Ask PYS: Inverters and Chargers

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Using One Charger For Two Different Battery Types, on Jul 05, 2018 asked:

I hate asking you questions as I'm not even a customer, but if you move to Monterey CA I promise to give you business. That said, I watched all of your basic electrical videos and spent at least an hour researching this before I wrote this email. I'm going to get 2 Firefly Oasis AGMs for my house bank and use my current AGM for a starter battery. If I get a solenoid switch to charge the batteries from the alternator, I won't sleep at night knowing that the starter battery isn't getting the correct 3 stage charge (assuming a 3 stage regulator is installed) as I will set the voltage sensing wire to house bank. Maybe I misunderstood Nigel Calder, but I think that's what he recommends. Now, he talks about the Stirling Power Alternator to the battery charger and I'm leaning in this direction. My question, is this just over the top? Will the starter battery not be significantly harmed by bulk charging if it's in parallel to the house bank by solenoid? Is there another Blueseas product I am overlooking? This seems like such a common configuration, I can't imagine I'm the only one struggling with this. Another solution I came up with, I'm not sure is safe or effective, can I run the alternator to a distribution block, then to two independent 3 stage regulators for each bank? -Steve

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Can I Heat Hot Water with an EFOY?, on Oct 31, 2017 asked:

Thank you for taking the time to chat with me the other day. While we were originally dead set on buying a CutWater with a generator we have moved forward with trying to go without. One question I forgot to ask. If all of my batteries are ripped off and I have an EFOY would it even be feasible to heat the hot water heater up using the inverter? - Scott

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My 900W Coffee Maker is Triggering the Low Voltage Alarm, on Sep 05, 2017 asked:

My commercial salmon troller has a 1600W inverter drawing from a single 8D lead-acid battery which is isolated from the two other 8Ds at night when on anchor and the engine is off. The engine has an 80A alternator and is usually running 16-18 hours per day. The biggest load we put on the inverter is a 900W standard coffee maker, which we only use while the engine is running. While brewing coffee the voltage reading on the inverter display is usually in the mid 11s and the low voltage alarm occasionally starts going off. The voltage goes right back up when the coffee is done brewing. Is this type of use bad for the battery or hard on the inverter? I have size 4 cables going to the inverter, which is what the installation manual called for, and the run is only about 3 feet. - David

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Upgrading from Flooded to AGM Batteries – What Setting Do I Change Including My Solar Controller?, on Jul 04, 2017 asked:

Last year I installed a Gioco 130W solar panel with a Genasun GV-10 Pb controller to charge my older flooded lead acid batteries along with a Victron BMV-700 Series battery monitor. I have just purchased brand new AGM batteries and I am wondering what steps I have to take before replacing the old batteries? - Heidi

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How do I know what battery type my Xantrex Inverter/Charger is set to using the Freedom Remote?, on May 30, 2017 asked:

I have the Freedom 458 Remote Panel installed on my boat. As per your suggestion, I downloaded the manual for the Freedom 25 inverter/charger I purchased. Unfortunately the manual doesn’t show the new panel I received, it actually shows an image of the old one we replaced (page 29). If you read pages 29-35 it suggests the panel’s “dip switches” should be programmed to the Freedom 25 inverter. I’m sure we didn’t do any of that, your tech just plugged it in. Although the system appears to be working, how can I be sure the inverter/charger and the remote are correctly paired? Furthermore, can you provide a manual or instructions on how to use this panel? Or is this manual and I’m so “electrically challenged” I don’t understand it? Would appreciate your feedback on this. - Peter

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Promariner charger and Honda Generator, on May 09, 2017 asked:

You suggested a 50 amp Promariner charger would be suitable for my boat. Please explain how the charger could potentially put out 50 amps with a 30 amp shore power hookup. Also, would a 2000w portable Honda generator be able to feed this charger adequately when at anchor? -Brent

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Can I Use A 300W Inverter To Run A Small TV/DVD Player?, on Feb 28, 2017 asked:

I read your "12 Days of Christmas Gadget Roundup" in the December, 2015 Pacific Yachting Magazine. I bought one of the inverters you mentioned, anticipating that it would come with a cigarette lighter plug. As it turns out, there are only two wires, the black and red. No problem, I thought, I'll just wire in the cigarette lighter plug, although the wires did look very 'fat' for that sort of a plug. As it turns out, both my local electrical gurus say that the inverter will draw too much for a cigarette lighter plug and I will just blow fuses. The inverter is like the one in the article although it is 350 watts, not 300. On the packaging box, there a series of blank squares where the contents are checked off. Following these descriptions, it appears that there is no 300 watt inverter but there is a 12/180 and a 12/350. Did something change in the manufacture's specs? The need is for a small LCD TV and DVD player. Should I try the 12/180 or should I find some way to wire in the 12/350. Many thanks, Mark

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3 Bank Battery Charger for 2 Battery Banks?, on Jan 03, 2017 asked:

The charger on my boat can charge 3 battery banks but I only have 2 battery banks. What happens with the extra set of cables? Can you double-up the charging cables to one of the banks? - Brent

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Automatic Combiner Relay or Voltage Sense Relay, on Dec 01, 2016 asked:

Hi Jeff, I met you the other day while you were performing an Electrical Audit on a friend’s boat. You mentioned a product that allows you to direct excess power from one battery to another when charging. What is this called and how hard is it to install. – Rob

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Can I Leave My Battery Charger "On" In Float Mode?, on Nov 02, 2016 asked:

I have lead acid batteries and a inverter/charger. The battery monitor is a Link 2000. When the monitor switches to the float mode, is it ok to leave the charger on indefinitely? – Doug

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