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505: DC Electrical Questions

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SVZara View Drop Down
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    Posted: 08 September 2021 at 13:55
This past weekend we found ourselves with low voltage error (11.5v) from the house bank of batteries.  We had been on a mooring instead of a dock for 5 days and so was not connected to shore power to charge the batteries.  

1) When we ran the engine, it seemed the house bank did not charge.  Does the house batteries charge when running the engine, or only the start batteries?  I noticed the charge controller panel is not on in this scenario.  Does it need to be on for the house bank to charge?

2) Is shore power or generator the only ways to charge the house batteries?  What about start batteries?  Thruster batteries?

3) Is there a combiner switch if you wanted to combine the start bank with the house bank in an emergency?  Would this allow to charge both banks of batteries?

4) What does the engine charge when running?

Trying to understand better how the DC circuits re-charge.

Marc
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2016 Hanse 505, Hull #129
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Arcadia View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Arcadia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 September 2021 at 15:52
There should be an automatic combiner that activates when the engine is charging. This combines the house and engine batteries. It usually activates once the charge voltage has reached 13 volts. It may cycle a bit if the house banks are very low. On the 588 , itís located near the house battery main buss. The charger inverter (shore power) will also charge the same way through the combiner. In both cases, once the charging stops, the combiner will sense that the voltage has dropped below 12.8 volts and will isolate the two banks.
Leon / ARCADIA
2018 Hanse 588
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote High Time Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 September 2021 at 15:54
Hi Marc
I have a 415 but the principles for DC are probably the same.

In answer to your questions -
1. The house bank should charge once the start battery has charged to around 14V. There is an automatic combiner that combines the 2 banks at a set voltage (which can be adjusted).
2. No. The engine alternator should charge both batteries - see above. There is usually a battery to battery charger that connects the house bank to charge additional batteries like the thruster.
3. There is no manual combiner switch in the as delivered system but the automatic combiner mentioned above can be wired to include a manual switch to provide the combiner function.
4. The rated output of the alternator is 115A. However, the actual charge rate depends on the state of the batteries and the cabling between alternator and batteries. I have rarely seen more than about 60A from the alternator into the house bank and this rapidly decreases as the charge builds up in the batteries.
Hope that helps.
Good luck.
Roger

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SVZara View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SVZara Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 September 2021 at 18:26
Thank you for all the info.   Seems strange that the engine didn't make the house bank voltage budge from 11.5v.  The generator definitely seems more efficient when it comes to charging compared to the engine.  I am glad to know there is this combiner functionality in the system.
Marc
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SVZara Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 September 2021 at 21:45
Does the bow thruster and the anchor windlass share the same battery bank or does the windlass run off of the house bank?
Marc
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kipwrite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 September 2021 at 00:39
On the 505 the thruster runs off a dedicated battery forward. 

Windlass runs off the house batteries. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Arcadia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 September 2021 at 01:15
If your house banks never rises above 11.5 volts, then there may be a problem with the combiner. Normally the engine alternator will charge much more rapidly than the inverter charger. Mine will put out 120 amps for hours at a time where as the inverter charger will quickly drop to about 60 amps 
Leon / ARCADIA
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SVZara Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 September 2021 at 02:53
Originally posted by Arcadia Arcadia wrote:

If your house banks never rises above 11.5 volts, then there may be a problem with the combiner. Normally the engine alternator will charge much more rapidly than the inverter charger. Mine will put out 120 amps for hours at a time where as the inverter charger will quickly drop to about 60 amps 

Ok.  Good to know.  I will investigate that.
Marc
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SVZara View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SVZara Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 September 2021 at 02:56
Originally posted by Arcadia Arcadia wrote:

There should be an automatic combiner that activates when the engine is charging. This combines the house and engine batteries. It usually activates once the charge voltage has reached 13 volts. It may cycle a bit if the house banks are very low. On the 588 , itís located near the house battery main buss.

If I recall, the house battery main buss is located behind power panels at the chart table?  Or do you mean down under the floor where the shutoffs are?
Marc
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Debutante Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 September 2021 at 09:31
Shortly after buying my nearly new 388 I too noticed that the service battery was not charging from the alternator. The cable from the alternator to the battery combiner was giving about 11.5V.

I traced the problem to the 125A fuse in the alternator to battery combiner cable which was loose and after tightening the fuse nuts, the voltage went back to normal and the service battery got charged. The fuse is in the engine compartment with a cover over it.
H388 #205 Debutante
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