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casey79westfalia
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 6:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Aux Battery Setup Reply with quote

Thanks Jim! What 2kw unit are you running? Let me know your setup.I keep reading so many issues with the Chinese units that I was actually looking into the eberspacher on airtronic d2. Seems like a nice rig with reliability.
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casey79westfalia
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Aux Battery Setup Reply with quote

So I am confused about the correct fuses and wire size to use on the wires supplying the aux battery. My alternator on the 1.8t is a 120 amp model. What size wire and fuses should I be using to connect the ACR blue seas 7610 to the aux and starting battery. Aux agm battery can only handle a maximum charge of 40amps. I know I want fuses as close to the starting and aux batteries as possible. If I use 40a fuses at the batteries wonít the incoming current from my alternator trip them since itís 120? Iím not an electrical guru and am a little confused. Just want to be cautious!
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 7:07 pm    Post subject: Re: Aux Battery Setup Reply with quote

This is off-topic for this thread - better in the right thread. Smile
The official Chinese Diesel Heater thread (Webasto Knockoff)

But quickly:
Most Chinese heaters work just fine. You do need to open them and inspect connections etc when they are delivered, but if all is OK and you follow the installation instructions they work great. At a tenth (or even twentieth if you're lucky) of the cost of an 'original'. I don't know which of the numerous adverts I answered, but it was a US dealer who supplied it.

OK - back to aux batteries. Wink
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 20, 2020 12:16 am    Post subject: Re: Aux Battery Setup Reply with quote

Quote:
Aux agm battery can only handle a maximum charge of 40amps.


Smaller gauge wire can reduce amps or something similar to this https://www.powerstream.com/pst-pb1108.htm You'll need someone with more smarts than I to speak to figuring out if reducing the wire gauge in your application will work.
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casey79westfalia
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 6:23 am    Post subject: Re: Aux Battery Setup Reply with quote

Does anyone see an issue with supplying the blue seas acr from the starter + post instead of running it all the way up to the starter battery. Since aux battery is under rear seat it would be a much shorter run and less voltage drop.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 6:47 am    Post subject: Re: Aux Battery Setup Reply with quote

casey79westfalia wrote:
Does anyone see an issue with supplying the blue seas acr from the starter + post instead of running it all the way up to the starter battery. Since aux battery is under rear seat it would be a much shorter run and less voltage drop.


You may want to run that wire all the way to the alternator. Otherwise beef up the feed from the alternator to the starter post since it will then also be carrying the charging load for the aux battery.
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casey79westfalia
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:27 am    Post subject: Re: Aux Battery Setup Reply with quote

Good thinking! Alternator is close by so I can jump off that. Want to keep the runs of wire as sorry as possible.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 9:18 am    Post subject: Re: Aux Battery Setup Reply with quote

I went with the airtronic s2. Its the newest model that they offer and includes an altitude adjustment up to 3000m. It is 2.2k and way more heat than I need. The controller is really easy to use and has built-in diagnostics. I also added the intake silencer and its really quiet on the outside. At startup it has about a 7.6aH draw and when running it gets to 2.1aH. If you are every down by northern va maybe we can meet up and you can take a look at it.



https://www.butlertechnik.com/vehicle-heater-kits-...odel-p2850
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 21, 2020 10:59 am    Post subject: Re: Aux Battery Setup Reply with quote

Before finalizing your build, you may want to check out this thread.
It sure has me thinking...
https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...highlight=
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casey79westfalia
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 5:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Aux Battery Setup Reply with quote

Well I may be getting confused and overwhelmed with this whole project but I could use some opinions.

I spoke with Renogy today and they confirmed that their agm batteries and all agm batteries do not like a charge over 30-40amps. My alternator being 120amp would overcharge the aux battery and eventually cause a short life. Seems so many on here use agm batteries. How are you keeping them from overcharging?

Renogy recommended there DC to DC charger which basically just charges both starting and aux batteries at the same time when the van is running. The way they explained it is that both batteries have different parameters. The starting battery will get its desired charge rate and the aux will get its desired charge rate. Not sure how true this is? Sounds like a great solution. Just don't know if this would be the best st solution.

www.renogy.com/amp/12v-dc-to-dc-on-board-battery-charger/

If I was to go this route and eliminate the blue seas asr? Guess the downfall is more strain on the alternator charging two batteries? Certainly seems to simplify things.


Spoke with blue seas as well today and they recommend running 1awg from the alternator to the 7619 asr and to the aux battery with a 120 amp alternator. Tech guy on phone said my setup sounds great I just need to find an agm battery that can take a full charge from my alternator?? Said the asr does not regulate anything it will kick out the identical voltage that it is supplied.

So once again I'm back to what battery to use. Im not ready to do lithium right now. What agm batteries are you guys using? Just need a battery. Confused
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:01 pm    Post subject: Re: Aux Battery Setup Reply with quote

Casey, Here is a topic I started a little bit ago that has some similar information you may consider.

https://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=...mp;start=0
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Aux Battery Setup Reply with quote

The BlueSeas rep should be flogged for giving you such bad advice.
Marine grade #6 cable is rated for 120 amps continuous and batteries don't want anywhere near that much for very long. The heavier the gauge cable you use, the higher the peak amp flow and your battery wants LESS amp flow, NOT more.


EDIT Also, while your alternator COULD put out 120 amps, it NEVER does unless it sees a demand for that much. Alternators only put out the amps that they are asked to put out. Just driving down the road in the daytime it might only put out 10 or 15 amps, if the batteries are already charged.

Mark


casey79westfalia wrote:
Well I may be getting confused and overwhelmed with this whole project but I could use some opinions.

I spoke with Renogy today and they confirmed that their agm batteries and all agm batteries do not like a charge over 30-40amps. My alternator being 120amp would overcharge the aux battery and eventually cause a short life. .........



Spoke with blue seas as well today and they recommend running 1awg from the alternator to the 7619 asr and to the aux battery with a 120 amp alternator. Tech guy on phone said my setup sounds great I just need to find an agm battery that can take a full charge from my alternator?? Said the asr does not regulate anything it will kick out the identical voltage that it is supplied......Confused
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 23, 2020 7:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Aux Battery Setup Reply with quote

All this is confusing. I gave up trying to decipher all the voodoo and look for a single engineered solution that managed a service battery bank, solar, alternator, ac charging, and dc to dc management.

Backing up a bit.

All batteries have a specific ďprofileĒ to be charged correctly so you donít over or under charge them. Below is a picture showing how a smart battery controller might charge an AGM lead acid battery.

rmcd wrote:

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Most vw alternators will vary charge but WILL NEVER follow the proper charge profile af any battery. So you must have a battery management system that can take ANY input voltage source (wind, hydro, solar, alternator) and scale it to match the current condition Andy type of battery.

Here is one that does that.

https://www.ctek.com/products/vehicle/smartpass-120

Here is what I use with a Smartpass120. https://www.ctek.com/products/vehicle/d250se
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:34 am    Post subject: Re: Aux Battery Setup Reply with quote

You have multiple solution paths via different units to control the charge rate to the battery in this thread. Most of which will cost a few Benjamin Franklins to implement.

I looked at the devices you mentioned you would use and roughly your amp hour usage is in the 30-35 amp hour range per day. Here's another way to look at this, just use a Costco group 24 lead acid battery and let your alternator charge it. Don't worry about the solar unless you will be off grid from more than 48 hours at a time without running the engine. Yes if you draw the battery down more than 50% it will take away from its longevity over time. BUT how often will you do that in a year worth of weekend warrior trips? Even on your road trip how often will you be off grid for more than 48 hours. If it isn't that often just let the battery take a little bit of a hit now and then. We aren't talking about totally discharging the battery but rather running down to a 30% state of charge. This isn't the end of the world. I think that battery runs about $100 and could last 5 years if taken care of. So figure $20 bucks a year to budget for a replacement down the road. Or beat on the battery a bit with some 70% discharges and shorten it's life to 4 years. Now you are looking at a $25 per year budget to replace it in 4 years. This all works if your usage is in the 30-35 amp hour per day range and the engine runs after 48 hours. If your amp hour usage is higher and/or you are off grid more than 48 hours the above won't work that great or at all because you'll kill the battery much quicker if you totally discharge it.

I wanted to circle back to this simpler approach to see if it actually aligns to your usage scenario.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 6:40 am    Post subject: Re: Aux Battery Setup Reply with quote

Really appreciate everyone's advice and help.

Had a lengthy conversation with a gentleman who works for a company called Projecta based out of Australia. This guy was extremely helpful, never tried to sell me on their products actually they don't ship to the US.

He said the camping/off roading scene in Australia is insane and due to everything being so remote its almost necessary to have aux battery setups when camping out in the brush.

I mentioned my setup charging an agm with a 120 amp alternator and he said he wouldn't stress about using an agm (40amp rating) as eveyone he knows does running simple isolators and get 4-5 years out of those batteries sometimes more with lots of use and they never see even close to 120 amps. More importantly they are getting proper voltage. His biggest concern would be an alternator that might not be charging enough or overcharging due to an issue with the alternators voltage regulator.

We got on the topic of dc to dc chargers and he made clear that these are a better solution to the isolators but more costly. There purpose is more necessary in newer cars with higher and lower voltages due to all the different electrical systems. The dc charger basically accepts any incoming voltage and will regulate/amplify it very effectively down/up to 10/20/40 amps based on the model charger. This just gives the battery what its asking for and will make for a longer life and more effective charge. I mentioned the renogy dc to dc and he said its a great alternative to their unit below. Redarc and ctek like mentioned above as well. I'm going to give the renogy unit ($113 amazon) since I'm running a renogy battery and see how things work out. Renogy has a decent warranty.

If it gives me issues I'm purchasing the unit below from projecta. Its about $400 shipped but really compact and full featured.


https://www.projecta.com.au/dual-battery-charger-idc25
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 10:20 am    Post subject: Re: Aux Battery Setup Reply with quote

casey79westfalia wrote:
Really appreciate everyone's advice and help.

Had a lengthy conversation with a gentleman who works for a company called Projecta based out of Australia. This guy was extremely helpful, never tried to sell me on their products actually they don't ship to the US.

He said the camping/off roading scene in Australia is insane and due to everything being so remote its almost necessary to have aux battery setups when camping out in the brush.

I mentioned my setup charging an agm with a 120 amp alternator and he said he wouldn't stress about using an agm (40amp rating) as eveyone he knows does running simple isolators and get 4-5 years out of those batteries sometimes more with lots of use and they never see even close to 120 amps. More importantly they are getting proper voltage. His biggest concern would be an alternator that might not be charging enough or overcharging due to an issue with the alternators voltage regulator.

We got on the topic of dc to dc chargers and he made clear that these are a better solution to the isolators but more costly. There purpose is more necessary in newer cars with higher and lower voltages due to all the different electrical systems. The dc charger basically accepts any incoming voltage and will regulate/amplify it very effectively down/up to 10/20/40 amps based on the model charger. This just gives the battery what its asking for and will make for a longer life and more effective charge. I mentioned the renogy dc to dc and he said its a great alternative to their unit below. Redarc and ctek like mentioned above as well. I'm going to give the renogy unit ($113 amazon) since I'm running a renogy battery and see how things work out. Renogy has a decent warranty.

If it gives me issues I'm purchasing the unit below from projecta. Its about $400 shipped but really compact and full featured.


https://www.projecta.com.au/dual-battery-charger-idc25



Let me start with I have an aux battery setup in my Syncro that's a bit different than most of the setups described here on the site. Like you are looking at, I have a DC-DC charger. I have been working on 12V systems for years on sailboats, so I am using products I have on our boat.

My requirements are similar to yours: ARB fridge, 12v charging, LED lights and Propex furnace.

I have a Bostig with a 200amp alternator, so lots of charge. The alternator charge goes to the starter battery as normal.

I use a product from Xantrex called an EchoCharge. The EchoCharge is a DC-DC automatic charger. It waits until it senses a charge voltage on the starter battery (13.7V+) and then it tests the house battery, and if it is less than full, it will pass charge to the house battery. It is limited to a 15 amp charge. Our house battery is a group 27 AGM battery with 90 amp hrs. If I get down to apprx 50% discharge, it will take about 3 hours of driving to fully recharge.

The way we use our van is we rarely camp in the same spot for over 2 days before moving on. We haven't had any issues with keeping the house battery charged. Now we are in Canada, and typically travel several hundred km's between stops, so lots of time to charge.

I have a Xantrex shore power charger as well, but really only use it before we leave on a trip to make sure we are topped up. Typically we also load the ARB the night before, so it will be in the van keeping everything nice and cold.

The nice thing about the EchoCharge is it is a very easy installation. Moving 15 amps of 12V power doesn't require huge cables. I have the battery installed in the cabinet under the sink. The EchoCharge is under the driver's seat and all that is required is one wire to the starter, one to the house and a ground. Dead simple.

The Xantrex products are on Amazon, but I used my local marine supplier.

I have not installed an inverter or solar. If I was struggling to keep up with power requirements or stayed in places longer, I would look at solar. We do run the power requirements on our sailboat off solar mostly, so I am a big fan. Haven't needed anything yet to require an inverter, so haven't even looked at this.

I also couldn't find a good place for a switch panel, so I simply have a fuse panel off the house battery and run fused circuits off that. Pretty basic.

Good luck.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2020 11:53 am    Post subject: Re: Aux Battery Setup Reply with quote

I just pulled the trigger on one of these.

https://www.invertersupply.com/index.php?main_page...iMQAvD_BwE

I decided to not use a solenoid to directly connect the alternator to the AGM batteries when running. Since I drive 10 to 15 hours a day when traveling I wanted a system that could properly charge the batteries vs whatever the alternator was putting out at any point in time which may not fully charge or may overcharge the AGMs.... May be overkill but it makes me feel good and that is half the process. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2020 7:52 am    Post subject: Re: Aux Battery Setup Reply with quote

So all my parts are here and Im getting things wired up. I have hit a road block with the renogy dc to dc charger. In the renogy dc to dc charger manual it has a note that says:

the alternator is to not be connect directly to the input of the dc to dc charger.The alternator must be integrated to the starter battery and this circuit is connected to the input starter source terminals on the dc to dc.

When I initially did some reading on this unit many users were hooking it up directly to the alternator. Doesnt mean its correct obviously.

My issue is my interstate starter battery is tighter than a ducks ass under the passenger seat and I was trying to avoid having to get anything in there right now. Adding a fuse and a 4awg wire will be challenging. May be time to replace my starter battery for one that fits a lot better. Then I can run a dedicated 4awg positive lead with a 80a fuse to the rear aux area. If I do have to do this I would need to go from 8awg to 4awg. Then pull that 4awg positive lead into aux battery area under the rear bench to a positive block. That would give me a dedicated terminal directly from the starting battery in which I could power the renogy dc to dc.

Anyone else running from the alternator/starter directly to their dc to dc charger? all my aux battery equipment is under the rear bench. I would like to avoid another long positive lead from the starter battery to the back.

Also my shore charger needs to tie into the positive connection of my starter battery as well and Im thinking I could tie into the positive block that I added from the front the same connection that powers the renogy dc to dc.

I do plan to add an on off switch on the positive lead coming into the aux battery system. That way I can completely isolate the aux battery system leg when car is in storage and only shore power will be charging the aux battery and everything else is off.
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87 Westfalia Syncro "Phoenix"
88 Double Cab
76 Porsche 914
2014 Audi Q7
2010 Tdi Sportwagen

Currently looking for 62 Double Cab, 66 Westfalia Parts!
(Rear seat and pedestal, bumpers, mirrors)

http://www.baycountrymotors.com

My 87 Syncro Westfalia 1.8t Restoration

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?t=418933

"Do it the right way, or you'll pay for it"
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:27 am    Post subject: Re: Aux Battery Setup Reply with quote

I think what they are saying is not to connect it to your alternator if that's the only thing connected.
If you connect to your alternator and it also is connected to your starter/main battery you will be fine.
I wouldn't worry about it all. Carry on!
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:46 am    Post subject: Re: Aux Battery Setup Reply with quote

Agreed (based on my limited knowledge). There should be not much difference between connecting to the starting battery at the battery post or at the alternator post other than a minor loss thru the wire from the starting battery. I am guessing that the starting battery is needed to provide a buffer for the alternator output....?

And 4ga wire sounds really too large. Are you sure you need that for the DC to DC charger? How many amps can that charger draw?
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