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Charging house batteries

Dec 19, 2019
6
Hunter 97 Passage 42 Newark NJ
I'm needing to charge my house batteries with the generator after motoring all day. I thought the drive engine was supposed to charge the batteries. Hunter passage 42 97
 
Dec 25, 2000
4,943
Hunter Passage 42 Shelter Bay, WA
I'm needing to charge my house batteries with the generator after motoring all day. I thought the drive engine was supposed to charge the batteries. Hunter passage 42 97
Nope. The little 80amp alternator puts very little back into the house bank, even after motoring all day. Genset or shore power is your primary source of power to recharge the house bank.
 

BobH57

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Oct 23, 2019
70
Hunter 410 Solomons, MD
I encountered a similar problem a few years ago where the engine alternator was charging the start battery but not the house banks. Turned out to be a bad solenoid in the charging circuit, about a $35 replacement on Amazon.
 
  • Helpful
Likes: JamesG161
Dec 19, 2019
6
Hunter 97 Passage 42 Newark NJ
Nope. The little 80amp alternator puts very little back into the house bank, even after motoring all day. Genset or shore power is your primary source of power to recharge the house bank.
I've chartered similar boats with no generator and the charter company recommends running the drive engine a couple of hours a day charge the house batteries go figure that always worked
 
Dec 19, 2019
6
Hunter 97 Passage 42 Newark NJ
I encountered a similar problem a few years ago where the engine alternator was charging the start battery but not the house banks. Turned out to be a bad solenoid in the charging circuit, about a $35 replacement on Amazon.
Thanks Bob I will be checking out the electrical system I think the previous owner made some modifications
 
Feb 14, 2014
5,421
Hunter 430 Waveland, MS
Nope. The little 80amp alternator puts very little back into the house bank
Well not so quick. It depends on the state of both the Start and House Batteries.

Look for this device on your boat. Mine is 1997 inside the Engine compartment.

ACR 97 ver.jpeg


This is what charges the House Batteries, when the switch on you engine activates the Grey Solenoid.

You can check to see if all the Red Wired connection are good ≈ 14.1 VDC, and if you have a clamp on DC amp meter verify the charge.

Once your Engine Alternator tops the Start battery, you should have 70 amp available to charge the House batteries.

All Checks must be done with your Engine Running, even at idle speeds. It should take some time to top off the Start Battery.

This device is sometimes called an ACR.

Jim...

PS: There are many things depending on all in working order. Include your ignition switch.
 
Oct 22, 2014
15,300
CAL 35 Cruiser moored EVERETT WA
I will be checking out the electrical system
The little 80amp alternator puts very little back into the house bank,
The alternators on our boats are sensitive to heat of the engine space. It is normal for an alternator rated as 80 amps to be putting out 50% or less of its rated capacity.

Looking at your 400 amp hour batteries with an alternator running at peak performance of 40 amps per hour it would take 10 hours to charge the batteries. That is if the batteries acceptance rate was linear. It is not. As the batteries start to near the last 20% of capacity they resist your efforts to fill them with fresh power. What might appear to take 10 hours could become 15 or perhaps 20 hours depending on the batteries.

Are you running the motor for 20 hours to charge the batteries?
 
Jan 4, 2006
3,657
Hunter 310 West Vancouver, B.C.
I've chartered similar boats with no generator and the charter company recommends running the drive engine a couple of hours a day charge the house batteries go figure that always worked
Absolutely correct.

If you're willing to invest in a battery monitor, it would do all the figuring for you and tell you where your problem is (roughly speaking). Makes troubleshooting far easier.

DSC02713.JPG

Above shows a Xantrex Link 10 battery monitor watching over the little Hitachi 55A alternator putting out 37.1A. This particular alternator will only put out that many amps because it has a Balmar ARS-5 external alternator regulator kicking its little ass. Prior to the Balmar, it would only put out 10A max.
 
Feb 6, 1998
11,414
Canadian Sailcraft 36T Casco Bay, ME
I encountered a similar problem a few years ago where the engine alternator was charging the start battery but not the house banks. Turned out to be a bad solenoid in the charging circuit, about a $35 replacement on Amazon.
This is because Hunter used solenoids that were not desgned for the duty. Later on they upgrade to Blue Sea Systems ACR's..
 
Apr 4, 2015
21
Hunter 38 Campbell River
I gave up trying to charge the batteries with the stock alternator and cannot believe that 2 hours per day of engine use would do it - I'd run for 5 to get one more day of use. IMO the stock setup is good for an occaisonal night or two out on the hook. I went for a 120A Balmar alternator and external regulator to get decent charging. Added 375 watts of solar to create a good cruising setup for our weather.
 
Feb 26, 2004
21,702
Catalina 34 224 Maple Bay, BC, Canada
Well not so quick. It depends on the state of both the Start and House Batteries.

Look for this device on your boat. Mine is 1997 inside the Engine compartment.

View attachment 193770

This is what charges the House Batteries, when the switch on you engine activates the Grey Solenoid.

You can check to see if all the Red Wired connection are good ≈ 14.1 VDC, and if you have a clamp on DC amp meter verify the charge.

Once your Engine Alternator tops the Start battery, you should have 70 amp available to charge the House batteries.

All Checks must be done with your Engine Running, even at idle speeds. It should take some time to top off the Start Battery.

This device is sometimes called an ACR.

Jim...

PS: There are many things depending on all in working order. Include your ignition switch.
Jim,

That looks more like an isolator rather than an ACR. They are two very different things. An isolator is a diode based electrical check valve. An ACR is a relay.

For the OP, engine driven producers of electricity are now alternators, no longer generators, have been that way in cars for eons, same in boats. In boats, generator means a separate engine driven electricity producer.

Here's why your alternator may not be producing much:

Hitachi/Yanmar Alternators: (by Maine Sail)



Some alternators though, such as those made by Hitachi and found on Yanmar diesels, are dumber than a pound of beetle poop. Actually, to the alternator, they are pretty smart but to your batteries and the speed of charging they are flat out stupid. Why?

Hitachi alts with dumb regulators, and some others, limit voltage but also reduce voltage based on alternator temperature. This is a self protective feature installed in the internal dumb regulator to prevent the alternator from cooking itself. Remember voltage is the pressure that allows more current to flow. So, if we reduce the absorption voltage, then we also reduce the current the alternator is supplying.. Any battery at any state of charge simply will not accept the same current at 13.4V that it did at 14.4V and as a result the alternator will run cooler. What do you suppose this does to your batteries over time.......?

The problem is that when cold you will get 14.3V to 14.4V out of the Hitachi but as the alternator heats up the dumb regulator begins to reduce the CV/voltage limit based on the alternators internal temperature. It is not uncommon to find a Hitachi alternator at 13.4V when hot. This is REALLY, REALLY DUMB....

If you have a dumb regulator, and notice the voltage dropping, it is likely a temp compensated dumb regulator. Get rid of it or plan to buy new batteries more often.

If you have a temp compensated alternator or a Hitachi alternator on a Yanmar you really are in dire need of external regulation if deep cycling a larger battery bank.



This is from:



Musings Regarding External Voltage Regulation



and these, too:



Hitachi Alternator and Smart Regulator Instal Question - Cruisers & Sailing Forums





Most practical way to upgrade Yanmar alternator? - Cruisers & Sailing Forums
 
Feb 14, 2014
5,421
Hunter 430 Waveland, MS
An isolator is a diode based electrical check valve. An ACR is a relay.
And the Grey thing is the Solenoid/Relay.

when the switch on you engine activates the Grey Solenoid.
Hunter used solenoids that were not desgned for the duty
https://www.amazon.com/Blue-Sea-Systems-Automatc-Charging/dp/B000OTIPDQ/ref=sr_1_3?crid=35EH9G595PEOO&dchild=1&keywords=acr+relay+for+battery&qid=1620354174&sprefix=Acr+rela,aps,156&sr=8-3

Jim...

PS: Per Joe Kerr One-1 consult for Hunters.