Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
sburke91

225 SSI - Dual Battery Install

45 posts in this topic

Since the boat's off the water for the winter :( it's time to start tinkering!

One of the larger annoyances on the boat is that it doesn't have the dual battery option, and with a single Group 24 battery, overnights become an exercise in cross your fingers and hope you don't have to rely on a booster box in the morning.

Since I plan to do more overnights on the boat next season, dual batteries are a must do.

About a month and a half ago, West Marine sent over a nice coupon, and, combined with a pretty good sale, I was able to snag their Group 27 AGM for about $100 off.  It seems to get nice reviews on various forums, and since Sears stopped the Die Hard Platinum line that I had on my last boat, it looked like a good option, especially with free shipping to the closest store.  I don't have a refrigerator on the boat, so the Group 27 should handle the anchor light (LED), the cabin lights (LED), an upcoming 12v cabin fan, and an upcoming 12v TV with plenty of reserve.  If I get ambitious, I might try to work a small solar panel onto the dash in front of the helm to keep the house battery charged during the day.

 

y3mbq1mkaEAF_W8t4LzRHVxiaKpJbpCoiaoAYaVG

Since Chaparral conveniently provides very nice wiring diagrams in the back of the online owners manuals, I'm going to make my install as close to factory, including identical components, where possible.  I am going to cut my own hole for the VSR though, as the factory dual battery panel is $600, and Cecil Marine can't tell me what parts it comes with.  I can't believe a plastic panel is $600, I'm still well under that, with all the parts, charger, and battery.  I did order the 'factory' battery try from Cecil, which it turns out is just an Atwood model.  Not much mark-up over West or Amazon though.

This install should be a lot easier than what I did on my last boat, which required building a panel for the disconnect and VSR, as well as a completely separate 'house' electrical panel for the audio, navigation lights, and high speed infiltrator.  I'm shooting for a lot prettier in the battery and engine compartment on this boat though.

Tonight's job was getting the tray in and the battery down into place.  It's a tight fit, but it went in nicely:

y3mIpzIWhrhe-DEoNLvCwsKunLUk3VZ89WAI0UAC

 

y3mzJlUS_ugLWNotQu9_3PmLmlewxr8q4rhyXshg

y3mf4SbMmGqH56xKBNPW9IrtnlzYRmkqTMEpfMSE

Things are a little tight with the one vent line, so I may put in some hard duct work make the turn a little nicer.

Hopefully tomorrow night I'll be able to crack the panel and start wiring.  

y3mh8TAJiKsBu7tKBxePm0zGyUA8Kkzgkk187oZ5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Your mixing flooded and AGM batteries. Both have different charge voltages and your charger most likely has voltage settings for flooded, gel and AGM.

For what its worth, that Sears battery is made by Odyssey. Which is sold under a few other brands as in West Marine, Batteries Plus and a few others.

I must say that Batteries Plus offers a 60 month replacement on there's. 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is the big green Interstate  a     FLOODED      Sulphuric acid battery ? If yes. You will have the problem I will describe. 

 I am going to assume you can afford to correct the minor mistake of installing the 2 different types of batteries in the same boat.  Easy mistake to make. Many others have done it also.

Result is 1 of the 2 batteries will age very quickly & start to crank the starter slower & slower over a period of time. You will see wetness around all the filler cap openings & any bare metal near the batteries and will start to corrode due to the bubbling out of Sulphuric Acid.   Then you can install a replacement that is the same type as the 1 that is not wet around the filler caps.

IF  the Green one is old ?  Have it load tested at a auto place .  If it is low enough. It should be replaced  if  the morning voltage is worrying you.  Then put in another     AGM .  Both will live a long dependable life with out a complex charging system that adds more parts to fail.

Is your BIG battery switch  capable of selecting any of the following 4 conditions ?        Battery #1....battery # 2.......Both batteries in parallel......Both batteries off.

If not I would get a 4 position switch installed     BRFORE any new cables are made. Make the a little    LONGER than needed. Not too long.

I reserve the right to give incorrect advice. I am taking the 79 th senior amendment.   

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The charger/maintainer I'm putting in varies voltage on each leg based on the battery, so it should be good there.

The selector switch is a 1,2,1+2, off unit, but, except in emergencies, I won't be running them in 1+2.   Original for starting (until it dies), switch to new one when anchored.  The VSR will keep the alternator-driven charging split until the starting battery is fully charged.   It's not a very complex system.  

I may see some impact to the old battery from the two types.  If so, it'll get replaced with an AGM the next time they're on sale.

I toyed with splitting the powetrain and house loads into two separate sets so they're always driven by the right battery, but flipping the switch from 1 to 2 when anchored is a lot easier than rewiring the boat. 

The green battery is smaller than the new AGM (group 24 vs group 27), but the camera angle makes it look bigger.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, sburke91 said:

The charger/maintainer I'm putting in varies voltage on each leg based on the battery, so it should be good there.

The selector switch is a 1,2,1+2, off unit, but, except in emergencies, I won't be running them in 1+2.   Original for starting (until it dies), switch to new one when anchored.  The VSR will keep the alternator-driven charging split until the starting battery is fully charged.   It's not a very complex system.  

I may see some impact to the old battery from the two types.  If so, it'll get replaced with an AGM the next time they're on sale.

I toyed with splitting the powetrain and house loads into two separate sets so they're always driven by the right battery, but flipping the switch from 1 to 2 when anchored is a lot easier than rewiring the boat. 

 

That's what I do, I run battery one on the way out and battery two on the way back. I have never needed 1+2, the switch was moved outside the engine box for easy reach.

20160402_131705_zpso8hhjwcg.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm going a bit more automatic on the alternator-driven charging front, following the diagrams on pages 107 and 108 HERE, but the result will be the same.  I toyed with getting really fancy and putting a remote battery switch, so I could flip batteries from the helm, but the boat's not big enough to warrant it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Phil & Bruke, your talking about charging it off the engine. I am talking about charging from the on-board charger as in the first few pics. Which I would think that the on-board charge would be on more often than not. So the dual switch does not come into play.

cyclops2, I think that depending how the charger is set, one battery will be over or under charged and the other just fine charged. The charging voltage is different for the 3 types. On, "The charger/maintainer I'm putting in varies voltage on each leg based on the battery, so it should be good there." I have never seen that, what brand & model is that? Forgive me, I just don't see the charger knowing that. Even the more $$ you must set it to that type.

I would hook up the VSR between the two batteries (+) and remove the ground to it when the in-board charger is in use.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I always hate to critique a plan once the parts are purchased the install is under way, but there are some things worth noting.

IMHO, you have the wrong charger for the job on a couple of fronts. 1) too small at 6A for a group 24 (60AH) and a group 27 (likely 90AH). A 20A would be ideal, 15A ok 12A absolute minimum. 2) I dont recall the prosport-6 allowing for battery type setting on each bank. IIRC, Its got one setting that dictates both banks. This will short change the AGM and in the long run, possibly over charge the flooded. SOLUTION:  Get a larger charger and one that allows each bank to be set for battery type, if you stick with the AGM house.

Now for the switch, VSR and charger. Im not much of a fan of using the traditional 1/2/BOTH switch with an ACR. Doable, but I prefer to use the Blue Sea Dual Circuit Plus switch or skip the VSR and just rock the 1/2/BOTH switch. Lastly, that switch and VSR combo is going to be an issue when the on board charger is in use. Once there is charge voltage, the VSR will close, combining the banks as one. This defeats the purpose of using a dual bank charger. Since you will have a dedicated cranking and dedicated house battery, they need to be charged differently. That switch and VSR will not allow it. You will have to disable the VSR for charging. This adds more complexity. This is why I like the Dual Circuit plus switch. It keeps both banks isolate and takes the VSR out of the loop when the switch is off and the charger is in use.

As to having a flooded cranking and AGM house battery? The alternator wont care, so no issue with engine running. For an emergency start, neither battery will care. Not even an issue to run them in the combined position while underway. The issue comes when charging> They need to be charged independently. most importantly, You never wont to wire them in parallel as one large permanent bank. This is where they dont play nice.

I would consider 2 group-27 for over nights. Its better for the the battery(s) to not be deeply depleted. You will get longer life and better recovery from two batteries cycled more shallow than a single battery cycled very deep each time. Just a thought. Easier to do this with two new batteries than at the end of the season with one aged battery when you realize how deeply its being drawn down.                                            

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If set up right position 1 should charge both batteries. I use 1 when cruising and then switch to 2 when on the hook. Back to 1 in the morning for starting and cruising. Both batteries stay fresh that way.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Phillbo, that does back to Wise_wylie's and my point. Its defeats the dual charger or I am not understanding how its wired.

To me the Blue Sea Dual Circuit Plus gives you less control. Its OFF, ON, or both. you can not turn on or off ether one alone.

Good call on the size of the charger!!!!!! The norm is 15 to 20% of the amp hours. Also you need into consideration any other loads, as in a fridge.

In this case, lets say 2 batteries at 100ah each = 200ah a 10amp charger would take 20hrs to charge if fully dead. 

3 hours ago, drewm3i said:

Why AGM? They're no better than flooded.

The Odyssey brand (West Marine, Sears, Batteries Plus sales them under there name & others) has a 3 to 5 times longer warranty. They lose between 1 to 2% charge per month. No need to charge/float them over the winter. Higher CCA in that group size and higher output than a deep cycle. Will handle down to -50F so in the boat they stay! AND there 2 to 3 times the price, but for me there worth it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Iggy, for me they are simply not. They have the same AH rating and thats all that I care about, but I never deal with winterization and I'm getting ready to add a charger.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 O K

1 more thought that I & others have done with more than I battery. We round tabled all the ways to do the 2 batteries. Result was a simple & very reliable way. We used  2  alternators. That was the best by isolating each battery. 2nd alternator was sized for the new big house battery. No switching of any type.  COMPLETE ISOLATION of the 2 batteries at all times. Fastest recharge times.  If 1 alternator died or the battery died suddenly. The other was fully charged.  We were doing it 60 years ago. Back then flooded acid solved all problems.

Think about it.

Only thing required was a made up bracket for the 2nd alternator. We used a standard adjustable/ slotted tension arm & modified it to fit. Longer belt was required. I do not know if a specialty place still sells the brackets.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 hours ago, Was_Wylie_Tunes said:

I always hate to critique a plan once the parts are purchased the install is under way, but there are some things worth noting.

IMHO, you have the wrong charger for the job on a couple of fronts. 1) too small at 6A for a group 24 (60AH) and a group 27 (likely 90AH). A 20A would be ideal, 15A ok 12A absolute minimum. 2) I dont recall the prosport-6 allowing for battery type setting on each bank. IIRC, Its got one setting that dictates both banks. This will short change the AGM and in the long run, possibly over charge the flooded. SOLUTION:  Get a larger charger and one that allows each bank to be set for battery type, if you stick with the AGM house.

Now for the switch, VSR and charger. Im not much of a fan of using the traditional 1/2/BOTH switch with an ACR. Doable, but I prefer to use the Blue Sea Dual Circuit Plus switch or skip the VSR and just rock the 1/2/BOTH switch. Lastly, that switch and VSR combo is going to be an issue when the on board charger is in use. Once there is charge voltage, the VSR will close, combining the banks as one. This defeats the purpose of using a dual bank charger. Since you will have a dedicated cranking and dedicated house battery, they need to be charged differently. That switch and VSR will not allow it. You will have to disable the VSR for charging. This adds more complexity. This is why I like the Dual Circuit plus switch. It keeps both banks isolate and takes the VSR out of the loop when the switch is off and the charger is in use.

As to having a flooded cranking and AGM house battery? The alternator wont care, so no issue with engine running. For an emergency start, neither battery will care. Not even an issue to run them in the combined position while underway. The issue comes when charging> They need to be charged independently. most importantly, You never wont to wire them in parallel as one large permanent bank. This is where they dont play nice.

I would consider 2 group-27 for over nights. Its better for the the battery(s) to not be deeply depleted. You will get longer life and better recovery from two batteries cycled more shallow than a single battery cycled very deep each time. Just a thought. Easier to do this with two new batteries than at the end of the season with one aged battery when you realize how deeply its being drawn down.                                            

The charger is a 12A unit (Prosport 12, Gen 3).  This model is able to shift the charging amperage between batteries, as needed.  Since my typical boating usage is a day on the lake, maybe one overnight, then the boat sits for a week in the garage, this charger will be more than sufficient.  I don't have a fridge on the boat, so my typical day/overnight draw on the battery is pretty light.  This season, with the single battery, I've been using a 1.5A tender, and the battery's fully charged in less than a day.

On the switch and the VSR, I can always put a switch on the VSR's ground line, so it comes out of the equation when I'm on the charger, or, if I really wanted to get fancy, a relay on one of the charger legs that shuts off the VSR when the boat goes on the charger.  I do agree the dual circuit plus model is better--that's what I did when I built my own house panel in my last boat, but since this boat doesn't have true separation of all of the house loads, I'd have to do major panel work to create a true separation of drive and house.  

I don't plan to run the batteries in parallel, ever, unless I run into some odd emergency where both batteries end up discharged, and I need all I can get from the pair to start the boat.

The only real snag I have left is the mix of flooded and AGM batteries, but I may solve that by replacing the starting battery with a AGM.  I have all winter to wait for another good sale.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good solution .   But does the engine alternator with a built in voltage regulator KNOW that it is supposed to change to a AGM fully charged peak voltage ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Per your manual and as others mentioned.

Do NOT mix battery types on-board. All batteries should be of the same age and in good operating condition. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, The Great Escape II said:

Per your manual and as others mentioned.

Do NOT mix battery types on-board. All batteries should be of the same age and in good operating condition. 

+1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On "On the switch and the VSR, I can always put a switch on the VSR's ground line, so it comes out of the equation when I'm on the charger, or, if I really wanted to get fancy, a relay on one of the charger legs that shuts off the VSR when the boat goes on the charger." I mentioned this before, by removing the ground or using it to control the VSR it will shut it off when the charger is on. Without a ground, the VSR can not see the charge voltage. No need for any relay.

ProMariner makes a great charger. You called it "able to shift the charging amperage between batteries" I call it load sharing which makes this charger a great choice! Its a 12A charger, so if one battery needs 8A and the other 4A, this charger can do exactly that. 

Just a couple of pointers for everyone and for some this may be boring!! At times I have kicked my self and learned the hard way. With on-board chargers, I try to by a little bigger than what I need in amps. Then if I need a 2 bank, I than buy 3 bank. This gives me room for expansion and the cost is very little or next to nothing vs buying a new charger or another charger. The leg that is not in use is not a problem as long as you cap them off so they can't short out.  

Think about installing a ground bus bar. This will lessen the wires to the ground side of the batteries and make it easier on wiring new thing up. Ground will be common on all batteries, even if pumps, VHF and anything else may be connected to one battery.    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/6/2016 at 9:30 PM, sburke91 said:

The charger is a 12A unit

My bad. I couldnt blow the pic up but it looked the 6A model. 12 is better. However, with a depleted house bank, the 12A model will be working at its capacity to bring it back up. A larger higher capacity model will work at a more conservative pace to recharge your house bank. Thats what I was getting at. Having a week between outings does not change how the charger works. its output is up to 12A based on the state of the battery, not the number of days till the next outing. 

On 11/6/2016 at 9:30 PM, sburke91 said:

On the switch and the VSR, I can always put a switch on the VSR's ground line, so it comes out of the equation when I'm on the charger,

Yes, but this switch then needs to be switched back upon the next launch. One more thing to remember and added terminations. 

 

On 11/6/2016 at 9:30 PM, sburke91 said:

I'd have to do major panel work to create a true separation of drive and house.

Thats why I would skip the ACR and just run the switch in the combined position and anchor on the house battery. 100% manual as compared to a passive/manual you get with dual circuit switch and VSR combo. 

 

On 11/6/2016 at 9:30 PM, sburke91 said:

The only real snag I have left is the mix of flooded and AGM batteries,

Whats funny, this is the last thing I see an issue with :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I keep going back and forth on the design.   A simple 1, 2, 1+2 switch (along with buying a second AGM battery) simplifies the design, and makes the install much easier (less wiring, no cuts to the disconnect panel on the boat.  However, I lose the clean, automatic charging of both batteries when I do have the boat out on long trips under power.  

I'm tempted to use the Chaparral design, but add an ignition switch controlled 12V relay that controls the ground feed to the VSR.  The one extra relay would solve the problem of the VSR coming into play when the boat's on the charger, but still manage the charging load on the alternator, in all situations, except if the disconnect switch is in 1+2.

I keep wondering why Chaparral used the design with the VSR the way it sits in the original design, unless they just excluded 110V charging completely from their thinking, or just assumed most would use a single leg charger for both batteries.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, sburke91 said:

I keep wondering why Chaparral used the design with the VSR the way it sits in the original design, unless they just excluded 110V charging completely from their thinking, or just assumed most would use a single leg charger for both batteries.

I hear you. I know of at least 3 boat manufacturers that offer an OEM installed charger, use an ASR/VSR and the dual circuit switch, yet wire the ACR/VSR to the battery side of the switch rather than the boat side. There are a number ways it can be done. Some are less ideal and others are more ideal. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are still monkeying ?

A double FULL current diode isolation module       WITH  A FUSE.....would be simple enough. A dead battery would blow the protective  fuse first so no damage would occur to the wiring or alternator. You will still need 2 AGM voltage regulators. Safe, simple & no switching constantly. A dash meter showing     EACH battery voltage would be perfect to me.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/5/2016 at 9:23 AM, sburke91 said:

The charger/maintainer I'm putting in varies voltage on each leg based on the battery, so it should be good there.

 

On 11/6/2016 at 9:30 PM, sburke91 said:

The charger is a 12A unit (Prosport 12, Gen 3).  This model is able to shift the charging amperage between batteries, as needed.

Yare correct that the charger will distribute the voltage based on the battery charging state BUT it will push that voltage BASED ON A CHARGING PROFILE which is different for AGM and flooded. That charger you have has only one profile selector - and that profile applies to both banks. I also think that you have a wrong charger - it's too weak. A charger with separate charging profile for each bank will run you over $700 easy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0