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The Norfolk Broads Forum / Broads Boat Owners Q & A / Battery Charging
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Posted By Discussion Topic: Battery Charging

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Jeremy-Aslan
Jan-22-2014 @ 3:53 PM                           Permalink
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Hmmm . . .  45 W sounds high so I had a peek at the Waeko website for the CR65 (a typical sized boat fridge) where it does seem to say :
Average Power Consumption      Approx. 45 watts

But then, it also says:
Current Consumption (12 volts DC):      1.6  Ah/h at +25°C ambient temperature  (and a few other things, but let's calculate from that).  This seems to indicate that at 25 deg C it runs for about one third of the time.

Put it another way, you've got about 100 Ah from your two batteries (allowing for some use by lighting, etc, and taking them down to 50% capacity).  That would give you about 60 hours fridge power on a hot summer's day, even assuming the temperature stays that warm through the night(!).  That might (just) be three nights (two whole days) in one place, without needing to run the engine.

If you then cruise for three hours, you should easily put that charge back in with a 65A alternator.  But your limit is battery bank capacity, not alternator size.   So, with your additional information, I would still say  -  stick with your present alternator, unless it subsequently proves to be inadequate.



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jimfin
Jan-22-2014 @ 4:09 PM                           Permalink
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Thanks for that. I was thinking of fitting a Stering Power Advanced Regulator to help things.
What would you think?

Jeremy-Aslan
Jan-22-2014 @ 4:34 PM                           Permalink
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The Sterling units can be great, sometimes you need a higher voltage out of your alternator (to cope with the small drop in the electronics).  Some alternators have a setting for a higher output, many don't.

You may need a marine electronics expert to actually look at your system to determine what is suitable in your situation.  Many Sterling units can also provide fully regulated charging and top-up from shore-power as well.  By using a specific charging regime, it is possible that your battery life might be extended.

Maybe you want to 'sort out' all your electrics in one hit, which I can fully understand; but I would probably put in the two new batteries and see if you had any problems, before adding an extra item.  If you make loads of changes at once, and you then have a problem of some kind, it is not so clear what might have caused it.

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annville
Jan-22-2014 @ 5:07 PM                           Permalink
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You can have as many battery's large or small no alternator charges what its rated at you need a advanced charging regulator this is wired to rear of alternator and fools the alternator into charging max untill battery is fully charged ie 50amp alt ~2X200amp batt=400amps = 8hrs MIN This is only theoretical a normal alternator will never charge the batterys fully and take 4 times as long If you go on the Sterling web site it will describe this in detail.A battery is a reservoir ie 100amps will run a bulb of 10amps/120watts for less then 8hrs in practice 10hrs [theoreticle] The size of a alternator determines how fast you replace the amps it has nothing to do with how many items you run of the batterys or how much power they take. A 100 amp alternator wont charge the batterys twice as fast as a 50amp one unless you use a advanced charging regulator John  

Still-Cruising
Jan-22-2014 @ 9:22 PM                           Permalink
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Hi Jimfin

Lots of good advice here. We have three 110ah batteries, two for leisure and one for starting charged by a 70amp alternator. The batteries were a year old when we bought the boat and we always struggled with low battery power the fridge being the major consumer. We never got more than 35amps of charge and that dropped very quickly to about 10amps. The resulting undercharging killed the batteries and when we replaced them we also fitted a Stirling advanced regulator, as this senses the actual voltage at the batteries it takes into account all any resistances introduced by cableing, split charge relay etc and we now get 60amps and full batteries within two hours of being flat. I am thinking of adding another battery because the Ebber heater together with more use of the lights, TV etc in the shorter winter days really warrants it and it will avoid the need to turn the fridge off at night.


Best Regards

Bob

PO20 But NR12 as much as possible.

jimfin
Jan-25-2014 @ 11:24 AM                           Permalink
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Again thanks for all the advice. I am going to go with the Sterling advanced regulator as I have one here but never got around to fitting it.
At the moment I have the Sterling split charger fitted. Should I leave this in place or remove before fitting the regulator?



Just looking at the fitting instructions for the regulator. Says connect the white wire to "field"!!! Where is that connection on the altenator?

This message was edited by jimfin on Jan-25-14 @ 11:33 AM

Still-Cruising
Jan-25-2014 @ 4:08 PM                           Permalink
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Hi Jimfin.
The white wire goes to the wire that you have connected to the brushes in the alternator. In the instructions this all looks a bit daunting at first sight but it is actually very easy if you follow the Stirling instructions methodically. As far as I am aware you leave the splitter in place, as this only isolates the starting an leisure batteries and of course allows the charge to each of them.


Best Regards

Bob

PO20 But NR12 as much as possible.

jimfin
Jan-25-2014 @ 4:38 PM                           Permalink
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I have connected the 2 wires to the alt. In the booklet it says that 1 wire will be live and the other will be neg. I have not checked these wires but do I connect to neg or pos.
Hope I am, making sense.

annville
Jan-25-2014 @ 4:44 PM                           Permalink
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jim you have to take the rear cover of the alternator just follow sterlings instructions it is easier to fit short wire with a connector it allows you to remove the alternator with out disturbing wiring JOHN

Still-Cruising
Jan-25-2014 @ 7:05 PM                           Permalink
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Jim.

It's not a question of negative or positive. The voltage that you read off each of the wires that you have attached to the brushes determines the alternators method of internal control, either negative or positive. Once you have found the voltages on the wires you will know which setting of the internal fuse in the unit you need and which wire to connect the white wire to. In my instructions this is covered in detail at stage 8.

Best Regards

Bob

PO20 But NR12 as much as possible.



This message was edited by Still-Cruising on Jan-25-14 @ 6:06 PM

jimfin
Jan-26-2014 @ 11:21 AM                           Permalink
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OK. Now let me see if I have got this right.
The 2 wires I have connected to the alt. brushes are to determine whether the alt is pos or neg.
If it is neg. I connect the white field wire to the wire with 2-12v and don't use the other wire.


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