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Battery xcharging - Mooring

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Alastair Pugh View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Alastair Pugh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Battery xcharging - Mooring
    Posted: 18 Mar 2011 at 9:09am
I fitted the cheapest of the Stirling regulators to my 2GM with 35amp alternator last year.  What a difference!  Before, the batteries (2x110Ah) never seemed to be fully charged, even after days of motoring, whereas with the regulator it takes very little to keep them in the nearly 13v (voltmeter doesn't allow better resolution) range.  I too am on a swinging mooring and have an Aerogen lurking in my garage waiting to be fitted but after last year's success it looks like it's in there for another year.  12 hour night sails with radio, instruments, ST2000, LED tricolour, Navtex, computer (screen off mostly) take one battery down to the instrument glitch stage but an hour or so of engine puts it all back.
The fitting instructions are clear enough to take the worry out of adding the extra wire to the alternator and it gives you a chance to see how much brushes are left!
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Nyaminyami View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Nyaminyami Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 2011 at 10:23am
Thanks Alastair: very helpful
What isolator did you use?
 
Simon
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George Isted View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote George Isted Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 2011 at 12:33pm

Hi Simon,

To answer your question I would need to head down to the boat and check but from memory it is the Digital Advanced Alternator Regulator, it was fitted by the previous owner and works really well.  You are correct that there is a little wiring to do on the Alternator to bypass the standard regulator.  I do not have a battery isolator but a standard 1,2,both,off battery switch that is generally set to both.  The batteries are 2 x Numax 110Amp/hr, they are called sealed batteries but it only takes a second to open up the top and check the electrolyte level - this is very important if you care fitting a separate high-power regulator. 

 

For information I do not advise others to leave your batter selector set to two, I do it because I know (and practice yearly) that I can start the 2GM20 engine by hand if necessary.  Having the selector switch set to both gives me a capacity of approx 110 a/hr assuming I discharge no more than 50%.

 

For ease of maintenance while cruising I have the regulator set to Gel type batteries even though I have standard wet lead-acid as this means that it initially charges at 14.4V, this is just under the point where they start gassing, once the bulk of the charge has gone in the voltage drops to a high 13.somthing and finally to a low 13.somthing as a leveler/maintenance charge.

 

If you set the regulator to wet cell lead/acid then it will do the initial bulk charge at a slightly higher voltage (14.6?) that will punch more amps in over a shorter period but will also result in some electrolyte loss that has to be topped up. 

 

When I leave for the Azab my plan is to turn up the wick (so to speak) and set the regulator to wet lead/acid so that I run the engine less while offshore.

 

I hope the above makes sense, there are two links below that are worth a read...

 

http://www.sterling-power.com/support-faq-1.htm

 

and

 

http://www.sterling-power.com/support-faq-2.htm

 

Information I have read elsewhere supports what Mr Stirling has written above but the above pulls the subject together well.

 

Hope this helps.

George Isted
Contessa 32 "Concerto"
Co32 Class Captain and Measurer.
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Nyaminyami View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Nyaminyami Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 2011 at 3:03pm
Thanks George: super reply. Will get reading.
Simon
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Wisdish View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wisdish Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18 Mar 2011 at 9:21pm
Another website that is worth a look if you want to get into the technicalities is www.smartgauge.co.uk. They appear to have moved on the technology of charging to another level by tying their charger (their Smartbank) into a monitoring system (their SmartGauge) that more accurately assesses the charge level of the batteries using Peukerts Law. The more accurately you can monitor the state of charge of the batteries the more accurately you can charge them.

We are fitting the SmartGauge this refit, but budgetary limitations mean that we will stick with our Mastervolt three stage charger  for present.

Note that Smartgauge has now been taken over by Merlin Power, but the original website has better technical info.
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Alastair Pugh View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Alastair Pugh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar 2011 at 9:46am
I'm another without an isolator - just switches.  Both for starting and one only when sailing.  I have a VSR on my wish list but it's pretty far down.
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gregcope View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gregcope Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar 2011 at 6:26pm
Little question.

People with Advanced Regulators, do you mount them in the engine Machine space?
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Alastair Pugh View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Alastair Pugh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Mar 2011 at 10:29pm
Little answer.

Yes.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gregcope Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Mar 2011 at 9:32am
Thanks Alistair.

Is that where people put battery chargers too?
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Wisdish View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Wisdish Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Mar 2011 at 8:03pm
Our battery charger sits under the chart table mounted vertically on the bulkhead. It's clear of your knees.
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