteries on shore power. For the most part the starting battery is pretty much always at full charge anyway so most of the current out of the charger will be going into the house bank and the trickle into the starting battery will keep it at float charge.
              Now that makes good sense.

              Larry, I may do something similar, if not identical.

              My Freedom series Inv/chrg second charge output has quit working.

              The main HLBB output is working just fine.

              The unit is no longer under warrantee, or I'd send it in for repair.... and I may even still do so.

              If I use an ACR/VSR, I'm thinking that I'll gain a benefit in both areas.

              Both engine alternators will now charge the HLBB while under way.

              And if I'm thinking correctly, the O/B charger for the HLBB, will now also charge my Port Engine battery.

              Do you see any conflicts with this???

              .
              Rick E. Gresham, Oregon
              2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
              Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
              Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
              Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

              Comment


                #8
                aa I don't see a problem with what you suggest but I would disconnect the non-functioning second charger output just for safety sake. When you have non-functioning circuitry it could short out internally and cause problems.

                I don't use a separate battery charger. I just use the inverter/charger as the charge system in my freedom 3000 is far better than most stand alone chargers and it can output up to 125 amps (not that I ever charge at that rate for more than a couple of minutes, usually after a day or so at anchor using the generator).

                I have two banks. My house bank is 500 ah and a size 31 starting battery. The combiner keeps the starting battery fresh when I'm on shore power or generator and charging through the inverter/charger. When underway, the twin alternators are for the most part charging the house bank via the combiner as the starting battery is topped up in the first few minutes after starting.

                No problems for the last 6 years!

                My personal opinion is the best system uses a single output charger (or inverter charger) and a combiner for the best of all worlds.

                2850Bounty wrote:
                Now that makes good sense.

                Larry, I may do something similar, if not identical.

                My Freedom series Inv/chrg second charge output has quit working.

                The main HLBB output is working just fine.

                The unit is no longer under warrantee, or I'd send it in for repair.... and I may even still do so.

                If I use an ACR/VSR, I'm thinking that I'll gain a benefit in both areas.

                Both engine alternators will now charge the HLBB while under way.

                And if I'm thinking correctly, the O/B charger for the HLBB, will now also charge my Port Engine battery.

                Do you see any conflicts with this???

                .

                Comment


                  #9
                  Thanks, Larry. That is what I've been considering doing.

                  And yes, the non-functioning charge output has been abandoned.

                  Can you make a recommendation for an ACR or VSR?

                  I'm thinking Blue Sea ML Series 7622 as per our Jim McNeely.

                  .
                  Rick E. Gresham, Oregon
                  2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
                  Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
                  Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
                  Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

                  Comment


                    #10
                    2850Bounty wrote:
                    If the charger is equipped for two banks, and if it is connected correctly, and if the battery chemistry is the same......, it will sense each bank independantly and adjust the charge rate accordingly.

                    The bank capacity will not make any difference.

                    Are you asking if an ACR or VSR will affect this?
                    Exactly. I have an ACR which combines the batteries when charging and I'm trying to figure out if it would affect the charging.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I agree with Larry. An automatic charging relay will work just fine and you don't have to think about it. The other option is a simple systems parallel switch between the starting main and the auxiliary main. That is my preference but only because that's what I'm used to.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        For us who are considering adding the ACR for the purpose that I mention, this would be a good read.

                        http://bluesea.com/viewresource/503

                        Note the portion about; The starting battery may remain in the absorption stage longer than it might need to while the house batteries are being fully charged. If the charging profile is not too aggressive, no damage will occur to the battery bank.

                        That was one of my concerns, but it sounds like it's doable.

                        .
                        Rick E. Gresham, Oregon
                        2850 Bounty Sedan Flybridge model
                        Twin 280 HP 5.7's w/ Closed Cooling
                        Volvo Penta DuoProp Drives
                        Kohler 4 CZ Gen Set

                        Comment


                          #13
                          2850Bounty wrote:
                          For us who are considering adding the ACR for the purpose that I mention, this would be a good read.

                          http://bluesea.com/viewresource/503

                          Note the portion about; [COLOR]"#0000FF" wrote:
                          The starting battery may remain in the absorption stage longer than it might need to while the house batteries are being fully charged. If the charging profile is not too aggressive, no damage will occur to the battery bank. [/COLOR]

                          That was one of my concerns, but it sounds like it's doable. .
                          He has the older Flyback 10-3 which doesn't have that sophisticated of charging stages.

                          FYI Paradise, Promariner has a upgrade program.

                          http://promariner.com/images/Product...ence_Chart.pdf

                          I took advantage of it and replaced my old Flyback 20-3 that was kaput when I bought my boat with a Promariner Pronautic 1240i. I love that charger, but I use 2 of the 3 bank charging posts. I don't have an ACR. I think if you continue to use the ACR for charging while underway, which is a nice feature, it would be wise to somehow take it out of the equation while charging on shore power.

                          Best of luck.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Paradise

                            The ACR you chose has a Start Isolation feature. You could do as suggested and install a relay powered by the shore power to send a control signal to the Start Isolation to shut down the ACR while you are connected to shore power. Even more specifically you could power the relay from the AC to the battery charger.

                            I have the Bluesea 7622 ACRs and these have remote switching. These can be set to be ON , OFF or set to run in AUTOMATIC mode. When we are out cruising I set them to AUTO. When we dock I switch them OFF.
                            Jim McNeely
                            New Hope a 2004 Bayliner 305 Sunbridge Express Cruiser
                            Twin 5.7s with Bravo2 drives
                            Brighton, Michigan USA
                            MMSI # 367393410

                            Comment


                              #15
                              2850Bounty wrote:
                              Thanks, Larry. That is what I've been considering doing.

                              And yes, the non-functioning charge output has been abandoned.

                              Can you make a recommendation for an ACR or VSR?

                              I'm thinking Blue Sea ML Series 7622 as per our Jim McNeely.

                              .
                              Sorry Rick...I didn't see this and have been away awhile.

                              I know Blue Seas are good. I used Yandina and it's been fine for 4 years.

                              http://www.yandina.com/index.htm

                              Comment

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