Battery charger only charging one bank?

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Battery charger only charging one bank?

Postby jswhal on Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:42 pm

My house battery was dead - below 10V, while plugged into shore power. The battery charger self tests OK. When I turn on the combine switch, the charger starts charging at 20A and the house battery comes up to 12.5V. The two columns of LEDs that indicate what type of battery is selected only shows me one column at a time - I can cycle through all of the lights in both columns, but only one or the other is lit when I press the Enter button to select.

If I turn the combine switch off, the voltage immediately starts dropping below 12V. All the batteries are only 7 months old. Does this sound like the output of the charger is bad for the house bank? It's a ProMariner charger on a 2014 C-28.
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Re: Battery charger only charging one bank?

Postby Cutwater28GG on Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:32 pm

I never move my combine switch - its just there in case you have a flat engine battery for starting.

the charger should be charging all batteries without any modifications. could it be a failure in one of the ACR relays?
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Re: Battery charger only charging one bank?

Postby jswhal on Thu Aug 09, 2018 3:59 pm

While checking the fuse in the charger line, I found that when I replaced the batteries 7 months ago, I didn't connect that wire to the battery. Now I'm wondering how they were charged during that time. What's the purpose of the two "charging relays"?
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Re: Battery charger only charging one bank?

Postby Cutwater28GG on Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:36 pm

Gavin - 2012 Cutwater 28
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Re: Battery charger only charging one bank?

Postby stwendl on Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:17 pm

Kinds make me wonder. If I put have a multi battery charger like we have on the tugs, each bank has their own charge circuit. If the acr senses charging it would combine them ignore by the fact that batteries are being individually charged. If the battery chargers are running then the acts should be disabled. I am not sure I made that observation
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Re: Battery charger only charging one bank?

Postby IvanGuzman on Thu Aug 09, 2018 5:20 pm

Hello,

Your batteries were charge while running your Engine. The ACR's are to isolate the batteries while starting the engine or using the house or thruster batteries. While charging the batteries the ACR's will combine all batteries to charge. but also the link that was posted here shows how they work too. Glad it was a simple fix for you :)

thank you,
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Re: Battery charger only charging one bank?

Postby Cutwater28GG on Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:45 pm

these boats have a lot of wiring. there is a chance a mistake was made.

I recently had all batteries discharge when the shore power cable fell out. this shouldnt happen. either the ACR failed at its task or I have a power draw on the engine battery as well or something else happened...

I have a sneaky suspicion that my solar charger is keeping the volts look artificially high which the ACR sees and closes the acr relay: when in fact the house batteries are under charged. this tricks the acr to close when in fact it causes Amp hours to flow from engine to house battery draining the engine battery. if its not this then I have a hidden slow discharge drain on my engine battery...
my propane solenoid might be wired to my engine battery as well...

this probably isnt your issue but wanted to flag as a potential area to investigate.
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Re: Battery charger only charging one bank?

Postby bill46 on Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:55 pm

There are 3 ways to charge batteries on larger RT. Inverter charger, 14V start down to 13.2 to house bank, ACR connects engine, 2nd ACR connects thruster when over 13V. opens when 12.75 or less.
Will not work over 16 or under 9.5 (dead battery)
Second is alternator to engine, usually 14V, ACR to house, ACR to thruster.
Third is Solar to house- 90%, 10% to engine. Mine puts out under 13V so ACRs do not close.
Switch to connect house to engine if too weak to start, like a jump start box.
Generator starts from thruster battery.
pretty neat system - do not really need jump box as there are 3 isolated battery banks, any one of which can get things going.
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Re: Battery charger only charging one bank?

Postby stwendl on Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:58 pm

I understand the acrs are here when there is a single charge source like the engine. But the onboard charger has 3 circuits one for each bank. How is this supposed to work then. Shore charger always has a voltage of over 13v on all 3 banks. The acrs then defeat the the 3 stage process and could possibly cook the batteries. I still think acrs should be disabled when charging via a shorepower.
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Re: Battery charger only charging one bank?

Postby TBates on Thu Aug 09, 2018 11:01 pm

Hi Stwendl, the battery charger on most of our 8’6” beam models is typically a ‘3 bank’ charger, which will have a charging wire connected to each separate bank. The 10’ beam models are equipped with a charger/inverter combination unit which has a single wire going to and from the house bank. Charging on the bigger boats will require using the ACR’s to get from house to the other two banks.

Hope this clears things up a bit.

-Tim
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Re: Battery charger only charging one bank?

Postby stwendl on Fri Aug 10, 2018 12:15 am

Hi Tim,

I understand the configuration. However I question if it is advisable to use a single charger for a long term charge like it would be in a slip

House, thruster, and start batteries may nor entirely be the same as they are in my r27. Applying the same charge regimen to batteries that are different and are used/discharged differently may lead to premature aging.

In effect, on my r27, due to the acr activity, batteries are paralleled during shore charging and thus the individual charge outputs are ineffective if not even harmful to the charger.

If the large beam boats use all identical batteries, the risk may be minimized. However any battery used alone for some while may need a different charge regimen which may not be available when paralled by acrs.

Our boats are either on dockside charger, on engine alternator, possibly generator or solar input, or just providing juice to the consumers while anchored or moored somewhere during which time starter and thruster batteries are not in use.
Difference between RVers and Boaters:
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Re: Battery charger only charging one bank?

Postby knotflying on Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:22 am

stwendl wrote:Hi Tim,

I understand the configuration. However I question if it is advisable to use a single charger for a long term charge like it would be in a slip

House, thruster, and start batteries may nor entirely be the same as they are in my r27. Applying the same charge regimen to batteries that are different and are used/discharged differently may lead to premature aging.


You shouldn't really mix battery types specifically because of the different charging requirements for different batteries. Your observation regararding charger output depending on state of charge is interesting, but I think that if a battery is at full charge the relay opens to that specific battery group and charging will not occur. The relay closes only when it senses a drop in voltage between a certain range. Too low and it will not close at all to avoid a bad situation with a bad battery. At least this is the way I understand it.
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Re: Battery charger only charging one bank?

Postby snydzy on Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:04 am

knotflying wrote:
stwendl wrote:......but I think that if a battery is at full charge the relay opens to that specific battery group and charging will not occur. The relay closes only when it senses a drop in voltage between a certain range.


Actually, the relays close when they sense a charging voltage of 13.5 volts,... combining batteries. They will open when the voltage drops to 12.75.... I discovered the solar charge wires were directly connected to both sides of the start/house ACR.
There are some problems with this arrangement. I have seen my house bank @12.2V connect with a fully charged start battery because the ACR senses a charge voltage from the solar panel...not good! Additionally I don’t see the sense of having a 3 bank battery charger when the ACRs are going to combine the batteries into 1 large bank. Blue Seas suggests a relay to disconnect the ACRs when this becomes problematic.... mostly because as 1 bank, the charger may keep some fully charged batteries in absorption mode longer than needed as the other batteries catch up....
I have wired an automotive relay to the ground contacts of both ACRs, so they only connect when the engine is running, otherwise they are normally off.
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Re: Battery charger only charging one bank?

Postby BB marine on Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:53 am

knotflying wrote:
stwendl wrote:Hi Tim,

I understand the configuration. However I question if it is advisable to use a single charger for a long term charge like it would be in a slip

House, thruster, and start batteries may nor entirely be the same as they are in my r27. Applying the same charge regimen to batteries that are different and are used/discharged differently may lead to premature aging.


You shouldn't really mix battery types specifically because of the different charging requirements for different batteries. Your observation regararding charger output depending on state of charge is interesting, but I think that if a battery is at full charge the relay opens to that specific battery group and charging will not occur. The relay closes only when it senses a drop in voltage between a certain range. Too low and it will not close at all to avoid a bad situation with a bad battery. At least this is the way I understand it.


I am not a battery expert by any means but I agree with Stwendl. Using one battery charger output to charge 3 banks could lead to over charging ( "cooking" the low use batteries, Engine, Thruster ) If the charger is attached to the house battery. ( The chargers sensing battery). The isolation relays stay closed when there is not a voltage drop of less then Combine 90 sec 13.0V @ 12 V, Combine 30 sec 13.6V @ 12V, Open 10 sec 12.35V @ 12 V,Open 30 sec 12.75V @ 12 V, ( If the engine and thruster are fully charged and the house has a demand of Battery it will continue to put the same demand charge to the engine and Thruster). Having a system like this on a shore power charging system will cause premature failure of cranking and thruster batteries.The only time the Relays will open from charging is if voltage reaches 16.0V , Open High 16.0V @ 12 V. This is the same charging system as the engine alternator charging, except the alternator output should be going to the engine cranking battery ( proper installation) The engine battery now controls charging to the house and thruster. The engine battery has less demand while cruising relays are closed so all batteries are ( theoretically ) discharging from the engine battery and the engine charging system maintains the discharge, alternator regulator adjust voltages output. The best shore power changing system is what is used on the smaller boats separate output sensing lead for each battery. Each Battery gets charged by its needs. There is less chance of over charging and causing the battery to heat up which causes premature failure. The best way to charge from the engine is Promariner Digital Mobile Charge system - DMC 24V to 12V Batt to Batt part #05503, or less expensive have the input battery to the isolation relays coming from the engine cranking battery. This is my understanding of how the system works and how I have my C26 wired. 3years running with the system wired this way, 2000 W Kisea inverter on when cruising 4 year original installation maintenance free Group 27 batteries sill going strong . Will replace this off season. 3 seasons of use.
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Re: Battery charger only charging one bank?

Postby stwendl on Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:14 pm

Finally some comments I can agree on. As I said before, if you have a multi bank charger connected then the acr should be disabled. Unfortunately this does not seem to be the factory config on my boat. On top there is a different type batttery used for the starter and deep cycles for thrust and house. In general batteries in parallel, if the same type, will take the charge properly but if at different soc require different charge, absorption , and float timing. If motoring for a long time I would be better to have the engine feed some form of multi bank charger to extend the life of the batteries.

In regard to the “input for the charging relays” I don’t think they have an input. They measure the voltage on either input and decide to close when either input meets the criteria. If not, then the solar charge which is mostly connected to house would never trigger the “spill over” to engine and thruster. The best solution was already mentioned, disconnect the ground to the acrs when on shore charge. Some acrs have a start inhibit input, which means if 12v is applied to that inhibit input the acrs will not close. This will eliminate the need of a relay to disconnect ground from the acrs to prevent their closing under 3 bank shore chargers. Just need to find a 12v source that is only available when on shore charge.

After having said all of this, I must admit that millions of batteries are charged like this every year in Cars and boat. Does it his hurt and he batteries? Probably. How much could we save by preventing premature death of those lead acid batteries? Don’t know. If you have agm or even lithium batteries then all this is way more important. There is a reason why elect ic car manufacturers put expensive battery management systems in vehicles. After all they have to replace those batteries in case of failure.
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