Not that I know much more of what is a very large subject field, but I do have a better idea of what happens on Percy when the big lump in the middle make pop popping noises.
Brian and Halfie from Harnser and Jubilee respectively gave me good information about the charging side of my boat. It got me reading and better understanding why we were so poorly rewarded by engine charging.
Result is I
- Should be as close to lossless as possible
- Gives me an emergency start mode whereby the leisure batteries are added to the start battery for more oomph for the 3 litre lump
- Priority charging for the start battery... it is directly connected to the alternator so this battery gets what it needs before the relay kicks in and gives the charge to the leisure batteries
- Allows the solar charge to get to the starter battery
- More information about the state of charge of the battery banks
So the install is complete, not without a few changes and challenges. The major one being the cable thickness needed for the relay. I delved into Canal world forums for advice and got some contradictory information, further confused by advice from Merlin who market the smartbank.
The diode install used AWG5 cable from the alternator and to the respective batteries.
AWG5 is 16mm2 and whilst Merlin said it would be OK, other said it needed to be bigger. My confusion was the load I was working to. The alternator cable is easy.... 70amp, but the two relay cables were confusing, firstly I confused the total storage (220a/h )with possible current across the relay (its a 180 amp relay) my concern was the emergency start when all three batteries would be connected and supply the starter current, and when I looked at the starter cable I doubted my 16mm2 install.
Cable size information web site
Cable calculator web site
Roger from the forum gave me some good advice and after installing the AWG5 I swapped it all over again. On Percy Tony had installed one of these....
It is a 1600w motor driven inverter...I thought it was old scrap.... until I looked it up on the Internet and they are still for sale for $2,200 !! I have used one of the cables... see below, and I was not intending putting it back, but having read about them i will put it back as it may well be useful for the vacuum and the chainsaw... more experimenting!
Anyhow the cable that services the Redi-line was cut up in the required lengths...(note the workshop again)
Back at the boat some fitting, refitting and modification of the battery box cover eventually saw my install made with 50mm2 cable throughout. I went for this after reading Tony Brooks excellent site on this area whereby he said extra large cable on such an install only downside was the price of the copper.
So old and new side by side...
Work in progress, I moved the isolator up from where you can just see the relay install (this pic was when the 16mm cable was in use)
When the 16mm cable was used I was pleased to see this....
After I fitted the 50mm2 cables I got this...
So I have to assume the smaller cables were introducing resistance (heat a by product although not evident !!) and therefore less charge.
And then these
I get this...