Dual Battery Systems

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Intelligent Solenoid vs Solenoid is my main issue. I've been doing some reading for installing a dual battery system for my cruiser, the issue is I like the the intelligent solenoid but afraid that it got too much tech in it and will let me down where I need it most.

Most comments were on the Hellroaring systems. Anyway I came across this national luna system on the internet and would appreciate some feedback and comments

http://www.nationalluna.com/Datasheets/Intel Solenoid Instructions.pdf

and the here is the Dual battery controller

http://www.nationalluna.com/Datasheets/Dual Controller.pdf


Thanks in advance
Issa
 

Bogo

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Allot of people I know have used simple switches. I prefer using an automatic battery isolator. My plans call for an automatic battery isolator and carrying a big honking blade switch as backup. If the dual batteries are not right next to each other, then fuse the + wire between them at both ends as either end is a potential source. Throw into your spares kit extra fuses and a big honking blade switch you can substitute in if the isolator fails. If you go with a solenoid, carry a spare or two. The thing to remember about solenoids is they need power to actuate. You can get latching ones that only take power to switch, but I don't know of any rated in the 200+ Amp range. Regular starter solenoids were not designed for continuous operation and their coils may fry if you leave them on to long. I don't know which automotive ones people have had good luck with. Personally I'd look at Toyota and Mitsibushi Fuso units as they are generally available world wide.

I have no knowledge about the company you posted linked to. I'd search for reviews and customer statements on the web.
 
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My dual battery set up has a simple isolater. If Im using my fridge it will keep one good battery available for starting.
After consultation with my auto electrician I went with a simple type .He says the more complicated ,the shorter the lifespan.
As soon as you get machines to do your thinking ,you run into trouble:D
 
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He says the more complicated ,the shorter the lifespan.
As soon as you get machines to do your thinking ,you run into trouble:D

Yikes...better get rid of your cell phone, fridge, microwave, television, oh yeah.....and the EFI on the truck too. I never met a mechanic in my life who didn't think a simple Fiat was the world's most perfect vehicle, easy to repair. IMHO, simple is always good, but simple and reliable aren't mutually exclusive. Properly engineered solid-state products that perform the function of products that have moving parts are generally more reliable. If that wasn't the case, the market would be driving the use of mechanical counterparts. You gotta love mechanics or auto-electrical guys that preach the counter technology argument. I think they've gone moved from the "fun" stuff like carb rebuilds to less lucrative troubleshooting tasks of diagnosing which electronic module is goofy.
 
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I haven't actually installed it yet - but i have bought:

-1 120amp simple battery isolator []Canadian Tire
-1 AC Delco starting battery maintenance free
-1 AC Delco deep cycle/marine/RV battery maintenance free
-a bunch of 10mm cabling
-upgraded to a 100amp alternator

i'll be installing it all in the next couple of weeks for my expedition style build in my 81 FJ45LV...the starting battery should be completely isolated [hence 'isolator'] from the deep cycle battery - pretty much eliminating the chance of running down the starting battery - leaving the deep cycle in charge of keeping the beers cold, the tunes flowing and the extra lights shining...

if anyone sees any serious issues with this agenda, do please be a dear and let me know....
 
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Thanks for all the comments...

Mobi-arc I totally agree with you...one has to go with technology as well, a lot of thinking is sometimes a burden in the fun trips!! ;)

So whats the failure percentage for an intelligent solenoid and how long do they usually last if its a clean and correct set up?

cheers
IK
 
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Yikes...better get rid of your cell phone, fridge, microwave, television, oh yeah.....and the EFI on the truck too. I never met a mechanic in my life who didn't think a simple Fiat was the world's most perfect vehicle, easy to repair. IMHO, simple is always good, but simple and reliable aren't mutually exclusive. Properly engineered solid-state products that perform the function of products that have moving parts are generally more reliable. If that wasn't the case, the market would be driving the use of mechanical counterparts. You gotta love mechanics or auto-electrical guys that preach the counter technology argument. I think they've gone moved from the "fun" stuff like carb rebuilds to less lucrative troubleshooting tasks of diagnosing which electronic module is goofy.

Untrue. He told me he had tried out several of the latest types from customer requests and they were all failing within a year.
People buy the stuff after reading the blurbs and think they are unbeatable only to find it craps out after the warranty has ended
He makes more money fitting complex battery set ups but he is too honest to let someone go off on a long trip with something they dont need

Just how much technology do you need to keep a couple of batteries charged up?
Checking things for yourself everyday should be part of your routine in isolated areas.
 
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dual battery

I am running a dual battery set up with an Optina Red Top and a Group 31 Blue top. I am using a smart solenoid from Wranger North West. It is small compared to the size of an isolater required for a 140 Amp alternator. Installtion was too easy with a three wire hook up.
 
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Thanks for all the comments...

Mobi-arc I totally agree with you...one has to go with technology as well, a lot of thinking is sometimes a burden in the fun trips!! ;)

So whats the failure percentage for an intelligent solenoid and how long do they usually last if its a clean and correct set up?

cheers
IK

"Intelligent" denotes that it simply monitors voltage and decides when to open-and-close the mechanical contactor. Is it being switched at low current or high current? Are the contact surfaces silver-plated and to what thickness? Is the arc generated between the contact being quenched or not? Too many unknown application variables to make a blanket statement on percentage failures, but if you take a mechanical relay and solid-state relay and test them under the same conditions for mean time to failure, I would bet a testicle that the solid-state would work longer as a simple function of law of averages. If that wasn't the case, we'd still be using vacuum tubes. With respect to roscoFJ73 comments about his installer having returns on "technical" solutions, it could be bad installations, bad wiring, products chosen for the application aren't properly designed for the environment or application they're being used for, could be s*** bad luck.....who the hell knows. I just think its unfair to make a blanket statement about the efficacy of solid-state or "technical" solutions being horrifically unreliable. I think it's probably more a function of the "tech" product chosen for the task probably is "liberal" about its ratings and when run in the real world conditions, it packs up.
 
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Dual Alternator

Why don’t you think in dual alternator one for the basics of the car and the second one for the accessories? Off course with a second battery for winch, fridge, lights, PC, etc.

Carlos (Colombia)
 
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Why don’t you think in dual alternator one for the basics of the car and the second one for the accessories? Off course with a second battery for winch, fridge, lights, PC, etc.

Carlos (Colombia)


Perfect solution, only there's not space to add a second alternator unless the A/C compressor gets removed....and that's not going to happen.
 

Bogo

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Perfect solution, only there's not space to add a second alternator unless the A/C compressor gets removed....and that's not going to happen.

You can always put in a 12VDC A/C compressor in place of the engine driven one. It will take less overall engine power. I haven't explored to much down this path yet, but many over the road semis are going down this path for the fuel savings. Plus with a 220AH battery bank they can run AC over night without running the engine. That by its self will pay for the AC system in just a couple years. Yeah, I've been thinking of swapping a large alternator into the AC compressor position. Have it on a clutch so I can turn it off while climbing long grades and run the AC off of batteries.
 
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I like the Hellroraing setup and i was doing a lot of readings and read about fixing this switch for the system where it overrides the smart solenoid if any problem occurs....

This A/C seems like a nice idea but a lot of electric mods
 

Bogo

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This A/C seems like a nice idea but a lot of electric mods

To me the electrical is nothing. I want a large battery bank to power an inverter for computer use. For that I'd also need a large alternator to recharge it in a reasonable time. I'm wanting 80% recharge in 2 hours drive time. That is half the battle.

Part of the reason I haven't pursued it much yet is getting hold of a compressor outside of a built up air conditioner unit. I haven't found any states side distributer that handles large DC powered compressor units. On the other hand I do have information on a couple foreign manufacturers. I was figuring on tucking a unit under the hood to replace the regular AC compressor and using the existing condenser and evaporator. The other option would be to stick a semi cab roof unit on top of the pickup cab. The sizes of the built up units have been around 4000BTU and 8000BTU. Given what they are they shouldn't be over a $1000, but the prices I've seen are over $2500. An 120VAC powered RV unit that outputs much more cooling only costs $650.
 
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In Venezuela they built a system for the second alternator, it’s position is in the upper right site, I read, in the forums of www.cruiserheads.com that they had problems with the pulley, but I think that the problem can be fixed, I send you some pictures, and you don’t have to relocate the AC, but, I insist, why it isn’t the most common solution if it’s more reliable? The parts in Venezuela costs about USD 250 plus the alternator USD 150 plus other things like cables, terminals, etc, with every thing it costs less than the isolator.

Carlos
 
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dual battery

Don't waste your money on any of these solar chargers. The output on the Coleman unit is 600 milliamps that is not even one amp. Most batteries discharge more than that just sitting. Also this rating is in sunlight. figure on only a couple of hours a day at the most.

At work I did up a solar project to provide 4 amp hours of charging into a battery bank. The solar array was to be over 5" x 8" at the cost of over $3,000.00 not to count the inverter and the battery bank that I had to keep my equipment powered. The company I dealt with ran some additional calulations and here in El Paso the "Sun City" with some 300 days of sun a year I would only realize 2 hours a day of full sunlight capable of charging. During winter it would be less. The solution to that is more panels. Not very pratical.

These solar chargers do work on a very low amperage battery like a cell phone or Ipod.
 
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If your batteries are not exactly the same, an 'inteeligent' solid state charger apparently will load each battery until it is fully loaded and then switch to the other one. a marine type 'make before break' switch can run either or both batteries at the same time, but takes some heavy wiring. I put my batteries in parallel and when I stop at the end of the day, open the bonnet and pull the disconect switch so that my lights and fridge runs from the spare and the main is not used. Come morning, start on the main, and then close the switch again. Works well and I check oil etc, anyways, so it works well.

Interesting comment about relative uselessnes for solar. Was hoping that I vould use 2 55 watt panels to charge during the day if I am not driving.
 

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