autoswitch wiring

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autoswitch wiring

Postby ghmarina on Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:30 am

I have a customer with 2 autoswitches that have been wired with the alternator's output to one side of each and the "loads" to the opposite side; a jumper has been installed between both load terminals. One switch is set for "time", the other to "load/cont." There is no mention in the instructions that this is appropriate, as the alternators are not tied directly to the batteries or loads. There are 12 batteries in 4 banks: 2 start, 1 house, and 1 inverter. There is a separate combiner to charge the inverter bank underway, tied to the house batteries. It seems that all batteries are tied together when a charge is present, overcharging some and undercharging the others. Any information would be helpful. They are all lead/acid batteries. Thanks!
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Re: autoswitch wiring

Postby Coulomb on Wed Jul 28, 2010 11:12 am

The system you're working on is best described by 'nightmare'.

First, the best system is the simplest, with a single starter battery used by all the engines, and a single house bank, from which the inverter gets power. The alternator should be connected directly to the house battery without any intervening switches, breakers, relays, etc. Nothing except power for the starter should be taken from the starter battery -- nothing else!

You'll never get the system to work very well as it is. Maybe the AutoSwitch set to time connects the house and starter battery when charging, but then opens after the preset time to prevent overcharging. That would be appropriate. Maybe the other one cross charges the inverter battery. That's OK, except the inverter battery is not a good idea.

Good luck sorting things out. Maybe it's time your customer decided to configure the system as mentioned above.
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Re: autoswitch wiring

Postby ghmarina on Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:24 pm

In order to sense loads on house bank, I would need to relocate the field wire also and "switch" it with a relay or hobbs switch. This would require one engine's alternator to be dedicated to the house bank. Could I use the auto switch to then charge the start battery? Would the time or continuous setting be a better fit? Thanks for your input!
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Re: autoswitch wiring

Postby Coulomb on Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:25 pm

I don't know enough about the system, but shifting a field wire doesn't seem like a solution.

Is there two engines? How many regulators?
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Re: autoswitch wiring

Postby ghmarina on Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:30 pm

Twin engine, stock regulators & 100amp alternators,
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Re: autoswitch wiring

Postby Coulomb on Wed Jul 28, 2010 6:22 pm

A real nightmare.

You can't effectively charge the same battery with two different alternator/regulators. See: http://www.amplepower.com/primer/twoeng/index.html.

Why waste a 100 Amp alternator on a starter battery that would be happy with a 10 Amp one? Why not direct all the charge at the house bank?

Please read the Primer here: http://www.amplepower.com/primer/prefer/index.html. This boat definitely needs an update of it's charging system. A Smart Alternator Regulator, V3, with a Dual Alternator Controller and externally regulated alternators would put a smile on the owners face.
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